Everything is dark and silent. Slowly sensation begins to creep in. Your body aches and you’re having trouble breathing. Your lungs are raw, your head is pounding, and your mouth feels gritty and salty. You’re very thirsty. You hear a noise crashing behind you. Waves. That explains the salt and the grit. Slowly you begin to remember the storm and the ocean waves taller than buildings, and the main mast snapping like a stick.
About ten feet away you see a body, or a pair of legs at least. And sticking out of it is a jagged shard of wood, dark red in the moonlight. Sand stretches in both directions and a hundred feet ahead looms a tall cliff.
In the darkness, in the midst of a fierce storm, the Imperial war galleon Verina floundered on a reef in the archipelago known as the Shattered Spine. The survivors of the wreck fought off giant crabs, fended off undead sailors who rose from the sea, and made their way to a walled village on the cliffs high above the sea.