Dorak - Ambush in the Night

Dear Grandpa,

Smriti made a bargain with the prisoners from our last encounter. It was a good idea, to help recover more of the loot of the legion, but bargaining with self-deluded revolutionaries is not my idea of fun. Still, he gave us information, and we let him go, which may have been an error (even though he ran away from us).

You see, we discovered, well, mostly Ian and Kumori, that we were being scouted, and our approach was being monitored. We discussed what to do, and Kumori came up with a plan to have an obvious camp and a subtle camp – but the distance between them was great and the plan after that maybe not well thought out.

I suggested that I track the scout/monitor, for while I am slower than Smriti, I would have the benefit of not needing more than 2 hours sleep, and I have dwarven fortitude and endurance to rely upon.

However, when the obvious camp spotted the scout, I don’t recall that it was communicated to me. I certainly did not set out after the scout. That may be part of our problems.

You see, we were ambushed – at least, that’s how I gather, since I was sitting and watching the obvious camp and suddenly there was a forest of trees. What happened therein is harder for me to say.

Also, I don’t know what the bard has against me. I suspect he either saw me as an easier target than others, or he was mad at me for killing his lover, Boris. I don’t know and I can only speculate, but he did attack me hard, though I was late arriving to the ambush.

And it’s the lateness that bothers me – reconstructing the tale with the help of Ian and Ignatius, the timing seems to be off or unlikely… for our ally, Julius, was held and slain by foes, and the camp was surrounded, a hallucinatory terrain spell was cast, caltrops were dropped, and a grease spell was cast, and it’s the order that bothers me the most.

For according to Ian, it takes 10 minutes to cast the hallucinatory terrain spell. It’s not a spell one uses in combat though it is one that can be used to protect a group in the night or possibly to thwart a chase with a sufficient lead.

After that was cast, I can understand holding Julius with a hold monster spell, and his allies approaching Julius carefully, lest they wake the others in the tent, but I should have been en route to help him and waking up those in the second camp. I may not have made it in time, but I’d have been there sooner, and the party may have been less spread out.

As many people as the enemy had, tromping through the forest, it would have been likely one or more would have given away their position, possibly tripping in the darkness if nothing else.

Regardless, the spreading of hazards for those in the tent is another timing question, though it does make me wish for a magic item that can create caltrops that disappear after 8 hours – spread them around the camp after it is setup, and then they’ve faded by morning… though I could see a downside to that as well.

The use of the grease spell on the flap to the tent was good tactically, and does show the weakness of using a tent – if attacked, you have a choke point at the flap or hacking through the walls.

Ian has mentioned a spell that would hold 8 creatures of any size – had we used that, we’d have lost perhaps the horses, but could have had:

  1. Ian
  2. Kumori
  3. Smriti
  4. Ignatius
  5. Iz’Alma
  6. Myself
  7. Dusky
  8. Julius

Alas, that would put Kaminari and Inky at risk, though if Kaminari were attacked, I feel sorry for the fool who did so, unless they slew Kumori first.

Be that as it may, the bowyers ripped up the tent, and even put some holes into the party in the obvious camp, and the foes with weapons put a bit of hurt on Smriti and Ignatius. They also turned their fire against Iz and Ian, who wisely used a potion he had been carrying to negate some of the worst of it.

As I understand it, Ian has to prepare:

  1. Shocking Grasp, Feather Fall, or Alter Winds
  2. Gust of Wind, Whispering Wind, Glide, or Levitate
  3. Lightning Bolt, Fly, Wind Wall, Gaseous Form, Cloak of Winds
  4. Ball Lightning, Shout, River of Wind
  5. Suffocation, Overland Flight
  6. Chain Lightning, Sirocco
  7. Mass Fly, Control Weather
  8. Stormbolt, Greater Shout
  9. Mass Suffocation, Winds of Vengeance

He explained that he receives additional spells but they must be from his school of study, listed above – however, he still has about a dozen other spells to use per day, and his lightning flash ability. I don’t know how often he goes to sleep having cast all of his spells, but it does not seem often. Still, he seems to have made better use of them this encounter than before, and I will leave it to him and Ignatius as it goes to preparing spells to stop the damn bard should he task us once more. Ignatius mentioned there’s a spell to counter invisibility near him, but he did not pray for it as we did not brief him that thoroughly on the reason and method of escape for the bard.

He did so again this time, and hopefully it is the last time that I see the half-elven fool. I must make sure to get Ian a spell to see the invisible – Ignatius said that he is not granted such a prayer yet, though as he grows in knowledge, Tinel may grant him one later.

I think Kumori felt happier about the fight, though the moving through the darkness was less than ideal, especially given the distance between the two camps. Still, I do wish to claim credit for ensuring he was given light to guide him in the form of his wakizashi, enchanted by Ignatius.

Ignatius was using a spell I had not seen before – a spell I look forward to partnering with – for it is not the unstoppable swing of the attacker that is deadliest, but it is the attack from the wise rogue who follows that emanation of Tinel and takes deadly advantage of the emanation.

All told, other than not shrugging off the weaker magic of the bard that held me, and Iz healing Ian when the damage was not to his flesh but to his fail Elven form, I don’t think there were many errors on our part.

We are back on our way, and have encountered a letter from Dusky’s true love. I thought Dusky wiser, but I know the dangers of seeing only the treasure of a prize and not the many traps and hazards that are carried with it.

I hope the festival is heartening – the last few days have not been.

- Dorak

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Dorak - Ambush in the Night

Crimson Skies Grusnik