The trade route known as the Coast Way does not actually run along the Sword Coast. It turns inland at Baldur’s Gate to stay away from the Troll Hills and to cross the Winding Water at Trollclaw Ford at the edge of the Trollclaws. The ford is shallow and functional, but the water is black and foul, still poisoned by the death of the deity Bhaal to the north at Boareskyr Bridge. The crossing is fraught with danger, since trolls haunt the region, especially in hours of darkness.
A ruined hamlet stands at this fording point amid mist-shrouded, grassy hills. Trolls lurking in the hills make the place perilous no matter how many mercenary armies or adventuring bands come to clean the monsters out. Abandoned a dozen winters ago, the Ford has been rapidly overgrown. The trolls keep creatures larger than snakes and birds from lairing there and pull apart buildings digging out badgers and burrowing food. Most caravans camp heavily armed in bonfire rings well away from the Ford and make a run across the river at highsun, flanked by horse archers whose arrows can be ignited at a trot from spear-slung braziers.