Dorak - Bits and Pieces

Captain Hector,

We went back to Kaidan, unprepared for the fight against the Emperor. We had not met the lucky dragon, we had not acquired the relics, we had not warning or intention to go… we simply found us all, save Dusky, in the past, in Kaidan, in the mountains.

We sought shelter at a shrine. The shrine was populated with warrior monks who looked down at us for our oddities and at Kumori for associating with us. There was some tolerance, but despite the sometimes unwelcome and largely curious hosts, it was a mercy to be out of the Pthyan Empire.

Ignatius was unsettled and he felt reduced. It is a great concern to him and to me as nominal leader of this party – I let Kumori do most of the planning for the group, since it is his quest, and I am sure you understand. However, as a scholar and an Inceptor of the God of Knowledge to be cut off from your divine connection, well, it’s a bit like being an Explorer and going somewhere that exists and is well travelled but has no maps nor Explorer’s Lodge. Things that you almost take for granted not working is an unwelcome surprise, and even if there is a way to combat it, I hope that is made clear in his studies, as I expect he will spend many a night with a book, studying, trying to find an answer.

As fate would have it, of course, we found ourselves in a trap – the party awoke to find the monastery filled with the sounds of death. I am somewhat glad Ignatius hasn’t had time enough with his ring to be awake – mostly because I felt trying to heal the dying would have been a waste of resources we desperately needed, but also because it’s a frustrating thing to watch someone die and be helpless to stop them.

Then again, even if I studied how to heal someone, I have no divine connection, unlike Ignatius or Calen or my sister or even Iz, if what she has is divine. I fear my pragmatism will be the death of me or the party one day.

The battles we faced from there were on several fronts – the ice giants could see us and attack us with ease, where we were half-blinded by the snow that pressed us mercilessly and fought us on another front, one of endurance and fortitude. That meant even Ian, who is excellent with a bow, had to close in to see or fight his foe, for the most part.

I will say that Ian was exceptional – using his abilities, he protected Smriti and himself, and then again Kumori, from the biting cold, one of the wisest decisions I believe we’ve ever had. I only later realized that I could have been protected also, through his connection with the bow, and that would have been perfection, but he truly used his spells to great effect, and I believe ran out of spells in doing so. He also stepped into harm’s way to use an ability in a tactically strong way. I think he’s coming into the team in a most excellent manner.

That’s not that Smriti and Kumori weren’t amazing, especially when Ignatius and Iz were taken from us. Smriti was the best equipped of us to deal with the monks, who arose as undead but with some additional, icy qualities at that point, and fought with courage and conviction, willing to die heroically if it meant that Kumori could live.

Kumori found a katana that flickered with flame, so Satori, dormant under the effects of the Kaidanese curse, was sheathed, along with his wakizashi, as he acquired on my suggestion a blunt weapon, as I recalled from Brother Calen and Cian how to best deal with undead. He was brilliant in attacking the evil spirit that was behind the attack.

As fate would have it, and I do ascribe such things to fate, though it could also be the gods or the cursed lamp who so willed it, we could not defeat the evil spirit. As it was, even trying to catch up to that spirit after it fled the quarters of the master was made practically impossible.

However, fate can be kind, and we were swept back into the lamp, from which I write you this report. As to my part, I believe I made a few good tactical calls – equipping Kumori, myself, and even Ian with a blunt weapon – but was rendered mostly helpless by the position and quantity of my foes and the terrain beneath me.

I do believe that being able to strike my foes with agile thrusts will help a great deal. It wouldn’t have been enough to turn the tide in the previous fight, but it would have helped a great deal, especially when the light mace didn’t connect with a solid blow.

I also made a mistake or two, but I don’t think that it matters as much, because our failure was not complete – Kumori mentioned that one of the swords that we acquired appears to belong to a family or clan of some regard, and that he now recalls a tale telling of this place and even hinting at our presence and failure to fight fate there from his youth. Maybe we weren’t there to acquire a base of operations for our return to Kaidan, maybe we were there to recover a relic before it was cursed and corrupted by an evil spirit.

I should rest – we used all of the restorative ointment that Coatl gave us, as well as a potion I was carrying and another we found, and I nearly died, and Ian was unconscious and would be dead were it not for Smriti.

We’ve not found Iz or Ignatius, yet, but we put Ian to bed with Smriti trying to provide care for him as she’s the least badly hurt among us. I am going to relieve her so she too can rest.

- Dorak

Dorak’s Letters Home

Dorak - Bits and Pieces

Crimson Skies Grusnik