Designed by Kostia
Lifespan: 20 minutes
Medium Groups: 21-25
Large Groups: 18-22
Music and color filled the water as Delaia, the empress of Ryvaera, walked through the garden paths of her city. She waved to the naiads who passed by, walking on the riverbed and swimming over her head, and smiled a little to herself when she saw a bird dive into the river, trying to catch one of the sparkling fish, and miss by a mile.
She hadn't always been able to see all the way up to the surface. The river had been getting lower and lower lately, and the current had slowed. The water was cloudy more often than not, too. Cloudy and muddy. Mud does not suit naiads.
As she walked farther from the palace, she neared the hulking mass of the beaver lodge that spanned the entire river. She stopped near Calaia's gemsmithing workshop and sighed. Here was the reason. Here was the entire reason they had so few fish anymore, and the water level was dropping, and the naiads were so crowded.
Calaia saw the empress and came out of her workshop to say hello. At the look of frustration on Delaia's face, the smith frowned, and asked "What is it?"
"I don't know what to do about this," said Delaia. "They obviously aren't going to leave. We can't go out of the water to talk to them, and they don't care enough about us to swim down here."
Sylaia, the mage, came out of her door nearby, having overheard the conversation. "Can't someone go in and negotiate with their queen?" she asked.
Calaia laughed. "They have a king AND a queen," she reminded the mage. "Can you imagine?"
Delaia shook her head. "I'm afraid to ask someone to try to go in. The beavers come out underwater, but they can't breathe down here. It must be air in there, and --" She shuddered. "And mud! And what naiad could survive that? Her dress would get torn and dirty, and what of her hair! I don't even want to tell anyone where the entrance to the lodge is. Someone could hurt herself trying to get in there."
The naiads laughed a little, fully aware of how silly it was to want to avoid getting dirty, but not one of them was about to change her mind. They looked towards the palace, then back at the lodge, and the three of them muttered in unison,
"Damn those beavers!"
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