Ludo, rushed to the door, to see what way the Goblins had gone, he wanted to check that the door at the far end of the corridor was unlocked and accessible. “Damn, we have stirred up a hornets’ nest here,” he muttered to himself.
Feldard, attacking from the flank, followed the retreating goblins, taking advantage of their panicked fleeing to take out yet one more with his axe. He followed after the last two. Maruc was getting into the swing of the combat followed Feldard’s example and followed the fleeing goblins.
The next room was unoccupied. Piles of course bedding covered the ground. A circular door bearing a crude painting of a split skull was set into the southern side of the room. The goblins headed not for that door, but rather the door on the opposite side.
He flailed out with his chain and stunned the goblin as it reached the relative safety of the next chamber, unluckily for the goblin its somewhat faster neighbor beat him to the exit. Maruc took full advantage of its misfortune and swept it from consciousness.
The last goblin was moving faster than its more heavily armored pursuers and was out of range of melee attacks as it fled through the door into the next room.
Miklos breathed a sigh of relief as the goblins withdrew. He righted his staff and assumed an air of superiority. “They’ll think twice before trying that again I suspect.” He couldn’t help admiring the quality of the swordsmanship that his comrades displayed.
Hasan let the goblins flee—there wasn’t much he could do to deny them their goal. He hoped his comrades were being successful in their pursuit. The elf slouched over to the holding cell and sought to free the human. “Come now, tell me your story,” the battered elf asked the woman. “Do you know the House of Sukiskyn? I travel with Stephan Sukiskyn.”
“I am Bushka,” she said weakly.
With the flash flood of battle receding, Stephan felt awash in relief. Wincing, he examined two deep cuts on his right arm. But his attention was soon drawn to the captive woman. Walking in a pensive gait, Stephan approached the forms of Hasan, crouched and trying to help, and the woman sitting in a fetal position against the petrified wood.
Noting her Traladaran appearance, he greeted her in the regional way: “King’s Day to you, ma’am.” Not wanting to interrupt Hasan’s ministrations, Stephan crouched next to Hasan and said nothing more for the moment.
Assured of her safety, Bushka told them her story. She had been captured during a raid on her clan’s homestead along with her teenage granddaughter and brought here. They were joined by other prisoners who had been swept up by the goblins. Eventually, the group was interrogated by the man in yellow robes who the old woman had nicknamed ‘Ol Skinny Legs.
“Ol’ Skinny Legs kep’ askin’ ‘bout great map. ‘Where de great map? Where de great map!’ None a’ de lot of us know nothing ‘bout no great map. All de goblins racin’ around lookin’ fer dis great map. Big hobgoblin, Vlaak, be getting angry. Some few days ago, a batch of hobgobbos show up. They be wearin’ iron collars. Ol’ skinny legs, Vlaak and the hobgobbos take all de prisoners, cept’ fer me. Say they be going to old ruins at Xitaqa.”