I’m playing in a Pathfinder campaign set in Daywood, a human colony plunked down smack in the middle of Wild Elf territory. Both races hate each other, and as mixed party of human and elves, we keep getting caught in the crossfire. Last night was another example. The party is now fourth level.
The party wound their way up the slopes and between tall stone pillars. About mid-day, they found themselves on the top of one of the pillars, which formed a wide plateau carved by the wind in strange shapes. It was an eerily beautiful place, and Alessandro was taking in the magnificent view when his teacher touched his shoulder.
“I’m truly sorry it had to be this way,” he heard. When he turned to ask Baldovinetti what he meant, his teacher was just finishing a spell and a forty foot tall wall of stone rose between him and the rest of the party, cutting off their exit from the plateau.
“An ambush!” cried Alessandro as he turned back to his companions. He saw then the elven archers among the rocks ahead of them, and the last of his companions reaching the cover offered by the rocks. Alessandro was the only one caught in the open, and he goggled in terror for a moment. Luckily, the elves were intent on the humans, and he recovered from his surprise and rushed to join them before any arrows were sent his way. “When this is over,” growled Akim, “that elf teacher of yours is dead.” “On this we agree,” murmured the mage.
Snow and Knox were on the left, while Akim, Seorine, and Alessandro were on the right. The young druid transformed to a mountain lion and swiftly charged around the far side of the rock. Snow followed more cautiously. A smoke bomb landed ahead and to the left of the rest of the party, and then landed right among them. Coughing, Alessandro stepped to the right and cast Invisibility. Akim also moved right. The elf archer on the right chose to shoot at the human, so Alessandro was able to complete his spell. He then cast Mage Armor and moved up toward the enemy archer, hoping to scout the extent of the ambush.
On the left, Knox was tearing into the elves, but was taking terrific damage in return. Snow hid behind a rock, and did nothing to help. Alessandro continued forward, until he could see a smoke bomb on his left and Knox far to the left. On Alessandro’s right, an elf archer hid behind another rock and waited to get a shot at Akim, who was staying in cover but following Alessandro’s path. Alessandro whispered a Message to Knox that another archer was to his far right, past the smoke bomb that obscured the vision of both Knox and the archer.
At last Snow caught up to Knox, but by then the two elves he was fighting had beat a retreat. The center elven archer was prone on top of a balanced rock. Knox stayed in his feline form but took on the aspect of a monkey, climbing a nearby rock and looking for the central elf sniper. Akim was also trying to find the central elf, but he had evaded both of them and slipped to the rear.
Meanwhile, the elf on the right edged around the rock to get a shot at Akim, nearly bumping into Alessandro. The mage circled the elf and applied a Shocking Grasp to his back. Screaming, the elf turned and began to strike the now visible mage, but Akim chose that moment to step forward, place the barrel of his gun against the elf’s head, and pull the trigger. The spray of blood caught the mage on the left shoulder, but did no harm to him. The elf archer’s head was no more.
Knox continued to move across the top of the rocks, seeking his next prey. Akim edged forward to the left, still hoping for a shot at the central elf. Alessandro retrieved the fallen elf’s masterwork bow, and circled right, thankfully not encountering anyone else. Suddenly, two elves appeared on top of the rock directly in front of him, but before they could fire, Alessandro cast a web over them, trapping one and providing cover against the second. Knox paced below them, looking for an opportunity. He was worried, as he caught the scent of several other elves nearby. How many were there?
Meanwhile, Snow continued to work her way down the center of the plateau. Finally she stood just a few feet from one of the elves, who was facing the opposite way. She prepared her blades but Akim had found the same prey, and sighting through a tunnel in the stone, fired a deadly accurate shot. Again, the elf’s head and body parted company. Snow picked up the masterwork bow of the downed elf.
Alessandro rolled a Flaming Sphere up the rock ahead of him and on top of the two elves caught in the web. One was badly burned, the other slightly injured. Once the web was gone, Knox lunged up the stone face and launched himself at the elves. One of them dropped a smoke bomb on top of the rock, and the fight became a confused mess. In front of Snow, four more elves appeared on top of the rocks. Fortunately for her, their attention was focused on the smoky fight on top of the higher rocks. They fired a volley and Knox again was injured. He went berserk, killing both of his foes in the smoke, before a second volley knocked him unconscious.
Snow, Akim, and Alessandro focused their fire on the four new attackers. Snow missed, Akim wounded one, and Alessandro walked the Flaming Sphere forward towards the two on the right and launched another at the two on the left. Neither sphere hit its mark, but they did force the elves to drop back and off the rocks. Alessandro dropped the spheres over the rocks blindly, but again, to no effect. The four archers turned the corner as one, all of them facing Snow. “Shit!” she said, and all five fired. Snow took the worst of it, but Akim rushed forward and from twenty feet away, he readied his weapon.
Alessandro had climbed the smoking rock summit, hoping to help Knox. He kicked the two elves to the ground and found Knox, but did more harm than good with his ministrations. He petted Knox’s fur gently murmuring, “sorry, so sorry, sorry,” sure that he had killed the druid. From his vantage point, he saw Snow’s predicament. He fired a Magic Missile at one elf, but too late. Snow dropped under the Elf’s next volley. A second Magic Missile dropped one elf, and Akim’s shot slew another. Only two elves remained, but only Alessandro and Akim were left, and the mage was out of spells. “Even if we survive,” he thought, “we still have to face Baldovinetti. What can we do?”