Bog: Hello, I'm Bog. Ballads of Moray and Whirlpool is, as described above, a collection of romantic stories written for the ship, Morpool. The idea is technically mine, but I actually found the ship on a list made by Socrates in the comments of Current to the Throne. If anyone would like to be an author for this page, all you have to do is ask. At this moment in time, I'm currently the only known author working on it, but it is a group project, and I look forward to having others join in! I am writing Arc One, The Prisoner Arc, exploring the theory that after a few years of no one, anyone can start to look really good.
Arc One (Prisoner Arc)
Chapter 1: A New Prisoner (Bog)
Whirlpool sat glumly on his island in the Summer Palace prison, several years after the war had ended, and the Summer Palace had been rebuilt. It seemed like only yesterday when those eels were nibbling hungrily on his tail. At the time, he had considered himself lucky that the eels hadn't tried to eat anything important, but now it didn't matter. The moment he had returned, he had been thrown into the prison under the queen's orders.
Riptide, who had been married to Tsunami and pronounced King, had wanted to put him in a room with no doors or exits and see how long it would take for him to die of starvation or kill himself out of shear boredom, but Queen Tsunami had realized immediately that it wasn't physically possible for them to check on him if they did this, so he had been sentenced to a life-time in prison instead. Like that was any better.
Only Queen Coral had ever really been someone that Whirlpool could talk to, and she was dead. So he had no visitors.
And after a few years, loneliness had eventually gotten old. He had kept his sanity by talking to himself every so often, making sure he didn't have both sides of any conversation with himself. But it might not be enough for much longer. If Whirlpool didn't get a visitor soon, he feared he might finally crack, and then what would become of him? Nobody ever came into the prison to see him, and even the guards who brought him his meals never said a word. He would slip farther and farther away from sanity, until he eventually became murderous and tried to kill a guard.
A noise startled him from behind the waterfall. Struggling and cursing and a lot of, "I will never call her my queen! She doesn't deserve the throne!" filled his ears in the echoing cavern.
Someone was being delivered to the prison.
And if he was lucky, the new prisoner would be delivered to his cell.
Chapter 2: Concern? (Bog)
Whirlpool leaned forward eagerly as the waterfall shut off to see who the prisoner was. For some reason the mechanism wasn't working properly, so it was taking quite some time for the flow to stop.
Whirlpool wondered who it might be. It had been a few years since he saw anyone he knew. Of coarse, he had good reason to hope it wasn't someone he knew. If it was a stranger, he would be able to find some common ground and maybe even not be completely hated by them.
Unfortunately, the water stopped. As it did, all of Whirlpool's hopes of finally having someone to talk to died. The new prisoner was not in fact a dragon that he was particularly happy to see. As it happened, she was one of the last dragons he would have ever wanted in a cell with him.
The guards looked between them, apparently noticing that this was a bad idea, but didn't change their minds. One of them looked at Whirlpool.
"You're being moved to another cell so you can be placed with this one," she said, jerking her head at the dragon. The prisoner had dark, lifeless eyes like that of her father's, and a strange green color to her scales that almost looked gray.
He looked into her dead eyes, acting less nervous than they made him feel. "Moray."
She sniffed angrily. "Whirlpool."
One of the guards prodded her along and signaled in Aquatic for him to hop across. He did so hesitantly, wondering if he shouldn't protest against being on the same island as Moray. Then again, Tsunami was probably looking for any excuse to have him executed. Maybe that was why this was happening. Maybe Tsunami somehow knew that Whirlpool didn't like Moray, and she was trying to prompt him to attack her.
Well, she might get what she wanted. Whirlpool knew perfectly well that it was against SeaWing law for a prisoner to attack another prisoner, and Moray ought to know too, seeing as how she was in the royal family. So if she was a speck smarter than the way she tended to act, she wouldn't give him an excuse to maul her.
Whirlpool followed the guards to a new island, the same one the dragonets had been imprisoned on when they were all here during their quest to stop the war. It was large and spacious without so many dragons on it, but of coarse that didn't matter if Moray was the other dragon with him.
When the guards had let the waterfall flow and released the eels, they left, and Whirlpool looked at Moray, wondering if a few years away from him had changed anything. It seemed like it might have. She wasn't looking at him as if he might attack the queen every five seconds, which was understandable since she was dead, but now that she didn't really have a reason to dislike Whirlpool, she appeared to be trying to find one.
Whirlpool looked away, watching the blue light in the water, zapping up and down and making weird sounds. Surprisingly, it was Moray who spoke first.
"Can you say something?" she half-yelled at him.
He didn't follow. "I don't follow," he answered.
She rolled her eyes. "Come on, Whirlpool, I thought you were supposed to be smart! I can't hate you if there's no Queen Coral to protect from you, so you have to give me a reason we can be friends. Duh!"
Whirlpool looked back at the water, thinking. "Well... I suppose we both want the new queen dead. Right?"
She looked kind of surprised. Whirlpool couldn't think why. Tsunami's first order as queen had been to imprison him, after he had already attempted to kill her, and he hadn't seen a dragon other than guards for... Oh no, how long had he been in here? He knew it must have been a few years, but as he got more and more depressed and bored, he had long since stopped counting. He decided to ask.
"Moray, how long has Tsunami been queen?"
"Four horrible years, why?" she asked. Whirlpool answered with a question.
"And what is the exact date?" She told him. "Four years, seven months, three weeks, and four days," he calculated.
At this point, Moray, looking almost concerned as she realized that was how long Whirlpool must have been in the prison, scooted a little farther away from the water and closer to him.
Whirlpool became nervous as she did this. It was only a small motion, but it said a lot of different things that conflicted greatly with each other.
She could have been preparing to kill him, except for the genuine look of concern on her face. She could have been trying to get away from the electrified waterfall, but Whirlpool felt that if it were him, he would have moved a lot farther from it. She could have been having some kind of internal conflict within herself. There didn't seem to be anything to conflict with this theory.
Except maybe for the last theory Whirlpool had. Of coarse, it might also have been supported by it.
There was a chance that Moray might be really concerned about him and his sanity.
Chapter 3: Escape (Bog)
Much later, Whirlpool had gone to sleep. When he woke up, Moray was jumping up and down excitedly, seemingly waiting for Whirlpool to open his eyes.
He closed them back, earning a hard punch on the arm from Moray. He rose angrily, wishing there was something he could use to hit her back with, but they would probably both be executed if he did. She hit him again, still excited.
Whirlpool rubbed his arm. "What's got you all excited?" he asked.
She stopped jumping around and pointed her snout to the waterfall. "We're getting out."
Whirlpool almost laughed. "You can't get out! No one gets out, I know. I designed it."
She turned her head at him. "You designed this?" He nodded. "Well then you should know it like the back of your talons, let's go!"
Whirlpool shook his head. "Moray, you don't understand. I'm intellectually superior to nearly every dragon in Pyrrhia's history, and I do know that because I memorized all of it. It's designed to keep the prisoners inside secure, or kill them on the way out. There is no escape."
She looked only slightly less upbeat. It was kind of creepy actually, the way those weird, dead eyes of hers looked when they were happy. She looked like a shark who had just found her dinner. "Every contract has a loop-hole. Let's figure out everything we know about the prison. And spill all of it!" Whirlpool rolled his eyes and started rattling things off.
Moray had been brought in very recently, and was able to guess what time it was. It was around what she claimed was mid-day when she had Whirlpool convinced that they could escape.
The plan was pretty simple. They would wait until the guard brought them their mid-day meal and jump out when the guard was about half-way over the moat. This way, the guard wouldn't be close enough to the chain to turn the mechanism. After that they would stay in a cave for a while, then go their separate ways.
Whirlpool heard the sound of the chain being pulled and saw the water start to quit. He tensed, saw that Moray was ready, and waited.
The guard had a pig in each talon. As he jumped up to fly, Whirlpool looked at Moray and she looked back at him.
In that moment, Whirlpool felt something. The muscles in the corners of his mouth pulled upward in what he almost didn't recognize as a smile. At the same time, his stomach gave a violent lurch like it wanted to throw up but didn't quite know how. The feeling passed as quickly as it came, but he thought he saw a smile on Moray's snout as well. He looked away.
The guard was actually behind them lying down on the island. He looked a little red in the face and was swaying slightly in his place. One of the pigs was licking his snout affectionately.
Whirlpool shrugged at Moray and hopped to the other side of the moat.
Moray looked around. "Which way do you think we should go?" she asked.
Whirlpool looked both ways, trying to remember. The last time he had been outside was more than four years ago. There was no way to recall that long ago. But he was pretty sure they should go right from where they were. He started walking quietly that way. Moray followed.
He stopped when he heard voices around the corner. Two guards, talking about a party last night in the armory.
Whirlpool looked down and found a narwhal horn right below his feet. He picked it up and walked out from behind the corner as silently as he could. The guards were turned around so they were both facing the exit. Whirlpool creeped up behind them, flicking his tail for Moray to stay where she was.
He raised the horn over his head and brought it down on the first guard's head as hard as he could. The other one barely had time to gasp before it hit him hard in the face. He fell onto the other guard without a sound.
Moray came from the corner. "Are you crazy? Why'd you do that?"
The horn was broken. "If you thought I was going to massage their backs with this thing, you're the one who's crazy. How were you planning to get past them?" She didn't answer. "That's what I thought."
They poked their heads out of the cave entrance.
Whirlpool had forgotten how beautiful the Summer Palace was. The Pavilion in the middle of the lake looked as good as new. There were no ashes, the canopy was gone, opening the whole cavern to the sky outside. There were SeaWings everywhere, along with quite a few visiting dragons from other tribes, playing with their children on the beach or in the water, running errands, or just laying the sand, some with other dragons.
The Summer Palace had become a place for all dragons to enjoy, not only SeaWings. Whirlpool sighed.
"There are dragons everywhere," he said, "How do we get out?"
Moray smiled devishly. "We swim right out of the entrance tunnel."
"Ha! Really!" She looked dead serious. "Uh... Really?"
She nodded, walking straight out the cave entrance like she was supposed to out there. Whirlpool, not knowing what else to do, followed.
A few SeaWings gave Moray suspicious looks on their way to the lake, but no one payed Whirlpool any mind. Perhaps he had been in prison so long that everyone had forgotten him.
Whirlpool hesitated at the water. He hadn't swam in so long...
Moray turned. "You coming?"
Whirlpool shook himself. So he might be out of practice, what difference did it make? He was still a dragon of the sea. He would make it.
He jumped into the water ahead of Moray. The coolness of it was amazing after so many years. And now that he was in the water, he could do whatever he wanted!
But first he had to get out.
Making sure Moray was behind him, he swam for the tunnel. He seemed to remember that there should be a seaweed curtain at the end, but it was gone.
He said in Aquatic to Moray, What happened to the curtain, and come to think of it, the canopy?
She responded, With no war, there were no enemies, no reason to hide this place anymore. The canopy was never replanted and the curtain was cut down.
Whirlpool kept swimming. He wondered what else in the world might have changed.
Chapter 4: Shelter (Bog)
Whirlpool lay still in the unmoving water, having just woken up. He hadn't opened his eyes yet, so his dreams were still vividly running in front of his eyes as his brain fought to rise fully from its slumber.
Electricity burning his body.
Eels eating away at his flesh.
Whirlpool jerked fully awake, his tail rippling with phantom pains. He rubbed his green tail vigorously until the pain became a dull ache, then a slight tingle. When it stopped completely, he swam upward a few meters and stayed level, scanning the seascape.
Fish, eels, and more ungeneralized creatures swam through masses of kelp or mazes of coral, or walked on the ocean floor. Whirlpool had just left a rocky hole that was untouched by the currents or animals. Now that he was out in the open, many creatures bolted off or hid in caves, but a few braver specimens poked out their heads to get a better look. These Whirlpool swam after, and he was soon satisfied in terms of breakfast.
He swam to the surface and climbed onto the shore of the dragon skull island. Moray had chosen to sleep on land, in a cave at the back of the skull that looked like the place where one's spine should connect to his brain. This cave was quite large, but Whirlpool, after getting used to it, had gotten sick of sleeping on dry rock all night every night four years in a row, so he slept in the water.
Entering the cave, Whirlpool saw Moray still asleep against the back wall, so he left quietly. He stood on the beach for a while, enjoying the much missed ocean breeze and the sounds of the waves crashing over the shore and surrounding rocks. This was his paradise.
Once upon a very long time, Whirlpool had wanted to be king of the SeaWings. That desire was now gone, as though his time in solitude had wiped it from his mind. He felt somehow different since the last time he was outside. He felt like he might not be able to act correctly if he was around other dragons again. He wanted to go back to the sea, but not necessarily the Kingdom of the Sea.
Maybe Whirlpool's life would be better if he just stayed out of everyone esle's. It would certainly be nice to have nothing to worry about. He could live in a hidden cave somewhere and not be bothered by anyone. He could go the rest of his life without being hurt or imprisoned. Why would he want to do anything else?
However... Maybe there was one dragon he could share his life with...
No, that was stupid. Surely the idea was completely ludicrous! Whirlpool smiled to himself. Even he had ideas that didn't make sense sometimes.
He heard a noise behind him and turned. Moray had woken up. She yawned and walked over to sit next to Whirlpool. "Any ideas on what to do next?" she asked.
Whirlpool was not one to share his plans, but it came spilling out anyway. "I think I'm going to stay in the Sea Kingdom, but away from the palace. I would like to stay unbothered by the general public."
She sighed. "I don't have a clue where I'm going. I'd say the rainforest, but they've really been acting like dragons over there since they got a new queen." Whirlpool nodded. He had heard about Queen Glory. In fact, he had met her once, and it had surprised him to hear that she was royalty. He hadn't thought that the RainWings would ever change their ways, but Glory had never been exactly RainWing-like.
The sun was still hovering close to the horizon, coloring the sky a merry orange like a cooking fire. Whirlpool's thoughts fired inward at the sight of it. He could almost feel the dragon next to him. His breathing came rapidly of it's own accord.
Usually when Whirlpool saw the sunrise or sunset he was interested how interesting it was scientifically, but this time it seemed he was more occupied with Moray. He cleared his throat awkwardly. Moray didn't know where she was going. Maybe he should offer his company to her?
But Moray stretched and yawned, and Whirlpool rather felt like the moment was effectively ruined, the right time past, and frustratingly far behind. Damn his own social awkwardness.