Elmpam and Malnar enjoyed a nice day with Elmpam’s parents and siblings. Despite living in the Under-realm for a long time, Elmpam still knew how to ice-fish. Roolpam, Elmpam’s mother, led Elmpam, Malnar, and the remaining daughters, Turpam and Yuspam, out onto the lake. Elmpam helped Turpam cut holes into the ice while Malnar helped Roolpam and Yuspam ready the fishing lines. Malnar was eager to catch some fish. “Maybe I’ll catch an Ice Marlin!” she giggled.
“I’m afraid they’re not in season right now,” sighed Yuspam.
“Aw,” whined Malnar comedically.
“Now, the Snow Bass, on the other hand…”
“Snow Bass?! I haven’t had it in years!”
“Well, this is the season for it!”
“Come on, you two!” called Roolpam. “Elmpam and Turpam should have the holes ready by now!”
“Coming, Mom!” replied Yuspam. She and Malnar gathered up the lines as Roolpam got the bait. Soon, everyone picked a hole and took up their lines. After baiting the hooks, they dropped them into the holes and sat on their chairs, waiting for a nibble.
“You know, Mama,” mused Malnar as they all waited, “it just occurred to me that you and your sisters’ names have the same last syllable as Grandma, but all your brothers’ end in ‘tor’. Why is that?”
“…You know, I never asked,” remarked Elmpam. “Mom, why ARE we named the way we are?”
“It’s a bit of vanity on your father’s part,” explained Roolpam. “His name means ‘soft brain’ in the old tongue and he was teased because of it. He didn’t want any of his children to suffer like that, so he insisted on names that would denote some tough characteristic. ‘Pam’ is a feminine word that means ‘dedicated’, so he insisted that our daughters have ‘pam’ in their names. ‘Tor’ is the masculine version of ‘Pam’, so he wanted ours sons to have that syllable.”
“Well, the syllables suit y’all,” remarked Malnar. “So, what’s the meaning of your names?”
“Elmpam, you never told her?” asked Turpam.
“She never asked until today,” replied Elmpam. “To answer your question, Malnar, my name means ‘dedicated speaker’, Mom’s name is ‘dedicated beauty’, Turpam means ‘dedicated entertainer’, Yuspam’s meaning is ‘dedicated fisher’, then Rentor is ‘dedicated enforcer’, and Tuntor means ‘dedicated priest’.”
“…What about Oltor?”
“… ‘Dedicated soldier’.”
“He seems to have forgotten that.”
“He has.” Elmpam’s line then bounced! “Oh?” The line bounced some more! “I got a bite! I got a bite!”
“Haul him out!” called Roolpam. Elmpam had two sets of her hands on the line and tugged as hard as she could! The last tug revealed what she caught! It…wasn’t a fish she expected. If anything, it was a pair of starfish strung together by a strap. “…That shouldn’t be in the lake,” muttered Roolpam.
“No kidding, this is fashionable for Over-realm Mermaids,” remarked Turpam.
“Er, excuse me?” called a voice. Everyone turned to see a woman’s head poking out of the water, not even exposing her shoulders. The woman was Halfam in her usual Mer-form. “That’s mine,” explained Halfam.
“…You got a fish tail below the waist?” asked Malnar.
“…Yeah, why?” asked Halfam.
“Madam, this is a non-Sentina fish-only lake,” growled Roolpam. “No Sentina fish or Merfolk allowed! Come on out of there!” She and Yuspam hauled Halfam out as she covered her breasts with her arms. “I’ll have you put away for this!” snapped Roolpam. “This is a high offense, you know! Swimming in a main source of food for us!” As Halfam was handed her bra, she was taken over to the sled. “Yuspam, help me get her back home. Turpam, Elmpam, Malnar, you girls go ahead and continue fishing.” Yuspam helped her mother carry Halfam to the sled, laid her down and covered her in blankets, then they boarded the sled and urged their dogs homewards. Once they disappeared, Malnar, Elmpam, and Turpam resumed fishing.
“The nerve of some people!” grumbled Malnar. “Can’t believe someone would…” she then noticed her line bouncing. “This better be a fish!” She tugged on the line hard and pulled a large, cyan colored Bass out of the water. “Look at the size of that thing!” cheered Malnar.
“That’s a whopper, all right!” praised Turpam. “A few more of those, and we’ll eat well tonight!”
“I’m gonna try again!” declared Malnar.
“I’m surprised you wanted to fish instead of be part of Calandra and Elmar’s wedding today,” remarked Elmpam.
“I’ve never ice-fished before. Besides, I’ve seen weddings before, and they promised to record it, so I’m not missing out on much.”
Speaking of Calandra and Elmar’s wedding, it had just begun on the Endeavor. It took place in the chapel with Arsha officiating it and flanked by the Pink and White Divine Ones. Lord Benthe and Lady Sentriam were accompanied by Lady Lamsar, Lady Olpen, and Lord Galmik and stood to Arsha’s right, all in pink outfits. On Arsha’s left, in their white outfits, were Lord Clompofenta, Lady Seemeertii, Lady Reemiltee, Lord Galtrak, and Lady Bolmola. Arsha awaited the bride and groom as the organ played. At a certain musical cue, Elmar approached the altar and stood to Arsha’s right. The music then changed once he took his place and, walking down the aisle, in a large, white dress, with a veil covering only the eyes, held by a white rose crown, much of the veil bunched at the back of her head, and the remainder draping behind her, was Calandra. She slowly walked to the altar, then took her place at Arsha’s left. The music then ended and Arsha began her speech. “Beloved friends, we are all privileged to witness the union of Princess Calandra Narven and Lieutenant Elmar Rotem. Both come from totally different worlds in more ways than one, but, as the Divine Ones can attest, especially the ones in attendance,” the Divine Ones chuckled, “different worlds often come together. Such unions bring about changes for good or ill, today is one of the good changes. Elmar and Calandra, have you decided what your family name will be?”
“We have,” answered Calandra.
“We shall be the Narvens,” continued Elmar.
“Splendid,” praised Arsha. “Since the first wooden sea-faring vessels, the Captain has enjoyed the privilege of uniting two people in holy matrimony. I am honored to exercise that privilege today with you two. I know your future together will be long and happy. Princess Calandra Narven, do you take this man to be your husband and future King through disaster and prosperity until the Black Divine Ones must separate you on the mortal plains?”
“Lieutenant Elmar Rotem, do you take this woman to be your wife and future queen through disaster and prosperity until the Black Divine Ones must separate you on the mortal plains?”
“Divine Lords and Ladies, have you any words to say?” The Pink Divine Ones began.
“I am Lord Benthe, and I bless this couple with eternal love.”
“I am Lady Sentriam, and I bless this couple with eternal love.”
“I am Lady Lamsar, and I bless this couple with eternal love.”
“I am Lady Olpen, and I bless this couple with eternal love.”
“I am Lord Galmik, and I bless this couple with eternal love.”
“May you always feel peace and happiness throughout your days as you do on this day,” bid all the Pink Divine Ones. The White Divine Ones then took over.
“I am Lord Clompofenta, and I bless this couple with a new beginning.”
“I am Lady Seemeertii, and I bless this couple with a new beginning.”
“I am Lady Reemiltee, and I bless this couple with a new beginning.”
“I am Lord Galtrak, and I bless this couple with a new beginning.”
“I am Lady Bolmola, and I bless this couple with a new beginning.”
“May your new beginnings in your new joined life be pleasant and happy as today,” blessed all the White Divine Ones.
“Arsha, you may unite them,” bid Lamsar.
“By the power vested in me by the Divine Ones of Love and Beginnings,” declared Arsha, “I hereby pronounce this couple married by law, love, and beginning! Elmar and Calandra Narven, you may kiss!” Calandra leapt to Elmar’s face and planted her lips on his. He returned the kiss with equal passion as the audience applauded.
Far away from the ship, Oltor was trying to contact Halfam. “Halfam! Halfam, come in! Where are you?!” He gave up soon afterwards. “Stupid fish! Spent too long in the Under-realm, that’s what’s wrong!” He then heard barking. “Dammit!” He ducked behind an ice formation, then climbed it high enough for dogs to be unable to reach him. A search party then arrived with their dogs sniffing the whole area. Leading the whole thing was the Sheriff of the Coliamdii Kingdom, Rentir Ental. The party searched the area as Oltor stayed on his icy perch, not daring to make a noise. This lasted for a good hour until one of the officers approached Rentir.
“Sir, we’re not turning up anything,” she reported, “and it’s getting dark.”
“Very well,” decided Rentir. “Call off the search for now. We’ll sweep this area again in the morning.”
“Yes, Sir,” replied the officer. She then turned to her squad mates. “Pack it up and pack it in, boys and girls. We’re gonna continue in the morning.” The search party then left the area and Oltor got an idea.
“Well,” he mused once he was alone and down from his perch, “I DID post a bounty on that traitor about a year ago and it WOULD be a shame if a candidate for Prime Minister were to meet an…accident.”