RealmgART: The Sea Bear

A vexing figure in the history of Realmgard.

Now, you may recall that I’ve made several (fortunately) fleeting references to a dynasty supposedly founded by a sea monster.

Best summed up back in November:

How exactly a so-called “Sea Bear” propagated a dynasty of Elven nobility remains much debated, as does the exact nature of such a creature. For many historians, the preferred explanation is that the identity of the Sea Bear arises from garbled historical sources and that the Sea Bear was, in fact, a person — a powerful pirate or naval leader nicknamed the Sea Bear. The assumption is that this crucial detail was obfuscated with the passage of time, leading to the rise of the erroneous belief that the Sea Bear was a sea monster.

from my write-up on Queen Antiocha

And, well, it might just look a little something like this:

A flag depicting the Sear Bear, a bear with the lower body of a fish.

Incidentally, that’s a reference to the real-life Merovingians, whose founder Merovech (Meroveus in Latin, Mérovée in French) is said to have been the son of a Sea Monster called a ‘quinotaur’, generally depicted as a bull with the head of a rabbit and the body of a rabbit the lower body of a shark, or something.

Now, according to Wikipedia, the quinotaur is a garbled reference to older myths like Zeus and Europa (famously spirited off by Zeus in the form of a bull), the Minotaur, and a vague cultural recollection of the spiritual and cultural importance of bulls to the Minoan civilisation.

For what it’s worth, speaking in my authoritative capacity as the Author (do not start, man), as far as the ‘canon’ answer, the whole point of this exercise isn’t ‘Did a Sea Monster actually father a line of kings’, it’s ‘there’s some weird stuff in historical accounts.’ So the ‘real’ answer is that there is no answer.

That being said, I’m of the mind that the Sea Bear is, indeed, a just a very garbled account of a person — like a pirate, or something — whose nickname was ‘Sea Bear.’

Basically, I know that, you know that, but the characters don’t know that, because they’re dealing with flawed in-universe sources and can’t just ask me for clarification.

Quick reminder for the weekend:

Promotional art for the YA Fantasy giveaway.
US Residents only.

YA Fantasy giveaway underway. Link here.

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