|A man led to his death by naiads|
Like the situation summed up by the (alleged) quote of Admiral Yamamoto, these attacks accomplished little other than to "wake the sleeping giant." The river gods, while powerful, could not contend with humanity openly, because they were so vastly outnumbered, and because humanity could retreat to drier terrain to recover and plan more assaults. The most disastrous were the repeated dryings and floodings of the Eibon River which flows through what is now Tarush Noptii by damming. In retreat, and scattered, the river gods settled on a plan of deadly, menacing stealth. Feigning their own extinction, or nearly so, some of the asexual beings transformed themselves via their magic into the first rusalka. In this form, they appeared as beautiful, young women, bathing naked in the waters, and singing and dancing with ethereal, hauntingly beautiful voices.
|River gods in their natural form|
One caution, the Tarushan folktale warns: as a result of their magical transformation, the naiads are capable of concieving and bearing children with human lovers. Such children are born normal, and grow up that way. At some point, however, midway through their adult lives, the ancient heritage of their river god ancestors starts to catch up with them, and they begin a slow transformation into something inhuman--they become river gods themselves. In this way, the river gods have managed to stealthily and malevolently infiltrate human society, and prolong the life of their population.
But all of that is merely a strange, Gypsy folktale, right?