Nymph of the Atoll Myth in Melyria | World Anvil

Nymph of the Atoll

Legends have been told and songs have been sung, from the Nymph of the atoll in Calm Sea. According to the legend she tends the Daydream Atoll, and sometimes she aids those who look for her advice.

Summary

Stories tell of Nymph so beautiful, that gazing upon her makes the person blind from her loveliness. She tends her grove and has granted her wisdom to those who prove their worth to her. One of the more famous legends tells her teaching a lesson to 3 princes of patience.

One of the kings of Jin Jing once sent his sons to the atoll, to prove that they were worthy of his crown by searching the Nymph. They were to stay in the atoll for 3 days and 3 nights and bring token from Nymph's favour.

Youngest son was too eager, and didn't have the patience to lure the nymph out; he went to find her and her beauty blinded him for the rest of his days.

The first brother brought gifts of gold and silver, making many promises yet he didn't get the nymphs attention.

But the middle son waited and pondered, and to help his thoughts he played pípá to calm his mind. As he did so, he heard steps on the sand, but when he turned, he saw nothing. He continued his tune to hear the steps again, and then laughter. Covering eyes with his sleeve, he barely made out a figure of a woman, who danced to his tune, and so he played and Nymph danced the whole night until dawn sun would touch the waves.

So happy was the nymph from distraction that she gifted her one of her tears, and sword pale as sand was raised from the waves for the prince to take. With these gifts, he went back to his father with these gifts, and he was declared as heir.

The elder brother was bitter, unhappy for the nymph's choice, and swore to go and tell the nymph to tell off her choice. Youngest brother would warn him, as he himself had gone blind from his passion, yet older brother would not heed. He went back to the atoll and demand to speak to the nymph. Yet nymph told him she was bathing, and would not wish to be disturbed. Angry, the older brother would raise his gaze to shout; yet as his eyes would see the naked form of the nymph, he would drop dead to his place.

Nymph felt pity for the dead prince and would call upon the ocean. Waters would rise on her plea, and prince wakes from death, and turn to elemental. For this day he stays with the nymph, pondering his rashness, and watching over the atoll with her, like ruling his own small kingdom.

Historical Basis

Those who have spent lots of time in the Daydream Atoll have told there are sounds, movements, and other signs in the Atoll that tell that someone still lives there, though there are only few eyewitness accounts. There have also been several reports of water elementals and other magical beings in the area, which might have sprung the tale to life. Thus the existence of the nymph specifically is hard to prove.

There are several queer occurrences that had happened at the Atoll: people who have almost drowned close by have found themselves on the sands, remembering vividly someone singing to them and tending their wounds. There are accounts of people getting blinded at the island or dying without any clear cause. These records often tell that disaster struck after the person has been harming the Atoll or its inhabitance, but that isn't unheard of in Spiritgroves.

Spread

Tales of the nymph are widespread around the Huon dao islands, both amog humans and sea elves of Nidral Halas.

As the atoll stands close to the shores of Kingdom of Jin Jing, it is the source of most of the legends. The nymph was told to give an ancient king the Windsong, the blade that has since become a symbol of power among the Yiin-people.

Related Ethnicities
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Muse for many

Despite the risk to be blinded, several travelers have brought gifts and written songs to woo the mysterious nymph. There are songs about young men that have yearned to see her in flesh and maybe have just moment of her time. This has inspired several love stories and songs that are sung in taverns in the late hours by the lovesick individuals.   Several paintings have tried to capture the elusive form of the fair maiden, giving the sword to the prince or just bathing with the fish, yet no one can tell how accurate these depictions are.
Beauty such divine,
like sun, so bright, sublime.
As I washed ashore
Her song took my heart and mind.
— Bardic depiction of Nymph saving a castaway
Daydream Atoll
Building / Landmark | Jul 4, 2021

On the coasts of south east Jin Jing, in the Calm Sea stands a beautiful atoll, gently hugged by the calm waves. Famed from it's beauty, this reef is full with colors and wildlife.

Nymph
Species | Aug 1, 2019

Nymphs are fey creatures that are the beauty come to the flesh. They are said to be so gorgeous they can charm any person they wish, and any person who lays eyes on them might go blind or die to their loveliness - literally.


Credit where credit is due!
The story took inspiration from video essays "What They Don't Tell You About Nymphs - D&D" by MrRhexx and "Dungeons and Dragons Lore : Nymph" by AJ Pickett, as well as research bits from Forgotten Realms Wiki.

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Author's Notes

This article was created as an entry for World Anvil's Summer Camp 2019 event. Sometimes it's easier to get things done when there is an event involved!   You can view all my entries to the event here, or check out Summer Camp 2019!


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