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Overseen by the Vala Ulmo, water beasts (Q."Yuluiti cuimar") lived in the pools, lakes, rivers, and oceans that covered most of Arda. Those that resided in the open seas owed allegiance to the Maia Ossë, the Singer; those that inhabited the inland seas and freshwaters (even deep below the earth) payed homage to the Maie Uinen, Ossë's calm, quite spouse. Men knew little about either group of these varied and colorful creatures.

As a whole, the ocean-dwelling beasts had suffered the greatest harm at the hands of Morgoth. The Black Enemy's brief seduction of Ossë resulted in the introduction of many awful monsters into the seas. Because of Uinen's intervention, Ossë repented and Morgoth's domination proved short-lived, but these foul creatures continued to plague seafarers and preyed upon Ulmo's flock. More importantly, Ossë and his animal minions remained a fiery and capricious lot and, unlike Uinen and the creatures of the freshwaters, posed an unpredictable threat to those who dared ply the waves.

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