Islief Volsung

Elf (Falathrim) Male – Cleric of Calitha Starbrow, Bard & Ship's Captain




Whispering within the shells he gathered as a child, the rhythm of the surf drew Isleif to the shore and the pools left in the wake of receding tides. There he would sail the boats made from the shells that he found along the beach. Passing his youth away in another adventure each day; and then was Isleif’s ship blown off course by an ill wind, far from the shipping lanes and shores of the Imaginary Sea. Near his peril and the deep Isleif found the courage to preserve his ship, and he discovered only then that the song of the sea offered living riches for those bold enough to reach for them.

Underfoot he felt another shell, one that struggled to escape. Breathing deeply and immersing himself he clutched the evasive shell, and made his way towards another safe harbor. Seating himself upon the stones of his tidal pool and having seen the elders of his village do it many times before, Isleif withdrew his knife and deftly opened the oyster; within he found a gift of surpassing beauty, a pearl of golden hue and rose tincture. Befuddled by chance, Isleif considered the ill wind that had brought him the fortune that lay in his hand; he realized: judgment lay in the need of all concerned, and not the whims of those foolishly assuming command. As the dying sun illuminated the sea, Isleif knew his mother would be calling him to dinner, as surely as the sea was now calling the pools home. As he gathered his things, he heard a voice ask, “Are you going to eat that?”

Isleif surprised, looked up and about but didn’t see anyone; having forgotten his day’s bounty he replied, “Eat what, and where among the stones do you hide?”

“The foot in your hand child! Are you so prone to looking up then, that you don’t see me at your feet?” squawked the seagull directly before him, as it cocked its head inquisitively.

Startled, Isleif stammered, “Y – y – you sp – poke!”

The seagull’s patience dulled only by its insatiable hunger quipped, “Of course I did! Doesn’t everyone? Consider this fledgling: there are those that hear only what they choose, others that can only hear themselves, but for those willing to listen, the cacophony becomes the chorus, and everyone’s voice has a melody all its own!”

Isleif started to speak, but was cut short by the seagull, “You still haven’t answered my question, are you going to eat the foot? He had a voice too, but since his was cut short I’d consider it a blessing – and a tasty one at that; hurry or there will be many more mouths than melodies, and a squabble will ensue.” Isleif now saw other seagulls wearily approaching as the lecture continued.

“No madam, I’m not going to eat the oyster!” Tossing the flesh to the seagull, the bird eagerly swallowed the oyster, as the others swarmed the area near them.

“No sir; that is I’m a male boy!” gagged the seagull while choking down the oyster.

“I’m sorry, but you sounded like a girl.” Isleif replied shamefully excusing his ignorance.

Arrogantly, now that he had received his only real interest, the seagull continued, “Well, I guess that makes it OK then; at first, I thought you were a girl too, given your high – pitched voice and the way you fondled your pretty stone. Then I remembered girls don’t sail toy boats and build sand – castles. What are seagulls supposed to sound like by the way?”

Isleif started to reiterate his apology, but not without seeping frustration for the birds change of tenor. Again he was cut short by the seagull. “Look, its getting late, the sun nearly dips beneath the horizon and I should deliver the rest of the lesson I was asked to offer! Alright?” Isleif taken aback by this remark looked at the seagull, cocking his own head to the side. “Look you received the pearl and in the escallop she lays, the oyster itself is the payment I sought, just remember give a little, get a little. You’re young and in need of guidance and that is why I’ve come. To this end I will say this; chart your course by the sun and you’ll find illumination upon the waters; at night look for the star that wavers not, she’ll offer you direction in the darkness and in the vast oceans listen and we’ll reveal far off lands. I hear your mother calling out for you, but show the skald the sea – gift and tell her what I told you, it will be her place to continue your instruction, but remember to listen first!” These were the seagull’s parting words as he flew aloft to avoid the onrushing tide, as Isleif’s mother took him by the hand.

Islief Volsung

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