One of the things I have to deal with in creating my series, is a level of whys. One of those is why is ‘Why are the Warriors of Dagon based in Taiji, Japan?’ Isn’t Dagon a Greek entity? Yes, He is. However over the centuries, Greek fell out of favor. AS the first of the AD millennium (or their sixth) headed into its fifth century the tide had changed in the Mediterranean so the Piscene (they call themselves. Think of it as the differences between Arabs and Europeans calling the terrorists ISIL and the US media calling them ISIS. Both are accurate. They call themselves themselves both. The french call them Daesh which is an Arabic insult meaning a bigot. They hate that. They will cut out the tongues of those who use the term) needed to move elsewhere. At one point, Han China and the Roman empire were within a weeks journey from each other, so the Piscene knew about China. They moved there to the area that would be Hong Kong. It wasn’t until the 1800s that they moved to Taiji.
They moved there because they discovered this.
The larger boats equipped with massive metallic drums sat on the deeper water an played their beat. The harsh tones of the percussion instruments hurt those poor creatures forcing them away from the large boats, like this they were herded to the shallows. Once caught in the shallow water, unable to dive to safety the men upon the smaller boats struck out with their spears. With their harpoons they lanced at the human half.
Females were prized more highly, their scales appeared dark green through water but once in the dry air they showed up pale jade but with a sparkle and glisten which jade had never held. The skin was always dusky to tar and only used to bind books. Though males were killed all the same, their scales sold cheaply but their meat was more palatable and fed the boat crews.
The Assembly elite always stayed away from certain areas where it required en masse fighting to travel. Yet the mindless slaughter that Japan habitually wrought led to great losses of the lower houses as well as sharpened their hatred and their skill set. One of the raids that almost failed caught the attention of the visiting Piscene dignitary in 1895. And so for the last 120 years they they have remained.
Thought I would share that.
This below is what appears to be a typical day out on the shallows from the perspective of the fisherman, only its not typical at all.
The wind died and the waves calmed. For the first time in weeks the weather seemed placid enough to head out on our scow. Dad determined this day as the perfect time. I shall learn fishing since my coming of age this year. We sat out on our back patio to wave watch getting ready. Dad said this was required. We had to watch the weather and if we went out at the wrong time, we would never return home. The ocean was something to fear, yet love. It prospered our village but also took the lives of many. My hope remained high.
“Aoki, did you get the nets untangled like I asked,” my father said.
“Good boy. Go untie the boat from the dock. We will leave soon.”
“Okay, father,” I said, reaching down and touching the tops of his feet. Touching someones feet was a sign of respect in our culture. My father is the best fisherman here in the village. Everyone loved him. If other fisherman were unable to provide for their families; dad would give part of his haul to make sure no one went hungry. He is my idol and I want to be just like him .
As I headed out to the docks, my sandaled feet shuffled through the moist sand. Waves languished, tickling my feet. The cooling water clashed with the intense heat.of the noon sun bearing down on my tender shoulders. I was parched and we hadn’t even left yet. There was no saliva in my mouth. It felt like fishing for days, or weeks. Yet the smell of the sea salt gave me pride as well as nausea for my task ahead.
The boards of the dock creaked under me and bowed into the water as I stepped forth. Each step made a slight ripple into the water below. If I stepped hard enough, or jumped with full force, the board would snap and send me into the deep. It frightened me that I couldn’t see anything below, or if anything was under the dock, but I followed through with my fathers orders by untying our boat.
I could see my father in the distance. He treaded the sand with the nets over his shoulders. When he arrived at the dock, he gingerly crossed in a wavy pattern sue to not break the boards. Yet with his massive size the boards still bowed deeply, wetting the entire dock dark grey. My heart raced as I watched my father cross and dump the nets onto out scow..
“Aoki,” my father said. “Hand me the rope.”
Yet as I reached down into the cool water I saw a gigantic, dark shadow swim approach the dock. It was larger than anything I had ever seen before and froze me still.
“Aoki!” my father yelled. “The rope! The time is now, son.”
My body wouldn’t move. I wanted to hand my father the rope, but I couldn’t find it. I wanted to scream out and warn him, but I couldn’t. I was trapped staring into the black eyes of a black skinned monster. Its webbed hand held still beneath the wave held the rope as it smirked .
She broke through the surface of the water and began to sing music unlike I had ever heard. Abject pleasure and silence washed over me. My father rocked side to side, smiling from ear to ear. This creature looked like one of us, only had skin of charcoal. Yet beyond her waist slimy scales and thin line down the center that vanished beneath the tide Fish like gills closed as water dripped of her naked petite chest. Then suddenly I snapped out of my trance. She shrieked , spearing my father off the scow with a jade looking trident and pulling him into the sea. My whole body shook in fear and I turned to run only I couldn’t. I was adrift. She swam up next to me, furious with her coal eyes burrowing through my soul. She stroked her wet jet hair and said perfectly, “He received the due reward for his actions against our people. I chose to give you knowledge before you make your choice. Hunt us and meet his fate. Hunt others and meet his fate. Fish and you might starve but you will by your own hand. Leave the ocean alone and live. Choose wisely.” She swam away, dragging my father down beneath her never to be seen again.
I mourned alone for awhile. Then after my tears dried, I chose. I became Koga ninja, and to this day, though I have much blood on my hands, I have no mermaid blood. I set here in my home in Ido, an old man now. I was one of the few who escaped Nobunaga’s rage. My sons and grandsons have too. Sadly they missed out on the open sea, the smell of salt and sand and storm. Yet, they haven’t missed the song of that monster who killed my father. The one who I could never kill. The one who I spoke of whenever I killed. The reason I pen this before I draw my last breath.
OK, there is nothing like a early 17th century piece to help explain things, For those who are confused about my mermaid, its simple. Whales are dark skinned. dolphins are dark or grey skinned so. 90% of all mermaids would look like this.