Lien grimaced as she skewered yet another hobgoblin on her spear. The horrid creature’s sword and shield made a terrible clanging noise as it dropped to the dock. Lien was used to the noise of battle. What she wasn’t used to was the smile plastered on the monster’s face, even as it died. She knew fanaticism could do odd things to a person (or a hobgoblin); having to be around Miko had shown her that. Yet she hadn’t been prepared to see hobgoblins display it to a level that would put even Miyazaki’s to shame. Well, at least give her a run for her money.
Lien also didn’t understand their tactics. Despite having superior numbers, they chose to come at her one at a time. Which wasn’t odd, after all, considering they went on the same, or nearly the same, initiative. What was odd was the fact that they didn’t try to maneuver around her, attempt to put her in flanking. Instead, they chose to merely come at her in a straight line, which gave her ample time to exploit her Combat Reflexes feat. She gave a small prayer to the Twelve Gods that she had bothered to take it; for a time, she had thought it was a wasted feat slot. Nor did she have much to complain about the hobgoblin’s bizarre tactics. On her honor, not a single one would board, nay, even touch Lord Hinjo’s junk, or those already upon it.
She thrust her spear towards the latest charging hobgoblin, and allowed her jaw to drop in awe as the creature nearly avoided being impaled just like so many of his comrades. The orange-skinned brute grabbed her by her cloak and brought its axe down, Lien’s eyes helplessly watching its path.
She was relieved when the creatures axe simply cut off her cloak. She was equally dumbstruck when the creature, smiling widely, held the cloak up to his fellows and screamed, “Guys! Guys! Her cloak! I got her cloak]!”
Several irritated groans came from the ranks in front of her, and she had to force herself from dropping her spear in shock as some of the hobgoblins threw their weapons down in irritation, others merely groaning. The victor among them continued to hold the cloak up where each of his comrades could see, gloating over the clear dominance it felt it had over them. It would be short lived as Lien slammed her spear into the monster’s turned back, the tip protruding out its stomach. He fell onto the planks of the pier as so many of the others had, cloak still firmly grasped in victory.
The front ranks of the force came crashing towards her, and Lien set her spear to prepare for the chargers. Her jaw fell open in awe when, instead of crashing in on her like a wave, the goblins fell in upon one another, grasping and clawing for the cloak that lay in their fallen ally’s hand. A huge pile of orange tinted flesh and whirling steel erupted in front of her as the band began to fight one another over the cape. Against her better judgment, Lien dug her spear into the boards of the dock and leaned on it, simply watching the army tear itself apart for a frivolity. She supposed they believed the cloak was magic item which, in fact, it was. Unfortunately for them, it wouldn’t activate for anyone other than a paladin acknowledged by the Twelve Gods.
She felt the breath escaped her lungs as one of the hobgoblins broke from the tangled mass and rushed towards her, sword drawn. Pulling up her spear, she thrust toward the creature and stifled back a swear as she barely missed. If there was anything that truly irritated her, it was missing opponents Armor Class by one.
She gritted her teeth as she awaited the sting of steel slashing through her flesh.
Instead, she got the sting of the monster’s lips against her own. She was too shocked to pull away from the creature, though the feeling wasn’t entirely unpleasant. She would’ve enjoyed it even, had she been able to disassociate it from coming from a creature hell-bent on destroying her city.
The creature finally broke the lip lock, smirking in satisfaction. The smirk didn’t drop a bit as Lien’s spear penetrated his stomach and, with one last breath, the hobgoblin exclaimed, “Totally worth it.”