Orfeo is Astrid's ancestor and one of the six mages who ruled Atlantis. His first talisman was given to him by Eveksion and was a flawless emerald. Later he gained a flawless black pearl as his new talisman from Morsa. Orfeo was the mage who betrayed and was responsible for Atlantis' destruction, due to his madness after the death of his wife, Alma.
He is a tall and strong man, who was described that was bronzed from the sun, with close-cut white-blonde hair and black, empty eyes. In Deep Blue, when Serafina sees him, he is dressed in a black suit.
Orfeo was born in Greenland before he travelled to Atlantis. He was described as a healer and a musician, who could heal any disease or injury, minor or severe. When he sang and played his lyre, his songs could soothe the sick and suffering. He was said to be the most powerful of the six mages.
Orfeo met, fell in love with and eventually married a young woman named Alma and for a while they lived happily and had several children. However, Alma grew very ill, begging for death, and while Orfeo tried desperately to use all his skill and power to save her- to no avail. Alma died and Orfeo went mad with grief, begging Horok not to take her soul during her funeral, but it could not be. As a result Orfeo went mad and he vowed to bring her back, even if it took a thousand lifetimes.
He began building a temple to Morsa, the Scavenger goddess, devoting all his time and energy to it. His children fled to an aunt's house in fear, and he did did not speak to anyone. He barely ate or slept and finally locked himself inside the temple to summon Morsa so she would teach him his secrets, giving her his wealth and Alma's jewels, save for one elaborate bib-pearl necklace, to appease her. Eventually he began giving her human sacrifices as well.
Orfeo even sacrificed his original talisman; a flawless emerald from the god Eveksion, to feed to his victims in order to ensure their health before he sacrificed them to Morsa. Morsa gave him another talisman, a flawless black pearl which was ten times more powerful. Orfeo sacrificed his victims to her in order to create a monster: Abbadon. He intended to use Abbadon to destroy the Underworld and take Alma back.
At first the other mages did not notice as his victims were not citizens of Atlantis, such as sailors stopping by, and criminals. Then he began using the poor. When he was found out, Orfeo unleashed Abbadon which shook the earth, causing it to crack and the island to sink into the sea. The monster became the cause of Atlantis' destruction.
Despite the mages' own pain, Merrow knew she had to kill Orfeo, which she did, while they tried to save the people and drive the monster into the Carceron. Only Merrow out of the Six who Ruled, survived the destruction of Atlantis. She took Orfeo's talisman and flung it to the Qanikkaaq, a maelstrom off the coast of Greenland where Orfeo had been born, to keep his talisman safe and to honour the memory of who he once was. His children survived the destruction of Atlantis and became mer, founding the Arctic realm of Ondalina.
What she did not know, however, was that Orfeo's soul travelled into the black pearl and remained there, waiting until a fish swallowed the pearl. A fisherman eventually caught the fish, and opened it, revealing the pearl and selling it to a Viking. Once the Viking received the pearl, Orfeo's soul flowed to him, possessing him and he renamed himself Feimor Ar Eaemor, meaning 'son of Chaos', and became a powerful warlord. Over the millennia, Orfeo's pearl ended in various hands and possessed countless individuals, including Amarrefe Mei Foo, the pirate captain who attacked the Demeter and killed Infanta Maria Theresa, a Spanish princess who was on her way to marry a French prince, and held Merrow's talisman, the blue diamond. Orfeo needed the diamond in order to open the Carceron where Abbadon lay.
He also took the guise of Maffeio Aermore, captain of the Achilles, a brigantine that he drove into the Williwaw's lair. The Williwaw was a wind spirit whom Merrow entrusted Pyrrha's talisman to.
Centuries later, during Deep Blue, he took the guise of Rafe Iaoro Mfeme, running a fleet of dredgers and super trawlers, becaming known as the worst of the Terragoggs that threaten to pull every single fish and from the sea and destroy sea life.
Serafina sees Orfeo in a mirror at the palace, where he attempts to kill her but Tavia, Serafina's nursemaid comes in, forcing him to return to the mirror. She does not yet know who or what he is, only thinking of him as a Terragogg.
Baba Vrăja explains to the merls about what happened to Orfeo about 4,000 years ago.
How Orfeo and the other mages of the Six Who Ruled, were the ancestors of Serafina, Neela, Ling, Becca, Ava and Astrid. In Orfeo's case, his descendant was Astrid, daughter of Admiral Kolfinn, ruler of Ondalina.
She informed them that he was once beloved as a musician and a healer, but created a monster named Abbadon, that destroyed Atlantis, with no explanation.
Nyx (Ava's ancestor) was killed by Abaddon before he reached the temple but before he died, he found Navi (Neela's ancestor) and handed her his talisman. Navi searched for Merrow (Serafina's ancestor) and the others in the temple. Merrow managed to corner Orfeo and killed him,. After Orfeo was killed, Merrow took his talisman and left to drive Abaddon to the Southern Sea.
Towards the end of the book, the merls realise that not only are Traho and his Death Riders were approaching but the monster had been telling his master (which unbeknowst to them was Orfeo) all the information that Baba Vrăja had given the merls and what they had worked out themselves. The merls (except for Astrid, who by then had left), at the suggestion of Sera, do a bloodbind to bind themselves and their powers together, in order to become stronger and to show the monster and his masters that they would be the ones to combine their strengths and bring them down.
Rogue Wave Edit
In the beginning of the second book, Serafina and Ling later encounter Lady Thalia, a vitrina who had lived to see Orfeo alive then killed. Thalia says that Orfeo was the sweetest and melted people's heart every time he smiled and all women fell in love with him. But he only loved one woman, Alma, Thalia's best friend. They were both kind and generous to each other and everyone. She tells the merls of how Orfeo and Alma later fell in love, married and had children, But that Alma had become gravely ill and in her suffering, begged for death. Orfeo was terrified of losing her; he couldn't bear living a life without Alma. As a healer; he tried all that he could to save Alma but it didn't work. Despite her pleas and suffering, Orfeo had refused to let her die.
Alma died and at her funeral, the priest put a white pearl in her mouth to take her soul away. Horok, a god, the keeper of souls, took the pearl from her mouth and send it to the underworld. Orfeo begged Horok not to do that, but Horok stated he couldn't.
Orfeo became insane and he frightened everyone, including his children, who fled to their aunt's house. Orfeo vowed to get Alma back from the afterlife. He didn't speak with anyone and he barely ate or slept, and Lady Thalia mentions that he built a temple for Morsa, an ancient scavenger goddess whose job is to take away the bodies of the dead, before locking himself inside it. He gave Morsa everything he had, even Alma's precious jewellery and his talisman. After he gave her his talisman, he destroyed it and put it in wine for the ones he sacrificed to Morsa.
Morsa later gave Orfeo his new talisman- which the merls discover was a black pearl- and the knowledge of how to make Abbadon. He made Abbadon and vowed to make his monster so powerful and that he and Abbadon would march to the underworld and take Alma back.
At the end of the second book, Ling is captured by the human named Rafe Iaoro Mfeme and he ties her to a chair on his boat and interrogated her on where the talismans are. Ling refuses her to talk and he bruises her. She retorts that he was just Traho's lackey, but instead he reveals that he's Orfeo.
Dark Tide Edit
While travelling home to Ondalina, Astrid sees Orfeo in a mirror beckoning to her, but she smashes the mirror and swims away.
Ling is sent by Orfeo, or Rafe Iaoro Mfeme into a labor camp. In Ondalina, Astrid again sees Orfeo who tempts her with being able to sing, but when she refuses to come to him, he disappears. Later, Ling escapes and joins with the others, where they learned Orfeo's soul was trapped in his talisman, and when it was worn by a Viking chieftain, which he posessed. They learned Amarrefe Mei Foo, Feimor Fa Eaemor, and Maffeio Aermore are all anagrams for "I am Orfeo, Fear me."
Sea Spell Edit
Astrid by now, having joined the other merls and committed herself to a bloodbind with them, seeks out Orfeo in order to confront, steal his talisman and if possible, kill him by getting up close. Orfeo, having made a deal with Rorrim Drol, the master of Vagus the mirror realm, allows Astrid to come to him. He treats Astrid to a fine meal and has his servants bring her to a luxurious room and to give her new clothes. Astrid meets him in the garden where he holds up a herb, Sargassum fusiforme, which he uses to combat fin rot which one of his bull sharks had. Astrid secretly wonders why he keeps some of the ocean's fiercest predators around, and Orfeo admits that once he was a healer who set bones, drew infections, cured fevers and every single illness, but had failed to save the one who mattered to him the most.
Astrid demands to know why he has brought her here, and Orfeo explains that he wishes to cure her. He asks how she came to lose her singing voice. Astrid explains: she had lost it when she celebrated Månenhonnør, Ondalina's moon festival, when she was little. After asking what she had done during the festival, she replied that she had been dancing, singing with her friends and eating Månenkager, small cakes made from pressed krill and iced with ground mother-of-pearl. The baker dropped a silver drupe coin into one cake before its poured out into the moulds and baked. Whoever received the coin was supposed to have good luck.
Orfeo questions Astrid on whether she got the coin. Astrid laughs and replied that she didn't. Orfeo then questions on whether anyone else received the coin. Astrid realises that no one did- not her brother or anyone else, which was strange because anyone who received the coin would often crow about it. Orfeo feels her throat and requests that she had to be brave, because he was going to cure her.
To be continued...