Every night Akona would sit by her young son's side, retelling old tales from her time on the seas. Her son Piki ate it up. It was the only way he could even sleep at night. This particular night, She told her story to Piki, waited until he closed his eyes and finally stood up to leave. "Can you please tell me another story?" Akona sighed, it was already late. "Have I told you about the toalas?"
"I've heard this one before! They fly and attack the restless."
"They come in the night, tama. They bite the fingers off of children like you!" She smiled and pounced on her child, tickling him and playfully biting the air around his hands. When the laughter ended, Piki looked up to his mother.
"But mom, the moon's out! You told me it will watch over me."
Akona was proud of her son for remembering what she'd told him.
"Of course it will, tama. Always remember that."
She pauses for a second, looking at her son in thought. She just can't say no.
"Fine, one more story. I will tell you the story of Rotumu and the ship. You're sleeping after this one though!"
"It all started with a pearling vessel. The sailors had set their anchor and begun diving into the blue. One by one they fell as they gripped their diving stones. With no initial luck, one diver swam off in search of precious pearls. It was then she found the shrine…"
Akona paused and looked to her son, who looked back with wide, eager eyes. He was hooked, so she continued.
"It laid on the seafloor half-ruined, crusted with coral and barnacles. When the diver came closer, it started to glow bright and the ground shook. Finally, a gigantic serpent appeared from the water… the great sea spirit Rotumu!"
"Rotumu was a guardian spirit of Cur'ranas, and he loved interacting with the humans he protected. The divers didn't recognize him though, so they quickly retreated to their boat. They even left the pearls behind! Rotumu had his eyes set on the boat, though, for he thought it was a sea-beast like himself. He fell instantly in love with the ship and surfaced to court with it. The sailors, however…"
"What did they do, mom?" Piki piped up. Akona could tell that her son was worried. He was still innocent and young. So Akona spoke, "They lived happily ever after, tama. That's it, it's time for you to get to bed already."
"But mom! That story was so short!" Piki pleaded. Akona kissed him goodnight and left his room.
Akona lied to her son, though. The sailors didn't live happily ever after. In fact, most didn't live at all. They slew Rotumu believing they were under attack, and the slaying of a sacred beast caused a storm so strong it shipwrecked the boat and killed the crew. When Rotumu finally returned to the waking world, being a spirit, he found only the corpse of his beloved. He would forever stay by the shipwreck, guarding it in isolation. It is said he sings to it every night, and that it can be heard from the shores of Cur'ranas.
Akona struggled to sleep, having lied to her child. She thought it was for the best that Piki didn't know how her time at sea ended. Not yet, at least...