After recovering from our touch with death, we recovered our wits and prepared ourselves for the trials ahead.
Upon the next morning, Governor Nighthill and the leaders of Greenest’s defense met with us seeking to comprehend the identity of the town’s attackers and why it became their target. A blazed trail left by the raiders runs off to the southwest from the town’s margin. We were called upon to stealthily scout the enemy, collect information, and return back to report. More specifically, we were to answer the following questions: 1) where is the raider camp located, 2) what is the strength of their forces, 3) who are their leaders, 4) what is the motivation behind the raid(s), and 5) what is the probable site of their next attack. If we succeed, we were offered a 250 gp a head payment. Given our prior experience, we undoubtedly should have asked to be better equipped and provided with a handful of potions of healing.
Supplies were gathered and we broke camp. We were approached by a young monk, limping on a bandaged leg. The young man, named Nesim Waladra, asks us to also investigate the disappearance of his master, Leosin Erlanthar, during the battle. He notes the monk was investigating the raiders for months. He may hold many answers to our questions about these attacks.
Setting out we tracked a muddy avenue of tracks. Upon inspection, we noted the tracks appear deeper leaving the settlement than those approaching it – suggesting they left carrying great treasure burdens.
Traveling south 12 miles, we entered a landscape of gently rolling hills and rocky plateaus. We noted in the distance a cooking fire rising into the sky from several miles ahead. Using boulders for cover, we snuck up to the margins of a straggler’s camp. We observed four human cultists and eight kobolds. Both groups were intent on bickering, with the humans bullying the kobolds. The kobolds narrowly held back spiteful curses at their “superiors”. The cultists had stacked their weapons in a pile, while the kobolds hold theirs in belted scabbards at their sides. We divined we might be able to split allegiances and, at minimum, get the drop on the cultists.
Seizing the initiative, Sal assuming an invisible form, gathered the set aside weapons and shields. Speaking telepathically, he stirred the ire and distrust of the kobolds for the humans, leading them to abandon the cultists in disgust.
Circling the four, we quickly captured the defenseless fools, binding their hands. Sal and worked them over, he employing intimidating words, while I plied them with persuasion. They revealed the presence of a powerful rearguard to the raider’s camp. They provide a description of the camp and its layout. They confess they were collecting treasure to contribute a hoard to honor Tiamat (gold, gems, and other valuables). Finally, they begrudgingly spilt the name of the camp’s leaders: Rezmir (the Wyrmspeaker), Frulum Mondath and Langdedrosa Cyanwrath. Knocking them out, we gathered their robes and 28 sp.
Moving with stealth and gained knowledge, we circled around and avoided the rearguard force.
With simple cult robes donned, we approached a horseshoe-shaped plateau. Spread across this large area of the vast camp where a large number of circular huts, constructed of wood / bone poles and hide, sod, and mud. Huts on level one appear more crudely built than those on the higher level two. Set apart at the back of higher level was one singularly large hut.
We cautiously approached at first, quickly noting security appeared quite lax. Residents seem tired, but enthusiastically still celebrating their triumphant raid. Becoming emboldened after not being challenged, we strode about as if we belonged, smiling and joining in the revelry – while being observant. We counted roughly 100 kobolds and a mix of bandits, guards, mercenaries, cultists (numbering roughly 80 total). The larger tent appears guarded by four standing guards and four guard drakes.
Talking with gusto and sharing our rations, we spoke with several people we met. We learned the group next mean to mount a raid on the more distant town of Elturel, located far to the north on the banks of the Chionthar River. Discussing the previous night’s attack, we learn that the commander Frulam Mondath persuaded the adult Blue dragon, Lennithon, to attack the keep of Greenest. Thus, we had a name for our nemesis, to be dealt payback for slaughter in the future. We also learned a cave near the rear of the settlement, known as the nursery, where Rezmir hopes to hatch a clutch of dragon eggs. We also learned a second cave contained the cache of loot gathered during past raids.
Most importantly, we asked where prisoners were being held, that we might take out a bit of our “aggression” as payback for a few injuries we sustained. We learned they were being held near camp’s rear amongst a group of stables. Many are employed as laborers.
As night fell, we traveled to the camp’s rear, in hope that we might locate the monk. We were met with the vision of weak, beaten, undernourished half-elf affixed to a stake. Moving about, I moved within 60 feet of Leosin, quietly singing a healing word. Donning my hood, I crept behind the stake whispering we were friends, intent on rescuing him. At first, he tried to beg off rescue, stating he meant to be imprisoned, he has learned much, and seeks more information about his captors. While slightly refreshed by my spell, he still can barely hold himself upright. I whisper our insistence, noting the details of the camp’s plot would likely perish with him. Acceding, despite half-muttered protest, he leaned back against the stake in defeat.
Meanwhile, I moved back to my brethren. We quickly formulated a plan. We would notify the fellow prisoners that we intended to free them, mount and release several horses, and flee the camp together. Iluna crouching behind a stable wall, assumed the form of a horse. The others quietly gathered and informed the prisoners and secured several horses.
Meanwhile, I cut Leosin’s bonds with a dagger. I had him don a spare Cult robe, and draw up its hood.
We released several horse, slapping their haunches to cause them to bolt around, unmanaged, and even topple a tent or two. Amidst the bedlam, our group and the prisoners rode little heeded away from the camp, before a challenge could be mounted. We turned away to the south, before circling wide beyond the camp. In the dark, we turned to the northwest to head back to Greenest.
There we hoped to get further answers from Leosin. That and seek a means to further assault and investigate the camp and the Cult’s plot.