Early History The Gabrielino, Chumash and Tongva (Pimungnan) tribes of the Southern and Central California coast fished along the wide Pacific channel from Santa Barbara down to San Pedro and traveled across to Santa Catalina Island (known then as Pimugna), San Nicolas and San Clemente Islands as early as 7000 BCE. The shamans of the tribes became associated with the subsurface dwellers of the Kingdom Of Nereidia Pacifica around 5000 years ago. The merfolk of Nereidia traded their herbal medicinal remedies and potions with the tribal medicine men, while these shamans educated the merfolk on the phases of the Moon and its affect upon the tides. They lived peacefully side-by-side for thousands of years until the era of the invaders. Explorer Joao Rodrigues Cabrilho arrived in October of 1542 CE and claimed the islands for Spain. Soon afterward, Franciscan friars enslaved many of the natives, forcing them onto the mainland to work the ranchos or to build missions; many of the natives died of diseases brought by the Europeans. The Nereidians, dismayed by the cruel behavior of the invaders, offered asylum to any natives who wished to accept their offer of aquatic conversion, a practice which allowed air breathers the ability to breathe underwater. The natives who accepted this offer settled among the merfolk and intermarried with them. Next came an even greater challenge when the Aleutians came in 1811 to hunt sea otters for their pelts. The Russians brought with them diseases which killed the remaining native population of the islands. The hunters effectively wiped out the island tribes and the otters by 1835. Furious at the loss of life amongst their gentle neighbors, the Nereidians vowed to retaliate against anyone else who chose to populate the channel islands. Hidden below the waves, they exacted revenge by stirring up ocean currents, conjuring tempests, tsunamis and water spouts, thereby bedeviling later groups who used the channel, including smugglers of Chinese immigrants and Civil War Union troops alike. Nomads From Atlantis For 3000 years, the civilization of Nereidia Pacifica has thrived below the Pacific Ocean in relative peace and obscurity. Descending from races common to Atlantis in antediluvian times, the earliest Nereidians were exiled members of the Atlantean royal family who fled Santorini along with their followers and retinue who shared their beliefs. Expelled from their homeland by the tyrannical King Triton I, they were left to wander a makeshift route from the Central Atlantic, across the Isthmus Of Panama and up the Pacific Coast. After traveling for ten years, they discovered the pleasantly temperate canyons nestled in the channel between the mainland (centuries later dubbed 'California') and the Channel Islands. The roaming Atlantean tribes established their seat of government in a tropical vale roughly five miles from the mainland, in the midst of the lush kelp forests which populate the area. They then founded communities dotted along an ocean floor covering a space of 654,321 square miles. The earliest of Nereidia's rulers were Queen Amphitrite, the granddaughter of Triton I, and her consort Prince Delius, who arrived in the Valle de Pax in 1012 PDE (Post-Diluvian Era) or roughly 1100 BCE. At their bidding, a tranquil spot between the mainland and rugged shores of Pimugna Island (present day Santa Catalina Island) was chosen as the seat of government. Dubbed "The Royal City Of Lycana," a palace and government offices were erected and, soon afterward, a bustling community formed in the surrounding waters. Hidden by a dense kelp and seaweed canopy and protected by magically conjured 'light water' elements, Nereidians were spared from the warfare and strife previous generations had known in Atlantis. In this placid valley, the transplanted Atlanteans thrived. Much later, in 1864, King Typhoen III reigned on the throne of Lycana. Foul of temper and full of pride, he was enraged by the presence of U.S. soldiers stationed on the Channel Islands, in reality the pinnacles of mountains which Nereidia considered to be sovereign territory. Typhoen declared war upon the United States to avenge the deaths and forced exile of the island's native inhabitants. He ordered his palace mages to conjure all manner of water vortices to drive the soldiers back to the mainland. Most escaped with their lives while those few stalwarts who refused to leave were swept into the swift ocean current and drowned, the channel's mermaids being warned not to rescue them on pain of death. Only the intercession of his consort, Queen Elaina-Clara, and that of a group of ministers managed to put an end to the conflict, their actions taken out of fear that the King's actions would reveal their existence. Modern Day Nereidia In the year 1900 CE, Typhoen III's second millennium as ruler came to an end and his son, Prince Bannoch, took the throne. Like his father, Bannoch had a strong belief in Nereidia's supremacy over all of the North Pacific and retaliated aggressively for any incursion by neighboring countries contesting her borders or exploration by entities from above the waves. When the Nacirem tribal lords from the central region of their neighbors to the east attempted to annex the islands nestled beyond Coronado Bay, Bannoch forged an alliance with the Muirgen Warriors--Centaurian soldiers loyal to Queen Thera of the Merlands. Bannoch hired them as a mercenary force to route the invaders, beginning an era in which these crack military tacticians offered their services to end regional disputes quickly and masterfully. In early 1942, Nereidian waters were again invaded, this time by Japanese "tin-fish"--submariners attempting to reach American shores following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. While Nereidians, like other merfolk, chose to keep their presence unknown to those above the waves, King Bannoch would not allow his realm to be used for subversive attacks and immediately acted to thwart the suspected intentions of the submariners. Bannoch marshaled a brigade of Muirgen Warriors and a troop of the Royal Guardsmen to a spot beyond Two Harbors, in northeastern Nereidia. Summoning the tempestuous powers of Poseidon via the Orb Of Tritonia and the Scepter Of Amphitrite--symbols of Nereidian majesty--Bannoch and his troops summarily dispatched the invasion forces. The lights from explosions which destroyed the tin fish, audible and visible from the shoreline, caused a near panic along west-facing beaches and convinced many land-dwellers that they were under attack. However, their clandestine neighbors to the west had already neutralized the situation and, having done so, returned to their anonymity below the Pacific, while those on land memorialized the incident as the "Battle Of Santa Monica Bay." Nereidia Today At the dawn of the final decade of the 20th Century, Bannoch's reign gave way to that of the elder of his twin sons, the sickly Prince Cluanach. Feeble, tactless and easily led, the youthful Cluanach was betrothed for the sake of political and territorial advantage to the vain and haughty Princess Garula, daughter of the Queen of the Tasman Sea. The pair found their marriage to be an unhappy one but felt forced to repeatedly attempt to produce an heir to the throne, each time met with failure. Meanwhile, Cluanach's more affable twin, Eionn, had married Lady Avignon, the daughter of a foreign diplomat, and sired a handsome and agile son blessed with great intelligence and physical strength. Granted at birth with the title The Duke Of Oceanus, young Curadh (meaning "courageous") has recently completed his education at the College Of The Channel Islands and has speedily risen in rank to take his position as Lieutenant Commander of the King's Own Royal Guard. Younger cousin to the Duke is Princess Bualile Cote D'Or, the lone offspring of King Cluanach. Having survived both of her parents' mysterious and untimely deaths, she is the presumptive heir to the Throne Of Lycana, the nation's seat of government. Known to be as willful and headstrong as her father, Princess Lile spurned the traditional tutored schooling of Nereidian royals, instead insisting upon obtaining a parochial education at Mary Star Of The Sea High School on the mainland shores. Now an international fashion icon, Princess Lile was discovered during the harrowing rescue of an injured whale off the coast of Dana Point. Her haunting gray eyes and cherubic, heart-shaped face captured the world's imagination as news cameras caught her single-handedly struggling to free a whale whose fluke was caught by a tangle of discarded fishing line. She was soon after courted by every fashion house in America and Europe, with the Princess settling upon a contract with the famed House Of Soleil. Princess Lile currently awaits her accession of her father's throne while fulfilling her modeling obligations and heading up charitable causes in aid of marine wildlife concerns worldwide. Still in her mid-teens, she insists that there is no truth to the rumor that she plans to marry Rock music icon Dirk McStark of the Scots-Irish conglomerate, Buncrana. Population Nereidia's population is made up of marine humanoids (Genus: Homo Marinus) of varied races who resemble humans who live on land. Roughly 4/5ths of the citizens of Nereidia match this group. Of the remaining populace, the larger portion are Centaurians (Genus: Homo Kentauros), who are half-man (above the waist) and half-seahorse (below the waist). Less than 1/3rd of this remaining group are mermaids or mermen (Genus: Homo Ichthyosa), relocated from the Merlands to the northwest of the territory. 52 percent of the population of Nereidia are female; 48 percent are male. Life expectancy among Nereidians is often in excess of 125 years, though it is not unheard of for merfolk to forge on in excess of 200 years due to the slow metabolic rate at which their bodies age. (This excludes those who are demi-mortals or immortals who can live on for centuries if unharmed). Birthrates are generally low in keeping with natural population control, with most families experiencing one to two births per household. The Muirgen Warriors, as is their habit, neither marry nor mate, as required by the oath taken upon entry into their legion. Likewise, certain clutches of mermaids remain unto themselves and never seek the companionship of mermen. Neoplatonic at their core, they prefer a life devoted to the arts of music and poetry and the contemplation of theology. Total current population: 325,410 Culture Nereidian culture has been shaped largely by their origins in ancient Atlantis, itself the precursor to the culture of ancient Greece. Each year, the Nereidian calendar includes the "Winter Festival Of Lights" during the final week of the year, which celebrates the sun's healthful influence upon the lush kelp forests camouflaging the kingdom. "Festivia Vernal," celebrated each year on April 1, celebrates rebirth themes based upon the tale of Persephone. Festivities include a parade of Nereidian youth, each wearing woven seaweed headdresses, readings of poetry and performances of classical plays in an open-ocean theater set in the Vale Of The Holy Sisters. Summer brings "Queen's Day," a celebration of marine life in which citizens care for all manner of marine life, including the tending of tide pools and fish hatcheries. Each July 14, the royal family is honored with a day of service. During "Die Servitium," business and schools close to allow citizens to volunteer their services to hospitals, nursing facilities and kindergartens. The Princess Royal, in her role as Most Benevolent Patroness Of The League Of Nereidia overseas many of the day's events and awards medals, ribbons and citations at a gala party at nightfall. Religions The most common religious denomination in Nereidia are those who adhere to the classic Greek pantheon with Zeus as Father Of The Gods. The next largest group are Roman Catholics, the faith having been introduced by six Irish nuns who were rescued by merfolk during the early 1800s. It is practiced by a dwindling number of Nereidians who were present during the nuns' time amongst them. The inability to find a priest who would commit to the shepherding of their parish also accounts for the lessening number of members. The most popular element of the visit of the Holy Sisters to remain a major influence is the choice of Gaelic names for Nereidian children, thought to bring good fortune to the offspring and their families. Other religious practices represented in smaller number are, in order, Native American tribal rituals, Judaism, classical Roman rites and Zoroastrianism, brought to the area some two thousand years ago by the Centaurians.
An Update It has recently been revealed that two missing heirs to the throne of Nereidia have been found: Prince Solas-Mor, a young boy of approximately 12, was discovered by the Duke Of Oceanus. The child was found roaming the streets of the city in a state of peril. Once reincorporated into the royal household, Princess Lile welcomed her brother with open arms. (*citation needed). Next, Princess Ciona-Mara, the eldest child of King Cluanach, was found hidden in a hither-to unbeknownst chamber of the palace. The three heirs have chosen to follow the ancient laws of accession of Royal Lycana; therefore, Prince Solas (who prefers the nickname 'Pincin,' from the Gaelic meaning 'minnow') is the new heir apparent and the Crown Prince Of Nereidia Pacific. Princess Ciona has chosen a consort: Her distant cousin Asterus The Messenger. At a private ceremony, he has been granted the stately title 'The Viscount Borealis.' Both the marriage of the Princess Ciona to The Viscount Borealis and the royal investiture will take place on the same day in the Vale Of The Holy Sisters on a soon to be announced date. (Updates to be posted in The Nereidian Tides or read "A Legacy Of The Pacific" for further details). References:"A Legacy Of The Pacific" by D H Brooks, published by Roisin Dubh Publications/Cedar Grove Books, 2011'Nereidia: A Historical Reference Guide' by Dadalus Rae, published by Oceanus Press, 1901'The Royal Family Of Nereidia Pacifica' by Rapatia Palax, published by Pacific Books, 2010'A History Of The Sub-Pacific Region' by Magelicus Greenland. published by the Dolphin Literary Guild, 1820'Aquatic Lives' by Soo Yong Wang, as printed by Marine Press, 1951. Drag me to add paragraph to your block, write your own text and edit me.