Greenest burns, still beset by Cult of the Dragon raiders and their blue dragon ally. Regrouping in the shadows of Greenest Keep, the four adventurers resume their mission to evacuate the civilians barricaded inside the besieged Temple of Chauntea. Approaching the temple from the south via the stream bed, they discover it is surrounded by a low stone wall with an entrance to the north.
Raeyanne scouts the area and spies one group trying to light the doors, while another marches around the building and the third can be heard battering on the doors.
The adventurers decide to create a distraction using Beryl’s thaumaturgy. The Gold Dwarf walks along the wall until she nears the entrance. Then she creates a voice that calls out “Help, brothers! A group of bugbears is attacking!”
Beryl follows this performance up with set of convincing bugbear growls. A group of kobolds near the entrance goes to investigate, while the procession halts by the gate.
The rest of the party hops the wall and rushes the back door, their approach obscured by the smoke billowing out from the raiders’ failed efforts to light a fire. With surprise on their side, they cut through their human foes swiftly despite the enemy’s greater numbers. Even so, Raeyanne is grievously hurt and Garrett takes a wound.
The rogues cut down the remaining kobolds, while Beryl tries to lure the other group further away. She is finally spotted and retreats along the wall, finally clambering over it to give them the slip.
Hurk bangs on the temple door, insisting that they are town guards and urging the occupants to open up. A frightened voice from the other side of the door insists it must be a trick and refuses to open it.
Raeyanne then knocks on the door in a specific pattern and says simply “It’s Raeyanne.” After a moment, the door opens and a read-haired half-elf greets them. Garrett is at a loss for words—more so than usual.
With the priest’s help, they begin hustling people out and over the wall, with Garrett reluctantly taking point. Unfortunately, while Hurk is distracted by the dragon flying overhead the column resumes its march around the building.
Realizing the danger, the half-orc lights a torch and rushes out, saying “The town militia’s coming over the western wall! The boys at the back gate are fighting them! If we circle around, we can catch them in a pincer movement!”
The other raiders follow him but soon gets tangled up in the battering ram at the gates. The humans, ragged mercenaries and a pirate crew, trade insults. Meanwhile, the rest of the party successfully evacuates the building.
Hurk tosses his torch, shouts “The cult has betrayed us!” and runs into the darkness amid all the confusion. He catches up with the others after they’ve gotten most of the temple folks into the keep.
“What took you so long?” Garrett asks.
“I briefly switched sides,” the half-orc explains, “but the pay was too lousy so I came back.”
The priest, Eadyan Falconmoon, tends to their wounds as they rest up. Garrett puts the moves on him, but the priest demures—while arranging a discrete liaison via thieves’ cant.
The lull in the fighting is broken just before midnight, when the blue dragon makes its final attack on the keep. Raeyanne asks about a ballista, but Escobert explains it was knocked into the courtyard at the start of the attack. They’ve been working to repair it, but it’s not ready.
With guidance from Hurk and assistance from Garrett, Raeyanne hastily jerry-rigs a fix. Hurk and Beryl then carry the weapon up onto the tower, choosing to sacrifice time in order to get it into a better position. During the repairs and transport, the dragon’s lightning breath slays six of the defenders on the wall and wounds another eleven.
The adventurers manage to wrestle the ballista into position just as the dragon comes in for another pass. Just at the last minute, Garrett fires a bolt that pierces the dragon’s lower jaw, cutting off its impending blast of lightning. As the blue wyrm beats a hasty retreat, Hurk realizes he had encountered the monster before. Unfortunately, Raeyanne’s jerry-rigged repairs only managed to squeeze one shot of the ballista, rendering it inoperable without hours of major repairs.
Nevertheless, the dragon’s defeat elicits a cheer from the defenders and the civilians. It also seems to take the heart out of the raiders, who begin withdrawing from the town. However, a large group remains gathered near the gates of the keep.
A blue half-dragon steps forward, issuing a challenge to the town’s greatest warrior. In return, he will spare the woman and three children held captive by his kobold followers. One of the militia, Sergeant Markguth, lets out a gasp, recognizing his sister Myrcella and her kids.
Hurk volunteers to go out, negotiating the release of the three children for his participation and the release of the woman once the duel is concluded. Beryl blesses Hurk with a shield of faith and then joins the others watching on the wall. A halfling is going by, selling bags of popcorn for 2cp, but the cleric decides not to partake
The proud half-dragon introduces itself as Langdedrosa Cyanwrath and asks for Hurks name. The two strike at one another, with Beryl’s spell deflecting the creature’s initial spear thrusts. Hurk rakes a red gash through its gaudy purple mantle with his longsword and Cyanwrath responds by spitting lightning in the half-orc’s face,.
Badly scorched, Hurk flashes a winning grin. “I’ll make you a deal. Let the woman go. This fight need not go on—it’s clear that we are equals.”
“I like you, Hurk,” Cyanwrath says, “but we both know the fight is almost over.”
Hurk drops his shield and swings at the half-dragon double-handed, but Cyanwrath parries with his spear and then strikes back with such force that even Bahamut’s grace cannot protect him. Having taken a spear to the chest, Hurk collapses. Cyanwrath poises to stab him again, then thinks better of it. He orders his kobolds to release the woman and then marches off with his lackeys in tow.
Beryl rushes out to Hurk to cast a healing spell on him and helps him back to the keep, where he is heralded as a hero once again. Markguth thanks him profusely, while Myrcella promises him free drinks at the Winking Sun any time he drops by.
Governor Nighthill then thanks the four adventurers for all they have done, admitting that if not for their arrival it is doubtful anything would be left of Greenest. He says they’ve set up private rooms for them to rest up after their long night. Rest is the last thing on Garrett’s mind, however, as he pursues a private rendezvous with Brother Falconmoon.