As the red sun rose, each sail unfurled at its own speed, and after only a few minutes, the travelers’ transport ship and its small fleet began their journey. Without any interruptions, it would be 30 days until they saw the shores of Allyria; and past that, another 15 of sailing up the coast to the legendary seaport of Lyonesse. Neither one of the travelers had ever seen the sea before, and the two stared on in wonder at its vast shimmering beauty.

One of the ship’s crew members noticed the pair of men looking entirely out of place, and sauntered up to the two. With a loud but friendly slap to the back, the rugged sailor surprised the small jester into a sudden coughing fit. The sailor visibly grimaced as he wondered if a diseased man had boarded their ship; but his motivation to greet the pair pulled him away from his thoughts, and an eccentric smile crept back onto his face. 

“Always be good to see a new couple o’ landlubbers joining the ranks! But I’m not so sure you can handle most of this here heavy work, jester,” the man garbled in an unrecognizable accent. “Life on the sea be harsh. Only the strongest few can handle the cruel mistress o’ the waves.”

“We are capable of handling ourselves, but I am always thankful for a friendly warning,” the larger criminal-turned-adventurer uttered with a slight grin. He offered his hand to the sailor, continuing, “It’s good to meet you, friend. We’re here on official business for the king of the Icarian Domain. On some errand without really knowing why.” A slight annoyance poked through the adventurer’s tone for a moment. “Actually, just to get this out of the way, we’re supposed to be looking for a man called Dougal. You wouldn’t happen to have heard that name before, would you? We’re supposed to deliver this sword to him.”

“Nope! Never in me life!” the sailor chimed in response, his smile never faltering. The pale jester continued to cough in small bursts in the background of the conversation, attempting to control his disruptions. 

“Damn, somebody has to know something,” The warrior removed his silk bundled sword from his back, slowly unwrapping it, being careful not to touch it in case of any delicacy. “I haven’t even looked at the thing yet, actually. I’ve been really curious…” As the adventurer finally laid his eyes upon the object of his quest, a look of confusion dawned across his face. The sword appeared to be a normal long sword, simply made with a much darker metal. Aside from a slightly curved handle, the sword had no unique features, no remarkable designs, and no elaborate decorations.

“So…why would anyone want this sword delivered?” The adventurer speculated, still looking bewildered. Upon this reveal to the sailor, the only immediate emotion that became apparent was fear. The sailor’s face turned to a sickly green, almost as if the man was becoming ill.

“The hell is that doing here? On this ship?!” The sailor exclaimed, startling the adventurer holding the sword.

“What? What are you talking about?” The adventuring warrior croaked. In his entire life, he had never seen a fully grown man act like this. 

But at that very moment, a sailor high up in the crow’s nest shouted down to the crew. A pirate ship was spotted on its way. Fast. The adventurer’s ship was one of four, and thankfully was furthest away from the incoming threat.

“You be the one who brought this curse upon us!” The sailor cried, pointing at the warrior and his jester. “We be lucky to escape with our lives!”

The warrior had still not moved since unfurling the sword. As he stood there eyeing the weapon in his hands, a thought occurred to him. He had no idea what he was dealing with.