~Elemental Supernaturals continued
As discussed previously, the Deva are the supernaturals with the closest ties to witches and orthos, and are an accepted part of society, though often secretive about their status. Deva have their own cultures and religions, though they appear to have evolved somewhat in tandem with humans, so there are similarities and overlaps, especially in terms of witchery. There is a theory of dual evolution from a common ancestral core which cites as evidence the ability of the Deva to interbreed with witches and orthos to produce viable children.
Deva are often tied to the physical manifestations of their element, i.e., Dryads to forests, Naiads and Nereids to water, and all Deva can feel their Element wherever they are. Of all the Deva, naiads and nereids are probably the closest related to each other.
Water Deva – Naiads and Nereids
Naiads are the basis for the freshwater nymphs of Greek myth. Naiads live in clans, which are matriarchal, ruled by Elders, all women, all witches. Most often, the office of clan elder is hereditary, passed from mother to daughter. Each Elder has her own advisors from within her extended family group. Advisors are both witch and ortho-Naiad, male and female, and are selected by family ballot. The advisors attend council meetings with their Elder and are considered an adjunct to the council itself.
Clans consist of several enclaves and take part of their names from the bodies of water they inhabit. All Naiads inhabiting a body of water belong to the same clan, but not to the same enclave or even the same family.
Naiads don’t have family names, per se; they use a matronymic system, meaning that a child will take their mother’s name as their last name. Therefore, they also differentiate themselves by naming both their clan and enclave; i.e., Jarvi’s full name is Jarvi Vada of the Saginaw Bay Huron Clan. For simplicity, most Naiads prefer to use their clanwater as their surname when mingling in human society.
As clans can be extensive, Naiads prefer larger lakes or a large series of lakes, inland seas, and the great rivers as habitats, though some enclaves will live by smaller lakes. These enclaves are almost always allied with or a cadet branch of a larger clan. They don’t live entirely in the water. Their homes are constructed so as to be partially submerged, partially above the waterline.
Naiad passive metaskills include the ability an ability to tell another Naiad’s homewater, enhanced stamina, and a greater ability to endure water pressure and temperatures. Naiad active metas include the physical manipulation of their element, including changing the molecular makeup of the water once inhaled to allow them to breathe it for a period of time; the time varies according to the naiad’s innate abilities, of course. Some naiads can even tell what water a Water witch prefers, though this ability is stronger in the males. Naiad witches tend to lose the ability to manipulate water on the molecular level (i.e., they can’t break down water in order to extract oxygen to breathe underwater) for their witchery.
Naiads are physically very human-looking. They are disposed to be broad in the chest to accommodate their expanded lung capacity, which allows them to hold their breath for extended underwater stays. There may be a blue or green sheen to the hair and perhaps the nails, but they are the second most human-looking of the Deva, the Ailur being first. Naiads, like all the Deva, can interbreed with humans, both witch and ortho, and produce viable children with either witch or naiad characteristics. Unlike the mythology, there are male naiads. They don’t appear in the mythology because the clans are matriarchal, and the naiads most often encountered were the Elders in power and their advisors, thus giving rise to the myth that male Naiads do not exist.
Naiads do travel from their clanwater for various reasons, including going to college, diplomacy, or just for adventure. If the naiad opts to stay somewhere for a period of time (attending college, for example) they will form a temporary Bind, much as Dryads do. The process is much the same; the naiad will bring a worked bottle of homewater to mix into a small body of water that is easily accessible. A standing body of water is preferred, such as a small pond, as then the bind won’t need to be renewed as often. Again, the naiad will also need to periodically return to their homewater to renew themselves and to retrieve fresh water for the Bind. The length of time between home visits are determined by the naiad’s individual abilities and strengths, and, of course, whether or not the naiad is a witch. A witch will not need to bind as deeply – they can often make do with “water feature”, for example, small desk fountain or an aquarium, where they can combine a portion of their homewater with water from a source native to their location. A naiad – witch or ortho – whose bind fails will suffer a Withering, much as a Dryad will.
This has become rather lengthy, so Nereids will be discussed in a later post. However, as an FYI, note that nereids are the ocean-dwelling water Deva. While some may look similar to naiads, and share an Element, they are not the same species.
~to be continued~
James says: Our world – PCEarth – is getting crowded. We are starting to see not just witches (which already have us fascinated with the new things we keep “discovering” about them) but the many supernatural peoples that also populate the world. We’ve already looked at some historical figures who were witches in PCE, and we could very well see some historical supernatural figures in the not-too-distant future. (You can take that as a hint of an upcoming blog post if you want….if you want to be right, that is.)
Mickie says: Nice job Sid! Now we have to write about some of these supernaturals. Or are we already doing that? One of the most fun things about this series is incorporating real history and mythology into the world we’ve created. We’ve really put a lot of thought and work into the details…as you can see.