The tunnel debouched into a wide room before the moonlight played out, an empty cavern of no great dimensions, but with a lofty, vaulted roof, glowing with a phosphorescent encrustation, which, as Conan knew, was a common phenomenon in that part of the world.
~ Jawels of Gwahlur
Some shipwrecked Zingaran mercenaries stumbled into Khemi, wild-eyed with a tale of beautiful mermaids who lured half of their company to their death on the shallow reefs off the coast.
Though the sailors were adamant that the naked, beautiful women were fish from the waist down, their reports of "shining smiles" led scholars to suspect that they were native Kushite women chewing a glowing paste that allowed them to prolong their time underwater.
The existence of this paste is well known among the shamans of the Black Kingdoms, though it is rare in the north where the plants that are used in its production do not commonly grow.