This one allows for a fair few plots. Either there is a secret knowledge to be found, or the remnant of a lost civilization living on the island. Could be a small colony, could be an individual created by experimentation or whatever with no knowledge of who they are or the outside world.
Darin took his leisure aboard Ysandr’s Lance, the ship he had hired to sail him past the strip of land reaching out to the sea known as The Dragon’s Fang. Overgrown, untamed, and uninhabited since time out of memory, it was an inhospitable land that did not relinquish its secrets willingly. In the past twenty years alone, a dozen expeditions had been sent out. Only one man had returned, and him a blubbering mess. When they finally got him settled and able to speak coherently, he eventually related that they hadn’t even made it to the other side of the mountain pass that separated the civilized world from this forgotten remnant.
But by sea, the danger was relatively minimal. The storms would ravage the shore, the waves would dash you against the rocks at slightest provocation, but how many ships that attempted skimming so close could boast a mage aboard, even one half trained and rejected from the order?
He had taken the name ‘Stormbringer’ once discarding his family name upon his initiation to the order. After being deposed, he had been loathe to put aside the name as easily as they had him.
Darin had an affinity for weather manipulation, though it did tilt more towards bringing on the kind of weather that was best avoided in these circumstances. However, control was one of the foremost lessons back at the academy. If you could not undo what you could perform, you could not call yourself a mage. And they ensured it. No few students had left with their powers sealed for failing that lesson. Darin had just happened to be quick enough to avoid such cost.
The captain of the longship approached him in the prow, the sea spray missing his skin only just. Darin loved the smell of the sea, but didn’t intend to be soaked by it. A simple charm was enough to prevent that.
“Arcane Stormbringer,” the leathery man said in a voice just as rough as his skin. “We’ll be rounding the Fang within the hour.”
“Yes, Captain, thank you,” Darin said half impatiently. This was far from the first time the captain had approached him with similar tidings. ‘This far to the other side of the range.’ ‘Thirty leagues to the Desolation.’ “I’ll let you know when I find a suitable place to set ashore. With room for your men to set a camp as well, I assure you.”
The captains face grew tight, as if he had chosen to forget that the payment required him and his crew to remain with him. As if Darin would choose to stay out here without a way back.
“Yes, Arcane. Of course,” he replied. Captain Eamon retreated, barking orders at his men to ‘put their backs into it’ or he’d baptize them until they found their motivation again.
Quite the man, Darin thought darkly. He wondered if the captain were willing to go so far.
He doubted it.
Despite the rough skin and attitude, required of a man of the sea, Eamon was soft. Darin had no doubt he’d break before the first fingerna-
A massive spire broke his reverie. For minutes, he had thought it to be just another stone, but it was carved. Worn, to be sure, but the markings had been deep to still show.
Another beyond it was shattered, but the markings were still there. The shape, too, now that he thought of it.
Both seemed to advance from beyond the end of the fang, creating a steady procession out towards a fair size island a few miles off the coast. The overgrown forest that covered it threatened to rival the worst on the mainland. A wise man would have decided on it as a lost cause.
But Darin was not wise. He knew this. It was wisdom that he sought.
And that island was surrounded with spires decorated with runes of the first men to sail from across the sea from a land whose very name existed nowhere in record.
Except perhaps that island.
“Captain Eamon. Put me on that,” Darin said smoothly, facing the captain and pointing at the island over his shoulder.
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