Chapter Eight

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Evangeline took a long swig from her waterskin. Salt permeated the sea air and she could do nothing to rid the taste from her mouth. The strong winds that had quickly carried them away from Breckenshire had ceased and left gentle breezes in their place. A voyage that should have taken them a mere day to reach Doctemptha now put them at three days at sea with no land in sight.

Precious time wasted away and while grateful that their trip on the ship had remained uneventful, the longer they drifted aimlessly with no wind for guidance, the more uneasy she grew with the situation. She closed her eyes and breathed deep, silently reminding herself to listen to the world around her.

Leaning over the rail, she caught sight of something moving in the water. She dismissed it at first as a large fish, but then noticed how quickly it was moving toward the surface. It was a creature she had never seen before. It was a dark blue figure with long arms and legs. Its webbed hands surfaced first then a mess of red stringy hair piled on top of its head.

Razor sharp teeth lined the wide-open mouth and Evangeline stepped back a bit from the rail. The creature began making a loud guttural noise and then several more creatures popped up onto the surface. She tried to get a sense of what they wanted but an alarm started sounding before she had time to think.

"NIXEN! Someone shouted behind her. Several men came forward armed with harpoons and bows. Evangeline noticed that they were not pointing their weapons at the creatures below; instead, they were actively searching the horizon.

Confused she asked the man closest to her, "What is happening?"

"Nixen." He stated as if that explained everything.

"Well what is a Nixen?" She asked.

"Those are nixen." He pointed at the blue creatures.

"If they are so bad why aren't you shooting at them?" She asked.

"They aren't bad." He said irritated.

Evangeline rarely lost her temper, but she felt like clocking the guy upside his head. She was about to ask him more when a warm hand rested on hers. Ryhan nodded reassuringly. She had rarely come above deck, all the commotion must have made her curious.

"I heard a couple of the sailors talking. A nix is a fairly harmless creature and often warns of coming danger." Ryhan exclaimed.

"What sort of danger?" Evangeline asked.

"I am not sure, but seeing one nix is bad enough, there are about seven down there now, I'd say it's something big." She said worried.

Evangeline looked back at the nixen and nodded her head in gratitude. They started disappearing back into the depths, which could only mean that whatever was coming was close.

"LAND!" Someone shouted.

Relieved she said, "Oh good, perhaps we will reach the shore before danger reaches us."

She knew she was wrong before she even finished her sentence. Ryhan gripped her hand tightly and stared into the distance.

Evangeline faintly heard someone shout behind her, "IT'S THE TROGESS," the world seemed to move in slow motion as several arrows were knocked and released at the monster.

She could barely believe what she was seeing. The thing was easily the size of their ship. Its body was similar to that of porpoise and two enormous heads on two very long necks growled loudly at them. Scales that glinted in the sun as if they were metallic covered its entire body. The Trogess moved quickly, far faster than they were going with such little wind to aid them.

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