The two cargo ships were reported missing a week ago and were still overdue to dock in Ramsgate and unload their precious haul. Scouts dispatched to find them returned with their rigging in tatters, hulls still pocked with shards of ice, and their crews hanging by a thread.
The Skraev, they reported, had ambushed them as they passed by an island, devastating them with frigid blasts of aetheric frost as it screamed and tore at them with its talons in low flying passes. They guessed the missing freight haulers had suffered the same fates, but had not managed to escape.
Now, the Slayers sent to destroy the Behemoth were also late in returning. They had left boasting they would be back to celebrate their victory over a late dinner. The sun head now set and the stars had come out. Whispers filled the taverns and dockside gambling dens. They were not coming back.
Any Slayer worth their notes knew that throwing good talent after a bad death was unwise. And the angry Skraev’s latest depredations may have gone unavenged were it not for a team of raw recruits led by a young Slayer with a blaze-infused sword.
These greenhorn Slayers had only a few successful hunts (and as many close calls) under their belts. Their captain was a brash Ramsgate native who had led his crew to a series of victories, accepting hunts at a breakneck pace as they made a small name for themselves. But the Shattered Isles had a way of breaking Slayers too ambitious for their own good, and odds around the taverns were that this crew’s number would be up soon.
Undaunted, they’d recently taken down a ferocious Embermane that had been terrorizing a nearby wooded island. Using the trophies taken from that fiery beast Ramsgate’s weaponsmith had forged a blade coursing with blaze aether power. The Slayer leader, in a full set of armour to match, realized this new weapon was exactly what was required to deal with this deadly Skraev once and for all.
For if this advantage wasn’t enough to take down the Skraev, all the courage in the world wouldn’t matter. Their lives — and their legend — depended upon this victory.