22nd of Rhomdibberahn
We woke up today after a quiet night's watch bunked up in the inn at Tendahm, no sign of the bandits return yet. Before calling it a night I spent some time talking with Erg about how she calls forth her primal rage, it is quite impressive. What she said made a lot of sense to me, I can feel the rage inside me already when in combat, I just need to surrender to it and let it consume me. I went to bed that night reviewing in my head how she used it in battle, seeing how she let it take over and imagined myself doing the same next time we would come to arms, which undoubtedly would be soon. I think I can do this!
In the mornging we determined it would be better to go in search of the bandits rather than waste what could be days watching and waiting for them to return. A visual scan from the rooftops and with my eagle showed no enemy in sight. An appeal to the townsfolk by Wulfgar to come aid us yielded no responses, so we headed out North in search of our prey by ourselves.
The march turned out to be pretty uneventful until noon when we found a spur from the road that showed sign of recent usage. We are assuming this was the path the enemy were taking, but are unsure due to the shifting sands obliterating the tracks. Around noon we took a break and learned a lesson about dealing with water in a parched desert. Helmon had called forth some water using his divine powers and sent a spray of cooling water splashing over all of us, but as the excess of water drained into the parched sands it must have provided a powerful attractant, as we were immediately set upon by a half dozen giant ants that appeared from under the sands. Normally these creatures would not be much of a challenge, but for the life of me I could not get a good swing at them until about my third try, when the bastard sword I had started using after liberating it from the orcs the previous day clove through two ants in one blow. I need more practice with this thing to get used to it, but when it hits WOW! Maybe I can find a great sword and really do some cleaving. The rest of the ants were finished off in short order with Erg doing a majority of the damage, but unfortunately we received more damage than we should have from such lowly beasts, which could have been a tactical problem if the rest of the day had not passed uneventfully. Did I mention this place is HOT? I really miss home when the blazing sun is beating down on us in this desert, but we can handle it, it just is not fun, especially listening to Tierathas whine interminably. I would think an elf with royal blood would have learned a thing or two about Stoicism.
By this time we realized we had been beaten. With our current abilities these foes were beyond our capability, so for now we are going to get another good rest and then head north to [Tendahm]. So camp was set and we spent the next two days foraging, resting, and healing before heading north. Maybe we will come back some day when we are more skilled and better equipped.
23rd of Rhomdibberahn
I just have time for a quick note today, we are on the move. We spent the morning on the trail and had a run in with an ant lion today. It was nearly the end for Dax, but I was able to dispatch the creature as it tried to drag Dax's limp body under the sands where we could never have retrieved him. At least now we know what an Ant Lion's trap looks like! After that we spotted a lookout posted along the trail we were following, but he got away before we could maneuver on him, and it may have been a lizard familiar that tipped him off, or maybe that was a coincidence. Anyway to keep it short, we found their base and made a raid after dark on their outbuildings. We ended up killing a nasty Dwarf armorer who would not let us take him prisoner and scored lots of weapons, gold, food and armor from a hidden chamber in the armory and two other vacant outbuildings before trying to assault a larger inn style building. This attack went poorly, with many more patrons inside than we had planned on encountering, and all very tough. I made what may have been a foolish mistake rushing in and casting Stone Call, hurting nearly all of them pretty well with this area of effect spell, and their return attack against me went as I imagined with just a moderate amount of damage from blade and bolt thanks to my armor being magically boosted with Barkskin and Mage Armor, but what I had not expected was the three mages in the corner who walloped my heavily armored hide almost to death. I HATE Magic missiles, and they were casting three at a time so they were pretty experienced mages. I barely made it out the door alive after taking one inaccurate swing at the fighters who were now surrounding me, only to find my party had already given up and were hightailing it. Thanks be to Helmon who provided me with some healing before fleeing at least! An enemy fighter appeared in the doorway and took a swing at me and missed, so I returned the favor and nearly split him in two with an overhead chop and then ran like the wind myself.
The damndest thing happened too, Erg fled from a battle! Maybe she was just being prudent, but I thought I could actually see a bit of fear in her this time. Well we all have our moments.
So here we are, fleeing from the scene of the battle. It is obvious they had set up a trap for us, but that had not gone exactly as they had planned either, for we gave a lot more than we took and still are in good shape with lots of swag to boot. They suffered 2 killed and a dozen more wounded, I think we should go back again tonight and hit them hard again when they least expect it, its time for guerilla war. Now to convice the others.....
[Minor editing and corrections provided by the DM.]