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Preparing for the Attack in the Throne Room

I'm curious as to why they don't secretly send the infant prince away with a protector BEFORE the attack, especially as they don't seem to think anybody has the power to stop the enemy.

This is because Stephen insists that Zohar be that protector, but the wizard's services are needed at that time.

Why are the wizard's services deemed to be needed, when they've pretty much concluded that his intervention is not going to change the outcome of the battle?

The outcome wasn't completely certain. At this point, the main characters still haven't had ample opportunity to better gauge Karus's power. The plan to evacuate the prince was a precautionary measure, suggested by Zohar, who tends to consider all possible outcomes of a situation.

That being said, Zohar (being a very powerful wizard), may have been the difference between a win and a loss. His enchantments helped even the playing field significantly. In fact, I'm confident that, had he actually stuck around for the fight, the battle might have been much closer to a stalemate, maybe even a win. But the characters (again not knowing the full extent of Karus's power) agreed that they could not risk the prince's safety on this gamble.

That makes sense. I think that at some point, you might want to tweak the conversation and narrative to bring that out a bit more. I'll go back and read it again, to make sure I'm not twisting stuff weirdly in my head, but it seemed like the basic conversation revolved around "he's too powerful, nobody can stop him", rather than "he's a complete unknown, and we'd better have a contingency plan in case he's too powerful".

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