The Golden Eagle Inn and Carriage House stands near a major crossroads, close to the Arden forest in the nation-state Cormyr.
After Dresden downs his second drink, a Tiefling walks up to Lelah and asks for a meal. Fresh Cormyr Eagle today, she replies. The Tiefling, who is known as Anakis of Folkor, accepts and asks for a mug of water, which causes Lelah to laugh. Before, Lelah realizes it, a half-orc named Djeruk Brakstine sits at the bar and negotiates Lelah on price. She begrudgingly accepts his offer.
Laylyn Oakley, a half-elf arrives at the Golden Eagle and orders mead. Two wood-elves, speaking quietly across the room, admire Laylyn’s natural beauty.
The Golden Eagle is lively. There is a Dwarf playing cards. A human with four huge bodyguards. Two other Dwarves are laughing and having lively conversation. Dresden and Anakis, up for some friendly competition, join the Dwarf, Harri, for card games. Games are won and lost. Djeruk brazenly goes up to the human and his bodyguards but no one is in the mood for conversation. Lelah passes out another round of drinks.
Laylyn approaches the woodelves and pulls back her cloak revealing her elvish ears. The Woodelves buy her a round and she is introduced to Shoosum Browless. They speak in Elvish.
Suddenly, a disturbance is heard outside the inn, as the windows shatter inward from the force of something powerful. Immediately, three great knights wearing the distinctive armor of the Purple Dragon Army appear in the courtyard, one of whom Anakis and Lelah recognize Sir Beldrake Canton. How they recognize him it is not yet revealed, but they do now he does not come in peace.
Behind the knights, towering large and radiating an intense heat from both scale and breath, is a massive Red Dragon. The dragon’s incredible tail has knocked down a large gate leading into the city and it becomes quickly apparent that this beast is no match for the lowly adventures who have found themselves together in the inn.
Nearly as soon as the disturbance begins, several druids wielding curved scimitars burst through the now-shattered windows. They strike and kill one of the unsuspecting dwarf patrons and the adventurers spring into action. Lelah throws a bottle of alcohol from behind the bar, striking and blinding one of the druids, as Dresden takes to his bow and deftly strikes the blinded druid in the neck, proving himself to be a skilled ranger. Lelah says sarcastically, “That was my kill,” though the adventures quickly recognize that if they’re going to live through this, they’ll need to work together.
The fracas ensues, Djeruk takes out two druids with his warhammer, showcasing his brute strength. Laylyn punishes a nearby enemy with her Chill Touch cantrip, illustrating her sorceress prowess. Anakis misses with a warlock Eldritch Blast cantrip as she deftly dodges the strike of a nearby druid. “Robe is flowing, midriff is showing!” she says cheekily. The dwarf Harri performs an acrobatic maneuver to slice through the leather armor yet another enemy foe.
Druid fighters continue to enter the room, streaming in now from windows on all sides. The front door to the main room bulges inward and shatters, spreading splinters in every direction. The powerful blast knocks over the nearby heavy wooden furniture as the three knights emerge through the opening. The face of Sir Beldrake brings frightening images to Anakis, but she continues onward. The dragon, with it’s nearly two-foot-wide mouth emanates intense heat.
Quickly realizing this is a battle which cannot be won, the bar owner, Tam, recommends that everyone flee down into the basement storeroom where there is a secret passage that leads out of town. Each adventures uses skills to maim, delay, and outrun the ensuing druids as they make their way out of the room and down the basement steps. The mysterious human and his four guards disappear upstairs.
As Harri follows the adventures he makes a giant leap over a illusory table created by Laylyn and lands roughly, becoming stunned. Lelah quips, “they called it a dive bar before” and “where there’s a wall, there’s a way” as she disappears into the basement tunnel. When Harri is pursued closely by an enemy foe that bursts through the minor illusion, Laylyn thinks quickly and uses the Mage Hand cantrip to jostle Harri back to his senses, as Dresden turns back up the stairs and fires his bow at the nearby druid, then helping Laylyn pull Harri down the stairs and into safety. Tam follows and everyone makes it out of the carriage house and into the tunnel.
The five adventures, Harri, and Tam – lantern in hand – move quickly through the tunnel, eventually emerging among the dense, old growth trees of the Arden forest. Tam recommends that they make their way to the nearby town of Nightstone, which is a distance of roughly 10 miles past the river. The river is at the edge of the forest and is an estimated 3 miles away. Dresden, skilled in forest navigation, leads with Tam as the adventures banter and recant what just happened to them back at the inn. Anakis is reluctant to share how she knows Sir Beldrake.
Shortly, they come upon an increasing density of spiderwebs among the trees when suddenly a massive spider drops from the forest canopy and sinks its deadly fangs into Tam’s neck. Before their eyes, the necrotic venom starts to eat away at Tam’s flesh, killing him nearly instantly. With the spider above them and with no choice but to fight, Harri and the adventurers spring into action against the formidable Phase Spider.
Djeruk casts Bless on three of his fellow adventurers and Divine Favor on himself, giving each an additional 1d4 die per attack, and swings his heavy weapon, twice striking the spider. Dresden casts Hunter’s Mark, giving him an additional 1d6 damage buff and sinks an arrow into the spider’s eye. Before the spider has a chance to react, Laylyn casts Sleep on the beast and it slumps into a deep slumber, upon which she follows with a Wild Magic Surge. She rolls 71 on the table, granting her immunity to damage for one minute. Anakis casts Hex, buffing her attacks with 1d6 additional damage, followed by an Eldritch Blast cantrip which lands successfully. Lelah fires a crossbow and lands a killing strike, ending the battle.
As Djeruk examines the corpse, two more spiders drop with a heavy thud behind the party. With spell slots exhausted and convinced they are no match for this battle, the adventures and Harri take off running with the spiders in a close chase. Lelah nearly falls to exhaustion when the spiders give up and drop back as the party emerges at the edge of forest and set up camp at the riverbank, thus ending their first quest together. Their destination remains Nightstone.
Unabridged quest notes can be located here.