The Kraken’s Beak
Standing on the edge of the shore as the last of the supplies were loaded. The five of us meet under the rising sun. Balfore, Alessisa, Haeys, Tahnmgrind, and myself. We were about to go on a journey at sea that would take at least two weeks if the winds stayed favorable, longer if the winds turned against us. We boarded the longboats and we were taken out to Morgan’s flagship, a massive Galleon. The name on the side of the ship read The Kraken’s Beak. It had a stylized giant squid that had its tentacles wrapped around each of the portholes all the way to the back end of the ship. The head of the ship was a massive metal spiked ram.
“By golly, she’s a beauty!” Balefore yelled as we pulled aside it. We were all speechless at the sight of the vessel up close. Balefore climbed up the rigging on the side of the ship as the rest of us awaited the longboat to be pulled out of the water by the crew. Once all the boats were secured they pulled the anchor out of the water and Morgan gave the order to raise the mainsail. Once the wind caught the black, silver, and red canvas the ship launched forward and the shore began to fade away behind us. Once we were out a bit of way he had the other two small sails raised and we hit maximum speed. The coast was on the edge of the horizon and the ship moved so quickly and smoothly across the sea as if it were a hot buttered knife gliding across a loaf of fresh bread still soft from the oven. At this speed it was easy to see how truly gigantic the country of Sovereign was.
“What else is out there?” I asked as I pointed out to the Sea. Morgan looked out to the great empty expanse of water. No clouds in the sky, only blue and the little bit of coastline left to see behind us. He tugged at his long black beard for a while and then after giving it quite a bit of thought. He finally looked as if he were going to give an answer.
“You see out over the edge of the horizon lies the maelstrom, a neverending wall of waves. Any and all that have tried to cross it have never been seen again.” Morgan said as though he could see it hanging out there taunting him from the unseeable. “Balfore used to tell us tales of his father taking him out to other lands far away from Sovereign. When Jorgund was exiled and the maelstrom formed no one ever saw them again and those who remember those foreign shores are all but dead. They say that the orcs came from one such land long ago. Who’s to say that those waves even stop and that the sea hasn’t swallowed the rest of the world whole.” An impressive legend, but I guess that’s all anything was to us. Stories of the time before we died. Tales of what used to be. Legends of freedom forever gone.
If the rest of the world was truly gone then why did this last part still hang on? Why was it spared? Could it be that it was only left standing so that the God-Dragons had land to rule? The others always find it amusing that I have so many questions. Personally, the lack of answers is starting to become an annoyance. Every answer we do get takes us further from where I want to be. The capital. I looked out to the endless waters and wondered what could be out there. I thought on it for a second but gave pause. I have enough unknown already, the maelstrom could wait.
We passed the time on our voyage with nights of song and dance. Guided by the stars above. Our days were filled cleaning, fishing, cooking, and occasionally changing the rigging of the sails depending on the wind. It had been about a day since we had seen we had seen the shore. Morgan said that it would be a day until we came around to Sovereign’s eastern Cape at the edge of the Orcish territory. It’s name was unknown and lost to all but the Orc clans that lived there. The Orcish people weren’t know for their hospitality so they stayed far away from their territory. After that we would follow the coast again all the way to northern sea.
Balefore and Morgan were inseparable at the helm of the ship. It was the happiest I had ever seen him. Morgan telling stories of his travels and the two them laughing. I hope that we can get all of his sons together with him before one of the Queen’s lackeys, Akor, or one of the remaining Murder, can ruin the possibility.