Today we look into Glimmerfish, a species created by magical accident, which glows with sorcerous power. People being people, they’ve come up with all sorts of weird uses for such a thing.
I love weird corners of fantasy settings like this, not only because whimsy is great fun, but also because they tend to tie things together in surprising ways. Even if the subject itself isn’t significant, the differing reactions and traditions that spring up around it can really deepen a setting. It can also lead to glitter sushi, which is worth the price of admission.
So let’s talk about mutant fish!
These sparkling fish are native only to the waters around the islands Kecil and Besar in Mergather Gulf. The result of an arcane mishap, these fish can store will-o-wisps in their bodies, which provides their signature glow. Glimmerfish can be used to fuel sorceries, leading to many wizards in the Arcane Mysterium to keep aquariums full of the shimmering fish.
The glimmerfish is not an ideal means of transporting spiritual power. The fish must be kept fed and in oxygenated water—if it dies, the internalized wisps dissipate quickly. Charged glimmerfish can also activate dormant wizardries by mere proximity. Unsubstantiated rumors insist that glimmerfish attract flocks of nymphs; getting a glimmerfish into a region where nymphs live is too much trouble to test the theory. For both practical and fantastical reasons like these, a vimstone or other crafted vessel is a far more convenient and safer option.
This has not stopped fish markets throughout Mergather to tout the benefits of glimmerfish, either as a delicacy or as an ingredient in potions. In Caer Larionad, a popular delicacy is the glimmer roll: sticky rice packed around slices of glimmerfish served so raw that the flesh still sparkles. Given the time requirements of the dish, diners are usually treated to a show as the chef guts and fillets the fish before their eyes. Tradition insists that diners shout “Zuktovardos!” upon downing the delicacy, due to the magical effects sometimes produced. The most common is a momentary tingle of spiritual power dissipating down one’s gullet. Other, stranger results—most minor, nearly all temporary—occur frequently enough to merit the battle cry.
The fish are lucrative enough that the Besar authorities strictly license fishing in their waters. This has generated conflicts, especially with the Hurra. The pirates are known to invade the wizards’ waters in order to throw nets and pull in catches, hoping for glimmerfish. The Hurra may sell the glimmerfish (and certainly any other fish they happen to catch) at a loose port, but are more likely to hand the magical fish over to their wavespeakers, to fuel their naval wizardries.
Now let’s figure out which corner of the Speaking Lands we’ll check out next. We’ve come to another entry where there are only three entries we haven’t already seen. Exciting!