AFTER ACTION REPORT 06 : A report by Mike Young
To my surprise, everybody else in the department appeared to be otherwise engaged in 'urgent' business on the day of the battle and was thus unavailable. (Although we did 'press-gang' I believe the term is, a junior under-graduate, but on first sight of the sea, he fainted, so we left him on the dock.
Oh what a day gentlemen! The development of magic in Aquatic Thaumaturgy has been advanced by decades, by myself, in just one day! Oh and the professor obviously helped from time to time.
As per the Arch-Chancellor's request, you will see that we were going for 'show' in a lot of cases, although quite honestly I don't see why we have to impress the peasants. What's magic got to do with them?
Anyway, I have included the new spells in Appendix A below .[Appendix removed by Order of the King for security reasons]
As for the day in question, we were involved in two battles.
Unfortunately from a research point of view, the professor had failed to finish his breakfast by the time that our vessel reached the engagement area. Thus despite my explaining that the Thaumatic charge built up by the ship was dependant on the speed of movement over the water, we entered the battle at a speed of slow. (I should like to report that the crew managed to successfully avoid spilling the Professor's cocktail.)
On the plus side, this delay in actually doing any magic, gave me plenty of time to perform research in to various aspects of aquatic magic. In fact, with the professor eating and myself doing research, we had both completely forgotten about the battle until we were rather rudely interrupted by a crewmember who wanted to report that two corsair vessel's seemed to be baring down on us, apparently assuming that our slow speed was due to damage.
As the professor was still finishing off his breakfast, I went, I have to say rather excitedly, on deck to see if this would be our first chance to field test some of the new spells against 'the enemy'.
On appearing on deck, my first thought was how careless the crew had been in allowing a corsair to get so close, but this gave me a golden opportunity to field-test the 'lightening bolt'. Which I duly did.
Unfortunately, due to the refractive index of the light and the slight incidence of Thaum beta carrots, the lightening bolt whizzed through the masts of the vessel. I do have to say though that it was a very impressive light show.
So impressive in fact that the corsair in question turned tail and started to run. The nerve of these pirates, just as I was getting going. Well I wasn't having that!
I persuaded the professor to allow the crew to increase speed and we gave chase. (I should point out, that despite rumours to the contrary, I was not standing on the front of the ship shouting 'come back you cowards' and making chicken noises. I was instead testing the level of Thaumatic charge generated at that point by our vessel, which does look remarkably like a chicken impersonation.)
We closed on this vessel to the point where again, I could try a lightening bolt, which I proceeded to use to successfully blow one of their sets of oars off.
Now I know certain other wizard's have said at this point I was suffering from blood lust, but this could not be further from the truth. I was not shouting 'you're not singing any more, you're not singing any more' and waving my staff at the vessel while dancing a jig on the fore deck, I was instead studying the effects of the bolt on the target vessel.
Unfortunately, one of these effects was to cause them to unleash a hail of arrows and rather inconveniently turn me in to a pincushion. (I would like to say, how grateful I am for the professor ordering the crew to drag me back inside, where the professor administered a healing draught.)
At this point, it seems that the corsairs turned tail and fled, thus negating any further opportunities for magical tests.
We also discovered later, that early on in the battle, the Thaumatic leakage from our vessel so confused three corsair vessels, that they all hit each other. Result!
I have to say that the second battle was far more fun. Apart from the minor issue of some other vessel reversing in to us (minor scuffing, soon repaired by the professor) this battle allowed us to test some really interesting magic.
The professor had by now finished his breakfast and as we still had time before he started lunch, we actually entered the test area at some speed. Indeed at one point, the ship was positively glowing with energy, showing all the doubters I must say that my design for storing Thaums within a wooden hull is perfectly workable. (And yes I have already submitted the patent. I'm watching you Hawks!)
The professor was quite keen to test out bindweed, which he did at every opportunity to great success as far as we could see as no corsair ship in our vicinity ever went to a fast speed, demonstrating the success of this spell.
We also managed to successfully test 'Worse things happen at sea' during a moment of extreme bravery, we ordered the crew to row in to a packed battle area and from round the corner of my cabin door, I let rip with the spell.
We achieved a 100% success with this spell on our three target vessels, all three surrendering. I know some of the crew have theorised that the two ships that were waving white flags prior to the spell being cast were already surrendering, but I believe they could already feel the build up of the spell and this is what caused them to give up.
Although we never actually used the communication spell, (it was created at the behest of 'that woman'), we somehow managed to be in her vicinity all through the battle, meaning that she was constantly pestering us with her requests. (I think she thought she was giving us orders.)
Might I suggest in future the creation of some sort of spell to stop women bothering us? (And no Fredricks I did not get her autograph. And yes, that spell you created to generate a red Sonja servant, which has gone down a storm in the under-graduate halls of residence, has been reported to the arch-chancellor!)
But I digress. I have saved the best for last gentlemen. The Kraken. You wanted impressive, I gave you impressive. Oh what an achievement of magic! Even the greatest wizards of the past with full access to the winds of magic could not have brought forth such a creature as I summoned! It was massive and very impressive. (And again, I would like to point out, especially to Peterson, that I did not fumble the spell. I had not forgotten it half way through, I merely had something in my throat.)
The Kraken was the tops. I could have watched it rend that corsair ship all day. The way it threw the bodies miles was really quite impressive. I bet that shut those bloody dwarves up. They'd been on our case all day. Just because they've got cannons and flaming catapults. Oooooh. So you've sunk loads of corsairs with burning rocks. Big deal. Which is more beneficial to the city, defeating an invading armada or the furtherance of magical knowledge. I rest my case!
And it only took the Kraken five minutes(!) to sink the vessel. Very impressive. I have started a side project to see if I can raise one in the Universities duck pond. I'm sure we could find a use for one. (At the very least, it will keep people out of the pond.)
Unfortunately it was at this point that I persuaded the professor, after a high from seeing the Kraken, to ram one of the corsairs in our vicinity. And I also persuaded him that we should field test some more magic.
Again and for the record, I was not shouting 'die die peasants' while
cackling manically, dancing from one foot to the other and firing lightning
bolts at the fast approaching target.
As the two ships approached each other, we could see archers on the corsair's deck preparing to fire. Were we bothered? I think not and yes I may have made a two-fingered salute at the corsair at this point, but I don't think this is why the crew had to remove 28 arrows from my body later. I see this as just a coincidence. As you may have guessed from my previous statement, it was at this point that we realised that we had misplaced our arrow shield spell and neglected to apply it. Unfortunately, the professor was also hit, which led to the slight problem of nobody being available to prepare the healing draught.
I am delighted to report, that despite their best efforts, the crew could not avoid ramming and sinking the corsair vessel. A just punishment I feel for all the holes in my robe.
Although we later recovered, we took no further part in the battle. But
I must say, the day was a huge success for the progress of magic in this
city and I believe the world in general.