14 Mirtul, 1489 DR, Year of the Warrior Princess
After being escorted to meet Tarbaw Nighthill in one of the towers of the keep, the heroes overcame his reluctance (or, more accurately, he realized his distinct lack of options), and the governor charged them with a quest to assist the town, during its darkest hours. A sizable contingent of the raiders had begun a much more effective cordoning of the keep, to pin the defenders up within it and prevent them from aiding the rest of the town. What the raiders were unaware of, though, was a secret tunnel beneath the keep that lead out to the stream that runs through Greenest, at a point beyond the cordon. The governor pointed out one of the biggest sites in the town, a temple to Chauntea where he had strong reason to believe a contingent of townsfolk had fled.
Castellan Escobert the Red led them to be basement where the tunnel entered the keep, a location barred by a rusted gate and covered by crates, gave them a key, and before leaving charged the heroes with one more request: if they could capture a leader, even a minor one, from the invaders, it might help Nighthill and himself to determine what was going on with this invasion. After clearing a path to the gate, Torinn was able to work the rusted gate and the band entered the path, which true to Nighthill’s information, looked as though it had not been used by the in decades. That did not mean it was uninhabited, though, as the heroes found on their way to the outlet. Two vicious swarms of rats assaulted the heroes, who were able to drive them off with a combination of their dragonborn breath weapons, skill, and a well placed dropkick on Arlen‘s part, that loosened a weak point in the tunnel, allowing a burst of water to wash many of the rats away. Finding the far end of the gate even more rusted, Torinn was nevertheless able to pass it, and snuck out onto the streambed, where he noticed a band of invaders searching the river, apparently for townsfolk. An ambush lead to the defeat of the invaders, but one of the humans and one of the kobolds were taken alive (barely, as they were rendered violently unconscious, but still alive). During this battle, Badarr boldly blew his warhorn as he charged into battle, much to Torinn’s irritation. No invaders, however, answered the call (at that point…)
While Alikul sprinted back to the keep with the unconsious raiders, the rest of the band hid the less lucky members of the search party, and searched them, uncovering a pamphlet identifying them with the Cult of the Dragon. Alikul makde excellent time, and the band headed off, deciding after a short conversation to follow the stream towards the temple. Upon arriving, they found the very large building under siege. The heroes chose to strike at the rear of the temple, where a band of kobolds and humans were setting fire to the backdoor, to try to smoke out the townsfolk or burn down the door to gain enterance, while the invaders at the front battered at the door and other raiders mobbed the outside. Another intense fight followed, but the cultists were defeated and another missle dropkick on Arlen’s part drove apart the smoldering door. The townsfolk were clearly terrified, nearly out of their minds with fear as they assumed the dragonborn of Clan Ak’kanraush were part of the raiding group, but Badarr’s powerfully magnetic personality saved the day, instantly calming the crowd in a nearly superdragonborn feat. The Arlen and Torrin then ushered the townsfolk (numbering several dozen) out of the temple, while Badarr and Alikul fought a rearguard action against several ambush drakes, who fell under their attack.
The heroes then escorted the townsfolk back to the secret gate barring the tunnel that led to keep. However, it was there that they encountered a large band of raiders, who apparently had responded to the sound of Badarr’s horn, and were inspecting the signs of battle but had not found the entrance itself, due in part to Arlen’s help in camouflaging it. With the raiders standing between the heroes and safety for the townfolk, they had no option to assault the larger force. A vicious battle ensued, with several of the heroes falling under the blades or claws of the cultists, only to be revived by their fellow adventurers. The battle pitched back and forth, with the outcome looking very much in doubt, but the heroes were able to rally and fight back, finishing off the kobolds, humans, and vicious ambush drakes, before opening the gate and ushering the townsfolk into the safety of the keep. The heroes made certain the entrance was well covered, and the gates were in good working order, before retiring to the keep itself, to check in with Escobert and Nighthill.