With your back to the beach as you drag through the cresting waves, you can spy the vessel which carried you here, the caravel's three masts showing in startling relief against the dark grey skies, illuminated by the periodic peals of lightning which light up your vision. This ship has carried you from the mainland over several long weeks and now remains at anchor off the shore while you make landfall on one of the few stretches of beach which exist along the mostly craggy shores of Ostorea.
To the left and right, a handful of other landing vessels also surge through the waves, their desperate rowers digging deeply into surging surf. The floor of your wooden boat is rapidly filling with water, both from the driving rain which obscures your vision and frigidly soaks through your armor and clothes as well as the splashing waves which send curling plumes of water over you and your fellows.
Your quiet misery is interrupted by a large crack of impact and a short handful of desperate screams. To your right, you see one of your fellow shoreboats explodes in a shower of splintered timbers. Those riding inside let out exclamations of surprise and horror before their armored forms are swallowed in the surging ocean, the weight dragging them in an instant towards their certain death. What caused the boat to be suddenly destroyed isn't evident until another of them goes up similarly. Your eyes detect, barely, the blurred form of a ballista bolt cutting through the raindrops before impacting the tiny vessel with enough force that it is obliterated and sends another handful of souls screaming into the depths.
The next minute is horrifying as the attack becomes more clear. Through the rain and darkness you can barely make out the shore, let alone the source of the deadly bolts. Every few seconds another comes hurling from the island, either impacting the surf with a splash or demolishing another of the boats. Each hand yanks at the oars as if their very lives depend on it, for indeed they do.
Suddenly you hear the dragging crunch of sand under the hull of the boat as you surge up onto the beach. A quick look shows the beach itself is clear, the drenched sand standing empty of assailants as you leap out over the edge to relative safety of dry land. Another blur whistles past and claims one of the straggling shore boats just as a lightning strike lights up the deluged darkness, confirming your suspicion that the ballistae are set up on the sea wall rather than on the beach itself. Easily sixty feet of open beach stands before you and the craggy seawall: a vertical cliff ten feet up to more solid footing away from the sand of the beach.
It seems you are the first of the boats to make landfall. Perhaps the only one that will. The merciless rain falls like arrows, driving painfully through all protective layers in a storm more severe than any on the mainland. There seems to be only one direction to travel: forward, toward the seawall where the ballistae and your unseen assailants likely reside.