With only a handful of enemies left to deal with, it was time for me to become more aggressive. Not that I hadn’t been attacking, but with less threats to worry about I had more freedom.
I started with Whirlwind Attack. Although the naming evokes the thought of spinning in circles like a whirlwind, it doesn’t require it. At least, not a full circle. The circular motion is where the energy and power come from, but it wasn’t necessary to spin around and turn away from enemies.
I swung my warhammer in front of me, striking two armored goblins and flinging them back. Then I connected with the breastplate of the boss, which stopped my attack. I used the rebound to push myself away so that I could dodge the retaliatory mace. Chunks of blackness exploded off of the wall as the mace slammed into it with a crunch.
At some point Socks had snuck past the goblin boss and the remaining armored goblins, and was now wreaking havoc amongst the remaining goblin casters. With arrow support from Halette, I could tell they would be finished off soon.
That left Kasner open to electrify the remaining armored goblins. Alhorn held them off while the wild-haired little halfling charged up. He crackled with electricity, and then launched the most powerful spell I’d seen from him yet. Instead of a single arc of electricity going between the remaining armored goblins, there were many of them, jumping back and forth for several seconds… until the armored goblins were actually smoking from within their armor.
I smelled the burning and ozone. It wasn’t a pleasant smell, but as the goblins disappeared the smell quickly faded too.
Kasner basically collapsed onto the floor after that, and I couldn’t blame him. It was an impressive feat and probably took all of his remaining mana. There wasn’t any point in saving any for the boss as he resisted electricity anyway.
The only target left was the goblin boss. It already wasn’t in perfect shape, and now it didn’t have any support. Not that our party was in perfect shape either. I was covered in bruises and scrapes and dented armor to the point I couldn’t even remember when half of it happened.
The goblin boss roared in rage and frustration at how the battle was going. The sound echoed off the walls and nearly deafened me.
“We have to defeat it quickly!” Hallette called out, “It’s trying to bring more goblins here!”
Of course it would call more goblins. It was a boss after all. However, unlike in a video game, they wouldn’t just pop up from nowhere. Even monsters that spawned in dungeons didn’t work like that.
Since we had no time to lose, I moved around to flank the goblin boss. Since I didn’t have to worry about being hit by attacks from behind now, it was an advantageous position. It couldn’t watch both Alhorn and I, and Socks waited nearby for a good opportunity to approach.
The boss was still facing down the corridor toward most of the group, with Socks and I behind it. I was looking for an opening when the boss did something new. The beginning part where he swung his heavy mace across his body at Alhorn wasn’t new. Alhorn retreated and deflected with his shield, and I thought he shouldn’t have taken too much damage. The new part came when the boss continued the motion to spin around. It was just like whirlwind attack… he’d merely had no reason to use it before.
Since I didn’t have a shield, I was an easier target to kill. Maybe the boss knew that, or maybe it was just his instincts to attack all around him. Regardless, he twirled with such speed that it would be hard to dodge back and avoid the attack.
Fortunately, I didn’t want to move back. When I saw that his attack and motion was continuing around toward me, I used Martial Trance. Based on his trajectory, there was a better option than stepping back. I ducked down… and stepped in toward him. Even if he could change his trajectory, he wouldn’t do much damage to me… and there was a lot of momentum behind his swing.
The attack went over my head, though I could feel the chill passing by. As it did so, I brought my warhammer into the side of the goblin boss’s knee. As I was crouched down, it was a different sort of swing… but it worked well enough. There was a horrible crunching sound as I hit his knee. Armor protected it, but it was the leg he was pivoting on and twisting at the same time it got hit, and the lateral motion of my strike caused him to topple over and hit the ground with a giant thud.
Socks pounced on him, and I prepared to smash his face in… but Alhorn was a step ahead of me. As soon as he hit the ground, Alhorn was standing over him and drove his sword into the goblin king’s eye through the gaps in his helmet, using his strength and weight to puncture deep.
The goblin king’s body immediately started dissolving, and I breathed out heavily. I was low on mana and physical stamina… like pretty much everyone else. However, before I could sit down to rest, Halette shook her head, “I hear more goblins coming! We need to get moving!”
There wasn’t even time to properly gather loot. I dashed for my rucksack and stuffed some of the goblin king’s armor in it, while Kantrilla and Halette picked up a few magical stones. Alhorn got the rest of the goblin king’s armor in his own bag, while Kasner only managed to pick himself up off the floor clutching his head in one of his hands. Just before we left I strapped my warhammer to my belt and picked up the heavy mace. I didn’t have anywhere to store it… but I could carry it.
I could hear footsteps coming from where we entered, and Socks was growling down another corridor. “Enemies that way too?” Halette questioned. Socks barked in affirmation. “Then… hopefully this one is safe.”
We took the left road out of the T-junction, having entered from the south. Just as we exited the room I heard goblins shouting and the sound of arrows striking brick.
We walked quickly away, only pausing briefly at intersections to listen and smell for enemies. Halette kept looking back. I couldn’t hear anything anymore, but she seemed to think we were still being pursued. I wasn’t going to argue with the scout about that.
Finally, we reached the stairs going back to the second floor. After going up them, Halette nodded, “Okay… we should… be fine here.”
Everyone collapsed in the corner. After a short rest we would be fine. Then, it was just traversing familiar paths out of the dungeon.