The anchor was up, the plank removed, winds favourable, and the Worulde-Etere preparing to leave. The captain, a burly-looking man, had hoped to set sail an hour earlier, but owing to trouble with snagged rigging, their departure was held back until the full colours of sunrise spread across the horizon.
Captain Mearc-Stapa, the borderlands-walker, was making final checks on the cargo, ensuring all was secure while the creaking ship made its way out of the harbour. Something was off. The lid of one barrel was not held down like the others. In one swift motion Mearc-Stapa pulled out a wand and pointed it at the barrel. The lid flew off, revealing a huddled figure within.
"Who are you and what are you doing in my ship?" Mearc-Stapa demanded.