Those wizards without their sea-legs scoffed at our magic. They laughed at our “substandard” wands made from merpeople scales, shards of sea dragon teeth, or the hair from a hippocampus. They chuckled because we used wood from sunken ships and far off places, wood that Mr. Ollivander had never seen.
“Not up to scratch, those sailors’ wands. Not made by Ollivander!” rang in our ears each time we went to shore.
Have you ever tried to barter with a mermaid for her scales while struggling to resist her song?
Have you ever tried to fight a sea dragon off your ship as its tail wraps around the flimsy wood and starts to squeeze?
Have you ever even seen a hippocampus?
No, our wands were not made from valuable wand woods or expensive materials, but they were wands, all the same. They were powerful in different ways.
They channeled the fear of the drowned. The peace and freedom of the vast ocean. The violence of the Maelstrom. The cunning of the merpeople. The grace of the hippocampi. The magnificent destruction that characterizes the sea dragon.
But our wands were powerful not because they were wands, but because they were not all we used to cast our sea-spells and water-magic. Our wands were never meant to be the end-all of magic, but a crude expression of far older, far more elegant sea-spells and water-magic.
In the tar used to seal the planks of the vessel together we mixed drops of our blood. We learned that from the hot ports of Africa. Our ship never leaked.
On our three masts and figurehead were carved harsh and jagged runes that spoke of the harsh waters of the Arctic. My mast was hacked and chiseled by a descendent of Leif Eriksson himself. My masts never broke; the figurehead would spring to life and tear apart the ships we overtook if I gave the word.
My first mate learned to stitch sails from a woman who spun the threads from the foam of the sea itself, from the kami of the ocean. My sails needed no raising and lowering, no trimming; that was for amateurs and landcrawlers. No, my sails reacted to the slightest wind, moving of their own volition and taking me where I wished to go.
And whenever a storm would approach, the crew would circle around the mainmast and begin a chanting, stomping dance we learned from the First Peoples of the West Indies. Somehow, the waves were never quite high enough to cause us danger, and the winds never fought against my vessel, however the storm raged.
Those fools that passed for wizards did not know or care about our magic on the sea, but their vaunted Ollivander wands are worse than useless on the swells and the troughs. That’s land magic. There are far older magics in the world, magics that tap into the very fabrics of the deep earth and vast fathoms. They try to control the world around them with magic, but the world will not be controlled. Their magic is puny compared to the fury of the ocean.
Sail through a hurricane with one of your wands.
I have some new deckhands that need good wands; the wood from your shattered hull would do nicely.
When it is you sailing against the vastness and power of Poseidon and Sedna and Mizuchi and Tangoroa and Njord all at once, you do what you must to survive.
The sea has no boundaries, no borders, and neither does our magic.
We ask we put to shore, wherever that may be, if there is some way to connect ourselves to the might of the sea and become one with the waves and winds. We seafarers learned long ago that to fight the sea is to drown. Our magic is from the sea, not from land. That, Mr. Rookwood, is how and why we survived.
- Captain Alanna Jones, famed wizarding pirate and great-granddaughter of Davy Jones
(Submitted by mastersamwiseofthefryingpan. Photo 1)