The Wind and the Sea
There are so many things happening in Arx, so much bustle and consternation over the whirlpool and the news coming in from the battle at Sungreet, that it's very easy to overlook the return of Kaldur's search party. They do not return with Kaldur. And they do not return with Fianna either. It's quiet. It's easy to miss. So much is going on, and Fianna had already abdicated to the now Duchess Clara Crovane before she left on the search. There's no scandal, only a few idle wonders over afternoon tea, and short of her friends and family, it's quickly forgotten altogether. Perhaps that's what they wanted. There's no fuss.
But it's a strange sort of morning when that search party returns without the former Duke or Duchess. There are clear skies, and the sun is just rising over the glittering waters of the Bay of Thrax. Sunrise is a beautiful sight, a thing which otherwise comes rarely in the Lowers. But it's a strange sort of morning. The stevedores are used to the stench of salt and fish that permeates the docks, and yet, for a few moments, there's a fresh breeze, gentle. It ruffles the hair of a few, before whisking off over the harbor, and one hawk-eyed sailor on a trapped ship thinks he can spot that little wind coasting above the water, leaving the smallest of ripples among all the churning. And, as it passes over the whirlpool, as even the trace of that little wind is gone, that sailor and two of the Stevedores swear that the giant whirlpool eases, that its violent churn slows. And then the moment passes, and the whirlpool is as it ever was. But beyond it, the hawk-eyed sailor can see a small little wave rise a little higher than it should, and then disappear as it washes out to sea.
It's a strange sort of morning.