Governor Nighthill, the Governor of Greenest, has offered us 250gp each to hunt down the cultists. A young woman named Natali will be joining us to find her colleague, Leosin, who they think was taken by the bad guys. They found a choker and broken staff belonging to Leosin.
Another young man from town, Stor, has also insisted that he join us to help save his town. I’ll have to watch him, he seems a shady character, and may to be a source of chaos.
After following the incredibly obvious trail for a few hours, we had moved into a hilly country and saw a column of smoke in the distance. There was a campsite in a hollow, which Stor snuck up to and saw 4 people and 8 kobolds arguing over how to cook their looted chickens. Stor brought back intelligence about what they were doing, and we discussed what to do about them. We argued, I mean discussed, our plan, and in the end, decided to go around them and leave them in our dust.
As we walked through a defile, we heard the telltale sound of stones falling down from the ridge above us. The boulders that followed seriously harmed many of my companions, so I needed to defend their lives. 6 human figures dressed in rags wielding scimitars followed the boulders down to finish us off, and I was only able to engage three of them, the rest going around me to attack my companions. After Connor and Natali took one of the scimitar-wielding zealots down with bow and dart, two figures holding what may have been (un)holy symbols rose on the top of the ridge and called lightning down on Natali and Stor. Natali sidestepped the damage, while Stor took a lightning bolt to the face. Another man with a spear rose up and threw the spear at me, I easily blocked that attack, and the attacks of three scimitar-wielding men. Natali ran over to the man attacking Connor and slapped at him ineffectually, pulling a muscle. I cut down one of the scimitar-wielding maniacs, but hit a rock with my second attack, damaging my sword. Stor went down under the onslaught of the maniac’s scimitar. He got better.
We defeated the bad guys, capturing one of the scimitar-wielding bad-guys, and Connor and Natali chased down the badly wounded spear-wielding guard, wrestled him to the ground, and tied him up.
After some rather sad, comical attempts to interview our prisoners, we decided to tie them to a tree a ways off the main road so that we could pick them up on the way back to Greenest.
We came upon a box canyon ahead, and heard what sounded like a large group of people, including the bark of Kobolds and speech of humans. They had guard towers, huts, and a couple of hundred people. Natali wouldn’t just leave to go back to town to report, so we decided to watch the camp for a while to figure out what’s what. We discerned that there was a large tent at the back of the canyon with important-looking people going in and out, including the blue half-dragon that I fought yesterday outside the keep at Greenest.
We decided to enter the camp as “random group of mercenaries.” We walked right into camp, mingled with some mercenaries at a campfire, and found out that the prisoners are kept near the back of the canyon, many of them tied to posts for the night, and the rest kept in a tent. The prisoners/slaves are dying faster than anticipated, and the mercenaries were griping about having to do manual labor. They also talked about “the hatchlings” in a cave.
We went to the area where the prisoners were kept, and found 8 prisoners tied to posts, three tents nearby were filled with cultists worshiping Tiamet and mercenaries hanging around and sleeping. Suddenly, there was a commotion near the gate of the camp as we were looking at the prisoners and making a plan. Connor and Stor were climbing to the top of the canyon to provide covering fire and secure ropes for the prisoners. Connor slipped and fell down the slope, attracting the attention of the cultists who were coming out to see what the commotion was at the gate. The cultists immediately grabbed Connor after he told an ineffectual lie about being drunk. I walked up, dazzling them with a bullshit story about being sent to check on them. I ordered them to tie Connor up and I took him into custody, ordering them to continue patrolling.
As I took Connor off toward the command tent to find a quiet place to cut him loose, I noticed a lone post with a prisoner tied to it. We investigated it, and found that it was Leosin. As he and Natali talked (“leave me be” “no, I must save you” etc) Connor laid a healing on Leosin. We cut Leosin’s bindings, but he stayed at the post to pretend to be tied up while we went to find someone to take his place so that the guards wouldn’t notice he was missing. We found the four cultists that I’d buffaloed earlier patrolling the base of the ridge. We killed them, but they managed to call for help. Some guards came out of a nearby hut, and I sent them to help with the “drunk” guys over there. We attacked them, but one of them shimmered and changed into an elf. We defeated the bad guys, including the shape-shifting elf. The commotion in camp continued to spread, and things were getting a little out of hand. Leosin suddenly ran in from the post, scooped the unconscious elf up off the ground, and started climbing the rope that Stor lowered from the ridge above.
I defended the bottom of the rope as everyone else climbed. Then I went up the rope, leaving three guys at the bottom and just ahead of a mob of two dozen more moving in on us. The strange elf that Leosin had saved and managed to revive at the top of the ridge tried to pull the rope up the cliff to help me, but managed to trip, fall over the cliff, and knock himself out in front of two dozen guards, cultists, and assorted kobolds. There was no way for us to save this stranger who attacked us, then tried to help us. As sling stones started clattering around us, we ran for Greenest.
Things we learned from Leosin over the course of the morning while resting and eating to regain our strength:
Cult of the dragon has traditionally been obsessed with bringing dead dragons back to life as undead, but now they’ve changed to bringing glory to Tiamet
They’ve been collecting treasure from all over (but we learned that mercenaries aren’t getting a cut)
The leader is Resmer, a half-black dragon, but he’s never seen
Langadosora is the half-blue dragon that I fought at Greenest
Inside the cave is the “Nursery” where all of the plunder is being gathered and the dragon hatchlings are being raised
Mordaxis is the shape-shifting elf, and he was apparently a friend of Leosin. Leosin seems to have a lot of friends – some of them may not be completely inept.
Meanwhile, back at the cultist camp, Mordaxis (the shape-shifting elf) was severely interrogated, and spilled his guts to Langadosora, but since he didn’t know anything, he didn’t have anything to give away. After the interrogation, Mordaxis managed to convince some of his guards that he’d converted to Dragon worship, and used the opportunity to skedaddle back to Greenest. He showed up at about mid-day to find the everyone resting. He seems a shifty fellow – I’ll need to keep an eye on him as well.
Submitted by Lorea Jones, Defender of Law