he party finds itself on a spur of rock separated from the mainland by a yawning chasm. An ancient rope bridge connects the cliff top ruins to the vast plateau that stretches north and south. As the boom of waves and the cry of gulls becomes the first natural sounds the party has heard in over a day, they take in the vista before them.
Atop cliffs of black basalt, a sea of waist high grass ripples in the breeze. Several kilometers inland, the grass gives way to a thick, emerald carpet of jungle. The canopy, still kissed by tendrils of morning mist, blankets everything as it climbs into highlands and hills. The horizon, already hazed by heat and humidity, is dominated by a line of jagged peaks. Plumes of ash and smoke rise ominously from volcanoes interspersed among the mountains.
The heat and humidity are almost overwhelming and there is an incessant drone of insects, broken only by the roar of a distant jungle predator. The shipwrecked survivors now know where they are: The Savage Coast.
The keen eyes of Cassandra and Watcher are able to make out signs of a settlement on the cliffs, some distance to the south. Lacking any other options, and in need of food and water, the party hesitantly cross the bridge and make their way south.
As the sea of grass gives over to cleared land and terraced paddy fields, the group attracts a gaggle of children and curious villagers. This informal escort leads the party to the gates of the small settlement, where they are met by a collection of elders and Garra, the headman. There is some distrust among the villagers but, at the insistence of Chardra – the village’s wise woman – and a dwarven trader named Bentil, the party are granted entry. Jemik, the youngest of the village elders, and his wife, Beleeni, are accidentally insulted by Julian Black, although the woman recovers quickly.
Garra’s village is home to around six-score souls – farmers, fishermen and hunters – and the party learns that they are halfway between Haven and Slavetown, a ten-day from either. Bentil is a trading captain, owner of the airship “Lady Luck”, and has fallen on hard times. The same storm that shipwrecked the party caused his vessel to crash in the hills, and his crew were killed by Cree. He offers to take on the group as crew if they can help him repair the “Lady Luck”.
Meanwhile Chardra, who is an exile of Surayan heritage, reveals to Cassandra, Kraag and Julian that she has been expecting them. “Empty people, with doubt and fear, shall come from the fog”, she says, reciting the message of her spirit guides.
As the party gathers supplies and plots their course of action, the villagers make ready for a dance. Tonight they celebrate the lifting of a curse that has plagued the area for over a millennium. And promiscuous Beeleni plots her next conquest.