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The Final Maelstrom
by Kaytlin

It started off as what looked to be a successful voyage on the Man O' War Maelstrom, also known as clan 19's lucky ship. Trrapsin and Lytein came along for the ride, enjoying the sea breeze as I shouted continuously at my deckhand crew. The wind blew us swiftly away from G'dangus and towards our first batch of serpents, consisting of a humongous emerald violet and two enormous serpents. Due to the colour of these serpents, they only yieleded 300,000 fae total, leaving me with 200,000 left to get before the khrait noticed me in the water. As I hefted large chunks of serpent meat over the edge of the ship, I noticed a large ripple by my ship and the back of a humongous ruby serpent rose out. Its three, large hammer-heads followed, its beady eyes tracking my ship. I tapped my fingernails in frustration on the helm. I'd lost my last two ships to ruby serpents splitting and attracting khrait. Shrugging my shoulders, Maelstrom shuddered as the larboard guns fired in unison, raining shots down on the serpent.

10 minutes later, the serpent came dangerously close to sinking my ship, but as Trrapsin's bow shot distracted it, it scooped us up onto it's back and allowed us shots onto it from all sides. By the time it dropped us, I was grinning with the increasing ease of the serpent as it clung to life. It swam back to destroy my ship three times more, each time being met by a fearsome volley of firecasters to distract the beast. Eventually, the ruby was put to rest, giving rewards of 213,000 fae and 1500 serpent points. Unfortunately, the serpent left behind, what at first I thought to be 3 ruby babies, but as the thumping on the hull became louder and more frequent, 5 ruby baby serpents were left to be dealt with. As I fired off a first volley to keep a serpent off my ship, a sudden crack of thunder shook me and my crew to our feet. I cursed aloud, announcing that the khrait would soon be on their way.

I spun the helm quickly to turn away from the khrait, while still trying to keep ruby babies off my back. the fog swirled in front of my eyes and the lightning storm made it increasingly difficult to see. As the sky ripped open and closed again, I spotted three brand new Sitharons, ready for action and all within firing range. I called out to my clan for assistance and Airala promptly arrived at the helm whistling. As two serpents soared into the larboard side, our guns faltered and water started slowly leaking into the hull. The echo of hammers came from below as the serpents moved together, back and forth, circling the khrait ships as well as my own. The khrait crippled our mast as two serpents fell to the continous firing. Another one rolled over and collapsed as I noticed an odd smell drifting up towards the helm ... The smell of burning wood. Looking over the marks of damage, I noticed a fire raging away in the hull, and bellowed out for it to be doused immediately. We were rammed twice more and the crew fought furiously to repair the increasing damage. As Lytein made jokes about going swimming, I pelted through the ship, gathering up chunks of serpent meat and sweeping the money from the chest into my pocket.

I got above decks in time to see a serpent dangerously close to the hull. I shouted off a volley, but reached the helm to find a large serpent head lying in wait. It took one look at me before it swung its head at me, winding me and flinging me up to the mast. As I landed in a heap, I yelled out encouragements to my clan. However, as I stood up and shouted, "I think we're gonna be okay!" another serpent careened into the side of us, creating an irrepairable hole in the hull. The wood lasted for about 5 seconds more then collapsed, sending my crew tumbling into the sea.


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