Greenest in Flames
The party, a Dwarf Cleric, a Human Fighter, and an Aasimar Warlock are fighting to save the town. From the parapet of the keep, they are pointed to the Sanctuary of Chauntea by the Governor of Greenest, Tarbaw Nighthill. He pleads for their help in saving the sanctuary, the group quickly agrees and heads off.
They encounter some trouble along the way, but ultimately make it to the sanctuary. From two hundred feet back, hidden behind homes and fences, they see a large group using a battering ram to force open the door and another even larger group circling the sanctuary between the outside stone wall and the sanctuary itself. Realizing they cannot take this force head-on, they go to the back to look for another entrance.
The sanctuary is enclosed by a 10 foot tall stone wall with craggy stone and busting mortar. Ethilivan, the fighter climbs the wall and peers into the courtyard behind the sanctuary. He sees the large group circling the building on watch and another smaller group of raiders trying to break their way into the back door. Ethilivan, quite obviously peering over the wall is spotted by a cultist and pointed out. He pulls out his crossbow while holding himself up on top of the wall with his other arm, shoots the cultist, and screams out “we’re back here!” As he jumps down from the ledge and back to the outside of the outer wall.
A massive search ensues, voices are screaming, Kobolds are sniffing and screeching into the night sky. Rurik, the cleric, peeks around the corner of the outer wall and sees 20+ cultists and kobolds heading right for them. He turns and says “Run! Now!”. They turn to run, but decide to climb back over the wall and take their chances by rushing to the temple. They get over the wall and find that the courtyard is completely empty as the raiders are searching for them outside. They run to the back door and begin knocking and loudly whispering to those inside begging to be let in.
After some deliberation, the flock of the temple allow them entry through the backdoor, as the priest, Father Falconmoon locks the door again with magic. The priest determines the group’s true nature of being there an calms his flock assuring them that they are there to help. The raiders are back in the courtyard and now everyone inside the temple is completely surrounded; they need a plan.
They start searching for things around the temple to use a distraction but come up empty handed. The priest reminds them that he can produce illusions with his magic. Notron, the warlock speaks up with a plan: “We saw their leader, a woman named Frulam Mondath, I can describe her to you. Produce an illusion of her standing at the edge of the roof, I’ll imitate her voice and tell them to leave the sanctuary and attack the town instead.”. The priest asks “Have you heard her speak?” The warlock smiles “No, but I’ll do my best”.
Ethilivan and Rurik stay downstairs and protect the backdoor. Notron and Father Falconmoon climb the ladder to the bell tower on the roof. With his hand on the rope to ring the church bell, Notron turns to the priest and asks “Do you really think this will work?” The priest smiles and calmly says “Chauntea is with us… If the plans fails, it was an honor meeting you hero.” They share a moment, then Notron rings the bell as Falconmoon projects an image of Frulam Mondath at the edge of the roof overlooking the crowd of searching raiders below.
“My…children! You must… stop attacking here. The dragon queen wants you to attack the town and claim more souls! Go…now!” Says the unsure, shaky voice of Notron impersonating the female leader of the cult. Below the kobolds and cultists hear this, but not very clearly as there’s a storm above and a dragon flying near. From the roof Notron and Falconmoon wait for any sound, any response. The anticipation is heavy as the silence continues. Eventually a voice raises from the crowd below “You heard her! Get moving! To the town! ATTACK!” Falconmoon and Notron fall backwards with elation and head back to down the base of the church in a hurry.
Below Rurik and Ethilivan are set up against the backdoor, waiting for the next attack. They see a group of raiders coming with another battering ram; they set up, swing back, and just before they hit the door, they look up confused. Rurik and Ethilivan wait, looking at each other, also confused. After a couple minutes, the raiders simply pack up and walk out of the courtyard. The priest and Notron make it back downstairs and tell them what happened. The villagers praise the heroes and cheer, but the heroes urge the priest to gather the people; “We must leave here and get everyone to the keep. It’s the only way they will live.” The priest gathers his flock and they run from the backdoor to the back-outer wall and help everyone over.
About twenty minutes later, everyone has made it over the wall. Just as they are about to make a break for the keep, the skies open up with lightning as a large blue dragon circles overhead and lands in front of the group and their wards. With a crash of lightning and a rumble beneath their feet, the dragon moves forward toward them and speaks in a deep booming voice: “I am Lennithon, thunder of the south, tremble before my power! I could crush you like insects, but lucky for you, I am in need of your assistance.” Lennithon wants them to capture and bring her three blue eggs from the raider’s hatchery in their camp. In exchange for the group’s help, they will be rewarded with an item of power. If they do not help, the dragon will raze the town and burn it to the ground. Ethilivan speaks up as they agree, “Great dragon will you help clear the way to the keep? We have so many…” The dragon scoffs and thinks, “yes, I will clear the way. Hurry now.”
The group set’s off down the main road leading south. They see a large group of kobolds and Cultists two hundred feet ahead of them. They start to slow just as they notice Lennithon is coming in for the attack. They continue their pace. Rurik, however, notices that Lennithon’s angle is coming short; he’s about to breathe lighting on them as well as the raiders! He shouts “Move backwards! Now!” The group turns on a dime and starts running backwards as a blue column of lightning bears down right above their heads. They dive for the ground and cover their heads. As the dust settles, the adventurers look behind them and see a sight of horror. The raider’s are all dead, burned a crisp by the lightning. Closer to them, they see lying on the ground over half of the villages they had with them and the body of father Falconmoon charred and smoking. There are six villagers left of the twenty they saved.
The group, realizing the deal they made and the outcome it wrought, share a moment of remorse, then move on and back to the keep.
“Greenest in Flames” from Horde of the Dragon Queen
I would like to mention that I played out the Lennithon encounter differently than what was written in the book. I got the idea from Mike Shea (SlyFlourish). If you’re running this module, I highly recommend checking out SlyFlourish’s guide to Horde of the Dragon Queen!