After driving off the huge blue dragon’s half-hearted lightning breath attacks the party formed a plan with input from Governor Tarbaw, Castellan Escobert, and Wisdom Ilestra. They’re goal was to use the old tunnel to sneak out of the keep and follow the trees and overgrowth near the river’s edge east to the Temple of Chauntea to rescue those townsfolk trapped inside and try to escort them to the keep. If they could they were also going to try and capture one of the cultists for Governor Tarbaw to interrogate.
Castellan Escobert gave them the keys to the gates at either end of the tunnel. The first opened easily but the tunnel was covered in dust, mold, cobwebs and rats. After a hundred feet or so they encountered a couple swarms of rats that were difficult to drive off with their conventional weapons before a few of the party were injured. The outer tunnel gate was more difficult to open but Seef was able to finagle it open after some initial difficulty. He also was quick to notice a search party of some raiders moving nearby along the riverbank heading west towards the Mill. The party opted to let them pass by without revealing the tunnel exit but they were prepared to attack if the tunnel itself was investigated. The raiders remained oblivious to their presence and moved on. The party wasted no more time leaving the tunnel and heading east reaching the Temple of Chauntea rather quickly without incident.
At the Temple they found several groups of raiders laying siege around the Temple. The first was at the front door with a makeshift battering ram and obviously under the command of a well-armored kobold with a dragon embossed shield who was issuing commands in Common much more clearly than any kobolds they’d encountered so far. A larger mob of cultists, kobolds and drakes was slowly circling the outside of the church throwing stones, yelling at those trapped inside and generally raising a ruckus that made it easy for the party to approach without being noticed. The mob took several minutes to get around the large temple even once. The final group was trying to start a fire at the back door of the temple but the billows of smoke and lack of flame was easy proof this wasn’t going well.
The party waited for the mob to pass the back of the temple and then, using robes they’d captured from cultist raiders earlier, played the part of raiders sent to take over the job of breaking into the back door since the current crew wasn’t doing a good job. The half dozen kobolds bought this story right away and immediately went off to find their immediate commander elsewhere in town. The remaining human cultists weren’t so easily convinced but the party managed to trick them into naming their commander and then Callahorn was able to use that name to convince them he was angry at their incompetence and that they were to report to him at once near the siege group at the front of the keep.
With them gone Katya was able to recite some teachings of Chauntea and convince those inside to open the door just as Seef was able to pick the lock. Inside they found Eadyan Falconmoon and several dozen townsfolk. They quickly closed and relocked the back door and came up with a plan as the battering blows against the front doors became more pronounced. Strengthening their resolve was a ritual blessing from Chauntea that Eadyan was able to perform using the holy implements he was most interested in protecting. The timbers of the doors and their frame started to splinter and crack as the ritual finished. Luckily the mob didn’t notice the raider group missing from the back door on their next pass around the back of the temple and several of the party members were able to shoot crossbow bolts and throw darts killing several of the kobolds on the battering ram which slowed down the effectiveness of their blows. The party then used church pews and bookcases to reinforce the front doors preventing the raiders from seeing inside effectively.
Over the next minute the kobold dragonshield barked at several kobolds in the mob to take up the ram while the party quickly ushered all the townsfolk out the back. The townsfolk all made it safely to the woods at the river edge but Katya’s armor and Callahorn’s urgent instructions to the townsfolk caught the attention of a few kobolds. One was sent to the front to inform the dragonshield but they party was able to quickly drop the remaining three with ranged weapons and slip into the woods before any other pursuit followed.
The party quickly scouted ahead of the frightened townsfolk to lead them to the old tunnel sewer gate and discovered another small group of raiders searching the riverbank area. This time the party was able to send Seef & Yumiondis silently around the group and ambush them, taking them out very easily. The townsfolk were then ushered through the old tunnel into the keep to safety. Tarbaw was thrilled at their return with so many townsfolk and even Ilestra apologized for her earlier behavior. She also provided them with five more of her healing potions, the last of her supplies.
After discussing the current situation with Tarbaw the party rather quickly went back out the old tunnel and made a much longer trek west to try and save the old mill and the town’s winter supply of flour. They encountered no groups of raiders this time as more of them seemed to be surrounding the keep, possibly to mount an offensive of some sort. At the old mill they saw a few kobolds with an ambush drake lighting rather ineffectual fires around the building. They were quickly dispatched and easily made their way inside the mill where they discovered the mill wheel slowing turning. That noise is what likely distracted them from noticing the single cultist and five guards waiting in ambush in the loft. The party was totally surprised by the volley of spears that struck several of them and the battle that followed was desperate at times. The cultist they dropped easily early on and knocked him out with plans to bring him back to Tarbaw for interrogation, but the guards proved much more resilient and several party members were knocked down. Thankfully Katya’s faith in Torm allowed her to hold firm and help others out with some of Ilestra’s healing potions. The last couple guards tried to flee but the party cut them down with a vengeance for their failed ambush attempt. As promised within 5-10 minutes a group of about 30 town militia arrived to properly defend the mill for the rest of the night and the party returned to the keep with their cultist prisoner in tow.
Though they didn’t get a name from the cultist before too long he was only too happy to laud the power of the Queen of Dragons and identify himself as a member of the Cult of the Dragon, no surprise to anyone at that point. They were interested in his ravings about collecting loot for the great hoard that will usher in Her reign. Tarbaw became very thoughtful but before any more could be learned they heard Castellan Escobert raising the alarm about a breach force attacking. Quickly heading up to the courtyard the party encountered a group that had managed to break through the sally port door and were trying to hold it until they could be reinforced. The wall defenders were busy with an attack on the main gate and few grapple hooks being thrown over the battlements. The small force was quickly dispatched and then their reinforcements were easy to cut down as they zealously barreled into the party in the tight confines of that tunnel. Unfortunately Content Not Found: crosby had not memorized mending magic this day but Katya had earlier thought to send for Tarbaw’s hedge mage who finally arrived and was able to make the necessary repairs.
It was shortly thereafter the entire siege force retreated and a hush fell over the town. Into that silence and out of the crowd of raiders an imposing half-dragon stepped boldly forward followed by his contingent of kobold guards. They held prisoner a human woman, a teenage boy and two younger children. “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 of 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.” He named himself Langdredosa Cyanwrath and laid out the terms of battle. With little hesitation Yumi exited the keep and strode out to champion the folk of Greenest. Langdredosa waved at his kobolds and the three children were released and ran to the safety of the keep. The battle was swift and Yumi managed to land a couple good blows and dodge the first few attacks from Langdedrosa, but the first blow took most of the fight out of him and the second dropped him entirely. True to his word Langdedrosa didn’t use his lightning breath and also let the woman flee to the keep at the end of the battle. He did kick Yumi harshly as he turned to his forces and bellowed something in Draconic (#) to the raider force as he brandished his greatsword high overhead. The kobolds started yelling wildly and soon all of the raiders were doing the same. The couple hundred strong force headed to their wagons laden with stolen wealth on the west edge of town and before long the sounds of crackling fires scattered all over town were all that could be heard in Greenest. In less than an hour the sun started to rise and the night was finally over.
(#) “Let’s go home boys!” :)