Merfolk: Part 1

Mermaid color

Overview

Merfolk are an extraterrestrial sapient species of faye that originated from Kaf. Merfolk have well-built and attractive humanoid upper bodies and lower halves consisting of the tail and fins of a great fish or whale. Their hair and skin span a wide range of hues, with Merfolk in a given region closely resembling each other. Merfolk aren’t as limited on land as some myths suggest; their tails will quickly reform into legs once they leave the water (and, likewise, their legs will quickly reform into a tail should they ever enter water). Communities exist in mountain lakes, coastal reefs, rivers, and even swampy wetlands.

Merfolk:  Part 2

Species Quick Profile

(Sirena amphíbios)

Life Expectancy
Average:90 years
Maximum:500 years
Average Height: 5-6ft
Average Weight: 150-350 lbs
Hair: Blue, Green, White, Black, Red, Silver, Blonde
Eyes: Blue, Green, Blue-green, Hazel, Purple, Indigo
Creature Type:  Full Torso Humanoid Faye (Amphibious, Shapeshift to Humanoid)

Biology

Physiological Traits
  • Amphibious skin– portions of skin on their shoulders, arms, lower back, and lower limbs (legs or tail) resemble the look and color of local fish species. Despite the scaly look, the texture is smooth as hairless skin and is similar to amphibians in that Merfolk can breathe through it when moist. It is also what merfolk to breathe underwater in place of their lungs. The skin is also shed periodically more or less in one piece throughout their lives for new healthy skin underneath.
  • Slime Coat– a thin coating of slippery slime to help their skin stay moist in order to breathe through their skin underwater and on land.
  • Amphibious Adaptation-In the water, merfolk are full torso humanoids and on landing their shape changes to Humanoid. From adolescence, their tails can quickly metamorphize into legs with webbed feet, able to walk when most of their bodies are exposed to air. When their legs are submerged in water, they metamorphize into a finned tail. This process however is not instant, the transformation from one form to another usually takes a few minutes for their bodies to adjust. Apparently, it involves a magical ( arcane mana charged) hormone similar in structure to thyroxine for land and is counteracted by a hormone similar to prolactin for the aquatic change
  • Watery Hair– Once their hair grows to certain length, the rest becomes water imitating the hair’s length. The cutoff length is shorter for males than females.
  • Fins-They possess frills on their forearms, and some have finned ears
Innate Abilities
  • Expert swimmer– Because of their fish tail and webbed hands(and webbed feet on land and shallow waters), merfolk are naturally an adept swimmers. Their tail is strong enough that it can propel one several meters out of the water for high leaps.
  • Echolocation-can use low or high pitched echoes to locate things far off in the water.

Appearance
From the waist up, a merfolk’s body resembles that of a human; a merfolk’s lower body, however, is comprised of a tail and fins similar to that of a giant fish or cetacean. Despite the scaly look, the texture is smooth as hairless skin. By the time they are adolescents, they are able to transform completely into humanoid form with legs to move on land. Distinctive features in both forms include portions of skin on their shoulders, arms, lower back, and lower limbs (legs or tail) resemble the patterns of local fish species. The “human-looking” section of their skin have various human skintones and short, fine, light-colored, and barely noticeable vellus hair covering. They also have fins on their arms, webbed fingers, and webbed toes on land and the ends of their tails in the water.

General Diet
Typical diets are composed of native fish and aquatic plants. They will also partake of other aquatic animals such as mollusks, shellfish, and water fowl. Brackish merfolk also partake of a few insects, reptiles, and are more likely to eat foods closer to land. Marine merfolk have the advantage of hunting large mammals on occasion. Fruit and nuts that drift in the waters to propagate are a delicacy and are often grown by experienced farmers.

Reproduction
Copulation is internal sexual fertilization and can occur on land or underwater. Whether the transformation has them in their Sea forms or Land forms, the Merfolk retain their humanoid sexual organs. The males often have a sheath that remains hidden for a great part, only coming into view when sexually aroused, and the females is nigh invisible till they’re aroused, then the scales around the females vulva change hue, signaling their ready for sexual relations. Often times the coloration ranges from intense reds to fiery oranges or other ‘loud’ colors. A mermaid will gestate her baby for five months and return to the water to give live birth.

Lifespan and Growth
A newborn merperson is born with exposed gills on the side of their abdomens and a lateral line system on their backs. During infancy, the gills become internalized and covered with skin. Their lateral line system becomes redundant and will be reabsorbed as lungs develop during childhood. By adolescence, hormonal changes during puberty allow for the transformation of their finned tails into legs on land and vice-versa.

 

History

Origins of merfolk lie within the early days of the Ghul Wars. Basically there were a lot of factions rising up and civilians getting caught in the crossfire, the usual stuff. So there were a lot of refugees of all kinds of species but lets focus on High elves for now. I say that because many High elves that escaped the ravages of war fled to areas which they could not be found, one of them being large bodies of water like the seas. There they used rare water adapting magic to transform themselves into forms that could breathe and move about in the ocean.

Of course they weren’t alone, as the seas held many aggressive animals and monsters but also various water faerie like sulkies and . The smart sea elves were the ones cooperated with the native faye of the waters and within time they became neighbors and lovers. The children of these unions and even those strictly between the sea elves slowly acquired new features for life underwater like lateral lines and gills from birth. They differentiated to the point where they considered themselves as beings different from their forebears.

Of course, this peaceful coexistence wouldn’t last forever because although the seas provided them safety from the battles of war, it could only suppress so much from the environmental effects. A nasty combo of over fishing from up-top, a previous nuclear winter created an ice sheet which lowered sea levels and messed with the chemistry of the oceans saw to the wiping out of many forms of sea life, especially the sentient ones. The traits inherent to the merfolk allowed them to out-compete with the other sea faerie to survive by the end of the Ghul Wars.

Throughout the Post Ghul Wars, merfolk mainly kept to themselves, away from land based peoples until some found their way into freshwater ways more inland and settled in various wetlands there. That was how most Brackish merfolk got their start. These merfolk would often converse with the lamia, humans, and fairy living in the wetland areas. Around the beginning of the Interspecies era, contact was made with marine merfolk settlements, introducing many ideas and technologies with them. Currently there are at least two large underwater cities in the ocean designed as places for land species to see, work, and play with merfolk in their natural habitat.

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Posted on May 8, 2015, in Arcane Realm, Sentient Species and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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