Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (303 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (298 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (299 points)
Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (313 points)
Day 27 (Cont.)
The hobgoblin leader got to his knees and hobbled backwards while 3 more spearmen moved in to block Zaxod's way. Mor'ath turned backwards and started moving towards the lone hobgoblins that Arc and Aurum were still struggling with.
Zaxod attacked the hobgoblins holding the passage, and managed to land a grazing hit that almost killed one, but they held fast. Further in the distance, the other hobgoblins rearranged, and some started unstrapping their shields. Then, the hobgoblin cleric cast a spell and Zaxod was surrounded by darkness, unable to see anything, even with his Night Vision. Two spear attacks missed him, and then he retreated.
Mor'ath finished off the spearman, and the party reevaluated their options. The darkness made attacking impossible, but Aurum figured he could dispel it. Zaxod called the hobgoblins cowards, Mor'ath pointed out where the tripwire was so that nobody would step on it, and Aurum cast a minimal-strength Minor Healing, getting Mor'ath back above 1/3HP. Once everyone was ready, Aurum cast Dispel Magic and revealed that the hobgoblins had fallen back into a shieldwall, with more fresh reinforcements at the end of the tunnel.
Zaxod tried "negotiating" ("Give us the prisoner or we'll kill all of you!"), but the hobgoblins refused to give up their new home, and readied to receive a charge. After some deliberation, Aurum started casting Great Haste on Zaxod again, and once it was on, the half-orc charged back at the leader and 6 waiting spears, taking only minor damage thanks to Arc's Armor spell.
Mor'ath made sure to hold the choke point so no hobgoblins could make it through again, while Arc and Aurum started charging Sunbolt and Explosive Fireball. Zaxod struggled to land a hit against the leader, and was attacked in his un-armoured groin multiple times, but managed to parry four or more attacks each round.
Mor'ath stepped into the room to provide a clear line of sight for the casters, but there wasn't much point. Aurum missed, but still did some minor damage to the hobgoblins nearby with the explosion, and Arc's spell was blocked by one of the hobgoblins in the front rank.
Zaxod landed another attack and cut off the hobgoblin leader's foot, but he stayed in the fight, and landed a light hit to the torso, slightly shocking the half-orc through his mail. Mor'ath moved into the fight proper, parried all the attacks directed at him, and then began eye-stabbing the lesser hobgoblins with ease.
Aurum grabbed Farric and started to move him to the levitating disc, while Arc cast Minor Healing to get him back into the positives. Zaxod made to finish off the leader, but his main axe turned in his hand, and had to spend his second manoeuvre readying, while Mor'ath claimed another hobgoblin life. The hobgoblin with the long spear overextended himself, crippled his arm in the process, and was effectively out of the fight.
Zaxod took a minor blow to the face from a second-rank hobgoblin, and then the leader stabbed him in the groin, and knocked him into the negatives. Zaxod then struck back, but dropped both axes, and readied the great axe on his back. Arc readied another Sunbolt while the fresh hobgoblins cycled in to replace their fallen comrades.
Even with the reinforcements, Mor'ath cut through the hobgoblins like butter. Meanwhile, Zaxod swarmed the hobgoblin leader with attacks and killed him, nearly cutting him in half. In spite of this, and the rapidly degrading situation, the remaining spearmen held steady.
Another 3 hours of combat! Well, 2.5 hours. Aurum was late. Since entering the clearing at the very start of the battle, 31 seconds have passed in game time. In that time, 19 hobgoblins and their leader have been killed.
Arc's out of town for the next couple weeks, but he wanted his character to help. A good choice, as almost nobody has any healing. Also, Mor'ath and Zaxod would both almost assuredly be dead without the Armor and Bless spells.
The hobgoblins were far, far more difficult to fight once they organized into ranks. The front line All-Out Blocking, with another behind making All-Out Attacks, and a single hobgoblin with a long spear in the third line to add in just a few more attacks.
My dice were on fire tonight. Multiple crits, tons of under-10 rolls made, etc.
Zaxod has no groin armour, so his crotch acted like a magnet for spears the entire fight (4+ attacks per round). Thank the gods for High Pain Threshold, Parry 16, and having 23HP.
Mor'ath's new tactic is "Rapid Strike Feint -> Eye Thrust", and it's incredibly effective, at least against the mooks
The hobgoblin leader performed amazingly well, in spite of the -6 from Missing Legs and -2 from Kneeling the entire fight, and later -2 for Bad Footing from corpses.
The series of crits for/against Zaxod was unreal. The Crit Block for the leader, then two Crit Fails for Zaxod the next turn. Needless to say, he switched dice.
Zaxod refused to offer anything in exchange for their prisoner, even when the hobgoblins explicitly asked for something, and nobody else seemed interested in negotiating. Oh well.
The hobgoblins rolled to break when they lost their leader, but made the morale roll entirely due to bonuses for defending their home and their militaristic culture.
0 for no progress
1 for roleplaying
0 for the hardest fight (still going strong!)
0 for loot
0 for quests
MVP hasn't been claimed yet, but it's probably going to Aurum for getting rid of the darkness.