If one deemed unworthy attempts to grab the staff, a tidal wave will advance from behind the mermaid, crushing the poor unworthy fool in the blink of an eye.
- Artwork by Kera.
A mermaid is a legendary aquatic creature with the upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. The first stories appeared in ancient Assyria, and in Greek mythology. Christopher Columbus reported seeing mermaids while exploring the Caribbean, and sightings have been reported in the 20th and 21st centuries in Canada, Israel and Zimbabwe.
The word mermaid is a compound of the Old English mere (sea), and maid (a girl or young woman). The equivalent term in Old English wasmerewif. They are conventionally depicted as beautiful with long flowing hair. As cited above, they are sometimes equated with the sirens of Greek mythology (especially the Odyssey), half-bird femme fatales whose enchanting voices would lure soon-to-be-shipwrecked sailors to nearby rocks, sandbars or shoals.