The first week at sea was the hardest. The entirety of the Wood Elf race being forcibly cramped onto ships caused many to feel resentment towards the order, the dark elves, and even their new king. Fortune was with them however, because by the end of the first month at sea, with nothing but blue ocean surrounding them for miles, the people began to see Sadron Locien as a hero for having the foresight to pack as much food as he did. Three whole ships carried the food, weapons, and other defensive items the wood elves would need in whatever place they landed. The fleet itself was enormous, over a hundred ships altogether, and each one was packed so full that the magic holding them above the water nearly gave out. Each ship had an assigned spellcaster who was in charge of maintaining the floating enchantments, which had so far kept the wood elves alive. The dark elves did indeed possess ships, as had been discovered when the fleet stopped to distribute food the day after leaving Mythrindiar. The dark elve’s ships actually sailed on the ocean however, and were easily outpaced. All the dark elves knew was that their quarry was heading east.

By the end of the second month at sea, the wood elves had adjusted to their new life. Those who had served the Order of Valadhiel all their life had been taught how to think like a scholar, and eventually they gave up on the notion of a forest goddess. Sturdy gangplanks, reinforced by magic, now connected the ships together. After their first storm at sea, and the near loss of several ships, Sadron had decreed that they all be bound together. Many smiles came from the similarities between the fleet of ships and the race they now carried. Finally, five days into the third month of the voyage, land was spotted. Though they didn’t know it, the wood elves had stumbled upon the eastern mountains of Arconia, which had no name. Instead of approaching the mountains directly however, Sadron ordered the fleet to halt several hundred miles away from them. For the first time since they left Lor’drassil, the ships stopped. Food was running low, although not critically low. The wood elves had opted for smaller rations, and had extended their total food supply, now even those who had been heavyset in Lor’drassil looked thinner than they should have been. That night, the wood elves feasted, since land had been spotted, there was a very good chance there was food available within and beyond the mountains, though nobody dared to ask when they would be investigated.

Sadron had eyed the misty peaks of the mountains since they had come into view. He reasoned that someone with a view up there could have seen them coming for several days. As his people feasted, he ordered his soldiers to man the ballistae they had brought on the ships. Slowly, the fleet began to move again as thunder boomed in the distance. Thick wooden slabs extended from the sides of the decks on each ship. These slabs had been what kept rainwater from damaging the fleet when it was still in the Lor’drassil port. Now, they provided shelter from the coming storm. Since being at sea, the fleet had successfully managed to outrun quite a few storms, but Seborhil had told Sadron that this storm was different, and had magic in it. For Sadron, that confirmed his suspicions, and so the fleet set off again. That was when he heard it. A powerful roar, unlike anything any wood elf had ever heard. Not even the great saber-toothed cats of the Cyri’alar forest could match the roar that echoed through the heavens now. The fleet sprang into full speed, heading north-west, away from the mountains, but by then it was too late. Whatever was attacking them breathed flames, although the flames were colored black and purple, the fire they spread was normal colored. The creatures in the sky moved fast, almost too fast for the ballistae. Almost. One of them shrieked as a light-imbued arrow struck it in the chest, more out of luck than skill; the beast was illuminated for all to see as it fell towards the roughening seawater. It had a long, serpentine neck, and smooth skin. Two wings replaced any arms it should have had, and two powerful hind legs and a long tail flew out behind it as it fell. Sadron noticed that it also had tiny scales along its hide, all colored black. The head of the creature was obscured, but Sadron and those watching the beast made out fangs and a powerful jaw. What was most disturbing however was what was on the beast’s back. A green, brutish creature wearing a pair of goggles, and leather waved a long spear in panic as it too fell into the sea.

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