Cobby and the Carp of Murk

Fishing in the cold, ever snowy land of Elcon is no easy task. Many of the beings one would fish up are quite dangerous, and some water-denizens engage in reverse fishing, where they try to catch land-dwelling beings that they wish to eat. On top of these issues, is that apart from the warm lake(which some call a sea due to its size) the part of the chocolate river that flows through Elcon is completely frozen over.

The chocolate river is not in fact a river of chocolate, though to those that know Elcon, they wouldn’t have been surprised if it had been. No, it is merely a river of water kinda brown in colour that tastes like chocolate and has superior health benefits to regular water. For the record, the snow of Elcon, which indirectly comes from the river and the great ocean it spills out into tastes like white chocolate.

Travellers from other dimensions are usually shocked at how sweet the majority of Elconic food and drink is, the natives themselves are pretty much used to it.

Most mysteriously though is that the river flows through all four of the lands found ‘twixt the interdimensional tunnels, not just the land of Elcon, all four lands are also connected by a large chocolate ocean, but few are those who dare to fish those waters.

Before one can fish on Elcon’s frozen river, one has to break through the ice. Often this is a hard task as the ice can be very thick, but this thickness is a trap, as some of the ice can reveal itself to be horrifically thin, many denizens have lost their lives to this thin ice, thinking themselves safe. Just as it offers death, it can also offer life (and death to anything unfortunate enough to be fished up, or to a fisher who gets something too dangerous). This thin ice is a boon to those who cannot break down through the ice.

It takes a brave, a crazy or a crazy brave sort to be a fisher. It is not surprising then that many stories of fishers exist.

This one in particular is told by many fishers, and the kind of denizen the fisher of the story varies from telling to telling, but all agree that it was a he, and that he had a big yellow coat, a big yellow hat and a scarf that nobody ever seems consistently describe the colour of.

There is one other thing that is agreed upon; the fisher’s name was Cobby.

Cobby didn’t do much other than fishing, some claim that Cobby was searching for one water creature in particular. He made his fishing equipment from what he fished and what he found, he was in general very good at making things from creatures he fished up.

His current fishing rod was made from a spiny protrusion that had snapped off of a blades-serpent, so called because of its massive blade like teeth, and the bladed horns it had. Then there was the blades along its sides, and finally the tip of its tail grew forth a massive blade too. Supposedly its scales were like little blades too.

It was called blades-serpent for a reason.

His fishing line was wound from the wool of a feral steel-watersheep. As a hook he used a claw from a Gabbler.

Gabblers are a dreaded fish in elcon, knowing for thrusting long scaly arms with hook-like claws up through the water to drag poor fishermen to a watery doom, all the gabbling horrible noises from their wide tentacled mouth.

Cobby was down waiting for a bite by a hole in the ice he had found, so the story goes, taking time to make sure he didn’t get buried by the snow.

He got a tug on his line and skilfully reeled in the catch, in spite of the tricks the caught creature tried.

He discover to his dismay that he had fished up the infamous Carp of Murk some called it the fisherman’s curse! This carp was blacker than black, its scales devouring light. Its six eyes were like stars, if you found stars shaped like dinnerplates that were on the sides of a carp’s head. Now all Elconic carp are regarded as canny deadly fish that would pull you into the water as soon as look at you, but the Carp of Murk was even worse.

Just catching it was supposed to curse a fisher with an inability to catch any fish, many just gave up fishing if they even saw the Carp of Murk poking its head up to mock them. Not that anyone had before caught the carp, it was known for snapping lines and even for leaping out of the water to pull denizens to their doom.

“Ahh, ow ow, hey, take me off this hook, toss me back in and I’ll not curse you, mighty fisherman!”

Cobby not wanting to lose his way of life, and indeed fishing was his whole life, nothing brought him more joy, tossed the fiendish fish back from whence it came.

He returned to fishing, and after a time, he felt a tug on his line. Whatever was at the other end was quite desperate to escape, but Cobby guided it out of the water, playing the catch for a fool.

He was not well pleased with his catch, for it was the ‘Carp of Murk’ come again.

“Well, this is awkward I could have sworn that was a different hook, well, release me and I’ll spare you my curse!”

Disgruntled, the fisherman loosed the fiendish fish a second time.

Cobby returned to fishing after checking his rod and line, and of course he got another bite.

Cobby found it a bit of a challenge this time, but still he pulled it in, being only a little tired.

Once again, it was the Carp of Murk

He did not even let it talk this time, he quickly tossed the fiendish fish back. Then he thought and he pondered. He hummed and ha’d and came up with a simple idea. He made a big bowl of from ice and filled it with water.

He went back to fishing, sure enough he got a bite and this time it was a fierce battle of wills between him and his catch. He was afraid his line and rod would both snap, but Cobby won out and grabbing the cruel carp so that it couldn’t speak, the mighty fisherman told it that he’d toss it back in after he had caught another fish. With that he put the Carp of Murk into the bowl.

It was a long while before he caught anything, and the carp constantly derided him, incessantly trying to distract Cobby, but he caught another fish and it is said when he did, the Carp of Murk’s eyes are said to have shot up into the sky and the Carp of Murk became a regular mindless vicious Elconic carp, though black in colour.

Supposedly if one had a scale from the Carp of Murk it would offer protection from all water creatures, but Cobby is said to have eaten the fish, skin and all so that is probably that.

Author: SnowyMystic