Why the seas are salt

From: Pete Nash (pete@pipistrel.com)
Date: Mon 16 Feb 1998 - 19:33:17 EET


I was so inspired by Oliver's tale of why the seas are salty, I have
created another myth. I apologize if this thread has run its course, but
I don't get to read my email except at work. Now on with the tail...

Why The Seas are Salt (a Corflu fisherman's myth)

Why is the sea salty father?

Son, long ago before the great darkness all the seas and rivers were
fresh clean water. Men could sail across great Magesta and never carry
casks with them, for the sea god's body provided the sweetest drink that
they could ever wish.

Then the gods of storm really buggered things up. Orlanth Hot Wind
killed the great sun god because he couldn't bare being second best, and
caused chaos to invade the world. All the gods than banded together to
defend themselves, but Wakboth the devil pissed on the base of Yelm's
palace. The perfect celestial spike was destroyed.

The father of Waters was enraged at such an action and rose to confront
Wakboth. 'Twas a terrible battle. Magesta grew so tall to wrestle with
the devil that the bottom of the ocean was laid bare and all the rivers
wondered where their water had gone! Back and forth they struggled and
entire lands were submerged by the tsunami that was the Father of
Waters.

No other god had managed to fight the devil to a standstill. Wakboth
desperate to break free of the ocean which engulfed him, picked up a
long shard of the spike and rammed it through Magesta's body so hard
that it passed completely through the earth and ended up in the
underworld! Magesta, mortally wounded, died and he passed through the
newly created hole to journey into hell.

Now son, what happens when something dies and is left out for a few days
eh?

It rots father, and icky moldy stuff grows over it.

Well son, that's exactly what happened to Magesta's sweet body. The once
crystal clear sea grew cloudy, and great mats of algae and scum covered
the surface. All to soon the ocean looked so much like a plain of green
grass that bison would walk out on it and drown! Fish started dying and
the other sea creatures wailed in fear as Magesta slowly rotted around
them.

Oh no father! What happened then?

Well son. What do we do with our fish to stop them from rotting, um?

We cover them with salt father.

Exactly! The rivers of the world were troubled at Magesta decomposing.
They could no longer explore the land since they didn't dare to take
their water from his body. So, Zola Fel, our lord of our river came up
with a masterful idea. He told all of the other rivers to find all the
salt on the land and carry it back down to ocean. Then perhaps they
could preserve Magesta's body and stop him from rotting anymore.

In those days son there were great hills of salt which Mostal had used
to create pretty crystal hills. The rivers eagerly carried off the salt
and moved it all to save Magesta. Even today the rivers still flow down
towards the sea carrying the last few gains of salt they can find.

The great work succeeded and the carpet of scum was destroyed by the
pure whiteness of the salt. Once again fish could breath and see the
stars, though the water was never so clear as it was before the
darkness.

So now the sea is salt and we can never drink it again.

But father. Why doesn't Magesta take all the salt and return it to the
land?

Because son, although Magesta lives again after the compromise, he must
still spend half his time in the lands of the dead. Just like great
Yelm. His body is half alive and half dead. At the edges of his realm
where the sweet water of the Zola Fel dilutes the preserving salt,
Magesta's body rots once more. Green algae covers him and the smell of
his putrefaction annoys our noses. That is why we live in this nasty
swamp.

<sigh> If only the river could find and pass through another source of
beautiful, purifying salt then Corflu would be a pleasant place to live
like it was in the god time.

Father? If the salt is preserving Magesta then why aren't the fish we
catch already preserved for us?

Son. Shutup and get back to work! By the Father of Waters, you'll turn
into a Lunar sorcerer if you keep on asking questions like that...

Pete

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