Yea, I have to agree with Lil. My character isn't a sword and wouldn't be willing to die saving people she doesn't know. Though she does care for her master which is the only reason she didn't leave right away (without my previously made NPC she would've snuck in and tried to straight up save her uncle disregarding any civilians at all.
I think the suprise attack is both good and badish. Though
Pro: A little more action in the RP, change of location, more baddies to beat up, great way to end the day.
Cons: Too unexpected (I had plans right after the ball), No idea what will happen now, thus I can't plan out my character more, It was way to out of the blue, scouts would see an army of this size easily.
I don't really care for the no hope thing, as cliché as it is, a change of location is fine by me.
Final question though, where would the boats be going? Like is this on earth and we will end up in Europe or Asia, or is this in an alternate world where we will land on a native filled continent of sorts?