A few party members decided to follow up on the lead about the caravans being raided. They opted to head back to the location of the wagon that was raided a few days prior.
On the way there they discovered a more recent attack, which a burned wagon in a smokey haze. Abandoned by any survivors. Two men lay dead, the wagon driver and a bandit.
The bandit lay beaten among a few treasures beside a chest he appeared to be stealing.
Upon attempt to open the chest they discovered it’s true secret. It was a mimic looking for some nom noms.
The adventurers made quick work of it once the party members managed to get their hand… And foot… Free of its sticky hold.
Following the path the raiders carelessly left, they found their base of operations in a cave in the hills. They opted to wait out and scout, to try and invade when the dragon was not inside.
After the dragon left they found a small party of raiders leave the cavern with donkeys – the wagon looting team.
They killed all but one and kept him for questioning (then killed him). The info they found- this party had two dragon handlers, three dragons and this one looting party. Other members of this operation died by dragon at one point or another. Sadly, with adult dragons around, this was clearly a job for more experienced adventurers.
The adventurers made their way by the nearest town to report their findings and have word sent to all nearby towns to beware of the dragon raiders, and to recruit elite adventurers to take care of the problem.
TL:DR; The adventurers are heroes, but they aren’t stupid heroes.