Thursday, July 25, 2013

Campaign Report: Shadowcast Company: Episode 5

The Fifth Voyage of the Shadowcaster (part one)

It was impossible to procure enough weapons to fully arm the warriors of the Nox Tribe by purchasing from the merchants of Tam alone, so decided to set course for the Imperial City. It wasn't a long voyage, but Amalia managed to find a bit of cargo for us to transport anyway.

I hardly concerned myself with the details, but we brought a "spice" which is illegal in the city by decree, a few cases of wine, and magical materials. I found myself in several conversations over the course of the trip where my companions seemed to be under the impression that since there were magical markings, my curiosity would set me to opening the packages without permission. They are apparently under the delusion that I have time to decipher and steal another mage's research.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I am very busy with my own research.

We exchanged our goods for payment and purchased the outstanding balance of arms required to uphold our end of the bargain with the Matriarch of Nox and set sail for the Island. This time, thankfully, we managed to navigate there rather uneventfully, though our stalwart dwarven companion Pyre was made so seasick by the journey that he was no help at all.

On a personal note, we've been been at sea on and off for over a year now, and I am beginning to feel dreadfully tired of this ship. It's cramped, the food is horrible, privacy is impossible, and our nerves are beginning to fray. I am lucky, because my research will lead to a long extension of my own life, but my companions are spending a significant portion of their lives that they will not get back living in this hell.

Just a few days before we sighted land, I left my journal unattended for a few moments while taking note of the locations of the Moons of Agrandor, a condition of which I must account for in order to balance a particular spell I enjoy, and it was passed around as entertainment by a few of my hardier companions. They took offense to my description of their bravery as less than ideal, though it may be me who has the last laugh, because they certainly took it to heart to be a bit more adventuresome.

We stopped at Nox and distributed the weapons. After our warriors helped theirs acclimate to the feel of steel blades in their hands, we made a plan of war with the Matriarch. Our first target would be the slaver's isle.

Upon arrival we found that their fortress had been destroyed by the Boar's forces, which was a real pity because it would have made a fantastic base of operations for the remainder of our sojourn. One of our tribal allies suggested that we search the southern outcrop of the isle, and we found a camp of the survivors of the slavers!

They had three ships approximately equivalent to the Shadowcaster, and enough tribal catamarans that we were able to estimate that their force would be about equal to our own.

This was a real problem because none of our number save the dwarf, who was completely unable to assist us, had any useful military experience.

Still, the accusation of cowardice still rang in my companion's ears, and they were easy to convince that we should attempt a sortie by land made up of ourselves, while the tribesmen attacked by sea.

We breached their bramble wall and entered through a wooden watchtower by virtue of the stealthy capabilities of Sparrow. Thereafter I set about summoning nether-beasts to swell our numbers, which was a successful tactic. When a lieutenant began marching up the hill with a company of thirty disciplined soldiers, I admit that found myself suddenly able to understand the appeal of the old chestnut, the fireball spell, which I do not know.

No matter. Amalia produced a ball of flame which responded to her commands. Coupled with the control of the winds she took, it was devastating to their infrastructure, if not their forces. She also managed to summon a wall of smoke which we put to good use by charging through when a number of the enemy were distracted enough that they lost us long enough to put a small distance between our company and theirs.

During this encounter I came to conclusion that the "Field of Pain" spell I have devised is a useful parlor trick, but not powerful enough for battle use. I will revise and strengthen the spell when I have the time and resources.

Sparrow had previously made it to the water and was fighting a battle on a longboat. We encountered and defeated a few more lieutenants and their men, and discerned that their apparent war chief was a mage of considerable skill.

With great effort we managed to take the boat. Amalia and myself found ourselves completely out of magic ability, and most of us were hurt badly. We sailed toward our own fleet which was just about to meet the retreating slaver fleet which was heading to sea...

- Excerpt, Field Notes of Corwyn Mor, Volume II

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