After making their way back into the keep, our heroes rested and recovered their strength after the ferocious battle with the war band just outside the secret tunnel entrance. As they relaxed, Torinn thought back on the dragon, and now lucky they were that the dragon hadn’t torn the keep apart by now… which, on reflection, led him to realize that the dragon may not be quite as eager a participant in the battle as they suspected! Alikul attempted to strike up a game of 3 Dragon Ante to no avail, while Badarr sang tales of soothing relaxation and Arlen practiced his lute.
After a short rest, Tarbaw Nighthill and Escobert the Red summoned the heroes to the tower, and explained the prisoners have been interrogated, and while the kobolds mostly babbled about Lennithon they also mentioned working for “the dragon lady”. The other prisoners revealed after much persuasion that the mission was to collect loot “for the great hoard that will usher in the reign of the Queen of Dragons.”
At this point the conversation was interrupted by Lennithon once more attacking the castle, seemingly in earnest. The dragon attacked a nearby wall, heavily manned with guards. Alikul (and one particularly sharp eyed guard!) struck back at the dragon, but Torinn pressed them to parlay, and Badarr used his bardic powers, praising the dragon’s power and explaining how this attack was beneath it’s majesty. As all of the heroes and guard (well, those that remained after its wing buffet sent several to their deaths), some combination of the wounds they inflicted, the persuasive words of Badarr, and the sight of all of the defenders on the wall (including, teeth clenched, the dragonborn heroes) kneeling before it, convinced the dragon that it had nothing more to gain from this attack, that it had accomplished the mission before it, and it flew off into the night. A cheer went up from the warriors, praising the heroes for their role in driving off the dangerous beast. There was little time to spare, however, as Escobert infomed them that a sally port had been breached.
The heroes rushed to the courtyard and beat back an assault from a group of the Cultists who had taken control of the port. The outer door was badly damaged, and a blacksmith was sent for to repair it. What they got instead was some sort of wizard, who’s magics worked on the door, but slowly. As another warband approached the castle, the heroes went out into no-man’s land to buy the wizard time to repair the door. They did, routing the attackers, weilding their breath weapons fiercely as the cultists assaulted them, and cutting down the attacking force.
With the sally port once more secure, the heroes were faced with another challenge. A half-dragon warrior, Langdedrosa Cyanwrath He, along with his personal guard of 16 kobolds (including one with wings!) strode forth with a woman from Greenest (sister of one of the guards) and her 3 children. He challenged a champion of Greenest to come forth and battle him, in exchange for the prisoners. Arlen stepped up to the challenge (after some discussion!) and the heroes warily went out onto the field to meet the cultist. The children were released, and their mother held back as a hostage to insure the heroes abided by the terms: one on one combat. Langdedrosa leaped forward and unleashed a fiersome lighting attack on Arlen, but his draconic heritage allowed him to withstand the blow. The two warriors fought a vicious duel, with Langdedrosa at first treating Arlen somewhat casually, but Arlen’s prowess forced him to abandon that. In the end, however, the half-dragon struck down the brave Arlen. The children were released, and victorious cultist strutted off. After much debate about attacking the retreating cultist, it was decided that no safe opening existed, and the two forces parted ways. Arlen was returned to the keep, and the High Priest of Chauntea used his healing powers to rescue the warrior from death’s door.