Long ago, there lived Lyria, the greatest mermaid of all. Lyria had a magical conch shell, with powers to help mermaids and keep the Undersea Kingdom balanced and harmonious. But Lyria’s sister, Elsina, was jealous of the conch. She wanted to use it for own selfish ends and make herself the most important mermaid in the ocean. When Lyria refused to give it to her, Elsina smashed it into pieces.
Lyria found the pieces – six in all – and the magic was as strong as ever when she fitted them back together. But Lyria was worried that Elsina would try to steal the shell, so she gave a single piece to each of her six daughters to look after, each with its own special powers. They were known to everyone as the Shell-Keepers.
As the years went by, the six sisters passed the shell pieces down to their daughters, who then passed them down to their daughters. One day, the youngest daughter fell in love with a fisherman, and when she clambered out of the sea to be with him, she lost her tail and instead, had legs in its place. This daughter married the fisherman and lived with him on land, but whenever her sisters needed her, they would simply call to her in her dreams, where she joined them as a mermaid. She became known as the secret mermaid, and ever since then, her daughters and granddaughters have had special mermaid powers.