No group of people have ever shown me less hospitality than the people of the Gills. It is as though the sight of men other than their own repulses them. This, I presume, is as a result of their early indoctrination into hatred of men. From infancy, their mothers tell them that men are the enemy: the weaker vessel. They tell them that men corrupt every gift that the spirits have ever given this world. One such gift, the greatest of all gifts, was woman: for she was a gift that, literally, kept giving. Once, at the Gills, woman gave man love unconditionally, but man, in his usual manner was never appreciative of this. She would toil on the farm he claimed to be his; nurture the children he claimed to be his; support the man’s passion, abandoning her dreams, because she was his. And when the man passed from this world, the woman would be expected to smile as all her husband left behind was passed down to his sons while she was sold off by her father to any other man that would have her, like the object that she was.
These are the things they tell their daughters about the outside world. These were in fact the remnants of a past that the Gills were sure to never relive.
There is an abandoned city that still stands under the ocean of the mainland Gills called Old Bamboo. Very little is known of it, except that it might once have been the home of mermaids. It is believed that if the Bush Babies are the children of the forest, and the fireflies are the children of fire, mermaids are children of the ocean. Legend also speaks of the dissolution of the Gills. Although the exact accounts can never really be known, it is believed that men on large ships invaded the Gills about 178 years before the Clan Age. The massacre the invaders inflicted on the Gills was said to be so great that the reclusive mermaids intervened to stop the carnage. When the worst was behind them, the mermaids began mongrelizing with the men. Their daughters became the Gillmaidens, beings that stood strong and tall and could draw breath under water. Their sons, however, were unconventional, to say the least. They had no interest in the things their fathers had interest in. They hated war and didn’t care for hunting, preferring to stay at home to nurture the children, while the women fought for their land and ways. In time, the Gillmaidens grew to become one of the world’s fiercest warriors, colonizing neighboring islands like Taymica Bay and Spear Island.