I am new to DMing, and relatively new to playing a tabletop campaign with real people (I got into D&D via novels and video games). I am trying to be more descriptive/ evocative instead of just stating: You see 5 kobolds and a guard; you see a group of kobolds chasing a woman with a spear and her family; etc. Advice welcome.
As you return to the keep, your situation lies heavy on your mind. This town, Greenest, is in dire straits. Citizens lie dead in their homes, and in the streets. Every day people, leading every day lives. In one building, a small corner-shop, lies a shop keeper named Lukas Itarion: a young man in his early thirties with most of his life still ahead of him.
He had been sitting behind the counter in an empty store, bored out of his mind wishing he was home with his young wife and his daughter who was about to turn four. Tonight he was going to tell his daughter his favorite story from his own childhood, one in which a clever cat plays tricks on and foils the schemes of wicked (but inept) trolls. He was just deciding that maybe today he should close shop early (business was slow anyway) when something unexpected happened.
One moment he was lost in those thoughts, staring at the door key with pursed lips, the next he was on the ground. His head swam. What was going on? As he looked around, he struggled to understand what he was seeing. The floor near the window glittered and sparkled. Daylight streamed in where there should only be wall and shelving. His muscles were starting to relax, but were still seizing spasmodically from the aftershocks of the stream of electricity that had hit him and his shop vaporizing the entire quarter that faced the roads.
It was into this ruin that a curious creature entered. Five feet long and reptilian, this beast stood three feet high at the shoulders. Think green dragon crossed with wolf, and you'll have a basic idea. Lukas had no name to put to this beast however. It was far outside of his experience. He had never seen a live WOLF let alone a dragon, green or otherwise. It killed him all the same.
He wasn't aware enough of his surroundings to comprehend that he was in danger, let alone mount a defense. Which is exactly how an ambush drake likes it. He didn't deserve it, he didn't expect it. With the physical characteristics he inherited and the societal standing and wealth he was born into, he never even had a chance to become able to defend himself from such a threat. The drake still tore his throat out. Not to satisfy a need to eat, or to defend itself or its young, but because he had been a potential barrier between it and the coins under the counter.
You emerge from the
As you stare in numb horror at the scorched stretch of wall where eleven brave men just ceased to exist, you hear wails and screams around you. Your gaze is pulled away from the macabre fascination of what just happened on the wall to the refugees from the village who are everywhere you look. Huddled together in corners for whatever meager protection they might afford, people of all sorts grieve, fear, and despair.
One such pair, unbeknownst to you, is Keira and her daughter Beth. Beth is about to turn 4, and she is scared. She just wants to go home and listen to another one of her father's stories. Keira tries to comfort her, but it's hard, because she is preoccupied by the memory of seeing her husband's shop take the full brunt of a dragon's breath weapon.
You may not not who they are, or the specifics of what happened to them, but as you look around in shock it strikes you that everyone you see is going through similar situations. All utterly unique, but with the common thread of their lives being turned upside down with no notice. Death, grief, and devastation have come to Greenest.
More brave, doomed men move to replace the fallen on the walls. These are not soldiers. Greenest had only the barest of armed forces to begin with. A small part-time militia, closer to what we would think of as a community watch than any sort of organized guard force. And most of that force had fallen in the initial wave of the attack. The men who filled the gaps now were laborers and tradesmen taking desperate measures to protect their loved ones in the courtyard.
A hush falls in the immediate vicinity (although the chaos and din proceed unabated everywhere else) as your party enters. You, the strangers who came rushing into a town that was under attack, slaying raiders and rescuing one family from certain death already. You, who were seen fighting their way through multiple groups of raiders. Slaying kobolds, mercenaries, and spellcasters alike. The heroes who were seen fighting within sight of the walls of the keep until all but 1 dropped to the ground… (Note: in the campaign the party ALMOST TPK'd in the final encounter before entering the keep. ONE saving throw is all that prevented the entire party from being downed right outside of the gates of Greenest)
You hear a call for bodies to man the ballistae. You hear the roar of the dragon as it begins another run at the defenders on the wall. What do you do?
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