Steve Coops

Taniwha

Left-Right: Neptune, Seasnake,Nautilus,White Tip, Orca and Tigerfish


CLEA DATA FILE

Primary Role:

  • Protecting the Pacific Coastal areas from the Merlateenan threat

Mission Types:

  • Reconnaissance
  • Defence Barrier

Team Identities:

  • White Tip – Chelsea Lim
  • Orca – Kelly Hollis
  • Nautilus – Raquel Ballard
  • Tigerfish – Tiffany Corio
  • Seasnake – Silvia Burciaga
  • Neptune – Burkhard Morgade

CLEA Classification:

  • Avatars

Special Skills and/or Abilities:

  • Chelsea has the means to control sharks and rays
  • Kelly can command marine mammals to do her bidding
  • Tiffany can command bony fish
  • Raquel has the means to command crustaceans and cephalopods
  • Silvia can command marine reptiles and amphibians
  • Burkhard can control ocean currents and tides and manipulate them at will
  • All the women’s abilities extend to species Beta hybrids that fall into their animal “category”.
  • Their scuba equipment has been transformed into Magical totems. This means it cannot be destroyed and thus will repair itself. An extension of this gives the wearer a form of magical protection.
  • The magic Totems enhance their diving capabilities allowing the team to dive up to 250 metres maximum and allow them to avoid “the bends” on the return journey.

Limitation(s)/Weakness(s):

  • Without their “original” scuba gear (which is their Avatar Totems) they lose their magical enhancements.
  • The magical protection only allows them to dive deep and return without the danger of the bends. However all other human limitations remain. They can thus have normal endurance, can be affected by the cold, near air to breathe etc. Likewise if their regulator gets knocked out of their mouth they can drown like any normal person.
  • Though their equipment magically repairs itself the process still takes a finite amount of time for this to happen whilst it “heals”. Apart from this “ability” the equipment retains the same physical characteristics to normal gear. This means that the team can still be harmed by weapons etc.
  •  When using “standard equipment” the team lose all magical enhancements.
  • Their magical abilities use water as a conduit, away from water they cannot control anything

Notes/History

The story of these team actually started over a thousand years earlier with a the Wizard Burkhard Morgade. He was a member of the Order of Watchers, a group of mystics who were interested in maintaining the balance between good and evil. The group knew that one could not survive without the other and they came to regard the biggest challenge to their work was from Avatar Totems. Since they could be used by good or evil people as opposed to other Totem types, Avatar Totems could swing the balance in any direction when a new host, the new “Avatar”, acquired the mystical item. Though not “intelligent” Avatar Magic is “natural” and has a definitive “drive” which has the potential to erode the will of its the host corrupting him or her. Without control the Avatar would become feral in nature making them completely unpredictable and even dangerous.

This in itself would not normally be a huge problem if it were not for the fact some of the Avatars were intensely powerful and could cause catastrophes of a global nature in the wrong hands. Ideally the Watchers would have wanted to destroy such items but Magical Totems of any form could not be destroyed. The solution the Watchers discovered was to “split” the power, of an Avatar Totem by having more than one Bearer touch the artefact at the same time.The time to do this could only occur when the previous Avatar died and the Avatar Totem was ready to find a new host.

The Watchers adopted a policy of finding the most powerful Avatar Totems and becoming their new host but before they could become corrupted by their power they would surround themselves and the Totem in a magical field and then end their lives.This was called the “Catalyst” spell and the Watcher would ensue the spell could only be broken when the correct number of hosts were present. This ensured that the power would be split, in effect making new less powerful Avatars and Totems.

Some Watchers chose to make the Catalyst spell act as protective forcefield whilst others chose another approach in the form of a mystical snare, whereupon the field would trap new hosts and hold them in suspended animation until the correct number was reached, at that point all would be released as the new Avatars.

Burkhard Morgade was the Watcher that discovered the Avatar Totem that stored the power of the oceans. At the time he found the item, which had taken the form of a conch he knew that others had learned of the Totem and were looking for it. Morgade knew it was too risky to set up the catalyst for splitting the Totem’s power and decided the best approach would be to take it to a place where nobody would find it.

An exceptionally powerful wizard, and with great knowledge he used a teleportation spell to isolate himself on a small deserted island in the Pacific. This was in a time when most “simple” folk still believed the Earth was flat. Though he believed that neither he or the Totem would ever be found he felt it was his duty to take precautions and so carried out the Catalyst spell.

After finding a cave on the island he began making his mystical enchantments. He considered that for the power to be manageable it needed to be split five ways and so incorporated the number in the spell’s makeup. At the very last moment he picked up the conch and started to absorb its magical power. As the mystical field formed, it ended Burkhard’s life force thus fulfilling the first part of the Catalyst spell.

For thirteen centuries Burkard’s remains and the spell remained active and isolated. During that time seismic activity ended up sinking the island below the waves. Being so inaccessible meant the Totem would never have been found if it wasn’t for Silvia Burciaga.

A marine biologist and keen diver she had been given the task of surveying coral formations. Whilst her buddy partner was distracted she got hit by an uncharted viscous current that pulled her along. In trying to escape it she found the entrance to cave system. Having nearly been killed by the current, Silvia decided to travel up the cave system. Since it was heading upwards she hoped she would be able to exit it near the surface rather than fight the danger she had just escaped from.

Instead she found a huge cavern and air pocket. Though she was still trapped, Silvia knew that she could at least rest here before planning her next move. As she caught her breathe she noticed some sort of “glow” coming from the far corner of the cavern. Curious as to what it was she happened upon the strange sight of a bearded man with an outstretched arm holding a conch. Both were bathed in a bright blue sphere of light. Though she had no idea what she had found and should have used more caution she felt the urge to touch the sphere and at that moment she blacked out.

By the diver Silvia’s buddy diver realised he’d lost contact with his partner, she was nowhere to be seen. A underwater search was made but despite the fact the search team found the strong current she failed to find the cave entrance. With no signs of equipment Silvia was officially classed as lost at sea, leaving behind a husband and four year old daughter.

Over the passage of time advances in equipment led to properly mapping the area but Silva was never found. Her family never forgot about her though, and ironically it would be her granddaughter Raquel Ballard that would put an end to the mystery. Like Silvia, Raquel liked diving albeit it was for pleasure rather than for work.

Along with three of her friends, Tiffany, Chelsea and Kelly they went diving together and became known locally as the “Mermaids” since people wondered if the group spent more time in water than out of it. Whether it was out of morbid curiosity or simply the need to solve the family mystery, Raquel and the group would often visit the area where Silvia had vanished. By now the strong current that had “claimed” Silvia had been fully mapped out so they knew the danger and to avoid it.

On the twelfth visit to the area, Raquel was approaching the area with the dangerous current and she scared off a fish. There was nothing surprising about that. She watched as it fled from her, enter the current where it appeared to struggle for a few seconds and then it vanished. What caught Raquel’s attention was that a few minutes later the same fish reappeared.Wondering where the fish had been hiding, she started to follow it, deliberately scaring it to get it to repeat what it had just done. By tracking the fish Raquel located the cave entrance. Since it was not on any maps she got to thinking that perhaps this might be the resting place of her grandmother. To get to the entrance though meant she would need to traverse across the dangerous current.

At the safety of the boat with her friends Raquel told them what she had seen and her desire to make it to the cave entrance. Though what she wanted to do was dangerous the group thought that if they hired underwater scooters they might be able to fight the current. With a plan in place the group returned the next day. Since Raquel did not want anyone else to get hurt for her cause the others agreed to keep at a safe distance whilst she made the attempt on the current.

Very quickly though Raquel got into trouble. Tiffany moved in to try and help out. With the usage of two scooters they could at least hold position but not move across. Realising what was happening the other two moved in. As group, together they were able to make it to the cave entrance. Now out of the current they realised that the batteries in the scooters had used up a lot of power and so chose to make the return journey.

Having learned they could make it to the cave and back again using the scooters, the group decided that on the next attempt they would tether the scooters near the cave entrance and then explore the cave system on their own steam. This they did the next day but it would take another couple of visits over the next weekend before finally they found the cavern.

Just as Silvia had done decades earlier the Mermaids spotted the glowing light. It was hard to miss since the cave should have been pitch black and yet it was well lit. Moving closer they say two people trapped inside a blue sphere of light. There was an old man holding a conch shell and a woman appearing to reach towards it. Raquel had seen pictures of her grandmother and recognised the woman and the equipment she was wearing was of the correct vintage.

She was confused as to what exactly she was witnessing and told the others she recognised Silvia. Instincts then kicked in and Raquel tried to pull pull the woman from the glow. The moment she put her hand in the field she blacked out.

Tiffany, Chelsea and Kelly saw Raquel get frozen. Surmising if they touched the glow they would meet the same fate they tried to link equipment together and hook it around Raquel and pull her free. Not understanding they were dealing with magic when they made their attempt as soon as they linked themselves to Raquel there was an intense flash of blue light and they all blacked out.

When the Mermaids next awoke they discovered an hour had passed and they had been joined with Silvia who was confused as to who they were. Raquel then had the difficult task of trying to explain that she was her granddaughter. Silvia was not sure what to believe until Raquel showed her diving equipment and the changes in technology. It was then that they realised that the old man they had seen had vanished and tucked away in the corner was a younger man wearing diving gear just liked them and muttering to himself. Believing he had the answers to what was happening, the five women approached.

Though showing some signs of confusion he, announced himself as Burkhard Morgade and admitted he was responsible for what had happened to them. He explained that he had been a powerful wizard and had set out to split the power of a magical artefact, the Conch shell they had all seen. He continued to explain about Avatars and Avatar Totems but it was clear to him the women did not seem to believe him.

Though he mentioned that Avatar Totems could change form which might have explained why he had similar gear to them, nothing else actually made sense and he was the one who had created the Catalyst spell. For a start as he was the previous Avatar, the Totem should have only changed form on his death. Not only was he alive but he was also younger and he no longer felt he had any magic.

Though he could not detect magic, he quickly concluded that the women did not have any either since none of them were not performing any extraordinary feats.  If for some reason he had remained the Avatar then he should have retained the magic which would tie in with his clothing change but he did not have any which posed an important question, namely where had the Magic from the Avatar gone?

Though he could have spoke for hours the Mermaids suggested that perhaps they should table the debate until they had escaped the cave and then discuss things more thoroughly once they were all safe. Though Burkhard had never used scuba gear before for obvious reasons he somehow knew how to use it. He presumed when the Avatar Totem had transformed then it had patterned itself on the women’s equipment and taken some of their knowledge whilst they were all connected by the mystical field.

The four younger women led the way and Silvia followed with Burkhard. At the cave entrance they untethered the scooters. Though there was now six of them as opposed to four they had to take a chance they could cross the current as a group. As they feared there was not enough power to pull their combined weight. Not wishing to get the others killed on her behalf, Silvia dropped her weight belt and blew her air tank, sending her upwards. She knew that she was potentially risking getting the bends with a rapid ascent but it was a gamble she was prepared to take. Burkhard followed suit for similar reasons.

Whether it was down to residual magic or a miracle all six of them made it to the surface without coming to any harm. Upon eventually reaching dry land the group then had to decide what to do next. Burkhard was now a man out of time and Silvia was back from the dead. Raquel wanted to reunite  Silvia with the family but she suggested that was a bad idea. Having never aged she felt it might be difficult for them to understand so the pair decided to keep the truth a secret. Like Burkhard she was also displaced in time so she decided that they should stay together and try and make sense of the new world they found themselves in.

Though the group could never forget what had happened on that day, over the next few years they drifted apart. During this time they all developed a strange compulsion to keep visiting the ocean to go swimming and none of them felt able to replace any of their equipment for newer items. Together they might have noticed that it was odd but apart the group had no idea they were all experiencing the same feelings. Since everything was new to Burkhard everything was strange so even when Silvia informed him of her strange feelings he failed to realise he was having similar urges. All six of them would though eventually learn the full extent of what happened in the cave on that day but it would take a new tragic event to reunite them.

Three years on Chelsea had started an on-off relationship with an abusive boyfriend, Andrew Galloway. Despite their relationship problems the pair still spent diving together in their spare time and became amateur treasure hunters. After finding  a wreck with a potential treasure trove  worth thousands, Andrew decided to act on his own selfish impulses. Though they had their problems, Chelsea was unaware that he owed large amounts of money to the wrong people. Furthermore her love for him blinded her to the fact he was having an affair and his only real interest in her was now her bank account.

With such a massive find, he no longer needed her money. However since she had as much claim on the find as him, he decided that it was in his own best interest if she was not around to claim it. As diving was a dangerous sport he felt it would be fairly easy to “arrange” an accident. On the day he put his plan into motion he waited until Chelsea had donned her equipment. As she prepared to jump into the water he pushed her hard sideways so she struck her head on the side of the boat and let her fall into the water. Not only was she stunned but the wound was bleeding and in an area where there were sharks she was in mortal danger.  That was his gambit and with anyone else would probably have worked but he like Chelsea had no idea that she had been “changed” in the cave years earlier.

By the time Chelsea hit the water and was aware something was amiss Andrew  had moved the boat a short distance from her. She swam towards it but each time she got close he backed away. It was then that she realised he was trying to tire her out and with horror realised he was trying to get rid of her. Then horror turned to terror for just as Andrew had hoped, the presence of blood had attracted a Tiger shark.

Chelsea started to panic and surfaced. She scream at Andrew and begged him to help but he just laughed. Realising she could not get back on the boat or make it to shore, Chelsea decided to try and make it to the wreck in the hopes of being able to shelter herself from the predator. She was only half way down in her descent when the shark arrived and started circling her. After an agonising few moments it moved in for the kill. Chelsea closed her eyes and waited for the inevitable, but the shark simply stopped. It was then that she felt a “presence” in her mind.

Though she had no idea why, she instinctively felt that she could command the shark and make it do what she wanted. Grabbing onto its dorsal fin she rode the shark until it brought her close to the surface. Having realised that as long as Andrew was in the boat he would try to stop her reaching the shore, she decided to even the odds and test how much control she had over the shark.

The first time Andrew knew that his plan had gone awry was when a large Tiger shark slammed into the boat and tipped him overboard. He’d managed to take his mask with him so he put in on and tried to gain his bearings and make it back to the boat. As he swam in a circle he caught sight of Chelsea swimming below the waves with the Tiger shark by her side like a loyal dog. His eyes met hers and all Andrew saw was anger. She pointed in his direction and the shark closed in.

The boat capsizing had been witnessed by a passing boat and though he was alive by the time rescuers pulled Andrew out of the water his left leg had gone and his right leg had been chewed off below the knee. Chelsea by comparison had only a minor head wound. The rescuers were somewhat surprised by her lack of injuries. She would later visit him in hospital and though he blamed her what had happened to him, he could not prove she had “ordered” a shark to attack him. Likewise she could not prove he had tried to kill her. However Chelsea made it clear what might happen if he ever came after her.

After issuing her warning, when Chelsea left the hospital  she was surprised to find, Raquel, Kelly, Tiffany, Silvia and Burkhard waiting for her. They had all been to her house and when she was not there had heard she’d been at the hospital. Confused as to the unexpected reunion, each of them explained that they had sensed her initial fear on seeing the Tiger shark.

Their minds had seemed linked for a period of a few hours and then it had stopped as  suddenly  as it started it stopped. Raquel had contacted Tiffany to mention her strange feeling that Chelsea was in danger and Tiffany had announced that she had the same experience. The pair had then got in touch with the others to find they had all had the same sense of foreboding concerning Chelsea. That was why they had come and they had feared the worst when they learned their friend was at the hospital. Consequently they were relieved to discover she was okay.

Nevertheless the fact that they had all experiencing the same thing meant something strange was happening. Chelsea invited them all back to her place in the hopes to get some answers. Since Burkhard was perhaps the one that might have some idea, since he claimed to have been a master of magic at one time, they allowed him to try and solve the problem.

To begin with he needed to know had happened to Chelsea, and so she explained about how Andrew had tried to kill her and then she had somehow controlled the shark. They had all felt her fear, even him, so he guessed that their minds had been linked, the life or death danger having triggered the link. If magic was responsible though he  could not understand why the link had stopped, unless it was only fear that made it happen.

Burkhard had no idea how or why they had felt Chelsea’s panic and he was not prepared to test the idea of a fear trigger by  having any of the women place themselves in danger.   Unable to provide the group with the  answers they had hoped for, the conversation soon drifted to what they had been doing during the past three years. It was then, when they were not looking for answers that they actually got them.

The start of these came when Raquel mentioned that she was unable to remain far from the sea for too long which was why she had taken on the job as a beach lifeguard. The others admitted they too had pursued either  ocean based work or hobbies for similar reasons. Then Silvia dropped an innocent comment mentioning that though her scuba gear was old she had felt unable to get rid of it. Having become fascinated with new technology it had become something of a joke between her and Burkhard.

The others mentioned they were the same in that they could not dispose of their old equipment and then found another commonality in that they felt the need to keep it close by. That meant they took it on trips even if they did not plan on diving and unsurprisingly all of the others apart from Chelsea, for obvious reasons, had their equipment back at their hotel rooms.

Those revelations gave Burkhard and idea. Remembering his own equipment had come from the original Avatar Totem changing form he wondered if the link was something to do with the equipment. He asked Chelsea to get hers and she admitted she never worn it since that day. She disappeared for a few minutes but before she came back the  group started exchanging glances with each other. They could all “feel” Chelsea’s mind again.

When she returned with her gear she was surprised to see them staring at her. Burkhard asked her to drop her equipment on the floor and step away. As soon as she did this the link was broken again. A hypothesis started to form in his mind. When Chelsea was in physical contact with her scuba gear the others could feel her thoughts but the traffic was one way, she could not feel theirs.

Examining Chelsea’s gear, Burkhard was surprised to find there was no damage. When Andrew had smashed her into the side of the boat there should have been some damage but there was none. Chelsea then thought about that and realised that the only wear and tear present on her gear was from before they had all met in the cave. Burkhard was by now reaching the conclusion that just as his gear was a manifestation of the Ocean Avatar, Chelsea’s was the same. He knew for certain that Magical Totems of any sort could not be destroyed which would account for it not getting damaged in the attempted murder.

The next day he wanted to try and experiment. He wanted to test his fear hypothesis. He decided he was going to swim with sharks. Though their was no guarantee that Chelsea could control sharks, she agreed to accompany him. Everyone else though had to remain behind. Since him and Silvia had been together she did not want him to face danger alone but he made it clear that he wanted nobody to risk their lives on his gamble.

Once at an area where Chelsea knew sharks frequented Burkhard cut his hand. He then told her that only as a last resort should she interfere because the threat had to be real if his hypothesis was correct. It took about fifteen minutes for a shark to pick up his scent.

A large Hammerhead approached and Chelsea did nothing. She was relieved that she could feel its presence so she knew if she needed to stop it she could. Just as Burkhard surmised, as the shark drew closer he started to feel fear. Chelsea could now feel his fear. She also heard his voice in her head which she did not expect. Rather than allow Burkard to carry on scaring himself she ordered the shark to turn away. Chelsea then tried an experiment of her own and “talked” to him. Burkhard was a little surprised to hear her voice and suggested they get back on the boat.

Once there he started to figure out what had happened by working through the logic of the situation. Fear linked their minds but once two way traffic had been initiated they could hear each others thoughts as well. Arriving back at the shore, the others stated they could “feel” the pair of them now but they had only felt Burkhard after he had got scared. The others though could only feel an emotional response but not “hear” the thoughts of either Chelsea or Burkhard.

Now he knew what to do. Fear created an emotional link but only after two people had gone through the same experience was the link intensified to more than just feelings. The only thing though that he could not do was control sharks. That was another problem to understand another time.

For the rest of the week Chelsea and Burkhard took the other members of the group out diving one at a time to trigger a fear response, and by the end of the week their minds would link whenever they were in contact with their scuba gear. It was now all starting to make sense to him. Though it had not worked as intended the Catalyst spell had actually worked in that their combined equipment had become the new Ocean Avatar Totem. That meant each of them were the new Avatars so he had managed to split the power albeit six ways as opposed to five. As to why it had taken a fear response to access the magic, he had no idea.

As was normal when splitting Avatar Totems each split received some aspect of the original magic. Whomever had the Ocean Avatar Totem had the power of the ocean and everything in it. Chelsea obviously could control sharks so all that remained now was for the group to learn what part of the original totem they had received.In continuing to experiment with her special ability she did stumble on an interesting realisation and that was that she did not need to wear all over equipment but for every item she removed the magic effect appeared to be reduced proportionally.

To find the answers to what sea life the other members of the group could control, the next week they visited an oceanography centre where there were large aquariums and outdoor pools for larger animals. Since sneaking in all of their scuba equipment was impossible, using Chelsea’s discovery about reducing their equipment they wore their wetsuits under their ordinary clothing.

Things did not go according to plan though. Even Chelsea found that she could not control the aquarium sharks. This was somewhat confusing, even for Burkhard. It was only when they were leaving that the group came across an exhibition area with small open tanks where you could interact with various sea life. When Tiffany put her hand in a tank with fish she was able to start controlling them. It was only now that they understood that water was the conduit for their magic. Having obtained this vital clue the others in turn learned what animals they could control. Kelly discovered she could control aquatic mammals, Raquel learned she could control crustaceans and cephalopods whilst Silvia had the means to command marine reptiles and amphibian.

Ironically the only member of the group who could not figure out what his own Avatar Totem could do was Burkhard. He was just thankful to still be alive and so accepted that he had nothing. Having ascertained all of their gifts, or lack thereof the six of them had to decide what to do with their gifts. As the new Avatars of the Ocean, Burkhard suggested they had been given very important power and they should use it wisely. This they agreed to and so as a group they decided that they should use their gifts to protect ocean life and those that used the seas from those that would cause harm. The decided to call themselves “Ocean Watch”.

Though they had magic that did not provide them with a means of support which meant being full time heroes was out of the question. This changed when they got an exclusive invite from Lance Mickelson, the owner of the exclusive Harmony Island Beach Resort. None of the group had ever heard of it but the details on the correspondence revealed, that it was a private island where people with “special” abilities could stay and wind down, a reward for their work in protecting people from the forces of evil.

Whilst technically Lance was not offering them an actual holiday the letter revealed he had heard about their selfless activities and decided to fund them and allow them to use the island as a base of operations. If they accepted the offer that would mean they would no longer have to balance their heroic activities with trying to hold down a job.

The decision to accept the offer was, obviously, unanimous and it was only when they had organised themselves Burkhard finally realised that like the women, he also had a special ability. It had been hard to understand and subtle at first which is why he had overlooked it but instead of controlling animals he learned that he had the means to control the very seas themselves.

The group were grateful of what Lance had done for them so they never complained or asked for anything. However over the passage of time others on the island started to notice that the team where lacking in certain key area of equipment. On more than one occasion one of them had come back from a “mission” injured and Dr Psy had to patch them up and usually this was due to them encountering hostiles that had weapons. Though their scuba gear had been transformed by magic it did not make any of the team invulnerable and if they happened upon a group that were well armed then at best they only had spearguns to deal with them. One shot and they literally had no defence out of the water and in the water had to rely on their aquatic “friends” to act on their behalf. Dr Psy’s work did not go unnoticed so Lance decided to try and help the team out by supplying them with a set of underwater dart weapons He realised that none of the group were trained soldiers but felt they needed some means of protecting themselves without relying solely on their magic.

Once the team had access to the weapons there were far less medical incidents. However, six months after arriving at the island the group realised that though they had at first considered the resort to be ideal for their requirements they were limited by the scope of their activities since they were very much tied to a single location. Though TTR could transport them to different places, they were very much reliant in him being available.

Not wanting to upset their host the team kept these feelings to themselves although they could not hide their frustration indefinitely. Lance eventually realised that they were unhappy with remaining on the island. The Totems, increased their desire to instinctively draw them to the sea whenever they remained on dry land. He guessed that they would not say anything out of respect.

Acknowledging their desire for more “freedom”, he decided to make them more mobile giving them two ocean going yachts. One of these was his own personal yacht the “Minerva” that had been moored up ever since he chose to exile himself on the island where the resort was now based. This was not really large enough for the five of them so he purchased a second yacht, “Phoebe” the same type and model as his own. Lance’s kindness though did not stop there for though the team were planning on leaving he still agreed to finance their activities. The only down side the team had to accept was that once they were away from the resort they would be on their own but this was a compromise they were prepared to make.

It was once they left the island and made a new start that they changed their “team” name to “Taniwha”, which fitted in with their aquatic activities since if came from Maori sea deities. The more they travelled the oceans, the more the group got in tune with their magical ability and each of them developed a “magical” ESP associated with their unique gift. This allowed them to “detect” if something was wrong. in the women this manifested itself as an empathic ability that allowed them to “know” what the moods of the creatures they could control. By combining this skill with each other the women could effectively get an early warning of trouble, if they each reported getting the same “feeling”. Burkhard’s ESP worked a little differently in that being empathic with the worlds oceans he could sense subtle changes to the ocean currents.Anything that disturbed the natural flow, he can “detect”, not unlike how a seismometer can detect an earthquake thousands of miles away.

Ironically after becoming full time heroes as the Taniwha, the team would eventually encounter some “real” legends of the ocean in the form of the Leviathans which had been disturbed by the Merlanteenan. Though their first “meeting” was nearly a disaster the Leviathans formed a pact with the Taniwha and regard them as the only humans they trust.

After dealing with the Merlateenan but not eradicating the threat, the Leviathans extended their alliance further by making it clear that if the Taniwha were in trouble they would only need to magically “reach” out for their help. Since only the women can communicate with the Leviathans directly they consider them their guardians.

When the Merlateenan decided to employ more serious firepower whilst stealing resources, even with the Leviathans help they found they were vulnerable to the alien weapons. Seeking a solution they contacted Lance and asked if he could help but what they wanted was even beyond his means so he in turn reached out to the Ocean Deep team who had experience with another aquatic alien threat.

Ocean Deep had access to Barracuda attack submarines but had aligned themselves with CLEA. Since the Taniwha were not part of CLEA they could not get their hands on the equipment and the Knight’s Forge who created the units were not prepared to defy CLEA’s trust to simply equip the team.

None of the group had ever considered working for CLEA. Though technically they were acting as White Guardians the whole formality had never appealed to them. The Ocean Deep team though suggested that they tended to run their own operation with only minor interference from CLEA, the same set up might work for the Taniwha if they accepted the odd visit from agency representatives.

Though something of a compromise the team agreed and approached CLEA, after being sponsored by Ocean Deep. With funding direct from CLEA, Lance stepped back from backing the team. He understood why they had chosen to align themselves with the agency but felt it would not be in the teams interest if he was “interfered” with the CLEA operation.

Tracing the epicentre of Merlateenan attacks CLEA found an ideal location to build a second modular facility to house six Barracuda submarines. Established far out in the pacific near an uninhabited island and sunk in place, it had on-site facilities although the team since where still quite happy to retain their yachts.

Using the Barracudas gave them greater protection but meant they could not use their ability to control sea life although the bond with the Leviathans enabled them to reach out to the Legendary Beasts regardless

Having already established a relationship with the Ocean Deep team, after formally becoming members of CLEA their means for both teams to act as allies and support each other strengthened. This allows  members of both teams to change places for a time or work together as a larger group when a threat demands it. Their specialist skills and abilities actually mean both groups tend to compliment each other and member of Ocean Deep have been very useful in performing minor maintenance on the Barrcudas as well as providing training and specialist weapons.