Our heroes found themselves approaching a town under siege by kobolds, cultists, mercenaries, drakes, and one pissed off dragon flying overhead. The Cult of the Dragon was raiding the town of Greenest with hopes of collecting gold from the trading town for a great horde for the “Queen of the Dragons”.
Seek the Keep
As they made their way to the fort in the middle of the town, they saved a commoner woman and her family from attack by kobolds, and she mentioned that everyone was making for the fort since the raiders had not yet attacked it. They followed her into its doors, only for them to be closed behind the party as the raiders filed in and truly trapped the townsfolk.
Searching for ways to help, the adventurers encountered Governor Nighthill and Castellan Escobert the Red, who told the heroes of various parts of the town that could use their help. The party eventually decided to make their way through the Old Tunnel and follow the river to the town mill to save the flour supplies from being burned by raiders.
The Old Tunnel
Exiting the tunnel, the party ambushed some patrolling raiders, killing most of them and taking a kobold hostage for interrogation within the keep.
Save the Mill
When they arrived at the mill, our heroes noted that the mill was not on fire, and that the raiders were making a show of burning things around it, perhaps to lure them in. Varis Xiloscient stepped out and commanded them to drop their weapons, with Caelum Storm by his side, and they were taken aback, but did not stand down. At Varis’ signal, Tyto Soren and Alakaunim Arkenath fired at the raiders from nearby bushes, surprising them and killing a couple of their numbers off.
The battle that followed was a fierce show of their combat prowess, and by the end, the cultists that were left were thoroughly terrified. Varis smacked one across the face, accidentally snapping his neck, and the other one was taken prisoner, hogtied, and fainted.
Entering the mill, our heroes made quick work of what appeared to be the only guard inside, the first mercenary they had encountered. As they were resting and investigating, though, 3 more mercenaries and 4 more cultists jumped out from hiding in the flower and ambushed them, putting up a fierce fight before finally being defeated.
The last mercenary surrendered to the party, saying he would tell them anything they wanted to know and that he was only in it for the money. After interrogating him, they took him prisoner, and Caelum spoke with him about the monk philosophy he followed. While they then interrogated the cultist from outside, the mercenary’s demeanor changed, and he resolved to be a better man, and heeded Varis’ advice to go guard the border kingdoms. This mercenary, Andrew Larson, would be seen again by the heroes, no doubt.
Upon their return to the keep, the dragon Lennithon launched a final assault on the citadel, killing a score of men before they finally retreated on the heroes’ orders. Arkenath had tried reasoning with Lennithon, but the dragon did not heed anything the puny drow had to say to him.
The heroes advised that they try to get as many townsfolk into the tunnel as they could, in case the fort would fall. They knew the raiders would not stay past dawn. In the meantime, they left for the Temple of Chauntea where almost 50 people were locked up, surrounded by around 30 raiders trying to burn the building down. As a group of torch-and-stone-throwers circled, another tried breaking the front door with a makeshift battering ram, and a third tried burning the building through the back door.
Our party waited for the circling group to be out of sight so they could ambush the back door burners, clouded in thick smoke. Making quick work of them, our heroes dragged the bodies into the church and addressed the people, telling them to barricade the front and begin lining up to escape through the back. Waiting for the circlers to pass, Arkenath began mending the front door as quickly as he could.
With each slam of the ram, the door creaked and cracked. Tensions rose as they waited for the raiders to be out of sight, and as soon as it was clear, the people began filing out the back as quickly as they could, though the flagstone wall was slowing their progress. Arkenath continued mending, but it was not able to keep up with the ram. As about half of the townsfolk had escaped, so had the doors fallen.
Squaring up, the heroes took out what cultists they could immediately, then set fire to the pews that were being used as a barricade, deterring the cultists. People continued filing out as Tyto shot through the doors at confused kobolds and Varis and Caelum snuck out the back to defend the people. The dragonclaw, a higher-ranked cultist, approached, and Caelum charged him with a punch. The cultist retaliated with a fierce strike from his scimitar, leaving the genasi unconscious and dying on the ground.
As he then approached Varis, the paladin rose his shield in defense and came down with his hammer and a divine smite from Pelor, leaving not a trace of the evil foe he conquered. Arkenath and Tyto continued taking out as many cultists as they could at range, as the drakes then ambushed Varis, ripping into his neck and leaving him too close to death for comfort. Arkenath and Varis jumped the fence, the last townspeople escaping, as another drake and two kobolds jumped into the church, shrugging off the fire and turning against Tyto.
Not wanting to leave their allies behind, Varis and Arkenath covered Tyto’s escape, and the three of them quickly sought a way to save the unconscious monk over the fence. The cultists were closing in, and two of them were getting ready to pick up the blue man, when Wild Magic granted Arkenath great flaming wings. Varis and Tyto lead a chase as Arkenath jumped onto the roof of the church and flung fire bolts at the remaining cultists, then swooped down and picked up Caelum to follow the others.
Tyto continued to shoot back while Arkenath flanked their pursuers, and Varis used his wood elven gifts to blend with the wild as a final drake ran by. Varis slammed into it with his hammer and Tyto jumped and slid as he shot back at it, felling the beast and ending the life-threatening battle. Caelum was stabilized, and they made their way back to the tunnel to continue their protection of the people.