Strawberry, the first mermaid to live in Peyroux, has tricked not only her wife, Red Kelp, dryad, but the vast majority of the community into believing mermaids need a hot, bubbling pool of water to remain warm and toasty throughout the winter. “I am a summer creature, you see,” she said with a voice of silk and longing, “the winter is harsh and sharp on my scales.”
So a group of villagers found an old clawfoot bathtub and set it out in the village common.
Strawberry’s home is already adapted to her needs, and this tub allows her to make herself comfortable and socialize with the citizens and guests of Peyroux. A few stones were enchanted with heating spells to maintain water temperature and a passing lich provided a Bubbling spell to keep the water moving. We eased Strawberry into the water and, splashing about happily, she announced she felt extremely comfortable and all was set.
“Is not the deep sea always frosty and cold?” Magma Hamilton Flamingo (everyone calls her “Ham” for short), gorgon, asked slyly in passing one day. “Shh!” Strawberry chided, “I’ll get you one too! Gorgons are earth-bound, surely you would enjoy the heat?” Pleased, Ham agreed to keep the secret safe. A second tub, roasting and toasting, was then set up.
“I daresay my old joints could use a bit of looking after,” Mayor Kevin M. Sourdough, monster, charged to no one in particular the other day. A third tub was found, bubble and heat facilities shortly following.
In the fashion that any tradition materializes, suddenly various ghosts were feeling the winter’s chill a bit too much on their ectoplasm, skeletons longed for the warmth of their past life, vampires grew chilly, witches started bringing their cauldrons out, the dryads and forest sprites felt too far from the sun to be warm.
Before long, at least half the village’s population had procured or built some form of hot tub and set it up in the village square and what started as a prank has become a beloved past time. Stories are shared, songs are sung, and splashing contests (with separate categories for distance and accuracy) have begun arising.
Construction will begin in the spring for a storage facility for the various tubs with plans to bring them out every year at first frost. The Potion Maker’s Authority is taking measurement on water usage and requests for magical bubble bath elixirs. While a full menu is not expected to be ready by winter’s end this year, they have found ways to dilute Mermaid’s Breath potions, allowing bathers to breathe easily from the tub’s bottom and enjoy the immense pleasure of laying on their backs, gazing into the night sky for hours on end. These lightweight potions have been named Mermaid’s Gasp. They cannot be used for depths or distance, but have a tremendous duration.
“Is not the deep sea always frosty and cold?” Ham, gorgon, asked slyly in passing one day. “Shh!” Strawberry chided, “I’ll get you one too! Gorgons are earth-bound, surely you would enjoy the heat?”
Winter creatures coming to Peyroux to enjoy the arcane cold weather have found the baths tremendously amusing. Some even join the fun, though results are mixed and emergency healings are often necessary to remedy minor burns and melted bodies. A sentient snowman, Bartholomew, repeatedly joins, melts, reforms, and joins the baths again. “I feel like a ghost,” it explained, “the sensation is invigorating.”
When asked for a final comment about the tradition she started, Strawberry laughed and splashed this reporter.