The Monster From the Sea
The tale begins with a legend of a monster that lurks beneath the sea. When a creature from the deep once a myth found real after numerous witnesses held account that they were attacked by an unknown primordial from the deepest pits of the ocean that rose once in a hundred years. A beast that sinks whole ships and devours its crew that came near its path leaving only scraps of wood. No one had a proper glimpse of the creature and those who did lived to tell were driven mad by the terror that lay beneath the waves.
And there were three who braved the tale for the quest of it's head worth in gold. They joined the crew of The Sea Wraith, a ship built for whale hunting altered to slay the creature. A large ballista on it's bow loaded with a large harpoon for the occasion, reinforced hull and four catapults on each on port and starboard in case there was a broadside battle.
The skipper of the ship was Captain Vermonde with more or less reputable sailors under his command, only with their bravery to count. Only the desperate would join this crew and of the hundred fifty men the smart ones were only few, that included the mages, the first mate, the captain and the three women that recently joined them.
They were an unusual three, who introduced themselves less letting their skills talk more. One of them was an Arcane Watcher, Alyssa by name. A mage-scholar from Novvendare with a strange visible third eye on her forehead which had scrying utilities. Of the three, she was promoted to rank and became the ship's navigator because of her magic and knowledge. Then there was Nim, she had no other profession other than her proficiency with a blade, on the account of the many daggers straped on her belt. And lastly, there was of course the leader of the group whom they call Darkwater. Mysterious as her black garment that clung tightly on her tanned skin as if it was part of her. It covered most of her body except for her face and hands which she covered up with a white sleevless shirt, blue breeches and a tall pair of boots. It was made from some unknown fabric not known from this world. She was young and fair with eyes that flared with burning discontent of the world. Her dark flowing hair that hung over shoulders with a good choice of clothing for the bucaneer lifestyle. Although it was nothing more than a disguise to hide the black that she wore for a skin.
It has been months since their journey started for the creature of the Nameless Seas, patrolling the routes where trade ships frequent to reach their port. With no luck, there was no sign of the creature anywhere. They tried baiting it with blood on many occasions but still the beast did not appear. It was only until dark clouds start to form, it was that day that Nim had this conversation with Darkwater.
"You're thinking about him aren't you?" Nim said. The Sea Wraith was at the mercy of the tides as she fought her way in the incoming storm clashing the whitecaps of the waves blown windward. The captain gave order to secure everything just in case it get rough. Although somehow amidst all of the chaos, Darkwater was the calmest of all.
"I remember the summer rain." she began "The burning...my home...my family and his face laughing. I can never forget that day."
"You have to learn to let it go, Dee. I know its hard but you can't hunt Malvarosa for the rest of your life"
"Never, his pay is long overdue for killing my father...my mother...my brother" Darkwater said stoicly as she tried to control the resurgance of her memories "He will pay the price in blood, I swear. You were there when you saved me, Nim but you weren't there when the carnage took place...our village plundered, burned to the ground! Everyone was slaughtered in cold blood. I was the only left. Hiding in that well..." Twelve years ago.
"I thought you were in this with me." she added trying hard to keep the voices in her head.
"He's a govenor now and we can't touch him that easily without having a large bounty on our heads." Nim argued "He's got a full navy,y'know. He's too well protected."
"The monster's bounty is just the first step to all of my plans." replied Drakwater.
"This is madness, Darkwater! We are sailing to our doom. All the risk just for revenge?"
"It is called justice, Nim" explained Darkwater. He gave them no mercy.
"I find your sense of justice vague, Darkwater." pleaded Nim she was close to a conscience for Darkwater. And as her childhood friend, Nim did not want to where Darkwater was going. "It will destroy you! It will consume you just as that thing that clings-"
Their talk was interupted by the first mate who hailed merchant vessel just across the waters fogged by the darkening horizon. It was just a minor encounter it had little relation to their hunt.
You shall give none. Darkwater tried to continue that Nim could only answer with a concerned look. "It will not take me, Nim"
"I'm sorry, Darkwater. I cannot help you where you're going" She apoligized "Now that all I could do is watch that thing slowly takes over you."
Suddenly, every one stopped when there came a bellow from the sea, and it sounded not like the wind but a primal roar that awakened the primal fears of many.
"It is the sound of the our watery doom" whispered Captain Vermonde in trembling tones. Then out from his stupor began gathering his wits and the rest of his men "To arms! All hands to arms! Everyone man the catapults! Mages to your stations! And someone man that ballista! The beast will die this day!"
The sound of the creature coupled with the rocking of the waves only brought trepidation to the crew, because they do not know where will it strike. But Alyssa manage to spot something from the waves. It was a black tentacle slowly creeping on sides of the neighboring ship, then many more sprang forth and in a blink the other ship was already on the monster's death grip. "There! Wizards, fire on my mark!"
The Arcane Watcher marked the weak points with red light for them to fire on. Then hurls a bolt of lightning across the surface of the sea striking a crawling appendage. The other wizards soon followed envoking a maelstrom of bolts at the lurking creature all hitting their marks perfectly thanks to Alyssa's cantrip. "It no use! That ship will be overwhelmed if we don't do something. We need to get on that ship and evacuate everyone."
"We can't risk getting near" Captain Vermonde answered "But we need to keep that monster at bay until it rears it's head"
"We're on it!" Nim repiled gathering Darkwater and five others that armed themselves with large cutters "Alyssa 'port us there. We'll keep those tentacles away from the ship."
"Right!" the Arcane Watcher nodded then they disappeared from sight. They began the cutting the limbs as soon as they stepped onboard, with Nim on the lead with precise cuts and slashes. However, Drakwater had something else in mind. She had to expose the face of their enemy for the Sea Wraith to have a clear strike. So she dove to the sea to find the creature, and there she saw who their enemy was. A gaint squid with ravenous eyes and beak to match with limbs carpeting the ocean floor.
This was no ordinary squid, she thought but she was no ordinary woman either for Darkwater started to emit black strands of ink around her, her hair slowly becoming formless.Show them none. She could feel her strength growing, amassing the power within her to form, creating a large blade in both grasps from the darkened waves, then letting loose her fury that cuts a tentacle clean.
A howl of pain resounds as Captain Vermonde stood watch when the creature finally revealed its head from the watery depths. It was huge, bigger that any giant that he had seen splashing in white foams as it thrashed. Quickly the fearless captain gave the order to fire, and the Sea Wraith gave everything it got. Catapult hurled their molten missles, wizards with their lightning and any man that could grab a spear threw. Finally the harpoon was shot, but due to the shaking of the tides it missed. The captain could only swear and ordered the ballista to reload.
"I'm sorry Captain, we only got one shot" said the ballistaman.
"One shot? Why didn't anyone anticipate that there is a chance that we might even miss?" the Captain scolded
"Well...everyone thought that it might be too big we can't even miss" were the last words by the ballista man before they got smashed into the watery void.
"The Sea Wraith" Alyssa gasped "It's gone" Along with its crew when the beast started the wreck the vessel in its watery wrath, eating those who are unlucky enough to be caught in its maw.
Darkwater tried to regain her bearings in the underwater current during the beast's rampage. She saw the wreckage, and knew that the Sea Wraith was lost. She started to swim thinking of escaping the creature then she noticed something in the derbis...it was the harpoon! And hastily, she swam to retrieved the weapon trailing into blackness.
But it wasn't the only one trailing her, the eyes of her monstrous foe were as well. The red eyes of the cyclopean beast burning with vengeful rage. Darkwater went on picking up the weapon when by instict she barrel rolled over an incoming appendage, nearly escaping the beast's nautical talons. She swam as many more came after her however, she was too fast, gliding away in the depths. Dodging each one with much alacrity in the ocean as she was on land like mermaid christen by sea and curse with its mysterious magic. Suddenly out of desperation, Darkwater made a blade in her hand to slash another incoming limb to buy her time with pain, blighting the waters with the beast's dark ichor.
She made it back to the ship where Alyssa an Nim were watching the Sea Wraith destroyed. At least the they were happy to see her. The Eyes. The Voice said.
"How do we stop that thing?" Nim asked.
"I don't know!" Alyssa answered "I didn't get a close scan on it"
The Eyes. Answered the language only Drakwater can hear.
"The Eyes." she finally said and grabbed the harpoon making her up the highest mast. She jumped up launching the black substance from her hands, hooking it up then pulled herself up the crow's nest. The she shouted from above "Hold it off! As much as possible keep that thing from taking the ship!"
Alyssa and Nim had a terrible feeling about what they just heard. Darkwater had a good feeling what she was about to do. She waited for the primordial squid, with harpoon ready to strike. After the beast finally revealed its head, she jumped way up high. This will the final moment she thought, and so it shall be hers. While she fell, she aimed for the creature's eyes pointing the spearhead down. Then from the magic of her armor, she imbues the harpoon turning it into a dark lance that became part of hand that grew at length and grew until she landed on the primordial's eye, piercing the beast until blood spew. The end for the terror that in the waves.
The aftermath of battle however,was more or less a victory. The Ship Wraith was gone and all the crew who was on board were dead. Only few were left, those that accompanied Nim and Alyssa and even two more fell victim to creature. They were welcomed by the merchant vessel's crew's as heroes but even then they only a dozen to cheer them, and that included a passenger of nobility. She thanked her for saving them, though much had been lost, she would do her best to repay for she is none other than Isabella Malvarosa, daughter of Count Edmund Malvarosa
Malvarosa. Spoke the language Darkwater can hear. All this time, they saved the daughter of her family's murderer. She only stood there stunned. She looked at Nim, it was the same look that gave back at the Sea Wraith. "I cannot help you where you're going, Darkwater" she recalled.
He gave them no mercy, you shall give none.The voice of her armor said again. It was already took late for Nim to act when her madness set in, slicing through many at once. Alyssa and Nim fought the foes of Darkwater together who tried kill her, but sadly could not protect her from the thing that cosumed. Finally it was over. They were three again but Darkwater was never the same after she beheld the deck painted by her with innocent blood.