As the battle unfolds in earnest, the noise is earth-shattering, and the smell of death and burning flesh rises in the air. The magnitude of the danger and the potential scope of the carnage beginning to take place fills you with adrenaline as you quickly make your plan. Oloc scribbles the notes onto a small scrap of parchment which again Varros attaches to Karnak's leg before sending the raven to report to the Captain.
Arrows rain down from the Fairbrook archers into the ranks of their goblin counterparts. You see some goblins fall, but the majority, untouched, return a volley of their own. In the confused melee further on you see only shadows of men and goblins violently intermingled, while the large creature of flame picks up yet another man of the guard, and then tosses the burning body back in amongst his comrades.
Realizing time is of the essence, you quickly put your plan into motion. Duran, Varros, and Oloc carefully maneuver into position beyond the extremity of the goblins' right flank, ready to shoot missiles into the end of the goblin line. They keep themselves angled slightly to the rear of the goblins to minimize the chances of hitting one of Belloc's men by mistake. Though the enemy mage is too far off still to be seen clearly, by his silhouette against the flames of the elemental, he appears to be a hobgoblin.
Meanwhile Gaven, Stan, and Ollie work their way into position behind the goblin archers, just out of bowshot (about 150' behind them), and pour Varros' three flasks of oil into small pools, connecting each pool with a line of oil. Gaven sends Stan and Ollie further back, then quickly, before the oil "fuse" can evaporate, strikes a spark to the oil-covered grass. A flame rapidly runs from pool to pool lighting them all as Gaven, too, dashes back to what cover is provided by the darkness outside the light cast by the newly set fires.
The hobgoblin commanding the archers notices the flames behind the group. The bulk of his company remains focused on returning the missile-fire of Belloc's archers, but the hobgoblin gives a sharp order to three of his goblin archers to move toward the burning oil and investigate. These three cautiously advance toward the fires Gaven set, bows at the ready. They do not yet see Gaven and the hirelings.
Once the diversionary flames erupt, Duran and Varros start shooting into the goblin flank, about 120 feet away. Each of them manages to take down a goblin in the rear rank. The other goblins do not appear to notice the bodies fall to the ground with arrows in their backs. Out of dagger-throwing range, Oloc makes himself mentally ready to cast his charm spell when the occasion arises to use it.
Suddenly you hear another blast on the horn that sounded earlier and, a second later, a horseman – who can only be Belloc – can be seen by Duran, Varros and Oloc, crashing into the front of the goblins' right flank company. His warhammer rises and falls several times into the goblin ranks, and two new goblin corpses lie on the ground.
I assumed that the flanking group stayed out about 100-120' away or so from the enemy (medium range for the bows) which would prevent any goblins from charging the party in a single round if the group got noticed. Let me know if you wish to close the gap on the next round (or move back to long range). I assumed that Oloc is saving his charm for the M-U (still out of range); the flanking party is about 240' away from the enemy mage.
For every part of the battle in which you are not personally involved, I've come up with a simple abstracted casualty calculation system (so however active or inactive you are, the fight will eventually play out on its own). I'll report to you any of those casualties that your characters could actually see. Wherever your characters are directly involved, I'll play out those combats normally, rather than using the abstracted system.
Summary of what you can see now:
Rear: Gaven can see four goblin corpses laying on the ground among the company of Goblin archers. Discounting the three creeping back to investigate the fires, that leaves about 13/17 still shooting at Belloc's men.
Right Flank: On the far right flank, it appears Belloc's men are getting the better of the fight. Duran, Varros and Oloc can see no humans down on that part of the field, while they are able to count three goblins down, leaving about 17/20 vs. Belloc's left flank company of 10/10. Additionally, two more goblins in that same company are eliminated by Duran and Varros' arrows, and Belloc's charge takes out another two, bringing the right flank goblin company total down to 13/20.
Summary of your PCs' combat rolls:
Round 1 (surprise round for flanking party):
d20 = 4 + 1 (medium range) + 2 (flank bonus) = 7 (miss)
d20 = 10 + 1 (medium range) + 2 (flank bonus) = 13 (hit); d6 = 6 (goblin killed)
d20 = 6 + 1 (medium range) + 2 (flank bonus) = 9 (miss)
d20 = 18 + 1 (medium range) + 2 (flank bonus) = 20 (hit); d6 = 6 (goblin killed)
Out of range
Goblins do not notice Duran and Varros shooting.
Overall Battle Strength Summary End of Round 1:
Goblin Left Flank: ???
Goblin Left Center: ???
Goblin Right Center: ???
Goblin Right Flank: 13/20
Goblin Archers: 13/17
Goblin Archer Scouts: 3/3 (creeping back to investigate the fires)
Fire Elemental HP: ??? (appears unwounded)
Hobgoblin(?) Mage HP: ??? (appears unwounded)
Human Right Flank: ???
Human Right Center: ???
Human Left Center: ???
Human Left Flank: 10/10
Human Archers: ???
Belloc HP: ??? (appears unwounded)