LIAB Epilogue 13:1/Text

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According to Maggie, the Temple was the one place in Erfworld where they were certain Charlie could not use the Arkendish to monitor or interfere with Thinkamancy. So if they were going to make plans to move against him, it had to be done inside. But Parson really didn't feel like walking in there alone.

So. Tough decision time. He tried to break it down point by point.

Q: Could Thinkamancers be considered allies?
A: Yes. Not in a technical sense of alliance, but yes.

Q: How important was that?
A: Pretty. They'd be making their home here for a while. The Thinkamancers could detect threats and protect him and his units from the likes of Jojo.

Q: Could the Thinkamancers be trusted not to attack him in the Temple?
A: Yes, probably. Maggie said they wouldn't move on him unless something radically changed their opinion. He should avoid pissing them off.

Q: What about a rogue agent or unhappy dissenter among them?
A: Unlikely. Maggie said they only acted when they reached consensus ("Thought Alike.") They kept it a tight ship in there.

Q: So how important was security inside the Temple?
A: Only as important as his life, he supposed. He could guess wrong here, and never wake up to see the consequences.

In the end, he opted to put his troops in formation around the outside of the Temple. Soldiers and non-Thinkamancer casters would not try to enter the sanctuary, but if anything happened to him in there, nobody else was coming out.

As for more subtle threats, the ones his archers couldn't protect him from, Maggie was less encouraging.

"What about suggestions?" he'd asked. "Mind control. How do I keep them from messing with my head?"

"I cannot guarantee they won't try, Lord," she'd said. "They are wary of you. It would be natural for them to apply their strengths in an effort to exert more influence or control over you. But they cannot do so without my detecting it. I'll alert you to any attempts, and protect you as I can."

"That'll have to do."