Talise stared at the crystal encrusted shell sitting on her desk, waiting for anything, even the faintest glow. Beside her, her ever present advisor, a seahorse of the of the palest lilac hue, just kept smiling at her. It was the most annoying thing about Cambreyan, anything could be happening, and he always had his ever present smile.
“You know your daughter, she will contact you when she has something solid to talk about. I wouldn’t think, even with how fast she is, that she got very much father than the rest of the scouts did. Maybe a half a Light farther. We got to remember this call came from very far off.”
“Oh, I know. I think it was the other morning chats with those of the closer seas, that got me worried. There have been many mer who have not been able to resist, and a lot of them are perishing to predation. They seem to go into a trance, and all they can think about is finding the source of the call. I would really like to know why it does not work on the sharks and other deep water nasties.”
“Ah, they are so one minded, most of the time. It’s blood and tear. Only near breeding season do they even think of anything else, and with the way they fight their mates, it’s still mostly blood and tear in the end.”
“So you think there is just not enough room to care, in those little brains of theirs?”
“Yes, that is exactly what I think. Do you remember the tale, of that far off Sea, where the mer once had sharks as their guards. It was rumored to be the most feared mer queendom ever. Then one night, while all the mers were safely resting in their kelp, the sharks couldn’t take the domestic life anymore, and ate them all. They had no other form of militia, so they were utterly defenseless.”
“Oh, yes, I remember that tale, Grandmar would tell that one to me when I was being a bad little fry. She would later remind me of it when she started to teach me on military matters and strategy. She certainly thought it had enough merit to believe in it.”
“You Grandmar was never one to toss a tidbit of information away, just because she did not see it with her own eyes. She liked to weigh everything, and even those she did not think true, she still recorded.”
“Cambreyan, that just gave me the most wonderful idea! We should head off to the vaults, maybe she wrote something down in all her years, that was similar to what we are dealing with now. You know she liked to translate the old slates, maybe she did find something, once.”
“Now that, my Queen, seems like the perfect idea.”
The Queen and her advisor left her quarters, venturing outside the palace, to venture to the vaults. The Vaults were located not within the palace, as a Grandmar far far past in the line had decided it was a silly place to store all the great treasures of a queendom. It is the first place usurpers covet, the first place invaders go to. This is why there is a false vault at the palace, holding lesser treasures, though still lovely.
The greatest treasures of Talise’s realms were that of Knowledge. It seems her ancestors were very keen on chronicling everything that happened, in Lights past. Hidden amongst these writings were also enchanted objects, created by some of the most powerful seawitches of her line.
The reason for these being so treasured and secreted away, was simply that they hadn’t had a witch in the family for a few centuries. It is a hereditary thing, and while it normally skips a generation or two, with their line, it seemed to have just fizzled out. With no way to restore these items, if they need recharging, repair, or remaking, they are left one of the most guarded secrets.
They finally came upon the spot, a spot so ordinary, for the treasures held within. It had grown into a wonderful reef, with time, which was the intent. Talise guided them to the false rock that served as a barrier to the entrance. Only her blood, and the blood of her daughter, could invoke the rock to move. Once inside, she and Cambreyan went right to the place her Grandmar often sat, a beautiful shell seat carved in slopping waves. It is said to have once been a throne room chair, and it sure did have the flair.
Piled around it were stacks of tomes, all lovingly worn. It was a hard thing, to keep the written word under the waves, where ink and parchment would dissolve in but a few days. These tomes were another sort of enchantment, each carrying it’s own bubble of sorts. When one placed their hands within, they would instantly become dry, and the ink and parchment were protected from the watery elements.
“Well, I am not sure exactly were to start, so I’d say pick a stack, you can flip the pages with your tail, and I’ll pick a different stack. Having both eyes on these will make shorter work of the task.”
“Thank you my lady, for entrusting me with so precious of a task.”
“Oh shove it Cambreyan, haha, I just don’t want to be the only one with sore eyes tonight.”
“As you wish,” he said, as he picked a stack not too far from his queen. No one outside the royal merline has ever set eyes on what was written within these tomes. It was a very rare gift his queen had bestowed upon him, and he was not one to forget such gifts easily.
With both of them settling down to their task, each intent on finding some source of information of this unique call, each hoping for an answer that might save them all, a quietness ensconced itself into the chamber.
Much light had passed, when Cambreyan finally let out an excited noise.
“What is it, what did you find?”
“I am not totally sure if it is connected, but it surely is the first thing I have found that might be. Your Grandmar found some passages that talk about a place, far out in the oceans, with no lands nor isles in sight. There are deep, deep waters, and it is ensorceled in strong magical mists above the waters. It is said that but once a year, lands arise from the depths, and portals to other realms appear. All manor of creatures, not of our waters nor land, arrive there, through the portals. These lands only stay a short while. The mists and the oceans eventually eat them back up, closing off the portals for another year. When the lands do come back, they are forever changed, taking new forms.”
“Now that seems rather far fetched.”
“It might have been why that wasn’t one of the tales she ever told.”
“So magical lands, appearing out of the oceans, portals, strange critters. What does that have to do with our call?”
“Well . . . there is a notation as to the general direction of where this all happens. Can you guess what is also coming from that direction?”
“Yes. It also says here, that the area was guarded by a Kraken. A Fallen God was given to it as sacrifice, and it ate him right up. The Fallen God transformed, within the bowels of the beast, to re-emerge as a sort of watcher of the waters, with the Kraken now at his command. I wonder, with no creature to guard this magical place, would something more sinister have found it’s home there?”
“You think if something did move in, that is why the call has come this far? Is it the one doing the calling, or is there something or someone else sending it out? There are too many questions, and never enough Light. Is there anything else written?”
“The only other information here is just that the lands appear each year, so that there can be a collective mass of beings to help heal those who need healing. They pool their talents and resources, from the many places they call home, for this one goal. They also give time to remember the ones who have been lost.”
“We all lose someone, at sometime, what could possibly be so bad, that so much magic would be expended to create such a place, for such short of a time. What is the point of these lands? I can see why Grandmar never told me of this tale.”
“The last thing is says, is the single word; Hope. The rest of the tome is blank. Maybe it was something your Granmar was still working on. Maybe we should start sorting though the slates.”
“There isn’t enough time for that. You can’t read them, and I am very slow at it. I need to get to the islands, I need to talk to the birds. I think what we need is a Thunderbird. We need something fast, even faster than my daughter. I wish the winds still spoke to our kind.”
“It is hard to keep friends with the winds, when the waves fight them so.”
“This is true. Come now, we have a trip to make.”
As the Queen and her Advisor head off to the nearby islands to find their feathered allies, a dark blackness spreads into their waters. It’s tendrils seek new victims, for it is forever hungry. It feeds of the source of life, in that of each victim. It sometimes slowly toys with it’s food, taking over bits and pieces of their systems, before pulling every last spark it can. Sometimes it can’t wait, and just quickly attacks, riddling their bodies with growths, each one making it more able to collect the power of that life so much faster. It has a name, but this world does not know it, it’s denizens so bright and pure. Such feast it will have, for they have not the knowledge to stop it.
An Original/Continuing story by Helena Stringer – With “chapters” being uncovered over the course of Fantasy Faire 2016
Read the First Part HERE
Continue reading Swim with Me – A Queen’s worries