Otter Ladies Myth in Arndsts | World Anvil

Otter Ladies

"Woo, look at you, swimming like an otter lady."   "Oh, Amarat, you're such a dork!"   "No, really, you swim quite well."   "I swim like a brick, save your empty flattery, I'm just making sure I don't fail my next qualifier."   "You have to know how to swim?"   "Some Ballista went down with his ship, Meihomei at the time. 'It makes a statement, but only if he didn't know how to swim. If they want to make statements, I'll make sure they make them knowingly.' So since then, to be an officer, you have to know how to swim."   "And you do, or obviously, you wouldn't have been an officer for five years."   "I keep passing, but by such a thin margin, I'm always worried I'll get down-checked."   "Here, let me show you something."   "Keep your perverted hands to yourself!"   "My hands aren't more perverted than the rest of me, but I want to show how your balancing your body wrong, going to have to put my hand to your belly to do that I'm afraid."   "How come you know how to swim?"   "I was two arnds old when my mother introduced me to swimming, in Garay's central basin."   "The diamond-shaped lake there, it's swimmable?"   "Yeah, if you got permission... Which is rather hard to get."   "You aren't Aumhavar there?"   "Mother is. She'd need a good reason, better than 're-qualifying' at least."   "Oh, how about less chance of drowning."   "You have no chance of drowning."   "I don't?"   "I cast a spell on you, you can't drown, if you become at risk of drowning, you'll float up, head first."   "Nifty spell. Why?"   "So we can work on your otter issues, of course."   "Oh, you!"   "What, but I liked my pun."   "Come here, so I can tickle you!"  
  "We want to thank the elements, for providing us this nice dinner. Isn't it a nice dinner Bihar?" Amarat asked his eldest daughter, who was three arnds old.   "Yes'm Daddie. It looks really nice. Daddy, will you tell me a story tonight?"   "A story? What kind of story?"   "A scary story?"   "You could tell her about the Otter Ladies of Veneer. They influenced the founding of the place, after all."   "My lady, I do believe I shall."  
  "Yippee, a scary story."   "What's the checklist like?"   "I cleared m'toys, I have my sleeping dress on."   "What about Mister Schnookums?"   "He's too scared, he's hidden under the covers. But ah'm brave!"   "All right. So I will tell you the story of Annadin and the Otter Ladies. Annadin was becalmed in the bay of Veneer, nothing would make his ship, the Sweet Surprise, move. He had been there for a week, and he was running out of food, although, thankfully, water was plentiful, as long as he sent his ship's boat along the river, he could get fresh water."   "Oh." Mister Schnookums was apparently hidden under the covers, but well in hand, the shape that could only be the plush moved with Bihar's arm motions.   "So Annadin, and Datrin, in desperation, invoked the elements, having the ship's sorcerer cast a spell, trying to get them moving again. What happened was unexpected. The Sweet Surprise flew off, and hit an island off shore. A tiny island not on any maps. And were becalmed again."   "Oooh."  
It was dawn, Annadin's crew broke out to explore the island. At dusk, only half the crew made it to the rendez-vous point.   "Ok, no one in groups of less than two." Ordered Annadin. They explored for another hour, finding nothing interesting, but losing half the remaining crew.   "Ok, there's just 16 of us, let's alternate shifts, for sleep, we'll bed down in this clearing, it's almost in the middle of the island."   At dawn, the ones who had stayed awake had disappeared. Annadin was upset.   "There's just seven of us left, and you Annadin, we can't lose anyone anymore."   "No, we need to get them back, without a crew, we can't sail out, they took our sorceror!"   "Aye, bad luck that, who's 'they'?"   "I don't know."   "They heard some clicks and chirps, squeals and at least one scream, coming from a point in the forest north of the clearing. They carefully moved there, finding a river. They took a moment to replenish their waterskins, then followed the river's current."
— Annadin and the Otter Ladies, Kagomine Press
  "This is a scary story, does Annadin make it?" Asked his daughter.   "Hush, I wouldn't tell you this story if it was all dark, but I don't want to spoil the surprise."   "Not all dark doesn't mean they make it though." She bit her lip.  
"Put your hands up where I can see them, and don't make any sudden moves."   "Ack, who are you?"   "I am Nunnuhi, I am the chieftess of this tribe of Gana, we are the river-dwellers."   'Lo, this is bad, the Gana are supernatural tricksters, never give them an inch, for they will take a mile.' Thought Annadin, he raised his hands, fully intending to escape if he could, so did his companions.   "Hai, Nunnuhi, what did you find?" That was her second-in-command, who had been left in charge of their underwater camp. The ambient magic let all of Annadin's sailors breathe water, but the otters lived in huts above water, more like beavers.   "The rest of these ground-dwellers, Shassatra, and did you get anything useful from the others?"   "No, they are quite resistant, especially this one, who seems a leader among them." She was pointing at Annadin's longtime companion, Datrin, the sorceror, lathered up in quite a sweat, but otherwise unharmed.   "He seems to have potential, we shall be bringing them to market later, perhaps we can get something in trade for these intruders."
— Annadin and the Otter Ladies, Kagomine Press
  "Daddy, you and mommy are sorcerors, could you do something about Nunnuhi, if you met her?"   "No one has clearly identified how powerful and influential she is, my dear, perhaps, especially if we are together, we could defeat her, but I'd much rather just avoid her, which is why Veneer harbour has been abandoned since Annadin's time. It's just too close to where the island would be."   "Would be?"   "No one but Annadin has found the island and come back, it's a magical place, not just an island, but a pocket dimension, somehow. The island of Verthandi."   "I heard that it has wolf spiders."   "Wolf spiders, nectarwolves, otter ladies, even the Asmodean League."   "What's that?"   "The demons, how we call them in the plural, with all of their humanoid bestial forms."   "Oh, demons? And Annadin was just blown there? No warning?"   "Now you know why we don't let you play in the sea close to Veneer, and ships who are blown off course in that area usually weigh anchor and send a distress signal for rescue. The area has an evil reputation."   "I hope Annadin is all right."  
"Datrin, I'm so glad you're all right."   "I don't feel all right, what these... otter women did to me, I feel unclean. But they don't know about my power, they rejuvenated it better than a good night sleep, I can escape these bonds as soon as I wish. I will await your signal, Annadin, then we will overpower them, see how they like being the prisoners!"   "No, better to tie them up and escape, we can't stay on this island, and who knows what else lurks here. Besides, they've only left 4 here, we can overpower them, but if they come back, we'll be outnumbered. By the way, how did they capture you?"   "They laid a trap, their voices are enthralling when they've a mind to it. They start singing and your willpower seeps out of your bones."   "More reason to escape, we don't even know if a gag will stop their song."   "I don't think they use their mouths to sing, more like their magic. You're right."
— Annadin and the Otter Ladies, Kagomine Press
  "Daddy!"   "Yes, my sweet?"   "This is scary, do the other otter ladies come and capture Annadin now?"   "No, but listen."  
"For Annadin and the Sweet Surprise!" Datrin cried, and broke his bonds, then hitting Shassatra on the head, then grabbing her arms and tying her wrists, first, then her strong otter legs, then her mouth with a leather gag.   Annadin had done the same to Nunnuhi, Datrin could tell, but perhaps something else had happened, his Scorpion couldn't meet his eyes.   "We keep following the river, sailors, until we get back to the Surprise. Can you unbecalm us again, Datrin?"   "I can try, my power hasn't been to this level since my hannabrid!"   "Oh, so the hérévallin would like you now, huh?"   "I'd do things she likes too, wouldn't mind falling into bed with her right about now. Way less disgusting than Otter Ladies."   "Agreed, we need to go back to our families, back in Lilleath, if you could that Datrin, your legend would be assured."   "It's on the other side of Seylon!"   "Just aim high, if we scrape the hull on Sietch Amber, it'll be expensive to repair." The sailors grinned, Datrin grinned despite himself, Annadin was right, trying the safe route had gotten them here, it was time to take wild risks.   After making it back to the ship, Annadin, Datrin and the other Sailors sat in a circle around the mast, in their smallclothes, ready to cast the spell Datrin had prepared in haste, hoping the Gana wouldn't intervene. As Datrin called out the names of the elements, even the fifth, secret one only Sorcerors should know, the wind picked up. Then he called out his allies, first the sailors, by name, then the Elements, again, then magical creatures he had befriended, beseeching them for aid. With each name, the wind howled more furiously, until the sails furled taut so suddenly, the ship flew. Not flew like before, where it raised only about the height of the mast. No, the ship lifted clean off the water, and rose over two kloms in the air, the peaks of the Ararahk Mountain Range overflown easily, as the ship bypassed them, then overflew the flatlands on the other side, then edging the Mountains of Lavali to the south as they flew onto the Domeidom of Roomian main docks, missing it by a ship length and landed straight in the harbour waters.   Annadin and Datrin and the others celebrated, but no one believed them, that the Sweet Surprise had flown so high. They were more worried about being believed about The Gana, but the next ship sent to investigate didn't return, and so Meihomei made an Edict, now known as The Edict of Annadin, that the area was to be prohibited, and Datrin's superiors in the Elemental Circles made it a crime against Aumhavar to try to reach the island. Both resolutions stand to this day.
— Annadin and the Otter Ladies, Kagomine Press
  Amarat looked down from the book, onto his daughter, now snoring, he gently disengaged from under her.   "Did she enjoy her story?"   "Yes, and now she's gone for the night."   "Oh good, you see..."   "What is it, my love?"   "I always thought that story was a little risqué for kids."   "What part?"   "Shassatra, forcing herself on Datrin."   "Apparently Nunnuhi on Annadin too, if my current reading is any indication."   "It doesn't bother you?"   "It does, both Annadin and Datrin were sorcerors, like us, and they were captured, so easily..."   "Not the subject matter?"   "Well, Annadin and Datrin needed to learn a lesson, apparently, they understood consent better afterwards."   "Oh, they hadn't been angels before?"   "No, but I imagine the stories were written at about the same time..."   "What makes you say that?"   "Annadin is the founder of Roomillian, that's over a hundred years before Kagomei."   "And?"   "And, he's a real person, obviously, his exploits have been exaggerated, but he did get tribunaled, and he did spend time, and apparently had the tale fictionalized, to help reduce his sentence."   "What? He's real?"   "Well, not necessarily the flying ship. But there was a pair of sailors named Annadin and Datrin, and they did get sentenced to five years punishment time, but in Lilleath, where they were born, not in Roomillian, where they were city founders and lords. His sentence reduction case was actual class material during one of my law classes."   "Because he was a lord?"   "The reasoning of the case is one of the earliest case reductions on record. Its value as sobering material for hotheaded nobles probably didn't hurt, however."


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