Sylvan Stories: Merfolk

There is another world nestled beneath the crashing waves of the sea, which is much like our own. It exists beyond the reaches of the ocean’s deepest trenches, concealed by powerful currents and dangerous riptides. This world is the home of the Merfolk.

Merfolk have come to call almost every ocean home, there is not a water way anyone can go visit that has not been touched by a Merfolk’s mystical presence. They delve in subtle arts, developing their world much like land dwellers grow their own. In this world there are families, governments, and entire cultures that have existed for countless years. In a way this world, the world of the Mefolk, is much like our own world, only separated from us by great heaps of ocean that divide the land from the sea.

– Sailor’s Journal

One time, long ago, I was given the incredibly rare opportunity to visit a world beyond our own. I am so honored to have been allowed to partake in such an adventure.

It was a normal day, just like any other. We were shipping supplies to the city over, but there was a massive storm brewin’ on the horizon. My crew and I thought we could make it just in time, right before the storm hit. It would’ve been a close call, but we were already a days work behind schedule, the supplies desperately needed to be shipped.  So we loaded our cargo hold and set sail. I remember the wind was particularly powerful that day, intense gales were comin’ off the shoreline. We misjudged our ship’s integrity, and about halfway through our voyage our largest mast snapped in half. My crew mates began to scurry around, tryin’ to fix the damn thing. But no one could. Luckily our old ship could still sail, poor thing, but we kept on goin’. We pushed her to her limits, but she just couldn’t sail fast enough to beat the storm. When the sun had almost completely set and we hadn’t even come close to arrivin’, we knew we were in for a rough night.

I recall my men hoisting our remaining sails down as far as they could go. But we were hopeful that we had a chance of making it through the night, since our ship was filled with cargo, making it heavy.

The storm was nearing. We could hear lightning crashing in the distance. Waves were beginning to pick up all around us, and the gales had grown very intense. Some of my crew began to freak out, some wept, others screamed, while even more just waited in silence for the impending threat.

Then, like the blast from a gun, the storm hit us. I could feel our ship’s hull creaking beneath, as towering waves, which were as tall as mountains approached. Our navigator grabbed hold of the wheel and attempted to steer clear, but to no avail. The waves were too powerful. One, two, three, four, five, six… I would count numbers to myself over and over, waiting for the next wave to crash its giant claws into the side of our wooden prison. Some were just mere seconds apart, while others provided a short break. But even with the absence of waves, the ship still bobbed back and forth, back and forth, it swayed and moaned. The ship’s hull was about to collapse in on itself.

A leak sprung. Then another, and another. Until our deck was almost to the water level. My crew began the process of abandoning our ship, but we all knew without her, there were almost no chances of surviving the storm. I couldn’t count how many of my men had been lost in the night, but so many had already been swept off our deck by the massive waves. Some were sucked out into sea by swirling vortexes, while others just simply slipped off the edge.

However, right as we were about to lose all hope, something truly magical happened. I could feel the looming presence of the waves begin to lessen. But the storm still frenzied all around. A glimmer of moonlight shone through the thick veils of clouds that had overtaken our position, and the fins of what looked like fish began to encircle us. Suddenly the ocean around our ship began to glow the color of stars. Our ship was slowly sunk farther and farther into the water. I began to panic, I told my crew we had to abandon ship, but all of them had mysteriously fainted. There was no way I could rig a lifeboat on my own in time, so I just stood there and awaited our ship’s demise.

But that demise never came. When the ship sunk beneath the crashing waves, a pocket of air somehow remained around it. I could see the silhouettes of what looked like people encircling us. There was light emanated from their hands, and their eyes glowed a luminescent blue. As we journeyed deeper into the sea, I witnessed something truly remarkable from our breathtaking vantage. There was a huge city beneath the tides, it glowed deep blues and yellows. The architecture was like that of something I have never seen before. Huge pillars, carefully engineered domes, massive towers. Hundreds of the mysterious creatures all buzzed around the city’s channels. It was truly a sight to behold. An entire civilization hidden from our own. I still wonder to this day what secrets they hold, what cultures they share. If they all can speak our language. I have so many questions, but they may never be answered.

Before I even had a chance to absorb the entire scene, one of the mysterious creatures stepped out of the group encircling us. She slowly came out of the water, revealing her true features. I was so frightened, yet too awestruck to move even an inch. Her body was covered in soft scales, and fins adorned her arms and legs. She wore seashells and makeshift rags for clothing. Her eyes suddenly glowed even brighter when she saw I was looking at her and she approached. Putting her hand on my cheek I could feel her warm breath against my skin. Then she whispered something in a language I had never heard. Slowly, the world fell black and I drifted into a deep slumber.

I vaguely remember being taken to some large building beneath the sea, there was a council, and some sort of discussion. But besides that, I cannot recall anything else of our travels. When I awoke the next day, my crew and I found ourselves safely arrived at our destination, the missing men returned safely to us, with our ship in pristine condition. No one else could recall what had happened, or how we even made it out of the storm.

Everyone keeps saying I’m delusional from over working myself, but I know one thing for sure. We were saved by the Merfolk.



Sylvan Studies Team
- A swords a day keeps the goyfs away.

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