Myths And Legends: The Favor Of The Sea Queen

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The Favor Of The Sea Queen

You want to be a sailor? To challenge the sea itself? Work your ass every day and night in hope of hitting big when you and your ship are the first to outrun one of the great storms and bring the rare and exotic spices or other fancy goods across the seas? Many, many wanted that... Some even succeeded... But even more ended at the bottom of the ocean, forever bound to Her palace...

There was that ship, The Albatross-King, the name itself should tell you something about its captain... A proud man, vain even, and not without a merit. He was a skilled sailor, a masterful navigator, forceful leader, and a devil with a blade, short or long. What's more he was handsome and virile, and as the story goes, a devil in bed as well. That was the captain of The Albatross-King, the man who was willing to challenge anyone, god or demon, face to face...

His antics on the sea were already widely renowned, for like many who venture on these waters, he was a trader when there was bargain to be made, a pirate when there was plunder to be looted, an explorer when the winds brought him to unknown shores, a hunter when beasts of sea emerged, and a warrior when attacked. Whatever the challenge he took on, he succeeded, often with price paid in the blood of his men, although rarely his own, despite him never giving less than his crew. Some say he was charmed, some say he was damned, a few that he captured the eye f the goddess of the wave, the Sea Queen herself...

Did he? Ha! Judge it for yourself.

The storm season was coming, forcing all that plied these routes to stay careful and sail slowly, avoid the worst weather. In such time, the trade grinds slowly, and yet, in such times fortunes are made by the bold, the foolish, and the lucky. One of the princes or kings of a seaside realm was throwing up a wedding, for oneself or the heir, few remember. The important thing was that suddenly the prices of exotic spices from far-away lands went up tenfold, twentyfold even. A royal ransom would await whoever would got there in time. So The Albatross-King took the cargo of spice. Some shook their heads, many warned the captain of the folly of his endeavor, others simply uttered prayers for the departed for the captain and the crew. He laughed at them and set sails for the open sea, right underneath gathering black clouds.

Early in the evening, the storms struck, a dark wall of wind, rain, and waves, where the difference between the sky and the sea blurs. His crew already wary, requesting that they would move out of the storm's path and seek calmer and longer route. He cursed them with names that made them, seasoned sailors blush, called them cowards and proclaimed that he won't back off of the storm, even if sent by the goddess of the seas herself. Thunders struck sending the crew on their knees but he only raised his voice and screamed his challenge to the roaring winds, there and then, he proclaimed that he would go through the storm and past the sea, for he was the the greatest of its captains. There, he promised the Sea Queen Herself, that he would mount Her and ride her like a mare on his way through, giving Her the travel She would never forget.

The sea and the storm responded with a great wave, wave, which the cowering crew was sure would consume the ship with its boisterous captain. The waves struck, shaking the ship, and when they could see from behind the curtains of water, She stood on the bow—her hair black like the storm clouds above, her naked skin dark turquoise like the sea underneath. She stood there, with a cruel crooked smile, face to face with the blasphemous captain.
I am holding you to your promise.
A smile quickly replaced momentary surprise on the captain's face. He bowed to her and led her to his cabin. For a moment, the storm calmed, only to strike again, with even greater force. The crew fought for their life and for the ship, and each time they thought the storm might be passing, it struck again, and again, and again. And yet, the mad wind throwing them on the sea was always behind them, the waves carried them. The storm raged for three nights, carrying them and throwing them around like a toy, giving them no time for rest.

And then, before the dawn of the third morning, the sea went silent. The First Mate gathered the crew on the deck to count them and estimate damages. Then, the door of the captain's cabin opened and She stepped outside, with an enigmatic, capricious smile on her lips, bearing the captain's splendid hat, adorned with the feather of a golden albatross. She stepped out and looked over the crew—for a moment her gaze meet eyes of each and every one of them. Without word she handed the hat to the First Mate, stopped to kiss the youngest and leaped into the sea. The sailors looked on each other, with strange calmness and confidence in their hearts, and then checked on the captain, though later they claimed they already knew what will they find—the captain was still there, naked and drowned on his bed, his arrogant smile forever staying on his face.

The same day, they entered the harbor of their destination, in three days having braved the rout that should take a week with the best winds. They sold the spice for their weight in gold, and as they shared the profits each of them become wealthy man. And yet, all of them sailed until the end of their lives, some sooner some later. The boy seaman who tasted the lips of the sea goddess leaped into the sea a few months later being the first to die. The First Mate remained the captain of The Albatross-King, the best navigator of the fastest ship for years to come. Others split and spread across many ships sailing many seas.

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