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Why is it that dragons seem to find rivers so tasty?
Humakt was resting in his halls deep in the underworld when the river Styx spoke to him as she flowed past his island to the right and to the left. "Lord Death, my daughter Tarena has been captured by a dragon. For the sake of our friendship, will you help her?"
Humakt was not unwilling to do this, but he had perhaps been a little annoyed
by recent events. "Orlanth claims to be the expert on
rescuing maidens from dragons. Why not ask him?"
"I did," mumured the river. "He says that now Heler is returned, he has all the water he needs, and this new dragon is of no consequence. Tarena is not his kin."
Humakt thought several uncomplimentary things about his former brother, of which "typical" was perhaps the kindest. "I will do this", he said. "But that yet another member of the water tribe is taken by a dragon shows that there is more to this. There is a Truth hidden here. If you wish your daughter returned, tell me of it."
The river sighed, and the sound was like that of a waterfall in spring. "There is indeed a Truth here, and it cannot remain hidden from you. These dragons are beings of Fire. Like all, they seek their Other, which for them is Water. And like many, if they truly meet it in full, they will be destroyed by it. Tarena is a young river, her watery essence is not enough to equal the dragon's fire. If she was strengthened, then opposites would meet as equals. Take this, a part of my own essence, and either help my daughter meet her other, or separate her from it."
"It is the same thing", said Humakt. And he took the Water, which shaped itself into a sword in his hands.
He followed the Styx as far as the river could take him, and then continued as she directed him, across a great plain and up into the cold of the mountains.
Ahead of him he heard the sounds of battle. Of destruction, and violence, and
a familiar accent. "Ah", he thought. "Vadrus." And
there in the next valley was indeed Vadrus, the smashed remains of various items of irreplaceable beauty and wisdom, and a rapidly re-forming dragon.
"Will you bloody well stay dead when I kill you!" roared Vadrus in frustration.
"Excuse me", said Humakt, and stepped past him. He studied the dragon for a moment, identifying the weakest point in its armour, then thrust, once, with the Water Sword, meeting Taruma within. Water, strengthened, overcame Fire, and the dragon burst asunder into clouds of fiery dust, from which the rain came down.
Taruma stepped forth, and the first thing she saw was Vadrus leering at her beauty. She turned to Humakt. "My Lord", she said. "I see that my mother was right. I do indeed need a strong protector. Would you escort me to such a one?"
And Humakt took her arm, and together they went to find another friend of his... But "Humakt the matchmaker" is another story.