Green is the color of love, the color of the jewel that lies at the heart of the sea. Red is the color of desire, rich as the blood from a lover's heart. 

Eina lived in the pearl colored palace of her father at the bottom of the sea, which washes the western shores of the island of Lyonesse. When the wind blew and the water raged, she would go with her sisters to the black rocks that lay off the shore. There in the midst of the storm, they would sing and comb their long hair and watch struggling ships sail by. Erin, Eina's eldest sister, had sheeted bright hair, the color of shipwrecked gold and she loved to hunt the shores that lay still after the storms. Elowyn, Eina's youngest sister, had black hair, the color of a selkie pelt, for their grandmother had been of that race. She loved to weave the wind and dance with the glowing fish that live in the dark depths. Eina had hair the color of love and full of curls. She loved to sing and her song was the song of the world which no man can resist. 

One day a lord of the Tritoc came to the palace of Eina's father, the king of that sea. The lord had skin pale as whale's milk and eyes bright as Erin's hair. He wore a golden shirt, which was woven so fine that a needle could pierce it, but it was so strong that it could not be cut and his manners were finer than fine. Erin saw his eyes and loved him and in turn he called her the sun of the sea. Soon, Eina and Elowyn went by themselves to sing lullabies to passing sailors on the rocks. 

A year passed, and the chieftain of the Mara cadesh came to the palace of Eina's father brining tribute. His skin was black and soft with fur and he wore gilded shells upon his body. His eyes were fierce and wild. When he looked upon Elowyn, he was so filled with love that he would have stolen her had she not wished to be stolen. 

And so Eina went to the rocks by herself to  sing the worlds song. The sailors who drifted by could not comfort her with their sleeping faces. One day she sat on the rocks combing her long curling hair and she said, "I'm tired of waiting for my one true love. If he will not come to me, I will go to him. Since, he has not come to me yet in the sea, he must be waiting for me on the land." So, she swam to the shore and turned her tail into legs, for the selkie have the power to change their shape, and Eina's grandmother had been of that race. 

She walked along the soft river bank, leading away from the sea. She walked until she came to a place where there were no birds and air was quiet, but for the sound of slow steps in the sand. And then there it was, tall and black, with hair all around, and red coals for eyes. It reared on two legs and screamed in her face, but Eina was not afraid, for she was the daughter of a king, and the creatures of the deep had been her playmates. She reached out her long white hand and smoothed her fingers through the creature's black wet fur. It rolled its eyes and wickeder in her ear. Then it lay down on the ground and seemed to wait. Eina was not quite sure what to do with the creature, she had never seen anything like it. She knelt down beside it and let her fingers pull through the long silky hair of its mane and traced the patterns in the pearly shells covering the ends of its feet. 

She climbed onto the creature's back, as she had so often done with the dolphins and whales when they passed the palace of her father on their endless journeys. 

The creature shuddered with her weight and again it reared upon its hind legs, but Eina did not fall, for she was used to the wild games of the sea and had woven her arms about the creature's neck. 

When it found that it could not throw her, the creature began to run, slowly at first, then faster, and faster, until the landscape was a green blur. The creature ran so fast it seemed fly, perhaps it did. It glided over the lazy bends in the river and then over the white rushing waters. The spray barely touched its sweating hide. Not even the gray eagle seeking its dinner in the Northern lakes could match their speed. 

Eina watched great mountains flow around them and the sky grew dark and then bright again before the creature slowed to a stop. She slid to the ground, tired and not a little cold in the thin air. Eina yawned and she lay down and rested her head upon the creature's body which was still breathing heavily form the journey. She quickly fell asleep, listening to the quick beat of the creature's heart. 

She dreamt that her mother was combing her hair and when she awoke she saw a man looking down at her. His skin was brown, like red brass and his eyes were the color of love, and so deep she fell into them and drowned. She smiled up at him and said, "Are you my one true love?" 

He smiled and showed his small sharp teeth, and said, "Why, yes. I have come to take you to my home." 

Eina laughed to be so happy and he took her hand and pulled her towards the quiet lake. When they reached the edge, he shoed his sharp teeth again and shoved her under the water where he held her for a long time. She smiled to think that he knew her so well, so quickly. She shivered at his touch, but longed to be held closer to him. So, she pulled him down into the water and kissed him. They lay in the water as mean and women will and he stopped smiling with his teeth and looked at her with puzzled green eyes. 

He said, after awhile, "Come with me to my house and I will serve you dinner." and so he led her through the water until they came to a little house made of bones among the lotus roots. There he served her fish in the cap of a skull. The fish was strange with pungent spices. He, himself, would not eat, for he said that he did not eat fish, but he did not like to waste what he had caught. 

Eina began to eat the fish, but it tasted strange and made her feel funny. She did not want to insult her one true love by not eating his fish, even if he did not like it himself. So, she caused the fish to turn to water in her mouth and passed it out again through her gills. 

He watched her very closely for some time, and again his green eyes seemed puzzled. 

Eina wondered when her one true love was going to kiss her and lie with her again. She wondered at his silence and said, "What is your name?" 

He smiled and began to sharpen a long obsidian knife and said, "I have no name, my sweet. I am your one true love." and he stabbed her in the heart with his knife or rather he stabbed where her heart would have been had she not been the habit of keeping it in an ivory box at her waist. 

Eina began to weep tears of peal and said, "Now I understand." She pulled the knife from her chest and smiled at him. "You said you were my one true love and so you belong to me, my sweet." and she began to sing. He tried to strike her with his sharp nails, but he had already turned into stone the color of love. 

Eina looked at her one true love and sighed, "No one said he would be perfect." Eina took her lover's knife and cut open his chest, there she found a heart shriveled and black. "That won't do." she said and she took her heart from the little ivory box at her waist and she put it inside his chest and sealed him up with a kiss. She took his heart and put it in her box with some herbs, to give it color. She carved upon the lid of the box a picture of young Death lying with her lover and she closed it with a kiss. She left him two teeth sharp and sweet, but the others she filed down until they were smooth. When she finished his teeth, she began to sing the story of his life. His name was Tarn and his father was a sea dragon, to make him wild and strange, but his mother was a selkie, because she wanted him to be like her. He had come from a far land to find her and he liked to eat fish and listen to tales and he had always longed for the storms of the sea. 

As she sang, he came to life and smiled at her with his smooth teeth, "Are you my one true love?" he said. 

Eina laughed and said, "Yes." 

She took Tarn to the pearl covered palace of her father, but when she arrived she found that her father was dead, for she had been gone from him for over a year, though it had seemed but a few days in the overworld. She found him lying on his bed of coral and she began to wail, so that her lover cried with her, though his eyes did not know how. Then she began to sing part of the song of the end of the world, though not all of it, lest the world end, but that part of the song that sings of death and change. When she had done singing for him, her father had changed, the flesh fell from his body and his bones became pearl dust and from that day the coral that lives off the shores of Lyonesse gleam with the dust of a king's riches in pearl. 

When the change was complete, Eina lay still in the water, tired from all that had gone before. Tarn carried her to her room and they lay in the coral bed, red as a shark's purpose. They held each other against the cold.

They sent messages to Eina's sisters. The cadash of Erin's husband sent word that Elowyn's child lay ill unto death. That Elowyn and her lord were missing on a quest for a pearl with the soul of the sea or a golden apple that sings or a hope that they could save their child.

Erin came herself. She brought ladies in waiting with their long languid locks. Lords of the Tritoc with their fiercly cold eyes. Armsmen with weapons of bone. Poets and singers to sweetly entertain. Shadow ghosts, tax collectors to pay for the lot. And her husband too. She claimed the palace as their home, for she was the eldest sister. 

Eina saw the new winter in her sister's eyes and knew that she and Tarn would have to find a new home. She was a little sad, but excited all the same and the thought of her lover made her hum the song of love as she picked among her childhood belongings. 

Then she heard a voice, "What are you singing?" It was her sister's husband. 

"Oh, nothing much." she said and looked down at a jade dog she had found in an empty ship. 

He came into the room and stood closely to her, "You look different than when I was last here." He touched her hair with his fingers. 

Eina moved away to the other side of the bed. "I'm older now. I should really be going to find Tarn." 

"Yes, he's why have come to speak to you. What do we know of this man who appears so close on your fathers death?" He smiled at her and swam closer, "Your sister and I do not want you to be hurt." 

Eina shrugged, "I Thank you for your concern, but he can't hurt me. He's my one true love. But I really have to leave now." 

But he stood between her and the door, "Ahhh, but can we be sure of true love. One may have many loves in a lifetime. You are to beautiful to bind yourself to only one love." 

"Be that as it may, I do have to go meet Erin, your consort, about...something. Good-bye." 

I had thought she was off hunting, she...we both love to hunt so, but I will not keep you where you do not desire to be." 

That night, as they all ate fine white fish brought from the dark kelp forests of the South, Eina said to her sister Erin, "It is time that Tarn and I go and seek a new home, for it is not fitting that we remain here. 

Erin's husband speared a bit of blue cucumber, drained of its poison, and said, "But how can it not be fitting for two sisters to share their father's house. We could not think of having you leave us. I'm sure the palace would not be the same without you and hour honored husband. Tarn is it? 

That is the name I bear, my lord." said Tarn, fingering a sweetly sharp tooth. 

I'm sure that Erin will not agree to any more talk of leave taking. Will you my love." said the Tritoc lord. 

Erin sucked on a mandrake root and smiled sweetly at her husband, "We have discussed this before and you know my views, my love. She is correct that one who has been absent so long, and whose absence caused my father's death should not remain in the home which she left behind.

Well, then, said Eina, "We shall be leaving tomorrow, in the morning. I shall bid you good-bye now that you need not get up in the morning to do so. 

Tarn smiled at the fine white Tritoc lord, "My lord, my lady. I have been much pleasured in your acquaintances." He placed his hand in Eina's and they left the room to sleep for the last time in Eina's coral bed, red as the fire which build the world from the sea. 

In the dark of the morning, they arose. Tarn left Eina alone, for one last look around her room, while he gathered supplies. And again she heard a voice from the door, the voice of her sister's husband. 

You did not have to get up and bid me good bye." said Eina. 

"Ah, but how could I let my little sister leave without a kiss. Come you must give your brother a hug, or he will think that you do not love him." and he came close to her, quick before she could move, and he took her in his arms. She struggled, but he was too strong, so she screamed pain in his ear and the water was red with blood. His embrace changed and his hands were around her neck and she could not breath. 

Through the blood, Eina saw Tarn in the doorway. Tarn stabbed at the Tritoc with his knife of black obsidian, but it broke upon the gleaming metal of the Tritoc's shirt of mail, yellow as Erin's hair woven into a braided net. 

The Tritoc lord laughed, "You cannot pierce this shirt, for it was woven by a fey sorcerer of great skill and given to me in exchange for the bones of his father. It cannot be cut by any weapon you may possess. 

"Then I will not cut you." said Tarn and he was gone. In his place was the creature, screaming his dark might. With his feet of dark pearl he began to strike the Tritoc lord, who struggled to defend himself from this strange thing of leg and muscle. Soon all that lay within the golden mail was flesh and blood, fast spreading through the water. 

Eina stared down at the corpse of her sister's husband, "What have we done Tarn." Then she looked at her lover, "You know who you are. 

Tarn stopped picking at the blood under his fingernails and said, "I am what you have made me. If I remember what I was, that is not important, I know what I am now." He held out his arms and they embraced over the Tritoc lord. When they were warm again, Tarn said, "You must turn his body to ash. I know you can. 

She will still know that we have killed him. 

"She will think he is hunting. It will give us an extra day without pursuit. 

Eina nodded and sang the song of fire. They hid the Tritoc's ashes among the coral, so that its color was tinged gray, but Tarn took the shirt of mail, for it seemed a good thing to own. 

They slipped out from the shell of pearl into the sea. They swam towards the forest of Arkesh, without pause. 

The forest of Arkesh is dark and deep and covers the floor of the sea from Lyonesse to the far shore. Kracken dwell there with tubes of light that sway against the currents of the sea. It was a place fierce and strange towards which Eina and Tarn made their way. 

They slept sparingly the first night, but even so on the second day, as they entered the outskirts of Arkesh, they heard the sounds of pursuit. 

Armed with spears and swords of cruel bone, the warriors of Eina's sister came full of their purpose. Yet they were new in this task, and in his excitement one of the troop launched his spear too soon and it only grazed Tarn's arm. Tarn licked the dark blood that welled to the surface and he picked up the spear. Then the warriors were upon them. 

Tarn fought fierce and hard, but there were too many. For every skull he crushed and every throat he pierced, a blade or spear reached out to prick him, so that he began to bleed from many wounds. His strength was so great that the wounds did not seem to concern him, yet even so the hour came when his arms began to falter and the gleam in his smile became more fierce than joyful. 

Eina watched her lover battle the warriors of her people, who had played with her in her youth and kissed her when they dared. Yet, she knew that not one of the troop had not come to kill them. So, when the time came that Tarn began to falter, Eina began to sing. Her song was like her father's death song, but unlike, it was like the song which she had sung to Tarn, but again unlike it, it was like the song of love, but in truth the song was like itself. 

As, she sang the warriors of her people began to slow and their skins grew thick and black like the depths of an abalone's heart. Soon the forest was full of silent swaying figures gripping their weapons. To this day if one goes to the edge of the forest of Arkesh, one may see Erin's soldier's still fighting their ancient battle. 

Tarn tries to sing the song of order with her, but he did not know it. He said, "I know only the song you gave me, of my father the sea dragon, who was not." So, he began to sing the song of the sea dragons. For a time the song stretched into the sea and was gone. Only the crashing trees could be heard. Then silent and strange they came, long and silver blue as the water who is their mother and many as the water could hold. Old eyes looked at the lovers and old voices took up the song of order with Eina, for the sea dragons stand close to the beginning times, and remember many songs. They circled in the waters, as only serpents can. They circled out and the song spread. The hand which pushed the water grew still and tied themselves to the soil as black plants. Still the sea dragons circled, still they sang, with Eina in the center leading them on. Then silence, and the storm and the dragons had gone, for despite their size, they are shy, the dragons of the deep. Eina and Tarn could only wish them well before going on. 

Eina led Tarn deeper into the forest, until they came to a cave next to a fountain of warm water. the fountain was full of flowing fish, dancing to the rhythm of the sea. They rested in the cave that night and on into the next day, for they were both tired. 

Rest was not to be theirs, for again the sounds of pursuit came to the cave. These warriors were different from the others though, they were women and Eina's song had no power to change them, in that they held change within themselves. At the front of these warriors swam Erin, a sword obsidian black in her hand. 

Eina, there are too many of them. I cannot kill them all." said Tarn. 

You could seduce them." Eina smiled, "Well, it worked with me. 

"My seductions are a matter of craftsmanship rather than mass production." Tarn clasped Eina in his arms. "I love you . Now go, I will hold them off. 

I know already that I hold your child in my body. I cannot leave you. You cannot die. 

"Then I will try not to," said Tarn and he swam amidst the women an the sea grew warm from the heat of blood that day. Or perhaps the heat was from Eina's song. She sang not the song of the world, but the song that was herself, so that she reshaped her own body, for her body was all she had left to change. Her hair fell from her and she grew long and sleek, deep green and white, but still she sang. Her voice grew only stronger as she changed and her teeth grew sharp and many and then she was in the battle tearing at her sister with an Orca's smile. So, too Tarn began to change, and his teeth once more grew sharp to an edge. In the battle they were as one thriving thing, injured, injuring, until all lay on the floor of the sea. 

And Eina and Tarn, his eyes, her hair, they were still the color of love, and blood too ran in their veins, so that the children, and there were many, that they raised in the forest grew wild and fierce, but all knew the song of the world. To this day Orcas mate for life and they fight fiercely for what they desire, and so too they sing the song, until such time as Eina and Tarn retake their bodies and return to the deserted palace off the shores of Lyonesse.

Drink more deeply, read the notes. Journey back to the beginning Seek out a list of names at the Table of Contents Read more deeply into the next story.