A Trip to the Doldrums

“Welcome to the doldrums,” said the captain. “We’ll be here for a while until the sea goddess laughs and creates a bit of wind to push us home.”

johnny_automatic_sailing_shipWe knew it was dangerous to travel into these waters this time of year. A few vessels always take the chance to shave some time off a route. Some of those never made it back.

Even now we can see two vessels on the horizon floating dead. Ghost ships. We know better than to approach.

Our ship’s priest, Malcolm, has been praying to the four corners for hours. He may not rest for days. I give it a few days before we begin sacrificing some of the live animals to get the gods’ attention.

Nobody will say it, but the gods are fickle creatures. Offended by the smallest slight. Attracted by the strangest things.

But I keep my daughters firmly in my head and hope my dedication to their young lives may sway the balance. My own prayers are not for my own safety or that of the ship, but for their well being…

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Such fools, these mortals be. We of higher purpose hardly glance upon them.

They ask for help, yet enter troubled waters. They verily beg for it and yet charge in where even the wind is lifeless, not knowing if one of our number will respond.

If they only knew of the denizens of the lands below them, draining every drop of precious energy in an attempt to wake one of our own. If they only knew that by giving their sails the breath of air to push onward, we hasten their own eventual doom.

Hundreds of years ago we struggled with a deity who sought to change the world. We stopped her at great cost, draining her of precious elemental powers and leaving her to rot upon the ocean bottom.

How could we know that she would call those to her who would slowly return her to consciousness?

Each wind that blows creates movement. Each movement is an energy that can be used to restore her to what she was before.

Should she awaken, she will not be as easily stopped a second time.

So should we risk the world for the lives of a few mortals? Or release the winds and let things fall where they may…

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