II. East Is All They Said...

II. East Is All They Said...

A Chapter by D.S. Dirck

The crew of the conscripted smuggling vessel Emerald Turtle arrives in the harbor of White Town as continent wide evacuation is under way.


II. East Is All They Said


“How many are we taking?” asked Goshin. 
“The message read, at my discretion,” the Captain replied.

Goshin eyed the crowd, shaking his head in disapproval. “Peasants,” he scoffed. “They’ll be stinking up the holds in no time.”

Below them a dense crowd loitered on the boardwalk, waiting to board any ship that would take them. Women and children, carrying baskets of bread and sacks of grain huddled near makeshift fires in stone casks. The scent of burnt wood and salt hung heavy in the air.

The Captain, a seasoned man of the sea, shared his first mate’s apprehension. “Who could have guessed we’d find ourselves hauling refugees for the Empire?”

“Desperate times…” Goshin mused, spitting over the railing. “Still, a bit hypocritical, if you ask me.”

The Captain scratched his brown beard, turning to look out over the sea. Several hundred ships lay anchored past the breakers, waiting. “Looks like half the captains aren’t coming. They probably took off for the Hales, or the Summerlands.”
Goshin peered over the rail, signaling the dock workers to lower the ramps. “How come we didn’t?” 
The Captain shook his head. “Even a blind man can see there’s nowhere to run. The Hales. The Summerlands. It makes no difference. The other captains will learn the hard way.”

Goshin flashed a look of skepticism. “Perhaps.”
As the ramp touched the pier, the dockmaster appeared. A stunted but well-groomed man, he wielded his quill and parchment as if they were a sword and shield.
“Good day, sirs. How many will you be declaring for?” asked the dockmaster.
“We can take about a hundred,” the Captain answered, “so long as they ain’t bringing any animals and they ain’t bringing any weapons with em’. I’ll not have peasants on my ship butchering pigs or each other.”
The dockmaster scribbled a note and signaled the guards below to allow the refugees to board. “We confiscated all their weapons and livestock when they entered the harbor. They were instructed to bring food and any necessary provisions with them for the voyage.” 
“Do we have a destination yet?” asked the Captain. “Seems awfully queer to evacuate all these people, with nowhere to go.”
The scribbling came to an abrupt halt. “East, is what they say. I was ordered to tell each captain and shipmaster to rendezvous past the break wall. You’ll be given further instructions from there.”
“What does he mean, east?” asked Goshin. “There ain’t a damned thing east except ocean and sky.”
“Aye,” the Captain nodded in agreement. "They think there's something out there.”
“Starvation and death is what we’ll find,” Goshin replied with contempt. “The gulls will pick our bones and leave the rest for�",” he paused, spitting over the rails again. “Them.” 
“We will have to take our chances with starvation and death,” muttered the Captain. “There will be issues with food, since you mentioned it. Our holds can only carry so much”
“I hope you’re wrong. Famine on the high seas can be a nasty business�"” 
“�"I’m well aware, Goshin,” the Captain interrupted. “We’ll have to start rationing immediately.”
“On a lighter note, I reckon we won’t be coming back here again. If it’s alright, I’ll be heading off to the Grey Mare one last time for an ale and a w***e.”
The Captain nodded. “Be back by dusk.” 
“Aye, sir.” Goshin breezed down the ramp, vanishing into the crowd.
The Captain stared out over the open waters, when a breeze whipped over the deck. A flapping sound caught his attention and he glanced to see his trench coat was torn.

His heart filled with a mix of worry and unease, though he dared not express it. The Vertanian Ocean was the edge of the known world. Many ships sailed east in search of new lands, yet not a single one returned. Stories abound of ships tumbling off the edge of the world into oblivion. The Captain wondered if the same fate might befall his ship, yet in his heart he knew falling off the edge of the world was the least of their concerns.

A handful of refugees remained on the dock waiting to board, when a commotion broke out near the gate. Vargas, the ship’s holdmaster, appeared from the cargo hold to investigate.
“Please!” an old man in rags wailed. “You’ve got to let her on board. She’s heavy with child.”
The guard scowled, shaking his head. “Sorry old man. You’re the hundredth. I can’t be letting any more on board. You can get off and stay with her if you like.” 
“You don’t understand!” cried the old man when he reached out and touched the guard's shoulder. A sudden rush of mailed fist crashed into the old man’s face as he moaned, falling limp to the deck.
“No. You don’t understand!” the guard exclaimed.
“What the bloody hell is going on?” Vargas shouted.

The old man stirred from the floor as tears and blood poured from his face.
“They told us no more than a hundred,” the guard replied, “and here he wants to bring some pregnant wench on board. It’ll be a hundred and two!” 
“Aye, you can count,” Vargas snapped, glancing towards the guard at the base of the ramp. “Let her pass. One and a half more won’t sink the boat. Someone get this man to the hold.” 
“Bugger you all,” the guard muttered under his breath. “Send the b***h up.”
The pregnant woman climbed aboard as Vargas grabbed her hand. “Oh, thank you so much,” she said. “You must know how grateful I am.” 
In all his years, he never crossed paths with a woman whose eyes glimmered like hers, a bright emerald-green, and metallic. He became lost in them immediately. “Who are you?”  
“Felice,” the woman replied in hesitation. “My grandfather and I are from the Drells, in the northeast, seeking safe passage from the fighting behind us.”
“You came a long way,” Vargas remarked. “Where’s the man who put that baby in you?”
The woman looked to him as tears welled in her eyes. “He�"he went off with the Emperor, to Appletown, in the Deep Pass, to hold them off. He said it was his duty.” Her eyes glistened in the sun from her tears.
Vargas put a hand on her shoulder and led her towards the entrance to the holds. “Aye… He certainly did...”
Dusk fell as the Emerald Turtle prepared to undock, readying the oars, securing the rigging, and raising the anchor. Several ships drifted out, forming a line between the torch buoys, which marked the pass in the break wall. The sounds of wind, waves, and oars smacking the water converged until they were indistinguishable. Those were the sounds every man of the sea becomes deaf to; always hearing, but never taking notice of. 
Conditions below deck were cramped and crowded, but not unbearable. Most of the refugees stayed below deck, thanking the gods for their lives, or mourning the loved ones lost. Prayers and tears could be heard amongst the murmurs, as an acolyte representing the Faith of the Twelve was counted amongst the refugees, leading prayers and offering blessings to anyone who asked.

John the cook boiled a cauldron of stew filled with onions, carrots, turnips and bits of rabbit and venison. The smell was inescapable, filling the air above and below deck. The hot food served well to keep spirits up.
When the Emerald Turtle reached its position in the bay, the crew dropped anchor and lit torches on the stern and bow, alerting the other ships of their presence. Vargas counted near forty-five vessels at the rendezvous point, with whispers claiming them to increase five-fold.

Vargas realized he would never again look out over the harbor of White Town. Thoughts of lost loves and old friends crept back to him. Most of all, he thought about his uncle Roderick and how the man was faring, if he was alive at all. Like all the crew, he turned to the east, looking over the endless expanse of ocean, pondering their true destination.
Goshin appeared, staggering over the ramp, half-drunk and stinking of ale and smoke. The first officer walked with a strange swagger when he drank, like a man with nothing to lose.  

“You surprise me,” said Vargas.

“How so?” Goshin asked.

“You didn’t bring any of your b******s with you. Did you get your last taste of White Town’s finest?” Vargas asked, referring to the dockside courtesans.
“I got one better,” Goshin grinned. “I had me an ale at the Grey Mare while the owner boarded up.” He was quite adept at catching the latest gossip in the taverns. 
“Any good news?”
Good news is a luxury even the rich can’t afford now. Things are worse. Much, much, worse.” Goshin shook his head.

“Do I want to know?”

“There was a caravan coming from Arnhelm. It was supposed to be here four days ago.” Slightly drunk, Goshin moved closer to Vargas, in fear of eavesdroppers. “The prince and his family were on that caravan.”

Vargas swallowed, “Are they�"”

“�"All of em’.” The words rolled from Goshin’s lips like ice. “That ain’t all. Ol’ Mallory at the Grey Mare said when the Queen found out, she cut her wrists. Devin the Stable Master heard she threw herself from the Ellsbern Towers. Nobody agrees how she died, but everyone agrees she’s dead.”
“I figured she was here, with the others,” replied a shocked Vargas.
“There’s more too,” Goshin said, spitting over the rail. “I ran into the holdmaster from the Sword of the Dawn. He says the Emperor’s brother made a move for the throne and killed every member of the Eldermore who wouldn’t bend the knee.”
“That’s treason, and insanity,” Vargas scoffed. 
“He thinks he can beat back the scourge.”
Vargas laughed at the notion. “With what? Bows and arrows? Harsh language, perhaps?”

“Got me,” Goshin shrugged. “If I was a betting man, I’d say the man lost his mind.” The shock wore off rather quickly. Goshin had never held the Emperor or his family in high regard. “I won’t lie. Hearing the nobility cut each other’s throats�"that’s justice for what they did to us. Making us their slaves. Making us work for them.”

“At least they pay us,” shrugged Vargas.

Goshin groaned, “Pennies and irons. My s**t’s worth more money. I get the impression this whole deal was their making�"the rich, the nobles, highborn, and the like. It’s like the ship’s sinking, and rather than getting off the boat, they’re still fighting over the treasure.”

Vargas stiffened up, checking a nearby rigging knot. “The world’s gone straight to hell. There’s only one thing the rich fear more than death, and that's losing their riches.”
“I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. Not now. Not after what’s happened.”
Goshin nodded in agreement, leaning far over the deck to belch across the sea. “Not like it matters anymore. The crown’s worth about as much as a piss pot.”
The following morning, a carrier pigeon dropped a small scroll on the ship’s deck. A wax seal in the shape of a dragon marked it as an imperial message.

“All captains and commanders are required to meet upon the deck of the flagship Hammer of the King’s Justice at midday,” the Captain read the words aloud. “Seems we got a captain’s meeting. Vargas. You and Lil’ Keefer are with me. If we’re lucky, we’ll be back by supper.”

After three years with the crew, Lil’ Keefer wasn’t so little any more. With dirty orange curls, he was a strange sight. Orphaned at a young age, the crew caught him in some nameless port city pickpocketing Goshin. He quickly proved his usefulness, helping everyone from Jon the cook to Vargas the holdmaster. Climbing and singing seemed his favorite things, and the crew took a liking to him. Vargas taught the boy to read, while Goshin taught him the proper sailing knots. As far as Lil’ Keefer cared, every man on the ship was his father.

The Captain, Vargas, and Lil’ Keefer scaled the rope ladder into the smallboat, as the waves knocked it into the side of the much larger Emerald Turtle. Blue skies lent themselves to a strong headwind, leaving the seas choppy. It took Vargas and Lil’ Keefer together to row the boat in the right direction as the Captain sat silent, re-reading the message in his hands.
“Boy,” Vargas shouted. “You’ll tend to the smallboat while the Captain and I are on deck. Be sure you don’t let it float away.”
“I won’t, sir,” Lil’ Keefer replied.
Before them appeared the Hammer of the King’s Justice, a massive war galley, one-hundred-and-fifty feet long. Named after King Hammerly, the last king of Roa. No ship before her was ever built so large. Her port side was dotted with patches of mismatched wood, streaked by scorch marks displaying the scars of past battles. 
“How’d that happen?” asked Lil’ Keefer referring to the burnt streaks on the starboard hull.
“My guess is pitch or fire arrows,” replied Vargas. As the men rowed closer, He pointed to the row of giant crossbows mounted to the rails, each taut and loaded. “Look, boy. Do you see?”
“Ballistae,” the Captain mumbled.
“They are pointed to the sky,” observed Vargas.
“Why is that?” asked the boy.
A brief silence followed the question, as both the Captain and Vargas were overcome by a wave of dread.

“Somethings are best left unanswered,” the Captain said in a whisper.
The moment passed when Vargas took his eyes off the oversized siege weapons. “By the time we’re out to sea, they’ll be pointed downward for the krakens, sea dragons, and bull whales.”
“Fairy tales, mostly,” the Captain said dismissively.
Once aboard the flagship, Hammer of the King’s Justice, a royal guardsman waited to greet the Captain and Vargas. The young knight was decked out in full ornate gilded mail, with the Emperor’s sigil, a sun encircled with swords, emblazoned across his chest. “If you’ll follow me, the meeting will begin soon.”
“Half the captains aren’t here yet,” remarked Vargas. “Why aren’t we waiting for the rest?” 
The guard saluted and pursed his lips. “Admiral’s orders, sir. He’ll explain if you’ll come this way.”

A crowd of rugged-looking men in leather vests, trench coats, and boiled leather gathered on the deck. Many were bearded and scarred, missing an eye, a leg or a hand. Amidst the crowd rested a podium, where three men of obvious importance stood patiently, waiting to address the crowd.
“I know those men,” Vargas whispered. “That one in the green armor, he’s Darius North, Captain of the Royal Guard. The one in the brown robe, his name’s Peruvius. He’s a Master Steward. The last one in the suede doublet�"”
“�"Admiral Goodson,” the Captain said with a hoarse growl. “We know each other quite well.”
The old steward was the first to speak. An old man by old men’s standards, he dressed in a brown linen robe. His beard was short, white, and well-groomed, giving him a wizard-like stature. “On behalf of the royal family, we give thanks to each of you for answering the call of your Emperor in this hour of need. These are dark days, and your bravery will be remembered.” The steward’s hands shook as he spoke. “During our voyage, surgeons and doctors will be moving from ship to ship to tend to the sick and needy. Our voyage will be long, but we will ensure the safety of every man, woman, and child as we venture forth.”
“And where the hell is that?” questioned a voice from the crowd.
The steward pointed a shaky hand east. “There are lands, far east beyond the Vertanian Ocean, untouched by men and those we will not speak of. It is there, in this unnamed land, that we will seek refuge from the scourge.” 
“My ship only has enough food for a month. How long will this voyage take?” another voice asked.
“Only the gods know. But alas, the sea shall provide for us what we need.”

A wave of grumbling echoed in response through the crowd.
The old man moved away as the next speaker approached, introducing himself. “I am Darius North, Captain of the Royal Guard and Commander of the Royal Legion. The hour is late and the reason for our haste is our dire circumstances.” The crowd settled, and anxiety descended over everyone aboard the deck. “As some of you know, Deep Pass has fallen, and with it our beloved Emperor, his majesty, Alexander Pelenoire the Second.”
“He was a b*****d,” Vargas muttered under his breath.
The Captain of the Royal Guard pointed westward. “The scourge has spread, and as we speak, the capital city of Ellisar is in ruin. Two other evacuations were organized, one in the northern city of Astermark, and another at Cape Fontana, south of the Wings. Messages arrived from Astermark this morning, informing us of fire and smoke on the horizon. We can only assume the city has fallen by now.”
The crowd erupted in a fury of yelling and shouting. A fearful Vargas looked to the Captain. “If those things reached Astermark and Ellissar already�"” 
“�"I know!” the Captain snapped.
“Quiet! All of you!” the man in the suede uniform stammered. “I am Admiral Reagon Goodson, Commander of the Imperial Navy and master of this flotilla.” 
“We need to leave now! I’ll not die for the likes of you!” a voice from the crowd wailed.
“We will decide when it’s time to leave!” replied Darius North as his hand reached for the hilt of his sword.
“If the Emperor’s dead, you have no authority over us!” announced another faceless voice.
“Listen! Everyone!” exclaimed Reagon Goodson. “What you see before you is all that remains of the Elytian Empire! The burden rests upon us to build a new home and a new life. But we must do it together! We will set sail as soon as the last of the refugees are safely aboard the other ships. I shall spread the capital ships amongst the fleet to guide each of you into formation. From there we will sail far away from the coast where they cannot reach us. Once we rendezvous with the fleet from Cape Fontana, we will sail due east to safety.”
“What if the scourge gets here before then?” the Captain shouted. “What’s your backup plan?”
Darius North stood and looked in the direction of the question. “The horn shall sound three times to announce departure.”
“So Astermark burns. Do you think she got out?” asked Vargas in a solemn tone.
“We haven’t spoken in three years, Grace and I,” the Captain replied. “All I can do is hope.”
“Your daughter always was a strong one.”
“Aye. She was.”
Back aboard the Emerald Turtle, the remaining crew gathered as the Captain, Vargas and Lil’ Keefer climbed back aboard.
“What’s the word, Captain?” asked Goshin.
“Nothing good. Trouble is coming.” The Captain glanced to see the expressions on the crew’s faces as he uttered the words. The reactions varied from grit to terror. “I want the entire crew at attention. Where’s Merrick?”
“Right here, Captain,” answered a booming voice, pushing through the crewmen. Merrick, the oarmaster, was an ox of a man with arms as thick as tree trunks. Never was there a man so physically suited for his task aboard the ship.
“Pull every able bodied man from the hold who can row. I want an extra man on every oar.”
The only clean-shaven master on the ship bit his lip and gave a terse nod. “Aye Captain.”
“Goshin, I want two men on anchor at all times. Keep the nest manned with two on the fore and two on the mizzen, with four on the mains, ready to raise sail if all hell breaks loose. It’ll be every ship for themselves.”
Lil’ Keefer made for the main mast, climbing the first rung before turning back. “What’s the signal, Captain?”
“You’ll know it when you hear it. A horn. Three times.”
The sun retreated under the western horizon of White Town as a blanket of clouds descended over the harbor. The sound of carpentry traveled over the calm waters as the wind died, leaving a smooth sheen like black glass between the ships. Hammers nailed and saws cut while men shouted from ship to ship, exchanging nails, resin, tar, rope and sailcloth.
A nearby ship, the Flower Star, took on water. An old cargo galley, the ship was improperly loaded to its port side, giving way to a noticeable listing. Before the crew could shift the cargo, the vessel capsized with a thunderous crash. No less than fifty men drowned, along with the horses and several tons of grain. The sounds of screams and men and horses drowning carried far over the water in every direction as the other ships' crews looked on helplessly.

One by one, survivors were pulled out of the water, shaken and freezing. One man managed to swim all the way to the Emerald Turtle , and they dropped the hemp rope ladder. Once aboard, he was in severe shock, unable to recall his own name.
“I hope no one planned on exploring the new world on horseback,” said Goshin.
“Those horses were for meat, not for riding. That ship carried the food stores for those galleys which didn’t have enough space,” replied the Captain.
“Galleys like us,” remarked Vargas.
“Aye. We best get used to hardtack and rotten seagull,” Goshin said with a frown and a spit.
“Can’t we just eat fish?” asked Lil’ Keefer.
Vargas shook his head. “Good luck trying to catch anything while the ship’s at full sail. We’ll stop if we have to.”
“And get left behind? Bugger that,” declared Goshin. 
A sudden flash of light ripped across the horizon, grabbing everyone’s attention. The burst of bright light shown far, illuminating the clouds for a brief instant.

“My eyesight’s no good. What is it?” The Captain frantically reached into his coat pocket, pulling out his spyglass and extending it.
“Lightning, I think,” replied a leery Vargas. “There’s a storm moving in.”
The Captain wiped the lens with Goshin’s tunic before pointing it west over the city. All he saw was torchlights and darkness.
“There’s no wind. No waves. It’s dead calm out here,” said Lil’ Keefer just when another blast of light illuminated the clouds. 

“There it was again!” shouted a crewman, as more men gathered on the deck.
“Lightning, but no thunder,” muttered Vargas. “A storm with no wind?”
The Captain’s mouth moved, but no words came out.

Sweat dripped from Goshin’s forehead. “Say the word, sir,” he whispered, while more and more people climbed above deck.
The Captain carefully collapsed his spyglass and tucked it back in his coat pocket, taking a deep breath. “Anchor up! Raise the sails!” he barked in a loud thunderous voice.

Goshin stomped the deck hard three times with his boot heel, signaling the oarsmen to attention.
The crew sprang into action. Lil’ Keefer and Goshin helped raise the mainsail, while Vargas and his assistant Marston scrambled to the anchor. Within minutes, the anchor was raised, the oars were dropped, and the mainsail, foresail and mizzen were all lifted and catching wind.  
“What do you see, boy?” the Captain barked. 
“Nothing yet, sir,” the boy shouted back.

The booming echo of a horn rang out, carrying over the water. Three times.

A stiff wind from the south appeared, and the crewmen pulled the ropes to adjust the sail’s position. Yet a rope slipped, sending the yard twisting in the opposite direction, knocking a crewman in the head. The Captain rushed to grab the unconscious boy as blood poured from his head.
“F*****g idiot,” mumbled the Captain as two crewmen appeared, dragging the boy away. 
“What’s your orders, sir?” shouted Goshin, standing by the entrance to the hold. “The oar-men are ready there.”
“Get us turned around.” the Captain ordered.
Goshin leaned his head, shouting into the stepwell, “Port forward! Starboard reverse!”
The oars extended and stirred, making loud creaking sounds, as oak struck against oak and the ship slowly pivoted. 
“Oh my god,” Goshin muttered looking up.
What happened next did not require a spyglass to see, nor ears to hear. The clouds above the city blossomed in an explosion of white and yellow. The sky itself seemed to part as a looming shadow, blacker than night descended from above. Merrick appeared from below deck, just in time to see the first wave of death sweep over the city. The creature opened its mouth, and a swirling jet of flame, hotter than a smelting furnace, blanketed the city below, engulfing shops, inns, apartments, and anyone standing in the way. Wooden structures evaporated while bricks exploded and crumbled under the mighty force. The noise of a thousand screams echoed over the water like a wave breaking against rocks.

So graceful,” Vargas whispered to himself, “like pyromancers of the gods.”

The crew of the Emerald Turtle stood terrified and mesmerized, realizing only then the foolishness of man’s arrogance to think such creatures could ever be tamed.

“How did we get away with it for so long?” asked Vargas’ assistant, Marston.

“Get away with what?”

“Controlling them?”

Vargas was without an answer, only shaking his head when he looked to the harbor as no less than twelve of the winged demons descended over the docks. “There’s still ships in the harbor!”

In pairs, they swooped over the city, raining death upon everything in their paths. Clouds of smoke and flame whirled upward, as every building was laid to waste in mere minutes.
The largest of the monsters crashed into the bell tower of the city square. Wrapping its massive winged talons around the belfry, the beast scaled the tower and ripped the crown spire from its perch. The resulting crash ejected a plume of dust and debris in every direction, blanketing the city. Yet such destruction was not enough to satiate the beast’s appetite, and it reached inside the tower and ripped the cast iron bell from its hook, sending it careening downward, two hundred feet below. 
With outstretched wings, it roared a booming wail of terror and flame. The ground shook, the surrounding water rippled, and night became day. Every man on every ship felt the icy grip of fear wrap around their hearts. Though he did not show it, the always-stoic Captain of the Emerald Turtle looked on afraid and terrified, feeling his very soul rattled by what his eyes bore witness to.

The beast’s roar created a shockwave, rattling the masts and sails on every ship in the bay. Looking away for an instant, the Captain felt his trench coat flutter as the warm breeze passed over them.
“He’s claiming his territory,” declared the Captain with a tone of feigned bravery. “This city is his now.”
The winged demons appeared oblivious to the ships waiting in the bay, but the ships in the dock attracted much of their attention. Nearly one thousand refugees still waited to board when the scourge descended. The remaining men, women and children scattered for shelter while the flames rained down.

When the moment came, every ship in the harbor undocked at once, leading several vessels to collide. Chaos ensued as men and cargo spilled into the water. Of the fifty ships in the harbor, only twelve managed to escape at the last moment, with the rest either burning or crashing into one another.

One particular warship, the Reckless Abandon, fired several shots from its ballistae, striking one of the beasts in the head in what could only be called a chance shot. The shadowy fire-maker tumbled to the ground and crashed into an already engulfed apartment building, ejecting soot and ash high into the air. 
“So you can kill the b******s,” the Captain said to himself. But the effort was in vain as the war galley garnered the wrath of the others nearby. Four of them hovered above and sprayed the vessel with their combined fire, reducing it to a floating pile of ashes in less than a minute. 
The Emerald Turtle gradually floated away, reducing the view of White Town to a dim glow on the horizon. Drifting further out, they came upon twenty other ships escaping the fire. One in particular was so badly burned its sails smoldered. The crew shouted to see if a physician was aboard, to which Goshin replied they did not. One sailor from the scorched vessel shouted, “We all made it!” 
Goshin looked to Vargas. “How many ships do we have?”
Taking a moment to do a quick count, Vargas replied with a pained look of shock mixed with disbelief. “No more than eighty.”
A horrible feeling washed over Goshin. “There were supposed to be two hundred.” 
In blank disbelief, Vargas simply shook his head.

© 2016 D.S. Dirck

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Interesting chapter, i'll be honest i preferred the first but still a very good read. It ended well with the dragon attack.

Just a pointer cant fish be caught in a moving ship with a net.

Also I feel like their was an overload of information with the places and names. It checked the flow of my reading.

Other than that nicely done!

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

D.S. Dirck

5 Years Ago

That's a good question about the fishing net. Not knowing squat about sailing I had to do a bit of r.. read more


Well done. It was a great scene of ruin and escape with a little bit of backstory folded in. As for the previous comment that mention of the capsizing ship was unnecessary, I say it certainly was. The devil is in the details, as they say. And this particular ship held extra stores of food intended for other ships. In a future chapter, this will complicate the matter of feeding the civilians in the hold of The Emerald Turtle.

Posted 5 Years Ago

I'm still reading, but like what i've read so far. Something I wanted to mention before I forget it...

"Dusk fell as the Emerald Turtle prepared to undock, readying the oars, securing the rigging, and raising the anchor."

Maybe I'm wrong, but there seems to be some verb-confusion in this sentence. If you were to start the sentence with the second subject, "the Emerald Turtle," it would read, "The Emerald Turtle prepared to undock, readying the oars, securing the rigging, and raising the anchor." The ship can't do these things, obviously. The crew would have to. If you added "the crew of the Emerald Turtle...etc." it might read easier. Or you could say, "The Emerald Turtle prepared to undock. Oars were readied, rigging secured, and anchor raised."

Just a suggestion. :)

Posted 5 Years Ago

Love the action and tension throughout this chapter. The sense of urgency and fear builds up through the chapter until the reveal of the demons coming down from the sky. Bloody loved it and looking forward to reading more.

Posted 5 Years Ago

And a great continuation! More distinct characters, gripping action and a real sense of danger. The bit with the capsizing ship felt a bit glanced over and I'm not sure it was really necessary, the attack on the city would IMHO have sufficed to convey the urgency.
Nevertheless - outstanding piece of writing. Looking forward to the next chapter!

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Interesting chapter, i'll be honest i preferred the first but still a very good read. It ended well with the dragon attack.

Just a pointer cant fish be caught in a moving ship with a net.

Also I feel like their was an overload of information with the places and names. It checked the flow of my reading.

Other than that nicely done!

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

D.S. Dirck

5 Years Ago

That's a good question about the fishing net. Not knowing squat about sailing I had to do a bit of r.. read more
Moremoremore! Loving it so far, it's very unique

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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7 Reviews
Added on September 1, 2015
Last Updated on April 3, 2016
Tags: fantasy, adventure, dragons, sailing


D.S. Dirck
D.S. Dirck

Fort Wayne, IN

I am an unpublished author searching for a literary agent and eventually publication. In the mean time, I'm here to network with other like-minded (and even non-like-minded) authors. I'm by no mea.. more..


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