Legends had long circulated about sirens, the strange creatures of the deep seas. Half woman and half fish, so the stories said. Omens of bad times ahead, demons who lured men to their deaths. A few spoke of the guidance of kindly sailors, but not many.
Yet one family knew the truth about the ageless women of the deep. Stories of women who were thrown from ships before finding that they had no need for the wooden vessels. Women hurt and betrayed who gained the power to stop those who had hurt and betrayed them. Of women who could guide you if you were kind. Of sirens born of tragedy, who gained strong tails with scales of magic that hurt those who hurt them.
Stories of a young siren who befriended a young lad and gave him the world. A siren who accompanied an adventuring ship that bore the young lad and an old sailor. A siren who was joined soon by another who shared her looks and stayed with her and the ship as long as it sailed. A siren who never left her best friend or his family.
Stories told by an old man with a back that bent, hands that shook, and knees that could not hold his weight without the aid of a cane. An old man with eyes that shone with joy and life, a voice that could rumble like thunder and cheer like a crowd, a laugh that sounded like crashing waves, and a smile as bright as the sun. An old man who taught his children and grandchildren all he knew of the sea and her secrets. An old man who never forgot. An old man who still sailed out to sea in a small fishing boat and sat with a family friend as she regaled him with her latest discovery.
An old man who had once been a young cabin boy.