Dormal and the Red Woman

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Created On 20 April 2000
Last Updated On 10 September 2002
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 2000

When Dormal set out on one of his voyages, he took those companions who were trusted and skilled. One of these was Arlena, a woman skilled at swimming and fishing. Everything went well until one day when the sailors were performing their morning ablutions. Arlena climbed down to the water's edge but she was Red that day and a few drops of blood fell into the water. The scent of the blood attracted many sharks and shark men who circled the ship. Many of Dormal's companions were afraid and asked Dormal to cast Arlena to the sharks as a Peace Offering, but noble Dormal refused. The sharks attacked and were driven off, but at a very great cost.

Dormal thanked the Gods that the Gloomshark was not in the area and placed a number of Geases and Taboos on Arlena and all her kind. From that day forth: no woman sailor may go near the water's edge when Red; she must not climb rigging when Red; she must not eat the same food as the other sailors when Red; she must refrain from sexual activity before one week has passed after turning Red; she must burn any cloth or material stained when Red. Females who join Dormali crew but break any of these geases may be thrown to the sharks without breaking Dormal's rules.

Now, Dormali can accept female sailors as long as they accept these conditions. Many ships do not accept female sailors and think of them as taboo. Even those that do accept females will often sacrifice the female in the event of an attack. Life is difficult for female sailors, but by no means impossible.