Cai'luin shook off his brain jellies.
He was standing at the base of a steep rocky hill surrounded by swampy forests. Midges and gnats swarmed around him. A horse he did not recognize was tied to a nearby tree. There was a strange villager sitting on a rock whittling a stick.
The villager acknowledged the sea elf, "Howdy, welcome back."
"Where are we?" asked Cai'luin.
"Ya'll are in the Gnatmarsh. If yer lookin' fer yer friends, they done went in yonder cave up thar lookin' for bandits."
"I see. And who are you?"
"I'm just a local what from the village of Paducah. Yer friends hired me to be a guide through the Gnatmarsh what to lead them here." He pointed his whittled stick at the cave.
"When was this?"
The guide squinted at the sun, "That was, oh, about an hour ago, ah reckon."
Cai'luin thanked the villager for the update and began his climb up the field of scree to the mouth of the cave.
He entered the cave and saw immediately the bodies of two dead bugbears and a large spider with a body the size of a man's torso. The spider had two human-like arms that disgusted the sea-elf.
Cai'luin continued into the cave, noting the chamber to the left containing two dead spiders, each the size of a horse, and a strange human-spider hybrid. The walls looked as if they were covered in the remnants of spider webs that had been burned off.
Further down the passage he saw a pit filled with excrement and rotting meat. He wrinkled his nose and pushed forward.
Cai'luin found a vertical shaft. A network of wooden platforms were built along the far side of the shaft with ropes and cranes and a rope ladder allowing movement of cargo and personnel up and down. A gangplank allowed him to cross the shaft to the platform. The platform was littered with the bodies of three dead bugbears and another large spider with human-like arms. He descended the ladder to the platform sixty feet below. A rope bridge connected the platform to another passage on the far side. He crossed the bridge and entered a chamber filled with crates and casks of stolen cargo and contraband. Several bugbears lay dead on the floor. He could hear his companions speaking casually in the next chamber.
He entered the chamber and found his companions interrogating two bugbears who were tied up.
His friends acknowledged his arrival with a slight nod.
He said, "Hey gang, sorry I'm late. What did I miss?"
- Alot Aname - Neutral Good Warforged Fighter, ancient sentinel of a wizard's fortress, spent several decades deactivated underwater, Captain of the Sea Ghost.
- Avastana "Aella" Kádár - Neutral, Half-Elf Outlander and Storm Sorceress from Ket, daughter of the king of the sea elves, deck sorceress and first mate of the Sea Ghost.
- Craig "Blunderbuss" Oxworth - Lawful Good Dwarven Priest of St. Ogden (Cleric), sailor and shipwright, bosun of the Sea Ghost.
- Cai'luin Manaan - Chaotic Good Sea-Elf Bard, member of the royal family of the tribe of Manaan. Cook of the Sea Ghost.
- Corvid Ravenson - Neutral Good Fallen Aasimar Paladin of Vengeance and Divine Soul Sorcerer, sent to Oerth to avenge those who wronged his angelic "brother", Auric Ravenson. Second mate of the Sea Ghost.