2000-10-04: Pirates Raid Coastal Cities
I find it necessary and inviting to visit Trammel on occasion, and find the change of scenery quite envigorating and pleasant from that of Felucca. One of favorite stops is the Unicorn's Horn tavern in Britain. I can enjoy some fine ale and glean information from one of several contacts who frequent the establishment daily. Recently, while there, the door to the tavern was flung open wide and a man, quite beside himself and out of breath, began shouting that brigands had been seen nearby. Reluctantly leaving my tankard of stout ale behind, I grabbed the man and asked him to show me where. Other customers, also intrigued by the news, and as curious as I, followed as we hurried from the tavern.
With him leading us, we ran to the eastern coastline and along the sandy beaches north. In the distance we could see smoke rising from various areas in the forest, quite well beyond the guarded areas of town to the northeast. Obviously fearful for his life our guide refused to go further, but several of us pressed on. Soon the sounds of fighting reached our ears... the clash of weapons and the explosions of magic spells. I caught sight of the invaders and noted immediately that they were not brigands but were, in fact, pirates. Admittedly, the difference between the two is not easily distinguishable. What lent creedence to my assumption was that at least two, perhaps three, large ships lay anchored offshore while many smaller boats plied to and fro between them and the shore, loading, then landing them. I drew closer, but kept quite hidden, and was thankful I had studied that skill early on becoming quite proficient in it. A few of those who came with me did not survive, sadly.
It became evident to me that the pirates seemed concerned with more than mere brigandry. They appeared to be looking for something. What confirmed my suspicions was the fact that, interspersed between groups of them, evil mages stood, shouting orders and pointing them toward certain areas. I could not draw close enough to determine what it was they said.
By this time the town criers had sounded the alarm and many citizens took up arms to confront the invaders. I saw quite a few mounted warriors and mages doing battle with the pirates. The din of battle grew louder for a time as countless life and death struggles took place all along the coastline and into the forested areas not far from it. Sensing defeat, or perhaps satisfied that what they sought was not there the pirates and mages withdrew, what few remained. Their ships raised anchor, hoisted sail, and disappeared into protective mists, evidently provided by the mages on board the ships.
Just yesterday I got word of a similar raid made upon Jhelom, on the island less populated and settled. Pirates swarmed ashore at the docks, threatening the inhabitants of the fishing village, ransacking homes, and fought all who opposed them. Once the alarm was sounded and forces converged upon the place the pirates and their mage allies, or officers as it appears, fled into the jungle or escaped back to their ships.
I am at a loss as to what they seek, but surely it is of great importance to someone, and if evil mages are involved, or back of it, who knows how long danger will threaten the citizens of our coastal cities. Be warned and ready!