Against the Dragon Queen: Episode 1: Welcome to Greenest
About a day out of Greenest, on the way to Durlag’s Tower, was a way inn called the Sunken King, which was built on the ruins of an old stone fort. In this historied shelter against the savages of the Sword Coast our adventure begins.
Finn, a bard of no repute, had arrived at the Inn on his way to Greenest, a modest town in the pastoral lands of The Greenfields (see attached map). Having narrowly escaped two attacks thus far, he was eager to procure a bit of safety for the remaining leg of his journey. He had little in the way of money, so he did his best to convince people with a story of dragons and a cult that worshipped them. This well known and often dismissed conspiracy theory did more to turn away escorts than acquire them but there were a few who had little better to do and wanted to see if the conspiracy theory was real.
Bendrin, a surly Dwarven Barbarian drank until he believed the story. Varo, a dark elf hidden in the shadows, took interest from the first mention of the words “Dragon” and “payment”. Antony, the halfling Ranger, had just come from Greenest and had met some nice people there so he was willing to show the way. Gggrrr was the last to join. A wild, half-elven Druid who sensed a new pack forming, just slid in alongside the group, without saying a word, as soon as they took to the road the following day.
The day was uneventful, but as they neared Greenest at dusk, they saw the town ablaze. A large dragon covered in iridescent blue scales flew over the town and raked it with bolts of lightning that came from its mouth, while humanoids conducted the dirty business of sacking the town. Finn hastily paid everyone what he promised and ran towards the town. The rest followed immediately.
At the edge of town they came to a family set upon by Kobolds and Humans (Finn later explained that these were the Dragon Cultists that he had told them about at the Sunken King). The Kobolds were not very strong singly, but much tougher when working together. The group beat them but only barely, and then joined with the saved family and headed to the safety of the town’s keep.
On the way, they dispersed two more groups of cultists who were looting and pillaging the town and its people. Badly wounded and out of healing the group and the accumulated villagers limped into the keep just as the doors were closing.
In the Keep the group met those in charge; Governor Nighthill and his Captain of the Guard, Escobert. They helped the group get back on their feet as much as possible, before pressing them into service.
By the light of a burning town, they all stood on the keep’s parapets and the Governor showed them the town church where he believed some of the townspeople to be hiding. He told the group about a secret tunnel that led out of the castle, and begged them to help the town.
Clearing the ancient tunnel of vermin, they arrived at the hidden exit. Unfortunately the gate was so seldom used that the key broke off in the lock. Not a problem for Bendrin who used his mighty strength to rip the doors of the gate apart.
Emerging from the tunnel, the group decided to split up and have those that could see best in the night, Finn and Varo scout ahead. This proved to be an awful mistake as a group of cultist was lying in wait for them. With lethal accuracy, 3 kobolds simultaneously attacked Finn with their slings and felled him with their sharpened stones.
The battle upon them, the rest of the group rushed Finn and Varo’s aid. The resulting melee was viscous, with Varo being knocked out as well. When the situation seemed at it’s worst, an arrow shot out from the darkness and impaled a cultist. Then another and another. This allowed the remainder of the group to recover and defeat the cultists. As the fighting settled all the cultists were slain and Varo and Finn were down. Varo was able to be saved, but Finn’s throat and skull were crushed by the sling stones.
From the shadows came a half elven adolescent with a short bow and a dwarven cleric.
The young man, Leaf, and his friend, Gopher explained that they were inhabitants of the town and were doing the best to fight the pillagers, with limited success. They were trying to figure out a way to save the villagers in the church, when they heard the sounds in the tunnel and saw a group of raiders approaching. Gopher, one of the clerics of the temple, had escaped and gone for help when the marauders descended on the church.
No time to mourn the dead, the group, and their new found allies headed to the temple to see how they could help.
…that’s all for now. Look out for episode 002, where the newly formed group attempt to save the townspeople of Greenest!