Fragments of Time: Part Six
With the attack on their docks imminent, Enorian began to arrange their forces along the harbour, Kalena Emerson given command of the defence. With crew and guards stationed and ready, the rest of the continent mustered at Masilia in great numbers, ready to repel any Haekathi interlopers. Bulrok of the Carnifex marched legions of horrors into the Ruins to bolster the defence while the land forces finalised their preparations, tension once more beginning to rise.
Bells soon rang out in sonorous alarm throughout Enorian as the Midnight Serpent emerged near the shore through a haze of gelid fog and mist. Its cannons trained on the Beacon, the Haekathi vessel approached with deadly intent, its goal and purpose clear.
Sweltering heat then descended with the appearance of Ethne, the Rekindled. Though unable to affect the Serpent directly, the Firemaiden drew immense amounts of strength unto Herself, the Grand Flame dimming with the exertion of so much might. Aglow in lambent brilliance She turned the sea itself to flames: rising waves of fire encircling the coast in a protective barrier. Its course stymied, Xaseira’s ship prowled the waters, awaiting the arrival of its foe.
With a crew comprised of Jhura, Isia, Xavin, Eliadon, Orunmila, Aeryx, Velheima, Czcibor, Church, Kidos, Merek, Renault, Tinazin, Caitria, Jakarn, Rhine, and Sekeres, the Dawnbreaker took its leave from the port of Enorian under the eye of Rhulin Glintspear, ivory sails aloft as its battle stations stood armed and ready to fight. As the ship sailed out of the harbour, Kalena headed the city defence alongside Rasani, Sarran, Chassity, and Ayastia, ably supported by Whirran and Blodwyn of the Argent Legion.
Battle began in a flurry of exchanged fire – the Dwarven bomb throwers of the Dawnbreaker warring with the cannons of the Midnight Serpent. Landing several hits in succession, the confidence of the Dawnbreaker grew as Xaseira was forced to commit additional resources to speed and fled the scene. Haekathi sailors began to climb aboard and attack the crew, while reavers and operatives poured into Masilia in droves, hundreds of agents cut down by the might of those gathered as they continued to hold the line.
Both fronts felt the pressure of the incursion, Xaseira deadly even in flight. Emerging once more from a cloud of fog and spray, the commander brought a conch shell to her lips, eliciting a rich, resonant note that called a haunting melody to settle over the waves. The sea frothed in outrage, yielding to the emergence of countless mighty leviathans, the monstrous beasts battering the Dawnbreaker with all their strength. Caught in the grip of sucker and tentacle, the vessel heaved as it struggled to remain afloat, brought to a grinding halt by the sudden attack.
Their salvation came amid a writhing typhoon of incredible proportions, a pillar of sea and spray twisting into the figure of Slyphe, the Maelstrom. Trident in hand, the Sea God held back none of Their strength as They skewered leviathan after leviathan and tore the beasts apart in an onslaught of pelagic fury. Gathering a violent storm about Themself, Slyphe brought wind to bear, propelling the Dawnbreaker out of its captivity and setting it free.
While the Maelstrom continued to destroy the encroaching leviathans with no small measure of joy, the crew resumed their attack, rapidly catching up to Xaseira and launching unending waves of bombs from their throwers. Smoke gathered above the ocean as both vessels took heavy fire, but the resolve of the Enorianites was unshakable, their will girded for victory and their aim unerring. With a final calamitous explosion, a full battery of shots struck true, sundering the hull of the Midnight Serpent with a terrible groaning of broken wood and twisted metal.
Frantic orders rose from the bridge of the Haekathi vessel as the ocean sought to claim its due: pouring into the shattered hull and slowly dragging it under. Though it turned to flee, the damage it had sustained was fatal; the sea frothed in delight at its prize, a tempest of foam and spray cascading into the air with the Midnight Serpent’s passage below the wine-dark deeps.
Raucous cheers erupted from the Dawnbreaker as victory was secured. Even Rhulin – infamously curmudgeonly even on a good day – could not help himself from shouting in elation, though his ability to pronounce “Haekathi” remains questionable at best. The threat extinguished, the Enorianites returned to port where the land forces shared in the thrill of victory. The guards at Masilia stepped over the bodies of endless Haekathi dead and released a held breath: the confluence, too, was safe.
Meanwhile in the north, Copperhead of the Third Spoke continued its search…