Fae-Kin Legends: The Grumpy Mermaid
Origin: Sunflower Court during the third reign of Titania VI. The great bard Robin and his troupe included a legend titled ‘Unsatisfied Underfish’ in their Summer Solstice program as early as Titania VI’s first reign, however the records were destroyed in the Great Fire at Alexandria and the back-up files during the burning flood at the Arden Forest Archives later that year. The oral tradition was passed through the Fae-Kin tribes of Atlantis, and nearly all the Maui-sects of the Pacific region. A version of this legend can be found in human fairy tale collections generally titled ‘The Little Mermaid.’
Translation: For this collection, we translated from the three earliest sources in Middle Faeish; Titania’s Wyrd Tales for Wee-ones, Court Reveals and Grievances Issue 45 TTVI, and The Orchid’s Lament. (The editors and translators feel it is responsible to caution readers against reading the original tale in Titania’s Wyrd Tales for Wee-ones if they wish to avoid months of traumatic nightmares.) The mermaid is represented as two ancient glyph that literally translate into ‘Young Newt Fairy’
Themes: The Grumpy Mermaid (Unsatisfied Underfish, The Morose Merman, The Legend of the Charbroiled Fae, The Wailing Water Wyrd, The Waterhorse’s Revenge) all center around Fae-Kin who feel out of place in a Fae environment. In all versions, the Fae must eventually choose to suffer the Mother’s Curse or assimilate. In all versions, the Fae is punished for their disloyalty to Fae-Kin for choosing the curse.
There once was a young fae who was of the sun and the sea. A young fae-like eft, slick and smooth and strong. It was a master of the waves and the tides. It captured vast fortunes and served the Sea Lord with honor and obedience. Eft Fae was the Sea Lord’s favorite changeling. He placed Eft Fae on the Council of Nine. During a reconnaissance mission, Eft Fae walked with the shape of Man. His shape was pleasing. He felt whole. After the mission, he retired from court. He left the sea, just stepped out of his fins.
The Eft Fae walked to a local pub. He spent a small portion of his wealth to acquire the pub and the inn attached to it. He married the pub-owner’s daughter. They danced and loved and multiplied. The Sea Lord was feeling the loss of his favorite. He tracked them down. He demanded Eft Fae return to service and the sea.
“I completed the contract. I do not wish to serve further.”
“I am the Sea Lord!”
“Without a doubt. I am not the Sea Lord and my contract was for a term of 4 years with options to renew if both parties are in agreement.”
“We were in agreement.”
“I was not. I retired. I am no longer your employee, contract completed, renewal exhausted. I kill who I chose. I chose not to kill. The sun’s coming up and the streets are lined with sand. It’ll take two tides before you’ll be evaporated enough to begin putting yourself back together. Two tides is a long time to lay in the sun, even for a Sea Lord. Sun don’t care about rank. I suspect you still haven’t figured out how I escaped with your sister in Panama. Sucks to be you, dude.” Eft walked away.
The Sea Lord cursed the Eft Fae bloodline. Eft Fae was cursed to remain on land, never to return to the sea. The Sea Lord cursed the Amazons who helped Eft. He cursed Eft’s children to a life without the sea. He demanded the return of his sister, the once and future queen of all Fae. When the Queen returns to the sea, the curse would be broken. Hippolyta stepped forward and slew her brother.
“Why sister? I did this for you!” The Sea Lord cried as he melted.
“You did this for you. I kill for me. I told you I would end this and now I have. Your rule dies with you, brother. You cursed Eft’s children. His children! No more. It is done. I will return to the sea and your curse will be lifted.” She had been cursed and could not change form. They all knew it.
Hippolyta stepped into the sea. As she died, the Sea-Folk agreed to a truce with mankind, especially from that island. Hippolyta’s sacrifice filled the terms of the curse and Eft’s children were not cut off from the sea but it would be their choice if they wanted to return. The sea-folk created the first electoral board of governors to run things until the Queen returns. Every year the sea-folk tempt the women of the island. The strong resist. The fools rush in. The children of Eft can end the slaughter by taking the throne. To honor their mother’s sacrifice, they refuse the call of the sea. To honor their father, they become pirates.