“We must call a council of the nobles immediately, then.” Godfrey stood up. “This is the right path, my lord, though mayhap a precarious one.”
“That, I know….” Genn seemed entranced by the flickering candlelight. He stared longingly as if dreaming of a future that was somehow in those flames. “But imagine… just imagine how bright our future will be without any interference. Just imagine.”
The ships fought against the crashing waves, heaving toward one another in an orchestrated formation. Night elf sailors huddled toward the starboard and port sides of the ships, tossing rope to crewmembers on the adjacent vessels.
The thinking was clear: if the ships could form a massive flotilla, bound closely together, they all had a better shot of fending off the brutal storm than each ship would have on its own.
“The rear group has taken severe damage to their masts, sir!” one of the deckhands yelled. Talar rushed toward the back of the bridge to look.
“Ho, Talar…. Where is the Elune’s Radiance? Is she not with the rear group?” Genn asked, charging up the rain-soaked steps to the ship’s bridge.
Talar hesitated. “You are correct. She is still unaccounted for.” Talar pointed his long lavender finger toward his right. Genn squinted. Through the gray downpour he could see the vague outlines of two vessels. One of them was crippled, being pulled along by the other.
“Night elf, your spyglass. Now!” Without waiting, Genn yanked it from the sailor.
Peering through the glass, Genn could see the shapes leaping toward him. His fears were confirmed. The Elune’s Radiance was guiding a damaged ship with a broken mast and jagged sails unfurled across its bow.
“All hands, make haste and brace yourselves!” the lookout in the crow’s nest screamed.
But it was too late. The world was yanked out from under Genn, and he and those around him were left drifting in the space between. The spyglass flew from his hand, clanking its way down the deck, which was now tipping upward.
Then there was just the cool salty wash of ocean… and the thumping, dull pain of head to wood and body sliding backward before the drop.
The pain brought back the images. A goblet clanking down the stone floor. Liam’s face.
BOOM! The ship left the air and hit the sea with such force that Genn’s ears rang.
He heard a crack, and by the time he looked up he could see that the mizzenmast had snapped in half from the impact and collided into the deck. He heard the nervous yells of scurrying sailors doing what they could to make sure the increasing flood of water was shunted off of the ship.
“That wave must have been eighty feet high. We cannot take much more of this punishment, sir!” the deckhand yelled, scooping up his battered frame. Genn also yanked himself to his feet, trying to regain balance. His ears were still being drilled with hollow ringing. The wave was now heading right toward the vessels on the horizon… toward the Elune’s Radiance and her wrecked charge.
Before anything could be done, the surge crashed into the lumbering vessels. To Genn it felt as if time had wound to a standstill.
The two transport ships collided into each other, wooden boards flying like splinters from a sawed tree. It was as if the sea had opened up its great gullet and was trying to swallow all debris around it, inhaling the crumbling vessel and sending the Elune’s Radiance damaged and adrift.
“By the Light!” Genn exhaled, his words little more than a whisper like a soft, helpless prayer.
The other ship was gone before Genn could even blink, leaving the Elune’s Radiance alone with the ocean starting to tug her slowly down.