On the Rising of the Isles
Milords and Miladies,
I, Erasmus Sleet, humble fisherman seeks your attention only shortly. I was abroad the waters when great calamity struck, my small boat – only big enough for myself and my Hand Mazel, a little rower but sturdy enough for our line of work. I picked her up for a small sum on the Broken Pier but I think I did best of that deal! The waters roiled and rolled, I though to myself; Oh Ancestors this is it! This is how old Erasmus dies! Swallowed whole by the waters, never to see dry land again…well that not wholly true as I wasn’t far form the shore and could see clearly the net fishers working there. From the great boiling waters came a noise the like I’ve never imagined, a roar birthed of the Dragon herself! In my shock I watched slack jawed and empty minded for some hours, the net fishers had fled the shores but I saw in my little rower bobbing on the edge of the swell and watched.
The two lost isles! Orlaine and Sarnia rising form the murky depths that had swallowed them, just as I feared they would swallow me! T’was the raw power of Mannanan painted clean across the oceans!
After hours, I knew it to be hours as my arse had reached such a numbness, I noticed movement on the deserted shore. Three figures stood and watched the Rising of the sunken isles, the unnatural tide had pushed me close enough to the sands to make out a little of these on lookers, though I am fearful to pen what I witnessed.
The first was little more than a beast! Feral and wild yet as I gazed his countenance shifted becoming more regal but no less dangerous. Beside him stood a woman, tall and yet also gaunt, hollow perhaps. Dressed in black she appeared a shadow stood in defiance of the sun! A solitary bird perched upon her shoulder, a Raven, perhaps a Crow. The last of them, tall and strapping like the first, regal and of noble face he looked out across the waters with a stern but might I fancy pleased look.
A waved bobbed my boat and as my heart rose to my throat when my eyes again fell on the sands the three were gone, vanished without even footprints! You will think my mad for even speaking this – writing, is that phrase correct when not actually speaking? On my Pattern I swear the Trinity stood to watch Mannanan’s toil!
The light was beginning to fail when my boat finally – oarless as alas I had lost them in my shock – delivered me into waist high waters so I might drag her ashore. The Isles had ceased their quaking and the seas were calm, disturbingly so. It was then I noticed the last visitor to the beach that day; tall and lean, with a flowing mane of hair held in tapered tail down his shoulders he wore all the finery of a man at court.
I hailed to him, wishing him well for the portent of the Isles returned, he turned only slightly. Enough for his dark eyes to meet mine, a curl of a smile on his lips he nodded once before in a blink of my eye disappeared in a curl of wind snatched sand. Dragon take me! Four Ancestors in one day, my old bones will never see or know the like again! The Trinity I know well enough but the last visitor, though he could be nothing other an Ancestor – I have met Wizard and Shaman enough to know a mortal when I see one! – to his identity I have no idea.
I told my Wife of what I had seen! But she preoccupied getting our grandsons to bed told me the tale could wait, she sang them a peculiar song that night, a night of peculiar events all around! I’ll never forget what I saw and even though she swears not to remember the words, the tune of that lullaby is still lingering in my ears.
Erasmus Sleet – Fisherman of the Crooked Coast.