After having defeated the hobgoblin guards, the party ventured east. Going down a hallway, they saw a dimly lit room to the south, with a huge table dominating the room.
The Warchief’s Council Room
As the party headed south, the more perceptive members of the group, especially Aramil and Malkyr, noticed a loose flagstone on the way to the room. Malkyr supposed that it might be a trap of some kind, but was unable to determine what type of trap exactly. The party examined the table, and found some crumpled notes, bearing crude plans of an invasion of Winterhaven. As Malkyr looked at a door to the east, he noticed a peephole in the door. Before he could further investigate, however, double doors to the south opened, and five hobgoblins spilled out, four of them lightly armored, but one that was particularly nasty—a particularly large hobgoblin with a steel eyepatch bolted to his skull over his left eye. He clutched a bloodstained spear with many notches carved into the haft, and his heavy shield was sheathed in flayed skin. The leader, Bax-Todarg, called to the others in Common, saying, “Don’t kill ’em. We can sell ’em to the Bloodreavers as slaves.” As he spoke, the door to the east opened, and three flail-wielding hobgoblin soldiers poured into the room, heading for Malkyr.
The hobgoblin grunts went straight for Theron, who was closest, while the first soldier tried to stab Malkyr. However, when he did, Malkyr threw a smoke bomb and disappeared to the south. The other two soldiers charged Niall, but did little damage. Once the Heroes had recovered from their surprise, they quickly showed their might. Zakhar pulled out his holy symbol and blasted the grunts to death with the holy light of Kord. Malkyr attacked one of the soldiers and became shadowy, but Bax-Tordag quickly charged him and stabbed at him with his spear. The soldiers rained blows on Niall and Merrick, but nothing overly serious. Niall dealt a serious blow to one of the soldiers, staggering him and sending him flying backward a few feet. Aramil, meanwhile, blasted the other two soldiers with his beguiling strands. Theron attacked Bax-Tordag, and Malkyr quickly followed up with a critical strike (Targeted for Death), bloodying the chief. Bax-Tordag struck back at Theron, and was not overly concerned, but his overconfidence soon became his undoing. Niall continued to battle the soldiers, while Aramil damaged all of the hobgoblins with his fiery shroud, killing one of the soldiers. Merrick delivered a brutal strike on the Chief, tripping him on to the floor. Zakhar then jumped up onto the table and rained a terrible blow on the Chief, but twisted his blade at the last second, knocking out Bax-Tordag instead of cleaving his skull. Malkyr attacked one of the two remaining soldiers, almost killing him, before Niall crushed his skull as he tried to flee. The remaining hobgoblin soldier, much less fanatical than the rest, quickly dropped his flail, and surrendered.
The party searched the room, and in Bax-Tordag’s chest, found a note from Kalarel, detailing a plan that his spy would carry out, attacking Winterhaven on the evening of the fourth day of the month—tonight! The group also found a sack of gold, and a magical rapier, which Merrick delightfully took. The Heroes woke up Bax-Tordag, and questioned him, but he, like other hobgoblins, was a fanatic. He professed the death of all in Winterhaven, and the coming of Lord Orcus. He did not know the identity of the spy in Winterhaven—only Kalarel knew who it was. Bax-Tordag tried to escape, and shouted for help down the hallway leading to the North, whereupon the party quickly knocked him out again. As the Heroes looked north, they saw a hobgoblin peek his head around the corner, who shouted, “We’re under attack!” and fled.
The Hobgoblin Assault
Preparing for the worst, the party propped the large table up against the hallway, with mighty Zakhar supporting it, and Aramil looking through one of the knotholes. A large contingent of hobgoblins made their way down the hallway, although bottlenecked to some degree. They carefully stepped over the flagstones, but Aramil, using his mage hand, depressed the flagstone, hoping for some type of nastiness. Instead, a portcullis descended, trapping the party in the room, with the other hobgoblins outside. Two of them bent the bars enough to let themselves through, and the battle was on, Zakhar having moved the table enough for Aramil to get a full view. The battle was tough, as both groups were quickly bottlenecked in the passage (although Merrick quickly dispatched three of the grunts with a rapier stab and two thrown daggers). However, the hobgoblin warcaster unleashed a mighty wave of force, knocking everyone except for Theron backward and to their knees. Still, Aramil conjured up a cloud that rained fire, Zakhar brought out his holy light, and the rest of the party stabbed, slashed, and otherwise fought their way to victory, killing the group (with Theron decapitating the Warcaster, and Zakhar similarly executing the Archer).
The group debated about what to do, and searched the barracks area, coming up with some meager coin and some bone dice (not worth anything, but still good for gaming). They headed south, coming upon a HUGE chamber with various statues throughout.
Total loot claimed:
Money/Valuables: 400 gp, 34 sp
Weapons/Apparel: Vicious Rapier +1
Miscellaneous: Bone Dice (no monetary value), Note from Kalarel, Attack Plans
XP Earned: Total = 1592, or 265 xp each
790 (Hobgoblin Barracks – 5 Hobgoblin Grunts, 3 Hobgoblin Soldiers, 1 Hobgoblin Archer, 1 Hobgoblin Warcaster)
802 (The Warchief’s Council Room – 4 Hobgoblin Grunts, 3 Hobgoblin Soldiers, 1 Warchief)