Tyranny of Dragons

Greenest In Flames
LEEERRROOOOYYY JENNKKKINNNNS!!!!!

Four adventurers from the Sword Coast found themselves in the town of Greenest which sits astride the trade route from Iriabor to Amn. Each had their own reasons for coming here and were all staying in the single inn in town.

Shortly after dark they heard screams, yells, roars, and the crackle of lightning. Running outside they found the town under attack by raiders and kobolds and a large blue dragon soaring overhead occasionally swooping down to blast it’s lightning breath. A family ran across the street ahead pursued by kobolds. They charged into the fray, and saved the family though two of them were badly injured by the little reptilian beasts.

The mother of the family was Linan Swift and she told them they were trying to make the keep in the center of town. The adventurers set off with them for the safety of the keep.

They ran into two more groups of raiders amidst the chaos of the attack. Both times they charged into battle, both times they paid in blood. Badly injured and nearly depleted of spells they made it into the keep with several other refugees just as the militia were sealing the gate.

They met Tarbaw Nighthill, Governor of Greenest and his Castellan, Escobert the Red. Nighthill said the town was fortunate to have adventurers in town and asked if they would help. He pointed out a large group of raiders heading for the church and said the reports were that there were a large number of townsfolk barricaded in the church of Chauntea and that Father Eadyan Falconmoon was the best healer in town.

The adventurers agreed to rescue the people in the church and bring them back to the keep. Castellan Escobert said they could try the old tunnel under the keep that ran to the stream on the south side of town. It was there so the defenders could get water in case of a seige, but had gone unused for decades. He showed them where the old tunnel entrance was and gave them a key to the grate that covered the end.

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One Long Night
The Meatgrinder

The 4 adventurers agreed to help rescue the people stuck in the Temple of Chauntea. They cleared away the boxes and barrels in front of the door to the old tunnel and unlocked the old door which was stuck from disuse. There was a small tunnel of natural earth shorn up by timbers beyond. The tunnel was choked with dangling roots and cobwebs. It went on for about 200 feet where they ran into a colony of hungry rats that tried to eat them. They cleared the swarm but were so hurt they had to retreat. Fortunately a greedy merchant who had taken refuge in the keep had two potions of healing he was willing to trade to them for an exorbitant rate.

They returned to the tunnel to find it let out onto the wide stream that bordered the south part of town. The exit was blocked by a rusty iron grate that was obscured by growth along the stream bed. To notice the entrance one would have to be directly in front of it in the stream and looking for it. Rocco found the old lock badly rusted, but was able to deftly work the mechanism with the key and some liberal use of oil. Sneaking out to take a look, Rocco spotted some raiders making their way down the stream bed. They hid in the tunnel and let them pass.

Deciding to avoid the raiders at the stream they made their way across town to the temple, sneaking from house to looted house in the town. Arriving they found a group of kobolds and humans using an old log on ropes as a battering ram trying to beat down the front door of the temple. They were overseen by an intimidating looking figure all in black wearing a stylized dragon mask. Additionally they spotted a group of kobolds and ruffians circling the temple with a drake (looks like a man sized wingless dragon), occasionally throwing torches or rocks through the high narrow windows. Around back a plume of smoke drifted with the wind.

Circling wide around back, sticking to the cover of the brush near the stream bed, they found a group of kobolds and one human trying to burn through the back door of the temple. They were heaping straw and branches onto a fire up against the door. The wet branches were causing a tremendous amount of smoke

Waiting until the circling group had passed, they used the smoke as cover and were able to surprise the raiders at the back and make quick work of them. Convincing those inside that they were here to help, the refugees opened the back door only to be shocked to see the Tiefling sorceress greeting them. She had a hard time convincing them they needed to run. Ember realized the group in front was just about the finish battering the front doors down but if they fled now the group circling outside would be in a position to see the refugees and probably slaughter them. A quick plan was formulated, the wood elf Nym charged outside and fled getting the attention of the circling raiders and leading them off to the west. The other got the refugees out and to the stream bed just as the doors to the temple crashed open. They managed to get the refugees, including Father Falconmoon, to the keep through the old tunnel entrance.

They were lauded as heroes in the keep and rested from their adventure. Soon enough Governor Nighthill called them to action again. A large number of torches were moving to the mill. If the mill burned the town would be in bad shape for the coming winter. He asked them to save it, he was going to muster a contingent of troops to defend it but that would take time and they needed to hold off the arsonists until they arrived.

Sneaking back out the old tunnel and across town to the mill, Rocco spied on the arsonists. After a short while he came to the realization they weren’t really trying to burn the mill, it was all just for show. Cillian suggested it was a trap, so they retreated. Nym went to warn the approaching guards from the keep while the others went back to the hidden tunnel. Nym warned the guards then went to the keep where he stood outside the walls yelling “Let me in!” This attracted a crowd of raiders. Escobert, the Castellan of the keep, opened the secret sally port in the keep wall to let him in muttering something under his breath in Dwarven about “foolish elves”…

Governor Nighhill suggested a prisoner to interrogate might shed light on the subject of who the raiders were and what exactly they were after. The adventurers went out and captured one of the better armed raiders, though they were gravely injured in the process and barely made it back alive. It ended up the prisoner was a mercenary hired by the raiders, he told them they were the Cult of the Dragon and they were here to scour the town for loot for some kind of treasure horde. He even had heard the cultists talking about dragon eggs in camp. When asked about the leaders, he mentioned a human female cultist and two half dragon champions of some sort, one blue the other black.

Shortly after that the raiders attacked the keep, using the secret sally port that they had seen opened to let Nym in. Raiders were loose in the keep and Escobert rallied the adventurers to help him secure the sally port and seal it. They arrived at the sally port room to find it well guarded by raiders, including a spell caster and a drake. Escobert proved his mettle by dealing with the drake and the room was secured. However, the sally port was badly damaged and only temporary repairs with spare timbers were used to secure it. Escobert said it would not hold against a determined assault, and he needed to reach the stone masons workshop in town to secure materials for a more permanent repair. Escobert left through he secret tunnel to secure what he needed. The adventurers rested to recover from their wounds hoping the impending dawn would give them some respite from the grueling night in Greenest.

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Following Up
Rocco feels pretty crappy

A short while before dawn an impressive looking blue Half Dragon warrior approached the gates of the keep. Behind him were 20 kobolds prodding with spears 4 tied up prisoners, a woman and 3 children. The kobolds forced the prisoners to their knees as the Half Dragon yelled to the keep that he was bored but feeling generous. His name was Langdedrosa Cyanwrath and he said he would release the prisoners if a champion from the keep would meet him in one on one combat. He had not been able to find a worthy opponent this night and desired a test of arms.

One of the militia guards recognized the woman as his sister and her kids. Seargant Markath resolved to go forth and face the Half Dragon to save her, but Ember Paladin of Torm said she would face the dragon man.

Ember strode out the front gates, Langdredosa saluted her and thanked her for being willing to test her mettle against him. He promised that his word was his bond and that he would not use his breath weapon if she used no magic or spells. This was to be a test of steel.

Ember agreed and they fought. She fought well, but Langdredosa fought better and cut her down. With one final jab of his spear he nodded in satisfaction and turned to leave. The kobolds released the ropes from the prisoners and disappeared into the night. The woman was barely able to staunch Ember’s wounds until Father Falconmoon arrived with a spell to save her just before her life slipped away.

As the sun began to rise in the east, the raiders left town. When full light came, the town was quiet except for the moans of the injured. The party rested from their grueling night, they were exhausted. Governer Nighthill asked if they would be willing to follow the raiders after they rested to try and gather intelligence for the town. He offered them 10000 gold piceces. He wanted to know their rough numbers, who their leaders were, any reasons for the raid, and where they might be raiding next. Also, any prisoners that could be saved should be saved, and any stolen loot returned if possible, but the information was of the utmost importance.

They agreed. Just before leaving a monk from Berdusk approached them and told them of his master, Leothin Erlanthar, whom he feared was captured or foolishly might have tried to infiltrate the raiding band. He had disappeared. He pleaded with them to rescue him. His master had been researching dragon cults for months now and would be a wealth of information. The young monk recognized Ember as a Paladin of Torm and told her his master was a friend of the Order of the Gauntlet, a knightly order of Torm.

They set off mid afternoon, following the obvious trail of trampled grass into the hills to the southeast of the trade way. After about 9 miles they spotted a campfire smoke plume and surprised a group of stragglers from the raiders that had foolishly stopped to roast some game hens they had found. The group consisted of humans and kobolds. Most were killed, a few kobolds scattered away. One human mercenary was captured and a charm person spell from Cilliana got him to spill all he knew about the raid. He told them they were gathering a great horde for the return of the Dragon Queen, which Nym figured to mean Tiamat the goddess of evil dragons that had been banished to the 9 Hells long ago. He said that they had a permanent camp in a canyon between two plateaus a few miles from here and described it in detail. He mentioned he had overheard talk of dragon eggs. He also told them that there would be a rear guard ambush set up where the path passed between two rocky slopes about a mile on.

After he talked Nym casually murdered the helpless man in cold blood. Nobody seemed to care.

Travelling on as dusk approached, they spotted the rearguard position described and gave it a wide berth, leaving the trail and picking it up on the other side. About an hour before dark they spotted the two plateaus as described and the canyon entrance between them. Nym scouted, climbing the plateau in panther form and saw it consisted of narrow 3 sided canyon with an entrance about 150 feet wide. There were two levels, the lower level consisted of ramshackle huts probably for the kobolds, the upper level tents where the humans lived in the back. A much larger tent was probably for the leaders. There was a watchtower at the entrance and one on top of the plateau at the back.

They saw straggling groups walking into the canyon unchallenged, security seemed lax and confused as the large group of raiders was settling back into their encampment. They waited until after dark, then Nym and Rocco approached the entrance and hoped to walk in. Unfortunately by then some guards had been posted and bright torches on log poles illuminated the canyon mouth. They tried to talk their way past, but the guards said they should know the rules and nobody was allowed to come or go after dark. Nym tried to press the issue and when the guard had had enough and grabbed him he turned into a bear and fled. This caused great confusion amongst the guards, some of whom gave chase. Rocco realized nobody was paying attention to him and slipped on in to the camp.

Rocco looked around and found that the camp consisted of about 200 kobolds and humans, some mercenaries, some devoted cultists. The leader tent in the back was well guarded as was a large cave mouth in the back. He also found the monk Leosin prisoner alive but tied spread eagle to two large stakes crossed like an X. The monk was badly beaten.

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Rocco talked to a few mercs and got some idea of the leadership. The main leader was some woman named Mondrath, and there were two half dragons, one blue and one black. The blue was obviously Cyanwrath, the black was called Rezmir. However, before too long the alarm was raised in camp when someone realized there were two people who had tried to come in after dark, but the guards only chased one! Rocco had to hide, but when he realized camp was being systematically searched he was certain he would be found.

In a stroke of desperation which he soon came to regret he decided to hide in the latrine. Unfortunately this cornered him and when he realized they were just about to search there he had no place to go but down. Into the hole. Of the latrine. In the soup of urine and feces. Yes, Rocco was feeling quite crappy, and he was trapped. But fortunately none of the searching guards felt the need to look for him there. Who would be crazy enough to do something so disgusting? Crappy indeed as a parade of disgusting mercenaries used the latrine for their “business” over the next few hours. Some of them clearly did not have good diets! It was going to be a long night for the thief from Baldur’s Gate…

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Best laid plans
The mice win

Nym turned into a large scorpion and snuck into the raiders camp. He got incredibly lucky and miraculously made it all the way to the back of the canyon. He free Leosin, who didn’t really want to be freed (“I have them right where I want them and am about to learn what’s in the cave!”). Cilliana hoped he was doing well on his scouting mission where he was supposed to see what was going on in the camp from a distance.

He was spotted in the bright light surrounding the prisoner and guards gave chase and caught them. Nym was placed in a sealed wooden crate close to Leosin who was placed back on the stakes until he could be interrogated in the morning.

The camp quieted, Rocco came out of the crapper, found Nym and Leosin, disabled the guard that was placed on them, but that raised the alarm. Rocco freed Nym and Leosin, Nym turned into a horse and they escaped the camp in a mad gallop. All of them returned to town.

Leosin recovered over the next few days, then asked the group to return to the camp and gather intelligence while he traveled to Erlanther to raise opposition tot he Cult with his newfound information.

Leosin left, they went back to the camp and found it abandoned. Tracks showed small groups had gone in all directions, but the wagons and animals had gone in a wagon train west. There were a few hunters left in camp who were being paid to hunt antelope to supply those left behind int the caves for something that couldn’t be moved. The hunters didn’t care about the adventurers one way or the other.

They watched for a day and only the hunters came and went. The next morning they entered the cave and defeated the cultist guards who were watching the entrance cavern. In the back were rough steps leading down into a lower cavern filled with fungus but with two paths between the growths. Nym spotted a small passageway in the back which Rocco scouted and found was a barracks for culitists with about a dozen of them currently in residence.

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