Episode 31: The Ocean Blue
The Briny Cutter was a rather large vessel as far as I could tell. It was a mercenary ship, paid for by the King of Stormwind to carry troops to the newly formed island. Young soldiers, younger than me anyway, were standing in their armor and lined up to board the ship. At the head of the group, I caught sight of a recognizable face.
“Captain Taylor,” I said as I grabbed the soldier by his shoulder plate. “It’s Sionis.”
The human turned and gave a big smile. “Sionis Sepher! I haven’t heard from you in years!”
“It’s been a while,” I replied.
“How are things with you?” Taylor asked.
I thought about trying to track the events, to cover the story of my last few years, but there seemed to be no simple story, no easy way to explain, so I simply shook my head in response. “Too much to tell you now.”
“What brings you out here anyway? Did you hear I was in town and come to visit?”
“Actually, I’m coming with you.”
“Yes, it’s my duty to report for military action in a time of war.”
“True enough,” Taylor mused. “Well, it’ll be good to have a mage on the trip with us. I hear the military is experience a tough fight on this island.”
“I’ll be happy to help however I can.”
“Very good. Now you run on up and let me get these young bloods loaded up. We’ll meet in the galley once these boys have us on the open ocean.”
Captain Taylor ended up keeping himself busy longer than he had originally anticipated. Librarian Donathan had taken up in his quarters writing up an account of what had happened to me on my missing adventures. I didn’t hold it against Donathan, he was a librarian after all, so documenting events was something he frequently did.
On the deck of the ship, I found several of the civilians talking among themselves while we pushed forward through the ocean. The ship was set to arrive on the island in the morning where we would immediately be thrown into the thick conflict of a fresh war. I saw a soldier every once in a while, wandering across the deck, too nervous for sleeping on what may well be their last night alive. It pained me to think that after something as devastating as a global catastrophe, the only thing the Horde and Alliance could do was fight with one another.
“Captain!” a voice shouted from the crow’s nest, startling me. “Shipwreck of the starboard bow. It looks like we’ve got survivors!”
I came to the ship’s edge and saw some lanterns in the distance, voices shouting out in a panicked frenzy. It wasn’t the sound of excitement from being rescued, but instead the sounds came across as fear, shouting... warning us.
I realized the trap before anyone else, but I didn’t have time to speak. The next thing I saw was a set of large tentacles stretching up over the ship’s hull. Instinct took over and I threw the most powerful fireball I could create right at the attacking creature. The flame hit its mark, but it had an unexpected result. The tentacle tightened in pain and the ship immediately fractured and started to split in half. Somewhere in the background I heard Captain Taylor shouting for his soldiers to arm themselves, but before he could rally to them, I felt something heavy and enormous collide with me. The deck below vanished and Iwas in the air far longer than I thought possible before I finally crashed into the water.
My head was spinning and my heart was pounding but I still tried to figure out what was happening. I came to the surface and saw the wreckage of the Briny Cutter as part of the vessel capsized and the other half broke apart with tentacles wildly slashing about. I started swimming toward the attack, somehow calculating my next attack as I made each stroke. Then, from the corner of my eye I noticed something moving in the water, coming toward me, moving like a snake.
I cursed aloud and turned to face the beast just as it attacked me with its vicious jaws. It bit down on my shoulder and I planted a fist in the naga’s throat, causing it to release me for a moment. In horrific pain and now lightheaded, I prepared for the next attack knowing I would be too slow. It came at me, straight at my face, and stopped just inches before it could crush my skull in its mouth. It recoiled wildly and I saw that someone had taken a hold of the naga’s tail.
“Die you monster!” the man yelled, shoving a large spear into the naga’s chest. “We’ve got too many problems on our hands to deal with your kind.”
The naga twisted growled, hissed, and then gurgled as it slipped below the surface of the water. The man who had slain the beast was not a human; his face was scarred and had an asymmetrical look to it, giving him away as a Broken. He looked me over for a moment and then growled in rage as another naga came up behind him, slamming him in the back. Naga had venomous saliva that could cripple a human for hours and I was no exception. I felt myself slipping under the water’s surface with no real way of stopping. I saw the Broken fighting with the naga and then it all started to fade to black. I felt the last of my breath leaving my lungs and wondered how long it would be before I pulled in water and drowned. I fought the urge back for what felt like an eternity before I finally had to try. I clenched my muscles in preparation for the inevitable, but when I finally took a deep breat,h only fresh air filled my lungs. I opened my eyes and saw that a large bubble was extending over my mouth. The Broken was nearby and had a grin on his face, though it was covered by its own bubble of air. Suddenly feeling overwhelmed by everything that had happened, I closed my eyes and slipped out of consciousness.