Ludo gasped as he felt the Hobgoblins claws pierce his arm. A numbing sensation rapidly spread through his body and he collapsed to the floor ‘paralyzed’. A feeling of panic enveloped him, these were no ordinary Hobgoblins! What sort of dark magic was this, he wondered. He desperately willed his arms and legs to function to get back up and out of danger, but it was to no avail.
Hasan groaned at the crashing blow and thanked the smith who long ago in the Radlebb created the metal skin from this unearthly foe’s deathblow. Feldard’s fierce assault gave the elf time to recover his balance. With another all-for-nothing swing, the hobgoblin’s sword sliced through the air, but the elf’s light sword raced out to give it a ringing mid-arc greeting. The hobgoblin and elf’s weapons flexed, then slowly squealed down until the two humanoids and swords poised, guard to guard, in midair.
Feldard pulled his axe free, while the elf gained his focus once more and locked swords with the hobgoblin. Feldard took advantage of the elf’s offered distraction to carve into the hobgoblin again. His axe might be a slower weapon in melee when compared to the elf’s light and flimsy sword but there was no comparing the sheer bite his axe had! The dwarf grinned as weariness was forgotten and only the battle existed.
Stephan felt a chill run down his spine upon seeing Ludo collapse at the merest scratch from hobgoblin. But the will of Halav drove the fighter to attack before the sickly pale creature could deliver more damage to the immobilized Ludo.
“Creature of Death! Halav will vanquish you!” Stephan fought — despite great weariness — to maneuver the unholy being away from the fallen rogue. The hobgoblin moved with unnatural speed lunging at Stephan again with only its claws. The thought of getting cut by the claws brought to the Traladaran some fighting moves he did not know he had. Taking what could be a theatrical leap such as done by the circus troupes of the Savage Coast, Stephan found himself airborne and twisting — sword slicing through the damp air — to impact the hobgoblin’s arm. Happily, the attack both avoided contact with the claw and resulted in a severed arm. The creature barely noticed the removal of its limb and continued an vicious attack. To his horror, Stephan saw the limb twitch and begin to scrape its way across the rocky floor to its “home” at back on the hobgoblin’s body.
The distraction was his mistake. Lunging, the hobgoblin struck hard against Stephan’s shield knocking him to the floor. Losing no time, the hobgoblin body tackled the fighter, apparently seeking to bite and claw him to death.
Meanwhile, the arm figured out how to flip itself to make better progress. With a final hurl, it flung itself onto the back of the host monster. The last thing Stephan saw was the open clawed hand emerging over the shoulder of his attacker just inches from his face.
Maruc’s eyes showed it plainer than the blood-drenched insignia on his halbert: the cleric’s connection to his godhead was strong. As he saw the great hobgoblin slaver over the young fighter, Maruc strode forward with fury. “Away from the chosen of Halav, beast!”
The priest’s flail hummed through the air and crashed with great purpose into the great hobgoblin’s hip. The impact spun the creature off Stephan, and it careened into the wall.
Miklos saw the opportunity immediately. Reaching into the recesses of his cavernous robe, the mage drew forward a tiny web, purchased in Specularum but from spiders who spin their webs in the farthest reaches of Ylaruam’s Alasiyan desert. The mage called up energy from the ground itself and gently tossing the web toward the prone figure, saw it expand midair from a rivulet to flood of sticky white fibers. The web enveloped the hobgoblin.
Feldard, Hasan and eventually Stephen finished the last hobgoblin without incident or one further word spoken.