We exchanged shots for a bit. I was trying to give other members of our party cover while they too descended the ladder. Seeing what I was doing, Ulf grabbed his bow and did the same.
On my third shot, I took a bolt in the shoulder. Not a hard wound, but I was a little more cautious. I checked first before jumping out and firing.
Then Wren came off the ladder. When she saw what was happening she prepared her sleep spell. I also heard a grunt.
Checking behind me, Thoram had picked up the bench. How he managed this, I do not know. I knew he was strong, but this display of strength still surprised me. Wren cast her spell and three of the four hobgoblins fell. Thoram, using the bench as mobile cover, charged their improvised barricade. I threw my bow down and charged after him, drawing my blades.
Thoram single handedly knocked their cover over using the bench as a ram, and we were through to the next room. Five hobgoblins awaited us, though they were surprised at how quickly we broke their barricade. We ran over their barricade and smashed into their line. I had both shortswords drawn, attempting to overbear the hobgoblin in my path.
He withstood my charge and a desperate fight ensued. My wounded shoulder wasn't allowing me to swing my right blade properly, and the fight was my most difficult yet. I attacked and he parried, he attacked and I parried. Steel rang on steel all over this little cavern.
Only Thoram and Ulf made the melee look easy. A giant swing of his axe cleaved a hobgoblin in two, and Ulf's weapon was shortly covered in blood as he severed the head of the first he encountered. Those two overwhelmed their opponents easily. They took two apiece for every one the rest of us killed.
I did, after some time, manage down mine. I was breathing heavy, tired, and wounded.
Wren simply dispatched the sleeping humanoids.
With the hobgoblins dead, we charged into the next room. What we saw gave us pause.
My eyes were drawn to very large man in heavy armour. Heavily armed, he looked ready for us. And then I saw him. A rather fat man, dressed in the silks and style of an Amnite merchant, holding a knife to a girl's throat.
"I leave, with the girl," he said.