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Chapter 34

Yerril was standing near the railing, looking at the young mage standing calmly on the sand. He stood with his arms apart for a while, and began to bring them together. As he watched him bring his hands together, he could feel energy coursing through the air and his veins. He could feel the energy racing along the runes on the hull through the soles of his feet. For an instant, the energy vanished, but reappeared when a wall of sand flew out from under the Pribe. Time seemed to slow down for Yerril as well, who saw the wave of sand and debris hurtle towards the mage on the sand only meters away. In moments, the young wizard was lost in the sea of airborne particles. He felt a shock through the decking, and clutched the railing as the ship shifted unexpectedly. It began to fall over, but something prevented it. The air was choked with sand and bits of driftwood. Heavier particles had shot across the bay to the port, while lighter particles hung in the air for a time before settling. With an unobstructed view from the waterfront, some of the customers at the Pint were frightened out of their wits when, as they sat calmly contemplating the water of the bay, they were presented with a fountain of sand and dirt across the water where the beached hull of the Pribe once had stood. Fortunately for them, the combined effects of being drunk, the dreadful shock of what they had seen, and the concussion of sound combined to knock them off their stools. Moments later, an object whipped through the window, zeroing in on an empty tankard that Mensk had just knocked over by accident. The wooden container absorbed some of the force of the object, but it continued along its way. The combination hit Mensk in the stomach, knocking the wind out of him and replacing his calm face with a grimace of pain combined with surprise. As he began to regain his breath, he reached inside the mug and pulled out a rounded object. It was a knot of wood that had been scoured smooth by time, sand and its path through the suddenly abrasive air. He stared at it with a look of wonder, and then seeing the plume of sand, walked to the window and looked across the bay. Nothing was visible on the other side of the bay, and sand could be seen sifting out of the air, covering everything in town and on the other side of the bay as well.

Sand was drifting down on Yerril as he stood on the deck. His mind was still overwhelmed by the recent events as he stood on the deck in shock. He stood staring out at the beach, more than half-hidden from view. He began to see images and forms in the swirling sand-filled air. Some of the sand seemed to coalesce into a more solid, darker mass that looked to be moving toward the Pribe. The mass became more solid, and parted to reveal the mage striding calmly out of the chaos, with sand drifting down around him. He approached the ship, but didn't cross the final distance.

"Get off the ship and go get your crew. We're towing her out of here. And watch your step." Yerril was still dumbstruck, but couldn't think of anything to do other than what he had just been told. He vaulted over the railing and expected to hit the beach. Instead he landed in water that was over his head. He gasped involuntarily and swallowed water.

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