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!

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