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Vodyanoi

As the leshys rule the forests, so do the vodyanois rule ponds, rivers and lakes. Their origins are celestial, and the strongest of them, those that dwell in springs, are said to be descended from Perun’s lightning bolts. As water lords, the vodyanois command various aquatic creatures, including fish, water fowl, and molluscs. Though among the most powerful of the nechist’ vodyanois are not typically mean-spirited. But an angered vodyanoi wields terrible power, and will drown or inflict floods on those who have intruded on his territory, sworn by God or Bies, or failed to sacrifice fish, spoiled bread, honey, or other desired items to him and his family.   Oftentimes, vodyanois form partnerships with people – particularly millers and beekeepers, who build their homes near vodyanoi lairs. They are often wistful like other nechist’ living in greater proximity to human households, and like rusalkas, vodyanois spend significant amounts of time grooming their tangled hair and beards. In winter, they sleep underneath the ice, but after they awaken in spring, their life-giving spring and summer floods are often the backdrop for wedding ceremonies.   Like the leshy or polevik, the vodyanoi is ruler of a large domain, which includes an underwater house (or even a palace) populated by spouses, children and herds of aquatic horses, fish, and other livestock. And similarly, a vodyanoi seeks to increase the size of his household and populate his domain by conceiving part-human progeny. Other reasons for doins so include dissatisfaction with married life, replacement of human drowning victims (who have gone to live with the vodyanoi), or revenge against human fisher folk who caught a member of the vodyanoi’s household in their nets.

Civilization and Culture

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

Half-vodyanois   Vodyanois are especially protean beings, capable of assuming numerous animal shapes, and often exhibiting a variety of animal body parts (fish tails, dog legs, otter fur, a cow belly, etc). Their children from human partners are less bizzare-looking, but may still inherit scaly skin with a greenish tinge, greenish hair, googly eyes, and a powerful physique.   Character   Half-vodyanois, whether they grew up with the human or nechist’ parent, like to develop strong social bonds with those around them. They insist on respecting proper protocol and etiquette, especially if it means receiving their due from those of a lower social status or subordinate family rank. They are territorial, and react harshly against those intruding on their domain or abusing their hospitality, though if possible, they would like to extend their domains at the expense of others. They are inclined to have large families, and, being tolerant of diverse origins, are usually open to including different beings (animals, non-humans) into their clan through marriage or adoption if it means an augmentation of their personal power. Nevertheless, half-vodyanois are often philanderers (though they are likely to see their outside activities as another way of growing their family).   Obviously, children of a vodyanoi parent are disposed toward various aquatic and maritime activities, including fishing, boating, sailing, irrigation, trade, and others. Because of the proximity of a vodyanoi’s eddy to a mill or apiary, half-vodyanois are often born into such households (less frequently, into priest’s households as well).
Genetic Ancestor(s)
Lifespan
Immortal (full vodyanoi). Human (for changelings).
Average Physique
Often physically imposing (though not necessarily attractive).
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Body is covered with fishlike scales. Hair and facial hair tend to have a green, bluish-green, or silvery tint. Full vodyanois also have gills on their neck, and may sport fins on their back and limbs.

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