"The Legend of Moontide Island"|
Seafaring folks are known to be more than a little superstitious at times. Indeed - stop and talk to a sailor for a short time and you're bound to hear a tale or two of sea beasts, sirens, and ships lost at sea. However, there is one particular tale that is different than the rest: The Legend of Moontide Island.
The island itself was once normal enough. The people who lived there were happy, hardworking, and quite pious. Every day they would thank the Sea King for providing them with fair weather, calm seas, and a bounty of fresh fish. So deep was their devotion that they carved wooden effigies of the Sea King and gave mass worship at a yearly festival.
Unfortunately, the fate of the island was forever changed when a man name Ji was made the new chief of the island. Ji was a proud, jealous, and bitter man who envied the love shown to the Sea King. After all, why shouldn't he be adored just as much as some far-off deity? With jealously in his heart, Ji began to devise a plan to become the sole object of the island people's worship.
One night, while everyone was asleep, Ji went to the harbor where all of the fishing was done. Making sure nobody was looking, he poisoned the waters. All of the fish were either killed or fled from the island's shores. The next morning, panic filled the island. What had happened to all of the fish? How would the citizens eat? What would they do?
"The Sea King has turned his back on us!" cried Ji, his voice filled with false concern and sympathy.
"Turn your prayers and love to me, and I will have the power to return the fish to our shores!" Reluctantly, the citizens of Moontide Island bent their knee to Ji, and offered prayer and devotion. That night, using some unknown magic, he purged the poison from the harbor and the fish returned.
The citizens rejoiced, and many prayers and offerings of thanks were bestowed upon Ji. So whipped up into a religious fervor were the islanders that they burned the effigies of the Sea King and dared to name Ji the new Lord of the Seas. Of course, this wasn't enough for Ji, and he demanded more and more. Soon, even human sacrifices and dark rituals were being done in devotion to their new Lord.
This did not last long.
The skies darkened and harsh storms began to flood the island. Huts were washed away and trees snapped in half. The islanders pleaded to Ji to make the storms stop. After all, was he not the Lord of the Seas? As he prepared to address his flock, Ji was struck by a bolt of lightning that incinerated him on contact.
From the stormy seas emerged the Sea King. He looked upon the islanders with all the rage of a tsunami, his voice booming over the storm.
"HOW DARE YOU BURN MY HOLY SYMBOLS IN SERVICE TO A FALSE GOD! FOR YOUR BLASPHEMY AND HERESY, YOU SHALL ALL BE CURSED TO WANDER THE SEAS NEITHER DEAD NOR ALIVE. LET THIS BE A LESSON TO ALL OF YOU!"
In an instant, the entire island - and all of the islanders on it - vanished without a trace. Trading ships who knew the port well were astounded to find Moontide Island completely gone. Soon, maps were updated without the island and legends began to spread among sailors as to what really happened.
Some say that on a foggy night when the moon is full, an island not marked on any map will appear in various places around the world. Legend tells that any ship who dares visit this island is never seen or heard from again.
However, one thing is for certain: Moontide Island is an island lost at sea.