The Broken Crown

A Gathering Storm

As Dhom watches the wreckage of the Star sink beneath the waves, he pretends along with the others to not notice the erstwhile Captain’s furious tears, which the pelting rain is not quite masking. He’s sure the man would soon be fitting out a new hull for his company’s owners, but ships are both home and livelihood – and it can be a bitter blow to lose both.

As the newly combined crew fought with the rigging of the Fury, Dhom thought back over the last day. Had it truly only been a day? He’d thought himself a pretty decent ranger before this morning, strutting around the foregathering. He’d trained in the mountains and roamed much further afield; avoided enemy warbands and taken down monsters. But Enna had shown by example how naïve he was in thinking he was skilled, and being disabled in combat twice in one day had rather driven home that point. He had a debt to pay to the old warlock and the young bard now, and hoped he was learning fast – he might have to.

Dhom had looked a little askance at the Heroes of Woodcrest when he’d first met them; they seemed a bloodthirsty lot at first, but perhaps that was the only way to cope and stay sane. All in one day – blood hawks, orcs with strange sigils, huntresses with teleporting hounds, riots, sea hags, and dragons.

And none of this was normal. Erinport had seemed woefully unprepared for any trouble, without even a city wall, and now had no guard force either; good riddance, but weaker defences. The citizens had seemed blithely unaware when quizzed, unconcerned about attacks in the area… although maybe he shouldn’t judge them all by those who ended up in a pub after a riot. But he should have pressed the point.

The dragon’s mention of being captured for a war in Igaegi was more worrying. This wasn’t local opportunists… it was all part of something larger. Dhom levered his battered body off the gunwales, and wondered who might know more about what was happening; the old man would know quite a lot, but would be unwilling to share it. Time to see if the rum had loosened the bookish rogue’s tongue, and what he’d gotten himself into…


quarterto Ruadhan

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