Captain Tarrock peered through his bronze spyglass and out into the open ocean. Seven spans away from his ship, The Glory, lies a thick curtain of fog, stretching to either side as far as the eye can see. Tarrock has been trying to out run the haze for over three days, but no matter how hard he tries the mist gains on him. With a look of frustration and befuddlement, he hands the spyglass back over to the look out. In all his years, he has never encountered anything quite like this before.
As he climbs down the main mast, his crew looks up at him expectantly. The persistence of the mysterious mist made even their hardiest sailors weary. Some were even beginning to say it was the work of the Dark One himself. Sensing the unease of his crew, Captain Tarrock orders them to resume their work. His boots pounded across the deck, the same steady sound of his past twenty years. He decided to have his damane check, yet again, for any nearby marath’damane using the One Power. Thus far, that was his only logical explanation for the unnatural mist that had been following them.
Tarrock descends into the sul’dam’s quarters and approaches a middle-aged woman writing at an old oak desk. Putting down her pen, she stands to address the captain and glint of light reflects off her silver bracelet and chain. The movement stirs a young girl dressed in rags, who stands and bows before the captain, the silver chain dangling from her neck.
“Have her check again for any marath’damane manipulating the weather.”
The older woman’s brow furrowed.
“But she’s already checked a dozen times since the fog appeared.”
Tarrock slams his fist on the table.
“I don’t care. There has to be someone behind this!”
The older woman looked down at the girl, giving a slight nod of her head. The girl closed her eyes and lifted her head upwards, a slight glow surrounding her. The glow fades as the girl opens her eyes and lowers her head.
Captain Tarrock storms out of the room and proceeds to his own quarters. Sinking into his chair, he cups his head into his hands. Something, or someone, was behind the mist, he could feel it. But just how were they doing it? His crew, no his Empress, was counting on him and he couldn’t afford to let her down. The pressure was overwhelming. He pulls out a folded letter from his desk drawer and rereads it.
Captain Tarrock Egathor,
There has been a series of mysterious disappearances in the northern part of the Arith Ocean, some of our reconnaissance vessels, including a ship captained by Egeanin Tamarat. I task you with investigating the cause of these disappearances as well as recovering what you can of the missing ships and crew.
-High Lord Turak of House Aladon
As he sets the letter back down, the clang of the emergency bell passes through the ship. Rushing outside, he sees his men scurrying and shouting from all directions. The mist had finally caught up with The Glory and surrounded it on all sides. On closer inspection of the fading mist, Tarrock discovered what was causing his seasoned crew to throw up such a panic. Dozens of ships in all sizes were beginning to materialize in the fog. Closest to The Glory was a particularly massive galleon with The Lost Girl painted on its side. On the ship’s prow stands a sizable man wearing only torn breaches with a menagerie of scars and tattoos decorating his cacao-toned flesh. His right hand grips a large three-pronged spear above his head. As if on his command, a bolt of lightning crashes from the sky, and ignites the deck of Tarrock’s ship.