They marched perhaps half a day more–it was impossible to tell so far removed from the sunlight–until they began to hear the rumbles of amassed forces before them. The clash and clatter or hundreds of bodies, the grunts and growls of the impending assault. D’cafnaet’d moved ahead and returned, reporting of a large cavern, the small tunnel that the Happy Muggers were traveling down but one entrance.
Kynun tried to locate the vanguard and then aim for a spot away from them, but when he led D’cafnaet’d in for the first skirmish the pair wandered off course. So when D’cafnaet’d ambushed a patrol, attempting to incapacitate the drow leader, the greater number of goblins in the party made a quick grab impossible. D’cafnaet’d managed to distract the underlings long enough for Kynun to grab the patrol leader, but Kynun’s blow to knock the drow unconscious was too late; the yell echoed through the cave. They ran, unconscious patrolman over Kynun’s shoulder.
The cave wall was growing, bit by bit covering the small opening they had scrambled through to escape the pursuing search parties. Montiago’s hands shone as he waved them back and forth, assembling the dim light into the illusionary rubble now congealing before him. Lady Ronstien, behind him, was standing over the unconscious drow patrolman, who was groggily coming to.
“Let me do the interrogation,” D’cafnaet’d said, his lip curling in his best mock-sadism.
Lady Ronstien slapped him away, sending the rogue tumbling onto his back. She looked down at the prisoner, “Let me tell you how this goes. I ask the questions. You give the answers, end of discussion.”
But the patrolman smiled up at her, “Your play acting does not scare me. You are but weak surface dwellers. And soon you–” he stopped suddenly as the glint of a blade shone from its spot near his chin.
”Answer the Lady’s questions,“ D’cafnaet’d said. The patrolmen gave a slight nod.
”Who leads this army?“ Lady Ronstien asked, stepping back to better take in his reactions. Montiago strode over, his illusion complete. It wouldn’t last forever, and it wouldn’t hold up to careful scrutiny, but it would do for a short while. Kynun stayed by the faux wall; he guessed it would be a very short while indeed before those who lived in these caverns noticed that one of them was missing.
”General Pepsi leads.“ the prisoner continued, ”He intends to strike a city on the surface, to bring those weaklings into our service.“
D’cafnaet’d’s eyes narrowed, but the prisoner did not notice: in truth he had never seen Pepsi, and so wouldn’t guess that the General’s brother now stood before him. ”Where is Pepsi?“ Lady Ronstien asked, and for a moment the patrolman thought he’d given his thoughts away. ”Does he lead from the front lines or does he keep his hands clean back at home?“
”The largest tent, near the center of the camp, is his.“
”And it is guarded?“ Lady Ronstien asked.
The prisoner almost laughed, ”Of course it is guarded! He has an army waiting for action; he has guards aplenty!“
That was when the hobgoblin leapt through the illusionary wall, a triumphant glint in his eye. He had bet Kobobumble a whole silver piece that he wouldn’t ram into the wall, and now he could collect. After he dealt with these… who were these people, anyway? He took stock as he ran forth, hearing Kobobumble land behind him and follow. He veered right toward the robed figure, spear lashing out… and missed. Kobobumble was right behind, though, his maces swinging through the air… and Kynun deftly sidestepped both. Then the crackle of lightning snapped, and Kynun’s sword slashed through both of them, combining with their momentum to spin them away. Then a leap, and Kynun met the rest of the attackers as they stepped through the wall; two crossbow-toting goblins and a drow matron. They managed to avoid his blade, bolts and spells firing into the others. The drow matron fell first after Montiago conjured acid around her and everyone took the opportunity to repeatedly plunge her into it. The archers went next, though Kobobumble and the hobgoblin were hit a great many times by the dervish whirls of D’cafnaet’d and Kynun as they tried to keep the others out of harm’s way. For one brief moment it looked like Lady Ronstien might fall, but she managed to retreat to safety just in time for D’cafnaet’d to fall instead. Kynun pulled a hobgoblin away from his ally to make room for Lady Ronstien to revive the rogue, and together they turned an attempted retreat into a rout.
Immediately after the last one fell, D’cafnaet’d strolled over to the prone patrolman. ”I hope your uniform fits me," the outcast said as he drew his dagger.