In the Realm Above

Admiral Aradraxxus stood at attention with his hands clasped behind his back upon the stern castle deck of the Wyrm-class battleship Queen’s Gauntlet. This was the flagship for the Imperial Slothjemian 3rd Fleet, and it was currently assigned to monitor the ongoing threatening stance being undertaken by the wildspace illithid in the region around Domum. Aradraxxus wasn’t sure what the mind flayers were up to precisely, but there was definitely a method to their madness.

Gazing out into the inky darkness of wildspace Aradraxxus took stock of the vessels under his command. Not all were entirely visible to him, but including his own ship he had three more battleships, seven frigates, and twenty-six corvettes. In the fights they engaged in over the last several months the Slothjemians had only lost one frigate and they had managed to destroy three illithid nautiloids in return. The Elven Imperial Fleet had joined the blockade to bolster the Slothjemians and had lost a couple of their own ships in the struggle to prevent the mind flayers from carrying out whatever nefarious deeds they had in mind. There had been some speculation from higher up in the chain of command that the illithid had lost something of great value on Domum and now they were scrambling to try and collect it. The admiral felt there was some merit to this theory if only because there didn’t seem to be any other rational reason for their madness.

For now it seemed as if the crisis was over. The illithid ships were gradually dispersing to wherever it was they came from and a number of scouts had indicated that there weren’t any replacements inbound to the region. Inquiries from the admiral led to the revelation that the illithid might be working under the impression that their lost prize had been destroyed. As to the veracity of this claim the admiral couldn’t attest, but it would be a mistake to say that he wasn’t glad this event was coming to a close. His own ships would be going back to their assigned stations in a few days. The elves were already thinning their ranks as their fleet went back to patrolling the vast expanses of wildspace. Aradraxxus knew enough about mind flayers to realize that while their current scheme might have flopped there was no way that they would simply give up. Brute force hadn’t worked. Now they must have decided on another, more insidious method of getting what they wanted. Aradraxxus was glad to be in the navy because whatever the illithid had in mind was going to have to be dealt with by people on the ground. Or more appropriately, deep under it.