Hoard of the Dragon Queen

Greenest in Flames
Hoard of the Dragon Queen Chapter One, Part 1

The evening of 16 Mirtul, 1489

Arrival at Greenest

For the past several days, you have been traveling a road that winds lazily across the rolling grasslands of the Greenfields. Sundown is approaching when you top a rise and see the town of Greenest just a few short miles away. But instead of the pleasant, welcoming town you expected, you see columns of black smoke rising from burning buildings, running figures that are little more than dots at this distance. A dark, winged shape wheeling low over the keep that rises above the center of the town.

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Seeking the Keep

Without warning, five humans dash out from between two buildings on your right. A limping man and three young children race across the street into more shadows, and a woman carrying a round shield and a broken spear turns and faces back in the direction from which they came. Six kobolds stream out of the alley on the family’s heels and fan out around the woman, who looks determined to delay the creatures for as long as possible.

The Old Tunnel

A narrow tunnel runs from the cellar beneath the keep to the bank of the stream. The tunnel is wide enough to allow warriors to pass through it in single file. In the keep, the tunnel is sealed with a locked iron bound door, and the stream exit is covered with a locked iron grate made to look like a sewer outlet. The tunnel’s main function was as a secret means of collecting water from the stream during a siege, but it can double as a sally port.

Dragon Attack

An adult blue dragon accompanied this raid but is not an enthusiastic participant. Its Frightful Presence becomes less effective as the night wears on and defenders overcome their fear. Shortly before midnight, the dragon launches a final assault against the citadel. However, it is not keen on tangling with adventurers for the raiders’ benefit.

Save The Mill

“The guards have spotted a new threat. Raiders are trying to set fire to the town’s mill. If it burns, we’ll lose our stockpile of flour and we won’t be able to grind more for months. I’m trying to assemble enough defenders from here in the keep to defend it through the rest of the night, but that will take time. You’d do us a great service if you could get to the mill quickly and drive away the raiders before they can set it aflame. You’ll need to defend it until our force arrives to take over, but it shouldn’t be more than fifteen minutes behind you.” – Governor Nighthill

Prisoners

“ I’d give anything to know what we’re up against, and why. For that, we need prisoners. A commander, even a lowranking one, is best.” – Governor Nighthill

The Sally Port

The keep has a sally port along the west wall for counterattacking foes who bring a battering ram against the gates. During the night, raiders approached the old gate, forced it open, and rushed through. Escobert discovered them and raced into the courtyard to sound the alarm ahead of the infiltrators.

The Half-Dragon Champion

From the darkness, a creature strides into the dim light of the dying fires around the keep. Although it is shaped roughly like a human, it is at least seven feet tall, its skin is covered in blue scales, its fingers bear wicked claws, and its face has the muzzle and reptilian eyes of a dragon. The creature stops about eighty yards from the main gate of the keep and scans the walls. A line of kobolds fans out behind it. With their spears, they prod four human prisoners into the dim light. You can make out a woman, a teenage boy in a blood-soaked tunic, and two children. Then the half-dragon creature hails the keep. “ 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.”

The Raiders Retreat

“ My friends, you’ve demonstrated your prowess all through this frightful night. I realize this is an awful burden to ask you to bear, but any of you has a better chance to defeat that horror than my militia have.” – Governor Nighthill

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Finding the Raiders Camp

17 Mirtul, 1489

One more favor…

After surviving the attack on Greenest the night before, the party managed to rest through midday. Governor Nighthill greeted Tyrod, Kim, and Rick when they awoke to request their assistance.

With Greenest’s forces helping the townsfolk to rebuild and prepare for another attack, the governor asked the Heroes of Greenest to track down the raiders and gather information:

  • Where were the raiders hiding?
  • Why did they attack Greenest?
  • How many raiders were there?
  • Where will they strike next?

The Governor promised a meager sum of 250gp to each adventurer, the best he could scrape from the armory in these trying times. Additionally, the adventurers would have full access to supplies and services at the keep while they assisted the town.

Does anyone need help?

A shameless search for side quests

A young man walks up to you, limping heavily on his bandaged left leg. "I hear that you intend to follow the raiders and see where they’ve gone. I’d like nothing better than to come with you, but in this condition, I’d slow you down. In the midst of all this tragedy, there’s no reason you would have heard about the fate of my master, Leosin Erlanthar, but it’s important you know. He is a monk from Berdusk. He disappeared last night, after we fought a particularly savage battle against raiders. A few others and I fought our way to the keep, barely. Leosin didn’t make it at all. We went back thos morning to look for him, but all we found was his broken staff and this choker, which he always wore.

“Leosin has been investigating these raiders for months. I fear that he might have tried to infiltrate their group when they retreated, or worse, was captured and carried away as a prisoner. No one understands these bandits better than he does, and his knowledge will be invaluable against them. When you find their camp, please look for any sign that Leosin is there. One of my brothers has already departed for Berdusk to bring back help, but it will be many days before help arrives. Anything you can do before then would be a godsend.”

Nesim Waladra

Following the Trail

The party discovered that the retreating footsteps were pressed deeper into the ground than those from the approach, suggesting the raiders were carrying a considerable amount of loot and treasure away from the town.

Along the way, the group encountered a group of humans and kobolds arguing over how to properly cook a game hen. When they began their assault, the kobolds scattered, and a rough battle against several magic-users ensued. After a quick feast on the hens roasting over a cooking fire.

Ambush

The group decided to rest for the night before approaching the camp to learn more.

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At the Raiders Camp

18 Mirtul, 1489

Ambushing the Guards

The group decided their best bet was to don the black robes they took from the guards that ambushed them the night before. They sent Kim to approach the camp; she would tell them that there was a small group of scouts approaching from Greenest and bring a few unsuspecting guards back to an ambush, giving the party easier entrance.

Unfortunately, the guards didn’t seem to care about Kim’s story. They told her to head into the camp and get to work, and that they would take care of the scouts once they got closer.

Captured!

When Kim didn’t return, Rick, Barthandelus, and Tyrod decided to investigate. They walked into the camp without much trouble, blending right into the crowd. Kim wasn’t so lucky—a guard recognized her as the Champion of Greenest and immediately called for support.

Rick and Tyrod, recognizing trouble, grabbed Kim and followed orders to detain her at the back of the camp, where they spotted Leosin Erlanthar tied to a stake.

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While “disarming” her, Tyrod hid a dagger in Kim’s tunic to allow an escape at an opportune moment. Both Rick and Tyrod were promptly sent off to work, holding a post at a guard tower for a few hours.

A Daring Escape…

Frulam Mondath recognized Kim, Rick and Tyrod rang the alarm bell, Kim cut her and Leosin’s ties to escape

Captured, Again

Guards caught the entire party in the frenzy and they were all tied up again

Leosin…Saves the Party?

Leosin had an escape plan all along; he pulled a dagger from his boot and quietly freed the group during a change in guard; they managed to get to a cliff wall before being spotted. Kim struggled to climb the wall, but Rick managed to catch her and help her regain her grip. Despite multiple volleys of spears being lobbed at them by guards, the group managed to scale the cliff and escape captivity in the raider camp.

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