2015-05-29

NatGeo Photo of the Day Inspiration 1: Cormorant Fishermen

I'm trying to train my gaming-inspiration muscles, and so I'll try to make something out of National Geographic's Photo of the Day pictures when I think it possible. First attempt is today, although the picture/story is already almost a reality-is-weirder-than-fiction type of thing.

Cormorant Fishermen


The villages of cormorant fishermen use cormorants to fish - or so says the common knowledge. However, while many think these are just trained birds, maybe with some modification that prevents them from swallowing fish, the truth is somewhat weirder. In actuallity, the cormorants and the fishermen are one and the same - they're were-cormorants. Unlike many other lycanthropes, were-cormorants are fairly peaceful and maintain cordial relations with most other neighbouring sentients, usually selling fish and buying other kinds of goods.

The fact that the neighbours tend not to know of their lycanthropy is simply a matter of safety.

Were-cormorants usually fish in small groups, where one stays in human form and several others (2 to 5) use their cormorant form to catch fish. The human form were-cormorant is often an elder whose reaction is already a bit too slow for fishing, but who has much expertise and can advise the others. They also steer the raft they use to transport the catch and might even do some preliminary cleaning.

Were-cormorants generally just wish to be left in peace and would prefer that their neighbours not find out about their lycanthropic status. This sometimes ends up netting them into doing scouting work for outsiders who find out about their secret.