Ligeia

An artist with a luring voice

Ligeia - Daughter of the Sea

Introduction

Ligeia is a performing artist regularly often seen on stage in the Last Drop ale house, where she either sings, reads poems or tells stories, depending on the audience and the general atmosphere of the evening. Using the stage name Daughter of the Sea, although everybody knows her by Ligeia too.

She lives alone just outside of town, about ten minutes south of Oranjestad-St. Eustatius, in a small cottage close to the beach of Buccaneers Bay. Ligeia doesn't share much about her background, but if people are overly curious and ask where she came from, she says she washed up ashore there.

Skills

She plays several musical instruments, and has been seen performing with guitar, violin or flute, but mostly Ligeia uses the piano to accompany herself when she is on stage in the Last Drop.

If people are asked to describe Ligeia they don’t get any further than that she is a young woman of moderate height with long dark hair and a pale skin. They will spend way more words describing her voice, magical, otherworldly, catching, mesmerising, luring, seductive, irresistible, fascinating, tempting.

Practise

Ligeia often practises new songs, some well-known covers of others and some she composes herself, on the rocky shores in front of her house, having caused passing boats distraction a number of times. At one occasion, she even dragged an electronic keyboard out onto the beach for a practice session.

Current Location
Children

Distracted

The weather was fair that Saturday in October. The morning mist had just burned away and there was a gentle south westerly breeze when Brenda, and the brothers Clive and Phillip decided to race their sailing dingies from Oranjestad south to Fort de Windt near Buccaneer Bay and back.

Brenda was soon a bit behind the other two boats, as expected, as both Clive and Phillip were better sailors than she was. But around the turning point, something odd happened. Both brothers slowed down and started drifting towards the rocky beach. Where they would easily smash their small fiberglass boats to pieces with the onshore wind.

Brenda noticed there was a person on the shore, and she heard some faint singing, but she couldn't understand why Clive and Phillip were sitting in their boats doing nothing.

When Brenda caught up to the other two, she shouted at them several times before getting a response. It looked to her she woke them up, and the brothers continued sailing their boats.

Once safe back in Oranjestad Harbour Brenda asked what that was all about down at the fort, but both brothers claim they never stopped sailing, didn't hear singing, and where questioning her how she caught up so fast.

A night out

Chiara was enjoying a relaxing night ashore, away from the ship a moment. Things hadn't been going very well, as Chiara messed up a manoeuvre the other day and parked the ship into the wind. Together with Marshmallow and Heinrich they were enjoying a drink or two in the Last Drop, which had become a regular place for their pirate crew to visit when they were in the neighbourhood.

Tonight some local singer was performing, and Chiara thought they had a lovely voice, and the sea shanties were enjoyable. But what had become of Marsh and Heinrich was a bit odd. They hardly touched their drinks during the singing, staring at the singer as if enchanted.

Hobbies

As a pastime event Ligeia likes to swim in the sea in front of her cottage, which she is exceptionally good at.

An old fisherman claims he had once seen a mermaid in Buccaneer Bay, but nobody believes the stories of the old drunk.

Reception

Victoria Lily Brewer the owner and innkeeper of the Last Drop, is always very happy when Ligeia comes and performs. It fills up her common room nicely. People stick around longer, buy an extra drink or two. And the atmosphere is always very pleasant. Sometimes men behave a bit, odd, but hey they are men and Ligeia is a pretty girl with a pleasant voice.


-"Hands where up where I can see them!" A rough voice snarled behind Ligeia.
Startled, she turned around, hands forward, but not up.
"Hands where up?" She asked.
-"Shut up! Give me your money wrench. I know you earned loads last night in the Drop!"
"You don't want to be doing this." Ligeia responded with a tune in her voice.
The would be burglar stopped dead in his tracks. "What?" He shook his head and stepped towards Ligeia again.
In the shine of the nearby streetlight Ligeia noticed his pupils, his irises were gone, there was only black. Fuck, she thought. A druggie.

Mouse

Ligeia is good friends with Mouse, a petty criminal residing in Oranjestad. Mouse is a small man, whom everyone somehow neglects to see. This skill he has honed to perfection, where he can move through crowds without being noticed.

Ligeia caught Mouse one time pick pocketing among the people who were enjoying her show. After confronting him, Mouse spilled the contents of his earnings. And Ligeia was surprised to see it was easy five times more than she got in tips and payment from the innkeeper combined that night.

Being a performer didn't pay well, and Mouse in exchange for her silence agreed to a lucrative deal. Ligeia would notify him about her shows, and make sure he got into the establishments with a tighter door policy, and Mouse would lighten the purses of the onlookers a bit, inflating the tips they gave.

Treasure

Eventhough Ligeia didn't have a high income, even with the help of Mouse, she earned more than she spent and managed to save up quite a sum over the years.

Mouse had once asked what she planned to do with the stash. Ligeia didn't really have an answer, other than safe for later.

Uneasy with the questions from Mouse, not that she didn't trust him, but he sometimes spoke to easy to his criminal friends. Ligeia moved the stash, which was mostly coin, to the sea floor. Hiding among the waves that would splash up and roll when she sang, they'd sit safe from any burglar, thief or pirate.

Or at least that is how the story goes, the story teller ended his tale about a girl who's singing crashed boats. Chatter returned to the common room of the Last Drop, and people ordered drinks again after they had been silently listening to the story.



Cover image: by Johannes Plenio

Comments

Author's Notes

I'm proud to say this article made the challenge shortlist!


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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
23 Jan, 2022 13:50

Nice! Does she only sings on the shores or is she able to somehow wheeled her piano there? XD You could also add something about the weather and land conditions ont he shores that could allow the sound to travel exceptionally well in this area to increase the eeriness. Also, what genre of music is she doing and singing? Is it something she composes herself?

To see what I am up to, see the list of my Summer Camp articles—my favourite is Sentient Cells.
25 Jan, 2022 13:11

Thank you, I changed the piano to a keyboard, :D a waterproof keyboard. I don't think the weather has much effect, but I added some morning fog for eery effect.

24 Jan, 2022 01:26

I like what's here for what is a work in progress and look forward to reading the rest when it's done.

25 Jan, 2022 13:11

Thank you Chrispy, I expanded a bit again! I probably keep tweeking it untill the deadline ;)

24 Jan, 2022 08:06

Hm yes, very good article about a girl which's voice can crash ships, lure men and calm them. I like the hints and small pieces of where she comes from (washed ashore). I'm eager to see what you will do with her in the near future. :)

You want to hear the voice of fire? I got you covered with my actual entry to the bard challenge: Amara Silverharp. You wanna see what we did for Summer Camp? This way please: Eddie's Summercamp
25 Jan, 2022 13:14

Thanks Eddie, in the future? uhh yeah I think she'll show up somewhere in the story :D

24 Jan, 2022 16:45

Nice read! She does seem like some kind of siren especially in the short story that you added :) Really curious what really happened there as they said they did not stop sailing.

Feel free to check out my River challenge article and my Secrets in the swamp Adventure article if you want to see what I am up to!
25 Jan, 2022 13:15

Thank you Kefke. Glad you pick up on all the hints! Well those brothers don't realize they stopped sailing, but Brenda had the clear vision there.

25 Jan, 2022 16:28

Whoo, great job and what a lovely read! Still, something is not entirely swell with her... What is she hiding, hmm?   Keep up the good work! :D

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26 Jan, 2022 01:27

Thank you Shadow. Ligeia is not troubled by swell, the best hiding place is underneath the waves anyway :D

26 Jan, 2022 15:07

I like it! By the name I guess that Ligeia is a siren or mermaid, right?

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26 Jan, 2022 17:19

Thank you Kajetan, yes a Siren. Although I didn't want to spell it out in the article, just drop the clues and hints. And this world is set in the real world without magic and such, so keeping it a question is on purpose too.

30 Jan, 2022 14:42

Aja, totally not a siren here, no sir. So sad to see that her job did not pay well enough, glad Mouse helps her with that (even if its at convenience). Good article, easy to read, love the quotes added :D

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30 Jan, 2022 15:00

Thank you Catoblepon. Together with Mouse they make more money than they can spend. So it miiiiigght happen that some pirates hear about this box under the waves, and will try to do some redistributions.

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Valentine Myers
31 Jan, 2022 20:19

Sounds like a really interesting singer~! I wonder how much she knows about her powers, and where they might've come from?

1 Feb, 2022 03:25

Yes she's fully aware and capable of using them. I as the writer don't even know where they come from :P

1 Feb, 2022 20:27

That's a fantastic character, Jacob! :D   I love how she feels like a person you could casually talk to, but with the power to influence men in a way, they lose their senses. So many possibilities of it being used (pickpocketing being one of them), I wonder if you are planning to make a story with her as the main character?   Despite the drugs, her voice seemed to have some effect on the burglar-to-be, but it didn't work on him entirely. Does this happen with all sorts of drugs or just some particular ones?   At least... that is as the story goes. Maybe it's all just a tall tale of a drunken sailor who crashed his ship... Always finding excuses, them lot. :D

Introducing my challenge entry, with my cat as the main character and visitor to the tavern.
2 Feb, 2022 04:22

Thank you Angantyr.
That's exactly what I wanted to achieve! Just a regular person you can meet everywhere, but with a catch.
A story with Ligeia as the main, uh I'ven't thougth about that, not sure if there is enough material? I think I'll add a chapter to the main story line where the pirates have business with her in some way or another.
Sailors don't crash ships, it's always the shore that suddenly moves.

2 Feb, 2022 09:44

Sailors don't crash ships, it's always the shore that suddenly moves.
— Jacob
And that... is a beautiful opening quote or a casual remark of a sailor met at the port. Can I use it in the future? :D

Introducing my challenge entry, with my cat as the main character and visitor to the tavern.
2 Feb, 2022 16:14

Yes, go ahead. I'd be honoured to see it somewhere in a world. :)

3 Feb, 2022 19:22

It has come so far since the first time I read it. The little hints and clues, and unfinished stories are perfect, they give the whole article a mysterious feel

4 Feb, 2022 00:29

Thank you Laura :) :)

4 Feb, 2022 11:18

I really like this - the combination of description, quotes and pictures make it easy to digest. And so many hints for what else is going on.

4 Feb, 2022 17:34

Thank you Clarissa, the piano beach girl picture was the inspiration for it all. What else is going on tho? :P

5 Feb, 2022 08:03

Oooo, I love all the mystery being woven into this article right away. The use of the sidebar, the excellent formatting, and the sections of story do a wonderful job of seeding questions and intrigue!   One thing I noticed was the first sentence under "Treasure". I think the sentence might work better if joined together with the following sentence?   instead of "Eventhough Ligeia didn't have a high income, even with the help of Mouse. She earned more than she spent and managed to save up quite some over the years."   something like "Even though Ligeia didn't have a high income, even with the help of Mouse, she earned more than she spent and managed to save up quite a sum over the years."   I think my favourite part is her friendship with the pickpocket named mouse. She's so secretive, and yet there's this small amount of camaraderie between the two that becomes apparent. Even if she does hide her stash of coins xD Great article, and really intriguing character!


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5 Feb, 2022 08:48

Thank you Stormbril! I was afraid I would just be making another mysterious character, and it would appear as a story without any real facts or personality. I did change the sentence to your proposal; it does work better. I'm glad you like the formatting!

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E. Christopher Clark
6 Feb, 2022 21:24

I really loved that "Distracted" sidebar story—so much so that I paused reading the rest of the article to write this sentence.   Okay, now back to reading…   Great stuff throughout. I really enjoy that closing moment where she hides the treasure, and I love that last sentence. Beyond that, I enjoy how her unexplained effect on men keeps coming up.

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7 Feb, 2022 04:01

Thank you Chris! (Also did you pass me in Satriums stats today by commenting on my article. Lol.)

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E. Christopher Clark
7 Feb, 2022 11:38

Ha! Yes, this might've been the one that did it.

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8 Feb, 2022 14:51

I love that final box, its a really nice twist to have Ligeia be a character that is talked about in stories and rumours. I love her working relationship with Mouse too (which is a really great name for a character too). I am having a bit of a hard time figuring out whether we are meant to understand that Ligeia is a mythical / magical character- I think the nature of her voice could be made a bit more clear, but I also like that it isn't outright said as much as it is hinted out through the article. Nice work!

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8 Feb, 2022 20:34

Fun fact, I started with that final box. But then I added the short story bits, and uhm the line got a bit blured, does it happen in my world or not? I set a no magic rule in this world when I started, I wanted to write a story that could be plauseable. technically possible. (yeah that included me calculating voyages and stability of sail boats and so...)
But that had it's influence on this article, I was inspired by the Siren myth, but on the other hand had a no magic thing. so what is it? in world fiction or a character my pov's will meet honestly I don't know yet.

9 Feb, 2022 22:29

You have done another great article here. You have improved even since the Shipwright challenge. The sidebar story and hints dropped throughout, as well as the fact that her physical description is so sparse adds rather than detracts from the overall presentation. Keep up the good work.

Feel free to stop by and read some of my Summercamp articles, conveniently located here Summer Camp Pledge 2022. Leave a comment if you can, feedback is always appreciated.
10 Feb, 2022 07:54

Thank you Drunkenpanda!
Yes the shipwright challenge was, in hind sight, not my best article. I put way to much tech stuff and to little story in there. For this one about Ligeia I looked back at my costume challenge, what made that one so nice, and tried to do that here too. More jokes, more prose, less technical blabla.
I don't really like describing into detail what a character looks like, when that isn't relevant to the story. I like it better if my fantasy is allowed to create a picture in my brain if I read other work, so that's what I did here too. You'll never find face shots in my work for that same reason.

15 Feb, 2022 14:02

I love the little touches of siren mythology in here without you spelling it out, especially through the little bits of prose. She is a very interesting character, and I like the idea of her teaming up with Mouse to make a little bit more money. I like that she stores her treasure in the ocean too.

16 Feb, 2022 19:07

Thank you Emy!