The Dragon of Thundertree

Characters
Dragonborn Warlock Shawunax- Chris
Human Paladin Sir Conlan- Jim
Half-elf Archer Nuala- JoAnne
Half-elf Bard Vincent- Matt
Wood Elf Ranger Borean- Michael
Kobold Rogue Mixtli- Raleigh
Wood Elf Druid Theren- Callum

Map of Region

Summary
The party returns to Phandelin, having rescued the missing dwarf Gundren. They also deliver to the local priestess, Sister Garaele, the information that the banshee Agatha had about the spellbook the priestess wants. She pays the party with three potions of healing. Since they were able to help her, she asks that they take a trip to the abandoned village of Thundertree to look for a friend of hers, the druid Reidoth. She's not sure if he's simply overdue or possibly in great danger. The party, and especially Borean, want to now what she is offering as payment. She offers a scroll of Bless as a minimum if they travel there and return with word that he is okay, but is willing to offer more if they need to rescue him. Since Gundren is recovering from his capture, the party agrees to investigate. They begin looking for supplies in town, but there's not much available. However, since the city of Neverwinter is not far from Thundertree, they decide to travel to the city for supplies first. They talk to Sildar and borrow the wagon and team that they brought supplies in and head north.
On the Neverwinter road, three orcs ambush the party, throwing javelins and wounding both horses. While Nuala calms the horses, Vincent casts an illusion of a demilich-like flaming skull, but the orcs are unmoved. Mixtli and Borean fire arrows, Sir Conlan drops from the wagon and charges with his two handed sword. The orcs are slain and while Nuala, Sir Conlan and Theren tend to the horses, Borean and Mixtli search the bodies and watch for more orcs. The party mounts up and rides on to Neverwinter. At the city gates, Sir Conlan drops his name on the guards and that they are working for the Rockseeker brothers and the guards pass them through. They find a nice inn and split up to do shopping and such. Mixtli sells the gold altar vessels he snatched from the goblins in the castle ruins. They buy horses and ride out to the town of Thundertree, which was abandoned after a volcanic eruption. When they arrive at the edge of the town, they find a new sign warning people o keep out, there are undead and plant monsters. Borean uses his ranger senses and feels the presence of undead, and a dragon… They party spots a massive ruined tower on the North West side of town that looks like a good dragon lair, so they go South. Mixtli runs ahead, climbs a tree and drops onto a cottage roof to survey the area. He spots giant spider webs leading into the cottage and carefully eases away. The rest of the party threads through the town and suddenly the undergrowth attacks them! Its a group of Twig Blights. While the party attacks, Nuala casts Burning Hands twice to severely damage them and the rest of the party finishes them. Meanwhile, Mixtli has spotted a cloaked man watching the battle. After the Blights are dead, he approaches the party. They converse and he reveals he is Reidoth. He takes them to one of the buildings he has fortified so they can talk and recover.
Reidoth explains that he is trying to bring some natural balance to the town, he is not in trouble and Sister Garaele worries too much. But, there is a serious problem here. A young green dragon has moved into the tower and a group of dragon cultists have come to town to try to bargain with it. Reidoth wants the dragon driven off, not killed and then the cultists will leave also. The party is leery of fighting a dragon, even a young one, but a dragon in the area could prey on people near Neverwinter and they agree. Mixtli doesn't want the dragon harmed and offers to negotiate with the dragon and convince it to leave, perhaps by telling it the cultists are here to kill it. Since the party doesn't want to fight the dragon, they agree. Mixtli sneaks in while the rest of the party prepares their ambush. There are dead giant spiders outside the entrance to the tower, their bodies blistered… Shawunax casts Invisibility on Vincent. The kobold goes in and tries to chat up the dragon. The dragon says its name is Venomfang and is unmoved by the kobold's flattery and concerns and goes back to sleep. Mixtli retreats and Reidoth casts Resistance on Sir Conlan and he casts Bless on himself, Theren and Vincent. Vincent sneaks in and casts Dissonant Whisper on the sleeping dragon. The dragon panics and flies up out of the tower and starts to circle to see what awoke it. Vincent hits the dragon again with Dissonant Whisper and the dragon panics again, climbing higher. Theren shapeshifts into a tiger and climbs a tree. The rest of the party opens fire and Sir Conlan draws his sword and prepares to strike the dragon with Thundersmite. Nuala hits the dragon several times and Shawunax casts several spells, wounding the dragon further. Borean shoots and misses and the arrow falls back down striking Shawunax. Angered by the attacks, Venomfang swoops down to breath poison gas. Vincent casts Tasha's Hideous Laughter on the dragon, hoping it will plummet to the ground, but it resists. The cloud of poison strikes the party and kills Borean and Shawunax and knocks Nuala out. Theren leaps from his tree and claws the dragon's flank. Seriously wounded, the dragon breaks off its attack and flies away. Sir Conlan rushes to the aid of the fallen party members. Its too late for Shawunax and Borean, but he Lays on Hands to heal Nuala. He asks Reidoth if there is anything he can do to help the fallen, he cannot.
They recover their horses and load the bodies of the fallen. Vincent and Mixtli search the tower and recover the dragon's small hoard. They bid farewell to Reidoth and return to Neverwinter. To reward Vincent for his part in the attack, Sir Conlan pays the local rumor mongers and minstrels to call Vincent the "Dragon Whisperer" and takes care of the funerals for Borean and Shawunax. He hires a minstrel, mourners and pallbearers to form a public procession to bear their fallen comrades to their funeral.

DM Notes: Jim (correctly) points out that it seems odd that the Paladin doesn't come with proficiency in Animal Handling as it pertains to horse riding. My hand waving excuse for this was my assertion that most people in "D&D World" can ride horses. But this still doesn't reflect that fact that some, by profession and/or training, would be much more proficient at it than others, and, certainly, a Paladin would be one of them. I need to think about this…

Also, I was very impressed by the attack plan against the dragon, which worked incredibly well. I kept trying to think of a reason that Vincent's spells wouldn't work against the dragon but I couldn't come up with anything. As it was, I still got to kill 2 of the party with its breath weapon, so not a total loss (rubs hands and laughs menacingly)!

Quotes and Smart Remarks
We arrived at Lee's house early
Matt "The early fighter gets the XP"

Looking at equipment lists
Raleigh "What's a stab-ling?… Oh, stabling" (for horses)
Lee "Its an apprentice assassin"

Fighting orcs
Lee "Up next is the aptly named Orc #2, or Dave"

Matt discussing using illusions as clothes and walking around naked underneath
Matt "There are dragons in the world and you are concerned with me being able to pee through my clothes?"

Raleigh asks to sign onto Lee's wifi
Lee "There is no wifi in Neverwinter"
Raleigh "What, wizard fidelity?"

Shopping for herbs and spell components, Jim suggests the herbologist/Cheese Shop Sketch crossover

Buying fine clothes
Lee "Every girl's crazy about a sharp dressed bard"

Discussing what kind of creatures Callum's druid can shapeshift into and that kobolds ride dire weasels
Callum "Dire otter, dire beaver, dire moose"

Raleigh's kobold wants to go negotiate with the dragon and somebody mentioned chickens
Jim "Chickens are birds, and descended from reptiles, so they are in the same family"
Matt "Chickens speak Draconic?!"
Jim "Bucka-bucka Rawr!"

Matt casts Dissonant Whisper on the dragon twice
Chris "You should have the title Dragon Whisperer"
Jim "If we both live through this, I will pay to have people in Neverwinter spread the word that that is your name"

JoAnne's character survives the poison gas cloud and someone suggests she has smoker's voice now
Jo "Like Marge Simpson's sisters!"

Michael and Chris' characters die
Chris "Its the first time I ever died"
Raleigh "Most people only die once"
Lee "Ask Callum, he's an expert"