Tales of the Ghosts of Saltmarsh, and 1,000 Teet (A D&D 5e Short Story)

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  • Post last modified:June 7, 2021
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Day #01

We find ourselves in Saltmarsh; a small fishing village town which has become a hot spot for pirates like the Sea Princes – who kidnap people and sell them into slavery. Keolynd (?), the kingdom who controls the land has begun taking more interest in the village. A group of dwarves have arrived to scope the area for mining. Some fear the authority of the kingdom is stifling the community. Smugglers and pirates aren’t happy about the kingdom having more of a presence within the village, neither.

Our crew has just revealed a smuggling ring based out of a house in the town and we’ve been invited to a council meeting.

When we get there, we’re tepedly congratulated before being asked to check out what the lizardfolk were doing purchasing weapons from the smuggling ring we broke up. We’re told the Lizardfolk are known to wander around the marshy area towards the Dunwater head, where the river meets the ocean. We are given a ship to get us up there, and decide to take the job in hopes of getting the info and getting the 200 gp award. We spend the night and set off in the morning.

When we arrive at the head, we are welcomed by a large rock face, 80 ft at it’s peak, surrounded by marshlands. We walk up a mucky trail and, taking a fork in the road, we stumble upon some marsh creatures and their Dragonfolk owners, who chase us down and refuse to let us walk away.

A fight breaks out and before Grannick has taken down one of the lizard beasts. Treb unleashes hellfire and brimstone from a collapsible pocket cannon. As their crew dwindles under the cold steel of our weapons, and the flames of our contraptions, the tides change and they begin to retreat in hopes of “[warning] the others about [us]”.

As they tuck their tale from battle, we embrace the change in momentum and kill of a few more of their crew; chasing down the last standing lizard. As we cumbersomely chase him, down, Treb comes barreling towards him and, throwing his axe from a good 9 paces, knocks him down with a giant knot on his head.

The session ends as we catch up to our grounded opponent, panting, and covered in rotten boggy muck…

Day #02

We drag his body back to the boat and get info out of him: His name is Meegarut, and we tell him to take us to his queen.

Grannik turns himself into a Giant Lizard, and we march towards the caves. As we enter the caves, and in a blink Shade Walker heads one way while Grannik – disguised as a lizard – heads the other, sneaking through the cave’s corridors ahead of the group, who amasses wuite the crew as they meet the queen. Outside the door, Grannik gets cold feet and turns himself back into his Druid form.

We tell the Queen – who introduces herself as Othokent – why we’ve come, release Meegarut from his rope, and after a bit of coaxing she proposes we hang out for a day and see what kind of work they can give us to prove our worthiness.

While the others get to doing lizardfolk chores, Shade Walker hangs back and spend the night in a closet on the other side of a door from them. Grannik lies through his teeth, telling the shaman that the tides are in his favour. Confused… but somewhat convinced… the shaman accepts this news, and… rested up… the crew sets out to continue their chores.

Day #03

Shade Walker rejoins the crew, and we head towards a fight breaking out – we re-enter the room wehre the queen had been previously and met with a bunch of Locathah (Fish people), Koalinth (Coral), and Murrfolk. We meet Sauriv, who tell us the Sehowgen are coming to destroy them. He tells us about a large crocodile 12 miles up river that they’ve named “1,000 teeth”. After some negotiating we agree to 200gp per eyeball if we slay this giant crocodile and we headed off towards our boat, free from lizard chores.

As we left the cave, Shadewalker retrieves some armour and a sword he had scavenged previously. The armour was in tatters but the sword was pristine, so Ciaran took it and from the outside he seems to be enjoying his new hardware.

The shipmates weren’t jazzed about the extra leg of the trip, but with a bit of negotiation we set off up the river. When we arrived, Treb fashioned a large treble hook out of the armour.

We make it glow, then make a fake frog, and treb jiggles the rope. Wventually we get a bite which turn out to be two giant snakes…

Grannik falls in and gets squeezed up by one of the snakes, while shooting at the other and getting the killing blow.

The snake carrying him retreated back under the boat, and after chasing them down – and some ferocious fighting by our shipmates – we kill the second snake, dragging Grannik back on board, and bringing him back to consciousness…

Day #04

We decide to spend the night on the boat to recover and while doing so, we trap a man with a herd of rats who tells us that the giant beast could be found 1 mile east and hurries off into the night. We pack up and… in a matter of hours we’re headed up river to find 1,000 teeth.

When we arrive we stumble across a hut, surrounded by the remains of other huts. Shadewalker runs ahead to check things out, and the others are following behind when all of a sudden, we are attacked by tens, if not hundreds of frogs. We fight them off, and seek shelter in the hut after scouring it for goods and picking up a potion, and a new spell scroll (Hold Person?).

An hour after crashing, we hear loud croaks, and a human/frog/lizard with a crocodile’s head atop its own.

Day #05

As the frogs approach, Grannik lights up the nearest thing he can see and dusts a frog in the dim evening light.

A frog, riding atop another frog, with an alligator head on top of his head rides into the yard and then seemingly disappears… After a moment of confusing silence he comes crashing through the ceiling of the hut atop his trusty froggy steed, and stabs Ciaran into infinity, knocking him unconscious.

A battle ensues… Treb does a lot of damage while protecting Ciaran, while Grannik picks at the frog with his bow & arrow from outside the hut, after making short work of the frogs who accompanied the Frog King alongside Shade Walker. After some time, the Frog King stumbles outside bruised and battered, fleaing Treb and his great axe. Unwittingly, the frog hops right in front of Shade Walker and Grannik who kill him on site.

After checking on Grannik, we check the Frog King’s body and loot some finely crafted leather armour, stitched with ancient bone carvings. We hunker down, and after a stressed-filled night of keeping watch we began tracking 1,000 Teeth at thebreak of dawn. Grannik finds a track but determines it’s old and that the great beast hasn’t been around in some time. That leads us to conclude the Rat Man sent us in the wrong direction… but for what? Was he looking to attack the boat? We hurry back to the boat to check on it and sure enough, the crew has been attacked in the night by a pack of rats that swam over from across the swamp. We put two and two together.

In the mean time, Grannik’s have a look around and sussed out tracks that are a lot fresher, so we’re in the right place. Maybe the rat bastard was trying to have us leave, but why? We decide to get to the bottom of it…

Day #06

We decide to move the boat down river so as to move away from where the Rat Bastard knew we’d set anchor for the evening. We hum and haw over who to chase… 1,000 Teeth, the beast who ‘d come for or the Rat Bastard who sent us a few hundred yards in the wrong direction. The answer is obvious and we head off after the Rat man…

After getting ourselves lost, Ciaran’s 1,000 yard radarpicks up on him and we head toward the signal. After a long hour we stumble upon a cave which… rats in cave… Some rats come out to attack us and get lit up with a giant mound of spikes.

We head in and run into a cavern full of rats. A fight, breaks out, Shadewalker breaks off to another area, seeing a black puddle, and a raised platform. He heads to the platform and with a crit roll – recognizes a the sewer plans… right as focusing in a drip of black liquid lands on his arm and begins to burn before a giant drop lands in front of him and reaches out to attack..

Battle ensues, Shadewalker collapses twice and gets brought back to life twice, before Ciaran slashes the acidic being cleanly in half. Eventually we distinguish it, and but our weapons are mangled.

Ciaran smashes a sacred shrine and God sends him a message. We spend the night waiting for Rat Man to come home, with the code word “BUCK WILD” to go… buck wild.

Shortly after we doze off Treb yells, “Buck Wild!” but it turns out to be nothing but a bunch of rats – we blow some to smithereens and others run away like christmas lights into the swamp.

We spend the night, wake up and cairn eats mud. Treb casts Investigation and figures out that it’s a short term madness perhaps imbued upon him after desecrating a sacred shrine. Grannik casts Lesser Restoration to get rid of the curse and it appears to work. In the morning we are deciding whether to wait out Rat Man, or to head back towards the ship, following the tracks in the other direction for 1,000 Teeth then coming back for Rat Man.

Day #07

We head back to the boat and one of the shipmates isn’t doing well. Grannik appears to heal him after casting, Lesser Resortation.

After that we head out towards the house of 1,000 teeth. Shadewalker runs ahead until Grannik picks up on something and upon closer inspection we see a large mound a long 20 yards in the distance. We try coaxing 1000 teeth by skipping a rock towards it, enshrined with a spell that makes it squeal like a pig… After hearing no reaction or sound, we head onwards.

As we approach we take note to be stealthy, and while most in the party were able to do a good job, Ciaran didn’t seem to get the memo and kept trudging loudly through the muck, at one point, falling through some sticks up to his upper thigh. As he clamoured to his feet, we stopped to regroup and plan our attack… did we want to go in the water and inside the dam or did we… THWACK! Ciaran is knocked into the water by a giant tail, as thick as a tree trunk. His body lay there, lifeless. Grannik casts a blue shimmer atop the beast to trace it underwater, it hits, but it quickly fades. Shadewalker tries to pull him back ashore, but fails.

1,000 Teeth spotted off the coast of Saltmarsh
Rare sighting of 1,000 Teeth on the Florida Coast, just north of Saltmarsh

Treb (or Ciaran casts an animal or some sort of splash in the water, to attract 1,000 Teeth towards him and Shadewalker but instead of falling for the bait it comes ashore it attacks Treb (or Ciaran), and gets away. After seeing a few arrows hit their mark, Grannik summoned a powerful column of moonbeam which forced Thousand Teeth to retreat while the rest of the party made their way towards the island in the center of the swamp.

As the great beast fades into the dark water Shadewalker leaps atop of its back, before falling off and quickly swimming across the boggy water to the beasts lair. As he arrives his foot sinks in and he finds himself at the center of a buzzing swarm of mud hornets. He quickly dives under water and swims to get away, getting ashore on the other side safely. Grannik follows and swims ashore right into the same swarm of hornets; through which he starts firing arrows like sparks of a sparkler.

Further down the shoreline, Treb shoots his crossbow across the pond attached to a length of hempen twine, which catches purchase on the far shore, before pulling himself across the pond and directly into another hornets nest. He has flashbacks to watching his ten year brother get swarmed to death as a child. Quickly, Ciaran jumps to action and brings him back to consciousness… for a brief moment… As he stands up, he is re-swarmed and drops like a sack of broken doorknobs.

While Ciaran takesa knee to help bring Treb back to consciousness, a legend was born…

Over the years, the story was honed and polished to describe an arrow, as fast as a strike of lightning came hurling from a sawrm of hornets as large as a tree of a thousand years. The arrow whistled across the morning’s battle and caught the great beast through a spot spot behind its jaw, tearing out the back side of the skull like paper.

To avoid the remaining swarm of hornets, the crew hurried off inside the beast’s lair for cover, stumbling across a healthy pile of jewelry. After things calmed down (and Treb had begun to sober up), we sat around the damp dam – once home to a giant beast – now protecting us from the elements of the swamp, and without a word spoken we looked around at one another, nodding in solidarity, and that day a legend was born.

Grannik, Slayer of 1,000 Teeth

Day #08

Treb gets to hollowing out the corpse of 1,000 Teeth, so that we can drag it back to the boat. After a long few hours, we drag it back to boat, through the dark for the last hour .

Eventually we get back to the boat and pass out from exhaustion. We decide to spare the Rat Bastard for the moment, deliver the gator back to the lizardfolk, head back to saltmarsh to warn them of the rat bastard’s plan of their sewer, and then, if asked we can go back and kill him with reason.

In the dark of the night, while keeping watch, Treb chefs up a mountain of gator jerky which turns out to be the best food anyone’s eaten in a long, long time… Turns out the guy can cook! 👨🏻‍🍳

We head back to the lizardfolk cave, and as we get a half day out, Treb begins sewing up the carcas of the croc, which we ride in atop a wave, like a giant reptilian paddle board. We surf that right into the Lizardfolk’s harbour and into the cave’s, where the lizardfolk stand around dumbfounded. Eventually word gets to the Queen who arrives hastily with a crew in tow. She happily pays us and we retreat to more private quarters where the Queen has some people bring great spreads of food.

She pitches us o fighting the Sahuagin, a crew of thousands, who have been pillaging small towns and communities in the area, in an attempt to take them over. As a final gesture she leads us down, down, down into a dark area where the doors are clad with iron bars. In the last cell of the dungeon, we see a Sahuagin and have a short convo with him where he basically says they were invading places – big stack take little stack.

With that, we decide to head to Saltmarsh to bring the information we’ve gleaned, and hatch a plan to bring a nobleman from the lizardfolk to accompany us back to Saltmarsh as added proof. The Queen agrees and sends Mirik, her right-hand man. The lizardfolk gather around as news has traveled that we killed 1000 Teeth. They throw a feast in our honour, Drinks began flowing and as we are sitting around drinking we talk with the various lizardfolk and friends. Eventually we’re introduced by Thurkear to a young girl who will travel with us to Saltmarsh – he introduces her as Vyth. When she meets the slayer of 1000 Teeth they instantly hit it off and Grannik, – drunk as a skunk – lays it on thick. He casts spell after spell drooling over this girl and makes a giant rose out of rushing water. She blushes and runs off, and as Grannik makes the walk of shame back to the table he casts a giant fog ball that instantly clears out half the room, and we spend the rest of the evening busting his balls, drinking mud slop and feeling merry.

The next morning, we set off. Grannik continues to flirt with Vyth and again he fogs himself out in embarrassment… it’s becoming obvious that he has yet to mature into his role as Slayer of 1000 Teeth.

Casually, we enter the port with the body of 1,000 Teeth on deck of our trusty ship…

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