Chapter I: Schism
Burgundy sails snapped in a fitful wind that set the sailors muttering. The sea-witch had her ways, they said, and owned both sea and sky. Ships plied the waves by her permission, or not at all. There had been frost at sunrise, great spears of rime coating the rails and ropes. The tropical sun had banished it quickly, but it was yet another sign of Sin's proximity. That, and the lightning's balefire dancing on the mast at midnight.
"Land ho!" The call was hardly needed; all eyes not bent to shipboard tasks were fixed on the wisps of smoke billowing on the horizon, fading now like the last breath of a dying fire. The rising column veiled half the sky in a grayish-pink fume that stretched clear back to Luca, and who knew how far beyond. They had