Our adventure opens up one morning, as a group of travelers break camp. Today they make for their destination, the town of Greenest.
Driving the caravan is a Gnomish merchant, Balabar Rumbuckle, who is journeying home. His wagon is empty and his pockets are full of gold. This trip was a lucrative one. He’s accompanied by four adventurers who he’s hired on as caravan guards.
After hearing stories of increasing danger in the area, Balabar hired on the group in Berdusk. He didn’t want to lose his profits to bandits on the way home. It seems that the adventurers know each other, but they aren’t too open with Balabar about their past. Their history is somewhat of a mystery. It seems they have their own reasons for traveling to Greenest.
Hunkir Brittlebod, one of the adventurers, is seeking out an old friend in Greenest, Leosin Erlanthar. Leosin recently sent an urgent letter to Hunkir, urging him to meet in the town. The note was vague, but indicated that Leosin had stumbled onto something nefarious. Feeling loyal to his oldest friend, Hunkir makes the journey. He’s not normally one for selfless quests.
To reach Greenest they travel southwest along the Uldoon Trail, across the Green Fields of the Western Heartlands. The sea of grassland stretches to the horizon, with grass as tall as a grown man in places. Swaying in the wind, the grass chokes the path, barely leaving enough room for a single wagon. As they pass by, it’s almost as if the grass were alive, recoiling from their touch.
Trying to get to know his companions, Balabar attempts to make small talk. He doesn’t get far though, as he’s interrupted by the antics of Elven Fafaris, another one of the adventurers. Elven, amuses himself by playing pranks on the unsuspecting Gnome. One of his gags leaves Balabar thinking he’s soiled his pants. Embarrassed, the Gnome retreats from the conversation, praying that no one notices.
Under the midday sun, a startling noise alerts the troupe. Something behind them bounds away from the path. Dashing through the grass, the rustling falls off, springing away from the trail. It’s unsettling that they passed by something potentially dangerous, looming so close. The party decides not to investigate. It’s not worth the risk. They have no appetite for seeking out trouble.
Further down the road they’re alerted again, this time by a women’s cries for help. With a sense of duty to those in need, one of the hired guards, Sir Darin, charges forward. He forges a path through the tall grass for the rest to follow. Balabar, nervous about leaving the trail, stays back. Hunkir and Elven join Darin to investigate.
In a clearing, a distressed women sits crouched over a body. A massive dog sits at her side. She cries, begging for help. She says an evil knight rode through on horseback and attacked them unprovoked. As she describes it, her friend, on the ground, was attacked by some kind of magic, a “kind of lightening attack”. She pleads that they help him.
Noticing that the body appears unscathed, the adventurers hold back. The women begs that they come close and see what they can do for her friend. “He’s not breathing,” she pleads.
Taking pause, the adventurers notice that there are no hoof-prints or evidence of a battle. Surveying the scene in more detail, they also catch the man sneaking a breath. They press her for details and her story starts to crack.
Without warning, from the grass behind the women, an arrow flies, grazing Sir Darin. With their ruse exposed, the women and the downed man attack. Back at the wagon, guarding Balabar, Webelo, the fourth adventurer, hears commotion. He decides to sneak through the grass and get a peek at what’s going on. Heedless, he runs into the hidden archer. They’re both caught unawares.
A full skirmish breaks out, both in and out of the grass. Webelo wrestles with the archer while the others fight the brigands and their hound. The dog meets a sad end in a fire pit, while his masters are dispatched one by one.
Investigating the brigand’s camp sheds some light on their intentions. Two wagons wall off part of the clearing. Inside one of them, dried blood and deep scrapes decorate the floorboards. Several sets of manacles are bolted to the sides. From the brigand who feigned injury, the party recovers a mystical club. Though, it’s unclear what exactly is special about the weapon.
A second wagon holds the brigands’ personal effects. There isn’t much out of the ordinary here. The adventurers do find a small bird figurine, and an odd note. The note demands “heartier stock”, detailing that “the last group burnt out too quickly”. The note is signed with a strange sigil:
After the group returns to the wagon, Balabar is anxious to get underway. He seems galvanized in his worry — the rumors of danger in the Green Fields were true. Worried they’ll invite more attackers, he doesn’t want to linger any longer than they have to.
Elven, back to his antics, offers to share the loot they found with Balabar. He hands the Gnome an illusionary diamond which will fade into nothingness after an hour. Feeling exploited, Webelo calls for better pay — retribution for the dangers they faced. Balabar, fearing his guards will turn on him, hands over the diamond he had received from Elven.
The rest of the trip is uneventful. The party hurries its way along the trail as the sun gets lower in the sky. As dusk falls they crest a hill overlooking Greenest. Smoke, screams, and chaos echo from over the ridge. As the troupe lay eyes on the town, a bellowing roar comes buzzing from behind. A great blue dragon swoops down from overhead and takes off over the village. Greenest is under attack.