Tender and true are only the depths, False and cowardly is all that rejoices up there

Rheintöchter (Rhine daughters or Rhine Maidens) are a unique form the water-maids (Wasserjungfrauen) more commonly known as Naiads (pp 138). They are found all through the Rhinelands, attached to the great river itself and most of its tributaries and nearby streams and canals. They usually gather in threes, representing some trio of natures aspect – acting essentially as a unity, with a composite yet elusive personality. They are seductive and beautiful but usually naive and infantile.

The attributes most apparent initially are charm and playfulness, combined with a natural innocence; their joy in the treasures they guard derives from its beauty alone, even though they know its latent power. However, this veneer of child-like simplicity is misleading; they are provocative, sarcastic and cruel in their interaction. Their personalities portray both the childish innocence and the holiness of Nature.

Part of their childlike nature leads them to become enraptured by shiny and sparkling treasures and finding the pools and oxbow lakes in which they sport often leads to the discovery of a large treasure horde. Things lost in their rivers and the belongings of poor fools seduced and drown at their whim end up in the deepest parts of their territory along with worthless knick-knacks and anything which shines like the sun on water. From Gold to paste jewellery the Rhine daughters collect it all.

The nine daughters of the Rhine are Himinglæva (That through which one can see the heavens – a reference to the transparency of water), Dúfa (The Pitching One), Blóðughadda (Bloody-Hair – a reference to red sea foam), Hefring (Riser), Uðr or Unn (Frothing Wave), Hrönn (Welling Wave), Bylgja (Billow), Dröfn (Foam-Fleck) and Kólga – Cool Wave. However there are Rheintöchter for many of the rivers and tributaries of the region. In the caverns and underground rivers of the Underdark six Rheintöchter. Bronnlinde, Sigelinde and Hadeburg over see the larger faster river whilst Woglinde, Wellgunde, and Flosshilde sport in the second, slower stream.


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