The Tyranny of Dragons: Dawn of Heroes

12 Flamerule 1489 DR
It's Always Darkest Before The Dawn

Journal of Sora Goldflame, Servant of Lathander

My name is Sora Goldflame, and this is my record of events of the incident in Greenest. If you come across this journal, please get it to those at Twilight Hall in Berdusk, they will know what to do with this information, and hopefully will still have time to act.

I had been on the road a few days with a small merchant caravan, traveling with them while I made my way to Greenest to meet with an old friend, Leosin Erlanthar. He had contacted me about some odd raider activity which he thought may be connected ot the Cult of the Dragon. As I unfortunately discovered earlier tonight, he was right.

As we came over a rise into view of Greenest just before sunset, our caravan was shocked to see that the town was under attack by a large group of raiders and kobolds, with a sizeable blue dragon strafing the town with lighting at the same time. Even from as far away as we were, we could hear the screams as people fled through the streets from the dragon and the marauders. I quickly dashed toward the town, as did three of the other travelers from the caravan.

As we approached Greenest, we tried to remain unseen. Our efforts were successful, and we quickly dispatched some groups of kobolds and raiders that we came across. They seemed to be focused on looting the town, searching for hidden  caches and anything that could be of possible value; we also found a significant amount of coin on them. Some of the raiders seemed to be your typical bandits and unsavory mercenary types that you can find throughout the region, but others were markedly different. They wore leather and cloth armor designed like a hooded robe that seem to have been noticeably stripped of any identifying design or insignia. Whoever they were, they were trying to hide their affiliation.

While we approached, I also got an opportunity to better assess my companions. While we had been traveling for together for a brief time, I did not know much about them. One was a tall, muscular half-orc woman, Ura Shadowstalker, who appeared to be a fierce warrior but seemed to be unnaturally nimble and quiet. This was born out throughout the night as I saw her slay foe after foe, emerging from seemingly nowhere out of the shadows to quickly and efficiently claim their lives.

Another, a human man by the name of Martigan Ratcatcher, seemed like he could have just as easily fit in with the bandits we were fighting. Despite appearances though, he seems imbued with a noble hard and demonstrated an immense skill at arms that he put to use defending the people of Greenest tonight.

Finally, there is the companion I find the most intriguing, the svirfneblin gnome Xanadu Xan. I met him at Candlekeep, where he was researching famous gems and magical jewelry of the surface world. He is both a master jeweler and a talented mage, and he decided to travel with me to Greenest to investigate the recent raids. He had been hearing about them through his gem broker and jeweler contacts, the raids had gotten so bad that it was affecting the gem trade throughout the North. Despite the normally insular and solemn nature of his people, he seems to have embraced and taken a genuine joy in the freedom offered by the surface world.

We quickly made our way through the outskirts of Greenest toward the keep in the center of the town. It only followed that that would be where most of the townsfolk of Greenest would try to flee. As we were going through the streets near the center of town, we came across a family fleeing in terror from a band of kobolds. We had been hearing screams and coming across the bodies of villagers caught in the mayhem as we moved through town, and I'd be damned if we were going to let these monsters cut down more innocents in front of us. Thankfully the gods smiled on us, and we quickly dispatched the creatures before they could further harm the family they pursued.

We ended up finding more villagers, a mix of men, women and children, as we approached the keep. We had to dispatch a particularly large force of kobolds and raiders in the town square, but after that we were able to escort the group of twenty or so villagers we had found into the keep. We were some of the last to make it in before they closed the gates. In the courtyard we could what looked like a couple hundred people, all families, huddled and trying to keep out of site of the strafing dragon.

We were quickly met by the castellan of the keep, a surly but kind hearted dwarf named Escobert the Red that I knew through past my travels through the area. He quickly thanked us for our help and ushered us to Governor Tarbaw Nighthill (whom I was also acquainted with). After some quick introductions, he begged our aid in helping protect the villagers.

While many residents of Greenest had made it into the keep, there were still others trapped outside with the raiders. Governor Nighthill asked us to open up the secret drainage tunnel that ran beneath the keep to the nearby river, and to then try and rescue what villagers we could and escort them back in through the tunnel. He told us that there were likely many people sheltering at the temple of Chauntea in the southeast of town.

We took a quarter hour to tend to some of our own wounds, and I also helped tend to as many of the wounded residents of Greenest as a I could. I stole a few moments to put pen to ink and record these events in case our rescue attempt is unsuccessful.

It is of paramount importance that this information make it to the proper hands, for you see before we made our way to the secret tunnel, Governor Nighthill hurriedly called us to the ramparts. As we followed him up the stairs of the stone wall of the keep, he asked that if possible we try to capture one of the raiders once we were in the town, preferably one of the leaders. As we made it to the top of the ramparts, he pointed in the distance to the town square we had passed through earlier, saying that he had spotted one of the raiders' commanders.

There was a large force of marauders there examining the carnage that we had left in our wake, and directing them was a figure decked in vibrant purple armored robes with gold trim. The woman wielded a wicked looking glaive, and even from a distance the draconic motif to her garments and weapon were apparent.

There can no longer be any doubt, the Cult of the Dragon has returned… and they are here in Greenest. May Lathander guide our way through this night so that the people of Greenest may yet see the dawn.

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