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Halia
Image of Halia
Halia (bottom) and Ery
Gender Female
Race Mermaid
Relative(s) Dozens of older sisters, Ery (lover)
Booknovel
This article contains lore taken from Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

Halia was a young mermaid and one of the two main characters in the Kul Tiran folktale "Why the Mermaids Left Boralus", which tells of the love between her and the tidesage Ery.

Biography[]

Folk & Fairy Tales of Azeroth cover - Halia

Halia on the cover of Folk & Fairy Tales of Azeroth.

Halia was the youngest sister in a group of several dozen and lived in a deep-sea cave decorated with shark bones. Her sisters considered her very pretty, with her coral-like scales and hair the deep green color of kelp or algae, but also rather flighty and stupid. Her main sin was that she loved watching human ships go by, having done so ever since Boralus was first built, and she was saddened by the sailors' hatred of mermaids. Her sisters called her a fool for playing in the wakes of the ships, but she insisted that she had to watch over the humans to see if she could get an opportunity to help them.

Halia's favorite ship was the Windward. She fell in love with the ship's tidesage, Ery, and began swimming near the Windward when it was in port so she could admire the sea priest. The crew of the Windward begged the captain to let them scare off or kill the mermaid, but Ery forbade them and instead made Halia a mascot of sorts: she never failed to give the mermaid a salute when the Windward arrived to Boralus or bid her goodbye when the ship left. When the ship was anchored in Boralus and Ery went swimming in the harbor, Halia left gifts for her in the form of half-dead fish or (when the fishing was poor) pearls. Because Ery was as sensible as she was serious, she dumped the pearls back into the water weeds, and Halia grew to assume that humans considered pearls as worthless as mermaids did. According to the tale, this is why Boralus Harbor has so much bubble seaweed: it is all of Halia's discarded pearls.

Halia was too shy to address the human woman, but by observing her she unknowingly grew more familiar with Ery than anyone else. Ery, in turn, was touched and amused by the mermaid's gifts and grew attracted to Halia's beauty. Upon returning to the harbor after a voyage, she called for Halia in the harbor and gifted her with a knife. The shy mermaid and the grave tidesage kissed and confirmed their feelings for each other. Halia then asked Ery to come live with her underwater, explaining that if she slit her feet and walked into the harbor, the Mother would take pity on her and turn her into a mermaid. Ery refused, citing her duties as a tidesage. In response, Halia instead begged Ery to make a house by the shore and let her swim alongside her ship on voyages, but the tidesage replied that they had to keep their relationship secret or else her crew would reject her, which would be the death of them. Halia wept at this but agreed out of her love for Boralus and the Windward. From that day onward, mermaid and sea priest met in secret coves and waterways, growing more dear to each other in the process.

One day, when the Windward was in dock, a great storm came to Boralus and threatened to destroy the town. Ery and a handful of other tidesages gathered in tiny boats at the river's mouth to divert the water. Meanwhile, Halia tried to help men and women who fell in. She wanted to use her magic to shore up the town's crumbling edges but was afraid of getting spotted and blamed for the storm, and of straying too far from Ery. On the fifth day, when Ery was the only tidesage left who had not faltered from exhaustion, Halia begged her to slit her feet and save herself. Ery replied that there was still a chance if she could hold back a large waving coming toward them. Halia decided to help her, and while the priest parted the waters with one blow, the mermaid held the water back from the other side so that they together ripped the seas in twain. Ery stated that their work was not yet done, and Halia declared that she would build a wall while her beloved held the water.

The mermaid began churning up mud and stone from the seabed, a task she poured more and more of herself into even though the water kept breaking apart her work and the effort threatened to kill her. This brave intention caused a crest of the Tidemother's magic to sweep through the harbor and jolt all of her sisters awake. Halia only paused to check on Ery every so often, but the tidesage always said that the work was not yet done. Halia's sisters shouted at her to stop, but when they could not convince her, they threw themselves into her labor and were soon joined by other mermaids who did the same. Together they built the wall higher and higher with rocks, mud, ship debris, and sailors' bones until it broke the surface and continued to rise under Ery's feet. Some of the older mermaids died from exhaustion, and the rest only stopped once the seawall towered over the harbor. Halia returned over and over to ask Ery if the work was done, but when the tidesage finally turned around to answer, she collapsed from exhaustion and fell into the water. Halia immediately dived after Ery and pulled her to the surface, but the priest was neither breathing nor moving. The crew of the Windward—who had watched the events unfold—hauled the two onto their deck and tried to revive Ery without any luck. Eventually, Halia drew a knife, slit open her lover's feet, and cried for the sailors to push the two of them over the railing and into the harbor. The crew did so, and after a long wait, Ery broke the surface, alive and transformed into a mermaid. Halia held her arms around her beloved's neck, alternately weeping and laughing with joy.

All of Kul Tiras now knows Ery's story, and as long as Boralus' seawall has stood, its people now swear on mermaids as symbols of honor and good luck. On certain calm sunsets when the red is deeply reflected on the surface of Boralus Harbor, old sailors call it "Ery's blood", which presages good weather, in remembrance of the dutiful tidesage and the mermaid who loved her so faithfully.[1]

Quotes[]

  • Halia: "Don't you know that if you waited until dawn and slit your poor feet from the toes to the heels until the water turned red with your blood, then walked into the harbor, that the Mother would take pity on you? She would make your legs fall off and make a tail grow there instead so that you could become a mermaid and live with me. Take the pretty knife you just gave me and do it."
Ery: "In another life I would, but not this one. [...] There are not enough tidesages that I could throw off my duty and live with you, Halia."
Halia: "Then live with me anyhow, and I will forgive you the legs. Let me swim beside your ship when you leave harbor, and make yourself a house by the shore, and if you cannot keep house for me then I will keep yours. And if anyone else asks you to be their sweetheart, you can say 'No' and point at me."
  • Ery: "The storm will be at its peak tonight, but it is breaking half the spit into the water. Behold that wave coming toward us! If it gets through me, all is lost. If I can seal the harbor's mouth now, I will. If I die, I would as lief leave Boralus behind me."
Halia: "If you die, I die. I will help you."

References[]

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