The hook for this Cliffhanger is easy to say and hard to do. The PCs must be taken captive by the hobgoblins. As any experienced DM knows, PCs hate being taken captive -- maybe even more than dying. This is no reason not to do it, but make sure you play fair when you capture them.
One way to do this is by having the hobgoblins watch the PCs on an adventure, wait until their resources are mostly spent, and then ambush them with nets and saps. If you go this route, give the PCs intermittent Spot checks (opposed by the hobgoblin watcher's Hide check) to see that they are being watched.
Another way to set this up is for the hobgoblins to lure the PCs into a CR 5 pit trap. Once in the pit, the hobgoblins throw rocks on them and use longspears to prevent anyone from climbing out.
Camouflaged Pit Trap: CR 5; mechanical; location trigger; manual reset; Reflex save (DC 20) avoids; 50 ft. deep (5d6, fall); multiple targets (first target in each two adjacent 5-ft. squares); Search (DC 25); Disable Device (DC 17).
Remember to use the aid another action (pg. 135, Player's Handbook) to help the hobgoblins hit heavily armored opponents.
The PCs have been unconscious for about a day. They were stabilized and healed via two cure light wounds spells each (1d8+3) by the hobgoblin battle adepts earlier that day (though these healers are not present now). The hobgoblins kept them insensible as long as possible during this process by using a foul mixture called oil of taggit (Ingested DC 15) that causes unconsciousness for 1d3 hours. The hobgoblins also treat the PCs roughly, causing continual subdual damage equal to two unarmed strikes apiece. (The hobgoblins cause 1d3+1 points of damage per blow.) Essentially, even as the characters heal subdual damage, they receive more. If they show signs of waking up, they get another dose of the oil of taggit or get kicked into unconsciousness, whichever works better. All in all, the characters have enough hit points to get them going, although without access to restoration spells, they retain any ability damage or drain and level loss that they sustained before the hobgoblins got them.
Any PC who listened quietly through the speech heals an hour's worth of subdual damage, too. The PCs are in no danger of dying, but they are in imminent danger of falling unconscious again from the piercing damage of spears and javelins as they perform the hobgoblins' exercises.
The potions that the hobgoblin drops are cure potions. They are from the PCs' own equipment stores if they had three cure potions before they were captured. If not, then the hobgoblins give them cure light wounds potions to make up any difference.
Creatures: There are ten hobgoblins around to beat up on the PCs when they reach consciousness.
Fang Warband Members (10): Male hobgoblin Ftr1; CR 1; Medium-size humanoid (goblinoid); HD 1d10+1; hp 6; Init +1; Spd 20 ft.; AC 16 (touch 11, flat-footed 15); Atk +2 melee (1d8+1/x3, shortspear or 1d6+1, club); SQ Darkvision 60 ft.; AL LE; SV Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +1; Str 13, Dex 13, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Climb +0, Jump +0, Listen +3, Move Silently +0, Spot +3; Alertness, Dodge.
Possessions: Chainmail, shortspear.
Hobgoblins (50): hp 5 each; see Monster Manual pages 119-120.
Tactics: Since the hobgoblins have been watching the PCs for a while, they know who's dangerous. Any who have displayed monk or spellcaster abilities have their hands glued together with the same oozing paste that holds the leaves onto their ears. A character must succeed at a Strength check (DC 20) to pull his or her hands apart. If a spellcaster cannot break out of the ooze, he or she cannot cast spells with somatic components. Monks are not limited by the lack of hand and arm movement since they actually use their whole bodies when fighting.
Fifty hobgoblins line up on each side of the PCs, providing a 60-foot wide "corridor" for them to move through. These hobgoblins hold javelins and form a constant wall of bodies to delineate the edges of the course. When the PCs reach the midpoint of the hobgoblin "wall," the hobgoblins on the back end run behind the wall to the front of the line, effectively moving with the PCs, and keeping them encircled. These hobgoblins do not have gold-capped fangs, and all have the normal hobgoblin statistics found in the Monster Manual.
Only the middle four "active" hobgoblins on either side of the course will hurl javelins at any given time. The rest are either preparing to throw, recovering from the throw (which includes grabbing another javelin from one of the supply areas that dot the field every ten feet on either side), or moving behind the line keep it even with the PCs. If any single PC ever gets ahead of the line, they focus on the front-runner in an attempt to keep up with the party. Remember that if the PCs force these hobgoblins to use their javelins as melee weapons, they attack at -4 since javelins in melee are considered nonproficient weapons.
It is possible for player characters to try to pick up thrown javelins, but they are immediately targeted by all eight "active" hobgoblins if they do so. If a PC succeeds in getting a javelin, that makes the person an immediate, lone target for as long as the PC holds the weapon. If multiple PCs pick up javelins, the hobgoblins split their efforts between them evenly, or you can roll randomly to see which of the weapon-bearing targets gets the brunt of the "active" hobgoblins' attacks.
Captain Yornlheth gives the PCs three rounds to stand up and start moving west before he signals to attack. Then, the hobgoblins in the moving wall begin throwing javelins at the PCs. The ten hobgoblins with the gold-capped fangs move to the edge of the field during the initial three rounds, and then down to various points along the course where they attack the PCs.