Sea of NightmaresWhen the remains of The Ardent washed back to shore, it was a tragic day for the Krait Empire. The failure of The Ardent's primary mission marked the deaths of several key figures in the Empire's military, including one S-class adventurer, "Aquarius," best known for her mastery over water-attribute magic. When traces of the wreckage were discovered, a large-scale expedition set out to retrieve a single item aboard the ship: a specially designed mana crystal. Although the retrieval was successful, the majority sent on the expedition didn't return. The crystal functioned as a black box, containing the reports and final moments of one Ensign Roderik, a low-ranking officer aboard during The Ardent's last journey.
Tempests, Disease, Monsters. Three of the things no sailor wants to encounter on a long journey, and we got 'em all.
The Ardent's Mission
Between the constant storms and wildly powerful monsters, we already knew what the West Sea offered us. What we didn't expect was... well, within the first week of travel, several crew members fell ill. High fever followed by necrosis all across the body - I'd never seen anything like it. It was as though death itself rested on the water, and all who touched it were doomed. The captain ordered everyone to avoid putting anything more than a finger into the sea, and that was only if you were fine with losing your finger.Were it not for Aquarius' involvement in The Ardent's expedition, the crew would've been wiped out even before its first engagement with monsters. Possessing a power over healing waters, most of the breakouts of the strange illness were halted with her intervention.
The Final LogThe mana crystal containing Ensign Roderik's reports totalled 15 entries, over 6 weeks of travel of an expected 3 month expedition. The final entry was a series of moving images, describing a scene of panic and carnage. As though the sea itself was alive, gigantic waves took unnatural shapes, bending and twisting, freezing and boiling, a sight unimaginable in a normal storm. A column of water suddenly rushed over the ship's deck, swallowing a sailor's desperate pleas and diving back into the ocean. Spears of water and ice and steam punctured every crew member in sight, instantly killing and destroying whatever they touched. All at once, it stops. The sea went still, and not a single crew member remained alive. Off in the distance, the waves swell and a bright light pierced the sea, accompanied by sharp sounds of water cracking against something with intense force, and an overpowering roar shook the surface of the water. An obsidian black, gleaming surface emerged from the sea, and enveloped a point of light with a speed unfitting of its size. As it sunk back into the deep, a large tail pounded against the surface of the water, forming a huge wave that knocked into The Ardent and finally capsized it.
Sea on the western border of the Empire. It's not a place any adventurer wants to find themselves in.
Largest political power on the Adranis continent. Militaristic, but has excellent internal affairs. Declared as the enemy of multiple nations.
Secrets of The Ardent
- A detailed map and related locational data was stored in the mana crystal, meaning the Empire ultimately achieved its goals of the expedition
- The final results of the battle between Aquarius and Leviathan are uncertain, as the mana crystal cut off recording after the wave hit.
- Detailed analysis of the sea charts shows that the largest ocean currents bend at unusual locations, indicating that there should be a landmass further out to sea.
- 'Leviathan' is not a unique monster. It is one of many.
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