A Pirate's Life for Me
The Cursed Race of the Naga Children
During calamities men, women, and children can be washed out to sea. These strong ocean currents are often impossible to fight. People might even be pulled below the waves. Some pulled under are spared from drowning by the spirit of the ocean. She takes pity on the children, transforming them into Naga. Afterwards, they’re brought to live forevermore on the ocean floor.
These Naga can never see the sun, breathe the air, or see their families again. Should they ever touch the surface they will soon die. This is a cursed life, a half life, but it is a life nonetheless. The water spirit sees this as a gift, rather than a hindrance. When an adult is washed out to sea or thrown overboard the Naga children swim to them and pull them beneath the waves; hoping it is their mother or father. When they realise it isn’t, it’s too late, the man or woman is drowned. The children’s hope quickly turns to anger. The bodies are torn to shreds in a fit of rage before the children’s grief consumes them. What remains sometimes drifts to the surface.
Once a year, offerings are made to the sea by parents who have lost their children to the water. Toys, food, clothing, and blankets are thrown in. The hope is to appease the children trapped below the waters, to spare the lives of others washed out to sea, and to ease their lost one’s grief.
Naga very much share the nature of those they once were. As children, they don’t realise the outcome of their actions until it’s too late, which is why they often kill those they wish to meet or interact with. Such actions are accidental. Naga are to be avoided at all costs by humans, this contributes greatly to their loneliness and is probably at the root of their grief. They can never again be a part of their human communities. Naga do not age and do not procreate. They simply live out the remainder of a human lifespan and, one day, die. When this occurs their bodies turn to seaweed and disperse into the ocean. It is unknown if Naga even retain souls when they’re transformed, what happens after their death is a complete mystery. Naga will lose loved ones without ever knowing when or why. One day their brethren just disappear, sometimes in the middle of play, exploration, or hunting; even in their sleep. The life of a Naga is one of constant suffering. Many would argue it would be better for a child to die rather than be transformed.
When travelling the ocean, be wary of touching the water. Do not bend over the railings or you might find yourself being pulled into the frigid waters below. Do not allow yourself to be swept overboard, or you might never see the surface of the water again. Do not whistle out to sea, for you might call some curious children to your location, in their attempt to answer your call they might sink the very vessel on which you travel. Do not make offerings to children without a priest, for one never knows to whom those offerings go. You may stir the jealous feelings within the children; children do not like to share. You might find yourself torn in half as the Naga fight over who gets you. Most importantly, do not take this cautionary tale lightly. Every word of it is true. The Naga are dangerous. The Naga will kill you.
– Brother Joseph Vásquez, On the Naga Children