Ondalina is the mer realm in the Arctic waters. Kolfinn is the admiral of this realm. His daughter, Astrid, is one of the six mermaids to be summoned by the Iele. The realm is accused of being the ones who commanded Traho's troops to invade Cerulea. Its motto is Heat makes us stupid.
Ondalina's military elite appear to be at the top of their social hierarchy, as it is ruled by an admiral, whose second-in-command is a commodora. During Deep Blue up until the events of Dark Tide, Ondalina's Admiral was Kolfinn, Ragnar and Astrid's father, Eyvör's husband. Later, Ragnar becomes admiral after Kolfinn's death, so this means that it is hereditary. However, as Rylka Kolfinn's commodora pointed out whilst scheming, this is not necessarily the case. Astrid is second-in-line to become Admiral. If her brother dies before having any sons, Astrid would become the admiral, and as Rylka pointed out, if Astrid dies without leaving any sons herself, then her husband would be Admiral. However, Kolfinn points out that if Ragnar were to die without children, Astrid's sons- not Astrid herself- would rule Ondalina (although he is likely pointing out that as admiral, she would be requested to songcast which he knows she could not do).
Because of this, there may be some confusion as to gender roles in Ondalina, but Mermen and mermaids appear to be equal in the eyes of Ondalinian law as Rylka- a mermaid- is commodora, second only to Kolfinn.
Ondalina's mer live in cities carved within icebergs beneath the surface.
The hippokamp stables were carved into the bottom of the iceberg, along with farmhouses and the market quarter. Lava cannot be piped into an iceberg, so Ondalinians imported lava globes. Massive, twenty-feet high iron gates protect the passages that lead to the Citadel's interior. It is guarded by Frysts- a clan of giant ice trolls.
The Citadel Edit
The Citadel is where Ondalina's Admirals, the military elite and their families live, along with the more modest Ondalinians. It was built thousands of years ago. First the carvers select a large iceberg, calculate the mid-point of its submerged section and tunnelled inside it to form the public square where the Admiral's Palace is located, where he addressed his mer and where Ondalinian soldiers paraded. Concentric rings were then cut into the ice, working its way out from the centre. Passageways were cut out, allowing the merpeople to move freely within the ice. The remaining ice were sculpted into dwellings including the graceful mansions of the wealthy, the more modest homes of ordinary citizens and the palaces of the military elite, as finely detailed and magnificent as found anywhere in the Mer realms or the great gogg cities.
Culture and Customs Edit
Openness is not the Ondalinian way. Life is harsh and food is scarce. The mer living there are constantly at threat from the bitter cold and numerous predators. Ondalinians prize toughness, hunting prowess and the ability to hide oneself, one's home, one's family and one's weaknesses.
An Ondalinian never sheds tears in public.
Udstødt are Ondalinian outcasts made up of criminals that live in broken-off icebergs.
Ondalinian Camouflage spells were renowned throughout the mer realms as being the best and they are the first ones taught to children while still within the cradle. When an Ondalinian baby is born, well-wishers do not say 'Congratulations!', instead they say, 'Hide it!'
Ondalinian children call their parents by their first names as no matter what their age as they shudder at words like 'Mummy' and 'Daddy', and think mer who used them were ridiculous.
Månenhonnør is Ondalina's moon festival. Ondalinians celebrate with singing, music and dancing, eating Månenkager; a cake made from pressed krill iced with ground mother-of-pearl to make it shine like the moon. Before the cake is baked in the lava ovens, the baker drops a silver drupe into the batter after it is poured into the pan or molds. Whoever got the coin in their slice or small cake received good luck. Astrid unknowingly swallowed the drupe during Månenhonnør, in her cake which caused her to lose her singing voice.
Ondalinans usually wear clothing made of sealskin or walrus-skin.