Amber: Something Wicked
huge, intelligent, highly magical hippopotami of Shadow Shadiza
Results (among many) of the magical experimentation that trashed Shadow Shadiza maybe several centuries ago.
The rivers of their area in the tropics belong to them but they share them with humans (and others) if given tribute. Mostly interesting food they can’t get on their own, plus things that take their individual, eccentric fancies. One collects books and likes to have his slaves read to him and maintain his library. One collects small sculptures. Some are music fans.
They can’t speak human languages but can learn to understand them. They use elementals to translate. when necessary, and most humans along their rivers can understand a few high-pitched (non-subsonic) words of River Lord.