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Last update 4/16/2010

Michigan Witches Ball 2010

I am very excited to be a sponsor for this great event! To find out more about one of Michigan's best parties, click the link above.


All sales are now being handled through my Etsy shop: www.splendidfish.etsy.com
Click on the link above to see what is currently available.
Don't worry, friends, it's still me behind the scenes!


I've added a new section called

Gods, Heroes, and a Couple of Regular Guys:
Corbin's Tall Tales

When I create a new piece
of design work, it often happens that they come, much like a baby with a silver spoon in it's mouth, bearing a story. Unfortunately, when I sell a piece, the story is sometimes lost with it. I've decided to collect these stories into a section all
their own, for your enjoyment.

Enjoy them!


Don't forget to click on the BLUE WORDS anywhere on this site to enter
new worlds of mythic imagination.

The Strange Tale of the Second Seal


Copyright 2010 - B. de Corbin and Splendid Fish Studio

The Second Seal
Back when I lived out East, I used to frequent an old pub in Nantucket down near the wharf. The food was quite good - cod, mostly -and the grog was… well, grog, and a sovereign remedy for a cold night and lonely heart. But, actually, what I was really there for was the decor and clientele.

You see, the place had been built of timbers scavenged from decrepit old schooners and whalers. In a sense, the walls, floors, bar, and tables had been everywhere in the world that was worth going to - and the men who sat at those tables, voices lifted in riotous song, or with faded eyes gazing blearily over the tops of tin cups, had been to those places too.

For a collector of stories, this is the place to be, assuming you can stand the stench (I recommend Navy Shag in a clay pipe, if you ever want to give it a shot. Look for a grizzled old rummy with his head flopped on the table, sit down, and wait for him to regain quasi consciousness, then ply him with strong drink ‘till he starts to ramble. Do avoid guys sporting eye patches. They’re mostly possers who couldn’t tell port from starboard if they had ‘em tattoed on their hands).

Sometimes it pays off, other times you get took. Plan to come out about 50/50. The night I came home with The Second Seal paid out big time.

When I sat down next to the old guy, I let spill a bit of rum right near where his nose impacted the table. The alcoholic vapors tickling his nasal membranes had an effect not unlike that of a quarter in a juke box. He immediately began to jerk and twitch into action.

An explosive belch lifted him upright in his chair, and he croaked out this tale:

…monsterous bad weather three days out of Buenos Ares, an’ the waves was like montains on the water, least what we could see of it, what with the dark an’ all.

Captain was drunk again, had been since we heaved off, an’ the mate wasn’t nowhere to be found, less you looked under sea.

We wuz lost, is what it wuz, an’ not likely to get found, nor see port nor whore again in this life.

Wuz about then we got us into the rum kegs, figured what the Hell, wuzn’t much else to do with the sails hangin’ like the flesh of a drowned man two days afloat.

Well, I got drunk and fell down, an’ the whole crew got drunk an’ fell down, an’ we slept the storm out, an’ when we come to, wuz just me an’ Long Tom and Skinny Dick on what wuz left of the Proud Lilly.

She had no riggin’, the rudder wuz gone, an’ none of the three of us could navigate, even if we’d of knowed where we wuz, so we just set us down to die.

But we didn’t do that, leastwise not right off.

‘Stead of that, we run up ‘gainst a rock what stuck straight up outta the water like somebody big’s middle finger, with a big, black hole in it, right up level with the foredeck. Couldda been the door to Hell, or maybe heaven, ‘cept me an’ Long Tom an’ Skinny Dick didn’t think we’d be going up there, but we figured we had to go somewhere, so into that hole we decided we’d go…

… Well, it was about as dark as it gets in there, an’ it smelt like wet fish, an’ our torch was smoking’ and dull, but we found our way deep down and to the very end, and there we met a stone wall. We wuz jist about to go back when Long Tom he yells and points to a crack in the wall, like a doorway, and there, smack across that crack was a clay seal with a gem pressed in it. Before ya could say Davey Jones, Long Tom was prying away at that seal with his knife.

All at once it come away, and a big lot o’ wall opens up, an’ we goes through.

Just inside was a little cubby, just big enough for the three of us, and there in front of us is another door, an’ across the crack is a metal seal, with a gem set in it. I pried at that second seal with my own knife, and it comes away in my hand, an’ I slips it in my pocket without thinking’ (hang on, he said, I gots it right here, and he tossed The Second Seal on the table) an’ the door opens up, and Skinny Dick slips through.

An’ whaddaya think? The next wall has a crack an’ a seal as well, but I can’t tell what this one was, ‘cept it didn’t look right, but Skinny Dick doesn’t wait for advisement, he outs with his knife and starts right in.

I don’t know what that last seal was, but it was more like flesh than anything else, an’ soon as his knife touches it, it begins to swell and move along Skinny Dick’s knife, an’ when it covers the knife, it moves along his hand, a gem like an eye in it winkin’ at him.

Skinny Disk starts screamin’, an’ me an’ Long Tom tries to pull him away, but that third seal ain’t letting’
go, an’ we can’t git him loose, an’ he’s screamin’ louder, and the seal’s swallowin’ more an’ more of Skinny Dick’s arm, an’ we tries to git him loose , but that seal isn’t something’ we wants to touch.

By an’ by I decides it’s time to go, so I turns and runs, and Long Tom tries to turn an’ run, but the seal’s got him too, and he ain’t goin’, but he sure is screamin’. As I runs, them doors is closing’ behind me, but I can still hear Long Tom and Skinny Dick screamin’ an’ I still hears ‘em in my dreams.

Well, I gits back out at last, and finds the Proud Lilly waitin’ for me, an’ I climbs on board an’ off I goes, an‘ I finds some rum, an’ I don’t know nothing’ more ‘till I wakes up in a borrowed birth headed for the Solomons…

Say there, lad, ya seems mighty interested in that Second Seal, there, an’ I’m a bit partial to that bottle of rum yer holdin’. Whaddaya say to a little swappin’?

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