Rhiannon the Sea Priestess would often dance at the waters edge to entreat fair weather for the fishermen of her local village, so that they would be guided home safely and escape the worst of the sea storms that would often assail the shoreline. She could be seen on her own in the mornings on the shoreline, twisting and turning in her magical dance, playing with the waves and casting enchantments to the wild sea.
However it came to pass that the fishermen were casting their nets more often and catching less fish, more work and less fish started the men to grumbling that the sea was displeased and more was needed to persuade the sea to give up its scaly treasures. Rhiannon knew that the cause was simple over fishing of the same watery regions and that given time the fish would return in abundance. The Elders of the village agreed with the fishermen, more was needed or the village would fail and its people would hunger. And on one stormy morning they came to see her dance on the surf, the grace and magic filled the salty air, the colours seemed to have an energy that surpassed normal vision.
But the Elders were on a mission, they had come to persuade Rhiannon to sacrifice herself to the sea, they believed that only the ultimate sacrifice would be enough to appease the watery depths. Rhiannon was stunned by their suggestion, not only was it pointless but who would keep the storms at bay, sailors would be cast adrift amidst the raging winds. However as Sea Priestess is was her duty to keep the villagers safe even if meant her own life but it was never told to her that she would at any time have to sacrifice herself. The Elders left her to contemplate her actions and fate.
However she had quickly decided, through the years of dancing along the shoreline she had communicated with the waves, felt at one with the water and felt at peace with the sea. She would miss the forest though, it lay next to the beach overlooking the water. She would miss dancing through the dappled glades, the soft grass underfoot and the touch of the rough bark on her skin. Although it was not her main love, the forest had always been a quiet place away from the turmoil and constant crashing of the waves.
The next morning she would give herself to the sea, not because of the villagers; their hopes and reasoning were flawed and pointless…but because she wanted to be one at last with the vast ocean. Giving up your life is a fearful affair and she reasoned that base instinct and survival may overcome her desires so she sought out a suitable log that would catch the current and drive her far into the sea where she would drown, and to the log she would tie herself with a golden chain.
And so it was on a cold morning with an approaching storm that Rhiannon dragged a heavy log across the beach to the waters edge, with fear and determination she lashed herself to the log at the edge of the surf. She turned to face the water and the coming storm, soon she will be lost to the sea.
Fear rose up and nearly overcame her but a fire within steeled her actions and Rhiannon plunged across the surf and into the salty sea. The log, catching the outgoing tide and current, carried her far out into the storm and there the sea took her life, violently and ruthlessly.
When the tide came in later that day Rhiannon’s body was washed upon the shore, still loosely shackled to the log.
But on the next tide the surf took the last remnants of Rhiannon away forever.
The fish never came, the fishermen floundered in the storms, the people went hungry, the village failed and was abandoned and the Elders never gave the Sea Priestess a second thought. Only the Forest remembered the magical dance at the shoreline and the quiet contemplation under its leafy canopy.
A lost life and a lost magic.
Created by John McNairn and Ivory Flame