-== The Party ==-
Azujhan Yarjrev – Dragonborn Monk
Edward Grusk – Half-Orc Barbarian
Elyria Wolfsbane – Wood Elf Ranger
Sven Evenhand – Half Elf Rogue
Lucas Higgs – Half-Elf Bard

-== The Story ==-
After taking care of the patrolling party we opted to visit the Mill instead of heading back right away, thinking that even if we rescued the people at the temple, losing the Mill would mean losing the town. Also we wanted to give Castellan some much needed intel if possible. Before heading off we decided to clear out the tunnel of the rats. To do so we tossed a couple of the kobolds bodies into the tunnel and waited for the rats to begin feeding on them. Once they did we threw cloaks and tunics over them and pushed the bodies out into the river.

Ugly business but ultimately a safer move. As we prepared to move out Lucas came stumbling through the tunnel having finally arrived in town and made his way to the keep. Castellan had pointed him in the direction of the tunnels and told him we had been headed there.

Tarien chose to head back to the keep as he had suffered injuries in the fight and inform Castellan and the Governor that the tunnel was clear for the scouts.

We set off for the Mill keeping just inside the tree line as much as possible to avoid accidentally running into any possible scouting parties. There were none and we made it to the Mill without incident. Once there Sven and Elyria left the rest of us behind and went to scout around to get a better idea of the situation and the forces surrounding the structure.

After watching a while Elyria realized that while the group appeared to be trying to set fire to the Mill, they weren’t trying very hard. When she and Sven returned they explained that the efforts seems lack-luster, the kindling wasn’t really close to the building, the groups kept trying to start a fire with rocks while holding lit torches, etc. Elyria said it felt wrong. Sven reported that there were two guards in the front and as well as an Acolyte, cultist and a few kobolds in the rear (trying to start the fire). We decided to eliminate those gathered around the building since the force was small.

Sven and Elyria positioned themselves to take out the front guards via long bow, timed to happen when Lucas began casting his bardic spells at the Acolyte. The fight started well, however I, again being the only true melee fighter, had to rush across the river and was knocked unconscious very quickly.

According to what the others told me afterwards they managed to capture the Cultist while quickly dispatching the rest. They guarded the building, inspecting it from time to time until the troops from Castellan arrived. They came to the conclusion that the arrangement of the original guards out front, along with the half-hearted attempts at the fire, seemed to indicate they might be laying a trap. And since no other troops were located in the nearby woods they decided to play safe and not enter the building, warning the newly arrived troops of the same.

We returned to the keep where I was revived as they relayed all this information to the Governor. While I recovered we again talked to Nighthill about trying to talk to the dragon in an effort to drive him off. An effort that failed. He saw right through our attempts to deceive him of our loyalty and proceeded to attack. Elyria and I quickly clamored down the stairwell and made it our of the tower just as the dragon spewed lightening. Thankfully he opted not to attack us any further and flew away, and we managed to keep Sven form firing off the trebuchets that he had prepped. While the overall plan was a failure in that we didn’t get the dragon to leave for good, he also didn’t kill anyone. So small victory there.

After that Castellan reminded us of the temple and the people that were supposedly trapped there. So we once again set off for the tunnel, making our way again along the riverbank just in side the tree line. Once there we were able to make our way right up to the wall surrounding the compound without resistance or seeing any baddies. Again Sven and Elyria scouted the area, making a full circuit around the wall.

Turned out there was a group in front who seemingly had just brought in a battering ram to knock down the front door, a group that included a Dragonclaw. In addition there was a small group of seemingly rambunctious kobolds patrolling just around the building itself.

Finally a smaller group comprising kobolds and a couple cultists were in the rear of the building attempting to set fire to it. This time the efforts seemed real and coordinated.

After some discussion we decided to take out the rear group just after the patrolling group passed by. According to our timing we had about 6 minutes to take them out and get those trapped inside, out. The fight took longer than we had hoped which put us in a dilemma, now we didn’t have enough time to get the citizens to safety.

After a quick discussion a couple of us ran outside and pretended to be attempting to start the fire. When the patrol came around they became suspicious of the fact there were no kobolds and began to question us. A few quick and clever comments by Elyria managed to convince them I was the cause of the delay and that the others had been sent off to fix my blunder. It worked well enough, although I don’t think it would have been successful a second time so we quickly got the people out of the building and over the wall before the patrol came around again.

Would have been interesting to see the face of the Dragonclaw when he realized that the temple was empty.

We knew the dragon was returning to the Keep about every two hours. We got the people to safety inside the fortifications with about an hour left until he was suppose to arrive again. After seeing that everyone was inside and okay we decided to split up and lay in wait along the dragons presumed flight path. I grabbed a short bow from the armory rack so that I’d have a ranged weapon, and a couple of us hide inside the tree off to the side of the flight path covered in grasses and leaves. Other such as Sven and Elyria hide behind buildings farther along. The plan was to have someone inside the castle signal us and we all attack the dragon from different directions, hoping to do enough damage to drive him off while at the same time giving how too many targets to retaliate against.

The plan worked and he turned around and flew off without any further attack. We made our way back to the Keep just as the sun began to rise. As it did so kobolds and Cultists and Acolytes began to stream out of the city. The siege was, inexplicably, over.

The people within the Keep began to celebrate when a voice boomed out from the town, “Defenders of Greenest! This has been a successful night and I feel generous.”

We made our way to the top of the parapets and looked out towards the voice to see a tall dragon like creature covered in blue scales, which Elyria recognized the creature as a half-dragon, making it’s way towards the keep. It was flanked on both sides by kobolds wrapped in cloaks.

It stopped about a hundred yards from the Keep and looked everyone over. The kobolds on the left prodded forward a woman and two small children. One of the soldiers on the wall recognized them, as did Edward.

‘You see, I no longer have need of prisoners. I am willing to trade them back to you. All you have to do is send out your best warrior to fight me!” boomed the half-dragon.

The soldier, shakily, made his way to the weapons on the far wall and began grabbing anything he could carry. Nighthill, who was standing next to us turned to Sven and said, “My friends, you have demonstrated your abilities and I can not ask you to face this creature, but any of you will have a better chance than that poor soldier.”

We all had already agreed to face the creature, just needed to decide who. We ultimately decide to draw lots. A draw that I won, or lost depending on your point of view. A draw I might have rigged.

I took only my staff and made my way down the stairs towards the main gate. As soon as I stepped out outside of the Keep the kobolds let the children free, keeping on the woman at spear point.

The fight didn’t last long and I didn’t fair well. He dodge my staff and follow-up, I however wasn’t fast enough. He slashed at me with his sword twice. Enough to put me on the ground. He followed up by impaling me with his spear. An act with killed me. So I was told.

Afterward he kept his word and released the woman and left without another word. I was carried, once again, into the Keep where the towns healers spent the better part of the day, and most of their resources to bring me back to life. And act I will be forever indebted to them for.