Friday, March 18, 2011

Tales from the Hunt

Captain Alistair Embry stood on the deck calling out the nautical adjustments without benefit of any tool or aid.  The sailors aboard the Shoal all revered the now retired Captain for his amazing abilities and even handed handling of all things aboard his ship.  Theses sailors were hand-picked by Captain Embry, now the councilor for the Loyal Order of Shipwrights.  Councillor Embry is one of the few voices for law and reform Upside, along with his close friend and chess partner, Obidiah Dragonbane.   To the sailors aboard the Shoal, Captain Alistair was a living legend of the Sea whose orders they followed without question.  Today’s orders took them out to sea to hunt a great Sea Turtle, in hopes of acquiring its shell and selling its meat.  Their efforts were limited by the approaching winter storm wall and the extreme cold of the waters.  The Captain seemed unfazed by the conditions and following his lead the sailors did not mention them or complain…much. 


For the last two hours the Captain had called out his orders, adjusting their route according to the things only his eyes could see.  A few moments ago the man in the crow’s nest called out the sighting they had all been waiting for, he could see the beast through his spyglass and they would be caught up within the hour.  Suddenly Captain Alistair called out for everyone to grab hold of something and tie themselves down, a shocking order that other, less loyal men may have questioned and been lost to the sea because of it for less than thirty seconds later every sailor felt the ship shudder and RISE.  Those that still had a view of the sea on which they sailed could see a shape having risen underneath their ship, at least three times the length and twice the width of the Shoal, the sea beast shook off the ship like a gnat, the shoal landing awkwardly tilted far to one side.  Flying up out of the frigid waters the scaly beasts wings soon revealed it to be a Great Wyrm, a massive dragon who sprayed those tied to the deck with the water falling from it’s enormous bulk.  Waves of fear rolled over the Shoal and its occupants, the steely resolve of Captain Embry the only thing between them and total panic.  The cry of the Great Sea Turtle echoed across the sea as the dragon flew and dove into its prey.  The sudden dispersal of water and thrashing of the two huge creatures had water churning, pulling the stricken ship towards a whirlpool of water that was created from their sudden plunge into the watery depths.  The Captains voice once again rang out and his men, as if slapped to awareness from shock, leapt to action.  His men would succeed in saving his ship, but Captain Embry wondered who would save Stormhaven should that dragon run low on food through the winter. 

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