The Wreckage of the Queen Argentia

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She was the pride of one of the greatest nations in the world. A massive ship, powered by wind and magic, with the figurehead of a great silver dragon of legend - Queen Argentia - mounted at her bow. She carried a crew of over sixty sailors, and nearly a hundred passengers. There was great pomp and circumstance when she set out on her maiden voyage across the great ocean, carrying cargo and passengers to the nations on the other side of the great watery abysses.

But then, something happened. A great storm rose up from nowhere, and the waves rose on both sides of her like terrible walls of ice-cold black water. The planks that made up the walls and decks of the Queen Argentia creaked loudly in protest, and though the ship's mage worked feverishly to keep the magics that held her together in check, nothing could defeat the might of the great ocean storm. The first wave that crashed over the decks broke all three of the masts in half, and washed those who were above decks - sailors and passengers alike - into the black ocean waters. The second wave roared over the deck, and the groaning of the ship became a sharp snapping sound, like a thousand trees shattering at once, and all was blackness.

You have awakened in the dim light of a morning after a mighty storm. Salt water is in everything, and you are bruised and battered, clinging with unconscious tenacity to floating wreckage. As the pale sun rises, you can see that there are other shapes in the water around you. Some are alive, also clinging to pieces of flotsam, or floating under their own exhausted power, their energy fading quickly. Most of the others, however are dead, corpses floating face-down. Some are drowned, others clearly were terribly injured when the ship broke apart.

And as the sun rises and lends its light to the waters around you, you can see in the distance the wan smudge where the water turns from deep blue to a lighter crystal blue, and just beyond that...land.

But that is when the person nearest you, turns to you, taking a breath to say something and is suddenly pulled underwater without even the time to scream. Looking down, you can see dark shapes beneath you in the water, and they have the sleek lines of terrible predators. The screams that begin to fill the air around you tell you that others have been found by these predators, too. You begin to swim for the shore, wishing you had the time, breath and strength to pray...

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