(326 Dolefaren 376)
I, Captain Zoryl Baxtton of his Majesty”s royal navy, give recollection of my captivity in the Goblin lands. It was the 26th day of the year 345, where I and the crew of the Dawnsinger sailed to Riverhaven port to answer the call for assistance. The Goblin armies had marched from north of Riverhaven and took the port, closing it off from all aid. Sailing the channel inland was difficult, but the crew was used to challenges. It had been two years prior when we engaged the Red Sash fleet near the islands and sank a majority of them, including the infamous Pirate Maroushk Halsn. That was a proud day for the ZEF fleet. We saw no sign of Red Sash activity since then, but rumors of Goblins building ships aided by the Red Sash ran rampant throughout the fleet.
The fires were visible for miles as we reached port. We were the only ship in range to answer the call and all stations were manned for combat. As we sailed into the bay, there were signs of fighting on the docks. What we never saw was the barges coming from our flank side. We loaded the longboats, preparing to go ashore. As usual, I said a short prayer to Drogar for a safe and swift battle to defeat our foes. I watched with anticipation as the lads landed on the docks and engaged the Goblins in battle. With a skeleton crew remaining, I ordered the lads to prepare the re-supply of the returning troops. Without warning and by some change in tide, the barges grappled on to the Dawnsinger and a raiding party boarded. They caught us completely by surprise. What little crew I had fought valiantly but we were outnumbered. I saw as the remaining crew of the Dawnsinger was slaughtered one by one. My energies exhausted, there was nothing left I could do. I fell by the blade of Goblin I never saw. Before I faded from consciousness, I saw fires all around me and feared that my beloved Dawnsinger had met her fate. The jib sail had all but been destroyed and her hull was breached. She was going to sink.
I do not recall how long I was unconscious for, but when I awoke, I found myself in a dark cell. It was weeks or even months until my first interrogator arrived. There was not a human soul that I could tell anywhere near me. I was fed gruel and beaten regularly by the Goblin guards. My mana was taken from me and never replenished itself. I tried for the first few years to escape but eventually gave up hope. I would hear rumors of a group of Elves, later known to be called the ”Umato Gaen” or angry people that would trade with the Goblins, but I never saw them. There were two Goblins that questioned me quite regularly. One of them was a Shaman named Gumpuc. He would torture me trying to get the numbers of the ZEF fleet and troop locations. I had never understood why until the blood wars began. After all, goblins generally hated the water. I never saw him again. The other Goblin, Grishnok was more calculating. I knew at any moment he wouldn”t hesitate to kill me or even worse. He was a master tactician and knew how to bring someone to the point of death without actually killing them. I prayed for death many times. It was only out of loyalty and duty to Prince Belirendrick Sorvendig that I struggled on, hoping one day for rescue. I do not know why they kept me alive, I never told them anything of value.
I learned roughly ten years later that the Dawnsinger had survived the encounter in Riverhaven port. Her crew had been slaughtered and I know not to this day if any escaped, but at that moment, a new sense of live soared in me. As chance would have it, the ship was given to the twin brother of Maroushk, Jourok. I knew at that point that I had to live on, if only to give the same fate to him as I did his brother. I learned to speak some of the Goblin language. I knew they were amassing great forces and were hired by these angry people to return to their homelands. I was later moved to a goblin camp near the northern deserts. While the daily beatings ceased, I feared that my life could be forfeit at any moment. I was the only prisoner for many years until a large caravan arrived dropping off healer slaves. I couldn”t contain myself. I knew they were frightened but seeing another human, and Gor”tog and Olvi brought tears to my eyes. I learned that in my years of captivity there had been more wars, the goblins rose to a greater power and that my beloved Prince Belirendrick Sorvendig had been slain. Lord Vorclaf was a child when I sailed the Dawnsinger. He is his father”s son and I am honored to serve under him now.
Many of the slaves were later released, but some never returned. It was rumored that certain experiments were being performed on them, of what, I never learned. We were gathered up and delivered by ship, the Dawnsinger, to Crossing port. I was ill and on the verge of death, but seeing my home kept me alive until the honorable healers brought me back. For many months after, I could not deal with the emotions of freedom I felt. My dreams would wake me and I would question where I was. My screams would resound throughout the Keep. I eventually decided to return to duty and aid Lord… the Prince, Vorclaf. He remembered me from his youth and declared I would always have a place in the royal navy. I was given command of the Proud Nissa. A small cargo ship turned into a ship of war. The crew was green but had the fight and honor of my lost Dawnsinger. I could not ask for a better crew in which to serve with. I live to see the day that my original crew is avenged and the Dawnsinger is again returned to us.