After making sure the freed townsfolk at the mill can walk, the players escort them back to the Keep and enter via the hidden tunnel. Escobert and the Governor are very pleased with the players actions and tell them to get some food and rest. The players decide to take a long rest as they have exhausted their reserves during the nights adventures. This does mean that they are only going to be getting up around 10.00 – 11.00am in the morning.
The Next Day
Escobert tells the players that the Governor wants to see them and to go up to the parapets again as the governor is there with his advises and local business leaders surveying the damage to the town. The players arrive and can see the destruction wrought and then can also see that the raiders have withdrawn!
The Governor turns to the players and says ‘Look at the town; destroyed, but I am the people of Greenest are very grateful’. He continues and talks about not knowing why the raiders attacked. Cult of the Dragon Queen possibly involved – what can it all mean?? The cult has been inactive for so many years – why now? He also mumbles under his breath about ‘The Duchy has barely recovered from the last war’.
The Governor continues and adds that he has been in communication with Baron Hawthorne and has been advised to get the players to do some important and valuable investigation. He says that the raiders left that way (and points to the south-west) and further in the distance is the Werewood. The Governor gives the players the carrot – the Baron has authorised the governor to pay the players 250g each for any information the can find out on the raiders, where their camp is and why Greenest and other outlying homestead and villages have been attacked. Who their leader is? Recovering any valuables is of secondary concern to rescuing any townspeople that the been taken prisoner by the raiders.
There are many questions that need answering and the Governor seems to be speaking more to himself than the players as he says ’What motivated the attack? Is there something here of value I do not know about? Greenest is an important hub for storing and transporting food throughout the duchy but what else was their reason for attacking? After this he tells the players to go and get whatever stores and supplies they need and head out after the raiders and get some answers!
Just before leaving the Keep the players are approached by a young man that introduces himself as Nesim Waladra, an injured Monk. He explains that he and his companions along with his Master tried to reach the Keep last night during the attack but he got separated from his Master, Leosin Erlanthar. He is worried that the raiders have taken his Master prisoner. Please you have to find him! Nesim adds that Leosin has been studying these bandits \ or cultist for some time ever since something strange happened to him one night in Berdusk. Nesim is not sure what that ‘event’ was but ever since Leosin has wanted to learn more about ‘dragon cults’.
Nesim adds that they have been returning from Candlekeep where Leosin has been using the records from the great library for his research. He seemed excited about something and they were on their way back to Berdusk when the arrived at Greenest during the attack. The players agree that perhaps Leosin might have valuable information and they will keep and eye out for him during their investigation of the raiders.
Following the Trail
The players easily find which way the retreating raiders have gone as the grass has been trodden down underfoot. They also fine a number of beast footprints and can tell they are burdened down with goods and materials that have been taken from the town. After many hours the tracks eventually lead the players to the edge of the hilly area of the Werewoods. The tracks started to become harder to follow but it was still easy for the players to work out which way the raiders had gone.
At about and hour before dusk the players came upon a party of 4 humans and 8 kobolds. They seemed to be lost from the main group and had chosen a very bad place to make a fire and eat. The plan is to hit the kobolds first with the element of surprise and before the raiders know what is happening, five of their number are dead! The last of the kobolds fall as first Lothar, then Karathor and Joseph do the same to the human cultist. The battle is over in no time with many impressive killing blows.
Joseph says he will climb a small rise and see what he can spy around them just in case the battle has alerted others while the bodies are checked. One cultist is still alive and can be questioned. Karathor and Mojo question the cultist and they discover the following:-
- How many raiders? Many! But they eventually get some numbers but are not sure if they are accurate – 60-80 kobolds and 50-70 cultist
- Why were this group here? They were lost and camped.
- Who are the leaders of the cult? a human female Frulam is mentioned and the players have received information on her before. She lead the raid on the town. There is also a half-dragon (Dragonborn?) called Lang that is not to be trifled with for he serves the Dragon Queen.
- How many dragons are there? He has seen only one – Blue Dragon called Lennithon which is the same one that attacked the town.
- They are not the rear guard – he tries to bite his tongue but is stopped. Eventually he says to follow the trail (and he points) and about a mile (or more) and the rear guard is there. Look for where the path passes between rocky bluffs and they will be there.
- Where are the prisoners? 500 feet from the rear guard is the hidden camp but the overlook will stop you! The players are not sure what camp overlooks and protects. They also discover that there at approximately 10 humans at the rear guard location and they are proper guards! No Kobolds.
Shortly after this Karathor kills him (Crushes his windpipe) as he cannot provide them with any additional information. The plan currently is trying to get up onto the outcrop but how will depend on what the players find further on.
Loot! Found on the kobolds is a sack containing items stolen from a shrine back in Greenest. A set of pewter candle sticks and 3 silver serving dishes with the markings of Chauntea (Good God of Growth and Prosperity) on them. Joseph says they must be returned! The human cultist had only 28 silver pieces.
Meeting the Rear Guard
The players make their way along the path for about ¾ of a mile, the players spot the location mentioned during the interrogation. Even in the moonlight it is possible to see the two outcrops that appear to almost join in the middle above the path. They can also see a number of large boulders on either side of the path and as they watch they do see a shape move behind one of the boulders. Before moving closer the players discuss the significance of the boulders; can they be rolled down to block the passage or worse; used as a weapon.
The players continue on moving as silently as they can while looking for an alternative route and they manage to find a goat track that leads to the left of the path. With no other real option available they follow the track and finds that it winds around the area where the guards are stationed until the players find themselves behind and above the rear of the outcropings.
THE FOLLOWING IS STILL TO BE EDITED. BASED ON PHILS NOTES.
We try to draw them out with an illusion of a deer, unfortunately it seems they have orders. Looking at them we can see that they are wearing some type of weapons.
We Coup De Grace the 3 alseep from Mojo’s sleep spell. We then range attack the two at the first boulder and also the ones at the 2nd boulder.
The 2 men behind the shaded area appear. Lothar charges one of them and takes him out with his battle axe.
I dispatch the last one.
Bringing all the bodies into the secret base. We find a scroll – orders from Frelan – any small groups that follow – kill them. If larger force – drop boulders and send runners to let the main camp.
The prisoner lied – This was the rear guard – all dead. We know that a scout will appear in 1 hour (40mins now).
We are heading down the path to the main camp and considering setting an ambush for the runner so we can buy ourselves some time – to investigate the main force and see if we need to go back and get a larger force.
We reach a point where we can see the area. It’s on a plateau but inside a large crater with multiple levels. Two main camp areas – one where you come in and one further back. Lots of people in uniform, many are bedding down.
There are circular huts and tents everywhere. There are some sentries around but this area in front of us is the kobolds – who can see in the dark easily.
We haven’t been able to work out if the prisoners are here. We’ll have to investigate further.