Originally Posted by Mantine
I know, right? And that's exactly my point, the fact that Tarquin happened to have just the perfect ability at hand to deal with a deafened drow wizard, but which is rendered useless by a smoke cl- oh nevermind, lucky! It just went off.
There will always be "explanations" behind a DE, checkov's gun or whatever other plot tool, the point here is not that what happened is unbelievable or impossible, but that it's so overly convenient that it reaches the point of breaking my suspension of disbelief.
I'm starting to think that what I said is being interpreted in whatever way fits the argument currently being made.
The point I made was twofold. The first is that Tarquin didn't pull sign language out of nwohere, it simply wasn't usable until the smoke cleared. The second point I made was that Tarquin was actually able to stick it out and see what happened until the smoke cleared and he no longer had concealment. As evidenced by how he stuck it out and waited to see what happened until the smoke cleared.
The smoke clearing didn't coincide conveniently with Tarquin's retreat. The smoke clearing was the reason Tarquin retreated in the first place. Trying to state that the plot is defending Tarquin by having smoke clear when he wants to escape is a misinterpretation of what was seen in my opinion, both as a reader and as someone who's imagined the scenario playing out from Tarquin's perspective.
Examine the scenario Tarquin is dealing with when the smoke is blocking Haley's shots and the enemy has no clear targest to charge. Then consider it once concealment clears and Tarquin, plus an injured, deafened Drow Wizard remain the only ones standing. The smoke clearing was bad. It was time to leave.
Not only that, but I'd like to get a good look at my enemy before I retreat, to better take stock of what just happened and what comparative damages were.
Tarquin used sign language at that time because it was now an option, and it was an option because he was going to wait for smoke to clear before he retreated anyways. Had the smoke not cleared, I doubt he would have Teleported out, because the need would not have been as drastic as it was, and he also wouldn't have used Sign, because he couldn't.