Welcome to The Chosen's journals. Each character is invited to keep a journal and write down the thoughts of their characters as they wander through Nyternia. In addition, the DM has a journal which highlights each session. The players are:

Blink - monk Errol - bard
Kestrel - fighter Malif - wizard
Vaugner - rogue Vernon - cleric/sorcerer

Choose a journal:   Select a session:

Kestrel's Journal, session #16
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Death. A new experience.

It's a very strange thing, dying. I died about as quick a death as could be imagined, but it wasn't quick at all from the inside. I had time to watch that sword all the way in through my visor, and even to feel it sliding through my face.

Being dead, though, actual death? I have a strong feeling that there were experiences there, interesting ones, a place... but I can now recall none of it. The memories faded like a dream.

It seems to me that dying, while painful, is only disastrous if I fail to learn the lesson that the gods were trying to teach to me. A nice sentiment, but unfortunately exactly what the message is seems to be a matter of debate.

Some in the group think that the failure was one of tactics. Certainly, there were individual decisions made by several people (including a very bad one by me) that caused problems. But that doesn't seem to me to be the core of the situation. Similarly, I don't think it was a strategic failure, either. Yes, scouting would have helped, as would have concentrating on the spellcasters, but again, I don't think that is the whole story. Certainly Vaugner's insistence that we should have fireballed the tents is questionable at best -- pulling Brute into the fight could only have made matters worse, and the apprentice wizard, who is the one most likely to have been killed by the fireball, only got off one spell. His enlarge impacted the battle, but it was far from decisive.

No, I think the basic problem was more one of philosophy. Perhaps teamwork is a better word. We failed to work together in any real way -- we were just a collection of individuals on the same side. We failed to identify that one of our comrades was in serious danger of death, and didn't save him. We failed to identify which targets we could easily take out, and left several enemies active.

We knew when we saw the clearing that there were missing people -- we had some half baked idea that we could send out flankers after them, but didn't follow through, and anyway I think that such an approach would be a mistake. We didn't think about our advantages -- cover, movement restricting spells like web, probable one-on-one superiority -- except for surprise. We did surprise them, though.

I think we also learned of a small vulnerability in the party, which we should have responded to. A very large percentage of our damage output is ranged -- arrows, specifically. This causes problems when one of the targets (the monk) is more or less immune to arrows.

We should have either focused on the other targets and ignored the monk until we could swarm him, or put more melee attackers on him from the get go. Instead, I fought the monk, and the rest of the team fought everyone else. This left me no margin for error, and let the monk soak all my damage -- I could most likely have taken down a large number of enemies had I attacked them instead.

Well. All this is really beside the point -- there are a lot of lessons to be learned from the battle, most of which just come down to being more careful. But there's something deeper, more primitive, a lesson that still escapes me. The lesson taught by death itself.

On this, I must ponder.