Char's Pathfinder Game
A banished child of the sea, a middle-aged disgrace, an elf no longer, a rapist, a molester, incestuous...
Dark blue grey skin.
“Aquatic elves are rarely quiet, rarely reserved. Sea elves, in particular, are a boisterous lot, and take celebration, vengeance, and pride especially seriously.”
- Archsage Hoviroth Solaine in An Analysis of Cultures and Societies Aquatic, a story of the Hidden Depths of Golarion…
I am none of those things. I haven’t any pride left, after all. There is no vengeance to take, it was my own doing. And celebration — well, I’ll let you know when I reach the bottom of this bottle — but my money is that I will be crying, not laughing.
Sea elves have a king, or queen, to whom they pay tribute. During peace, the populace live as
they please; the populace comes together in times of undersea disaster, or great woe, like now. Constant threats from the deep have created a — what the hell am I talking about? That was 60 years ago, Nesda take me. My life is a Rot…
Where was I? The Elven nobility of the sea are mostly responsible for adjudicating trade agreements, treaties, and tariffs. The sea elf population consists primarily of artists and craftsman who create some of the most breathtaking splendors of the sea. The most breathtaking of these splendors is the spectacular cities that are crafted from living coral. We elves revere both magic and nature and seldom hesitate to let one enhance the other. A departure from the philosophies of other Elven kind, we aquatic elves were not afraid to meddle or tinker with the natural order of things. More often than not, this leads to spectacular works of living art. Occasionally, this has also led to great and terrible abominations that cause more harm than good. Were my people prideful and egotistical, Hoviroth? Yes. Of course they were.
On the matter of relations with others. Sea elves often see it as their duty to look after the other races, feeling a sense of obligation to those creatures with the shortest lifespans. Can I speak freely Hoviroth? I must, I believe, even this too to be a matter of arrogance. We never did see that…I have to tell you a story now. It will paint a clearer picture that the text book you are writing. I am not sure if Golarion is ready to see the biography you will be forced to compose, and it will not be children’s reading, I assure you. But it is necessary, to me, and to my sanity.
I knew the king to whom they paid tribute, you see. I was his son, and next to inherit the throne.
My hands have always been the wandering sort, a coin here, a knickknack there. I might as well have been a, a… gypsy, is that what you call them up here, to the west by the deserts? Regardless, my tutors knew that they would have to occupy me with other duties, or I would be a devil. So instead of pilfering pockets, or others’ chests, they set me to flipping book pages: millions. And trust me when I say this: our books are vastly different than yours. Ink? No. Papyrus? Nonexistent Take your assistant there. Your scribe. You boy. Your job is far to easy. Take up a chisel and hammer, or perhaps a small weave and seaweed. Those were our ways, and books needed cataloging the same as they do in dry land.
My father was proud. I took to it, and there is always pride in a child, we can be loving you see. But I was soon overshadowed by a new birth, the birth of a sister, Weyvanestra. My love.
What followed some forty years later can only be described as voluntary on both of our parts. We were soul mates, and fate had cast us into two bodies, forever forbidden from feeling the caress of the other, not by distance of separation but by taboo. I understand it is the same here, save some rare instances. Most cultures do not allow the marrying of relatives, save perhaps cousins. I have even seen the geneology statistics showing the unwise nature of such a union. But, is love ever wise?
Our love was a natural, beautiful thing, not the incestuous rape I would later claim it was, to protect her, you see.
Ultimately she was the mastermind of it all, if you have to believe there was one agressor. She, beneath a bed of kelp, after a playful time spent twisting through the Koravak caverns, moved her hand to my thigh and further. We had both felt the urges, but only adolescence had brought them out of us. Tall, lithe, an orange-green tone to her skin, hair curls upon her head like a sponge, she was astonishing. Taller than me, believe it or not. It ran in our royal blood, for sure, but she, now she was something else; Like a goddess from a forgotten age. Taller than our father the king, or our mother, the queen; taller than our ancestors. The people worshiped her, her talents surpassing all the masters. The horn. the clamshell. Oh she could play. And how she plied the kelp. Beautiful garments. She would often spend months on one vest only to give it away to a child in the broad avenues of the capitol. They loved her. They worshiped her… she worshiped me when we were alone. Like a bloodthirsty shark, she sought me out, closets, caverns, whenever we were alone, she would take me, beg me…
Her aggression extended to her love making. Barbs, crustacean tails, anything was fair game, a torturer’s toy becoming ecstasy in her hands. It is ultimately what cost us. Our matron became suspicious at the welts and marks, the sly looks exchanged during dinner, the calls in the night: her name, then mine. But we loved, and it was always more than physical.
She found us then. Shortly thereafter. A few weeks later at most. Intertwined like fiddler crabs, a tangle. Our father discovered. Then came the shame.
A council was brought forth to issue judgement.
For me, banishment from the kingdom. Forced to wander the depths forever, alone, or join another city, and start anew with no family backings. But for her, the crime was far worse. A man cannot be held accountable for himself, he enters a woman; but she receives, she is the vessel, the whore. She would be put to death.
I charged the wardens holding her. I killed one, or two, maybe. A trident stolen from his hands, and put in his gut. The other hit with the butt end of the pole. But the rest hindered me from freeing my love, and restrained me.
And so, I put on an act. I never consulted her, and there would not have been time to, even if it seemed wise.
“I raped the filthy bitch.”
The words echoed, passing out of the hall of justice. The city below might have heard the proclamation, I now realize. I yelled it, and the medium of water allows words to pass far. The depths carry secrets, they say.
And so I am here now, for my punishment was instantly worse. The earlier judgment was rescinded, and the new put into effect. A fate worse than death. A denial of life was my due. To never again enter the sea…
An old punishment. Usually reserved for king-slayers, or patricide. Considered worse than death. Old traditions protected me from most crimes, being royalty, but there would be no protection from this. My ears were cut from me then. The tips, specifically. And both metaphorically, and literally, I was banished from the sea. Never again was I to enter a body of water. There was no threat of violence behind this. There needn’t be. With no ear tips, they new I could never return, or join another kingdom, or enclave. Even our enemies, the Sauhugin, knew the shame of being earless.
But she would be free and alive.
I tell this story in vindication, and to humanize us to the land dwellers. We are not perfect, not nymphs of legend. We are flawed. I am so, so flawed.
I sail the sea now, the same way as other men, human men. A navigator is how I ply my trade, directing ships along the trade routes. I am forever roaming the sea, but cursed to never set even a foot inside it again.