|GM Nikolaus 'the Grimm'|
An aura of pervasive fear hangs of over fair Aelysos. Sunlight kisses buildings of white marble and scatters diamonds from the cresting foam of the waves across the wide harbour. But everything is wrong.
The buildings, so white in the sunlight, stand pale and alone - all the colourful awnings, ramshackle merchant's stalls and children's toys scattered across flat roofs have been withdrawn, removed, like a scared tortoise retreating into its shell. Wide pavements laid with blocks of marble centuries old gleam, empty of the life and traffic that should be passing across them.
The cry of gulls echoes across the wide bay and the rolling waves break freely, untroubled by the oars of galleys or the proud hulls of far-roving ships. No-one sails from Aelysos this morning. Those who could have sailed already, fleeing into the night and hoping that their paths do not cross that of the behemoth that everyone knows to be coming.
Those who can't, too poor to afford the fees or too damaged to be sea-worthy have been engaged in a struggle no less deadly - to secure moorings inside the Kraken's Eye, that huge fortified harbour of volcanic stone that protects Aelysos from the ravages of angry nature. Securing such moorings could be the difference between ruin and cautious hope for the sea captains remaining and the places have changed hands for sums that would pay for ships themselves.
Unfortunately for Cyanea Micailidis securing one of those berths requires funds, contacts and luck - none of which appear to be on her side at the moment. Instead the Marid's Treasure is moored, or rather beached, on the far side of the harbour giving its captain a worryingly unobstructed view of the harbour and events to come.
One of the only places still moving, in a city that seems to hold its breath is the Seer Heights, where many people have flocked - half remembered tales of the cyclops' ancient wisdom and powers drawing people desperate to avoid disaster. Amongst the heavy guard presence there is Ambrus 'Butter Boy' Stathis standing like part of the immovable rock itself. His reassuring solidity seems to calm many of the frantic people, mostly foreigners, who flap about like agitated birds as a cleft suddenly appears in the horizon...