Having resolved to travel to Yartar as soon as Grey had taken delivery of his new armour, the Talons spent the next few days seeing to the renovation of the Tresendar Manor, each seeing to the design of their own living quarters.
The town and surrounding area was buoyed by the return of the Talons, and their renovation of the manor, the community relaxed and completely unprepared for a surprise attack by masked cultists and a familiar dragon. The Talons were roused from their business late at night by screams, shouts and the banging of desperate villagers on the main door of the manor. Letting the bedraggled survivors in, the heroes were stunned to see Phandalin burning before them. Immediately efforts were made to barricade the manor doors, and on the suggestion of Sildar Hallwinter, efforts were made to scout the town and bring in more survivors.
The Talons made a brief foray into town, bringing back a few survivors and coming into contact with several strange, winged Kobolds, as well as cultists with metal piercings thrust through their bodies, grasping strange batons that crackled with electricity. After rescuing a few civilians, the Talons began shoring up the secret entrance to the manor, setting traps and charging Iarno Albrek with warning the Dwarves, and bringing reinforcements if possible. Adaven was also able to question a cultist prisoner, who gave away the location of the main force, camped some way outisde town, as well as hinting that the leader of this particular army was known as “The Wearer of Purple”.
The beseiging army battered away at the front entrance, and the dragon Venomfang slew many guards, before he could be driven away once more by the wild magic of Adaven. The Talons could be sure they had not seen the last of this particular foe, as he wheeled away spitting curses in a booming draconic voice.
Meanwhile, kobold minions managed to breach the kitchen door, and clashed with the meagre forces remaining within the manor. The Talons rushed to help, and were able (with the help of Sildar Hallwinter) to beat off the attack, collapsing the kitchen door in the process. The attackers consisted of several strangely mutilated cultists wielding odd weapons, as well as a strange lizard-drake the size of a large dog. Unfortunately, as the doorway was destroyed, Grey was trapped outside, forcing him to dispatch two more cultists and rush to affect a disguise in order to escape the attention of the remaining attackers. Grey was able to slip his attackers and circle round to the secret entrance, running in to Daran Edermath in the process. Daran Edermath resolved to guard the entrance, and ensure that any survivors were guided through the traps laid out by the Talons. Grey returned just as Adaven spied a further problem, dragon cultists setting fires around the farmsteads, as well as the miner’s exchange.
The decision was made to save the farmstead, despite being wounded and battered, the Talons headed back out of the rear entrance, and on to the farm. As the Talons exited the treeline, fleeing peasants were attempting to reach the relative safety of the woodland, pursued by ravenous kobolds. A quick volley of arrows from the bows of the Talons put the beasts down, although one peasant was brutally killed before they could finish the vile creatures. The remaining peasants were advised to linger in the trees and await their return, or keep watch for Daran Edermath, who would guide them to safety.
Upon reaching the farm, the Talons advanced softly and reached the relative cover of a dry-stone wall, peeking at the farmstead beyond. Tarlach Malthar noted that the cultist was making a great show of directing the kobold minions, and that the fires were being placed in an odd manner. Suspicious of an ambush, Adaven cast invisibility on himself, and scouted the building himself. Adaven had to be especially careful, as another of the odd dragon-lizards prowled the exterior of the farm. Adaven made his way in without issue, and discovered the presence of six mercenary warriors, clearly an ambush for the Talons. He attempted to leave, but attracted the attention of the mercs. In his panic, he attempted to cast a Phantasm to distract the foe, but the spell failed to affect the mercenary soldier. Fortunately for Adaven, his wild magic erupted once more, shrouding the building in fog and allowing him to escape.
As the shouts came from the farm, Grey leapt to his feet and began closing the distance on his foes. He was spotted by a kobold, but Tarlach Malthar put an arrow through the creature’s throat before it could utter a sound. Adaven made use of his spider staff to scale the farm wall, and began picking off mercenaries and kobolds alike with his crossbow. After a brief but violent scuffle, the cultists were defeated, and the Talons held position until Sildar Hallwinter’s forces arrived to take over.
Sildar’s reinforcements informed the Talons that the townmaster’s lodge was now under attack, and survivors had been spotted within. Wearily, they headed once more into the burning town, disgusing themselves as cultists in order to avoid unnecessary combat.