It was mid-afternoon. The air was thick and unseasonably warm off the docks of New Magincia. An easterly breeze blew across the straits between the isle and what had been the Governor of New Magincia's adopted home: Haven. The humidity was very familiar, as was the thin, wispy white clouds congregated to the south and east. "This 'créme d'Ilshen' is a smooth drink, Governor Cephas," said Alastair as he set the goblet down between chessmen, still half-filled with berry liquor. "But we've gone over this before: the tavernkeeper's guild will not let me stock a spirit in so limited a quantity as what your still processes." "Alastair, I wasn't offering this to you for inclusion on your menu. To be frank, this off-hour tasting was a ruse to get you out of the Modest Damsel long enough for me to show you something," Cephas motioned to the skies south of east. "Wlby has heard reports of merchant vessels encountering very bad weather in the routes to J'helom and Skara Brae. I see these clouds, and I can believe it. A storm is coming, and soon. The air is too dead to anything but feed it. "Dead?" scoffed the tavernkeeper. "This is a fresh breeze. I smell nothing of the rotting zombies across the strait. Crabs and fish, yes, but not zombies." "Not dead in the sense of unliving, but dead in the sense of unmoving. Winds well above topsail of even Britannian ships tend to be hard and will keep the accumulation of clouds in check. But this stagnant air tells me those winds aren't blowing as hard right now, and that portends ill with those clouds offshore. "I've not spoken with either the King or enough of the council members around town to know if I have the authority to force you to close down tonight. I probably don't, and that's okay. However, I will encourage you to do so; to at least have your windows battened down as soundly as you can. I've seen this play out some 43 years* ago at a terrible scale, and even years before that. Why, not 2 years after I immigrated here, I had to return to prepare for a storm named "Lili", and there, the tethers that could bring me back were severed. I tell you, Alastair, we will surely have a rough night on the isle, and very soon." *1 year in UO is roughly 10 weeks in real time, and 5 years in UO is equal to one year in real time.