We were ambushed today. I was almost caught by surprise. Almost. I need to analyse what happened, work on my weaknesses, and acknowledge which strategies used by myself and my cohorts were the most successful.
Our survival was more due to luck than skill. I must come to the conclusion that my cohorts and I do not work well as a unit. While in terms of raw power, we had our foes outmatched; their singularity of purpose and adherence to a simple yet effective battle plan was almost our undoing.
Our front line was effectively neutralized by a concerted attack on Hasdrubal – during which he almost lost an eye – combined with enmeshing of Mavrikos by an enemy retiarius. In her haste to assist our fallen comrades Orfée was also caught in the crossfire, and Nasah had the misfortune to be hit by a high arcing shot.
Samir and Rhialla both attempted to summon reinforcements, only to become the target of enemy archers. Conjuration spells are extremely effective, but their long casting time are a liability in this kind of situation. Still, Rhialla’s summoned rat was a welcomed addition to the fight.
As for myself, I hope to have regained some measure of respect from my teammates. After cloaking myself in a Mage Armor spell, I took out a pair of archers from the fight with a Sleep spell. I attempted to repeat the feat using a scroll, but my nervousness must have betrayed me as neither target fell. I did manage to use a second scroll to neutralize two others, who would later become our prisoners. Scrolls are an effective, if expensive, mean to increase our capabilities.
A cry of “Desecration!” marked the turning point of this battle. What I originally thought but a typical prank from Samir turned out to be the convenient arrival of a pack of ghouls, which turned upon our ambushers. When these unliving joined the fray, and it became clear a tactical retreat would be the wiser option, I dispatched the exhausted retiarius with a ray of frost, provided covering fire for my comrades, and levitated the poor Orfée – who had gotten paralyzed from contact with what we now suspect was a ghast – allowing a revived Hasdrubal to carry her with greater ease. One of the ambushers, a kobold, switched sides once the undead hit our ranks. He is a fair shot and managed to wound the ghast. Perhaps we can hire him as a mercenary.
Upon our successful withdrawal from the Necopolis, Mavrikos insisted we turn our prisoners to the city guard. Unfortunately, and while we were able to postpone his sentence, this meant our new-found kobold ally would not be able to join us in our next foray in the doomed city. I plan to send him back to the Academy by portkey upon my return.
We then retraced our steps back into the necropolis. We returned to the location where we were ambushed and – conveniently – stumbled upon the half-eaten body of the retiarius, who turned out not only to have been the leader of the ragtag group that attacked us, but also the carrier of orders identifying our group in particular as a target. These orders bore the seal of a religious group based in the city. This merits further investigation, and we will have to be on our guard until we get to the bottom of this.
We finally made it to our destination, a walled compound. Eydan and I were about to step within the main gates when a shadow descended upon our companions, who had preceded us. Orphée and Rhialla were particularly affected by whatever befell our friends, and while a simple touch of the arm was enough to bring Rhialla back to her senses, Orphée fled in a panic to the eastern courtyard of the compound, where she disrupted the nest of a pair of poisonous snakes, attracted the attention of two dual-headed zombies of a canine nature, and woke a dozen skeletons from their unnatural slumber. Only a convenient turn of event allowed her to escape that last predicament and rejoin our group, which had followed and was now stuck in melee combat with the menagerie she had left in her wake.
Spent, my only contribution to this particular fight was long-range support in the form of a weak barrage of Ray of Frost spells. If only I had paid more attention in necromancy class! I will need to get one of my companions to teach me how to muster a ray of Disrupt Undead if we are to remain in the Necropolis for much longer.