Legend. What does that word mean?
It’s defined as a popular story of a myth, a popular story that many of its tellers and listeners regard as true history, even with no concrete proof; just signs of the times, a particular passing of time, or an artifact here or there relating to these so called legends. Among many legends, there were those of the sea; very popular tales among seafaring pirates, scholars, and treasure hunters. While many of mysteries of the sea weren’t directly proven, there was enough weight in these stories and these so called artifacts that caused many to believe.
Mermaids, once thought to be a myth where proven by their beautiful scales and lovely jewelry unlike any other. Dead carcasses belonging to whales of massive, unbelievable sizes that dwarfed the largest of ships were found drifting along the seas or washed up on uncharted islands. Dozens of wrecked ships and remains of sailors and pirates were found where sirens, described as giant snake women, were known to roam; some even speaking tales of having heard their alluring songs and surviving. Pirates engaging in fierce battles with each over maps charting multiple year journeys to discover treasure left behind by the most renowned pirates, succeeding and traveling from town to town to boast about their success and spend their riches.
But there was that one legend, that kind of legend that tells a whole story, the kind that is passed down from generation to generation and spread far and wide. A true legend no one was able to prove, but many swear by it.
It was a story about an undersea tribe that came about a few centuries ago, some say even beyond that of a few thousand years. This tribe flourished proudly, forming into numerous kingdoms that occupied the vast ocean’s depths. They were powerful with magic, some more so than others; thus, these kingdoms began to form armies, and said armies began to go to war with each other. One kingdom had the fortune of a gifted witch, a powerful magical warrior that easily won many of their wars.
But over time the witch had grown tired of all the endless fighting, the endless wars, the endless killing and being used as nothing more than a secret weapon. Fed up with that life, she robbed her king of his treasures and escaped to the surface, a place the sea-dwelling tribe dared not go. She wanted to start a new life, her way, with her rules. She would make herself queen of these new lands.
Upon arriving on land, she began her reign of terror; using her magical power and tools she robbed from her former king to claim dominion over all. She thought to be unstoppable until a group of mages and scholars lured her into a trap. Their combined magical power was no match for hers, so they went with a more desperate plan, using their power to seal her into a box for eternity, returning the surface to a witch free peace.
Or so many thought.
Many years had passed, things come and go, and nothing lasts forever, everything gives in to wear and tear and so do seals. The witch had been biding her time over the decades, slowly weakening the seal with her power overtime, unfortunately for her, this consumed up a lot of her own strength, leaving her unable to full free herself. Not to mention she had become forgotten over time, she had lost a good source of her power; her influence over others, fear, respect, admiration. Those things drove her, they made her strong, and now it no longer existed. She knew what she had to do now. She had to return to the world and make herself known once again, but first she had to escape this box. Fortune shined upon her as a group of pirates swarmed into the island cave full of treasures, the box she was contained in included.
Like many other seafaring treasure hunters, the pirates arrived following a map left behind by those who left their treasures for others to find. Led by their captain, the crew marched into the cave to gather up all the loot and load it back onto the ship, the witch’s box included. It was perfect; they would soon open up her box and free her, allowing her to terrorize this crew and use their fear to power herself; an excellent plan.
Back on the ship, the time came to divide the treasure up amongst the crew; everyone getting an even share of the loot to do as they pleased with. The process began with each treasure chest being opened and all the contents being dumped into one single pile. The witch became anxious when the time came for her prison to be opened. As soon as the latch was undone, the top swung open and a brilliant, bright blue light shined into the sky. The crew shielded their eyes as to not be blinded by the spectacle, waiting for it to die down and see that the chest was filled with mysterious glowing sapphires the size of footballs, something they have never seen before. And conveniently enough, there was enough to evenly divide up amongst the crew. Each crew member took their fair share of the loot, including a mysterious sapphire each, and returned to their own devices as they raised anchor and set off to sea again.
With the catalysts in place, the witch began her restoration plan, targeting the crew members one by one. One black cat anthro returned to his quarters with his share of the loot, stashing it away before plopping down on his bed to admire the glowing sapphire in his claws. He smirked at his reflection in the beautiful jewel, wondering how much it’s worth.
But as he continued to stare, the reflection in it began to fade and the clarity of the jewel began to become murky, a strange cloud suddenly appearing within it. That cloud then began to swirl about like a tiny tornado and formed into a strange shape, a figure of an odd creature. It was a small pointy eared imp like creature with bright glowing emerald eyes and fiery red hair that rose up high then flowed down along her back like a flaming mane. She was quite disproportionate in shape with a huge head, big eyes, and large mouth; a small upper body covered with green scaled armor with a brown trim, wide hips, and thick thighs. Her legs were short and her feet were webbed with three toes, while her hands had five webbed fingers with glowing green claw tips. Her body had a blue and white color motif, with the white down the middle of her body and the blue on the outer parts. Her body was also decorated with odd green symbols, like magical glyphs.
Her large mouth formed into a grin before her lips pursed, blowing out a cloud of smoke that spelled out the words, “Boo!”
With a startled shout, the sapphire was flown from the feline’s hands and was sent crashing to the wooden floor with the sound of glass shattering. A thick blue mist started to slowly rise up from the pieces of the jewel and began to fill the room, but the pirate would be damned if he stuck around any longer for more of this madness.
He bolted up from the bed and ran over to the door, swinging it open and rushing through the doorway…only to find himself back into the same room. His ears perked up as he looked to the door he came through and saw the hallway that lead to his quarters on the other side. He rushed back through it, only to wind up in his room once again, filling up with that blue mist.
“Wha’ tha’ hell is goin’ on here?!” the feline roared out, only to be met with the sound of a woman laughing.
“Who’s there?” yelled the feline in response to the laughter.
Soon the room was filled up entirely with that mist while glowing green glyphs started to appear on the walls. On one particular wall, the glyphs started to rearrange, shaping themselves into letters of the common language, spelling out the witch’s name: Joolira.
“J-Joolira?” The feline repeated the written word.
“Congratulations!” said the woman’s voice, echoing in a rather unworldly manner, “You’ve said my name perfectly!” The imp-like creature that appeared within the jewel suddenly appeared before the cat, no more than two to three feet in height, hovering in the air before him. Those large lips pulled back into a wide grin and the glyphs on her body began to glow; she could feel this pirate’s fear, a feeling she had grown so accustomed to in the past, the feeling that strengthened her power. Her small body started to swell in size, her large hips and rear pushing out, her thighs thickening, her arms and legs lengthening and her head ballooning larger. She effectively doubled her size with the height of an average person with larger proportions, which served to spook the feline even further.
The feline wasn’t about to run with his tail between his legs however, has he quickly drew his pistol, intent on firing upon the water imp. Joolira just smirked in response, folding her arms and giving him a stare that simply dared him to pull the trigger.
And that he did.
What came from the firearm was not a loud blast and a bullet, but a simple pop as some tiny roses extended from the barrel. Joolira laughed right in the pirate’s face while waggling a finger, “Oh you bad bad kitty,” her ethereal voice echoed, “Don’t you know weapons are dangerous? And I don’t like that mean face of yours at all, but don’t worry, I have an idea!” Before the feline could do anything further, Joolira exhaled a blue mist from her lips that quickly enveloped the cat, shrouding him in the thick blue fog. Soon after the fog dissipated, and what was left was simply a mere feral black cat with a tiny pirate bandana wrapped around its head, mewling in confusion.
“Aw that’s much better. And so precious too,” Joolira said with a giggle, reaching over to playfully pet and stroke the kitten, “This suits you muuuuch better.” She cooed.
The witch of the waters was quite pleased with herself, already she had regained this much power from one person. She could only then wonder how much power she would gain from messing with the entire crew. Her smirk turned into a devious, evil grin as she gave the kitty one final pat before twirling around and vanishing with a splash of water, seeking out her next victim.
In the next room over, a red fox pirate was looking over his share of the loot while smirking to himself. He sorted out the gold and the jewels, leaving a rather well decorated hand mirror. He took it up in his hand and looked at his reflection in it, pondering the worth of such a thing while admiring his smirk. But as he continued looking at the reflected image, he noticed something else: a certain blue water imp making faces at him over his shoulder.
He quickly turned his head, only to see nothing, and slowly looked back to the reflection. He saw her once again, making those rude faces; pulling on her cheeks, sticking her tongue out and rolling her eyes. But once he looked back again, he saw nothing. This time he hesitated before looking back at the reflection. Something odd was happening, and he didn’t like it. He nestled the handle of his dagger between two of his black furred fingers, slowly pulling it out of its hidden sheathe.
He looked into the mirror once more, waiting until Joolira’s face would show, and there she was, making faces once more. He quickly whirled around to slash at her with his dagger, but found his wrist seized by a blue hand with green, glowing claw tips; its owner grinning widely while shaking her head.
“You pirates are so violent. Can’t a girl have a little fun?” Joolira quipped.
“Gah! Wha’ tha hell are ye? A monster?!” The fox questioned in return.
Joolira pouted. A monster? She found herself far too attractive to be called that, “And so rude too! Bad boys like you need to be put in their place!” Joolira pursed her large lips and released a burst of that blue mist into the fox’s eyes.
The fox flailed and sputtered as he wiped at his eyes, stumbling over onto his back and scrambling about until his vision was clear; and when it was, he found himself shrouded in that deep dark blue fog, no sign of his treasure or the room he was in, not even a sign of the strange water imp that he believed put him in this situation to begin with. There was nothing…save for the strange sound of claws scraping against a wooden surface.
“Who’s there?” the fox cried out. He reached for his knife, only to find out it wasn’t on his person, nor was his blade or his firearm. He bolted to his feet and looked around frantically as the scraping became louder and louder, and then suddenly stopped. It wasn’t until the fox began to move that five glowing green spires came crashing down around him, all connected by thick white pillar which he quickly recognized as fingers, and that this was a gigantic hand hovering over him. He heard that scraping noise once again as the claws started to drag inward, the fingers closing in around him. He dove between a pair of the fingers at the last second to avoid being captured in the disembodied fist.
“Oh you’re pretty fast!” echoed Joolira’s voice while the fingers uncurled and aimed for the fox once more, “But do you think you can stay away forever?”
The disembodied hand flew forward and tried to crash down upon the fox, who narrowly avoided being caught underneath its palm or fingers. The strong impact from the hand slamming down sent him tumbling further than he intended, but he was quick enough to rise to his feet and continue running into the endless fog.
The hand crawled after the fox like a giant spider, all the while Joolira’s giggles echoed throughout the fog. He continued to run, wondering if he would be running forever until he could make out something in the distance of the fog, something he wished he hadn’t seen; as what was waiting for him was a giant version of Joolira’s head, her white face as big as a billboard (not that pirates would know what that is), grinning with glee. The fox didn’t find himself completely trapped however, as he opted to run off to his left or his right, but the imp was one step ahead. She parted her lips wide, revealing her turquoise colored mouth, blue-green tongue rolling out as she let out a playful “Aaaaahhh~.”
The fox wasn’t about to blindly run into her mouth, but something was preventing him from escaping; namely the vaccum suction that was coming from Joolira’s giant mouth! She was inhaling sharply, causing high force winds to form and push the fox towards her mouth, all the while that giant hand kept closer to keep up the pressure. The fox didn’t have a choice in his next decision as the winds became strong enough to pull him off of his feet, sending him flying into Joolira’s open mouth. Once past her lips, she closed her mouth shut, snickering to herself as she captured her prize and gulped him down. The fox found himself squeezed down her throat and sent into what seemed like an endless free fall, flailing and screaming all the while as he waited to land. He fell and fell and fell, until he suddenly felt his body being shaken while his name was being screamed out at him.
“Huh? Wha?” The fox suddenly found himself laying upon the deck of the pirate ship, staring up at the mostly clear blue skies with his crewmates hunched over nearby; satisfied that they managed to rouse him out of whatever hallucination that was happening.
“Ye alright there?” One crewmate asked, “Yew were runnin’ about everywhere, flailin’ n screamin’ n such.”
The fox sat up, glancing around, blinking rapidly. His breathing was labored, his heart was racing, “I was…I was lookin’ at me loot…then I saw her… some strange imp lookin’ woman. Next I was in some fog…bein’ chased by her giant hand…then I saw her head…like some monster of the sea…an’ jus’ gobbled me up. An’ now I’m here.”
The faces of the crewmates went from expressions of concern, then disbelief, then amusement; all starting to laugh at the fox’s ridiculous tale.
“Perhaps you’ve been at the sea too long!”
“Or maybe too much of the drink!”
“Yeah who would believe a story like that?” said Joolira, sitting upon a nearby barrel, grinning at the group.
“Yeah! Hey wait! Who tha heck are you?!”
“That’s her! The imp!” shouted the fox.
The group turned their attention to Joolira, staring at her in a mix of surprise, awe, and anger; but save for the fox, none of those stares were in the form of the one thing she wanted: fear. They all readied their weapons, but Joolira simply looked on with a bored expression, kicking her legs, “Oh jeez. Don’t you guys do anything but fight?”
“We don’t take kindly to stowaways,” one pirate said.
“And not odd stowaways like yerself,” another added.
“And so unfriendly!” Joolira added, hopping down from the barrel, “But you guys are pretty fun to play with, so I’ll play.” She held up her hand and stuck her thumb in her mouth. She puffed her cheeks out rather comically and blew into her thumb. With the sound of a balloon being stretched while being filled with air, Joolira’s body started to swell and expand; the water imp’s glyphs glowing brightly as she grew in size while maintaining her original proportions. She rose up from her previous six foot size, quadrupling what she previously was, growing to about 50ft in height, and taking up quite a portion of the deck.
As they watched her grow, the expressions of the pirates unanimously switched to fear, all quickly dwarfed entirely but the thick thighed and big hipped seawitch. Joolira stood proudly with her hands on her hips, grinning down at the seven staring up at her. They were all unsure of what to do; she was highly capable of tearing through the deck if they tried to escape down below, and they were out in the middle of the sea with nowhere to swim to.
One of the pirates, a wolf, quickly drew his sword. He was overcome with flight or fight, and he chose the latter. Raising his weapon, he charged toward the giantess, intent on attacking what he could. When he approached, Joolira simply raised her foot and with a wiggle of her webbed toes, promptly stomped her foot down on top of him. The boat shook and shuddered from the impact as the pirates gasped collectively, clamoring afterward over concern for their crewmate. Joolira raised her foot and peeked under it, noting the wolf, flat as a pancake, stuck to her foot. She slowly peeled him off with a smile and tossed the comically flat canine aside, floating along like a feather across the deck.
“Relaaaaax,” Joolira said, “He’ll be fine, but you pirates will never learn. Doesn’t your captain set a good example? Where is he? I want to see him.”
And in a strange twist of fate, out from the lower decks arrived the proud captain, immediately tilting his head up to set his eyes upon Joolira. “I came to see what all tha ruckus was, but I never expected to see one of the sea tribe here on my ship,” spoke the large bear of a captain in a rather gruff voice.
“Oooh, well I see my reputation precedes me,” Joolira said with a proud smile.
“That it has. Ravager of towns and terror of the seas,” the captain added.
“Oh stop, you’re making me blush. All this flatter is nice, but I’m taking your ship. Your crewmates are really rude, I think they need a better captain,” Joolira replied.
“If you think I’m going to hand my ship over to the likes of you, you have another thing coming,” said the captain.
“Well if you want to do this the hard way. I’ll gladly oblige,” Joolira said with a grin before leaping backward and diving over board into the waters. The pirates quickly moved to peek over the edge while the rest of the crew came up from below to see what the commotion was as well. Soon the waters became violent, powerful waves crashing up against the ship and forcing it to rock and sway violently as the seas gave way to something massive rising up from below.
“Buuuuum bummm bummmm bum-bummmm buuuum bummmmmm~” Joolira sung to herself as she slowly rose out of the water, roughly 10 times the size of what she was before.
(Author’s Note: The tune in question is the Mother Brain theme in Super Metroid.)
Her head slowly rose up first, putting on her usual mischievous grin as she gazed down at the pirates staring up in horror at her. Her gaze would only become lower and theirs higher, as she continued to rise up out of the water until the boat was on level with a metaphorical wall of Joolira’ hips.
“Mother of god, she’s massive!” One of the pirates cried out; him, the crew and the entire ship shrouded in the imp’s shadow. They all held onto whatever they could for dear life, the violent waves Joolira was causing forced the ship to teeter back and forth.
The giant imp licked her lips, haven’t felt this powerful for decades. Her fingers twitched anxiously as she bent down slightly to scoop up the ship in one hand, lifting it effortlessly as she brought it up to her face; massive eyes locked on the tiny ones struggling to keep from falling.
“Wanna know why ships that enter my dwelling area never returned?” Joolira boomed a question as she brought the ship closer, slowly opening her large mouth nice and wide, bearing her teeth before biting down on the front quarter of ship with the sound of wood being ripped and crushed against her teeth. She tugged her head back to rip off the chunk she bit into, crunching and munching loudly; purposely chewing with her mouth open to force them to watch as she ground up the wood with her teeth into dust and pulp, cleverly using her powers to alter the flavor, all before gulping it all down with a loud, deafening –ulp!-. She opened her mouth again, slower, more deliberate, as if to give them a warning to do something and do something fast. “Aaaah~” she said playfully as she leaned in closer to get ready to bite, her breath reeking of fish and bacon as those warm, foul airs washed over the crew.
“She’s eating the ship!” one pirate cried out.
“No kiddin’! Cap’n, what do we do?!” another yelled out.
“We make a jump for it!” The captain replied.
“From this height?! And what about the treasure?!” another asked.
“Do you wish to be eaten alive? Or torn to shreds on those massive teeth?! Jump!” yelled the captain.
Already Joolira began to take her next bite, massive pearly whites narrowly avoiding two pirates. She yanked off that piece and began to chew loudly while watching the pirates with sheer amusement. She had left them with no choice but to abandon ship, the loudness of her crunching booming overhead as they dove from the vessel down into the seas below near her enormous thighs.
The witch was quite satisfied as she watched them all dive into the roaring waters, knowing full well they wouldn’t manage to survive. Killing or causing deaths wasn’t on her agenda, not today. She merely wanted her influence restored, strike fear in the hearts of others, force them to tell stories of her that would spread and go on. She wanted to be remembered again.
Joolira gulped down the chunk of ship she had in her mouth and then looked over to the nearest island in the distance…she had an idea.
In was a month or so when those pirates would return to civilization again, bringing forth treasures once held by the water tribe witch, Joolira. They spun their tales of how they encountered the large reared wonder of the seas, how their ship was torn asunder by her, how they were blessed enough to end up on an island for weeks upon weeks until another pirate ship showed up to that island seeking treasure. And treasure those other pirates did find, lost treasure that once belonged to the water tribe. They spoke highly of their conquest, defeating the other pirates and taking the treasure and the ship for themselves; a story that would make them legendary, and a story that kept Joolira relevant throughout time.
The stories spread like wildfire, a legend reborn. Joolira kept her presence known throughout the seas, harassing many more pirates, confusing sailors and scholars on their journeys, robbing fishermen of their catches. That influence kept her powerful and always kept her amused. She would make sure she wouldn’t be forgotten ever again.