One overcast morning, a small boat rowed across a dark sea. The Oarsman was an forlorn older man. The rest of the occupants were Wilben, a half-elf with nicks, cuts and a large stab wound; Haze, a halfling with a freshly scarred and milky white left eye; Nono, a bruised and bludgeoned gnome; and Mercy, a battered tiefling with marks around her neck.
The oarsman mournfully talked about the dangers below and ahead the group as he landed the boat on a dock. The land, the Gralhund Estate just off the Sword Coast, was full of Gargauth worshippers. The group was cursed and not free to leave until they have broken it.
He loaded empty barrels onto the boat, informed the group that he would be back by the next new full moon, and if they were all lucky, they'd be back at the docks at that time.
Mercy took to collecting driftwood while the other three investigated the cabin by the docks. Though explicitly warned to not enter, the group peeked through some cracks and found that something was moving in there. They scurried back to safety and decided to head north.
The troupe came across a hanged man wearing peasant's clothes. Mercy inspected him and determined he was far too late to save. The troupe worked together to build a cairn for the body.
During a mourning song by Haze, the wind stopped and Mercy sensed undead coming from under the tree. They were attacked by the tree and the undead humanoid that emerged from under the tree.
As a group, they successfully fended off the tree and the undead.
The troupe, led by Haze, left the ghastly tree behind and headed west towards the woods. The two boys went hunting and foraging. Mercy spotted some eyes in the distance and changed the fire color to alert the hunter-gatherers. The men returned and the women reported that something out there was watching the campsite.
In the morning, the group put together that two 2 blue, almost gorilla-like creatures were the ones watching in the distance. With the threat gone, Wilben climbed a tree and spotted a village in the distance. The troupe headed towards town.
Near to the town, Mercy helped a young woman and a much older man free their ox from a muddy field. The woman, Liona, welcomed them into the village of Wakefield. The town was populated by two distinct group—young adults and elderly folk. Liona informed the troupe of the rules of the village and highly encouraged them to stay there permanently. After a quick jam session in the middle of town, the troupe brought some meager joy to the village and earned some food & a citrine jewel. Everyone in the troupe interacted with various villagers, learning more about their strange ways but never quite getting the full picture. The pervading feeling was that the villagers are merely eking out a living while surrounded by countless dangers.
The troupe agreed to stay in the village for one night before they take off in the early dawn for answers.
Liona suggested the troupe do some work to earn their keep for that night. The troupe left off wheelbarrowing to the windmill to transport already-milled grain.
The troupe arrived at the windmill around noon and set about their tasks. Mercy started the process of milling the grain as the others poked around. Mercy and Haze heard a noise outside, and Wilben peeked over the barrels at the windows to catch a glance of blue. Mercy and Wilben went upstairs but can't tell where the creature has gone.
Halfway through the milling—CRACK! Mercy led the way back upstairs with her rapier drawn. A fight broke out upstairs between the troupe and the multiple ghasts that broke into the windmill. The party successfully fought them off. They cleaned the windmill and burned the corpses outside afterwards.
Mercy checked out the surroundings outside while the rest discovered supplies in some chests upstairs. The three took the abandoned supplies for the troupe's use.
Liona greeted the troupe when they returned. She was shocked by their tale and beckoned them to privately discuss it. The troupe learned that the monsters had been becoming bold in the past months, and that Wakefield should be protected by Father Caudicus' sanctifications.
Liona spoke of the Father's root cellar. Townsfolk were forbidden to enter, but she implied that the troupe should check it out. One adventurer some seasons ago explored it, and still occasionally visited town.
The troupe entered the cellar and discovered a dark ritual that had been long completed and disturbed. A possibly magical knife was missing from the macabre display.
The troupe intended to visit Father Caudicus in his temple to inform him of the issue in town. The troupe has been welcomed to rest at Liona's for the night.