The Widow’s Blade; July 6
It is truly unfortunate that Nessisus is no longer accompanying us, for surely he could have composed an excellent poem recounting the battle. We are weary and sore, but my companions all live still, though sadly there were losses among the crew.
The dragon eel’s hide was like iron, and even the ships cannon had difficulty injuring it as it rammed the ship, intending to sink us. As it rounded to ram us again, Cressida dove into the water, transforming into a large shark and engaging the beast. Meanwhile, the elementals closed in, striking the crew and ship with lightning and shattering their teeth with the power of their thunder, killing several of the crew and nearly slaying Indira as well.
Before we could fully recover from the intial assault, Iskaalu’s children climed to the deck, ghostly beings, like sheets draped over a man made of water. They sought to engulf us, drowning them within themselves. Most of the crew, wielding only mundane weapons, were unable to counter them, and so Sehera, O’Kalon, and I were occupied with these things as Iskaalu rammed us again. We could hear cries below deck and it became clear the ship could not long withstand this torment.
Our first great break came when Lyr banished one of the elementals, weakening the storm that had hindered our movement and aim. The second would fall too, once the children were dealt with, but by this time the ship was in a severely damaged state. It could not stand another blow from Iskaalu.
Sehera leapt overboard, onto the beast’s back, in one of the most courageous if foolhardy actions I have seen, stabbing at it until it dragged her underwater, shook her off, and swallowed her. Crushed by its acidic gizzard and drowning, she flew into a mighty rage, hacking her way out of Iskaalu from within.
A few seconds later as Sehera struggled back to the ship, it apparently finished with Cressida—whom we feared for several moments to be dead—and rammed us from below. The crew attempted to drop the anchors on it to little avail and, as the ship began to founder, it came around again, but this time we were ready for it and the beast fell to a combined assault.
The ship was taking on water at a great rate, until Lyr patched the largest breach temporarily. We collected again on deck, to gain our breath, as the dragon eel was pulled up on deck and gutted like a true fish.
The few crew that were not immediately put to task bailing, making repairs, and tending to the wounded and fallen set about butchering the thing. Though we are not all still alive, most of us are; if the hull breach had been worse, we could have all drowned, even after the beast was slain. As is, our journey is sure to be delayed. The ship is damaged and may need serious repairs to remain seaworthy. Furthermore, the losses to the crew could be the source of serious delays.
I wonder how deep her hate goes? There are many able sailors imprisoned below; will she be willing to use them. I hope she will be able to see reason in this time of necessity. This is no time for any hand to be idle, let alone barred from work…