Governor Nighthill was desparate for help defending the town from the attacking cultists. A report had come in that the attackers were trying to burn down the town mill. If they succeeded, then the town would be unable to mill flour for months. The team sneaked out the secret tunnel and followed the riverbank.
They were able to see a small group of cultists piling straw against the building, but they noticed that they way they were doing it, they couldn’t possibly succeed. They were merely attempting to burn the stone part of the wall, and it was unlikely that the building would have caught fire. They ambushed this small group and killed them quickly.
Unfortunately, it was a trap. Upon entering the building the group was ambushed by a large group of cultists and armoured mercenaries. Two mercenaries were able to escape, and fortunately they did not finish the job of killing the defenders properly – the party was rescued by a reinforcing group of town guards. This encounter did reinforce two things – first, that the cultists were driving the attack and the mercs were merely paid thugs; and second, that the attackers knew about the group and thought that they were enough of a threat to set an ambush for.
The team was able to return to the keep through the secret tunnel and recuperate somewhat. About an hour later, word came that a large number of surviving townsfolk were trapped in the chapel of Chauntea at the southeast end of town. Again, the party sneaked out the secret tunnel and followed the river.
From the riverbank, it appeared that there were three groups of attackers at the temple: a large group of mostly cultists – including what appeared to be an officer – attempting to use a ram to break down the front door; a large group of mainly kobolds who were circling the building, hooting and singing; and a smaller group of cultists and kobolds who were attempting to set fire to the back door.
The party made short work of the last group and were able to quickly shunt the villagers out of the church and back to the keep before the circling kobolds noticed.
Now it was getting on towards early morning. The cultists appeared to be gathering just out of bowshot of the entrance to the keep. One large humanoid but dragonlike creature came forward and demanded that the keep send forth a champion to fight him in single combat. In return, four hostages – a woman, a teenage boy and two children – would be released.
Heironymous Caine demanded the right to fight this creature, though Dona argued the point. Caine went forth and declared his name to the creature. In return, it gave its name as Langdedrosa Cyanwrath, an officer of the Cult of the Dragon. The hostage children would be released immediately as a show of good faith, while the woman would remain with Cyanwrath’s kobolds and would be killed if anyone else interfered with the duel. The terms were agreed to, and Caine entered battle with the half-dragon.
Caine scratched it slightly before it pounded him into the ground, sneering. Caine was close to death as the creature gathered its forces and left the town.
In the morning the extent of the devastation could be seen – almost everything of value had been stripped from the town – all gold, silver, artworks, trinkets, weapons and equipment had been taken by the Cult.