Salt, Gold, Steel and Ghosts (Spellbound Kingdoms)
The Whalebone Hall
A story that Tyll first told on the 21st of March at the Guilded Lily Theatre Below describing the creation story of the Siren.
Once there was a man and what a strange man he was as well. His hair was rubbery and long, his face bulbous and his eyes an unblinking black. This was the Old Man of the Sea and he went scuttling hither and thither across the ocean tops till he spied a well hulled sailing vessel. Then he would rub his too long finger together and smile a very dangerous sort of smile.
Quite soon all about that well built vessel the winds would be howling, the waves would be lashing and the men aboard would be screaming themselves hoarse. But it would be to little avail and the Old Man would draw them down, piece by piece, beneath the waves and take them back to the Whalebone Hall. The Hall is deep in the depths and it is said to glow a pale white in the gloom, made as it is from the polished remains of ancient sea creatures. All through the halls trinkets and treasure, that would make the great Captain Sharktooth sick with envy, were strewn without count. Jewels and armour, incense and spices, beautiful patterned textiles and glass wear crafter by all the masters of the many ages the Old Man had lived. Everyone he drew down to his hall served him day and night and even death was no release for after one of his servants tried to end his suffering the Old Man would rub his too long fingers together once more sucking the departed’s soul to continue their drudgery in death.
Now one day the Old Man was skimming over the waves and breakers and he found a small fishing boat in which sat a young woman and thirteen seagulls all of them repairing a net that had snagged on a reef. She is what we might know as a Princess of Wolves raised on the shore edge and among the tidal pools by these gulls. The Old Man was very taken with the young woman and so he rubbed his too long fingers together and the sky was swiftly bruised with clouds and the winds were rallied and blew with the intensity to crumble cliffs and rip open the secret hearts of tree’s. The Gulls were scattered the little blue boat over turned and the young woman drawn down by the Old Man to the Whale Bone Hall. At first the Old Man put the Young Woman to work in the hall along side his other slaves but he began to grow enamoured with the girl and decided that she would be his latest partner, unsurprisingly this made her even more miserable. But they had counted without Grandfather Gull.
He was the oldest and biggest of all the Gulls who had looked after the young woman and he had flown across every shore and sea and so he followed his daughter unerringly through breakers, reefs and mists until at last he came to the whalebone hall beneath the waves. The Young Woman was delighted to see him and he spoke many words of encouragement to her. For all was not lost since Granfather Gull knew the Old Man’s one weakness. The splinters of the ships he had destroyed were the only weapons that could cut him him. With him Grandfather Gull had brought a small piece of their little Blue fishing boat.
That night when the young woman went to the Old Man she did not go cringing or sobbing she went standing proudly. The Old Man rubbed his too long fingers together and she stabbed in the throat. He fell back yelling and the Young Woman cut out his heart with the splinter of the jolly blue boat just as Grandfather Gull had told her to. Then she ate the heart, not quite as Grandfather Gull had intended.
Now the young woman is the new Lady of the Whalebone Hall tied there just as the Old Man was but she is a lady of Freedom and those that are lost. Eventually all lost things make their way to the Whalebone Hall so that they might be found again in time.