Storm of Dagon II
Somehow, after spending hours getting drunk, Dag found himself tucked into bed without the memory of getting there. I should give myself more credit, he thought. The steady drum of the rain had not yet faded, which he took as an obvious, but nonetheless welcome, indication that they had not yet been swallowed by the sea. He rolled back the curtain on the porthole and saw a calm black sea, and a starless, but otherwise normal, night. He moved the curtain back in place and rolled into bed. He tossed and turned, trying to return to his slumber, but the drum of the rain was keeping him from falling back to sleep. The drum of the rain? He thought to himself. He sprung out of bed and looked out the porthole again. Both the sea and sky were as black as a raven. He could hardly tell where the sea ended and the sky began. Not a single storm cloud was in sight. Yet, Dag could hear the steady drum of the rain above him.
Dag threw on a robe and burst out of his cabin, running up to the main deck of the ship. He saw again what he saw from his porthole. He had never known the seas to be this black, not even on the darkest of nights. Nor had he known them to ever be as still as a mirror. He walked to the edge of the ship and gazed into the utterly still blackness. He could see nothing but his own reflection. He stared and stared, expecting a ripple, or a wave, or anything to suddenly appear. But he could only see himself. Something, however, captivated him about his reflection in the black pool of nothingness. He could not break away from his reflection’s gaze. A sudden chill came over him, and he found himself freezing. He tried to turn around to go back to his cabin, but he quickly found his feet were frozen to the deck. He watched as his reflection crawled out of the water, it’s face morphing into that of a beautiful woman. A set of fiery red hair fell from her head and bounced on her shoulders as she shook her head. She climbed back into the water and flicked… her green and scaly forked tail. A mermaid, Dag thought, in awe.
“Great guardian of the sea, what is this sorcery?” Dag called to her. She did not provide an answer, and merely stared at him. Frustrated, Dag repeated his question twice more. The mermaid continued to stare at him, indifferent to his question. Dag slammed his fists on the rails and shouted, “I am the blood of the Seatamer Dan Salmonface! I command you to answer me, creature of the deep!”
The mermaid’s attention shifted. She opened her mouth, but instead of words, a thousand crabs poured out and crawled across her body. Her eyes turned black as coal, and her hair and skin faded into a hideous gray color. She screamed and screamed as the crabs occupied every square inch of her body. Dag covered his ears and tried to flee, but he was still glued to the spot, forced to watch this abominable act unfold. In the sky, the stars burnt into existence, casting an unbearable light upon the blackness beneath them. He could make out colors in the sky that he had never seen before in his life… brilliant hues of purple, green, red and blue, all mixed together in a cosmic amalgamation of horrendous intensity. He closed his eyes, but the light nonetheless penetrated his eyelids. He began to scream and scream as his eyes seared with pain, and as his ears ringed from the screams of the decaying mermaid. He crumpled to the floor of the deck, overcome with pain beyond anything he had felt before. But as quickly as it began, it stopped. Dag opened his eyes and saw the sky had struck a beautiful balance between the colors. He climbed to his feet, rubbing his eyes, and saw not the mermaid, but a man with gills on his neck, haunting golden eyes with wave shaped horizontal pupils, and scaly skin that was stained blue. Dag could not find his voice to shout out to the creature.
“Seatamer.” the creature called out in a raspy voice. “Salmonface. Saltskin. Beachshaker. Eeltoed. The grey kings of… Dalecara.” He spat out the last word, as if he had trouble saying it. He brought two webbed hands together and smiled, revealing countless rows of shark-like teeth.
Dag looked into the creature’s maw and felt an otherworldly fear. His legs shook and his knees buckled, but he managed to regain his voice. “Creature of the deep, why have you detained me in this realm? What business do you have with the names of my family?”
The creature’s smile turned into an open mouthed frown. “Dagon,” he spat, his hands moving across his body. “Dagon,” he said again, his eyes flashing.
“You are the Lord Dagon?” Dag shouted, his composure regaining. “Tell me, then, what proof do you carry? You trap me in this void and speak with little sense in your words. This is not the Lord I know that saved my grandfather’s people. You carry yourself like a wicked nokken of the open sea.”
The creature closed its mouth and folded its arms. Dag was about to prompt him for an answer when visions began to flash across his eyes. Dag collapsed under the intensity of them. First he saw a black haired babe being born amid a crowd on a hobbled together longship; next, he saw a driftwood crown being placed upon a grey bearded warrior whilst a village burnt in the distance; he saw a black haired young man impale a kraken with a flaming sword; then, he saw the same black haired man fighting a gruesome battle on a rainy field; and finally, he saw a sword washing ashore on a deserted beach. Dag recoiled from the visions and felt his body shaking all over. He rolled on the deck, moaning, spittle flying out his mouth wildly. He then heard a horrendous squawking coming from the sea. He crawled to the rail and dragged himself up to see the creature laughing at him. If you could call it laughing.
“Great Dagon, forgive me,” Dag pleaded, “I have erred in doubting your awesomeness. Spare my ignorance, I am but an insignificant creature compared to your infinite divinity.”
“Dag,” the creature hissed, it’s maw slowly widening, “Dag, Dag, Dag.” The creature continued chanting, until Dag could see that it’s maw was reared as far back as it could. “Come, Dag,” the creature said, gesturing towards it’s maw. Without regard for his own limbs, Dag threw a hand overboard, then the other, and dragged himself overboard. He found himself falling… and falling until he landed into the creature’s gaping maw. He closed his eyes, expecting to be shredded into a thousand pieces by a thousand sharp teeth. After a while he felt nothing, so he opened his eyes. He found himself standing in a black void, surrounded by nothingness. The ship, the water, the stars, even the creature were gone. Dag looked around, staring into the nothingness until he could finally discern a glowing light.
Dag walked towards the light for what seemed like an eternity. One foot in front of the other, he continued walking towards the light, until one step landed him in midair. He looked around and saw himself floating above a port. He could see his ship there, and, most peculiar, he even spotted himself shaking hands with an oddly dressed dignitary. He could see the storm raging in the background. He blinked, and found that he was suddenly thrown back to sea, and he now was gazing down upon his ship. He could see the port from where he was hovering. He would have to bring the ship about and travel through a maze of long islets, but he could manage to use the storm’s winds to bring him right into the port. He looked down at the ship again and saw a great leviathan circling it. He shouted for it to stop, and that somehow caught it’s attention! The creature broke it’s head through the waves, spotting him hovering in the sky like a star. It dove deep underneath the waves, and returned to the surface with a speed that shot it out of the water like an arrow. It opened its jaws and swallowed Dag whole, and then fell back into the sea with an enormous crash.
Dag woke with a start. He was on the floor of Euron’s cabin, being shaken awake by Balon Sandtooth. It seemed he had never left the room.
“My prince,” Balon said, his words slurred, “I thought we had lost you. One of the waves sent you right into the ceiling and you blacked out.”
“Euron,” Dag called, standing to his feet, “wake the rowers. Ready my coat. I will take the helm in ten minutes time.”