The 56th Day of Winter, 59 AD. (1/18/23)
This was an inauspicious day to join the experienced adventuring party as a fledgling magic-user. We found ourselves backed against an artificial mound, faced off against a line of ten uber-orcs and a handful of goblin archers that had ambushed the party out of the woods. Arrows rained down on us from above, finding their targets in hirelings spread across the mound and sending us scrambling. There was a strangled scream as someone fell behind me, punctured by an arrow. I had never experienced such a sortie before, what excitement!
Then there was a tense moment to see who would make the next move, when I, Phaedra the Prestidigitator stepped up, chanted the arcane words and made the hand passes, and caused a wave of drowsiness to hit the uber-orc leader and two of the goblins, causing them to drop to the ground in place, snoozing peacefully. Snarling in surprise, the rest of the orcs moved in to attack. The violent scrum of melee was all flashing swords, bear claws and sprays of blood, and I was terrified the bestials would overwhelm our line as they swarmed in.
Luckily, with bravery and panache, our fighters held the line, but while this was happening, I looked around in fright, after casting one spell I was utterly defenseless apart from my stave. The young warrior Gustave, seeing my distress, came running down the mound towards us, loudly proclaiming, “Don’t worry Phaedra, I’ll protect you!” before being promptly cut down by a goblin arrow buried deep into his chest. He hit the ground at my feet as I screamed “GUUSTAAVE!” in terror.
Seeing my companion fall at my feet suddenly filled me with a feeling of blinding rage as I unwisely charged into the heart of the battle, fully intent on playing golf with the orc-leader’s head. But alas, my strength failed me, and I was hardly able to dent his skull cap with my mightiest swing. It soon dawned on me how bad of a position I had put myself in, when an orc, wielding a strange weapon attacked me, disarming me of my stave and striking a violent blow across my body. Grievously injured, I reeled back and collapsed near Gustave while my companions bravely fought on and forced the orcish retinue into bloody capitulation.
The battle was over, everyone assessed the dead and the dying, laying on hands and bandaging wounds. Gustave would survive, but just barely, and was so injured as to be unable to move, making the journey back to town seem untenable, but the prospect of entering the dwarven underground with an injured party seems even more ill-advised. What are we to do? As I said, an inauspicious day indeed…