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The Root Trader Alcove is a natural fissure at one end of Elder's Post, built into which is a shop called the Root Trader as well as a secret safehouse of the Hubatt Corsairs. The Root Trader Alcove has served as Bells Hells' most reliable means of contacting the Corsairs.

The Alcove[]

Elder's Post is a bustling market housed inside a cavern deep within the Lantern Spire of Jrusar, reached from the outside by a network of tunnels.[1] The Root Trader Alcove is a natural fissure in the wall of this cavern, located on the far side of Elder's Post from the Core Spire entrance.[2] It is described as an "odd, triangular crack in the rock" that has been expanded through excavation to better accommodate the Root Trader shop.[3] A tunnel, hewn into the rock, also ascends in the back of the fissure up to the Hubatt Corsairs' safehouse.[4]

The Root Trader[]

The Root Trader is a rickety shop nestled into the Root Trader Alcove; the Alcove itself has been excavated somewhat to accommodate the shop.[3] The shopfront is roughly built from gathered wood nailed into place and painted over;[3] there are curtained windows with "somewhat cloudy glass".[5] The ramshackle appearance of the shopfront is said to have a "unique earthy texture".[3] Inside, the Root Trader has no front counter or table, but in the back, past walls lined with shelves, is a tall chair and small desk from which Ovalia "holds court".[6]

The Root Trader deals in roots as well as a wide variety of other plants and herbs, gathered and dried—"a cavalcade of different herbs and fresh leaves and floras and all manner of hanging plants and herbs." The front of the shop is mostly devoted to commonly used cooking spices and medicinal herbs, but further in are rarer plants, including the Heartmoor Take, very rare medicinal plants that are the main source of the Root Trader's income.[3] The smell of the shop is strong, at the entrance a perfume-like throng of herbal smells, but further in a different, "earthy, minty almost" aroma.[6]

There are two workers at the Root Trader:

  • Ovalia: The proprietor, a female brass dragonborn. She is heavy-set, has a big smile, and wears a pretty blouse and a long skirt. She is complicit with the Hubatt Corsairs' use of the Alcove.[6] She does not live at the Root Trader.[5]
  • Heron: Ovalia's employee, a black-feathered male eisfuura.[2][6] Heron arrives early before opening to prepare the shop before Ovalia arrives,[5] and during the day he is described as seeming bored.[6]

The Hubatt Corsairs' Safehouse[]

Inside the Root Trader Alcove is a safehouse[7][8] for the Hubatt Corsairs:

Hidden behind a large rack of what looks like "dried brown and twisted and braided" jungle vines in "long, leathery strips" at the back of the Root Trader there is a secret door that opens on a narrow spiral staircase hewn into the rock of the Alcove, which leads up to a hatch.[4][9] This hatch leads to a large chamber, about 50 by 40 ft with a high ceiling, intended as a storage room for ale and general goods.[10] In this room there are bunk beds, cots, a number of chairs, a table, and an iron stove, as well as crates, barrels, small boxes, and bundles for storage.[10][8][11] Yash Mangal refers to this as one of many "pseudo-safehouses" used by the Corsairs,[7] and Imogen refers to it as "the lion's den".[4]

It was here that Ephred sent the group later called Bells Hells, perhaps intending them mischief; and here that they first met the throng of the Hubatt Corsairs.

Certain Corsairs have consistently been found at this safehouse:

  • Yash Mangal: A de facto leader among the Corsairs. Yash says that he does not live at the Alcove, but he has been shown to spend some nights there.
  • Cyrus Wyvernwind: He seems to keep watch over Yash, often with his arms crossed. He wears a heavy hood that obscures his face and a light gray cloak.[12] He listened in to the party's conversation about Ariks Eshteross and whispered what he heard to Yash;[12] later, he awoke Yash when the adventuring party returned and begrudgingly made them coffee.[13]
  • Heron: A member of the Hubatt Corsairs who guards the entrance through the Root Trader. It may be that he first made this space available to the Corsairs as an employee of the Root Trader.

References[]

Art:

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