willyousee: (Moonlit)
[personal profile] willyousee posting in [community profile] woodbetweenworlds
The mermaid kingdom of Thalassia has been forced smaller and smaller in recent years, crushed in on all sides by the ever expanding influence of humans. Schools of mermaids, cut off from the overarching empire and the reach of the Dread Empress, have either retreated, or attempted to make friends with the humans, with varying effects.

Deep sea voyages have become more common, and in retaliation, the Empress has developed a new weapon. A plague among her people which can turn any mermaid - warrior or not - into a berserker ready to tear into her enemies at the first scent of blood. Those who are affected are termed Stricken, and are feared by mermaids and humans alike. Sirens, higher caste members of society gifted with the ability to hear the Songs which the Sea, their deity, Sings can capture those Songs and Sing them for all to hear, with magical effects.

In recent times, a large group of mermaids broke from the empire and fled, trying to aim for a particular group of islands sheltered behind a veritable maze of razor-sharp reefs and channels, where they had heard tell of a freshwater atoll where they might be safe from the Empress' grasp. In their flight, they came across several vessels full of humans in trouble, and assisted in the rescue of sailors and civilians from a vessel broken apart on the reefs. The Dread Empress sent her pet and guard creature, the Grasper, a great kraken, to devour the mermaids, and the humans and mermaids banded together to kill the creature. The Sirens in turn used their Song to entice a vessel of cruel pirates onto the reefs so that the ships they had befriended - limping carefully through the reef channels with mermaid guidance - would not be set upon and their human friends killed.

In the end they made it to the islands, and the first large colony of free mermaids was established.

Among these ships was the research vessel the Panlong. Scientists and activists aboard that ship were able to eventually return home and created the first Mermaid Sanctuary and Research Facility.

The Mermaid Sanctuary and Research Facility, or just Sanctuary for short, was begun by a small but enthusiastic staff several years ago. Here injured mermaids are brought for treatment, fleeing mermaids can find a home away from the vengeful strike teams of Thalassia, and medicine and marine biology are making great leaps and strides in understanding the sea in general and especially this fascinating race. The facility is a haven, medical center, informational hub, and kick-off point for mermaid rights activism, and is internationally recognized as the authorities on mermaid culture, habitat, behavior and biology. It took the imagination of the public by storm and when investigation discovered the place was real contributions, grants, and funding flooded in from across the world. The international community has yet to recognize the mermaids as their own race and kingdom, but there is a fair amount of pressure to move in that direction. Other groups target the center and their workers as disseminators of false information and protectors of man-eating monsters.



RESOURCES: General Mermaid Information | Siren Song | Stricken | Midpoint Atoll Information | Sanctuary Information | Glossary | Questions | Resources and Inspiration



INSTRUCTIONS: Please include your race (human/mermaid) in your subject line! Tag around and have fun!

PROMPTS


1. New Arrival: There's a new mermaid in the water. Either in isolation, in recovery, or freshly introduced to the larger schools.
2. Injury: Blood in the water! Somehow someone has been injured. How serious is it? Who will help? Is this in the Stricken waters, because if so you have a larger problem.
3. Refugee: You've heard of this place... it's supposed to be safe. Looks like there's a greeting party.
4. New Handler: A new staff member is being introduced to the schools.
5. Patrol: Un-Stricken mermaids pair with human handlers to patrol the waters and keep them safe.
6. Fine Cuisine: Chow time is always a mess.
7. Fish Out of Water: Someone's practicing their land legs.
8. Visitors: It's School Day at the Centers and you know what that means... lots of little human children at the glass.
9. VIH: Very Important Humans have come to see if the Centers are worth funding. Better be on your best behavior! ...or not.
10. Nightfall: Night descends on the Centers... but not everyone sleeps. Or sleeps soundly.
11. Arts and Crafts: The Centers have arranged for materials to be brought in! Who wants to make something?
12. Storm: There's a storm rolling in and the sea walls can only shield so much.
13. Cross-Current Lovers: A human and a mermaid fall in love, or a Striken and un-Striken, a refugee and an Empress' fish... how do they handle their separation and differences?
14. Fingerlings: New baby mermaids have been born! It's up to the whole community to teach them what it means to be a mermaid.
15. Culture Class: Mermaids need to learn about humans as much as the reverse!
16. Wild Card: Make up your own! Combine a few!

Mermaid or Human (Handler or Visitor) / OTA

Date: 2015-06-25 01:09 am (UTC)
librariansheart: (Informative)
From: [personal profile] librariansheart
((Sheska the Mermaid is a brown fur seal maid - not a Siren, not Stricken. Generally shy and who likes listening to the storytellers. She is a refugee, horrified by the Stricken condition, who would like as far away from the Dread Empress as is possible but isn't sure how to help.

Sheska the Handler is a somewhat accident-prone junior handler who would like nothing more than to talk with her merfriends all day.... which sometimes leads to her forgetting her actual duties.

Sheska the visitor has a Year Pass to Sanctuary and comes by every other day like clockwork at about six pm to stand at the viewing windows and watch.

Let me know which you'd like!))

Human researcher / OTA

Date: 2015-06-25 04:01 am (UTC)
professorwolf: (smile)
From: [personal profile] professorwolf
((Doctor Randolph Lyall started off life as a simple marine biologist, but had a brief tour at the Sanctuary and wound up enchanted by the mermaids, and now works between there and the Atoll full time, often helping with funding pushes due to his mild, unthreatening, and intelligent demeanor. While most of his time is taken up by research on the Stricken curse, he spends some time still out in the field, dressing simple injuries and helping with merfolk physical therapy))

I. Injury!

Looks like somebody's had a run-in with something dangerous-- a human, a shark, another merperson. Lyall isn't always on duty, but today he is, and he's sitting on the edge of the platform over the lake with his tools to tend to the problem. "There, now, it's all right..." He holds up empty hands, first of all, to show he isn't about to immediately cause more pain, then asks, "Let me see?"

II. Fingerlings

This is the first time on Lyall's tour here he's seen brand new baby mermaids, and he is trying hard not to get in the way, but he's just so excited!

III. Culture Class

Lyall has brought a tablet with an older movie-- something along the lines of The Sound of Music-- to show the current batch of mermaids at the Sanctuary. He's fully expecting lots of questions... that's kind of the point. But he's here to answer them, and do it with a smile.

1 (with a side of 2-flavored incoming adorable)

Date: 2015-06-25 09:37 pm (UTC)
loyalrebel: (my god you're an idiot)
From: [personal profile] loyalrebel
"Da's got a bubble in his gills." Tazim announced the moment his head first broke the surface to stare at Lyall, "He smacked in to the reef-rocks again and there was a crunchy noise and now there's bruises." It's clear that the fingerling was the one to drag (possibly literally) the usually standoffish father up to be looked at, and when Malik grumblingly reminds him about language he still comes close enough to be looked at.

"He's just making a tsunami out of it." He scowls, but still pulls himself up on to the platform obediently. His left side is bruised where there isn't an arm to catch himself.

"Crunchy noise. Lyall. Like biting crab legs." Tazim countered.

Date: 2015-06-26 07:39 pm (UTC)
professorwolf: (smile)
From: [personal profile] professorwolf
Oh, but little Tazim is adorable, didn't you know, Malik? Lyall can't help but smile at him. "I'll take good care of your da, if he'll let me. --May I?" The last is for Malik himself, as Lyall extends a hand towards the bruised ribs in question. "It may hurt a little, but I will be as gentle as possible. You may have broken something inside."

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Uncontaminated siren/3

Date: 2015-07-10 08:27 am (UTC)
likesvirgins: (hmm)
From: [personal profile] likesvirgins
One of the mets who watches the movie seems unusual even for this crowd. His upper half is not so remarkable - that of a handsome, slender-yet-broad-shouldered blond. But his lower half is that of a jellyfish, a rare subtype. His arms are folded on a rock at the edge of the pool, his bell and tendrils spread out lazily behind him. His eyes are half closed as he listens to the strange human music, but truthfully he seems far more interested in the handler, and when his gaze does focus itself, it is on the human and not the screen.

"Is that what all mountains look like?" he asks during the iconic scene, his own voice low and musical, accent odd.
Edited Date: 2015-07-10 08:30 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-07-13 07:56 pm (UTC)
professorwolf: (pleased)
From: [personal profile] professorwolf
"It is," Lyall answers, offering the stranger a smile. He's happy to offer any explanations asked of him, after all. It's why he's here, and questions about the scenery, while perhaps less educational for the merfolk than questions about the plot and characters, are still definitely valid. "It's a bit more jagged and covered in plants than the kind you would see underwater, with only wind to shape it rather than the currents. Rather like the top of an island, the part that is open to the air rather than the waves."

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Merfellow / OTA

Date: 2015-06-25 04:13 am (UTC)
itsananimalthing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] itsananimalthing
((A big merman with an orca totem, Ridik is not a part of any of the free schools, nor is he one of the Empress' minions-- most of them, in fact, are under orders to hunt him down if they catch sign of him. He's not at the Sanctuary, but he does swim by the Atoll now and then, wary, not good with other merfolk... but not quite happy alone and always on edge, either.))

I. Open sea.

The stark black and white of his tail looks more like sunlight bouncing off water, from most angles. Whether in the middle of a vicious hunt for his next meal, chasing off predators who thought just because they were bigger and he was alone they might actually be able to hurt him, or watching sealife go by with a wary eye from some shadowed nook below the surface, look out for his bad attitude: he probably doesn't trust very many, and while he doesn't have a set territory (and might, in fact, be accidentally swimming through yours), he will still defend himself.

II. Curiosity.

He's been hovering around the Atoll warily, watching the ships come and go with a dark expression. It's not hard to find him, he's not hiding... but he's not approaching anyone else, either. Quintessential dark brooding antihero in the corner. But he's close enough to the island, halfway through the maze of shoals, that it's really more like he wants to talk to someone, he just can't quite make the first move.

III. Injury

Even a powerful loner like Ridik occasionally runs afoul of trouble. A small swarm of shark-totem agents of the empire almost caught him... and while they didn't swim away at all, he didn't quite swim away whole. One of his tail-fin blades is halfway severed, and he can't make any of his self-administered sutures to stay. So he's made his limping, reluctant way to the Atoll, hoping he can swallow his pride long enough to actually ask for help.

He might still be bleeding a lot. Sorry, guys.

II

Date: 2015-06-25 01:41 pm (UTC)
darkhourdear: (Pharos [Wasn't expecting that])
From: [personal profile] darkhourdear
The shoals don't present as much of a problem for Phillip has some others- his tail is thin, translucent and almost transparent in certain lights, and that plus his smaller size makes it easier to navigate his way through. (Not super easy, but... easier.)

But he'll spot the super big merman, and he twists through, peering around at him. "Hello!"

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III

Date: 2015-06-25 04:23 pm (UTC)
dalectable: (the victim)
From: [personal profile] dalectable
Seals might not be able to scent blood in the water, but they make up for it with their other senses. A silver streak shoots out from the edges of the Atoll and then Vilari's coming to a stop a short distance away from the orca, pale hair floating about her like a cloud from the sudden change of motion.

She frowns, the markings on her face exaggerating the look as she gives Ridik a once-over. While she might not live within the Sanctuary, she's made her home just beyond its protection, and has seen all sorts of sea-dwellers come seeking shelter. She'd never have thought Ridik would be one of them.

"Should I be worried there's something out there that could do this to you?" she finally asks, swimming warily close and slipping under one of his arms to fit her smaller body against his, supporting his weight and beginning to guide him to safety.

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Mergirl / OTA

Date: 2015-06-25 04:21 am (UTC)
tailforbrains: (wave)
From: [personal profile] tailforbrains
((Neeshka has a brightly orange and red striped fish tail with only a couple hip frills, and a couple spines coming from the small of her back, plus vibrantly red, if short, hair-- which makes it hard to explain how she manages to constantly vanish entirely and surprise other merfolk or humans at the Sanctuary by popping up from unexpected places. She's living with the humans entirely because it makes life easier for her, and because it also makes things a little more fun. They're just so gullible!))

I. New Handler

Arms folded on the concrete, chin on her arms, tail idly flicking behind her, Neeshka looks all innocence and light as she's introduced to the newcomer to the Sanctuary... but that won't last, don't worry.

II. Visitors

The fingerling humans are a lot of fun. Neeshka entertains herself and them by pulling faces on the other side of the glass, and occasionally luring one or another aside to where she can distract them with letting them pat her pretty fins, while she lifts something out of a pocket or a backpack to coo over later.

III. Storm

Perhaps she's a little reckless. Perhaps she's here on a dare. But the storm is rolling in, and Neeshka is perched up on top of the wall separating the Sanctuary water from the open sea, clinging on for dear life, and... laughing? Maybe. Come talk her down, come yell at her, or come join her in the "fun".

Date: 2015-06-25 01:32 pm (UTC)
darkhourdear: (Phillip [Bright smile])
From: [personal profile] darkhourdear
[Phillip is an Unstricken Siren, who is still pretty young and learning how to be a proper Siren, but he's very good at All Souls' Rest. His totem is that of a ribbon eel. He probably followed someoooone to the island, if anyone would like to pretend it's them! He can be either in the Sanctuary or the Atoll, as fits the scenario.]

7. Fish Out of Water

He's a curious little mermaid, always has been, even before he first heard the songs of the sea. (And that didn't help said curiosity at all.) He wants to learn everything, and do lots of things, and right now one of the best ways to do that is to be able to get around and talk to people and get to places that aren't water.

Which is why Phillip is currently beached on the shores, tail transformed into a human pair of legs and... trying to figure out what to do now.

8. Visitors

To Phillip, the visitors and human children are as interesting as he probably is to them. He swims around, alternating between the surface to talk to people and swimming further now, waving happily at the many humans with their faces pressed up against the glass. And make sad faces at anyone who's trying to tap at the glass. Stop that, whoever you are. It hurts.

15. Culture Class

Everyday is culture class for Phillip. All the time. Anytime he talks to a person, he wants to know about them, and what they're doing right now, and can he do that, and what's that thing over there? If you look even remotely nice, expect Phillip to ask you one of these questions as you pass by.

Date: 2015-06-25 03:47 pm (UTC)
loyalrebel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] loyalrebel
An unstriken Siren, Malik has the totem of a moray eel. Dark red and black stripes running most of his length, he arrived at Sanctuary's facilities badly wounded and while he survived his arm didn't. He tends towards defensive crankiness and is (at best) tolerant of the humans, more out of necessity than trust or affection. He doesn't talk much about what happened to bring him in.

He didn't come alone though. His young sea dragon fingerling of a son, Tazim, had clung to him the entire way. (Though he hasn't quite grown in to his colors or leaves quite yet.)

1: Arrival

Malik peered cautiously from the entrance that opened in to the lagoon, testing the feel and smells of the water for danger. He'd been introduced to a few of the school singly during his recovery in a private tank but they were still mostly strangers. If there were a few handlers in the water too it was likely to monitor the situation (or encourage Malik out.).

It's Tazim that zooms towards him as fast as tiny fins and ungainly excitement can take him. Abandoning the other fingerlings and caretakers for the joy of a proper reunion. Burbling shrieks and shouts of "Da!" announce the new Siren more than anything else.

4: New Handler

Malik has Tazim tucked behind him the moment the new handler comes anywhere near him, a distrustful glare firmly in place. Whomever they are, they've likely been briefed on his history and protectiveness over his son before hand. He'd only actually really hurt anyone once, and it had been more out of fear and pain than anything else when he was somewhat manhandled in to a medical tank.

"What do you want?" He grumbled, once the human was within hearing distance.

8/9: Visitors, important or otherwise

As much as he dislikes being gawked at and asked what he sees as too many questions, Malik does know that he's a good example of the good the Sanctuary can do for injured merfolk as well as a vivid view of what gets done to them in the open seas.

He does limit his availability for interviews however, a slot or two a day when needed and away from the others. Before being able to ask anything, a briefing is given to visitors as well as a request to be polite about questions. Tazim does sometimes join him, usually napping with his tail curled around his father's waist.

There's usually a handler on stand by to play intermediary or just chat with him if it's slow.

14: Fingerlings!

Malik's been dragged from the cave and out in to open waters (again. As usual.) by his son. Tazim's taken a rather deep enjoyment of pounding the glass right back at the kids who tap at it while making a ridiculously dramatic angry face at them. Malik certainly isn't stopping him, but is within easy distance and floating almost lazily with a tiny smirk of amusement on his face as a few of the other young mermaids join in on the game of glass-smacking.

He's also easily seen indulging every little one that wants to grab on to his tail to be taken for a ride through the water faster than they can go, or even teaching them some fighting styles of the warriors if asked by enough of them. Malik's indulgence of the fingerlings even extends to telling them somewhat more frightening and cautionary tales when it gets darker of things like drag nets, fishing hooks, riptides and mantis shrimp. He probably shouldn't, but a few nightmares is better than being unaware of the dangers of the open seas than not.

Someone should probably tell him not to... not that he will.
Edited Date: 2015-06-25 03:51 pm (UTC)

New handler

Date: 2015-07-05 06:46 am (UTC)
stopinthenameofawe: (Melissa [Oh really])
From: [personal profile] stopinthenameofawe
Melissa has only been here a few days and she already knows she's not paid enough to deal with this kind of bullshit.

She has no interest in hurting anyone here- the fact that they made it to the Sanctuary means they want nothing to do with the Queen, which is good enough for her (for now). And she is not going to so much as touch the fingerling unless she has to. She doesn't poorly enough with children of the same species as her.

But she's been assigned to Malik (freshman hazing being the cause, most likely), and Malik gets a very attractive but very no-nonsense handler coming his way. "To make sure you're doing alright," she says, dryly enough, "What else?"

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Stricken Sharkman

Date: 2015-07-05 01:58 pm (UTC)
combattente_auditore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] combattente_auditore
Ezio, once a proud and stealthy warrior, had contracted the disease during his patrols and had immediately taken himself to the Sanctuary, not wanting to hurt any of his fellow merpeople. His black shark tail is tipped in mottled gold, the shimmering pattern continuing up his tanned back and over his shoulders to the edges of his hairline, matching the gold of his eyes that are now surrounded in red from his blood filled sclera. While he still wears the bare pieces of armor from before, he doesn't carry a trident or any other weapon, not wanting to potentially attempt using it on any accidental prey... and knowing that he really doesn't need it.

1 hour mingle
A social creature, Ezio always looks forward to the 1 hour he's granted to mingle with the other merpeople. A breath of fresh air through his gills and a chance to forget for a moment that he's a danger to others.

Come at me - and suggest whatever scenario you want with him

1 hour

Date: 2015-07-05 03:52 pm (UTC)
loyalrebel: (wearing a tie/sigh)
From: [personal profile] loyalrebel
It took Malik some time to decide to actually speak with Ezio, so much had changed since he and the other two had left. Altair had met Maria and had fingerlings, he'd found a mate as well and ended up with Tazim.

He had to though, because as much distress as it would cause, it might fix others.

"It's been some time, Ezio." The eel Siren sighs, entering the mingling area. He's thinner than he was when he ran, with more scars and missing an arm but he's hard to mistake for anyone else. "You're looking well, all considered."

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