Thursday, 14 July 2016
Ageless But Not Undying
"Immortal" can mean indestructible, literally undying, or just unaging. See here. The merpeople are immortal only in the latter sense. In fact, they can be killed by:
dozens of other killer fish that hunt them
dangerous creatures that they hunt
tricks of wind and wave
poison fangs and spines
They lose all but a few of their young. For this reason, merwomen bear more children than the human Agnete who bore to the mer-king seven in eight years, three of whom have died.
In The Broken Sword, Ranulf Halldorsson, who raped Brigit, became a monk because of his experiences on Scattery, as does a zhupan's son in the Prologue to The Merman's Children. I should think that direct encounters with the supernatural would affect some people like that.