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Isle Of The Cyclops

by Andrew Wright

Artwork © Martin McKenna
You knew that last tankard of ale was a mistake. One minute, there you were, drinking in the dockside taverns of the bustling city of Gummport. The next moment, you were awakened by a bucket of sea-water hurled at your face, to find yourself chained as a galley-slave on a black-sailed ship, watching the coastline of Far Analand drop away to the stern of the vessel.

"Row, wretch!" howled an obese Man-Orc taskmaster, lashing your back with a blow from his spiked whip.

Days passed and the welts on your back grew longer, as your slave-ship, the Blood Auk, headed southwards. Captained by a furious red-faced man called Kullion the Crab, the ship was sailing for the Blood Islands, for it was part of the fleet of the Chaos Pirates, who flock to those shores like seabirds to the carcass of a whale.

Fate intervened however in the form of a colossal storm that toppled the main mast and flattened the ship. Pirate and slave alike were swept overboard as towering waves and howling winds tore at the timbers of the Blood Auk. Your own chains were snapped, and you struck out through the seething waters, grabbing onto a tangled mass of floating debris, even as torrential monsoon rains hammered down relentlessly from above. Before you blacked out completely, you prayed feverishly to Hydana, God of the Sea, hoping to escape the notice of his hungry shark-toothed attendants...
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