Stephan silently readied his bow. Kneeling, he trained an arrow on the nearest Bloodhead. He was about to shoot but hesitated.
In a bare whisper to Hasan, “We can circle back and attack from behind as well.”
The dwarf glanced back to his companions at the sight of the hobgoblins. He overheard Stephan and nodded as he readied his crossbow and quick strapped his battle axe. “Be quick if you plan to do so we won’t remain out of sight long. I’ll count to ten, ten times, then distract them with a frontal assault. He waited for their assent before starting his quiet count.
Ludo was impressed with Feldard’s plan. He hadn’t thought Feldard was capable of anything except a frontal assault. Ludo put out his torch, placed it on the ground and readied his bow.
Stephan nodded at Feldard as he started silently making his way with Hasan, counting as he went. They headed back through the library and main hall and to the door leading to the area behind the main tower doors and guarding hobgoblins. “Just like the siege of Castle Ramstein,” thought Stephan. He remembered a similar operation where he and a small party had to keep a steady count of time to achieve a coordinated attack. “Feldard must have done the same in the past,” he thought.
At the door, Stephan kept track of the count. He and Hasan arrived at the door quickly, and he still had 3 tens to count. The two fighters readied to barge through the doors behind the guards.
Stephan was proud of his plan. He hoped the others would realize that the idea to circle around for a two-pronged attack was brilliant…and his. He couldn’t deny, however, Feldard’s contribution with the counting. Not that he wouldn’t have done the same himself but, after posing the overall idea, he waited to be sure there was consensus. The dwarf’s response was perfect. The demihuman signaled consensus not just by nodding but by furthering the plan.
He only wished that the thief had decided to sneak back around with him and Hasan. He really thought it was the rogue’s bailiwick to stealth back.
As the dwarf continued his quiet whispered countdown, he looked towards Maruc and the mage. The mage looked thoroughly drained. Feldard doubted the mage could conjure up anything more than a yawn at this point in their travels this eve, yet here they were about to go into yet another battle. The dwarf looked to Maruc and head-nodded towards the mage and held up a hand motioning him to stay back.
It was a good idea. No need to risk their healer unnecessarily. Better to have him keep watch over the mage and guard their backs.
The countdown was nearing the end.. the last count of 10.
Feldard raised his crossbow and edged forward to get a better sighting on the largest of the hobgoblins.
“5.. 6.. 7.. 8.. 9.. Ten!” He fired and dropped his crossbow, while pulling his axe and starting forward across the dark courtyard towards the open door.
Always one to count down, Stephan felt an adrenalin surge as he got to the last few seconds.
“5…4…3…2…”, he whispered the last numbers to Hasan and they listened for the sound of Feldard’s attack. The dwarf was on schedule! Stephan allowed the hobgoblins three seconds for their attention to be drawn to Feldard’s attack before bursting through the door. It was heavier than he realized. The elf joined him in pushing at the door and it was open just as the hobgoblins were charging out the tower entrance.
Hasan had been curious at how the human’s plan would unfold. When the fighter reached his favored shoot blind, the elf joined him in preparing an attack. Unlike the fighter, however, the elf cast a tiny globule of sleep magic within the hobgoblins. It was a good thing too, for there were more of them in the room than they had been able to see from their previous vantage point. The spell dropped four hobgoblins at the rear of the pack.
With the advantage of a rear attack, the human and elf were making quick work of the Bloodheads. A hobgoblin, sporting one of Feldard’s bolts lodged in his shoulder, realized the pinning attack and started to turn to run. But there was no where to run. Seeing Hasan and Stephan closing, he decided to run out the door only to be met by a deftly wielded dwarven axe. Another fell to Maruc’s flail.
‘Twang’, an arrow from Ludo wizzed over Feldard’s head and hit one last remaining Hobgoblin in the chest, moments before Feldard’s axe cleaving through the moonlight struck the Hobgoblin and finished off the creature. After the sudden chaos of battle, the silence of the night was deafening. Ludo placed the arrow he was about to draw to his bowstring back into his quiver and moved forward to search the Hobgoblin bodies for anything of value or or use.