However, merfolk aren't always easy to get along with. They spend hours gazing at their own reflections in shimmering surfaces, constantly practicing holding their breath, and they become grumpy when their skin gets dry.
For many years, the sailors of Skylands did their best to avoid merpeople because of an old legend warned that mermaids liked nothing more than luring unsuspecting crewmen to their deaths. Also, they're a bit weird-looking, and sailors aren't generally keen on weird-looking things. All that changed, however, when the captain of a trading ship accidentally knocked his seventy-year old mother-in-law overboard while showing her how to scrub the poopdeck. The poor woman would almost certainly have drowned had she not been rescued by a passing mermaid. The captain was said to be "sobbing with joy" when his mother-in-law was returned safe and well, and since that day mermaids have been looked on much more favorably.