7th of Flamerule, 1380 DR – Year of the Blazing Hand (Grokar, Tress Earthend, Felix, Dantanian)
Fey Crossroad from Sword Coast to Reldacap Cliffs in the Wood of Sharp Teeth
Tress emerges from the mouth of a cave; it is still night as he overlooks the jagged and rocky Sword Coast. He has learned a new orison from his travels: detect fey crossroads. The storm has subsided. While Tress descends down the windswept cliff, his wolf companion Sun-Tooth comes through the Crossroad; he picks up the trail of his master, then trots down the cliffside after him (ever so gracegully).
At the foot of the cliff, Tress finds an old menhir. Walls of rock surround this mysterious site, with only a small crevace that exits north to a main coastal pathway. Upon closer inspection of the menhir, Tress finds druidic runes insribed on its western face; it indicates a friendly safehouse one hundred paces to the north.
Tress and Sun-Tooth exit through the tiny crevace and walk north along the rocky shoreline, towards a giant flat rockface where he suspects the safehouse to be. They then pass the washed-up wreckage of a human caravel. Tattered sails drape over the back of the hull; spilt barrels and a tangle of rope drift along the debris. It appears to have been a merchant vessel, most likely from Waterdeep.
Tress and his staunch wolf companion bravely approach the washed-up wreckage. They soon spot two pairs of sickly yellow eyes, leering back at them from the submerged half of the wreckage. Rising from the dark water these foul creatures appear more or less humanoid, but with mottled decaying flesh drawn tight across their visible bones. These hairless horrors of the sea are a kind of aquatic undead known as lacedons; wherever they lurk, the stench of rotting flesh hangs heavy in the air. The lacedons come at Tress and Sun-Tooth with their gnawing carnivorous teeth and out-stretched disease-ridden claws.
Lacedon of the Deep
Utterly horrified by these sheer abominations to nature, Tress commands Sun-Tooth to reatreat with him to the safehouse. With the entrance being no more than 60 feet away, Tress notices off to the side a spike with two goblin and a kobold head juting out of the rocks near by; Tress wastes no time in detecting the door, which has been cleverly built to look as part of the rockface. The door suddenly swings open, revealing a hallowed out cave of hewn-stone; inside a half-orc and two humans tend to a central fire. Tress’ unexpected arrival instantly puts all three occupants on guard; as the druid pleas for safe entrance, it is soon understood by all three that there is little time to be afforded for such formalities.
The three take to arms, and soon after Tress enters, Sun-tooth leaps on through the door, narrowly dodging a nasty gouge from a lacedon claw. The stone door is heaved to a close, but the ghouls are relentless in pursuit. A contest of stength ensues as the two lacedons press on the door with fiendish force. Together the black hooded man and the half-orc keep the door at bay; meanwhile Tress, Sun-Tooth and a weathered merchant ready their arms for a breach. Several hours pass as the undead press ever on; our heros grow weary. Suddenly there’s a lull in resistance, enough to let a lacedon wedge in a single claw to take a swipe at the merchant. The merchant returns the strike with a swift dagger to the forearm. The lacedon pulls back his slashed limb and lets out a howling wail; soon after the two ghouls scurry back into the night.
Relieved the strangers take seat around the fire. Tress tends to the merchant, who is still wounded from the shipwreck. The half-orc then introduces himself as Grokar the Barbarian. He answers Tress’ abrubt inquiries, stating that he has lived in the cave for about 6 months. The dimly-lit walls are sparsely decorated with wolf pelts, and the back wall is lined with dwindling stockpiles of food and ale; an assortment of survival gear lay scatterd about. Off to the side Tress sees a single push-cart laden with barrels and crates, all bearing the same merchant seal as the shipwreck outside. The merchant then introduces himself as Felix (alias?) of Waterdeep; he clarifies that he and his black-hooded companion, Dantanian, are the only survivors of ‘Minion’, a trade ship belongnig to his house and southbound for Calimport.