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Postfest XVIII (Richfest 2016): Waterous Wonders of the Rhennee
Posted on Wed, July 06, 2016 by LordCeb
Icarus writes "Once again, gadjo, I am your trusted guide to introduce you to the magic of my people, the Rhennee and the magic of the Waters themselves!  These magical tokens bring forth beloved animals, who share the Waters with us, and are treasured in myth and lore. 


"Ah, so, gadjo, you come again - asking questions about my people, the Rhennee! I understand that you know so little of us … it is natural to wonder and ask.  You have come seeking to learn, and Meritaelin shall teach you our ways!  … What's this you ask? You wish to hear tales of magical talismans and items of curious power?  Yes, trusted Meritaelin knows legends of such things!"
 
My boots sank into the black mud of the river bank, squelching with every heavy step, weighted with an inch of mud surrounding each foot.  I struggled in near darkness to see the man several arm spans in front of me.   He'd told me that he'd take me to a secluded cove where a magical boat was hidden, but I couldn't see how a boat of any kind could get close to shore along the river.  The trees were all close, and there was almost no bank to speak of, and what space was available was choked with roots of large trees.  
 
He stopped abruptly, and as I wended my way between the trees catching up, he hunched forward, pulling his pack forward, and rifled through it without setting it down.  He produced a flat wooden box of a size to hold two bottles of wine side by side.  When I got closer, it caught a bit of moonlight reflected from the river, and I could see that it was intricately carved with a motif easily identified as Rhennee in style.
 
He walked closer to the edge of the river, and set the box to float in the Waters.  Then I heard him speak firmly under his breath, and instantly the engraved wood flashed into motion.  In the span of two breaths, the wood seemed to unfold and slide dozens of times, so that it expanded out of itself into a kabang - a Rhenne barge.  He looked over his shoulder at me with a mischievous smirk, gestured with his thumb toward the covered deck cabin, and said "Come aboard."  
 
As I waded up to the boat, the mud washing from my boots, I stepped onto the deck and couldn't help but wonder at how much else the man had that was hidden magic like the boat.  He did, indeed. have more.  He showed me several statuettes and talismans that he said were magical creatures that would come to life, and told me tales of each one.  
 
Tamao, the guardian turtle
The turtle is a very special creature to us.  There are many myths and legends surrounding turtles in our culture, and they are involved in many mystic rituals.  There are even methods of divination that involve reading the lines of a turtle’s shell.  Even in our language, the word for catching a turtle is the same as used for laying with a woman.  
Tamao was a rather large and old river turtle, known for his love of the Rhennee people.  He often could be found in a secluded cove, in a subterranean cave.  The children of the area grew up knowing that he was there, and that his cove in particular was a place to swim and play free from harm or danger.  If there ever were occasion of danger, Tamao would come swimming out of his cave, and other river creatures would immediately stop whatever it was they were doing, and not threaten the children (or adults) who happened to be swimming or boating nearby.  He never allowed river creatures to harm or threaten his beloved people.  
 
The man whose boat I was on demonstrated this magical trinket for me whilst I was aboard.  He took it off a shelf inside, and carried it out to the gunwales of the vessel.  I could see the figurine was made of a smooth, brown river stone, polished perfectly without edge or roughness by the motion of the Waters.  He held it carefully, even gingerly, down to the surface of the Waters.  Much in the same way as he had with the boat, he said something almost as if he were speaking to the stone, and gently laid it upon the Waters.  
It had sunk no more than an inch into the Waters, when suddenly there was a great splashing, and the Waters were thrown about a bit.   By the lantern light that had been put up on the boat, I could see a large shadow beneath the surface of the Waters.  I could make out the round, finned shape as the large turtle gradually slid down below.
 
The man told me that Tamao would stay nearby, and watch and wait in the area, ensuring that nothing would happen … but, that if something did, Tamao would instantly hide himself in such a way that he blended with the waves, becoming imperceptible to the naked eye.   Then he would make a keening noise that could be heard for a great distance, and would swim up to the offending creature or person, and his presence would make them stop being agitated, and make them act prosaically.  Also, while he was swimming nearby, none of these creatures would ever choose to willingly harm those he protected.  
 
(( This Figurine of Wondrous Power has, essentially, three spell-like powers once the command word is spoken.  When he becomes intangible, he's acting as "Mordenkainen's Faithful Hound", he uses "Hide From Animals" and "Calm Animals", and "Sanctuary" to protect his owner.  ))
 
Gendalo, the Playful River Dolphin
Once Tamao was in the water, the bargeman took down yet another glossy stone, this one in the shape of a curved, swimming fish.  He placed it in a dry tub that may've served for both storing drinking water, or as a wash basin.  Once setting it down, from the fish's scales, water began to seep out at a surprising rate, filling the basin with cool, clear, fresh water! Telling me that he was going to set himself in the Waters over the side of the barge, he offered me a drink from the basin, and told me to keep an eye on him.   
 
As he set his knees to dangle overboard, he set a third stone to the Waters, and like the other, it sank with a large splash and a dark shadowed shape descending.   Without even so much as a deep breath, the man slid off the boat, holding out his arm straight in front of him.   He'd no more than become wet than there was a large, flat, triangular curved fin skimming just above the surface of the Waters!  But, much to my surprise, a sleek greyish back with an air hole surfaced just in front of the bargeman and he caught on to the fin, and it kept swimming with great speed and alacrity.  He simply kept one arm draped over what clearly was a river dolphin's back, and it was almost as if he were held there by magic.   … he gamboled and rode about, swimming with or on top of the dolphin for several minutes before returning to the side of the barge.  There, head bobbing above the small waves, he explained that the dolphin willingly carried him about, and could even allow him to not need air while they were submerged.  The river dolphin would carry things for him, if it was required, and would take him even out of his natural habitat if needed, so long as it was within the Waters.  
 
(( This Figurine of Wondrous Power functions as a "Goat of Travel" with the additional benefit of "Water Breathing".  ))
 
And so, you see, gadjo, we have many tales of magic and strange tokens - just as many or more than your people, I would think!  Much of our magic is centered around the Waters which are like the blood in our veins.  Some, are paramicha (fairy tales) I'm sure.   Many are not.  Certainly, some may be both, an invented story based on magic that is real, and protects us.  
There is never a lack of things to hear about, and sometimes is difficult to keep track of everything.  But, I am here as your guide, gadjo.  If you stay close and listen to what I tell you of the Rhennee, you will learn much of our ways.  You merely have to experience a culture that is not yours, and learn to see us as the creatures of The Waters that we are.  They are our home, and we want nothing more than to live our lives upon them.  I bid you mai dikashsamen, and latcho dromardipe …  a good evening, and a good journey.
 

"
 
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Re: Postfest XVIII (Richfest 2016): Waterous Wonders of the Rhennee (Score: 1)
by Cebrion on Wed, July 06, 2016
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Very nice! :)



Re: Postfest XVIII (Richfest 2016): Waterous Wonders of the Rhennee (Score: 1)
by Kraftwerk (xxx.kraftwerk.xxx@gmail.com) on Wed, July 06, 2016
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Nicely done, Icarus!  Again, you so a great job of fleshing the under used and appreciated Rhenee!

-- K.



Re: Postfest XVIII (Richfest 2016): Waterous Wonders of the Rhennee (Score: 1)
by Syzygyst on Wed, July 06, 2016
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Good stuff, Icarus. I like the Folding Barge (Folding-Boat-*****-Rhenee-Barge) as much as i like the Figurines. Nice.



Re: Postfest XVIII (Richfest 2016): Waterous Wonders of the Rhennee (Score: 1)
by Dark_Lord_Galen on Sun, July 10, 2016
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Another fine pearl claimed from the waters by the Rhennee Scribe.... Good to see your quill has not been silenced.

DLG




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