Story for the Day: The Myrellenos
Myrellenos is the Lucentian Goddess of Life. According to Lucentian legend, Myrellnos comes from the realm of Mlys, the realm whence the Elves of Lough came. Lucentian's history tells that when the Elves of Lough refused to worship Myrellenos any longer, disease struck their lands, forcing them westward across the sea, where they discovered the then nearly derelict land of Old Lucentia. The Elves made themselves lords over the current residents and readopted their worship of Myrellenos, vowing to never again forsake their creator. Reestablishing godly faith amongst the Lucentians has done well for them: Lucentia is now one of the most liberal and prosperous countries on the continents, to which many Lucentians attribute their adulation of their Great Lady. Many Lucentians, especially amongst the nobility, are religious, and while Myrellenos requires no sacrifice or services, many honour her by naming something precious after her. In Danaco's case, he names his ship after his favourite Lady, and while luck always seemed to find the good captain, he was never so fortunate until his beloved ship fell into his lap. Danaco talks to all his acquisitions, but never in so loving a tone as he does when talking to his adored vessel:
The pleasant petrichor of an early evening rain accompanied Danaco back to the ship. The Seternese white lilacs were beginning to bloom, and their mellifluous scent and pearlescent petals were splendour overpowering to an amenable and appreciative mind. He came to the bay, where lay the Myrellenos, her grandeur displayed against the gloaming skies, her white sails tucked and tied, her gaff rigging still and silent, her hull catching the dimming sunlight, her bowsprit proudly possessing the length of the dock.
“Look at you, you glorious piece,” Danaco declared to himself. “Are not you beautiful? And look how nicely your ram has been sanded. How I should like to see you lying on the motherbank, displaying yourself across the Sesternese sandbar, making all the other paltry vessels envious of you.” He reached up and touched the ship’s hull. “Did you like to be sanded? Yes, you did, my delicious cosset,” he cooed, grazing her well-caulked sides with his fingertips. “You do not like being aground so long, I know. How the barnacles do dote on you, however. They make a fine necklace, draped about your keel, but I know you dislike how they adhere to you. Do not you worry, my pet,” gazing fondly at her figurehead.”We are leaving directly. You must sail your very best this evening. We must fly south and through the channel if we are to catch our prize. You are dressed and ready. We only need let down your gown,” looking up at the tied sails. “Marpato did an excellent job at revarnishing you. He did buff your stern amazingly. How your lines glisten,” fondling the bend of her hull. He leaned forward and pressed his lips to her boards, and then turned aside and rested his cheek against her. “By Myrellenos, you are an exquisite prize. Her blessing was with me when I took you,” glancing at the figurehead of the Goddess, “and fortune has favoured me ever since. You are as good an attendant as ever I shall get, for the more attention I pay to you, the more I ornament you and care for you and laden your limbs with treasures, the more you repay me with conjugal delectation. Never was there a couple so inseparable. You will do well, my precious minnock, against a sluggish galley, and if you are very good, I will let you ram that blemish of the seas full on.”
The ship’s spanker clicked in its place.
“My, you are eager to be off. Only do not be so eager to injure yourself as you were the last time. You chased the tide out of port and nearly took the moorings with you.”
The wind picked up, and the ship’s bell began to sway.
“Very well,” said the captain, smiling. “The wind has answered and the current is with you. Now to implement my schemes at recovering our mark.”He mounted the plank, tenderly touched the railing, and went to the hatch, looking out across the bay on an affluent scene, of ships coming in to port, of sails luffing and hulls cleaving the waters, of gulls bobbing back and forth along the undulations, of barm disappearing and appearing again, of the subdued tones of twilight colouring the sea, of ships and their cargo glinking along as they were pulled into their mooring. Though the aspect was favourable and tranquil, Danaco would be glad to be gone from Sesterna for a little while: all the pretention and underbreeding made his skin horpilate, and while he could endure the nobility in Lucentia and Marridon and even Livanon, there was an air of conceited affectation, a vindictive tendancy that the Sesternese gentry were born into which Danaco could not abide. Lucentia’s nobility, though kept away from the lower ranks by the palace, were forced into prudence by the country’s regulations of being useful, by joining the armed forces and having their estates controlled by the crown. Even in Marridon, where Dukes and Earls were permitted to set up estates and manage their accounts mightily at their ease, were compelled to sit in the Chambers for a portion of the day, but there were so such restrictions here. In Sesterna, the nobles were the founding families and those who married into them, usually wealthy businessmen whose fortunes would only add to an already large estate, and while there was no enforced class distincition as there was in Livanon, the tempers of those belonging to the high ranks of Sesternese life were unpardonable to one who lived on both sides of the question: the captain had the fortunate business of being born a lord, of not caring about his rank, of having a father who though a lord likewise gloried in activity and trade, of being thrown off from good Lucentian society, of becoming a campaigner of the seas. His crew were comprised of the same, a grand collection of everybody and nobody, the flotsam and jetsam of the four winds, some hailing from the highest gradation of society, and some from far below it. Rannig he knew must be some ethereal creature, though the giant seemed not to know it himself, and Bartleby he could not but acknowledge had worked tirelessly to achieve great heights, had been of low origin, prized endeavour and learned venerated academic struggle, so much so that he wondered why all the rest of the world did not follow him down a similar line. Education and business in Sesterna were not limited persuits; anyone might learn a craft or trade half a dozen crates of kippers if desired, but the nobility here seemed in want of nothing, no intellectual stiumulation, no companionship, no friendly discourse. Nobody seemed to like each other, and where arguing was something to be avoided in good society, it was become a matter of course with the Sesternese nobility. There was no understanding it, regardless of how much Danaco tried to make excuses for Lucentia’s neighbouring cousins. Why could not they merely plan to assassinate one another and treat one another with mild civility, as was done in Lucentia? If a noble was acting unaccordant to the general modes of conduct, the guilds were contacted, an assassin was got, and all was well by morning, but there was no arguing in the business—public remonstrances were highly indecorous! It showed a disposition to be quarrelsome and nattish that bespoke a vulgarity attributed to the lowest ranks of life. It was a dreadful shame; the country was astounding otherwise, with its moderate climate, sultry gales, brilliant verdancy, golden verandas, intricate architecture, national theatre, and sympthony of sounds and sensations. Their teas, their wines, their cured meats, and their entertainment were all unexceptionable, but their men and women, barring a few exceptions, required a something more in their characters to be considered tolerable. There was too much ceremony, too much pretense, too much arrogance and self interest without there being anything to be arrogant about: they had less fortune than what he possessed, less prosperity than the one he had grown used to, lower ranks than those who were amongst his set in Lucentia, and altogether there was such a spirit of languor and do-nothingness rampant in the higher gradations in Sesterna that a change of course, of country, of landward companionship was become absolutely necessary. He gave the capital a wistful glance, wished that the women were more agreeable, the men were more conversable, the fashion less constricting, the atmosphere more animating, and though it was useless to hope, he maintained the ambition that Sesterna would be a little more like their northern cousins in due time. "Yes, I know," he sighed to his ship. "They cannot all of them be as sensible, as considerate, and as feeling as myself. Well, we have one another, and we might praise each other's merits and forget the rest. We have our friends, and that is all we need to count ourselves happy," and with a fond look at the luffing sails, Danaco disappeared beneath the deck, his exhales the most heartfelt and meaningful sighs.