dwelling by the sea

I love your silence. It is so wise. It listens. It invites warmth. I love your loneliness. It is brave. It makes the universe want to protect you. You have the loneliness that all true heroes have, a loneliness that is a deep sea, within which the fishes of mystery dwell. I love your quest. It is noble. It has greatness in it. Only one who is born under a blessed star would set sail across the billowing waves and the wild squalls, because of a dream. I love your dream. It is magical. Only those who truly love and who are truly strong can sustain their lives as a dream. You dwell in your own enchantment. Life throws stones at you, but your love and your dream change those stones into the flowers of discovery. Even if you lose, or are defeated by things, your triumph will always be exemplary. And if no one knows it, then there are places that do. People like you enrich the dreams of the world, and it is dreams that create history. People like you are the unknowing transformers of things, protected by your own fairy-tale, by love.
—  Ben Okri, Astonishing the Gods
2

A Tasty Solution 

Saltwater Brewery created an answer to floating plastic six pack rings harming the ocean environment and its creatures. Their rings are edible and made from wheat and barley leftover from the beer making process. It’s a great way for the brewery to cut back on waste product and provides a snack for fish and other sea dwelling animals. If more companies recycled like this maybe we could cut down on the amount of garbage polluting our waters daily.

Kudos, Saltwater Brewery.

Kuo-toa Priest
“In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, the kuo-toa are fish-like monstrous humanoids that dwell in the Underdark, and in the sea.”

The original post of my Kuo-toa was more muted. I wanted to play around with a more vibrant colored version. 

The Gippsland Lakes in Australia is a beautiful example of bioluminescence.   Noctiluca scintillans, commonly known as Sea Sparkle, is the non-parasitic, marine-dwelling dinoflagellate that exhibits the bioluminescence throughout its cytoplasm when disturbed.

Cthulhu is a Great Old One in the writings of H. P. Lovecraft and his subsequent disciples. Described as a cross between an octopus, a dragon and a giant human, it is said that one look at him will drive a person insane.

Born in the twenty-third nebula, Cthulhu travelled to Earth with his mate Idh-yaa and their starspawn. There, they built the great stone city of R'lyeh, and have dwelled there ever since, even after it sunk into the sea.

Cthulhu has become the most enduring creature from Lovecraft’s ouevre, becoming an unlikely pop culture phenomenon.

Image source.

Monster master list.

Suggest a spook.

Kuo-toa Priest
“In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, the kuo-toa are fish-like monstrous humanoids that dwell in the Underdark, and in the sea.”

The design is a little divergent to the current representation of the Kuo-toa. It pays homage to the original concepts with a little twist I think.
I envisioned the priests being adorned with pearls, embedded in their skin.

destiel pirate AU fic rec

I’m giving you two for the price of one today because there can never be too many pirate AUs ^^

Ocean Blues by lentezon

Wordcount: 38.2k; Rating: Explicit
Summary: The crew is supposed to be merciless, and the ship’s captains on friendly terms with mermaids, some of the most dangerous creatures to dwell in the deep waters of the sea. They attack ships at will and leave no survivors, entire crews falling victim to their swords and the mermaids’ songs. This is the story of The Impala.


This fic sucks you in right away by starting off with Alfie’s point of view as his ship is boarded by the crew of the Impala. It then switches to Dean’s POV as it tells the real story of how the Impala got its crew and its reputation. The plot is engaging and fast-paced. I love Castiel’s characterisation in this - the author really managed to give him that sense of “otherness”. It makes his devotion to Dean all the more special, because they have to deal with/overcome more than just being male (in that time period) before being able to be together. All in all this is a great adventure fic for fans of creature!cas. Be sure to also check out the art because it is gorgeous.


Angels of the Sea by @envydean

Wordcount: 53.6k; Rating: Mature
Summary: The Archangel – a pirate ship run by young Captain Castiel Novak – is unknowingly boarded by two stowaways who end up joining the crew. Dean takes up navigation and Sam starts work in the galley, and together they embark on an adventure using Dean’s amulet to find a mysteriously hidden island.


So I looked forward to this awesome fic by the amazing Jenny a lot and was not disappointed. This really is a swashbuckling adventure story, which takes quite a few twists and turns (with family drama, kidnapping and legendary islands) so you’re kept at the edge of your seat. I especially loved the developing relationship between Cas and Dean (Cas is an awesome captain!) and all the brotherly interactions between Dean and Sam. A must-read for fans of the genre!

Name: Nuckelavee, Nuckalavee
Area or Origin: Orkney Islands, Scotland

The Nuckelavee is a horse-like demon from Orcadian mythology that combines equine and human elements. It is considered the most horrible demon in all of Scotland and the name Nuckelavee may be derived from a nickname for Satan, ‘Old Nick’. The demon’s foul breath could kill crops and sicken livestock, and it was held responsible for droughts and epidemics on land, despite it being primarily from the sea. It is said to have had two forms, the one that dwells in the sea has no consistent description, but its form on land, while it varies, has more consistency. Based on a supposed first-hand confrontation with the demon, it was described as looking like a horse with a rider on top, though the rider’s torso was fused to the horse’s back and possessed no legs of its own. The “rider’s” arms were abnormally long and could reach the ground from where it sat. Its head could be as large as 3 feet wide, and due to its neck not being able to support its massive weight, would roll back and forth. Both the horse’s face and the rider’s had only one eye, said to burn like a red flame. A final and most gruesome detail was the fact that the Nuckelavee had no skin, and had yellow veins outside its muscle that would pump black blood throughout its body. The seemingly simple way to get rid of the Nuckelavee was to cross a freshwater stream, and it was kept in confinement during the summer months by The Mither o’ the Sea, an ancient Orcadian divine and the only one able to control it. 

Thanks for a Narrow Escape

Anthologia Palatina 6.164 = Lucillius (Neronian period)

For Glaucus and for Nereus, for Ino and Melicertes,
For Cronus’ son who dwells in the depths, for the Samothracian gods,
I, Lucillius, saved from the sea, have shorn these locks of hair
From my head, and dedicate them- for I have nothing else.

Γλαύκῳ καὶ Νηρῆι καὶ Ἰνοῖ καὶ Μελικέρτῃ
    καὶ βυθίῳ Κρονίδῃ καὶ Σαμόθρᾳξι θεοῖς
σωθεὶς ἐκ πελάγους Λουκίλλιος ὧδε κέκαρμαι
    τὰς τρίχας ἐκ κεφαλῆς· ἄλλο γὰρ οὐδὲν ἔχω.

Glaucus and Scylla, Agostino Carracci, 1597

Fantasy Aesthetic: Mermaids

“If you swim effortlessly in the deep oceans, ride the waves to and from the shore, if you can breathe under water and dine on the deep treasures of the seas; mark my words, those who dwell on the rocks carrying nets will try to reel you into their catch. The last thing they want is for you to thrive in your habitat because they stand in their atmosphere where they beg and gasp for some air.”

Date a dragon who breathes fire

Date a dragon who breathes an icy wind 

Date a dragon with venomous breath and fangs

Date a dragon with acidic breath

Date a dragon with harmless (if slightly smelly) breath that you can bask in the heat of

Date an undead dragon who does not breathe

Date a sea-dwelling dragon who can breathe water

Who built the seven gates of Thebes?
The books are filled with names of kings.
Was it kings who hauled the craggy blocks of stone?
And Babylon, so many times destroyed,
Who built the city up each time? In which of Lima’s houses,
That city glittering with gold, lived those who built it?
In the evening when the Chinese wall was finished
Where did the masons go? Imperial Rome
Is full of arcs of triumph. Who reared them up? Over whom
Did the Caesars triumph? Byzantium lives in song.
Where all her dwellings palaces? And even in Atlantis of the legend
The night the sea rushed in,
The drowning men still bellowed for their slaves.

Young Alexander conquered India.
He alone?
Caesar beat the Gauls.
Was there not even a cook in his army?
Philip of Spain wept as his fleet
Was sunk and destroyed. Were there no other tears?
Frederick the Great triumphed in the Seven Years War. Who
Triumphed with him?

Each page a victory.
At whose expense the victory ball?
Every ten years a great man,
Who paid the piper?

So many particulars.
So many questions.

Bertolt Brecht, “A Worker Reads History”

8

While still in early youth Fëanor wedded Nerdanel, a maiden of the Noldor; at which many wondered, for she was not among the fairest of her people. But she was strong, and free of mind, and filled with the desire of knowledge. In her youth she loved to wander far from the dwellings of the Noldor, either beside the long shores of the Sea or in the hills; and thus she and Fëanor had met and were companions in many journeys

Nerdanel, from The Silmarillion and Morgoth’s Ring

10

The History of Middle-earth \ Fëanor & Nerdanel 

While still in early youth Fëanor wedded Nerdanel, a maiden of the Noldor; at which many wondered, for she was not among the fairest of her people. But she was strong, and free of mind, and filled with the desire of knowledge. In her youth she loved to wander far from the dwellings of the Noldor, either beside the long shores of the Sea or in the hills; and thus she and Fëanor had met and were companions in many journeys.

In May of 2015, the first warm blooded fish was discovered. Lampris guttatus (otherwise known as Opah or Moonfish) is a deep-sea dwelling endotherm,  meaning it internally regulates its body temperature. This is very unique because all other fish are ectotherms and rely on the environment as their heat source. The Opah’s endothermic nature means that it can swim faster, see better, and respond to its environment quicker.

Greek Myths Aesthetic: Sirens

“If you swim effortlessly in the deep oceans, ride the waves to and from the shore, if you can breathe under water and dine on the deep treasures of the seas; mark my words, those who dwell on the rocks carrying nets will try to reel you into their catch. The last thing they want is for you to thrive in your habitat because they stand in their atmosphere where they beg and gasp for some air.”

Okay, so, Sultai merfolk fanwalker.

So Clayptica is a wedge themed world with five factions; the Abzan-colored faction is a group of jungle dwelling protectors of ancient tombs that offer themselves to carnivorous plants for protection of their villages, the Jeskai-colored faction is a zealous Navy hellbent on taking control of the seas so they can enforce order on them, the Mardu-colored faction are the adventure seeking, riches stealing pirates that we all know and love, and the Temur-colored faction are shamanistic aven who dwell on the backs of giant, roaming sea turtles.

But the idea I had for merfolk seemed…weak. They were the Sultai faction, so I figured they would be the group that tame giant sea monsters in secret to spring on their enemies for power, but that didn’t seem…exciting enough to me.

So I’ve been taking a look at Caribbean culture (which Calyptica is based off of) and learned that Vodou actually originated in the Caribbean - specifically, Haiti.

So what I have in mind for my Sultai merfolk is to have him be a sort of witch doctor type character (still trying to figure out what about him will necessitate the Black part of his identity). There’s some wiggle room in there for when I learn more, but that’s the thing.

I have no background in Haitian Vodou. At all. Zip. None. And I don’t want to just slap on a bunch of what pop culture has to say about it and deepen the misunderstanding that I’m sure surrounds it.

If I’m going to apply Vodou culture to Calyptica, I want to do it right, so everything I’ve said so far about my fanwalker can totally be erased overnight when given the right reasons. (Also if you’re a practitioner of Vodou, preferably Haitian Vodou, please message me so I can learn from the source and apply everything about it correctly!)

With that being said, all of the merfolk on Calyptica are based off of sharks, and my fanwalker in particular is a hammerhead. I’m still trying to figure out his motivations and how he applies his Magic (if I even decide that he uses Magic at all), so he’s very much a work in progress, but I don’t see myself making much progress on him without the help of someone who knows more about Vodou than me.