"Kragaj yll gara?" said Mirko, not letting up the pressure on his staff across the Hobgoblin's throat. "Kragaya yll gara nemdis?" Why are you attacking us?
The Hobgoblin twisted, trying to throw him off, but Mirko had dealt with the Hob race before, and knew how strong they were.
"Kragaya yll gara nemdis?" he repeated, pressing harder on the staff so that Hobgoblin started to struggle for breath.
"Viritya... nemdis tuja..." said the Hobgoblin. We were sent to find you.
"Dekra?" By who?
"You speak Hob?" said Lianna, who had finished cleaning her blade and was re-scabbarding it. "How come you don't speak wolf then?"
"Wolves don't have a spoken language the way you're thinking. It's much more emotional and based on common experience. There are druids who study it, and can communicate well with them, but that's not something I care for." Mirko leaned on the staff again. "Dekra?"
The Hobgoblin twisted again, slipping a hand underneath it, and said, "Aya perfetto Friedmarc." Then it heaved, pulling its body up a couple of inches from the ground, and its hand lashed out holding a small push-dagger. Mirko recoiled, easily dodging the blow but forced to release the Hobgoblin from the hold, and it sprang to its feet. It dropped quickly into a defensive crouch, the push-dagger weaving in front of it while its other hand dropped to the short-sword scabbarded at its waist. Then something whistled past Mirko and struck the Hobgoblin sharply on the head, glancing upwards and dropping back to strike it again. It was a stone the size of a fist.
Mirko looked round at Venne, who shrugged.
"It's easier than risking its blades."
Mirko warily checked the Hobgoblin -- it was dead, blood oozing slowly from two wounds. "A lucky shot," said Venne watching him.
"Indeed. Does anyone want its weapons?" Mirko drew the short-sword and checked it, it was notched and rusty, and being sized for a Hobgoblin would only be useful as a dagger to a human.
"Hobgoblins never carry anything of any value," said Lianna. "If we're done with this now, can we get on and find this tower? I'd like to have the ground floor secured before dark."
"What did it tell you?" said Venne as they set off again across the last field to where the forest began. "It answered you a couple of times."
"It said that someone called Perfetto Freidmarc sent them," said Mirko. "I've not heard the title before, so it's probably not a Hobgoblin."
"They were sent?" said Lianna sharply, looking back at him. "To find us, specifically?"
"I don't know, he died before I could find out."
Lianna sighed, glaring at Venne before turning away and leading them on.
"Thanks a lot," muttered Venne to Mirko.