“Fire & Blood”
The Hobgoblin Warlord, Gnavash, took command of the situation, marshaling her forces for a concerted resistance against the Ljunborg’s assault on their lair. Her barked commands embolden her warriors as they moved to isolate the intruders while Gnavash gathered reinforcements.
Magnar spiked additional doorways to protect their flank while his brothers pressed the attack, eliminating the immediate threat in the throne room, even as outside forces gathered.
They quickly searched the treasure chests, procuring gold, silver, and gems, then boldly advanced on the guard room to the east. Mercer, convinced a treasure was hid inside the throne, drug it with him. Paavo offered to search it more thoroughly and triggered a hidden latch that revealed a Crescentian pouch inside. Within the pouch? A Moonstone.
Mercer gasped in amazement. The moonstones made up six pairs of fabled gems said to be keys to the greatest treasure in all Enochia — The Lost Reliquary. Holding one of the twelve ignited the warrior’s passion. Surely more were nearby, but battle called.
Discovering the Hobgoblins had set up a shield wall at the top of the stair, the brothers mulled over their options — then the Hobgoblins, and their goblin allies, advanced down the stair methodically.
Paavo hurled a flask of burning oil at the unit as the shield bearers burst into flame. Burkhart, Magnar, and Mercer moved forward, hacking into the throng, but even as the hobgoblins fell, more took their place. Magnar fell beneath their crushing blows, and soon Mercer was bleeding out as well. Gathering the unconscious and wounded, the brothers retreated back to the throne room.
A potion of healing elixir rouse Magnar back into the fight, but still the hobgoblins, goblins, and their warlord kept coming. Bursting into the room, the battle resumed and things looked grim, but Rune called upon his arcane arts and magically held their foes.
The lesser beasts fell, but the warlord was fierce. She dropped Paavo despite taking heavy blows from he and Brukhart, then Rune, on the verge of exhaustion, held her in his magical grip again, this time, surely with the gods’ names of his lips, Brukhart swung a devastating blow at the charmed warlord and he separated her head from her shoulders.
The brothers rallied around Paavo and saw him returned to strength, but just barely. With three of the party on the verge of collapse, they opted to make haste and escape the dungeon to a more secure location, but as they gathered their things, distant drums resounded intermixed with the sound of thunderous marching footfalls echoing through the twisting maze of the Caves of Chaos.
to be continued