It had never been supposed to end this way. Taking the ship at Forochel had been meant as their salvation. How could it all have gone so wrong?
Well, that much Firiel knew. They had been warned, after all. The Lossoth had told them of the danger, of - obliquely - what might happen, but they had chosen not to heed the warning.
Well, this was where it had brought them. Icebound and trapped, with no way to escape that would not bring death of the cold long before any hope of reaching shelter.
They should have stayed with the Lossoth. But then, hindsight shows us our small - or large - foolishnesses all too clearly.
She could hear the ship's timbers groaning and cracking underfoot, crushed ever harder by the ice, and knew they could not hold out very much longer. And when they gave way, what then? Well, there was only one way to go from there: down. Down and down into the black water, to drown or freeze, whichever claimed them first. She did not know which way to hope for, which would be quicker or easier.
There. There was the first visible crack in the wood. The water would be rushing up to overtake them soon, and Aranarth would be king, albeit in exile. She hoped - and sincerely believed - he would make a good one.
As the ship foundered, Firiel went to her knees and prayed with all her heart that her son would have the sense - the lack of arrogance - to take the advice of others when it was well meant. And that it would save him, when it mattered.