Tyranny of Dragons

Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Session 3
Episode 2 - Raider's Camp

After policing the bodies and taking stock of their situation, our heroes tie up and wakened the lone surviving cultist. Tobin used an enchantment to gain the cultist’s trust and questioned him. They learned there was a rearguard watching the trail and the camp was set up in a box canyon. The cultist begged for his life, promising to flee to Baldur’s Gate if he was released, but Broken Sky broke the man’s neck, ensure no betrayal would occur.

It was mid-day by the time they set off after the rear guard. Our heroes caught up to them as they were laying in wait in an area where two overhangs surrounded the trail made by the main group of raiders. Broken Sky sneaked through the underbrush to discover groups on both sides of the trail were alert and had riders ready to send to the main camp. When he returned to the group, they discussed the situation and decided to bypass the ambush by swinging around them overland.

A wooden guard tower had been erected at the mouth of the box canyon where the raiders’ camp was located. Another tower was on one of the nearby ledges in the canyon. The guards, obviously not expecting trouble, waved our heroes past after a cursory inspection. Various groups of cultists wearing robes of red, blue, and black were mingling with hunters, mercenaries, and kobolds and all were celebrating the looting of Greenest.

Our heroes spent the evening mingling with the cultists, trying to learn the layout of the camp and their plans. They learned one of the caves in the box canyon was being used as a nursery of sorts, though for what, no one would or could say. They also learned not all of the so-called cultists were as fervently dedicated as others and there was dissension amongst the different factions. They located the prisoners and Master Leosin, and despite the elder monk’s protests that we was too weak and injured to be worth rescuing, worked out a plan.

They utilized Zinniana’s stealthy and skills at trickery to arrange a distraction near the cave they thought most likely was the nursery while the others set a fire to one of the many tents on the opposite side of the camp from the prisoners. When the camp responded to the twin threats, our heroes would make their move and turn loose the prisoners and lead them out of the camp.

The plan worked well enough and they got away with information, the prisoners, and the bit of treasure they’d take back from the kobolds with the scouting party. Greenest, of course, was overjoyed to see their citizens returned. After a day of recover, Master Leosin was well-enough to share what he learned about the camp and the cultists. He bade them to return to the camp; something big was going to happen and they needed to know what and when it would occur. So, our heroes prepared themselves to return to the lion’s den once more….

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Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Session 2
Episode 1/Episode 2 - Greenest in Flames/Raiders' Camp

Once they were “safe” inside the temple of Chauntea, our heroes took a moment to take stock of the situation. The priest and acolytes were shaken, but unharmed. The priest, Eadyan Falconmoon offered healing to the heroes who saved him, but reminded them there was still a third group attempting to burn their way through the Sanctuary’s back door. After a quick planning session, the heroes execute their plan, then the attacking cultists and kobolds.

After eliminating the danger to the Sanctuary, they led Eadyan and his acolytes back to the keep. There, they were met by the Castellan who told them of the governor’s next cunning plan. The guards with families would usher their loved ones to safety through the old tunnel while the heroes and twenty volunteers would distract the dragon from the battlements. The Castellan was not convinced of the dragon’s resolve to destroy the town since it had been circling for hours now and Greenest was still standing.

The heroes agreed to lead the keep’s defenders in attacking the dragon. Tobin volunteered to try to talk to the beast, since he spoke Draconic. Meanwhile, Broken Sky had the remaining guards hide in the nearby towers and prepare to attack the dragon from afar through the arrow slits. He enticed it with promises of tribute and the dragon landed on the battlements to hear this human wearing cultist robes sing praises to him. While Tobin distracted the dragon, the rest of the heroes attacked! While Veya took a swipe from the dragon’s claws, she managed to land a mighty blow on its snout with her great axe. The beast dismounted the tower and flew away under a hail of arrows, abandoning the cultists looting the town.

When they returned to the ground floor of the keep, they were greeted with fewer cheers than they expected and some grim news: cultists were attempting to set fire to the mill. A proverb about “no rest for the wicked” came to mind (along with “no good deed goes unpunished”). Without the mill, Greenest would have no way of grinding grain for flour and it would severely damage their ability to make it through the next winter. The heroes once again set out.

At the mill, they saw some cultists setting fires outside and dealt with them, but they were either the most incompetent fire builders ever, or they weren’t really trying to set fire to the mill. Broken Sky snuck into the mill and spied multiple cultists lying in wait. He reported to his companions what he found and Zinnianna suggested talking to the mice and rats in the mill to swarm and distract the cultists so the could sneak attack them. As they were preparing to launch their attack, a group of guards from the keep caught up to them. They attacked the mill en masse and made short work of the cultists. They left the guards to mop of and returned to the keep.

Naturally, there was no time for rest. The heroes and Castellan were alerted to something happening outside. A sizable force of kobolds formed a ring around the keep entrance, and from their ranks strode an armored, half-dragon warrior. “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 for 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.”

Veya was still suffering from grievous wounds received earlier in the evening. Broken Sky volunteered to face the half-dragon. As he prepared himself, the creature paced in front of his prisoners. When the monk strode forth to meet him, the half-dragon swung his mighty blade, but missed Broken Sky. The monk responded with a furious attack that staggered the creature and knocked him back. The half-dragon snarled and unleashed his breath weapon. The bolt of lightning grazed Broken Sky, knocking the elf to the ground. Darkness took him. The half-dragon stood over him and sneered. He spit on the elf and threw his sword to the ground. “Is there no one here worthy to face me?”

He turned away in disgust and walked away from the elf’s smoldering body, directing the kobolds to release the prisoners. The kobolds follows him by rank, and the raiders left Greenest. Healers rushed out with the rest of the heroes and to their relief, found Broken Sky only mostly dead. After resting for most of the morning, the heroes bound their wounds and made ready to tackle their next task.

The Governor approached them and asked them to track the raiders. He felt they might be able to recover more intelligence about their purpose and perhaps, some of the stolen loot. On their way out of town, the heroes were met by Nesim Waladra, a disciple of a monk called Master Leosin. Master Leosin, who was known to Broken Sky, went missing in the night after pursuing a group of the cultists. He hoped the heroes could look for his Master while they were tracking the cultists. The followed the trail to a small camp where some cultists and kobolds were arguing over lunch.

The battle was brief. Without their leaders, the kobolds and cultists did not work well together and were divided and conquered with judicious use of spells and strategy. As the heroes took stock of their situation when the battle was over, the saw the trail left by the main group, leading further into the hills…
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Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Session 1
Episode 1 - Greenest in Flames

Our happy band of heroes were returning to Greenest, when the little town they remembered was not the same as when they left. Several buildings appeared to be on fire, there was chaos in the streets, and a dragon circling the keep. Concern for those they knew in Greenest overrode their instinct to stay away from an attacking dragon and they ran down the hill toward town.

Looters ran unabated in the streets. A man leading his family was set upon by a gang of kobolds. They leapt upon him, tearing out his throat as his wife tried to fight them off and their children looked on. Our heroes charged into the fray, slaying the kobolds, albeit too late to save the man. They learned from the woman that the residents were trying to make their way to the keep for safety. Despite a dragon attack the battlements, the keep was a safer location than the houses that were currently being looted. They made their way toward the keep, rescuing a few other residents of the town along the way.

They arrived at the keep just in time. The guards shut and barred the gates as cultists and kobolds surrounded them. Once inside, they met the Governor. Clearly rattled, he was somewhat incoherent and irrational. Nevertheless, he suggested there might be an alternate escape route: an abandoned waste water tunnel that lead down to the creek. It hadn’t been used in years, but might let them move in and out unseen by their attackers. The governor asked them to try to capture a cultist who could tell them what was going on.

The tunnel was undiscovered by the attacking looters. Zinniana used her gnomish talent for communicating with small animals to dissuade the rats that were in residence from attacking and was able to pick the rusty lock at the gate after Flint broken open an odd trinket filled with oil he’d had for years. Once outside, they dealt with a group of kobold and cultist scouts on the creek’s banks, taking them by surprise. They then entered the town and looked for a group of looters. Tobin and Veya disguised themselves using robes they’d looted from a group of cultists they’d dispatched earlier. They were able to discover that the cultists were members of the Cult of the Dragon and were looting the town to gather a hoard for the Queen of the Dragons: Tiamat. They were unable to capture anyone, however, but they did rescue some more townsfolk who’d been barricaded in their root cellars.

When they returned to the keep, the Governor asked them to do something about the dragon, much to their consternation. Tobin made an attempt to go to the battlements, but was unable to go out there. Crippled by dragonfear, he confirmed that it was, indeed, a real dragon and not some sort of illusion. The rest of them decided the keep’s guards should handle the dragon and they confronted the Governor about his cowardice. He was still shaken and irrational, but one bit of useful information was gleaned: the Sanctuary, the temple of Chauntea was now under attack by the cultists.

Our heroes exited the keep via the tunnel and made their way to the Sanctuary. The temple was under siege by groups of cultists and kobolds at the front and back doors, and a patrol of the same walked the grounds with two ambush drakes. They avoided the patrol and ambushed the cultists attempting to batter down the front door. Naturally, this alerted the patrol. The patrolling force arrived just as the last of the cultists who were trying to break in fell. It was a difficult combat, but our heroes prevailed at last, though not without wounds. The announced themselves to the people barricaded inside the temple and received some healing from the priest.

As they caught their breath and assessed their wounds, they knew they had two tasks remaining: deal with the third group attempt to set fire to the back door of the Sanctuary and get the priests and townsfolk to the keep…

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