Naia

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Naia is most well-known as the River Goddess, and in many cultures is also a patron of nature and fertility. She is also frequently associated with both sorrow and sympathy, frequently invoked to help comfort those whom suffer from sadness, hopelessness, and depression.

To the Nuum, Naia is the most revered of the few remaining prominent Immortals, being the patron of the most valuable resources in their desert home: the life-giving rivers and oases. Her sphere also includes serpents, alchemy, life and growth (particularly, but not limited to, plant life), fertility, and caverns. In Nuumic art and symbolism Naia is often depicted with the head of a serpent, and frequently holds a willow rod around which a serpent is twined.

The Faewyr see Naia chiefly as a patron of fertility and a caretaker of nature, with the natural association of rivers and lakes. Naia is said to often wander the woods and wild places of the world, particularly those in the Faewyr homeland of Tyr-Gwyrd where it is said her people, the Naiads, may also be found. To gaze upon her form is seen as both a blessing and a curse: A blessing in being able to be in her presence and look upon her unsurpassed beauty, and a curse in that one will be struck with the everlasting sadness she bears, for she forever mourns the loss of her father Vodr and her separation from her elder sister Nereia and the great seas she once called home. There are also a number of tales that speak of jealousy underlying Naia's sadness, for legends state that Vodr loved Nereia more, giving the elder sister the greater domain of the seas while Naia was given the lesser domain of the inland rivers and lakes.

To the Viali, Naia takes not only the role of patron of rivers and lakes, but perhaps moreso as that of comforter. Having known great sorrow at the loss of her father and the eternal separation from her sister and home in the seas, Naia can relate to the sorrows, tragedies, and mournings of mortals better than most other Immortals. Those whom call on Naia for comfort should be warned, however, that she will not act to undo the things that brought them sorrow, nor will she remove the sadness - a mortal must be willing to accept the comfort, company, understanding, and sympathy of Naia without expecting the problems to be resolved in order to find true solace from the River Goddess. It is most common to seek the presence and comfort of Naia at a riverbank under the boughs of a willow tree.

To the Huec people, Naia is a splinter of their god Toteoh in the form of a great six-legged gray river salamander speckled with blue, and is credited with providing the Huecs with many insights into the extraordinary properties of the flora and fauna within the great jungle valley. Thus it is that Naia is popular amongst Huec herbalists and alchemists in particular. It is said that Naia often attempts to swim from the multitudinous rivers of Tatlhuecan and into the great sea, but cannot abide the briny waters and must always turn back, shedding not only tears of sadness but of pain. Some legends claim that, should one be able to gather one of these tears, it could be used to cure any ailment or heal any wound, even wresting the patient from the very brink of death to live a life forevermore in perfect health.