Reidoth the Druid
Spying a building in suspiciously good shape, including a newly barred door, the party knocks politely. The door is opened by Reidoth.
First impressions go badly. Reidoth feels the party are a bunch of “adventurer tourists” who will only get themselves killed. Not that he cares too much, he’s got other things to worry about.
Reidoth knows the local area better than anyone, and provides directions to Cragmaw castle. However, he won’t give up Wave Echo Cave without a price.
If the players can drive off a young green dragon that resides in Thundertree, Reidoth will guide them to Wave Echo Cave. The party agrees. “Your funeral. I’m just saying that when you die, I won’t be burying you.”
In parting, Reidoth also mentions that even more threats exist in Thundertree. Giant Spiders hunt in the area, and some mysterious humans have been skulking around the east side of town. “They wear black cloaks and masks, I don’t know what their deal is.”
Venomfang (the Dragon)
Venomfang (the party never learns his name) is a young green dragon who is trying to establish a lair in Thundertree. His home is a 40’, single-room stone tower with an attached cottage. When he moved in, he ripped the top off of the tower and killed the previous tenants: some giant spiders.
As the party approaches, Venomfang is obvious, as he is obsessively counting his treasure while curled up in the bottom of the tower. The PCs cluster up in the cottage. A single door stands between the characters and a freakin’ dragon.
The party goes all-in, and makes an ambush charge.
This is the right call. In a straight fight, the dragon would obliterate the party. The dragon can fly at will, and the party has few ranged options. The goal isn’t to kill the dragon, but simply to hurt it on the ground, and maybe drive it off.
Things break the party’s way. They surprise the dragon on the ground, and it rolls a low initiative. The party ends up getting two complete rounds before it can react. Even with Sealson‘s Assassin critical hit, they can’t kill it in two rounds.
Venomfang vaults up to a nearby crossbeam, expelling both obscenities and the feared dragon breath attack. The poison breath washes over the entire party, gravely wounded some and knocking the others unconscious. The evil serpent gloats and taunts the players.
Valonia makes a desperation Bluff play, promising vast riches if the Dragon spares them. Alas, even a young dragon is very smart and crafty, and sees through the bluff. He describes how he will flay the flesh from their bones.
The party scrambles to retreat. A few emergency heal spells, and the party is back up, and manages to take shelter in the adjoined cottage. They cower in that single small room waiting for the (likely fatal) counterattack.
A roar, falling stonework, and then… silence. The attack never comes, the dragon has fled.
Venomfang was critically wounded. He was bluffing, intimidating the party into retreating so that he could make a run for it. The entire party had failed Insight checks, so they ran first.
For this kind of fight, a draw is a win. The dragon has been driven away, and that’s all that matters. This secures the party both Reidoth’s favor as well as a dragon’s treasure stash.
2000 XP. Drove away Venomfang the dragon.
Treasure. 150gp, 800sp, 4 silver worth 60gp each, scroll of misty step, scroll of lightning bolt, +1 battleaxe named “Hew."
Eric is conflicted about this battleaxe, Hew. It’s a formidable weapon, but Eric is a wood elf and this weapon opposes his nature.
The party is wounded but alive. They retreat to Reidoth’s cabin to rest.