A spray of frigid water breaks over the prow of the ship, sending yet more chunks of ice washing over the deck as the hands struggle to rein in the rigging in the face of the howling blizzard. Snow and ice cling to the sail of the longboat, threatening to freeze it solid even as the craft races over the sea. As bad as it is, the quartermaster tells you that it will soon be far worse. Winter is setting in, and in a few weeks' time, the entire coast will be closed to shipping, lost in months of perpetual darkness. Already, the sea is beginning to freeze over. For weeks now, your craft has plowed through a field of floating chunks of ice that batter continuously against its sturdy timbers, keeping the passengers awake on the occasional nights when the sea has been calm enough to afford any sleep at all.
The ship plunges down the crest of an enormous wave and breaks through the other side. Through a break in the weather, you catch a glimpse of the pale gleam of a signal fire in the distance - land at last. A cry goes up from the masthead, and despite the deafening crash of the waves, is answered by a rousing chorus of cheers from the crew. The ship's mate takes you aside and points out a rocky outcropping barely visible through the blizzard, identifying it as the last stop on your voyage, the remote trading post of White Horn Bay.