Merial McMinnus is the extroverted nixie who brought together Michelle Jocasta, Jim Finn, and Greg Tragos. She really enjoys being a nixie and tries very hard to get Michelle to embrace her own mythical nature.
March 17th, 1985
From the Orientations Character Page: "Merial is responsible for everybody being friends in the first place. She's been friends with Greg since High School, met Jim in college orientation, and through a stroke of luck is roommates with Michelle. Merial's parents own a cabin in an isolated river valley, and the group usually hangs out there on the weekends. Unlike Michelle, she considers becomming a Nixie as the best thing that's ever happened to her, and longs for a day when she doesn't have to hide what she is."
In Orientations, she tells Michelle that she is originally from San Francisco, but her parents moved to Missouri shortly after her turning. The reasons why have not been fully explained. Greg was the first non-human she met, and she convinced him to go to college in order to try to find more mythical creatures like them. She has no siblings (that she knows of), Kory adds.
When Merial turned her parents locked her in the bathroom for five weeks, not knowing what to do with her. It seems they have become much more supportive after this, even helping Greg some years later.
Merial is the first person Michelle meets in Orientations, and Merial introduces Michelle to Greg and Jim. When Michelle turns, she lands very close to Merial's cabin, where she, Greg, and Jim go on weekends so they can be themselves without humans around. Merial's parents own the cabin, but they have not yet been seen in the comic. When the MoMo attacks, Merial succeeds in drowning the creature with her elemental water powers.
When she was 15, Greg introduced Merial to Fiddler's Cave and told her the folktale about it in an attempt to impress her. How much she was actually impressed is unknown, but they have remained close friends for a long time.
While reading a book about aquatic creatures, Merial learns that se can turn other beings into aquatic creatures with her saliva. Intrigued, Merial tricks Jim into turn into his human form, kisses him and toss him into the river, and is amazed to see Jim in a aquatic variation of his full-form. Jim isn't surprised by this (since Nixie saliva -AKA "Nixie Essence" - is regulary used in Liverpool Avalon to prank people) but is upset that the effects last as long as the user is wet and, thanks to his fur, it will take hours for it to dry. Fortunately, Merial simply manipulated the water out of his fur, reverting him back to normal, and they both decided to kiss again on grounds of "Further Research".
Merial is able to breathe water thanks to the large gills on the side of her neck. It's not really an ability, but her eyes are permanently adjusted for seeing underwater, so she needs glasses to see clearly on land.
Merial is able to physically shapeshift her tail into legs and back again (she needs her medallion to appear completely human, however). Her saliva has the magical ability to give anyone who consumes it aquatic features and abilities when contact with water is made, until said individual dries out. She also has elemental control over water. She can make water float in the air like large bubbles, create large waves and walls of h2o and make water float off a creature, leaving them nice and dry.