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The Old Continent Fish

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The Old Continent Fish, was a short poem written by Somarinoa in 1996, and was therefore one of the first that he wrote at the age of 13.

It was originally written as the opening text pane in a fan-made level of Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars, for a pseudo-campaign (you couldn't make actual campaigns until Heroes III). This is also why the story ends with an otherwise strange and seemingly out-of-place origin date.

Intended as the campaign's first level, it was to entail a group of heroes who get caught in a storm and shipwreck on some mysterious yet huge island. As they explore it, other groups also land (Current belief holds that they were intended to be from a group of villains who had been chasing the heroes' ship when it wrecked, although the original intended origin of these foes has been lost and forgotten over time) and the player had to do away with all of them. In the end, it turned out that you were actually fighting upon the back of the great Continent Fish itself. And while he didn't ally with you or the enemy, you had to fight a large group of dragons that were located between his eyes. Doing so caused him to thank you, and he then let you off to sail to wherever your original destination was, and was supposed to have then faded into a massive fog bank as your characters drifted away.

It was retroactively placed into Diakatan, the same world as his co-authored story, Mordecai & Aleph, serving canonically as a poem from that world that is thought as simply a creative poem instead of a historical event, yet actually does describe a real event that occurred before 668 AD.

While Somarinoa does not consider it all that great, he does see it as an important piece of personal literature, being the earliest poem he remembers composing.

In this land of toil and sin,
there was a great fish with many a fin.
From Atlantis it came, before this world shrank.
It allied itself with a man named Frank.

Frank saved its life from a sea dragon's jaws,
who tore through its flesh with its blood-covered claws.

One day old Frank grew ill and died;
the old Continent Fish sobbed and cried.
It vowed no allegiance afterwards,
but was heard to mouth its very last words:
"In this land of toil and sin,
there's one great man whose name was Frank Minh."

— Thor Steinbach, 668 AD

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