Location: Greenest —> Raider Camp —> Greenest
PCs: Ruk, Grim, Flitch, Xanhorn, Sandry, Felkin.
As the group of adventurers are gathering their gear and organizing themselves after a nights rest, Governor Nighthill enters their quarters and introduces Felkin the Traveller, a half-elf bard from Scornubel who had arrived that morning. Felkin had been to Greenest a couple of times previously and was known by Nighthill.
After introductions, Nighthill asks the group of adventurers for another favor. He requests the adventurers, who had only just washed the soot and blood from their clothes and armour, to undertake a reconnaissance mission of the attackers camp. He also asks they try and recovery as much of the towns stolen treasure but this is secondary to the main objective. In return, he pledges a reward of 250 gold coins for each of the group members. The group agrees to find the camp and recover the stolen loot and try to free the captured townsfolk.
Before the adventurers leave Greenest, they were approached by Nesim Waladra, a monk, who spoke in a thick accent:
Hello. I hear you intend to follow ze raiders. My master is Leosin Erlanthar of Berdusk and he is missing. He has mentioned you may be coming here, Flitchz. I ask you and your companions to find Leosin. We had a savage battle against ze raiders – some of us made it back to ze keep but Leosin did not. He has investigated ze raiders for months. I fear he may have tried to infiltrate ze cult as zay retreated, or been captured. He knows more about zis cult activity zen any ozers. We need him. My brozer has gone to Berdusk for help but will be days from returning. Please, anyzing you do to help would be godsend.
All that was found from Leosin’s last whereabouts was his torn choker embroidered with a silver dragon and a broken staff. Nesim mentioned they had been at Candlekeep where Leosin was consulting some ancient texts when he declared that Greenest is the next likely target for raids and brought his brothers here. The day they arrived the attacks occurred – the monks rescued a number of civilians but then were engaged in the telling battle.
Rested, the group leaves Greenest and follows the trail left by the attackers. (Ruk, recovering from the duel, was out of Hit Dice however). They travel for about half a day before spying camp fire smoke. Approaching quietly they came across a small camp at the bottom of a hill. There are six humans and a dozen kobolds in the camp and the humans appear to be chastising the kobolds, lording it over them. The group notices that the human’s weapons are off to one side of the camp. Upon seeing this, the group decides to flank the raiders, with Sandry, Flitch and Felkin making their way toward the weapons and the rest of the group making their way around the other side of the camp.
After a short fight which involved Flitch conjuring a somewhat comical but somehow intimidating illusion of a demon, and Grim surprising the rest of the group by actually hitting foes and killing them, the bandits were dispersed. Cutting the humans off from their weapons had been fairly successful – though Grim did get dragged through the campfire by one of the raiders. Once the humans had been dealt with the remaining kobolds had scattered.
The group recovered 28 silver pieces, a sack with treasure stolen from Greenest including a religious artifact of Chauntea, as well as spears and daggers. The daggers were quickly secreted across Sandry’s person.
During the battle Ruk had absorbed most of the kobold attention and, while ensuring the rest of the party finished the fight fairly healthy, was again covered in his own blood.
After tending to Ruk’s wounds the group continued to diligently follow the raider’s trail, walking into a steep rocky gully where they found themselves in the middle of what appeared to be a landslide. Not surprisingly, Grim, with his elephant like dexterity, took the brunt of the mini-avalanche while the rest of the group managed to avoid the larger boulders. However, as the dust settled the group realised they had walked into an ambush by a rearguard. A dozen or so raiders flanked the group atop of the rocky gully.
A large and well-armed human barked orders at the other cultists, which suggested to everyone in the group that he was their leader. There also appeared to be three acolytes of Tiamat scattered amongst the group. Upon learning that the group were likely to be draconic worshippers Ruk flew into a rage. This outburst drew the attention of the ambush leader – accompanied by a heavy crossbow bolt to Ruk’s side.
Several of the cultists called upon divine magic to command various group members to flee or cower. Only Grimm was overcome by the magic coercion, dropping his weapons. The early skirmish did not look promising for the adventurers, with the attrition and luck firmly against them. However, after breaching a hole on each side of the ambush (Ruk and Grim on one side and Sandry and Felkin on the other), the tide started to turn.
Felkin inspired Ruk and Sandry with rousing words, while Flitch flung chromatic bolts of ice at the ambush leader. Divine wrath of Waukeen on behalf of her eloquent servant Xanhorn also left their mark. Finally a few quick stabs from Sandry finally finished off the wounded ambush leader. But by then Grimm and Flitch had spear and crossbow wounds that required considerable attention and Ruk, with no hit dice, was again wounded.
With the death of the ambush leader, mopping up began, and a couple of the bandits scampered. Even Xanhorn produced his near-new mace for a few swings at bandit scalps. One acolyte was captured and the heroes attempted to interrogate him. However, it was apparent that he was not going to betray his allegiances without serious torture – something the heroes couldn’t endorse, so he was executed.
Felkin took particular note of the signs the cultists used and acquired some of their red forehead paint.
Grimm, Ruk and Flitch were heavily injured in the battle and required healing before travelling further. The surroundings and the bodies of the fallen cultists were searched and yielded four potions of healing (reduced to three due to immediate need), 20 silver pieces and the clothing from the dead cultists which was taken in case it was needed for disguises later.
The group then continued to follow the trial, but more cautiously. With a few hours of daylight left they discovered the cultist camp. It was a massive camp in a hollow of a plateau that rose gently from the surrounding land before quickly steepening to a height of 150 feet above the landscape. Two large observation towers looked over the entry and the rear of the camp.
While quietly observing the camp the adventurers noticed that the security was rather lax, as humans and kobolds appeared to be entering and leaving the camp relatively unchallenged. Many of the kobold and human bandits seemed to be getting drunk or nursing wounds from the raid. The camp looked to have around 300 bandits.
After some consternation the group decided to try to enter the camp by following stragglers and wandering in. They bluffed their way through the entrance fairly easily and spent the rest of the daylight hours wandering through the camp in individual groups, trying to glean information.
The human forces seemed to be mostly made up of fresh recruits and mercenaries, with only a few dedicated cultists among them. They also noted that the camp appeared to have a hierarchical layout, with the kobolds occupying the area closest to the entrance and the humans occupying the areas set more deeply within the camp.
It was in this rear area that the group noticed the apparent leaders of the camp, occupying the largest tent, set aside from all others:
- Langdedrosa Cyanwrath the half blue- dragon who fought Ruk a day earlier;
- Frulam Mondath, the leader of the raid on Greenest that the party had seen from the keeps walls;
- Rezmir, a half black-dragon who cultists said was the overall leader of the camp.
- Also in the tent was a Red Wizard. A surprising and concerning development.
All bar the red wizard wore purple robes of various individualistic styles.
The tent was surrounded by ten highly attentive guards, the “Veterans” as named by bandits sitting around their fires. These were dressed similarly to the powerful leader of the ambush and the heroes rightly exercised caution in staying at a distance from the command tent.
They continued to wander through the camp and gleaned valuable information by listening in on conversations and observing the comings and goings in different sections of the camp. They heard that the cultists apparently held a clutch of dragon eggs which the planned to hatch, with one cultist proclaiming “The day the mother of dragons returns, the whole world will tremble”, something apparently to do with Tiamat who everyone knows is imprisoned in the Nine Hells.
The adventurers got the impression that the kobold’s were not well liked or trusted by the humans. The kobolds however have a near fanatical worship of anything draconic, including the two half-dragons. Prisoners are collected for manual labour, worked until they drop, and then fed to the drakes or hatchlings in the caves. The largest cave, at the very rear of the camp, is off limits to any but those personally authorised by Rezmir or Frulam. Along with the hatchlings, all the treasure from a couple months’ worth of raids, is stored there.
Most importantly, the group discovered where Leosin the monk and twenty townsfolk were being held. Leosin was being held separately deep inside the camp and was being checked regularly – every 30 minutes or so a guard would inspect Leosin’s bonds and badly rough him up – it is clear they intend to break his will and he looked in very poor shape. The townsfolk were being held in the kobold area and the security seemed reasonably lax, for now.
After a short debate the group decided that they should try to free Leosin and as many of the townsfolk as possible. Xan at this point become very concerned with his injured knee and his limp became even more pronounced. The plan was to free Leosin soon after the guard checked on him. They would then conjure a simple illusion of Leosin to make it look as if he was still restrained. They planned to dress him in the cultist clothes they had kept and simply walk out of the camp.
The plan went off well, up to the point of… well it didn’t go to plan at all.
Sneaking under the cover of darkness, both Felkin and Sandry (who elected not to use a light source) bumbled into several discarded cooking pots, alerting a guard to investigate. Thinking quick, Felkin grabbled the burly guard, surprising everyone with his deft and strong grip. Sandry, fumbling in the dark almost cut Felkin as she tried to silence the struggling guard. Muscles bulging, he again failed to remove Felkin’s iron-like grip from his mouth and Sandry made no mistake with her next thrust.
Leaving the gurgling death rattle of the guard to seep into the soil, they cut Leosin’s bonds. He was in very bad shape. Using up one of their precious healing potions, Leosin recovered enough to move under his own steam.
Discarding their original plan, they wrapped Leosin in the guard’s clothing and tied the dead guard to the prisoner post before collecting the rest of the anxiously waiting heroes and walking towards the exit.
It was decided not to risk trying to rescue the other prisoners, tied up in the kobold area, until Felkin spied several youths in the mix and his good nature would not allow them to remain and suffer. At this point Sandry was recognised from earlier in the day by several kobolds who had escaped the first battle.
A desperate, mad scramble to free the townsfolk ensued, as the hue and cry brought more and more kobolds and human raiders and cultists to their feet. Through skill, luck, quick thinking and sacrifice, the heroes managed to free all the townsfolk but not without a cost. Several of the adventurers were badly hurt and they only just managed to escape before being captured or killed. Xanhorn’s knee got remarkably better when the time to run was announced.
The trip back to Greenest was uneventful with the tired townfolk in awe and thanks. Governor Nighthill congratulated and thanked the adventurers and rewarded each of them with 250 gold pieces. The party returned the village items they found, to much praise.
Leosin revealed that once he had a couple of days to rest, he was heading to Elturel to see Onthar Frume, Felkin’s friend and mentor. Given the nature and extent of the heroes injuries he welcomed their accompaniment in the keep during mutual convalescence. (This would the adventurers to get back all their hit dice).
After two days rest, the heroes are at full health. Leosin confirmed that the Cult of the Dragon sect that had led the raids had differed to that of the usual Cult activity – it seemed intent on worshipping and furthering the power of living dragons, rather than dracoliches.
Leosin then asked his new friends:
After all you’ve done already for me personally and for the people of Greenest, I hate to ask anything more from you. But the need is great, and I dare to hope that you aid me one more time. I need you to return to the cultist’s camp. You know your way around it now. If the cultists are preparing to conduct another raid, or a large body of them marches away, or indeed anything substantial is carried in or out of that cave, I NEED to know. Spy on the camp for me, please. Oh, I don’t recommend being captured – they are awful hosts!
…and I can pay you 150 gold each for your trouble. Come see me at Elturel for your report and pay. If you have trouble finding me, just ask for Onthar Frume.