I wrote a novelette or a short novella a while back called “On a Black Tide” set in Privateer Press’ Iron Kingdoms universe. Privateer released the story as a special free preview to the collection Rites of Passage. The story is a pretty solid intro to the Iron Kingdoms setting, though it focuses on the bad guys rather than the heroes. Anyway, you can download a digital version of “On a Black Tide” for the low, low price of nada, zip, zero at DriveThruRPG. If you dig “On a Black Tide,” I’d definitely recommend the anthology to which it belongs, Rites of Passage, which features five more Iron Kingdoms coming-of-age stories by some of Privateer Press’ very talented in-house writers.
They say the waters of Cryx run black with ancient evil . . .
In the port city of Blackwater, deep in the heart of the Nightmare Empire, life is short and brutal. Murderous gangs rule the streets and surviving to adulthood means being more vicious and uncompromising than those around you. The only hope of escaping the gang-infested streets is to join one of the many pirate vessels that launch raids from Cryx against the mainland.
For Aiakos, a strong yet undisciplined street thug, the opportunity to join the pirate ship Scythe in a trial by combat is the chance of a lifetime. But as he soon discovers, fighting his way onto a Cryxian pirate vessel is only the beginning of the bloodshed.
When the Scythe is drawn into the schemes of the powerful Satyxis Admiral Axiara Wraithbane, Aiakos once again has a chance to improve his station . . . or die trying.
The short story “On a Black Tide” is a free preview of Rites of Passage, a novel-length collection featuring five additional tales about the grueling trials of novice warcasters in the Iron Kingdoms.