Idea Guild > The World of Acqua

Big Red


Cheka Man:
The Story of Big Red
Big Red is one of the most powerful of all Krakens. There was once a Mage on Kossior Island, who had studied the Krakens in books and from dry land until he made a spell that would let him speak their tongue. For a long while he did not dare to use it, until news came from a nearby island of an attack by a boatload of Regulators.And so the Mage got into a small boat and paddled out to Big Red, who decided to eat him, but was enormously surprised when the puny human spoke in his own speech and forgot his hunger.The Mage asked for aid and promised amythest in return, for his island was blessed with a large amount of the stuff.

Big Red agreed and when the boatload of Regulators turned up, he sank the boat and ate them. He was powerful even then. The Mage kept his word and placed several chunks of amythest in the sea next to Big Red.
And so it was that Big Red became the protector of Kossier Island, eating those who would cause harm to the islanders, scaring the sharks away so that they could swim, and warning if a large wave was coming, for he could sense it. In return he got, over the days and weeks and months, a large supply of amythest, plus the occasional human sacrafice of a criminal, plus the threats that he ate.He also got a lot of respect, almost like a God.As he lay amongst the amythest, he grew bigger then many of his kind, basking in the magical field.

He ordered the islanders to begin amythest trading with other islands, allways taking his cut from any trade. All benifitted. The islanders, of which there were not very many, grew rich from the trade and had many luxuries.
And they no longer feared attacks by pirates and Regulators. They opened an amythest mine and part of it, of course, went to *feeding* Big Red with his tribute.Big Red grew huge and proud and happy.

After a few years the De Maddens grew to hear of this illegal trading and sent a three master to punish the islanders and take over the amythest.-, but the captian made the mistake of shouting over to the islanders exactly what he planned to do to them.The Mage told Big Red, and Big Red pulled the three master below the waves and ate the entire crew.Whilst smaller ships had been sunk by Krakens,never had a three master been pulled underwater before. Big Red was not going to have any Company interfereing with him.

Years later the Company sent a ten master to the scene.News had leaked out and they wanted revenge on the Kraken.Big Red said a powerful spell of it's own kind that cracked open the bottom of the ten master and sent it to the bottom, the first time the humans had ever heard and seen a Kraken using magic.Kraken magic, by the way, only works if a Kraken uses it.Humans who try allways fail and become very ill as well.Big Red let a few survivors escape to report what had happened.The effort had shrunk him and turned a lot of his amythest into smoky quartz, but there was plenty more where that came from.

Now the islanders are rich and happy, although they cannot go to Banhoesea or islands close to it for fear of the Company's wrath.Big Red has regrown to an impressive size.He could probebly get even bigger but he does not want to get so big that he gets trapped by shoals.He is worshipped like a god and loves the praise.

Recently he has become far more demanding in his tribute requests.It was allways accepted that he could eat invaders and serious criminals, but now he has began demanding a young maiden to eat once every six months.
The maiden chosen to die is treated for two days as a Queen, fed with the best food there is and dressed in beautiful clothes, and is well guarded at all times. Then her hands are bound behind her back and she is taken into a boat and rowed out to Big Red, who pulls her underwater with a tentacle to his beak, where he eats her. Unwilling to sacrafice their own daughters the islanders have begun kiddnapping girls from other islands, binding and gagging them during transportation.Sooner or later they will be found out and will end up in an all out war with their neighbours.

Cheka Man:
Feeding the Kraken.
The islanders on Kossier Island are now rich and generally happy. They trade amythest and many other objects with the islands to the west of their island, and have recently signed a treaty with the De Madden Company enabling them to do so without the worry of any interference, as long as they stay within a certain distance from Banhoesea. They now have a small navy of their own, but their islands most potent defense is the great Kraken who protects it.It used to be that the Kraken was happy with the odd lump of amythest, dropped into the water above him, but then he began to demand one maiden every sixty days, as well.

They have so far produced the maidens in a number of ways. Any maiden who committs murder or treason,and any married maiden who cheats on her husband and is found out,can be fed to the Kraken.Shipwrecked females can also suffer this fate.Most maidens refrain from committing death penalty offenses and even allowing for Acqua's dangerous oceans, shipwrecks are not common as they have a lighthouse, Too many shipwrecks would damage their trading links.

For a time they resorted to kiddnapping maidens from nearby islands, but after they were found out and a small war happened in which the Kraken had to get involved, the Kraken itself banned further kiddnaps. So they have done deals with other islands to send them their worst female convicts and also by maidens from slavers who visit once a year. Lastly, and very rarely, a suicidal maiden may very rarely volunteer to die in this way.

Two days before the selected maiden is due to die, she is dressed in beautiful gold and silver jewelry and a crown set with emeralds is placed upon her head. She is fed well and treated in many ways like a queen,but three guards with clubs watch her at all times to prevent her from escaping.
People bring her the finest foods, whilst others ask her to take messages to those in the other world.

After two days she is stripped of her jewels, by force if need be, her hands are tied behind her back, and the public executioners place her in a boat that has been painted black. A priest of Ulmania or Jove, depending on her faith, prays with her if she wants to pray, as she is rowed out to where the Kraken lies in wait for her,and then she is thrown into the sea by the public executioners, where a tentacle pulls her underwater to her death. Large numbers of people gather on the shore to watch the spectacle.

Cheka Man:
The Kossier city-states
Kossier Island has changed a lot in the past two centuries since Big Red became it's protector. Big Red encouraged trade in amythest and other items, protecting the first tentative convoys from attack by pirates or the Company, even using his huge body to stop large waves from wrecking the ships. Slowly Kossier Island became rich and a power in it's own right, but they never forgot to pay tribute to their Kraken-God who made them who they were. They made three great harbours, one for their own fleet, one for visiting ships, and a third for Big Red to live in.

Other smaller Krakens began to get ideas of power of their own.One tried to chalenge Big Red and was lucky to get away with only the loss of one of his tentacles. They then decided to do the same thing with other nearby islands.Far from being menaces to the islanders, they were normally very welcome.No more could pirates, slavers and De Madden Company warships raid the islands. And what the islanders lost in tribute of amythest from the rich stockpiles on their islands, they gained in trade.The Krakens were careful never to take too much, knowing that a more prosperous island could ultimatly produce a lot more tribute for them, and prefering to rule willing people, since they need them to mine the amythest and drop some of it into the sea for them.

They joined each other and once or twice a year, by night, each Kraken leaves his or her city-state and travels to the Deeps, a vast deep cavern that they have made their own.The People of the Coral, Seelies and even the Shura normally avoid the Deeps, partly because there is little or nothing of value within this rocky trench, and partly because the Krakens made it very clear that if they did catch any of them in the Deeps, they would eat them.

There, protected by the depth from spies and scrying spells, they talk and try and decide if they are strong enough to destroy the De Madden Company and take over it's home islands.So far they have decided against it, prefering to live lives of luxury instead of risking their lives against large warships and land defences.


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