I’m reblogging this for two reasons. One, she’s awesomely gifted and drew a cool tree. I cannot draw trees. I can draw stick people. Two, I leave tomorrow for my mission trip and want a happier post up as my first post while I’m gone for a week! Sorry Christina for using you so. Anyway, check out her stuff. Read her Islands of Insight, poems, and serial novels she’s deigned to put on her blog. She should be published with an amazing book (I was lucky enough to read the manuscript and it kept me on the edge of my seat) later this year.
This is a collaborative fantasy project! Check it out. It’s named Jandor, and I have a few posts already on this blog about it. Those posts will slowly be put up on this site. While I’ll be doing near daily releases to start, by next week my releases will likely be Wednesday and Saturday. Thanks for checking it out and have an amazing Monday!
Check out a collaborative writing project site. Christine has kicked us off, so I guess it’s time to really get going on this. Follow us if you’re interested.
In the years, as the mer grew and founded new cities, as kings claimed more land than ever before, as the people required more resources and tried taking it from the sea, Thress became less hospitable. She thrashed down villages, sent sharks to bleed the warriors, and made the coral sharp and poisonous. The sea was turning against the mer, and the mer were weak to do anything about it. They went deeper into the sea, though little grew and the creatures became more ferocious. They turned to the land, but they could not crawl upon it with their tail. They turned to the rivers and found success.
Five rivers flow from the land into Thress, and each one was untouched by Thress’s wrath. The seaweed was tasteful, the fish were plump, and two of the rivers, Hepitnah and Aurus, were miles wide and near as deep. Hepitnah also led to a lake where the Gilma settled and named the lake after their people.
However, Thress was infinite. She expanded as far as the eye could see and as deep as the strongest mer could swim. Her bounty was only not enough because she guarded it with the jealousy of a woman having to let go of her spawn. The rivers were finite. There was an end to them. They only went so deep. Only so much food was created. Wars were waged over the mouths of rivers and three kings ruled all. These kings lived in oppulance with their favored subjects while the others under their thumb lived in difficult times. Starvation was as common a cause of death as sharks, and seeing the withering people, Thress pulled back her assaults.
It was near four generations before Hyphel was born. Four generations lived in these feeble conditions, wasting away. But Hyphel was a brave young man, and he swam through the rivers without heed of the kings and their laws. He harvested juicy clams, speared salmon nearly his size, and collected seaweed for his family which was thick and strong. One day there was a woman, older but beautiful, waiting for him where he liked to find oysters and pull down otters. He was mesmerized by a song she was singing and he swam closer. Then she stopped and looked to him.
“The king would not be pleased. What brings you here, youthful merman? Surely you are a vigorous man and could fight in the king’s army to get your wealth.”
“I could, beautiful woman of this river, but I would have to leave behind my four younger sisters and three younger brothers. My parents cannot care for them as they are old and infirmed.”
“You break the law out of love, then?”
“I do. For a love of my parents and my siblings.”
“I could gift you and yours with the ability to eat until the end of times. It is on the land.”
“But we cannot go onto the land.”
The woman laughed, the laughter melodic. A shiver went down Hyphel’s back. She spoke, “You don’t recognized Ulseus, goddess of all that is, when you meet her? You are naive and ill educated. You cannot go onto the land, but I can. And if I can, then why shouldn’t I let you? Come here, child.”
The boy did as he was beckoned and she touched his tail, starting a little below his sperm sack. Her finger painfully dug into his flesh and move down. The tip pierced all the way through his tail and cut all the way down until his tail was in two pieces. She kissed the right and it formed into a leg, then the left and it formed into a leg. Each leg had the slightest hint of a fin on the outer calf, but otherwise he looked as the men of land do.
The pain took the boy’s wits, but what he caught in those moments was, “It will never be this painful ever again, but there will be pain to remind you the sea is your home. The land is a means. All those born to you and your family shall have these legs. Now go, speak with your family and show them this.”
“But I need my tail to get back.”
“Will it, child. Stop asking such foolish questions.” She smiled and kissed him on the cheek, then left.
Hyphel returned to his family, taught them to turn their tails into legs, and led them to land where they saw farmers and learned how to work the land. So the mer gained the ability to walk land and so was their first interaction with man, though man knew nothing of the mer until much later.
The priests of Ithnek often prayed to the entity of Ithnek and her mother Ulseus, yet for their work they had little more than a friendly visit. To the priests, this was acceptable, but Ithnek felt sad she hadn’t done more for the devotees. So she appeared to a young mer priest, Phaerin, and beckoned him, “Young priest, come with me. I’ve many treasures to show you.”
Thinking this was a call to see her secret parts, Phaerin responded, “Ithnek, born of the trench and the creator, maker of good and great things, and giver of pleasure unbound to mermen, I am a priest of yours, and though I remain from the flesh of mermaids, I must remain from yours as well.”
Ithnek laughed and kisses his cheek, “Young priest, I do not come to tempt you. I come to teach you. Follow me to the trench I was born in. I wish to show you something great and mighty.” Confused, embarrassed, and mostly curious and excited, Phaerin followed her to the Trench.
The trip took some time, but soon Phaerin was at the holy site he had only visited once when he was first joining the priests. Ithnek handed him a large plate of coral and kissed it while he held it. Then she pressed it to his chest and it formed as a breastplate, wrapping around his body, yet being loose enough he could remove it if he wished. The coral continued to grow until it finished two plates, with straps over the shoulders and ribs.
Awed, Phaerin asked, “How?”
“All you bring here will be blessed as such. It will aid you in facing the sea. It will aid you in protecting yourself from the many predators Thress has to offer.” For Thress, the Sea, had many predators which often endangered the life of the mer.
Ithnek taught Phaerin a rite which could only be learned by the priests and could only be used to bless a single piece of coral while the sun was in the sky, though the Trench was too deep to know such things. Because of this blessing, it became named the Ithnek Trench. This was also how the mer learned to make armor and weapons which could withstand the might of the land dwellers, though the land was still untouched by the mer, all their requirements met by the sea.
Ithnek, first born of the Trench and daughter of Ulseus, goddess of all things, who birthed Ithnek by cutting the ocean floor, was a beautiful girl. She had long locks of seaweed hair, eyes as black as the depths, and a slender body with a long, muscular tail. Her fins danced just so and shimmered as if the sun were penetrating all the way down to the Trench. From time to time it was said she would court a young merman, and though she left, he would never be capable of finding a woman as wonderful.
However, Ithnek still had other potentials which had not spilled over, and this was realized one day as she walked through the coral garden of Thress. Thress was a young mermaid filled with love and life. She cared for fish, guided dolphins, fended off sharks, and aided in the growth of a great many plants. Her tail was a beautiful aquamarine with thin fins on either side, ridged with deep blue. Her hips were wide connecting to her upper half, though she was slender. Dark green eyes and deep blue hair adorned her soft face. Thress was loved by many, but she only had love for the flora and fauna of the see.
Ithnek saw this love when she visited the coral garden and took a single piece of coral, snapping it off from its brethren. Thress did not witness this act, as Ithnek was quite aware of what her reaction would be, but nonetheless there was a shriek from the humble dwelling place underwater, “Who would harm my beloved coral?”
It didn’t take long for Ithnek to realize how powerful Thress’s connection to the coral was, and she awaited the young mermaid’s wrath. The girl’s face contorted, wrinkled, and brow furrowed. Jagged teeth in her maw protruded as her mouth rescinded to reveal her mouth’s daggers and gums. “How could you?”
The beautiful visage of Ithnek did not move her fury, a fact which amused the entity. “You are very attached to the life of ocean.”
With that, Thress launched herself at the intruder and bit Ithnek, drawing blood and drinking it in. With the first gulp her eyes went wide and her mind pulled into itself, leaving her to float. Ithnek was stunned at the red gushing from her arm, but with little effort it ceased as if nothing had happened.
It is said Thress became one with the sea. As a reward for her love of all the creatures below the waves, she became one with them all. This is why it is the Thress Sea. To this day mer claim they see her, especially when great love or malice are shown to her creations.
In the Sea of Thress, long ago, there was only water. The ocean floor was smooth and without pox. There was no life. But one day, Ulseus, goddess of waters, became bored with the world and struck the sea floor over and over again. This is how the the ocean floor was given character.
However, she became angry that despite all the strikes and marks she placed upon the ocean floor, nothing had happened. So she struck over and over again in the same place until finally the earth broke open and bubble burst forth along with a little girl with blue hair and a green tail.
Ulseus took this little girl and nursed her until she was an adult, and while the girl grew, life grew throughout the Sea of Thress. Ulseus rejoiced in this and watched as a young race prospered in savage youth called the mer. When the little girl born from the trench, nursed on Ulseus’ milk, was old enough, she spoke.
“Ulseus, I am your daughter, born of your frustration and love for something more in this world. I am Ithnek. Those people are the mer. Love them as you loved me. Nurse them as you nursed me. Give them the milk of knowledge and they will prosper and make you proud.”
Ithnek then went to the trench where she lived, while Ulseus went to the mer in the guise of Thress, though that is a story for another time.