Creatures of the Night

Mer-Children of Cain

by Elizabeth McCoy

It is said that the "half humans," the "fish-kin," are of the race of Cain, who slew his brother and was condemned to roam the world, never to have a home as he traveled about the land, and that the land that drank his brother's blood would never again bear fruit for him. However, to guard against his being slain, the Lord placed a mark upon Cain.

The first son of Cain, Enoch, and his children, stayed in the city that bore Enoch's name, in the land of Nod. However, Cain could not remain, and his wife traveled with him. In time, he and his vagabond family reached the sea, and there Cain realized there was a place that was not the earth.

First, the legend says, they took to boats. But, angry at the intrusion of humans, the great Leviathan tried to destroy them. Cain cried, "Who kills Cain shall be avenged sevenfold," and the great beast prayed to the Lord for mercy, that the drowning humans' death would not be laid upon its doorstep.

And so the Mark upon Cain and his family changed them, and though he would never again return to his homeland, under the waves he found he would no longer be condemned to wander, and the waters and undersea plants would give him and his family food. Finally, Cain praised the Lord, and vowed that he would never again slay his kin. As the Lord had saved them by giving them the gifts of the fish, so would he and his line spare the gentle schools. But as they were not kin to the death-eyed shark without scales, the many-tentacled . . .

This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.

Article publication date: February 4, 2005

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