June 15th, 2014
Long, long ago, in a land once known as Tir Anam, a white kingdom sparkled brightly by the ocean; Sea Comb it was called, and even under cloudy mornings its parapets gleamed like seashells in the sand; for many, many years of salty winds had polished all its structures smooth. Equally borne by the constant ocean, the people of this seaside town found hardy work and play, and many useful ways to spend their time; in fishing and boating, basket-weaving and jeweling, and all manner of trades and markets which made their way up to the seaside kingdom from distant towns, and in this way the people of Sea Comb forever scuttled about their business, as naturally as the tides lapped against the shore.
Watching over this bustling kingdom, stretching out of the rocky sea cliffs, loomed the ancient castle of Caer Talain. Barnacled and stony, its shell-encrusted towers rose high against the salty ocean winds. Palm trees waved on the beach below the cliffs, where seagulls and pelicans cawed for fish, who diving into the waves kept just as busy as the other inhabitants of the seaside kingdom.
Inside this spiraling castle, brooding in its rooms and halls, ruled Callas, the Prince of Sea Comb, who had grown to be called Prince Callas the Lonely, and atop a throne carved from a giant Murex Shell he sat, the shell’s spiny points sticking out like the long, white-blonde tufts of his hair, forever wind-blown and downy from the brine. The young man remained so still, one might have mistaken him for a statue, rescued long ago from the bottom of the sea, save for the flashing of his grey eyes, which moved methodically over the empty throne room. Callas had been born in this palace, and, with the exception of a few excursions in his boyhood with his late father, King Liam, the Prince had resided in this solitary home for two hundred and eighty years.
The kingdom of Sea Comb housed some of the oldest souls in Tir Anam, and the people there lived long off of fish and sunshine, even longer than any creature we know of today. Why, the average lifespan of any human in Tir Anam could well reach over 1,000 years. Prince Callas, being left the throne of this kingdom at such a young age, had felt especially confined within its walls, and at only two hundred eighty years old, he longed to explore the lands beyond his lonesome cove, and taste a sweeter air.
Sea Comb’s Kings and Queens were never really meant to stray much from the seaside, and nearly never needed to, for theirs were old souls who had long ago traversed the earth, many times over, and nigh crossed every ocean in Tir Anam, and every river, with very few wars in between, and worn by time more than their peace, they were content to live in that somber castle, and pace the sand-specked floors, complacent, where hardened coral walls would often sand the skin of royalty, for just as reincarnations exfoliate, so shall souls be burnished smooth.
But Prince Callas, young and unhappy with his fate, sat placid and silent, his stormy eyes tracing memorized patterns of seashells inlaid in the floor, frozen in that room with a deep well of memories, of subconscious lifetimes, meetings and partings, all to keep him company; and yet, after so much time, after so many musings which seemed to almost always unfurl into nothing, Callas had come to accept that he might befit his name indefinitely—to remain and guard the Sea Comb Kingdom, and all the shores that sprawled away from it, from inside the walls of Caer Talain, as Callas, the Lonely, forever.