U is for Undines
Undines (pronounced /ʌnˈdinz/, /ˈʌndinz/) or ondines are a category of elemental beings associated with water, first named in the alchemical writings of Paracelsus. Similar creatures are found in classical literature, particularly Ovid‘s Metamorphoses. Later writers developed the undine into a water nymph in its own right, and it continues to live in modern literature and art through such adaptations as Hans Christian Andersen‘s “The Little Mermaid“.
Undines are almost invariably depicted as being female, and are usually found in forest pools and waterfalls. The group contains many species, including nereides, limnads, naiades and mermaids. Although resembling humans in form they lack a human soul, so to achieve immortality they must acquire one by marrying a human. Such a union is not without risk for the man, because if he is unfaithful he is fated to die.
Undines work with Paracelsus in my short story, “Elementals Save Mother Earth”. This short story appears in the anthology, “The Dragon Tempest”.
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