Across the Sword Coast, four figures receive their orders in secret and make their way to a tiny town just south of Neverwinter called Saddlegap. A pastoral community dedicated to horse breeding and stablery, Saddlegap serves patrons as far away as Athkatla while still remaining quiet and untroubled by the rising forces to the North and East.
All of that has changed, as the four heroes who gather there come to find out. A messenger from their Master arrived before them to investigate signs of recent trouble, trouble of the scaled kind.
While the scales were real, they were far too small to be from any true dragon. Once told that whatever was plaguing the outskirts of town and killing livestock had finally worked its way up to invading homes and capturing children, the four Scalesworn agree to root out the danger and deal with it before any further lives can be lost.
They track the invaders back to a cave in the side of Horsehead Mount, a once-volcanic mountain that rises like a shadow over the peaceful village. The scales turn out to be the telltale signs of passage by kobolds, several of which are lairing in the caves.
The Scalesworn deal with the watcher at the cave mouth and its oddly-shaped canine companion (a hyena, not that any of the Scalesworn could identify it as such) and move into the cavern. Once inside, they scout via a small serpent familar and manage to stealthy locate the captive children, one of which is badly hurt and all of which are being prepared for ritual sacrifice.
Priorities immediately change. The Scalesworn put down the kobold jailor, rescue the children, and head out of the caves as quickly and quietly as they can. With injured innocents in tow, they cannot risk further combat and must withdraw.
Their flight takes them to the nearest home – a ranch house on a horse farm called Steeding Field. The rancher family welcomes them inside and start to care for the children, a vital task as the badly hurt boy is running a crippling fever and without attention, he will die. The Scalesworn post themselves as guards just in case.
This caution proves to be a wise concern as small shapes start to break from the tree line back the way the Scalesworn came. The verdant-scaled kobolds, spears raised, have tracked them down and intend to take back their sacrifices one way or another.
As they draw back flaming bows and their goblin leader roars out for blood, it becomes quite clear which way they prefer…