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Two nights ago I met the elusive Erique for the first time, the rogue who has been stalking our demoness and her followers for some time; Kuvasei arranged the meeting, and Westel attended with me.  Unfortunately Erique was able to tell me little directly that I did not already know.  She is building up resources to support a lavish and protected lifestyle for some as-yet-unknown person — possibly a puppet, but more likely herself given physical form.

It was during the discussion that Kuvasei seemed to realize, for the first time, exactly what kind of danger she is in.  That this demoness intends to use her to accomplish her own goals, and that Kuvasei could end up dead or any of a number flavors of worse.

Today Kuvasei confided to me a thought that had occurred to her: that if Szesstra needed her to be of a certain power to complete a ritual, then maybe — just maybe — if Kuvasei were to stop practising, to refuse to continue her studies… then she would never reach the power that Szesstra needed her to have, rendering her useless as a pawn and foiling the demoness’ plans.

…gods, sweet gods, it took every ounce of will I possessed not to burst out with You don’t fucking say.  I may have still slipped in an ‘I told you so’.  What have I been saying this entire goddamned time?  Sometimes the only way to win a game is to refuse to play, and this has been one of those times.  But Kuvasei has not believed this.  She has not wanted to believe this.  The child gets a tiny piece of power in her hands, and suddenly she thinks she can outwit a millennia-old agent of the Burning Legion better than her own mother, who’s an expert in both matters of the Legion and knowing what you can and can’t outwit.

Of course she’s not actually going to give it up; that would have been too much to hope for.  But she wanted me to know that she was acknowledging the possibility.  Fel take it all, she thinks ‘considering alternatives’ makes her so grown-up.  Maturity is about doing the things you don’t want to do, and refraining from the things you do, when the need is at hand — not just “acknowledging” the need and doing whatever the fuck you want anyway.

Erique hopes he won’t have to kill her.  Even if the need arises, he likely won’t get the chance.  I do hope he survives this, though.  He seems a good lad.

I wonder if Kuvasei thinks she’s the only one who will be hurt when her debts come due.

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