Stephan fired his arrows, including the two enchanted, until the last moment. Then, casting the bow aside, he readied his shield and sword and engaged the gnolls. Once again, and in a significantly weakened condition, he faced the slathering, hate-filled face of a Death’s Head Gnoll.
Feldard fired off his second bolt then switch weapons to his battle axe to join in the charge. He was glad to see that Miklos had taken out some of the gnolls, but would it be enough?
With no time to consider the consequence if it were not, Feldard swung out with his heavy axe blade at the first gnoll in range.
Ludo let fly with his arrow and reached for another, but the range had closed and with a general melee developing it became too difficult to distinguish between friend and foe. He stood by to provide close support to Miklos, should any of the dogmen break through the battle line that Feldard and Stephan had made. He glanced at Miklos, “I think another spell of slumber would come in handy, we have to even the odds a bit more”.
Maruc barreled into the general melee beside Feldard. He detected a certain doubt in their ambushers, their attacked were less wild, more considered, well, as far as he could tell. There wasn’t the zealot fervour that gripped the gnolls whilst they were incited by their shaman. Their natural cunning and pack behaviour began to show in coordinated attacks and their advantage in numbers was beginning to tell. But fighting next to the iron-like dwarf was like riding a wave of elemental force, similar to one of Miklos’s summoned lighting storms. His axe rose and fell with grace and gore. Maruc spent more time guarding his flank than being particularly useful. Still, he managed to lay one low with a lucky strike that owed more to the magic within the mace than actual skill.
A small knot of gnolls out flanked him, Maruc stretched his defense but they were well out of reach and he couldn’t leave Feldard’s flank exposed. A quick glance back saw them running at the mage.
More fool them, thought Maruc as he ducked a claw swipe.
I’ll need to have a word about the concept of line of sight to my enthusiastic friends after this, thought Miklos. The small band of adventurers were swiftly being outflanked.
Miklos waited for an opportunity, it didn’t take long in coming. He knew he’d made himself a target, in fact he was counting on it. Four brute gnolls came crashing toward him.
The mage stood calmly in the face of the charge and, exactly at the optimal distance, he released the web spell he had prepared some moments before. He smiled with the same satisfaction as he had when he had downed all those bandits on the river all those days ago. Bound gnolls collapsed a few feet before him.
Hasan stood shoulder to shoulder with Stefan. The big human’s frame hulked over the elf, but the two swordsman worked well together even so. For all the ferocity of Hasan’s charge, the elf was cool now. Watching, waiting for the spears to poke, and bracing for impact, the elf held back until the last minute, when he saw an exposed wrist. The sword swinged through the air, a howl arose, and the wrist hit the ground, arm-encumbered no more. Hasan growled himself, and began to watch and wait again.
The gnolls’ numbers advantage had been eliminated by the mage’s spellcasting. Now the dogmen were outmatched, facing warriors with superior skill, armor and weaponry. Nevertheless, the dogmen fought ferociously, inflicting heavy wounds upon their enemies as they fought to their last.