The long journey seems almost at an end, four ships drop anchor at the edge of the stormy seas, black clouds looming high and ahead like a rallying force. There was no lightning, no percussion of thunder, but every piece seemed in it’s place- just in case they were needed in a hurry. The Admiral was tracing the last fingers of daylight on the Horizon, and knew when to bide his time. They’d been upon the high seas for months, and they could suffer another night rather than be lost to the black of night and this infamous coast.
As the dusk settled in, a Cleric takes to the bow of the ship, feeling the change in the winds, the charge in the air, like just before a strike. The gulls had taken to circling the ships, and it was a trifling thing to call one to her. It wasn’t enough until she’d known it’s name, known the life of this creature that trusted her as servant of the sea. Only once it trusted her, knew her by name, did she break it’s neck in her hands and cast the vessel into the flames. A sacrifice of tears and a thread burnt to it’s end would gain the attention she desired.
As dusk stretched into night, the bells tolled among the anchored dreadnoughts and the men climbed their way up and down the ropes, like the changing of the guard. Hardly had they settled in when the waves began to pitch and the wind began to tear past the mast. The thunder rolled, and it wasn’t long before it was heard overhead. Had it sallied out to meet them, or were the ships being dragged closer? Nature herself turned against them, and the circumstances of this ambush were not left to the imagination for long. Lightning, hammering down like the hand of a god, smashed upon the Dreadnoughts. All that could be done was to haul up the anchors, to call for full sail and ride the wind into the heart of it. The Admiral had been off-guard, but it was his intention to not be caught dead.
Sado’s Pride was the first to go, at the front and utterly ravaged by fire born from the strikes, for even the Dreadnoughts were little more than floating tinderboxes to a fire. Abbadon’s Hammer followed soon after. The Sea Otter might have been next but for an odd peculiarity, the unnatural attacks could find no purchase, repelled by an opposing force. The Fair Maiden followed close, but it too would not survive, sinking halfway into it’s grave in the bay, limping from the wounds.
The Sea Otter, the one remaining ship, could only stop and collect what survivors had made it out of the churning waters, a paltry few. The Drowned Ones would take all the rest. Too many bodies flooded upon the solitary ship, both wounded and waterlogged, and with the Sea Otter damaged as it was, there was no doubt they would be stopping here. A scouting party was mustered and sent ashore, to clear the coast for a proper landing. In the night, little lights could be seen far away, high up in the mountains, audacious and bright.
The lay of the land is found, Westwards is Jungle, boughs laden with spider silk. Northward cliffs and hills and coastline, undead are evaded, but soon pounced upon. The visage of a dragon upon their tattered armor, they are destroyed, but not before they take the lives of two sailors with them.
“You can’t direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails.”