- Where were the troops being teleported to?
- Did the maia – one of the Blue Wizards – survive the explosion?
- And the most pressing question: how the hell are we going to get out of here and survive this?
Barely Controlled Chaos
We watch to find out the best way out of the area, expecting the hordes of Dark Elves to be upon us at any moment after we destroyed their ritual. Instead, they left in two groups. A larger group (70-100) rode toward the sea, while a smaller group (between 7 and 30) rode toward the south and the main lines. Our initial fears were that they were separating to better flank us.
Araphor used his Bird Control to conscript a bluebird (we cannot vouch for its parentage, but we were happy to see it) and cast Rider Within to get a bird’s eye view of the smaller group. Through its eyes, the source of confusion became clear. There were only four riders, a little over a dozen horses, and a covered wagon being pulled by six more horses.
As this seemed to be sufficiently interesting (and weakly defended), we decided to follow in hopes of getting answers to some of our unanswered questions. We were unable to catch up with them before sunset, but hoped that we might be able to close the distance when they stopped for the night. Unfortunately, as the darkness grew, they deployed devices that cast a blue light ahead of them, and they continued on.
Undaunted, we still closed the distance, not riding hard enough to be immediately taken as a threat. Instead we kept more of a deliberate pace, in the hope that we could possibly be considered a patrol in the same direction.
When we were close enough, the dark elves stopped and called out a greeting. Nwalme-Anna used his Gift of Tongues to grasp the dark elves’ language, as they speak a tongue unknown in the West. Nwalme was able to bluff the rider in the back and give the impression that we were just a patrol. He found that the wagon held wounded dark elves on the way to the field hospital. These elves don’t seem to know what happened; they seem to think it was a spell failure, not sabotage. Nwalme gestures to the rest of the party to slowly move up, and they do.
Once Araphor was close enough to be seen clearly in the light, the ruse was spotted and a mêlée ensued. Guthwyn displayed the impressive horsemanship for which she is renowned, lopping the head off of one of the dark elves as she rode for the head of their convoy. Once she’d circled around the front, she leaped from Arod onto the wagon and rushed across it to come down on the other side, throwing herself into combat. Bo was able to put an arrow into the eye of a raging dark elf intent on running him down. Nwalme teleported from horseback to take to the ground, the better to be able to use his patented Death Touch™ maneuver. Unfortunately, his ploy was thwarted by one of the injured elves
teleporting out of the covered wagon. The other Blue Wizard, that we had previously only heard about had taken the field and oddly, he teleported in exactly as Nwalme had just done. This lead our experienced mage to wonder if the maia could steal spells or copy those that were cast in his area. The wizard looked really the worse for wear from the explosion. But unfortunately, not so bad that Nwalme’s Death Touch™ was able to destroy him.
The surviving dark elves rallied, and some of the injured spilled out of the covered wagon and cast protections to keep the party from getting inside. Guthwyn’s personal guard weighed in along with the rest of the party on the he-maia and the dark elves. One telling moment about the power of the maia was that when one of Guthwyn’s personal guard ran the he wizard down, the horse could not, or would not, strike him. The horses’ hooves missed the maia completely as the animal ran over him. In the mêlée, Nwalme was battered unconscious, but his last thought before surrendering to darkness was to wonder why a wounded maia would be traveling south.
Repeated attacks on the wizard were enough to force him to flee. He teleported to the front of the caravan, away from where he had been attacked. Bo shouted out this new location and aimed an arrow. Guthwyn and Araphor turned their horses and charged after the wizard…