Hoard of the Dragon Queen

Greenest in Flames pt 3
The Old Tunnel, The Sally Port

Channeling her frustration into age, Bree slices her greatsword into the seething mass of vermin. Tiny shrieks accompany the gore as Bree wades in. As Luce smashes more of the rats, he is bitten by the disease-ridden creatures before flinging them off. Dimple, seeing an opportunity, then releases a slew of fire bolts, incinerating the final remnants of the swarms.

Finding a break in the action, Samwell gathers the injured members of the party to heal their wounds. As Dimple investigates the tunnel debris leading up to the exit grate, she sees a kobold outside. Still in combat-mode, she fires off more fire bolts at the small dragonkin, but it evades one, saving its life and running away to find reinforcements. Anticipating another fight, the heroes take positions in the tunnel, using it as a chokepoint to manage their attackers. Luce and Bree place themselves nearest the grate. Bree readies her greatsword while Luce sets his quarterstaff to keep distance between himself and the anticipated attackers. Sam and Dimple stage themselves further up the tunnel to use divine and arcane magics to support their comrades.

And then, the next wave arrives. A musclebound cultist’s final action before Bree’s blade nearly slashes him in half is to rip the rusted gate from its lock. Identifying the perceived larger threat, the remaining cultist and kobolds set onto Bree. Bree and Luce are able to dodge the attackers and are able to dole out some damage, but the ranged attacks from the rear make short work of the band of attackers before they make any significant headway into the tunnel.

As Bree is outside looting the bodies, she hears yet another band of antagonists. This time, though, they’ve brought a dragon with them, namely, an ambush drake. Knowing she was spotted, she rushes back into the tunnel. This time, the heroes set themselves a bit further back, everybody using ranged weapons or spells to keep the foes at bay.

As the first few couple kobolds enter the tunnel, Sam summons his abilities as a war priest and commands the lead kobold to hold. Confused, it freezes in place, dazed and uncertain it creates a temporary obstacle to its party. Luce shoots the next kobold down and Dimple drops the held lead.

Then comes the dragon. Snapping its jaws it advances as our heroes shoot from a slow retreating position. Well placed shots are able to kill the advancing beast, but in the meantime, our small vanguard is taking multiple and frequent damage from the stones the following kobolds are flinging back. Trading places with Bree and Luce, Sam takes the point position and for the first time tonight, feels the Tempus smile upon him as seven sling stones harmlessly sail past him.

Feeling how grim the situation is becoming, the party sends Dimple for reinforcements. Enraged by the death of their dragon, the cultists are ready to wet their scimitars with the blood of the defenders. Kobolds, cultists, and our heroes engage in at first appears to be the last fight for at least one of our heroes.

But then, Dimple returns. While she wasn’t able to find reinforcements, she did stop a page who was pushing a cart of healing supplies to Governor Nighthill’s soldiers. Using her charms, she was able to convince the young man to entrust her with all the healing potions she could carry. Finding Sam at the rearmost, she started with him and gave the final boost our defenders needed to rally one more time to finish off the remaining attackers in the tunnel. While performing triage on themselves, at long last some more of Nighthill’s soldiers arrive. After getting the scope of the situation, the soldiers set themselves in place to defend the broken the gate until an engineer can repair the lock.

After healing their wounds with a mixture of potions and Sam’s healing spells, the heroes make their way to the courtyard of the keep in order to get the status of the attack. While looking for a leader to give them an appraisal of the situation, Castellan Escobar races into the courtyard, sounding an alarm that the west wall sally port has been breached.

Rushing into the ready room containing the door, the defenders are confronted by a small group of kobolds led by a hooded figure. They also have an ambush drake with them. Now working together as a team, the party takes down the attackers with minimal damage, but they find the sally port door is heavily damaged. Sending a page to summon an engineer, the defenders stand guard. Before the door can be repaired, though, a group of attackers rush in from inside the keep, trying to escape back out.

Once again, our defenders are together in strategy and execution. Kobold and cultist blood flows before the last scimitar drops from its owner’s villainous hand. Sam and Bree both feel the bite of cultist steel, but Luce is able to dodge all attacks pitted against him. Dimple delivers her fire bolts while standing guard over the engineer dwarf and soon the door is once again secure.

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Greenest in Flames pt 2
Into the Old Tunnel

After receiving some healing from the city’s clerics, the heroes were approached by Governer Nighthill and Castellan Escobar.

According to Nighthill, “The main priority right now is to get our people into the keep where we can best defend them.”

“To this,” adds Escobar, “we have a plan to help that. We have an old tunnel. It was built to act as a secret means to collect water in the event we were ever under siege. If we can clear the tunnel and the area around it, we should be able to utilize it as an additional sally port to rescue our townspeople. Here is the key to the doors on either side of the tunnel.”

A page led our heroes to a cellar where the tunnel entrance was located. After shuffling barrels and crates around,the heroes formed up in attack positions on either side of the door while Dimple deftly manipulated the key using her Mage Hand spell and opened the door. Despite their readiness, the tunnel seeemed dark, dank, disused, and overall, quiet. Due to his, well, humanness, Samwell was the only member hindered by a lack of darkvision, but to assist his sight and add to his mystique, Dimple placed a minor spell on Samwell’s sword, thus making his sword a source of light for him.

Despite numerous turns in the tunnel and occasional detritus, the way seemed clear of danger until the final approach to the outer gate. Prior flooding had left piles of backwash in the tunnel where Luce detected a nest of rats. Using her innate gnomish ability to talk to the rodents, but the outside commotion and the disturbance of their nest had the rats past the point of communication and they began to swarm on Luce and Dimple, who had taken point. Dimple sent a fire bolt over the swarm and out the gate while Luce swung his quarterstaff, making a pulp of a number of the small bodies. Calling upon Tempus, Samwell attempted to burn the vermin away with divine light, but they dodged his attack. Bree’s greatsword could only push them back, but failed to cut into the shifting bodies. Just as things were looking discouraging, another pile of debris split open and another nest joined with the first. While Bree was able to fend them off, Luce felt the bite of the tiny mouths.

Samwell was finally able to burn away most of the remainder of the first nest with the few spares joining up with the second. And then, Bree set her feet to really start swinging…

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Greenest in Flames pt. 1
The Approach, Seek the Keep, and Prisoners

After helping to purge an dwarven stronghold of kobold invaders led by a young white dragon, the young half-orc barbarian Bree was reunited with Samwell Basqkat, a human cleric from her old regiment. Hiring on as extra security for a merchant caravan leaving Nashkel for Greenest, they befriended fellow explorers Ella “Dimple” Dorset, a forest gnome sorcerer, and Luce, a wood elf monk. Traveling for days on the road, the four soon began to trust each other, with the only friction coming from the racial animosity between Bree and Luce. Despite her social awkwardness, or maybe because of it, Dimple proved to be the unifying member of the group.

Cresting the final rise before the descent of the final few miles to Greenest, they could hear the unmistakable roar of a dragon and see light and smoke coming from their destination. Greenrest was being attacked.

Summoning his speed, Luce dashed ahead of the group, concern for his friend, Leosin Erlanthar, in his mind. On closer approach to Greenest, he could see the town was under attack by kobolds and mercenaries who appeared to be led by figures in robes. Searching some houses on the outskirts that were, so far, untouched by the harriers, Luce found a married couple, Ness and Elsbeth Esa, cowering in fear who told him that the attack was sudden. There had been rumors of bandits in the hills, but until now, the townsfolk had felt safe in their homes. Asking about his friend, Luce found that even though they didn’t know which house he lived in, the Esas knew of him and did know Leosin lived in town. By the time Luce had gotten what information he could, his friends had arrived and it was time to see if they could rescue Leosin.

Determining the bridge leading into Greenrest and the cover provided by trees would make a good ambush point, the party decided to ambush a harrier for interrogation. While waiting for their chance, they watched a family dash out into the street from around a house, chased by eight kobolds. A bloodied-but-determined mother, Linan Swift, defending her family with a broken spear while her well-injured husband, Cuth, did his best to move his children to safety. As the two children stumbled to the ground, Cuth covered them while Linan set herself against the dragonkin.

As they prepared a final menace to the family, an arrow from Luce’s longbow took down one of the kobolds. Bree sent another to the outer planes with a crossbow bolt, followed by another dead kobold compliments of Samwell’s crossbow. After Dimple grossly injured one more kobold with a fire bolt spell, the adventurers began their charge over the river to defend the family. Between the slashes of Bree and Samwell’s greatswords, Luce’s deadly monk’s fists, and the magic bolts of fire flung by the bloodthirsty gnome, the attackers soon dropped.

Despite encouragement to flee to the woods, Linan insisted that the safest place would be the town keep, where the townspeople were fleeing to for the enforced defense. Collecting the Esas, the adventurers would provide defense for their new charges.

Along the way, a lone kobold, full of himself with the panic of the townspeople, decided he would make easy work of the group. Bree deftly captured him in her fighting net and Samwell delivered a knock-out punch with the intent to interrogate the small beast once the families were safe.

Further down the street, the heroes were soon confronted by another group of harriers. This time, it was a harder fight against two more dagger-wielding kobolds and the bloodied scimitars of robed cultists. Making a perfect shot with his crossbow, Samwell blasted through the neck of one kobold and injured the one behind it before the melee between the two groups began. Once again, Bree and Samwell worked in tandem, going toe-to-toe with the attackers, their greatwords clashing against kobold daggers and cultist scimitars. This time, the two felt the steel of the kobold daggers biting into their flesh, but they gave far worse than they took. After dispatching a dragonkin, Luce, enhancing his skill with his Ring of Jumping, leaped over the attackers, flanking them and delivering a killing flurry of blows to a cultist. When the fighting was done, four more attackers has been sent to their gods and one cultist had been taken as an additional prisoner.

Finally reaching the main gates to the keep, the heroes found their path was blocked by yet five more kobolds, a winged kobold, and two more cultists. In one shot, Luce took the winged dragonkin down, and from there it was short work dispatching the rest. Fortunately, for the moment, the blue dragon was over the eastern part of the town, so the way, for now, was clear.

Finding the gate clear of attackers, defenders within the keep opened the doors to welcome the heroes and their charges in to safety.

With knowledge of prisoners to interrogate, Governor Tarbaw Nighthill and Castellan Escobert the Red came down from their watch on the parapet to meet the heroes. After providing healing to the wounded barbarian and cleric, Escobert and Dimple set into extracting answers out of the prisoners. While the kobold only can babble about working for the Cult of the Dragon for the “dragon lady,” they’re doing it mainly for the treasures held by the town. Taking a little more “coaxing,” the cultist reveals he is a member of the Cult of the Dragon and they are taking loot “for the great hoard that will usher in the reign of the Queen of Dragons.” He also reveals that the cult has a clutch of dragon eggs at their camp, but the heroes don’t have a chance against Frulam Mondath and her guards.

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