To the Mermaid at Zennor

Half fish, half fallen angel, none of you
Human at all - cease your lust's
Cold and insatiate crying from the tangled bay;
Nor, sea-hag, here
Stretch webbed and skinny fingers for your prey.

This is a hideous and a wicked country,
Sloping to hateful sunsets and the end of time,
Hollow with mine-shafts, naked with granite, fanatic
With sorrow. Abortions of the past
Hop through these bogs; black-faced, the villagers
Remember burnings by the hewn stones.

Only the saints,
Drifting on oak-leaves over the Irish Sea,
To sing like pipits from their crannied cells
With a thin stream of praise; who hear the Jennifer
Sob for her sins in a purgatory of foam -
Only these holy men
Can send you slithering from the chancel steps,
And wriggling back to your sunken paradise
Among the hollow-eyed and the capsized.
John Heath-Stubbs

Egyptian Sphinx Egg

As quixotic and querulous as any conundrum, quarrelsome shadows etch the vast deserts of this capacious egg: indentations of iridescent platinum riddle the grainy-gold shell, questioning its stony ambers, and querying every passing strip of saffron and spice. The metallic mirage shimmers and shines, offering no relief from the billowing dust of more fiercely heated hues; stone and brick blaze to red, coruscant colors burn as hieroglyphs about the tawny image of a sun-bright sphinx.

Hatching Message

Egyptian Sphinx Egg falters, forgetting the answer and losing the game. There is nothing tidy about the collapsing of its shell, egg-walls falling helter-skelter about the poking parts of the emerging dragonet.

Insatiate Mer-Monster Gold Dragonet

Intrepid she is, this leviathan queen, with no siren's grace to refine the monstrous length of her serpentine form. Rising like a kraken from the depths of her inky, night-black paws to the coral-strewn twilight of wings' erratic spars, a distant song of gold froths the tangled sargassum of that ill-fitting hide, and ebbs undaunted up untidy curves of neck and head. The salt-encrusted canvas of her capsizing 'sails, windthrown and weathered to palest sea-glass, brines a flotsam of shadows across the expanse of her imposing withers, and brindles the fragmented abalone that pearls her full flanks and awkward, silver-shiny tail.

Public Impression Pose

Insatiate Mer-Monster Gold Dragonet recedes, the tide of her passing retreating slowly…. then she rushes forward once more, captivated by the slightest mutter from /her/ treasure, /her/ Candidate… /her/ Pyrene.

Private Impression Message

Half fish, half fallen angel, none of her human at all as from the tangled bay rises this glorious — monstrous — leviathan queen. No sea-hag here, to stretch webbed and skinny fingers for her prey. No. They are fat, greedy, clutching fists of thought that reach out towards you and pull you in. Down. Into the riptide of her touch — that sunken paradise — into the whirling depths that drown you even as they burn. She will not let you know fear, not your Cadgwith, too eager and effusive is she to allow any hesitation. Never for a moment does Cadgwith contemplate denial: her touch is beguiling, her song bewitching, and for a singular moment perfection is in the unity of the One.


Oh, Pyrene! You Nanny, you evil monster, you wonderful person! You have delighted us with everything you’ve done (OOCly, at least!) and we’re so happy that you want to stay with us and be our goldrider… and then we can have the chance to make your dreams come true, blues or no blues.


Egg Inspiration

The Sphinx: mysterious, exotic, an emblem of all that's enticing about the Egyptian desert. We won't bore you with the details here, but a handy link is http://www.arab.net/egypt/tour/et_sphinx.html

Theme Inspiration

Cadgwith is themed not to the Little Mermaid, who made the sacrifice for her lover of walking on knives all her life in order to have human legs, but for the Mermaid of Zennor who demanded that it be her lover to make the final sacrifice and sink into the depths with her.

Since it's a Cornish folktale, we'd hope that you'd be familiar with the story, but here's a reminder:

The Mermaid of Zennor used to come every Sunday to listen to a young singer at the church. She fell more and more in love with his voice until eventually she put on human clothes, and sat in the church itself to listen. She was seen by her beloved, who despite the attempts of the villagers to prevent him, went into the watery world of Llyr with his new love.

At the 15th-century church in Zennor can still be seen a mermaid, carved on the end of a wooden pew.

…as if hung there by the wind
…waves still lick the ledges in the coves
…ebb and flow of the tide
…flotsam and jetsam of her …
…twilight
…silver-shiny tail
…Daughter of Llyr
…Morveren
…music is magic
…a tear, larger than an ocean pearl …
…surely I may die from the wanting …
…pearls and sea-jade and coral
…bewitched
….golden sand castles built far below the waters in a blue-green world

http://www.thefae.freeservers.com/zennormermaid.html

Also:
http://www.cranstar.co.uk/legends.htm

Name Inspiration

Cadgwith, as you know, is a village on the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall, with little lumpy thatched cottages, and small crabbing boats winched up onto the shingle beach - a small harbour town that probably smells much like Cadgwith herself does: all seaweed and salt… though more on that later.

And Cornwall itself: need we write anything? You know this magical, beautiful peninsula better than any of us: walks on the sandy beaches in the midst of winter, whilst the Atlantic waves surge and boom on the shore; the heaps of white clay, and the chimney-stacks of the old tin and copper mines, dotting the landscape; summer sun and icecreams and pasties and clotted cream and souvenir shops selling absurd pixies.

… The Lizard Underlain by a unique metamorphic rock …
… serpentine, dark, green veined with gold …
… lampholders, heathland, candlepower …

http://www.cornishlight.freeserve.co.uk/lizard.htm

Oh, and the Cadgwith Anthem is a song recorded by the old British folk group Steeleye Span - maybe there's a recording out there somewhere we can find for you, Pyrene! Here are the lyrics, anyhow:

Come fill up your glasses and let us be merry,
For to rob bags of plunder it is our intent.

Chorus

As we roam through the valleys
Where the lilies and the roses
And the beauty of Kashmir lay drooping his head
Then away, then away
To the caves in yonder mountain
Where the robbers retreat

Hush, hush in the distance there's footsteps approaching
Stand, stand and deliver it is our watch cry.


http://rzdspc77.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/~zierke/steeleye.span/songs/cadgwithanthem.html

Also:
http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/cornwall/cadgwith.html
http://cbr.nc.us.mensa.org/homepages/lloyd_and_anne/cadgcorn.htm

Mindvoice

Cadgwith's mindvoice is just so much more beautiful than the dragon herself, folding around you like a water and rustling like ocean-dark silk: vibrant, magical and mellifluous. A true siren's call, it ripples like the tide with a dark sensuality that's directly at odds to her ungainly wrack of a body.

Mermaid-siren her mental voice may be, but her physical voice would is nothing less than a foghorn-siren: loud, abrasive and pervasive. She mews and shrieks like a seagull, and at fifty times the volume, to be heard clear across the Weyr bowl on a still day. Bejewelled as she may sound in your mind, promising the sea's rich treasure, when she's hunting or in the fullness of a mating chase, her calls remind you of the waves booming against the cliffs and in the seacaves, or of a ship at sea, sounding its horn through the mists.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smokestack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.
from Cargoes by John Masefield

Scent

You know that scent of a beach at the end of a long summer's day? All warmed-up seaweed and fatty, vinegary chip wrappers; dollops of suntan lotion and tangy salt…. well, that’s Cadgwith’s scent too. It rasps like sand sprinkled in your cheese & tomato roll, tickles like water splashed onto sunwarmed skin, and sings to you of summer sun and lapping waves. There’s a bit of an undercurrent of rotting fish at times though, when she’s been curled into her couch during the long winter nights instead of sunbaking on her ledge; a harbour smell of seagulls and crab-legs and engine oil (probably the way Cadgwith-the-village smells too)… It’s unpleasant, but oddly comforting and addictive, speaking to you of The Way Things Should Be, the total rightness in your life that is Cadgwith.

Physicalities

Looking like something the sea belched up, she’s all angular spars and fluttering sails, dragging tail and sinuous limbs; huge and ungainly, a ship run aground. Desperately awkward on the ground, she swims gracefully through the air – and water! – despite her bulky body.

Cadgwith is one of those heavy-bellied lizards who looks best from a distance, or through the haze of sky or sea. There is nothing pretty about her, nothing fey, nothing faint, nothing light. She is as solid as the rock she moulds herself too, and just about as immoveable. Still, despite her great-seeming size, Cadgwith is not really that big. She just uses up space – devouring it – as she devours life. She isn’t fat, she isn’t big-boned or soft and round and fleshy. And she is, perhaps, a bit too narrow in the flank and angled on the edges to be brawny. It’s just that she Looms so, and is ever so awkward, and she is a queen, so she is one of the biggest of her kind. She just doesn’t have as much bulk as, say, Serath does. It is more spread out than that, and young as she is, there’s a sort of tensile forgiveness to her great lengths.

Of course that seaweed-strewn hide of hers doesn’t help. It bunches up in the wrong places, and wrinkles so around her great big feet. It has a life of its own, that vast canvas of skin, on which every Flight she flies, and every Song she sings, and every Clutch she bears will etch its mark. Perhaps she will grow into it. Perhaps it will grow onto her. But perhaps, just perhaps, it will always never quite fit what might otherwise be the more nimble architecture of her form.

The colors? Well distill all the hue and tones of the town of Cadgwith with a bit more of the sea, and the pale fires of sunset and throw it onto her leathery hide. There is no pattern to her, no dominant hue, no swathe of brilliance. It is as if the sea at twilight continues to froth and boil with the last vestiges of the sun held up above the onrushing depths of night. She is darker along the bottom than she is along the top. And her wingsails tend towards that lovely, lovely sea-glass green. And the silvery luminescent pearl breaking along her flanks and tail lightens some of the browny-gold seaweed that marks the rest of her. But overall she sort of melts it all together, like a blurry tidal-pool at sunset, and isn’t distinctly any color at all. She’s neither dark gold, nor light, green-gold nor black. Pearl and barnacles, aye, but not in overt patches or bright marking. Just enough variation to the kelpy browny-green to make it interesting. Mind you, she hates it when she lightens up in winter, losing some of the darker hues and lovely undertones of autumn and hearth to fade towards her pearly golds and paler green. The more she lightens up, the further her spirit sinks, and a few trips south for Sun without Snow might be in order. And oh – oh! – when spring comes again and her hide darkens and her colors flow like rich velvet, oh is your Cadgwith Happy. Summer has the sun. And autumn has colors to hide her from any prying eyes – as does the sea – but it’s the muddy mucky grimy switch from winter to spring that seems to lighten her step and lift her now-pale wings.

Did we mention her great big feet? No, they aren’t cat’s paws, or canine feet. They are a dragon’s taloned fist of claws and fingers, bred for catching things, ripping small and edible beasts apart, pulling the covers off one’s Rider, and holding up the great bulk of the body (hers, not yours). We put paws in there to suggest the padded over-sized sense of the Monster, like the fuzzy creatures in ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ by Maurice Sendak. And the way felines use those paws for play, batting things around, smacking one another on the head, etc. Not that I think Cadgwith should go around smacking things on the head with her feet. :P (She might try that on Tiareth, that would be neat – tee hee!). But from the start I was fascinated with a dragon centered on her feet, big feet, instead of held up by her wings. A creature grounded in who she is, and who you are, Pyrene, and loving nothing more than getting her feet into you like toes into mud. Mud. Mud. Mudmudmud. Careful, Pyrene, for even now Cadgwith will try to mould you to who she thinks you should be. (But yes! Do please make’m and the rest of her whatever you want!) Sqvish!

Despite her size, Cadgwith can sometimes seem to melt into the very Weyr itself. Her often hideous coloring offers a surprising amount of camouflage during most of the Turn, 'cept in winter where nothing really helps her against the snow and ice. But the rest of the time your dragon almost seems to just up and disappear. I do not think Cadge is very fond of Winter. Water was not meant to be frozen. It is difficult to swim in frozen water… but I don’t imagine that will stop her from trying. She craves the sun though, your Cadgwith, as if she were cold-blooded. And there is a monstrous beauty to a queen caught baring her belly to Rukbat, half in homage, half in demand.

Cadgwith. Oh Cadgwith! She may not be pretty. She may not be petite. She may not be perky or persnickity or precocious. But she’s yours. And despite what people might say, she’s not really Ugly. You know better. Cadgwith – like Tiareth before her – has a sort of monstrous beauty that will outlast the rest by their sheer charisma with or without conscious cunning.

Personality

(Nuff feels compelled to note that, for herself, she is writing this in hindsight without any idea of who Cadgwith is now, nor what you have done with her, or how she is played, and so does not wish to intrude on who you two have become. She can only write about what might have been, when Cadge was first cracked. And hope that you can find more of that which you love about Cadgwith in what we write. But please yes please oh please just disregard anything that doesn’t fit in with what your dragon has become.)

There's no polite way to put this: Cadgwith is demanding. You are the most important thing in her life, and she'd willingly drag herself over sharp rocks for miles and miles just to be with you… but she expects the same in return, and doesn't even bother to ask, politely or otherwise.

She can be a little bit clingy, unwilling to share you with anyone, be it friend, lover or family. This is especially true whilst you're still weyrlings, with so many people and dragons in close proximity. Once you're moved into your weyr, she can relax a little, safe in the knowledge that no-one's going to be calling for you too much.

Not that Cadgwith is overly selfish… no moreso than most of her kind and color. She simply expects to get what she wants, when she wants it, and anyone or anything that gets in her way will be dealt with accordingly.

Still, this doesn’t really make her Bad. She seems to see what others cannot, hear what others will not, sense what most would never feel, and know more than perhaps she should. Inside her monstrous exterior beats a powerful soul, as strong in giving as it is in its demands. She is highly empathetic, if not always sympathetic, and has an old woman’s sense of wisdom that might not always define what she wants or what she does, but it’s in there… somewhere. Perhaps this, and her straight-forwards, no-nonsense manner is what makes her charismatic as well, for she is, even if that really doesn’t matter. Because she isn’t always right, and because she isn’t very perfect, and because nothing every seems to go precisely how she likes it to, Cadgwith might endear her self to others. Not as the underdog, and not as some ugly little creature in need of pity, but by simply existing as best she can with what she has, doggedly determined to do what she thinks is right despite not being the best.

I would imagine that Cadgwith cannot do most things easily – nor is she completely inept or anything – she simply has to work on it… or work around it. She’s not the cheerleader type. She’s not the studious type. She’s not the pot-head or the punk, or the shy girl in the back. She’s the slightly too-big lass with her hair never quite right, her left shoelace always on the verge of tripping up the rest of her, and acne that absolutely insists on breaking out before any sort of social engagement. She’s always dropping her books, leaving her homework behind, and missing the bus because no-one notices she’s chasing it. But! But! But but but, she’s also the one everyone wants for their best friend, because she’s so endearingly normal. She’s funny and loyal, stubborn, intelligent, occasionally witty bordering on bawdy, and never one to back down from a challenge… even if she’s doomed to lose. She isn’t overtly popular or pretty or fun, but her delight in life and others and you – of course you, Pyrene! – is all the more special because she knows who she is, and can live with that. And like it.

Cadgwith has a very strong sense of who she is.

Should this stop her from dreaming? Oh no, oh no. There is a bit of the bard in your dragon, as befits her heritage from the Sea and the stories riddling her hide. Perhaps no-one will ever hear her but you, Pyrene, but your monster holds the heart of a poet. And, there are times, when the sun is warm and her hide is all melted into a fused mix of hues and warmth around her bones, that Cadgwith will want to curl herself up around you and just while away the afternoon watching the clouds go by. (Nevermind that every bit of fluff might remind her of a tasty-looking herdbeast). She too, can dream, and in her dreams you fly together, as creatures that are neither human, nor dragon, nor a mix of both, but as something more. Something undefineable in human terms, but that Cadgwith can communicate in thought and flavors as rich and deep as the sea that spawns them. Perhaps you are swimming. Perhaps you are flying. But in her dreams you are one yet separate, distinct yet fused together. And as such you explore the gestalt or the world around you, tasting the other dragons and people and places as if all the Pern were your oyster.

I don't know what it is that makes me love you so
I only know I never want to let you go
'Cause you started something
Can't you see?
That ever since we met you've had a hold on me
It happens to be true
I only wanna be with you
………..
Now listen, honey
I just want to be beside you everywhere
As long as we're together honey I don't care
'Cause you started something
Can't you see?
That ever since we met you've had a hold on me
No matter what you do
I only wanna be with you
I Only Wanna Be With You, sung by Dusty Springfield

Flights

Cadgwith proddy - what a fearsome thought! She's a fishwife at first, all grating grumbles and raucous catcalls: « Pyrene, why is Rixesith looking at me like that? He offends me. » she might ask, accompanying the silent question with a crosspatch screech and a clatter of wingspars towards the offending male. With the onset of this jade's behaviour, her hide takes on a certain soft glow, that's in complete paradoxical contrast to her lack of ladylike conduct. Twilight gold turns to glossy moonlight, the silvery shades of her tail repeated as subtle highlights across wings and flank, neck and limbs. The air of mystery bestowed by the phosphorescence lasts for a day or so, giving you (and the rest of the Weyr) plenty of warning. Beware the eel, this gold, as she snakes towards Flight.

I would think Cadgwith would use guile and cunning when first launching into flight. She is so big. She is so slow. She takes a long, long time to work into her stride – and oh what a stride it is, when she finds it. Long looping circles, hugely powerful strokes of wings, vast distances covered on moonlit sails. If a firelizard can flap its wings in Bitra, and cause a sandstorm at Igen, Cadgwith-flights will rock Pern to its core. Floods and famine, blizzards, avalanches, they’re all her fault. And all because she wants a little action.

And she does like the action! No prude, this queen. She simply refuses to make it easy for anything to catch her. Perhaps she tends towards Night Flights, where she can pretend to be a Third rising moon: Belior, Timor, and Cadgwi. Besides which it is harder to catch her at the start, when it’s dark dark darker. But the sun is good too, all the better to blind one’s pursuers with, after all.

Postscript

In 1812, the great showman P. T. Barnum exhibited what was claimed to be a mermaid. It was displayed in the Barnum museum and drew large crowds. Its preserved carcass has been shown to be a fake: half a fish and half a monkey, cunningly stitched together.

Cadgwith, mer-monster and siren, is the genuine article. But if there's anything written here than you're unhappy with, please feel free to play her as you think she and you deserve. We’d like her to be the dragon that causes a sea-change in Pyrene’s life, and maybe in yours, too.

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But does suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
From The Tempest, by William Shakespeare

Credits

Dragon: Cadgwith
Colour: Gold
Name: You!
Egg: Egyptian Sphinx Egg
Egg Desc: Melsa; Nuff tweak
Dragonet: Insatiate Mer-Monster Gold Dragonet
Dragonet Desc: Nuff; D'renn tweak
Messages: Nuff; D'renn tweak
Inspiration: D'renn & Nuff, Annalee & Hannah
Puppeteer: D'renn

Clutchmates:
Zai & brown Puizuth, Fye & blue Lainnoth,
Auri & green Miravith, Shawn & brown Orsoth, Lyri & green Niamhyth,
Daeyn & brown Anwyllth, R'gis & green Peorth