This book tells the story of a young sailor aboard a ship bound for Faydwer on the eve of the War of Fay, during Norrath’s Age of Turmoil.
The young Teir’Dal who wrote this wanted to preserve a record of the eve of a battle.
It seems the tale is not yet finished in this volume.
I hope to someday find the rest of it.
We have been preparing for this night for as long as I can remember.
When first I sought to join the Teir’Dal forces, I was told there were no openings for someone of my stature. You see, one of my legs is shorter than the other which makes me appear smaller than I am, I convinced the commander to allow me to join and now here we are: the eve of battle.
I will set this down for future generations, for while the invasion by the Teir’Dal will live on in history forever, the memories of this last night will surely fade.
Whatever happens when the sun rises, I am sure that we will be thinking of the future then and not living in this moment in time, when the possibilities are set before us.
Long has my unit trained in secret. Lest this fall into unfriendly hands, I will not name the place. The training was long and difficult, for not only did we need to learn the management of our new warships, we also needed to build our strength as the journey from Tunaria to Faydwer is not a short one.
Speed is to be our ally in this, so that the Dwarves, upon whose shores we will first land, will see the strength of our force and be overwhelmed.
The Feir’Dal will be simple to overcome, as they are simpleminded.
Once we have made landfall, there is nothing that will stop us.
The new ships are deadly.
They are low and lean, powered both by air and by the strength of our rowers.
When the winds are favorable, a large sail is hoisted and the Cantor will stand behind it and call up further winds with her songs.
Each ship has its own Cantor, to increase the advantage of the winds.
When the winds are still and the sea like glass, the oars are put into the water.
The galleys of the new ships can hold 50 ogres to the oars, In my ship, we have 30 ogres plus 20 of my unit.
Of course, my unit’s mission is simple and straight-forward; we are not pulling alongside the ogres. We are to conserve our strength to cover the ground swift as wolves, silent as the owl.
The Cantor is checking the winds now. She wears a robe of silver belted with a rope of pearls and rubies.
I do not know who she is. When she was assigned to our ship, I asked her name and in response received a look so sharp that her eyes burned into me like a venomous bite.
The sail, which fluttered in the slightest of breezes, is now filling and pulling at its lines.
We are underway.
The Cantor stops beside me.
“You want to know my name?” she asks softly. She is the only one who may walk when the ship is underway, but she pulls me to my feet nonetheless.
“Come with me,” she says, leading me to the deck at the stern.
The winds swirled around us as we stood side by side, the ship slicing through the black waters.
She leans toward me, and I thought she meant to kiss me.
Her lips barely touching my ear, she whispers, “My name is Death.”
Her breath is warm though the wind is billowing the sail is icy.
Laughing then, the Cantor pushes me away, her dark eyes glinting.
I did not stumble, for my training has made me able to navigate quite easily in the dark even upon the uncertain footing of a ship.
I could feel her eyes taking measure of me as I sit down to continue with my writing.
She is looking at me still, I can feel it.
The ships will reach the transport area very shortly. I hope to continue this once we have crossed to the other side.
We are making excellent time; the Cantors have done a good job.
I see the swirling mist ahead of us. It crosses the ship’s prow and coils along its length.
I turn to look over my shoulder; Death is watching me.