One Sailor’s Tale – Obertin Seaborn
It is said that the storm’s fury is slow to rise and always abates. That is not the entire truth. That fury can lie under the surface for many years. Some of us have seen that fury rise as fast as the lightning strikes and rage for days and weeks at a time.
I was aboard the Waif when it happened. Waif was a large boat captained by a large fool. I was a conscriptee, so my choices were limited. I did warn them, as did many of the crew, that it was risky to sail those waters, even in those days when the sea were unknown. I wasn’t the first to see the strange raft, but I was the first to understand what they were doing. There were a bunch of painted-up trolls on this huge raft, dragging the sea with a huge net. This isn’t, by itself, a problem. Most fish are too fast to be caught in this way, and most of the smarter sea life will avoid the nets or damage them.
But these trolls were pulling up many fish, and among them were some of the sirens and other beings of the sea. I knew, even as a boy, having been born and raised at sea, that the ocean lord cares for his creatures very much, but that he is slow to anger and often expects his subjects to fend for themselves. The lord of storms is different. He loves the sirens, many believe that they sing for his clouds and his rain.
As they pulled their prizes from the nets a huge troll strode among them and beat them, troll and sea creature equally, with his massive sword. This monster cruelly beat one of the sea maids and forced her to sing for him. Her song was one of pain and rage. It was, of course, so compelling to those of us that heard it that many dove overboard to die in the sea rather than hear it any longer. The captain ordered the boat turned in his desire to rescue her.
We never reached the raft. In an instant the sky was filled with light and thunder rolled across the sea sending many more of the crew off the decks. I do not know how I survived.
I do know how that troll survived. I saw dark shapes, roughly the size and shape of a troll, swim up to the shattered raft and pull the brutal troll under the waves, then move swiftly to the shores of a barren island.
That storm raged for a week. I saw the raging anger of the storm and was spared. I do not know why I was spared when all the others died. Perhaps only so that I can tell this tale as a warning to others.