It all started with a cup of coffee and a blank page. 90,000 words later, I've decided to start posting my work online.
I'm here cause I fell in love with the show when I was a child of ten, and after eighteen years the flame still burns. I want to dive deeper into the world of Mer, deeper into the characters' arcs, and I want to give the story the end it deserves (please, bear in mind that this is my own version of the story, yours might differ).
Comments and feedback are welcome and truly needed; I'm also eager to chat with you all about anything related to the show!
One last note before we start: English is not my first language, so if you notice any mistake with grammar, word choice and spelling, PLEASE let me know!
The sea is our mother, my dear. She takes us in her loving arms, she leads our way to safe ports, she feeds us, she lulls us to sleep at night. But you know, at times even the loveliest of mothers scolds her unruly babies. And at times my dear, such a ruthless mother as the sea, in her fury kills her children.
Captain Bloth hadn't thought about his mother in a while, but like a distant melody, her voice echoed from the abyss of his mind. It smothered the sound of the smashing waves, caressing its way up from the darkness and spread. Soothing.
He closed his eyes, savoring each drop of that stream of peace; willing it to last, knowing it wouldn't last. Sleep, my dear.
Bloth gripped the arms of the chair and forced his eyes to open; it hurt, but he had to come back to reality.
He breathed in and dared a look through the porthole. He saw the tide swell; the Maelstrom swayed and heeled in response.
The pile of scrolls on the table collapsed and rolled down, carrying the silver goblet along. The clang resounded as loud as the thunders when it hit the floor, and the remaining of the wine spread around in a red pool.
He watched as the wine seeped through the timber; slowly, gently. The vision was soothing. And as he watched, another memory emerged from the abyss.
It was during the last docking in Janda Town. Bloth had stepped in the overly crowded square, while the pungent scent of mint from the stand of spices still filled his nose. The crowd had parted to make space for a group of musicians; three men, and two homely girls. The former played strange instruments he'd never seen before, while the girls sang a sweet tale of a sailor and a sea creature. The Captain would never admit that to a soul, but he had enjoyed the music.
He clenched his fists.
The harmony of that song was far from the cacophony of noises that filled the deck of the warship. Even barred in his quarters he could hear the winds pummel the sails, and on top of that boomed his men's shouts.
It was not a song of love the one which was sung on the Maelstrom. It was the grim song of the fight for life.
Bloth had felt the storm come from the moment he rose. The captain's quarters were darker than usual, for no sun had risen to cast its light that day. When he'd stepped out abovedeck a cold wind had saluted him, and the grey sky looming above the ship left no doubt on what was coming.
His men knew that too, and they were bracing for the upcoming battle against nature.
"It is approaching, my lord." His second in command had appeared at his side on the quarterdeck, moving silent as ever. "We're ready."
"Very well Mantus, keep her afloat while I set the next course. We might fish something good tomorrow."
Sharks and dartha eels could take the drowned sailors, Bloth and his men would take whatever was left of the sunken ships' cargoes. His hands loosened at the thought.
It was far from an auspicious day for sailing on the west. The mother was angry and would show her children no mercy. However the very life on Mer depended on the sea, and countless ships would still brave the treacherous water that day. The morrow would be bountiful.
They just had to survive the storm.
Captain Bloth shut his eyes and breathed in. He saw himself as a young boy sneaking into a tavern. He could almost smell the reek of stale ale again, as he could still hear the voice of the drunken seaman he'd encountered. The man had lost his sons to a storm no many moons before and had cursed the sea for long before blubbering something about Merians living in a world with no salt water.
Noy jitat, like thousand leviathans squirming on jitatin land I tell you, boy. Fearful, aren't they? No matter how big and strong they are, without water, they're no mightier than barnacles.
Bloth hadn't cursed as much, but he had damned all the twenty seas when his mother had finally revealed him about his father. A drowned sailor. She'd loved him.
The sea is our mother my dear.
His mother was not capable of hate. Never angry, always lovely. Forever sad.
The river of memories had burst its banks and was running free, he had to tame it lest it'd swallowed him whole. He shook his head until it felt empty and black dots fogged his sight. When his eyes adjusted the captain was back in his quarters.
He surveyed the swaying room around him and bent down to pick up the goblet.
The silver was so polished he could see his own reflection. And as he swirled the goblet in his hand he wondered why it was always in grey and stormy days that he got lost in the past; why it was when death was close that he thought about his mother.
He shook his head again and slammed the goblet back on the table. Death was not close. The Maelstrom would never sink, he'd seen to that. The leviathan's bones would keep them afloat.
Bloth stood up and went to retrieve the scrolls, which were now spread all over the cabin's floor.
He had just unrolled the map of the west when Konk knocked at his door. He knew it was the piglet, for he was the only one senseless enough to disturb him.
"Better be important."
The door's hinges squeaked like a couple of shy mice before Konk's ugly face peeped inside.
"Most merciful Bloth."
A thunder lashed through the air like an omen.
"Speak!" he ordered, knocking the chair down as he sprung to his feet.
"Brigmaster," Konk mumbled staring at the floor. "Wants talk with captain."
The abyss with its darkness swallowed his mind and Bloth stormed out of his quarters. He advanced, unperturbed; although the rocking deck soaked in rain made it hard to keep balance.
The brigmaster stood next to Mantus on the middle deck, his head bent down. His second in command took a step away from the man when Bloth approached him. The Captain didn't have to ask who the matter was about.
"Is Primus dead?" he shouted over the flapping of the sails.
"No, Captain." The brigmaster was a brute of a man, but he chirped like a bird.
"He... He escaped, Captain."
For a moment Bloth was silent but then his scream pierced through the air, louder than the thunders.
"How?" he growled.
"He sneaked... Away... He stole a boat. I-"
A wave slammed into the hull and the man collapsed on the deck.
The flames of rage flared up and Bloth started to shake.
"Blast his soul to the abyss! He was your charge and you allowed him to escape!"
He punched the mast.
"Bloth... M-most majesty," the brigmaster was on his knees.
The pain that shot through his hand helped him focus back on his surroundings. Part of the crew had started to gather on the deck to assist to the scene. They held onto the ropes, the masts, and anything that might have kept them anchored to the safety of the Maelstrom. His men knew there was no forgiveness once Bloth had been displeased. Today it was the brigmaster, tomorrow it could be the lookout. Today though it was not them, and Bloth had seen how a man going down the pit amused them.
"For seventeen years I have guarded your prisoners and never a mistake! I took my eyes off him for but a moment!"
Bloth did not remember the brigmaster's name nor where he came from, the only thing he had needed to know was that the man served him well. No prisoner revolts had broken out during his service, for he had turned the guests in the Kramadorm into animals; sea scum and lords alike.
The Captain examined his hand. The white knuckles had already turned red and one nail that had dug into the palm was now covered in blood.
The rain washed it away.
"And a moment is all you've left to live."
"Captain, please. It was just a moment, it was just a moment!"
His pleads revolted him.
"Open the door!" he ordered.
The brigmaster mouthed a please that went unheard over the sounds of the storm. But as the rest of the crew, he had seen it countless times before and knew there was no way out.
Two members of the crew hurried to the large trap door set in front of the helm and lifted it open.
The brigmaster didn't struggle when two more shipmates seized his arms, even if he could have. He didn't say any last word when they dragged him to the pit. No prayer no more pleads for mercy. He went down without a fight, disappointing his captain one last time.
Although he screamed like everybody else when they threw him down below, and he departed the world with a final shriek.
Bloth walked to the pit and shot a look inside.
"Eat well, my pet!" he said.