Cinder stooped from her place on the docks to offer a hand to the dwarf who called himself 'Crag'. That wasn't his real name, of that she was certain, and it made her wonder what he'd come to Eastwall to escape, but if anonymity was what he desired, she wasn't going to pry into his business. The kindly old dwarf gave the tiefling a smile and took the offered hand in a strong, rough grip, then climbed out of his boat and onto the dock.
It was a beautiful morning, clear and cool, with the sun just high enough in the sky to illuminate the mysterious burned ship that bobbed on the horizon. Cinder expected pirates to be the cause, and she prayed to Moradin that she was right, and her newest team of adventures would be back in time for breakfast. However, she just couldn't shake the uncomfortable feeling she had in her guts. She felt this every time she sent this particular troupe on a mission, but it seemed that trouble followed these men and women like a black cloud.
Ink would be disappointed with her, but Cinder wanted to smoke. She reached into a hidden pocket sewn into the inside of her jerkin, pulled out a slim cigarillo; warm, spicy herbs, wrapped in a brown tobacco leaf. The pocket also produced a match for the tiefling, which she lit with a quick motion of it across the rough leather of her armor. She would be smoking the pleasant smelling cigarillo with the ocean wind blowing to shore and whisking the smoke away, hiding any evidence of her crime, but for some damnable reason, Ink always knew when she'd been smoking.
Cinder held the spicy smoke in her lungs for a long time, letting the heat warm her from the inside, then she let it all out in a sigh and the wind tossed it into dizzying patterns about her horns. She looked aside to Crag, offered the dark cigarillo to him, but the dwarf raised a gruff hand and shook his head to the offer. He told the tiefling that he had work to do for the adventurers on that derelict ship, then turned away from her to go and locate the dockmaster.
She watched him go, and though she was usually alone, Cinder felt that anxiety knot in her stomach without anyone present to distract her. She turned her dark eyes back to the boat and waited to see the roiling green flame of the old dwarf's flare, a beacon to summon old Crag, but more importantly, a signal to her that the job was done and her companions would be coming home safely.
Anxious though she was, Cinder still took notice of the concentric rings drifting outward over the ocean's surface, originating from a dark patch of sea that bubbled as though it boiled. The darkness in the sea expanded, and the gentle rings turned to turbulent waves, rough enough that they were capped with white foam. A hole opened up in the water like a great mouth, and the sea itself began to spiral around it; waves crashed against the shore and salty spray washed over the tiefling and soaked her clothes through. The cigarillo slipped from her mouth and she screamed, calling out to the Champions, but there wasn't any chance of them hearing her at that distance even if the ocean had not been churned into a whirlpool large enough to swallow Vital Spark itself. Even if they had heard her, what could they have done as the nameless derelict spiraled at nauseating speed, the foaming water dragging it like a leaf towards the black maw at its epicenter?
Strong arms wrapped themselves around Cinder's hips and the tall woman was lifted bodily from her feet. She turned to look and saw that Crag was there again, using all of his powerful frame to first drag, then carry the tiefling as the churning waves tore at the dock, ripping up planks and bowing the slimy wooden supports it stood upon. He ran with Cinder, eyes half-closed against the stinging ocean spray, mouth set in determination, beard damp and sagging like a rain-drowned cat.
Cinder glanced once more towards the ocean, but the immense waves formed a wall too huge to see the monstrous whirlpool within, or the ghost ship that bore the Champions. She regained her feet and she and they ran for their lives as the sea tore the dock apart, tossing lumber into the air like so many matchsticks.