Spoiler: Ambiance With the battle being fought in the west, it was time for Regalia to take to the waters in the east. Not too long after Reimar Typhonus’s army departed, so too did the Regalian sailors and their commanders, Division Admiral Christopher Black and Wing Admiral Karl Gustav av Nyström. Reports from scouting parties indicated that a bone fleet had amassed further south near Nuthotehk at the mouth of the Nuthotehk Strait within Pride Bay, and was preparing to commence an attack on the Regalian Fleet in retaliation for the attack on the southern city weeks before. Anticipating such, both Admirals sorted a plan similar in fashion to Reimar Typhonus’. Nystrom would sail his fleet, comprised of ten Girobaldin Fregats, south to meet the bone fleet and make a faux retreat attempt back north to lure the Kathar fleet into an attack on the combined nautical force of both his and Division Admiral Black’s. The Division Admiral all the while would hold Merkars’arh’s ports with six Calemberg Third Lines and a singular Anglian NautKnight, a ship whose prowess on the seas was legendary due to its bulky armor and dozens of cannons. With the plan set, av Nystrom gave the order for his ships to sail. Travelling at roughly 10 knots, it was not long before the Regalian vessels had the Kathar force in sight once more. On the horizon, dozens of bone ships had gathered in wait to prepare their assault. Sailors using their spyglasses kept a stoic and unwavering eye on the vessels as the Wing Admiral’s smaller, less versatile ships made their approach. Believing to be close enough, Av Nystrom gave his order to retreat, raising the signal flag and pivoting the ship hard to starboard. The Regalian sailors all watched on as the Kathar ships moved towards them, bringing a grin to av Nystrom’s lips. However, that grin quickly faded, as the Kathar vessels prepared a defensive maneuver while the Girobaldin Fregats made their departure. Undoubtedly, the Kathar had figured out exactly what the Regalian Admiral was attempting to do, as it was unlikely for any Regalian Admiral to sail into battle with only a small fleet of recon vessels as its attack force. Thus, the Kathar vessels remained exactly where they were, to av Nystrom’s dismay. Back in Merkars’arh, Black and his bodyguards, Alexander Donsly and Urijah Jamesson, waited patiently aboard the Anglian NautKnight for the official attack to begin. However, it would become blatantly apparent that no attack was going to happen as the ten Girobaldin Fregates returned, emerging out from behind the islands of Threlwar’s pass absolutely unharmed and with no bone ships in tow. The Division Admiral cursed under his breath, all the while Alexander Donsly and Urijah Jamesson chuckled amongst each other at av Nystrom’s apparent failure to make light of the situation. Their jesting was cut short as the collective seven ships slightly rocked from left to right from below. Division Admiral Christopher Black glanced to his first mate who returned an equally bewildered look to his captain. “Wind, Admiral!?” he shouted back, but the Black was well used to the open waters and he had never experienced wind that strong come along so suddenly. The sailors recovered from their staggering, glancing overboard. Perhaps they had hit the shallows? It could not have been likely; it was impossible that every ship managed to scrape shallow land at the same time. Notwithstanding, the av Nystom ships rendezvoused with the larger and more powerful vessels within Black’s fleet, signalling to the command deck of Black’s Anglian NautKnight that the mission had not been successful. As the flag raised to indicate their failure, multiple long, thick tentacles glowing a faint purple ripped through the waves and clutched onto multiple ships within av Nystrom’s secondary fleet, which had been left behind to ambush the Kathar bone vessels. Without so much as even warning, the octovin-like tentacles collapsed two Anglian Frigates in on themselves in a matter of seconds. “By the Spirit,” Christopher spoke, awestruck. “Ready the cannons!” With his command, each of the ships began to turn and open fire on whatever they could hit. Cannonfire ripped through the creatures limbs but as they retracted below the water, two more limbs would replace them. The sound of cannonfire, screaming, wood creaking and breaking echoed over the bay in macabre harmony. The Wing Admiral immediately gave the order for the smaller vessels to retreat while the Calemberg Second followed Black’s lead and began firing upon the beast’s flesh. Av Nystrom, though quick to act, could not save three more of his ships. A sweep of a large tentacle slammed three Girobaldan recon vessels into the rocky coastline of Holvechis Island. A beastly roar reverberated from deep below the waves as the creature flailed about, his body latching to one of Christopher’s Calemberg Third liners and pulling it below the water, its artillery desperately trying to blast the creature from its hull before ultimately succumbing to the damage and disappearing into the depths. The NautKnight seemed to be doing well amongst the disarray, its explosive firepower soiling the ocean water with the beast’s pitch black blood. Both of Christopher’s bodyguards fell to his side, albeit not knowing exactly what to do to protect their employer. Both Alexander Donsly and Urijah Jamesson were however flung overdeck as the corrupted nautical horror slammed a tentacle against the reinforced hull of the Nautknight, with Urijah taking puncture wounds to his back as he fell onto some particularly sharp flotsam and suffering from a broken femur after clashing with the broadside railing and plummeting into the water. Felix Ratcliffe, try as he might to attempt to save both bodyguards, found himself equally as harmed as his attempt to dive after them ended with him bashing his head off of one of the cannons on the way down, leaving him with a concussion, but kept afloat by some of the wooden flotsam. More and more of the beast’s blood stained the water until eventually, after a shriek from below the collective Regalian force, its octovin-eque limbs evaporated from sight and, with a forceful push from below the waters, it disappeared, leaving only a trail of black-purple blood behind. The Regalian Fleet had survived by the skin of their teeth. Quinn Shu’elsi quickly began tending to injured soldiers upon the NautKnight, helping with any concussions or broken bones they may have suffered as a result of the Kraken attack. Ultimately, though not necessarily a victory against the Kathar, the Regalian Fleet had avoided decimation by the Kathar-corrupted Kraken, which Christopher Black was able to observe and identify after the attack. Av Nystrom’s recon vessels made use of their speed, picking up any survivors from the initial attack from the now sunken ships. Both Admirals subsequently went about setting up a more professional and by-the-book naval perimeter to ensure the Kathar bone fleet would not be a threat to the upcoming land battle. In the process, they locked themselves out of being able to provide any coastal artillery. Only time would tell if Merkars’arh would stand, and whether this altered deep sea creature would re-emerge for its revenge.