On every other Friday night I and a group of friends get together to play D&D. Right now we are working out way through HotDQ (yes… hot DQ). This is that story

-== The Party ==-
Azujhan Yarjrev – Dragonborn Monk
Edward Grusk – Half-Orc Barbarian
Elyria Wolfsbane – Wood Elf Ranger
Sven Evenhand – Half Elf Rogue
Tairen Lairoth – Human Wizard

-== The Story ==-
We ended up leaving Lucas in Scornubel. Apparently he ate something that did not agree with him and thus he elected to stay behind and catch-up in Greenest.

The travel to Berdusk was uneventful and we were able to pick up a few supplies while there. The travel to Greenest started out the same, but ended on a very different note. As we crested a small hill we saw, off in the distance, towers of smoke. Edward became uneasy, though the rest of us didn’t understand why until we crested the next hill and saw Greenest in flames.

The town looked like a warzone. Small fires pocked the area and smoke drifted in every possible direction. And as if that wasn’t enough, a dragon circled over heard. From this distance we were unable to discern anything other than the fact it was attacking the city and it was large.

The drivers of the wagons wanted to stay out of the town so we untethered the three horses that were pulling the carts and made a dash for the town. As we approached we noticed shadows flitting back and forth in the town.

We dismounted and Sven took the time to secure the horses. The rest of us made our way through the shattered gate. As we made our way into town a family fell out of an alleyway, followed by a group of kobolds. The mother turned and stood against the kobolds while the father, who looked gravely injured, took the family deeper into the city.

In an effort to avoid further bloodshed I marked up to the closest kobold, grabbed him by the shoulder.

“What is the meaning of this,” I asked in draconic.

“We pillage, we kill!”

The other kobolds took up the chant, “Pillage, kill! Pillage,kill!”

“Quiet”, I shouted. “I am disappointed in you all. I will take the prisoners, you go on.”

“Go where?”

“Go… pillage.”

At this they started arguing among themselves, some of them apparently didn’t quite buy my story. Since I had attended several of the cult meetings in an attempt to infiltrate I gave them the sign for command and sent them along their way with orders to no longer kill. I might have over stepped then.

Edward recognized the woman as Linan Swift and explained that we had just arrived asked if she had seen his mother. She had not and after some discussion she explained that the town was being overrun and that everyone was going to the keep. Edward offered to help her get to the keep. Elyria ran back to get Sven and we carefully stole down the streets trying to avoid any further kobolds.

After several minutes we made it to an intersection of two streets. Tairen stumbled slightly as he made his way across the street just as a group of and cultists and guards rounded the corner of a building. Sven reacted by letting an arrow fly, alerting the group to our presence.

After a short scuffle which saw Sven get knocked unconscious and severl members taking the robes and vestments of the guards and cultists as disguises, we continued on to the keep, encountering only a single roaming patrol that we managed to defeat despite being one member down.

After Linan vouched for us the keep guards let us in with little fuss and directed us to governor Nighthill who stood on the keep parapets, bandaged and bloody from battle. After hearing of our efforts in town and bringing Linan to the Keep he gave us a quick run down of the situation and suggested that we locate and speak with Castellan Escobert. It turned out that things weren’t quite as bad as they seemed as the invaders had encircled the keep but had, to this point, made no attempts to attack and seemed to be more interested in looting. The real threat, at present, was to the townsfolk that didn’t make it into the keep and were trapped in various locations in town.

We found Castellan and found out that there were several majors issues that he needed our aid on. First, a group of kobolds and cultists had broken through one of the outer doors to the western sally port and were close to breaking through the inner gate. He asked if we could defend and support until a repair team arrived.

-== Sally Port ==-
When we arrived several kobolds were pounding against the portcullis. We quickly pulled the carts and barrels together in an attempt to funnel the attackers together. It was suggested that we open the portcullis to prevent them from destroying it. We agreed and Elyria made her way to the far end of the room to take advantage of her long bow. Edward, Sven, and Tarien all placed themselves around the barricade.

As the only one without an actual weapon I was assigned to opening and closing the gate. One we we set, I opened the gate and the creatures flooded in. The fight didn’t go well. Tarien went down and the rest of us didn’t far much better. Everyone but Elyria was injured but we managed to eliminate those that attacked. As we picked ourselves up we saw another group coming toward the sally port attempting to invade. We closed the portcullis and began rearranging the carts and barrels. Our last arrangement did almost nothing to stop or even slow down the incursion. By pushing a cart against the gate and another several feet back the hope was to both expose the attackers a bit more and slow them down. Hopefully if a couple tried to make their way forward and got taken down the others would think twice.

Though with kobolds it was anyones guess.

Sven then came up with the idea of throwing lit bottles of oil through the slits in the portcullis, attempting to drive off the group before they even got into the kill zone.

I set myself to the side and prepared to breath fire on any that actually made it in. After a few minutes of them dealing with flames we tossed in another couple flasks. Ultimately they decided it wasn’t worth the effort and fled. Shortly after the repair crew arrived and we moved on to our next task.

~== The Tunnel ==~
The other major task Castellan needed taken care of was a way for the Keeps scouts to get in and out unseen. There was a vast gap in the information coming in and no one knew how much of the town stood, where anyone was trapped, or if anyone else was even alive. He asked us if we could help clear and secure a route. When questioned he mentioned that his initial though was the old tunnel that ran underneath the keep and out to the river. There were two doors that were locked, a security door at this end, and a gate at the other. We would have to get through both and make sure no enemies were lurking around the exit.

He told me he had keys but wasn’t sure which belong to which door or even if they worked since no one had been down there in many years. With a page guiding us we made it below the keep and to the security door. It seemed to be solid metal and was most definitely locked. Sven managed to easily pick the lock and.

As we made our way down the tunnel we heard scuffling and scratching coming from several vents. After a few moments of listening we heard squeaking and realized it was rats. And quite a significant number of them. Enough to impede us. We headed back out of the tunnel to discuss the situation. After a lengthy debate Edward suggested stuffing rations into the grates and someone else suggest stuffing straw in after to block off the rats, at least temporarily.

We did and it worked, for a bit. It wasn’t enough to keep the rats from discovering us a second time and they poured into the tunnel. We all dashed quickly through and while Sven picked the lock of the second door, Elyria oiled the hinges to help silence them. We made it out before the rats regrouped.

Outside we made our way along the water a bit before spotting a patrol of cultists and kobold. We all hid in the bushes on the river bank watching them, trying to determine if this was the only group. It seemed to be so when they passed us we stealthily made our way across the river and crept up behind the group. I had suggested we take one prisoner but none survived the encounter.

Now we need to head back to the keep to inform Castellan that the way for the scouts is clear and figure out our next mission.

[To be continued…]