I thought it would be cold. It wasn’t. I thought It would be harder to swim. It wasn’t. I thought it wouldn’t be scary at all. It was. As I swam down, I reached a shelf that broke off into the deep. Looking out over that grim edge, I was greeted by a fearful maw of glowing light and jagged “teeth” in the distance. A ways beneath that though, I could barely make out the dim glow of the gems on the Fathers’ Gill suits! I knew I had to get to them, I had to help, who knows what evil they must be entangled with. I mustered all the courage I had, and I pushed off the ledge, swimming as quickly as I could. I pushed my way through the giant stalks of kelp feathering their way through the deep, back and forth gently, only disrupted by my strokes (which I gotta say, I’ve been working on it and I’ve got a mean stroke. Whenever the crew has swimming contests, they never ask me to join but I bet I could beat them all). The faint glow from the Fathers was getting closer, but I still had a way to go, and next to a sunken ship, I had to stop. Wait, what am I doing? If I show up out of the blue, Aereus, Sieg, and Kipa are gonna think I’m weird! I can’t let them see me until they’re in danger, and then I can swoop in and they’ll think I’m really cool for helping! Then it won’t be a trio but a quadro! (come up with better name for a group of four…) I took off my bandana and tied it around the glowing gem on my suit to keep my light hidden and took off towards where I could see the Fathers. I swam till my arms burned, till my legs ached, pushing hard, trying to catch up. And as the kelp started to thin out into a clearing, I could see them!
I drew nearer to them. From what I could make out that they looked like they were engaged with a Sahuagin! Kipa threw a huge punch (for someone his size I bet he hits really hard) at the Sahuagin and I was about to burst from my vantage point in the kelp forest and SAVE them! As I moved to engage, they stopped, and I think they were communicating with him? I saw Sieghart grab something from Kipa and pull out Simon Michael Shell. As Sieg sent his message to the Sea Monster, Kipa started coming my way, and I shuffled back as slowly as possible and hid. I thought the jig was up, but before he got to me, he just started climbing the kelp tree I was hiding behind! Then hopped off and floated down. (Remember to ask Kipa if this is special training he does?) I scanned the area, and Aereus was taking a nap, and Sieghart is reaching up putting the earring back onto Kipa’s ear just a couple feet from me. I started to relax as everyone just sort of goofed around with each other. I couldn’t hear them, but I knew they were communicating through their earrings because Kipa threw up a cool Furious Fathers symbol made of light (I have to ask them if you have to literally be a father to be part of the group) and the Sahuagin started speaking to them. I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but as I moved closer to try to hear better, they swam away following the Sahuagin.
I waited a moment for them to clear some distance, and I moved to investigate. I was stunned at what I found. There were two human bodies left behind, and a phenomenal drawing of a penis on the ground, followed by a near lifelike drawing of a sea-elf woman. I looked over the bodies but couldn’t figure much out about them. Why would the Trio kill humans and move with a Sahuagin? Why would they draw a penis? Who is this sea-elf? I don’t get it. Maybe the Sahuagin was killing these humans, and then he saw the Fathers and thought they were so cool he agreed to help them… And then Kipa told the Sahuagin if it didn’t help, he was going to cut of its penis! And that sea-elf is its daughter so it can roll around with the Fathers! That must be it, the Fathers wouldn’t be helping the Sahuagin that attacked us, no way. I waited a moment, and then followed in their path, following through an immense ship graveyard. I did my best watching as they moved from cover to cover, and I couldn’t figure out why they were moving through the graveyard in such a disjointed path. It was when I went to move closer that I figured it out. A Sahuagin bumped into me. A terrifying Sahuagin, coupled with some scary gape-mouthed fish people I haven’t seen before. You’d think I didn’t exist with them having bumped me and hardly noticed I was there. I pressed myself as far as I could against the hull of a sunken ship. Don’t see me, don’t see me, don’t see me. And almost like they heard my begging, they just swam away from me, with large almost half-dead sharks following behind this pod of deep deviants. I couldn’t tell if the warmth surrounding me was from the gem in my suit, or from my fear escaping through my loins. (I need to come up with a cooler way to say I peed my pants when I tell this story to anyone else.)
I waited till I was sure those scary guys were gone, but I had lost the trail of the fathers. I decided then that I had to head them off- it looked like they were making their way towards the large tower in the distance. So, I started swimming over top the various sunken ships, pushing off the hulls to give me more speed. All while narrowly dodging patrols of these twisted, undersea folk. It served me well, I cleared the graveyard and was blown away by what I saw next. Surrounding that large tower flashing in the distance, was a whole city! Towers of different make, different architecture, jaunted in different angles, this way and that, which made the shape of the fearful Maw I’d seen from up on the shelf. And to pair with that tremendous sight a large wall surrounded it all.
I couldn’t tell where the Fathers and their hostage Sahuagin had gone, so I tried my best to stick to the shadows avoiding the groups of Sahuagin, strange fish people, and grotesque sharks just standing guard in front of the wall. I made my way for the top of the wall and I guess I was really effective in my hidden movement cause I cleared the wall and not a ONE of those suckers saw me. (Don’t forget to tell Earl this part, not the part where I peed myself). From up on the wall, squinting as hard I could, I saw the Fathers, hidden and out of sight of the squad out front of the wall. I tried to move to see them clearer, and I slid along the top of the wall. Ooo, you can do this Tariq, signal them when the coast is clear, and they can come meet you on the wall! I raised my hands to wave at them and get their attention, and as the glow of light from the Tower bellowed out over everything once more, an alarm started to sound. I shot to the floor and tried my best to be as flush with the ground as possible. I saw a squad of the guards swim up right above me. I could feel my legs shaking in their boots. I’m trapped, I’ve done it now, I showed myself and somehow they saw me and sounded the alarm and these Sahuagin are going to eat me and the Fathers don’t even know I’m here, so they can’t try and help and I didn’t even get that promotion, and I should have taken off my underwear after I peed in them because now I’m going to die in soiled skivvies and… wait a minute. They hadn’t seen me. My cowering had worked! (Don’t say cowering, say something that makes me look better.) In that case I still have a shot to help the Fathers and have my grand entrance! Now, there is only one thing to do. The Tariq way!
-The Journals and Chronicling of the Sea Monster by the Great and Glorius, Tariq Daynjerine