The Cult of the Dragon

A home in the with a view
I always wanted a man at arms, with more arms.

Dear Mom:

Well I am trying my hand at having a squire; well he is not really a squire yet, but a man at arms, with 4 arms! Yes my man at arms has 4 arms; ok he is not really a man but a “Troll” at arms. Sadly I might have to let him go due to insubordination. You give one order, just one “stay here until I come for you” and he could not get that right, and by leaving he tips off the old owner of my new manor house. Yes that’s right I am a home owner now. Ok let me start from the beginning.

So my compatriots and I have been dealing with the evil cult of Tiamat and their attempt to bring her back into the world. So with everything that is going on tell Father that cornering the market in Dragon Bain may be a good idea. Anyway we have been following the money as it were in an attempt to stop the cult. This has taken us to a lovely manor house in the mountains near the village of Parnast. The house is lucky enough to be near a number of magical “portals” so we did not have to ride out here. Poof you appear right there and it has 3 other portals to other location around the world. This is a dream come true, the ability to see the world a few steps from a warm and comfy house. One of the draw backs of this lovely house is the staff. The grounds keeper is the troll I was telling you about Trapson. Trapson appears to be a good ground keeper and drake handler, but as a man at arms he is lacking. In checking out this new house I found that the current owner had a few prisoners in the basement. One is a dwarf named Craigmire, who appears to be a cultist; I am not sure what I am going to do with him. I might just give him the chance to meet his goddess. The next “guest” in the basement was a nice young lady named Mirracella. I should have taken the fact that the owner had a virgin chained up in the basement as a bad sign, but I really like the house. The next guest is a real strange guy. Even though he is chained up in the basement he keeps telling us how nice his host is, and that he loves having conversations with Ms. Tallas the White. He told us about how his god is reborn during the midsummer solstice. I think that we now learned the time table we are working under. So make sure to buy up the entire supply of dragon bane by then. We did learn a little about the homeowner Tallas. She was a cleric of Tiamat, who wants to be the white worm-speaker. She is holding Craigmire in order to get information on the current worm-speaker Varram the white.

After talking to the guests in the basement we took a look around the 2nd floor. It has a lovely dining room up there with a secret door out of the room. So that when you get trapped talking to the boring people you can sneak out into the hallway. While up there we got to meet the old owner of the house Tallas. Sadly she had an accident and her head got cut off. The negotiations were going fine you see, but we got hung up on the virgin in the basement. Tallas said that it was deal breaker, and I could not in good conscious I could not leave the girl to be a sacrifice. So a few words were said in anger and then she Tallas got stabbed, and disarmed, and stabbed again. Her body guard then got in my face and he got stabbed also. Then there were fireballs, and all kids of craziness. On the upside, nothing caught on fire, and the house did not burn down, which was nice.

All houses have drawback, and this one has an infestation of kobolds. It was so lucky for me that Kadance was there to help with the pest control. My goodness her voice has a power that is amazing. With a shout she could kill a herd of kobolds (is heard right for koblads?), which was a good thing for me because the other Tiefling with us almost killed me with a fireball. Now I am worried that he may have done this on purpose he appears to have taken offence at me calling him and Kadance “Silver Tongued Devils”. The trouble is that they are. I have seen her use her mouth and voice in ways that are amazing, and as for Sabir I have seen him talk a lizard-folk into starting a war with bullywugs. The words just rolled off of his mouth like a river of half-truths, and innuendo and next thing you know we have allies. But back to the fireball, I guess it could have been an accident seeing that Tieflings don’t seem to mind fire too much, and Tallas and her servants did not do to well being burned like they were. The other problem this house had besides the infestation of Kobolds was an armor monster of some kind; it was also a lucky thing that Grr was there with his army of wolves. Now I am not sure where the wolf army came from, but POW they were there kicking ass and taking wolf-names. It was a good thing too, because I am not sure what would have happened to us without Grr and his wolves.

On the upside we did find some good loot, I think. We found 2 sets of elven plate mail in the front all, with some kinds of magic traps on them. I am hope that maybe they are very valuable and that is why they were trapped, I have not taken the time yet to see how well it was made but maybe it is mithril or adamantine, something special to explain the ice traps. In Tallas’ gear we found magic scale mail, but sadly none of my companions are skilled in that kind of armor. In Tallas’ room was some magic chainmail. I just forgot to look and see if it was elven chain, to match all the elven plate. And I found a magic spear that is little more than a glow stick. But I am not going to worry about all this right now. I need to get a little sleep and get ready for tomorrow. We have learned that our cultist have made a deal with the Cloud Giants to transport all of their stolen loot via the flying castle Sky Reach. So in the morning we head to Sky Reach to stop them. I hope that my Troll at Arms is up for this adventure, and serves me well.

Talk to you again soon
Gavin
PS: Molly sends her love, I saw her a few weeks ago. I am not sure how she finds me, but I fear that by the time I return to my manor house she would have redecorated it. Thankfully she has good taste, which is why she is after me after all.

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Conquest of Castle Naerytar
In which our heroes' race is unfairly maligned

Grr, Kadence, the human with a pointy stick, and I came downstairs from a very restful nap, only to discover that Captain Haze-a-Lot had neglected to teach the guard drakes we were friendly. Only fair, I suppose, since we aren’t particularly so. Demonstrated our partial friendlyness by only knocking them unconscious, and got chewed out by Haze-a-Lot and locked in a tower for even doing that much.

The human with a pointy stick proved to be a racist human with a pointy stick, expressing surprise that Kadence and I hadn’t talked our way out with our “silver-tongued devil” powers. Prick.

Nothing makes an oppressed people feel better like oppressing someone else, so after we escaped (by turning into spiders and eating the guards), we incited a race war between the Lizardfolk and the froggy things. The lizardfolk won, slaughtering the frogs and all of the humans except Grr and the pointy-sticked racist.

We explored the castle further, discovering that all of the treasure that had been collected by its residents was impractically heavy for carrying back out of a swamp. Also, there’s a magical gate in the basement, but none of the books the cult’s magic users had on hand show how to retarget the gate to a bank or a pawn shop.

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Cleaning House... For the cultists?

Notes:
Need to make sure I remember things, so eventually I can write something epic. A ballad, a poem, I don’t know what. Plus, maybe it will help keep me sane while we’re trying to prevent Tiamat’s resurgence.
The Weed that Walks. By Tymora, that thing was creeptastic. Our newfound lizardfolk “allies” were terrified of the damn thing. And I’ll admit, I have never seen a walking plant like that – though I suppose in retrospect that it shambled more than it walked upright. It swallows people whole, so I can’t really complain that the lizardfolk tried to run. Hell, we probably all –shoud- have run, but I have a feeling that having that thing catch us on deeper water would have been very bad.
Next was the quagmire that almost swallowed Grrr. At least it was relatively easy to get him out of that. At least it wasn’t too long after this that we arrived at Naritar. Naryitar. Note to self: find out how to spell that properly. We did some reconnaissance and were able to determine where Rezmir was most likely to be. Unfortunately, there were way to many bullywogs around to actually do anything specific.
After dickering back and forth, we decided to pretend to be new recruits. We managed to deceive our way into Rezmir’s suite in one of the towers but unfortunately she wasn’t there. One of the leader types gave us some rooms which were infested with huge creepy crawly bugs. He seemed surprised when we took care of them in short order
Next we ended up having to take the remnants of dinner over to the trash heap. And yes, this was actually the den of some swamp tentacle monster, which also tried to swallow people whole. Seriously, it was a thing, this getting swallowed. We killed the tentacle monster but while we were there realized that there was an intact upper level to that particular tower. OF COURSE, we then had to go explore it, and managed to rile up a bunch of ghosts or specters or something. The only upside to this part was we got ourselves a pretty secure place to sleep where no one will be looking for us.

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No need for roads -- introspections of Grr Animal-Friend
I like crocodiles

We figured out the dragon cultists were shipping their treasure hoard through a tunnel from Karnath roadhouse. The tunnel ended up in a swamp — I am excited to be in a swamp again. I think it’s silly that those cultists are trying to build a road when they have all this exciting terrain to travel through.

The first thing I did was make a giant spider friend, and then, for no reason at all, Gavin killed it. I am upset at him for that. It was almost as if he wasn’t himself this day. It seems more like something that Sabir would do.

Then, we found some snake-people who were looking for other people to sacrifice to their god. That seems like a situation that will move back toward balance once they run into some of the dragon cultists, so I think it was the right choice to let them be.

The really fun part of the day was when we found the halfway camp at the edge of a lake between Karnath and Narytar. We waited to ambush cultists, and sure enough a group of lizard men came toward the camp in canoes. I brought some crocodile friends to ambush them from underneath their canoes. It was hilarious to watch the lizard men struggle from inside the crocodile jaws.

We let a few lizard men live, and it turns out they were forced into working for the cultists and will help us get into the castle. The one named Snapjaw (I trust him because he has a good strong name) thinks he may be able to get other lizard men to defect. This should be helpful in stopping the cultists and preventing the Rise of Tiamat. There’s no way we can fail now — all we have to do is take down castle Narytar and disperse their treasure hoard. I can see why the animal spirits chose me for this task — I love destroying stuff built by humans. Hmm, I wonder if this castle is made out of wood?

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A Trip Down Con-Man Road

Dear Mom
So much has been going on and I just need to know, was it you who told Mollisondra where I was? I ask because she showed up in Waterdeep. Now Mom I am dealing with some real end of the world stuff here for real, and I do not want to see Mollisondra get hurt or anything. So please don’t tell here where I have gone, but it was very exciting.
So once in Waterdeep I got a chance to see some very seedy dive bars with Kadence. She really knows all the places to go to drink and live life as if you have never spent time in court. Anyway we were in a bunch of bars and we got a handle on where the evil cultists are going to try and release the dragon goddess Tiamat. Now there was one part of this story that I need to make sure that Molly never hears about. See Kadence was pretending to be my date and we got a room in the hotel so we could spy on the cultist. Molly might not understand that part, and I would hate for her to have her mother put some kind of curse on her. I was impressed as to how fast she could pick a lock and get us in the rooms to do all of our spying. It was like some of the books you like to read Mom. So in all of our spying we found out that the cultists are going to a placed called Narratar. Now you might remember Narratar from history as a city of legend. I am not sure why they want to use this old abandoned city, but I have to find out. The other thing we found out about the cultists is that they are a bunch of con men. Wow do they have a con going on. They are building a road to Never Winter. This is a big con because Never Winter was destroyed by a volcano. Now that is a super con job in action. They are getting paid, and materials to build this road, but no road is going on so who the hell knows what they are up to. I don’t know who this keeps happening, but I and my companions ended up working as caravan guards again. It does appear to be the best way to follow the cultist around.
Oh this is good to know when dealing with caravans in Waterdeep. Addrid Griffinhue is the man to deal with. He got us to Carnith from Waterdeep with little trouble, and total efficacy, unlike that Baydale. So now I think the real action is about to happen, we found a secret tunnel in Carnith that I think will lead us to the cult and their evil plans. So wish me luck in saving the world.

PS if you did not tell Molly where I was I wonder if she has witch powers also?

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27 Days in the Lives of the Underpaid and Underappreciated
In which contract negotiations are delayed

Dear diary manly journal,

Apparently deciding that employers who actually pay us are overrated, we signed on as caravan guards once again. The four of us (myself, Kadence, Grr, and a tall human with a pointy stick) had a party contest to see who could find the cheapest employer. Kadence and I won (if you can call that winning) when the purveyor of flammable liquids hired us for nothing but our meals. If it weren’t for the dreams driving us to pursue the Cult of the Dragon, we’d have had the common sense to ditch these people as soon as we saw that the caravan had a Woofall. He claimed to not be Baydale, but his cousin Severe.

Unless you count the cultists doing an amusing job of pretending to be merchants, there was no one else particularly noteworthy in the caravan except a particularly fit former farmgirl named Ofustia. Unfortunately, the tall human with a pointy stick blended in about as poorly as the cultists, some of whom seem to have recognized him. Scratch that — judging by the way his saddle was cut to throw him as we went over a chasm, they definitely recognized him.

The next week or so was a hectic bunch of murders and near misses. First, we ambushed the three cultists who had somehow recognized the tall human with a pointy stick1 and arranged their convenient death by “wild bears”. Then, one of the cultists tried to kill me by poisoning the farmgirl’s wine. Luckily, I was taking my seduction attempts more slowly than the cultists would expect from someone as attractive and charming2 as myself, so Ofustia was the only one who drank the poison. Well, she was the only one who drank it until we slipped the remainder back into the supplies of the man who tried to poison me. He failed. I didn’t.

The next night, we got to sleep in actual beds, because the inn had nothing but vacancies once their giant frog problem was taken care of. My giant frog impersonation clearly needs work, as I was unable to recover their deposit.

The caravan continued on toward Daggerford, through an area of frequent monster attacks. We had to kill giant spiders, giant bipedal spiders, and flying deer. The deal where we get no pay but food continued to look terrible.

The caravan picked up some new members in Daggerford, most notably a human we suspect to be a Red Wizard of Thay and a gnome who pretended to try to kill us in order to make us trust her. I’m not sure whether this shows that I don’t understand gnome psychology, or that gnomes don’t understand tiefling psychology, but there’s certainly a disconnect there.

Someone had buried a mostly-naked Harper up to his neck in the middle of the road to Waterdeep. That sort of thing can really wreck a road when the body starts to putrify, so we dug him up.

We came across a band of hobgoblins attacking a disabled wagon in the road. They decided that not-yet-disabled wagons were fair game as well. As our little group had been fired and replaced by some braggarts from a roadside inn, we stood around watching for a while. The braggarts in question ran away screaming. Contract renegotiation ensued, followed briefly by hobgoblin murder. Negotiations were considerably more in our favor than had previously been the case.

The next morning, one of the cultists was found murdered. I suspect this to have been yet another odd trust building exercise by our gnomish friend acquaintance.

1 How did they do that? I don’t even recognize him all the time, and we’ve been traveling together for weeks.
2 and humble

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The nightmares just won't stop
Do you want to be a Harper?

18 Mirtul

Seriously, Rhapsody, I have no freaking idea what I’ve managed to get myself into. The dreams haven’t stopped – I don’t feel the pull to go to Greenest anymore but I still wake up to the feeling of five pairs of eyes raking over my soul. Sorry I haven’t been writing like I promised, but other things keep getting in the way.

After we dealt with all the crap at Greenest, my traveling companions and I decided to head to Elturel to find that monk who claimed to know all kinds of things about this dragon cult. Along the way, we actually ran into another small group of cultists who were dragging a guy along in their wake. Of course, we decided to rescue him and dealt with the cultists but the asshat apparently didn’t actually WANT to be rescued. After hurling what I am sure he felt was the vilest of insults (which were really not terribly inventive but still pissed me off on principle), we ended up leaving him on the road to make his own way. I swear, it’s incidents like these that make me question why I EVER try to actually help people.

The rest of the journey to Elturel was rather uneventful. Yes, I’ve been practicing my composing when travel allows, I promise! When we arrived in Elturel, Gavin (you remember, the affianced noble who is trying to duck out of getting married) found his mentor, Onthar, and Leosin (that monk we rescued from the cultists the first time we went to their camp) hanging out at the same lame tavern. We filled them in on all the dirty details about the dragon eggs we found in that cave we were paid to explore, and actually got paid for our efforts. I admit, I expected to get stiffed on that one. Turns out Leosin is also a goody-two-shoes Harper, so I guess I can take him at his word, at least in so far as promises of payment go.

Have you ever spent any time at the Golden Harp, though? Gavin sprung for us all to spend the night at that lovely establishment rather than with his stick in the mud mentor. We ate, drank, and indulged ourselves – it was an almost perfect evening. I had a pretty little barmaid mooning over me all night; I may have gotten a little carried away and gave her the wrong impression that I was interested. (If she had been a he, I totally would have been interested). A gaggle the single ladies were hanging on every word Gavin said, and most of the married ones were pestering Grrr for fertility charms and blessings.

The next morning that same freaking nightmare woke me up again. And, I’m not the only one still having those dreams. Sabir and Grrr are still having them too. So, we decided that we needed to figure out what the heck is going on. After a bit of research, and Sabir’s nightmares pulling him towards Baldur’s Gate, making our way there became the next priority. Of course, I really would have preferred to avoid the city, but in the end we aren’t staying long enough for anything to matter.

As it turns out, we arrived in Baldur’s Gate just behind the cultists, and the porter Onthar told us to speak with was able to provide some information as to when they were leaving town – which is tomorrow. So, we made some arrangements to hire on as caravan guards (yes, again!). I know, I know, the last time we didn’t get paid for our efforts. I don’t really care as much this time, though I won’t tell my companions that. I figure if my coin runs out I can just get Gavin to pay my way if need be; he’s got plenty to spare. We’re headed north at this point, toward the Mere of Dead Men – specifically we’re looking for a place called Naerytar.

It may be a while before I can write again, but I’ll try. Tymora watch over you.

in scribbles near the bottom
Do you wanna be a Harper?
C’mon let’s do some good.
Evil needs to get beat down,
Get kicked out of town.
Do things like you know they would!

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The Dragon hatchery - introspection of Grr Animal-Friend
its smashing time!

A lot has happened in the last few days. I have gained incredible new powers. I can now shape shift into the forms of different animals and take on their abilities. This must be a gift from the animal spirits so I can stop this dragon apocalypse that the cultists plan to protect the balance of the elements.

The monk, Leosin, who we rescued from the cultist’s encampment recovered after a few days. I don’t know much about Leosin’s friends yet, but they may be allies in stopping the cult, they do like animals, so they can’t be bad people. He suggested we investigate the cavern where the army was encamped to figure out what they are hiding, and what they plan to do next.

When we returned to the cavern with the dragon hatchery, most of those nasty humanoids had gone off to the west, so it was easier to get in this time. However, I soon found that those cultists had ruined the natural beauty of the cavern, polishing the stone and filling it with their silly trinkets and artwork. I don’t know if I hate them more for the animal cruelty, their vandalism of nature, or their plan to summon dragons that will endanger the elemental balance. They just make Grr so angry that he want to smash!

We ran into a couple of their leaders Frulum Mondaf, and that half-dragon Landregosa. They talk too much. I don’t have time for that, I have a world to save. Sometimes I prefer that I can’t talk to them while I’m in animal form, so I can think about how I’m going to smash them. We smashed them good.

We found what looked like a shrine of the dragon-worshipers with a painting of many dragons including one with five heads. It was eerily similar to my dreams, and a confirmation that I am on the path that the animal spirits have sent me on. The rest of the group seemed really interested in the jewels we found in a treasure chest there.

At the bottom of the dungeon we found the hatchery with two dragon eggs. We smashed them good. But not before we were attacked by a tentacled monster called a Roper. It was very powerful, and able to restrain us with its many tentacles. Luckily, it was a scavenger, and we were able to convince it to eat all the corpses that we left behind in the cavern while we escaped. The circle of life was completed.

I am intrigued by some creatures that I had never seen before. There were violent mushrooms, and the Roper. These creatures are some sort of aberration of nature. We were able to destroy the mushrooms, but the Roper escaped. I should investigate this further, and find out if the cult has anything to do with these aberrations. I may have to come back some day to kill it. Clearly there is so much more for me to see in the world.

How do I feel about my traveling companions? Gavin seems to be more interested in being a hero and saving people more than preserving the balance of nature, but I think we both want to stop the cult. He wants to be hero, but sometimes is reckless and jumps into the middle of much danger. I should practice my healing skills to keep him safe, because he will be a good ally. I met his girlfriend. She’s cute. Not as cute as that cougar I saw last month…

Sabir is starting to look like a dragon. That seems like a bad sign, I should really keep an eye on that. I’m not sure about his motivations, other than that he really likes money and killing things. He did mention that he has a dirt mound for a friend which sounds interesting. Kadence is mysterious too. She keeps trying to sell me and Gavin out to the cultists, and I’m not sure if she is serious or not. Both Sabir and Kadence had the same dreams that I did, but they don’t seem to speak with the animal spirits like I do. Maybe the Old Gods have a plan for them too.

Next, we will travel to the town of Elturel to find Leosin and his friends. They will want to know that we found dragon eggs and a map which looked like it was indicating the cultists plan to attack Narytar next. They may have more information to help us stop the cult. In any case, I look forward to traveling outdoors again.
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Finding the hideout of the Cult
or I bet we get stiffed again!

Dear Mom

I know that it has been awhile since I have written, but that is because I have been busy saving the village of Greenest. Oh and before you ask, No I have not found a nice girl, and no I am not settling down.
Anyway back to me. So the Governor of Greenest, Tarbaw Nighthill (you would not like him he is not a lord) has asked me to save his town from the attacking cult of dragon worshipers. It was so sad to see this man in his night gown asking for help from strangers. He should have been in his armor leading his people, but I guess this is what happens when you take a peasant and make him a governor of your lands. (Someone may have to talk to the local Baron) Hopefully I can be the example that this man needs to right himself and help these poor people. He has promise to pay for help and I am going to see if I can save this poor town.
Now back to my adventure, so I am now traveling with some new people We are following the trail of the evil cultist. And I will tell you right now that you would not like them, but that is because we all know that you are a snob. (I love you mommy, even if you are snobby) One you really would not is Grrr, but it was so cool I saw him turn into a bear and he then eat a kobold. Yes while I was fighting the evil cultists Grrr was running down their kobold minions and I am pretty sure he swallowed one whole. Another of my companions is a Teifling warlock, (who I am also sure you would not like) named Sabir Erek well I think he is a Teifling, but I am not %100 sure. He is growing scales like a dragonborn, so I am not sure what he is. I do have to keep an eye on him. He did not always have scales, but now that we are after a dragon cultist he is growing scales, not good. The last of my companions is a Teifling named Kadance, a magical bard who is very skilled. I am not sure if you would like her or not. Like many Teiflings she has chosen a name, so I do not know if she is linked to any of the noble houses. As we both know many noble houses made all kinds of infernal pacts to get power, so you never know. Anyway after Grrr gulps down a few of the kobolds we get to interview the captured cultists. I was able to find out that they had a camp only a few hours away. My hope was that in going to the camp we could find out more about them and their aims.
Once I got to the camp we saw that there was well of 500 troops, a few more then I could handle with only my 3 companions. So I decided that we should watch and learn. After watching for a while I noticed that there was one prisoner that they had away from the others. This guy obviously was special; I had no idea how special. So Grr was able to change into a spider (yup a bear and a spider) and sneak in and free this special guy. So now that this man who has been beaten, bloodied and disarmed wants to go fight a bunch of guard, and giant riding lizards so he can see what is in a cave. From what I was able to determine the cave might be a dragon hatchery. But on the up side he did learn a lot about the cult so at least I have found a good resource in saving these people from the cult. So wish me luck in being the hero that the people need.

Gavin
PS: If you talk to Father or my brother Anubis or Corwin would you please have them black list a merchant named Baydale Woofall. He ran out on a contact without paying me or my companions. He is a coward and is not to be trusted. He has a reputation of not always being able to cover his debts here on the Sword Coast, but now that I have gotten to see it firsthand I thought that I would worn the family, and they could spread the word to the other merchant house of Turmish.
PPS: Don’t let Mollisondra know where I am. Ever since you talked to her mother about an arranged marriage she just shows up places and I don’t want her to get hurt.

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Journey to Greenest
In which our heroes don't get paid

The dreams had been haunting me for weeks. Dreams of destruction and death and hovering eyes, urging me to go to Greenest. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have paid them all that much attention, but a chance comment by Kadence (a charming young lady who performs Tuesdays at The Laughing Pony) about her having the exact same nightmares made me think something might be up. Then Grrr, a druid friend of ours who brews potions skillfully, but somehow can’t figure out the difference between well-brewed beer and horse piss, overheard and mentioned that he’d been having the same dreams as well. Something was clearly wrong, when even a human was having dreams that I’d taken to be messages from my family’s patron. (Is Grrr human? Hard to tell sometimes, under the layers of dirt.)

We signed on as caravan guards for Baydale Woofall for 30 gp apiece to get his caravan to Greenest. That tall human who’s always trying to get Kadence drunk had also joined the caravan as a guard. He said something about getting a letter from an old mentor in Greenest. At least he isn’t sharing the dreams, too.

After a pretty uneventful journey, we reached Greenest, only to discover that it was under attack by a dragon and some dragon-worshiping cultists. In a blatant breach of contract, Woofall refused to pay us until we made the town safe for him to sell his goods in.

We SNUCK VERY QUIETLY through a ravine that led toward the keep in the center of town. Somehow, the preternaturally-aware kobold guards spotted us anyway, and attacked us (to their detriment). After exiting the ravine, we rescued a fleeing family from more kobolds, and — knowing kobold senses are keen, but their minds are as sharp as spoons — pretended be cultists chasing the family ourselves, until we’d chased them all the way into the keep.

The keep was an island of well-organized calm semi-organized by some nutcase in a nightgown. He begged us to go fix the postern gate for them. We went to check it out, and I discovered a lovely and comfortable red robe and amulet ensemble free for the taking. (There may have been some objection from the cultist who owned them previously or her kobold minions, but if so, it was very brief.)

While Kadence fixed the bar on the gate, the tall human who’s always trying to get her drunk and I stood guard outside, and ordered a passing cultist and kobold patrol to help us guard it until she was done. I did mention that their minds are sharp as spheres, right?

We went back to Mr. Nightgown to tell him that his gate was fixed, hoping that maybe now they’d pay us, or at least give us somewhere to sleep. Hahaha! No.

Mr. Nightgown told us that he couldn’t even think of paying us until someone (by which he meant “someone from out of town, which is to say us”) stopped the cultists trying to burn down the town mill. We headed out through the town sewers (clearly an attempt to break our will, combining exposure to this harsh environment with a refusal to let us rest) to the mill.

At the mill, we discovered it was actually an ambush specifically for us, because the head cultist was sick of us leading her minions around by the nose and making them look like idiots. I maintain that they don’t need our assistance, but I digress. Anyway, we took a high-ranking cultist (who was previously in a lovely purple robe) prisoner, and then dragged our prisoner and the unconscious body of the tall human who’s always trying to get Kadence drunk back to the keep.

We went back to Mr. Nightgown to tell him that his mill was safe, hoping that maybe now they’d pay us, or at least give us somewhere to sleep. Hahaha! No.

Mr. Nightgown told us that he couldn’t even think of paying us until someone rescued the civilians trapped in the local church of Chauntea. Sensing a pattern yet? I sure was.

After yet another journey through the town’s lovely and fragrant sewer system1, we arrived at the temple, only to find it surrounded by multiple groups of cultists and kobolds. We killed them, of course, and led the civilians back to the keep.

We went back to Mr. Nightgown to tell him that his civilians were safe, hoping that maybe now they’d pay us, or at least give us somewhere to sleep. Hahaha! No.

Turns out that the head of the invading army — some kind of dragon half-breed2 — was demanding that someone face him in single combat, in exchange for some children his men had taken prisoner. Luckily, that tall human who’s always trying to get Kadence drunk was enough of a sucker to go for it. The tall human who’s always trying to get Kadence drunk lasted almost six seconds, too.

We went back to Mr. Nightgown, and he finally gave us a room for the night.

1 (What in the nine hells have these townspeople been eating? Maybe we should have burnt down the mill ourselves, just to save future sewer travelers the stench.)

2 How does that even work? The mechanics boggle the mind.

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