Farrergould Murnig Boondogglestickleworth Fitszelsnitch (Flitch),
Grimogar Bloodfang (Grim),
Rukumakk Thergard Arsmid (Ruk),
Sandrilene Everwood (Sandry),
Xanhorn Darkeyes (Xanhorn).
Having survived the dragon attack, Governor Nighthill asked the heroes to save the folk still left in the town and try and capture a leader type. He pointed out a woman hundreds of meters away, wearing purple robes, flanked by man guards wearing silver masks. While the leader might be to hard to capture, one of those cultists wearing a mask might be easier. He gave Xanhorn, who seemed to the group spokesperson, three Potions of Healing as a thank you to the heroes — these were the last three potions in the keep and that he and others could clearly use them was not lost on the heroes.
Linan Swift meanwhile asked the heroes to look for her husband Hubert, a strapping muscular fellow who had gone to rescue his sister and two kids during the raid and not seen since. Linan also gave Ruk a small reed-woven doll with some red moss on the face – a present from her daughter Marela Swift. Ruk can kind of tell it is meant to be him, if he squints a lot when he looks at the handmade doll.
Xanhorn was asking after his childhood friend, a half-elf Talis but no one had heard of her.
Flitch meanwhile asked about a monk, Leosin, and several had said that he was in the keep when the attack started but not seen since.
Castellan Escobert the Red led the heroes to an old, secret tunnel that led from the keep’s bakery store closet to the stream beside the town. Providing they could keep it secret, this will provide easy access into and out of the keep. While showing the heroes the trap door, a runner arrived from Nighthill. Many townfolk were trapped in the temple of Chauntea and the heroes were asked to rescue them before it was to late.
Heading down the tunnel, all bar Sandry had Darkvision. Debating being led through the tunnel, the piles of muck she had to step through convinced her to light a torch.
As they neared the end of the tunnel, Sandry joked that this place should be full of rats, just before dozens of glowing, beady eyes shot along the tunnel floor and walls towards them!
The heroes made short work of the fifty or so rats, especially with Flitch’s spells, though Sandry found herself covered in rat guts. Sandry’s torch, used as a weapon, also proved fairly effective, lighting a number of rodents on fire! The cleric, Xanhorn, continued to call fire down from Waukeen during the fight, though often it turned out to be a flicker of power rather than full wrath (rolled 1 damage almost every turn!).
Despite having the key, the sewer grate was somewhat rusted by Sandry managed to use her skills to force the lock quietly and then promptly jumped into the stream to wash the rats guts off. Before the others could follow her out the tunnel she saw lights and heard voices coming towards her and dowsed her torch and tried to hide in the stream. Ruk, just behind her, caught on and warned the others to be quiet.
A patrol of kobolds and humans wearing various types of armour (but none with a cultist mask) worked their way along the opposite stream bed. Sandry’s impressive hiding skills saved her from the lax patrol’s eyes and the heroes remained quiet until the danger had passed.
Using cover this time, the heroes made it to a small wall 50m from the sanctuary. Here they noticed three groups of raiders:
- a large group of kobolds with torches and swinging wind chimes made from cat skulls making a wide loop around the church to demoralise those hiding inside.
- a large group of humans, half-orcs and half-elves using a makeshift battering ram on the main doors of the temple
- a smaller group (3 humans and 9 kobolds) lighting small fires in some hay near the back door of the temple to send smoke inside.
The heroes debated using magic to distract different groups but realised the short range of the spells (30 feet) wasn’t going to allow for much opportunity so they waited until the large patrolling group was on the other side of the temple and rushed the small group at the rear door, hoping the smoke would provide some cover. The planned worked very well and the heroes had a surprise round!!
Unfortunately Grim earnt the nickname ‘Windmill’ for his impressive but ineffective dual-wielding flailing at the air and the heroes failed to eliminate any enemies in the surprise round!
Kobolds quickly showed how dangerous they can be in large numbers and started ganging up on various heroes.
The fight went badly for a few turns before finally the heroes started hitting back more effectively along with continuous fire from Waukeen (invariably more 1’s than anything else again!) and ice bolts. One kobold runner took off at the end to bring the large group to the rear doors. Fortunately Flitch, despite being hampered by the smoke, made a long range snipe with his icebolt and shattered the kobold into fragments.
Convincing the worshippers inside that they were friendly, the heroes got inside the back door. Xan then made a rousing speech while Flitch sent cantrip minor illusion whispers throughout the crowd encouraging their acceptance of the plan to flee out the back door. An effective persuasion, a good plan and some clever magic got the townfolk out before the kobold mass arrived at the back door. When asked about Hubert, several townfolk mention a 5’ 9" coward of a man who for some reason Linan adores. No-one has seen him since the attack.
The priest of Chauntea, the half-elf Eadyan Falconmoon, was the only level-headed person inside the temple and as impressed by the heroes actions. He offered to use his healing kit on them (he has the healing feat). Most of the heroes, out of potions and out of healing, gratefully took him up on he offer back at the keep.
Meanwhile the Mill, critical to the fortunes of the town, was being set alight by kobolds! Nighthill asked the heroes to once more intervene. Following within 15 minutes would be all the militia he could spare to help hold the mill once the heroes had secured it.
The heroes decided to cross the stream and approach the Mill from the fields. While there was less cultists out there, the heroes did encounter some but mostly used stealth this time to bypass conflict enroute to their goal. That is until the encountered a farmer and his wife (and the farmer’s pig) being chased by cultists. The heroes launched into attack and saved the farmer and his wife (and yes the pig) but took some heavy damage in the process.
Approaching the Mill, the heroes watched the kobolds and realised that they weren’t really trying to light the Mill alight. Instead they were waving torches and lighting some wet straw piles to create smoke and an appearance from the keep of the Mill being under threat!
The heroes decide that they didn’t want to trigger the trap and to head back to the keep. But then debated which way to go to ensure the militia are found first – no one wanted to send them into the trap either! As they start to slink away, a cultist (wearing the mask and clothes of one of the under officers that the heroes wanted to capture), appeared from inside the Mill, spoke to the kobolds and then went back inside.
So, charging in, the heroes fight the kobolds and mostly take care of them easily. Unfortunately Grim and Ruk were both heavily wounded at this point and Xanhorn’s healing was depleted. With only one potion left, they decide to let Grim drink it.
With the doors of the Mill closed, Grim shoulder charges them, just as Sandry suggests she check if they are locked… which they weren’t. Grim went sprawling inside, his momentum carrying him far into the Mill.
Sandry and Ruk join him inside while Flitch stayed outside and off the left and Xan stayed back inside the cover of smoke with a view of the doorway.
Throwing spears (ineffectively) and jumping down to attack were 6 cultists, including the officer! Ruk raged and started making paste of several foes before he was taken down (starting the fight on only 1 hp!). Grim was surrounded and holding his own while Sandry moved to help, after working with Ruk.
Flitch and Xan added ranged firepower and finally the heroes managed to take down the enemy, including a sword hilt to the side of the head of the officer by Grim.
The militia, also beaten up some, turned up and the Mill was handed over.
Following the militia’s path from the keep, the heroes successfully carry Ruk, drag the officer and escort the farmer, his wife (and yes the pig) back to the keep. It was evident by then that the pig was more important to the farmer than his wife!
Nighthill interrogated the cultist initiate Gundar with the aid of heroes, including a ferocious Grim and some psychological warfare via minor illusion by Flitch.
It was revealed that:
- he was a member of the Cult of the Dragon
- that they are collecting loot for the “great hoard that will usher in the reign of the Queen of Dragon”
- that the cult has a clutch of dragon eggs under heavy guard in a cave at the camp to the south
- leader of the raid is Frulam Mondath, a ‘wearer of purple’ (the heroes realised they had seen her earlier from the ramparts)
The heroes took a rest at this point (near midnight) and levelled to level Two!
Just before dawn,
“from the darkness, a creature strides into the dim light of the dying fires around the keep. Although it is shaped roughly like a human, it is at least seven feet tall, its skin Is covered in blue scales, its fingers bear wicked claws, and its face has the muzzle and reptilian eyes of a dragon.”
“The creature stops about 80 yards from the main gat of the keep and scans the walls. A line of kobolds fans out behind it. With their spears, they prod four human prisoners into the dim light. You can make out a woman, a scrawny man in a blood-soaked tunic and two toddlers. From the ramparts, Linan screams, “Hubert!”."
“Then the half-dragon creature hails the keep. ’Defenders of Greenest! This has been a successful night, and I am feeling generous. Do you see these four pitiful, useless prisoners? We have no need for them, so I will trade them back to you. Send out your best warrior to fight me, and you can have these four in exchange.”
Escobert volunteers but it is clear he’s outmatched. Grim and Ruk both volunteer instead. They arm wrestle for the ‘honour’ of the fight and Ruk wins, just. Escobert gives Ruk his family heirloom, the maul JUSTICE to use for the fight.
Ruk meets Cyanwrath outside the keep walls. He rages and the fight starts. Cyan breathes lightning as his opening move before exchanging blows with Ruk. Ruk managed to land several solid damaging blows, throwing caution to the wind. Cyan in turn made two sweeping strikes, the last one critically cutting Ruk across the throat. Ruk collapses. Cyanwrath saluted Ruk’s unexpected tenaciousness, then slid his sword into Ruk’s chest, leaving a scar that won’t heal and causing an automatic death saving throw fail.
Cyan gave the prisoners back and the raiders left the town.
Xanhorn raced to the stairs to get to Ruk to heal him but tripped over and fell off the wall.
Eventually Ruk was stabilised and healing administered. Ruk used both of his hit dice heals during the short rest and then inquired about revenge. The heroes looked in the direction that the raiders left and Nighthill summoned them once more to discuss the next steps…