The tempest (autumn equinox 378ye winds of war)

Crossposted from Facebook

[size=200]THE TEMPEST[/size]

A little less than a week after the end of the Summer Solstice, a massive sea storm smashes into the coast of Spiral. It begins as a summer storm, then whips itself up into a tempestuous frenzy then becomes a full grown hurricane. Massive waves smash the cliffs and coves, and more rain falls in a day than has fallen in this mountainous region in the previous month. It is as if the sea itself has gone to war with the land; in some places the cliffs are battered so severely they are swallowed by the ocean. The entire coastline changes - just a little - over the following three months.

The Grendel-controlled port of Apulian is hit especially hard. According to garbled eyewitness accounts, the quayside is devastated. The makeshift, ramshackle orc-built docks are ripped to splinters by seven coiling waterspouts. The waterspouts move slowly inland, ending lives and shattering buildings and leaving Apulian even more ruined than it was after the Grendel first conquered it.

The port of Vesten in Redoubt is also hit by the storms, although nowhere near as severely. The Ribbon of Salt - the powerful Spring regio that swirls in the bay south of the city - undergoes a savage transformation into a continuous churning fountain of seawater and debris that rains dead fish and seashells and wreckage dredged up from the seabed over the docks for several weeks before it suddenly collapses back to its more usual, if more unpredictable, state.

Away from the coast, the storm is equally fierce but easier for individual vessels to ride out. Trading ships passing too close to the Spiral coast risk having their sails torn or their rigging ripped apart, or in the worst cases being dragged to their doom in the hungry maw of a swirling maelstrom opening without warning beneath it’s bow. While the storms are focused on pounding the waters around Spiral, the weather across the entire western Bay of Catazaar is atrocious for most of the Summer months - and as the supernatural storm slowly ebbs it is simply replaced with the more natural yet equally dismal weather of the western Bay in Autumn.

Inland, the Highborn army of the Valiant Pegasus is sheltered behind the solid stone walls of the Fist in Spiral, and the Grendel are mobile enough to abandon their makeshift camps and forts along the southern coast. While the worst of the storms are restricted to the coastal region, the weather deteriorates across the entire territory. Both Imperial and barbarian armies are more concerned with defence than attack - while there are occasional clashes between scouts and patrols, neither the Grendel nor the Highborn seem to want to seek a direct confrontation. The barbarian forces outnumber those of the Empire, it is true, but ‘‘both’’ sides are outnumbered by the bandits, monsters and insane cultists that gather in the dark places of the lost territory or brood in the shadow of the Black Plateau.

[Spiral! Storms! Waterspouts! Full of sharks! On fire!

Okay maybe not the last two but still. The port at Apulus looks like it has taken a major pounding and the Grendel will need to make other arrangements if they want to move any supplies around any time soon.

This is, presumably, one of those worse things that are forever happening at sea - maybe connected to the thirty year anniversary of the drowning of Carcimare?]