20 Kythorn 1479DR
Checkmate's edge, the stench!
We have holed up in a hobgoblin barracks for a well-earned rest. I fear this may be the last we can take, for as best I can tell, evening is approaching and the work of Shar will most likely be accomplished by the stroke of midnight. My mind is scatterd with the enormity of what we face – deep in the bowels of what was once Sir Keegan's keep… his tainted sword Aecris in my hands to redeem the slaughter of his family at his own hands. I truly hope that Selûne is still watching over us, even here where her dark sister holds sway.
I do worry about my companions – or more specifically, my ability to lead them. The Grandmaster knows, unlike the village boys I've been "commanding," these folk have no reason to listen to me or adhere to my tactics.
The field around me is a lanceboard in my mind, with myself as the king. However, losing control over the movement of the other pieces forces me into the role of the queen piece – moving with abandon where needed, forced by circumstance into the midst of the combat rather than guiding it around me. When I have to abandon my king position, all I can feel is the impending checkmate from our opponents.
The doughty dwarf Rurick is my "rook" – a sturdy piece, but single-minded in its movement, always rushing to the nearest opponent. I need him to trust that, given a few seconds, we can work together to make the battlefield our own – side-by-side, flanking, forcing movement around and through a gauntlet we create. If we force our opponents to react to us, I feel we would both fare better in the aftermath of our encounters. It wil be far better for us to work in tandem than for either of us to fall as an isolani.
In near opposition, Elithia and Kalar move like pawns – slowly and carefully – but they also strike hard at a distance, making them more like bishops – more difficult to move, but equally potent as the rook. I need them to come off the back rank as an opening gambit, creating opportunities for Rurick and I by giving our opponents more candidate moves to consider, possible traps to ponder. Ultimately, even one or two wounds taken by each of them can spare Rurick and I as many, if not more.
And then there is Dot. She comes off the back rank much more readily, but she also favors distance attacks. Her ultimate advantage in my mind, however, is her unorthodox movement by teleportation – she can create the same advantages and opportunities as my "bishops," with less risk to herself. She is my "knight."
I do regret our rogue having to leave the field so early into our incursion into the keep. Another piece on the field would be of great advantage to us, especially since he favored close-quarter combat. But regrets are unsound, and I must finish this match with the pieces I have remaining…
Quick-n-dirty notes from last session (12/12/08)