The story opened on the adventuring party of Courtland, Aiko Tai Hideaki, Hania Highspire, Henrik Von Ditronas, and Edmund Backstabber finding themselves in Everlasting Dawn, the capital of the Kingdom of Light Immaculate in Great Farris in search of work.
Their wandering brought them to a cozy little basement inn with a sign above the door depicting a rat swimming on stylized waves – the Drowned Rat Inn, run by Ogden Rockbiter. A former adventurer himself, Ogden was happy to speak with the group, and tried to aid them in their search by suggesting that the Peacekeepers would likely have some quests that they could complete for their sought-after fame and fortune.
As the cost of lodging was being discussed, a great force like an explosion shook the inn, making dust fall from the roof; shortly afterwards, a gout of flame rushed past the windows, and the sounds of fighting and screams could be heard in the city streets. Hania and Henrick rushed to the doors and pulled them open to find a pair of kobolds on the other side, one of which was armed with a large bomb it had intended to use when making its entrance.
The kobolds at the door wouldn’t have been a match for the adventurers, but the other walls of the Drowned Rat were breached with explosives, and a small army of kobolds, led by a vicious dragonborn, rushed into the tight space. Ogden retrieved a chest from beneath the bar and armed the other patrons with weapons masterfully (and hastily) crafted by a previous visitor – a dwarven cleric, Hrothgar Gemhammer – but as the battle raged on and the civilians fell, he eventually herded them into the basement in hopes that they would be safe there while the adventurers cleared out the invaders.
Courtland was knocked unconscious in the battle by a wicked blow from the dragonborn, but his friends came to his aid, and the commander and his kobold underlings were swiftly dispatched.
After the fight, while they were binding their wounds, the doors were thrown open and a small force of five Peacekeepers – warrior women from the Sisters of Battle chapter – rushed in to look for survivors. They were joined by Inquisitor Regula, a beautiful and severe looking woman, and one of the most powerful people in the kingdom. The Inquisitor asked the adventuring party to escort the civilians to an underground vault just a few blocks from there, where they could be easily defended, and she would see to their being rewarded after the battle. The party agreed to lend their aid in the city’s defense, and with that, the Inquisitor and her retinue left the Drowned Rat for the Divine Monarch’s Ecclesiastical Citadel at the heart of the city.
Ogden rounded up the civilians and retrieved an old mace from his adventuring days, a masterwork weapon which he gifted to Courtland.
With the civilians in tow, the party finally left the Drowned Rat to find the city in chaos, with kobolds and dragonborn in the street, and a black and gold dragon engaged in an aerial melee directly overhead, which showered the group with warm blood. They fought their way through the draconic forces and across town to a nondescript, squat building, with a wide iron gate at the door. When they tested the door, they found it to be suspiciously unlocked.
The stairs into the vault had a shallow slope to them and descended into the earth about a mile, with the sharp smell of poison greeting them roughly halfway down. The civilians stayed on the stair, with Ogden standing watch, while the adventurers moved down into the vault to see to the source of the smell.
With Hania in the lead, the group entered into the vault, which was a long room that extended well beyond the light of the lamp and housed rows and rows of high shelves, bearing heaps of of government documents inside of leather pouches. There was something else in the vault as well, as Hania could hear it moving somewhere in the darkness.
The daeva used an alchemical sunrod to light the vault and threw it into the distance, where it illuminated the scaled green tail of something large hiding between two of the immense shelving units, as well as a blood trail which followed it.
Moving forward cautiously, the group approached the creatures, prepared for battle. A rumbling voice tried to warn them off, promising them pain and death, but the group could detect fear and pain on the creature’s voice.
Hania and Courtland finally closed the distance and found the creature in the vault to be a very young green dragon, clearly in pain as his foreleg was shredded by the teeth of a gold dragon, hiding deeper in the vault. The green dragon, Gorruth, told the troupe that he’d come to the vault to hide from the battle, and had been followed by the young gold dragon, who attacked and wounded him by the stairs. He had wounded the gold in return, and two of them separated to hide in the vault and lick their wounds.
While Gorruth agreed to aid the adventurers in defending the civilians in the vault in exchange for his safety and a little healing, the young female gold dragon proved to be much less reasonable, as she argued that all chromatic dragons needed to be slain, and the green dragon could not be trusted. Hania healed and attempted to reason with her, but the dragon refused to join them and left to stand watch over a different vault entrance.
With the vault secure, Henrick – a native to Everlasting Dawn – left for his family home, Courtland following to help him.
The battle carried on through the night, with , Edmund, and Hania helping to defend the vault alongside Gorruth and Ogden, and Henrick and Courtland fighting their way across the city, sending civilians they encountered to the vault.
When morning came, a contingent of Peacekeepers, led by Captain Kaius, came to the vault to relieve the exhausted adventurers. They paid the group for their aid and agreed to take Gorruth to the Inquisitors to see to his fate, then offered more work from Inquisitor Regula in defense of Everlasting Dawn.
Fierburg, a city in Alaron, is home to Highhelm Bastion, where the Praetors of Ophirion – another chapter of Peacekeepers – trains the kingdom’s best dragon riders. With the dragons and Peacekeepers needed in defense of Everlasting Dawn, Regula asked that the adventurers go to Fierburg and speak to the Lord of the Flight, Neoptolemus, and request that he send his dragons to the capital.
(If you’ve read this, give yourself three hero points.)