Selkie: The Story. (no spoilers)

5 min read

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toerning's avatar
Well I keep finding myself explaining various plot points or origins every time I post a new selkie picture and corresponding vague blurb, so I thought it would be a good idea to have a central place where you can read up on the story, if you like.  The idea is that I'll update the story here when I upload a new illustration, and fill in major plot points which aren't getting covered in the picture, so check back if you're interested.  

BEFORE I START, I will answer once and for all this question: "Is this from Ondine/Secret of Roan Inish?"  Not really, this story is as similar to either of those as they are to each other: they are all from the same mythology, but this series is about characters who do not exist in another selkie retelling.  Here is some reading on basic selkie mythology:…;

1) Corresponding picture is "Selkie's Bath" The Selkie's Bath by toerning

A lonely fisherman in a vaguely Irish setting stumbles upon a beautiful bathing woman- and then sees her seal skin.  He takes the skin and hides it, thus binding the selkie to him.

2) Corresponding picture is "New Home" New Home by toerning

He takes her home, wrapped in a rough blanket.  She follows him, because she doesn't know what else to do-- she doesn't really understand what's happening.

3) Corresponding picture is "New Life" New Life by toerning

The selkie spends the whole night searching for her lost skin, so that she might return to the ocean.  The fisherman follows silently behind her, neither helping nor distracting her.  He is battling his own demons-- guilt over taking a creature from its habitat, and his overwhelming desire for this unearthly creature he doesn't even know.  
When she doesn't find the skin, she watches the sun rise, realizing she's not going anywhere.

4) Corresponding picture is "Selkie -- 4" Selkie -- 4 by toerning

Everybody's got to wear clothes, even girls who came from the water.  He roots around in his trunk for something suitable, as she delights in the curious fit and feel of clothing on her skin.  He is glad to see her smile.

5) Corresponding picture is "Selkie -- 5" Selkie -- 5 by toerning

An innocent and unintentional seduction.  One twilight, she is curious what the fisherman's beard feels like.  He struggles to remain respectful-- after all, he hardly knows this strange girl, and she doesn't know what she's doing.  

6) Corresponding picture is "Selkie -- 6" Selkie -- 6 by toerning

The selkie has been enjoying herself, but she's homesick.  She tries to return to the sea, only to find that she cannot.  The reality of her situation begins to sink in.

7) Corresponding picture is "Selkie -- 7" Selkie -- 7 by toerning

Time has gone by.  The fisherman has been trying to keep her a secret, not quite knowing why.  But his friends are curious about how he's been spending all his time, so on a market day, they prepare to go into town.  The selkie puts her hair up special for the occasion.
© 2011 - 2022 toerning
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i hope you will you continue with another chapter :)   so far its a good story that stays with you.
Sergej12345's avatar
epic.Byt as in all tales,she should find her skin.
dev33's avatar
I so love this series. Do you think you'd ever make any more additions to it?
Zalouris's avatar
She has. Come baaaack~ XD
dev33's avatar
Wait where??
Bjerg's avatar
Someone sent me this series under the title "Captain Haddock's Secret backstory" and it immediately became the saddest thing ;___;
homeqrown's avatar
dream-seer's avatar
This is fucking epic. Beautiful art dalh, and I'm loving the story :heart:
abstract-mouse's avatar
I love these!! keep drawing please :)
savannarodriguez's avatar
love this so much, please don't stop.
Lunasumerin's avatar
oh my gosh.. this is so wonderful and sad and lovely.
moreeee please :) It's lovely.
WayToBeWhelmed's avatar
This is beginning to become quite the story! 8D
xxZutaraFanxx's avatar
Oooo I cannot wait for the next bit!!!
loverofmythology's avatar
these selkie stories always make me so sad!! it's just so unfair that they're abducting them :/ beautiful story tho <3
Alberthein1's avatar
I like the portrayal of this mythical creature. I've heard of selkies only through the game "Final Fantasy: Christal Chronicles".
In the game, selkies are human like creatures, having blue hair and we're supposed to originate from the sea. They might have mentioned as seals, I remember something as vague...
Though they live on land, legends have it they will one day return to the sea once more.
I suppose they weren't too far off, but it's a cool concept, and I haven't given it that much thought.
I like the couple, but I can very well understand the guilt the man must feel... poor sod.
If I we're in his steps, I think I'd just make a dicision and stick with it; when we both are very old, I may leave a letter to her to show her where her skin is, or instead not steal it at all :)
...Or steal it for a while...
OH!, you should make a image where she tries to pursuade the guy to tell her where her skin is!!
You can make a real strong image of that.
Anyhoo, good series, I like it :)

- and since your other art is pretty awesome too, I shan't be bothered I think if I watch you, so there you go :meow:
Suzy-Ane's avatar
I only just found the journal portion of it. :iconeeeeeplz:
wait. Will this be continued?
toerning's avatar
UNDOUBTEDLY haha. I can't wait to have enough free time to get back on the horse with this one. Hopefully soon!

Thanks! :heart:
Devonition's avatar
this story sounds beautiful :U
NatAsplund's avatar
your story lovelovelovelovelovelove i've seen this pictures a while before, but i just barely saw this jounral! :D
ArtOfEdge's avatar
Such a fascinating tale! I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out ^w^ Your illustration style is wonderful!
haruko-doe's avatar
I would love to see a story from this! Seems like you got the basic set up you just need dialogue and stuff.
toerning's avatar
Thanks! You're definitely right, there's a full story in here, and I'm still working out the best presentation method. A series of illustrations has worked out so far, but I'd also LOOOOOVE to make an animation out of it. It would be an epic project though.

Anyway, still in the works. Thanks for your support!
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