Chapter II: The Abbot's Rescue
Exhausted Wizban got of his horse next to the remains of the looted goblin hideout. The pillaging was still going on as the Mercenaries fought among themselves over the best bits of treasure.
Wizban didn’t want any of it and his Tanglehoff Irregulars were looking at the pillaging Mercenaries with mixed feelings in their eyes as some of the goods been pillaged would undoubtably come from their homes and fields. Most of the villagers had finished the battle without too much damage, having kept their distance and fired volley upon volley of arrows on the goblin hordes. 1 Unit of Tanglehoff Archers, however, had been badly mauled when cornered by a charge of 2 units of light goblin cavalry and a unit of heavy hobgoblin infantry. The unit was almost wiped out to a man. There would be a lot of women widowed and children that wouldn’t see their fathers again.
The rest of the companies had taken some wounded that were in various degrees of severeness.They would have to be tended soon to prevent infections and disease spreading.
Wanting to get away from this field of Death, Wizban order the wounded to be gathered and loaded on horses and carts. The Mercenaries’s job was finished and they would not be joining them any further. The city guards sergeant, an experienced veteran called Thristan decided to go along to the monastery of St.Justin to tend to their wounded and for security in case the goblins that had escaped would come back.
This suited Wizban fine, realizing that his Irregulars could do with some experienced regular support. Scouts were sent to the village of Tanglehoff to report of the events and order workers here to bury the dead as soon as possible.
‘The men have fought fiercely yet sensibly’, Wizban thought as he watched them prepare the next march. Everywhere he came, ha noticed that they were glancing at him, with expectation in their eyes.
‘They want me to speak to them’, Wizban realized,’Talk spirit and comfort into them’.
With a sigh, he mounted his horse again.
‘Allright Men’, he started, standing up in his saddle. ’ You have bravely stood up to this threat and succeeded to chase away your aggressors. Now, it is time to tend to our dead and wounded. Before we can return back home to our wives and children, we will march towards the Monastry of St.Justin, half a day march down the eastern road. Keep your eyes open and your wits about because these goblins might just come back. We will leave shorly, be prepared.’
Wizban doubted if his little talk had the desired effect, but he noticed that men took Heart and started preparing to leave this field of battle.
A little while later they started of towards the Monastery where Wizban hopede to find help for tending his wounded and easing the pain of those that were to heavily injured to survive.
Thristan pulled the reins of his horse while coming to ride next to Wizban.
‘You think the priests will help us’, Thristan began.
Wizban glanced at the Veteran Sergeant, who seemed to be of the straight-forward-kind.
‘I hope so Sergeant’, as they are the only ones in these parts who have any skills in that field.’
‘The Abbot is a kind man who whill surely offer help to us’, Wizban confirmed, trying to put Thristan at ease.
‘I admire you Wizard’, Thristan replied.’It must be completely news to you, to lead a force into battle, inspiring men as well as comforting them when they need it. Yet you perform it with remarkable ease, as if you did nothing else your entire life.’
‘I am no leader of Men, Sergeant. I’m merely a student of the arcane arts that is trying to help his fellow men protect their homes and families.’
Thristan looked at the Wizard and started, ‘But…’.
He was interupted by yelling coming from the front of the column. ‘Smoke on the horizon, coming from the direction of the Monastery!’
A scout chased up to Wizban,’Black smoke Sir, coming from the Monastery of St. Justin.’
'Send scouts out immediately, find out what is going on’, Wizban ordered, rolling back into his roll as Force Commander and earning a grin from Sergeant Thristan.
‘Sergeant, speed up our march and set out a vanguard. We are in a hurry!’, Wizban continued.‘Consider it done, Wizard’, the sergeant replied.
‘My forces are tired and wounded’, Wizban reflected. ‘They are in no condition to do battle again but we must find out what bad fortune has overcome St. Justin’s’.
Reports started coming in every 10 minutes. The Monastery was burning while the local pasters were trying to dose the fire. The Monastery had been looted by goblins, apparanetly the same goblins that fled for our attack. The abbot is missing and at least 12 senior priests were brutally slaughtered while trying to stop the goblin marauders from destroying their beloved Monastery. The abbot had been taken by the Goblins, no doubt to demand ransom for him.’
Wizban set his men to work to try and recover as much from the building as possible. An emergency hospital was set up both for the wounded of Wizan’s force as wel as the wounded from the Monastery. But with the abbot kidnappen and the senior priest killed, there was not enough healing power and skill available to tend to all.
‘Wizard,’ the Sergeant began,’we need to get back this Abbot before they are too far away. We have to strike tonight.’
Wizban considered this for a moment. ’You are right Sergeant and I have a spell I can use to send in a small group undetected to save him. Using force would be unwise as the goblins would just kill the Abbot once they realized what we were after.’
‘I’ll lead a small band of handselected veterans to their camp Wizard’, Thristan offered.
‘I expected nothing else Sergeant’, Wizban smiled. ’I’ll make sure there is some backup if anything goes wrong’.
Abbot Vincent de St.Justin opened his eyes. Where was he? What was this pain in his head? And why couldn’t he move his hands?
‘Boss...He isss waking up.’, hissed a hobgoblin that stood next to him.
‘Excellent’, the reply came from accros the room as another goblin came closer.
Suddenly, a bucket of ice cold water was splashed on his face, making him gasp for air. Then there was pain as he was kicked steelhard in his groin, doublin over.
‘You didn’t need those, did you’, the smaller goblin yelled in his ear.
The abbot flinched. He knew he would not survive this. ‘Wait’, he begged,’I am worth gold, lots of gold. Bring me to my orde and you will receive a fine reward.I will tell you how to contact them.’
Then pain again. He remembered spitting out all the details of how much they would pay him and how to contact his church. He remembered the big hobgoblin, dresses in red that came with the pliers. Pain again as they cut of his finger.
‘We will send word to your order in the morning padre, the smaller goblin hissed him. Together with your finger and your sealring. For every day we do not get our money...you will loose a finger!’
Another kick and some well placed blows in his stomach and the Abbot sank away in the blessing of uncounsciousness.
He woke up at night from a strzange noise. ‘Psst...your excellence…’, a voice came from the dark,’can you walk?’.
The abbot was awake immedaitely. ‘Yes, yes, I can. Get me out of here.’
A man dressed in black and green stepped from the dark and freed the abbot, hussing him to be quiet and guiding him away from the sleeping goblin camp until….’Escaaaaape! The padre esc..urgh…’, the sound died.
But too late...the camp was already awake and up in arms.
The plan was set into action and scouts were sent out to discover where the goblins had set up camp for the night.
‘Ok Sergeant, I will cast my spell over your group that will be covered in the darkness of night for the next hour. Make sure you are in and out by then. Good luck.’, Wizban whished.
All units were in place for covering an eventual retreat of the group that was sent in. All they needed was a little luck now…
Minutes seemed to take centuries to pass in the darkness of night. Then, suddenly, shouts alarmed them that the group had been detected. That was the sign for the waiting units to offer their support.
Would the group make it to safety and ...will the abbot be alive and well..?