Long ago the earth was divided into two – the areas of land, and the areas of water.  Each was populated by a vast number of species. Those who came to rule on land were humanoid and they had no magic nor did they believe in it. Those who had rule over the water were the Oceanides and in addition to their shapeshifting abilities, they had magic.

For much of early time the two species lived separately, each vaguely aware of the other, although as the humanoids grew in number and violence, the Oceanides took to hiding themselves and their gifts. In addition, unknown to the humanoids and cloaked by magic, there were many islands and kingdoms where the Oceanides lived out of water.

It came to pass over many generations that magic was stronger in some Oceanides than others, especially the mermaids.  While their men had some, that which developed in the women was stronger and more powerful. There came a time when the men sought to lessen the strength of their women and encouraged them to meet and mate with human males.

Although there were some strong love matches and marriages that succeeded, story has long told of how ruinous this turned out to be for both the humans and mermaids. After a time, however, tales of love gone wrong faded into distant memory, replaced by fear or foolishly forgotten completely.

One day was born mermaid who was the daughter of royalty who came from a long and powerful line of unbroken magic.  Her name was Melusine.

Melusine’s father was king of the merfolk and her mother came from a long line of the ruling class.  Melusine was told from an early age that it was important she must marry one of her own kind, preferably someone with the right background. Upon her eighteenth birthday, Melusine was given an intricate golden necklace, thick and filigreed with gems and minerals from all parts of the sea an inheritance from her mother’s family. She grew in beauty, knowledge, and magic, her strengths and gifts creating a time of great abundance and joy for her people.

However, when her father grew ill it shortly after Melusine’s twentieth birthday it seemed likely she would ascend the throne unwed and soon became a target for any and all distant male relatives.

Fearing for her life and freedom, the king set his army against her enemies, and Melusine fled to her private island and waited for word that it was safe to return. On a cold and stormy night, a ship crashed against the rocks near her retreat. She saved the men she could, one of whom was a prince, and using her magic cast them safely home. The prince went to the water’s edge of his own home every day looking for the sea maiden who saved him.  Melusine revealed herself to him after a week, believing his actions showed a true heart.

Sadly, she was mistaken,

The Prince was an ambitious man, a third son, not truly in line for the throne as his oldest brother was already married and had an heir. He had heard tales of the magic water creatures and once he met Melusine he believed if he could win her as his wife, he would be able to use her magic to take over his brother’s kingdom.  He hid his intentions, wooed Melusine and soon they were married. Her mother worried about the match, but her father was relieved Melusine would be protected.

So that her husband could be with her both in and out of water and rule by her side, she gifted him with a magic amulet. At its center was a unique gem forged by magic form three different gems she took from her necklace: the clear Stone of Clarity, the Stone of Peace which was a vibrant blue, and finally the Stone of Strength a deep magnificent green. The three stones together enabled him to learn and practice magic.

When her father died a few months after the wedding, the Melusine was ready to lead and she was grateful to have her prince at her side.  At her coronation, to acknowledge her husband as a co-ruler, she magically removed one strand of gold from the necklace and placed it around her husband’s wrists.  Once it was there, magic closed it so the band had no beginning and no end, as she believed their love to be. Outwardly the prince always showed support and found ways to help her rule even as he continued to make other plans and gain followers of his own among the Oceanides to whom he promised wealth and power once he assumed control.

All was well until Melusine gave birth a year later to three daughters. It was then that the Prince showed his true nature. Furious not to have sons, he locked Melusine in her room swearing she would be his prisoner until she bore him as many heirs as she had daughters. He must have heirs if she was to help him take over his brother’s kingdom. To keep her compliant, he threatened to have her daughters killed if she didn’t do as he commanded. He told her that her magic, like her body, was his to command and she would do as he said or suffer the consequences. He did try to take the band from her neck, but it repelled him surprising them both.

Still, she knew the band and magic was not enough protection. Petrified for her daughters’ safety and horrified by her own unfortunate choice, Melusine meticulously planned her revenge.  Each day she painfully pulled out her magic and imbued it into the gold threads of her necklace. She ate little and hardly noticed what her husband did to her body. Growing weaker by the day, Melusine determined to do what must be done to protect her daughters and destroy the Prince.

Finally, her work was complete.  She waited for him to come to her that night and played the role he wanted her to play.  She was soft and sweet.  Offering words of apology and love, promising to do all he wanted, give him all he asked for. As he lay down on the bed, she straddled him and placed her hand on the amulet which allowed him to live in and out of water. With the last of her energy, she forced magic through the amulet and shattered it back into the three original separate stones. Instantly, the Prince screamed then began to gasp for air. Even though they were on land it was as though all the waters of the ocean filled his lungs.

Before long there was banging and shouting on the other side of the door.  Her husband’s final yell had brought his guards to her prison. Knowing these men were on his side and not knowing what they would do to her or her daughters she did the last thing she could to protect her children and her kingdom.

Taking the three stones from the amulet, she wove them into the band that now held nearly all of her magic. Finally, she called back the thin gold strand that was around her dead husband’s wrist and worked it into the necklace where it glowed before settling into place.  She magically broke the band into three bracelets, each with one of the stones from the amulet and sent them to her daughters. She would give them her magic to protect them – body and heart.

With her dying breaths, Melusine created the promise of the bracelets. In every generation, three women would receive the bracelets. Each woman would have her own gifts which would benefit and protect their people.  In addition, should she meet the right man, magic would show each woman her heart’s true match.  The bracelets would always be kept separate and always keep her daughters safe.  However should the day come that a great threat endangered her people, it could be stopped only if all three women worked together with the men who loved them.

The bracelets traveled through time, appearing in the cradle for three women in each generation. Some sisters, some cousins.  Males and females tried at different times, unsuccessfully to reunite them, for the power they held was unimaginable, but all failed.

It is said that each woman gifted with a bracelet will lead an extraordinary life but must be careful to whom she gives her heart.  Should she promise herself to the wrong man, the bracelet and its power and protection will desert her.