The final part of
the training grounds is a wooden table set 50 feet away from the end
of the line of burning coals. Most of the PCs' equipment, weapons, and
armor are on or around the table, although items that hobgoblins might
recognize as powerful or have a use for are conspicuously absent.
For instance, jewelry
and armor will probably be on the table, since most hobgoblins do not
want to disturb their militaristic conformity with clashing appearances.
Exotic weapons, spell component bags, spellbooks, and holy symbols are
also present since the hobgoblins cannot use them. Potions will be here,
except for healing potions, which they have identified and taken. Simple
or martial weapons, on the other hand, especially high quality ones,
will be not only absent, but possibly used against them by the onrushing
hobgoblin warriors. Other items are present or absent depending on their
apparent usefulness or value to an average hobgoblin.
Note that if in
the course of your campaign, you have accidentally given the PCs unbalancing
items, this is an excellent opportunity to remove them from the game.
In the end, this Cliffhanger is a great way to bring down some of the
treasure that the PCs might have. If your party already has balanced
treasure for your campaign, then see the optional treasure listed at
the end of the Cliffhanger.
Captain Yornlheth sits on a high wooden surveying chair, 10 feet off
the ground, and watches the proceedings at the end of the course. He
does not move or intervene unless things turn very badly for the hobgoblins.
All hobgoblins present will give their lives to protect their captain,
but once PCs have access to spell components again, the captain might
well become a target.
remaining living Fang Warband hobgoblins are ready for the final fight.
They arm themselves fully with shortspears and clubs on their way to
the fight if they don't already possess weapons.
Male hobgoblin Ftr4; CR 4; Medium-size humanoid (goblinoid); HD
4d10+8; hp 36; Init +1; Spd 20 ft.; AC 19 (touch 11, flat-footed 18);
Atk +8 melee (1d8+4/19-20, masterwork longsword); SQ Darkvision 60 ft.;
AL LE; SV Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +3; Str 16, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 13,
Wis 14, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats:
Climb +3, Jump +3, Listen +5, Move Silently +1, Ride (horse) +4,
Spot +6; Alertness, Cleave, Dodge, Mobility, Power Attack.
full plate, masterwork longsword.
Members (varies): 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,
All remaining Fang Warband hobgoblins from previous encounters band
together and advance on the PCs as they leave the hot coals area. They
give the PCs a sporting head start of one round to run to their equipment
before pursuing with a double move. As before, the regular hobgoblins
on the sides do not attack as the Fang Warband hobgoblins approach.
Now it is down to the remaining Fang Warband hobgoblins and the partially
armed PCs to finish the obstacle course.
After a few rounds
of combat (or if the PCs are almost dead), Captain Yornlheth calls a
halt to the combat. He laughs raucously and shouts from his surveying
post, "You make miserable elves! But for your services, my warriors
will not kill you outright. Leave this land and do not return uninvited."
Again, further attempts
at negotiation fall on deaf ears. If the PCs press the point that not
all of their equipment has been returned, Yornlheth simply calls for
the hobgoblins to renew attacks, and they attempt to cut down all the
ersatz elves who remain.
Note: If your party actually lacks the level of treasure that they
should probably have at their level and they don't try to attack once
the captain tries to shoo them away, the captain makes the following
offer only once: The PCs not only get enough food to get them to the
nearest town, but they also receive 10 gp apiece, a vest of escape,
and a glove of storing. The stash is about one mile from that
particular area and is hidden in a decaying tree stump.