So since my species Homins have been getting a bit popular, I though know would be a great time to show off their general appearance in art. (The censored though the uncensored one isn’t very graphic or detailed but just in case.)
As you can see they resemble humans in many ways but diverged a bit from our ancestor’s terrestrial lifestyle to an arboreal one accordingly.
See Homins: Part 1
Geographic Range: tropical rainforest, humid subtropical forest, mangrove forest
Provisioning: arboreal foraging, horticulture (agroforestry)
Vegetation/Agriculture: Palm fruits, mangosteens, granadillas, tree nuts and berries, bamboo shoots, truffles, cocoa, coffee bean, black tea leaves, mango, papaya, soybean, fig, almonds, cashews, macadamia, kola nuts, banana, plantain, avocado, yam, sugarcane, bell pepper, hot pepper
Livestock: worms, snails, ants, termites, chicken, peafowl, meal-worms, bamboo worm
Game: beetle grubs, dragonfly, gecko, frog, small river-fish, bird eggs, honey, grasshopper, tarantula, mopane worm, bee larvae, centipede, cicada, cricket, flying ant, stink bug, louse, sago grub, scorpion, water bug, lemon ant, leaf-cutter ant, hissing cockroach, millipede
Common distinctive features:
- Curly or frizzy hair common, other rare
- Black & Brown hair common, Auburn uncommon, Blonde and Blue rare
- Epicanthic folds of the eye (mono-lids) very common
- Brown, Green, Hazel eyes common; Amber uncommon; Blue, Gray rare
- Tawny, Tan, Olive, Brown Skin
- Small, broad low bridge noses
The tropic cline was the original and thus all other ethnic groups of homins descend from their tribes. Many of the jungle groups of homins employ a hunter-gatherer method as their sole means of food collection. This involved combining stationary food sources (such as fruits, grains, tubers, and mushrooms, insect larvae and aquatic mollusks) with wild game, which must be hunted and killed in order to be consumed. As such homins are high level predators and are rarely preyed upon, except by large animals like wildcats, or carnivorous dinosaurs.
Tropic homins build nests via foliage, specialized for both day or night use. These are carefully constructed; young ones learn from observing their parent’s nest-building behavior. In fact, nest-building is a leading cause in teenage homins leaving their family group for the first time. From childhood onwards, they practice nest-building and gain proficiency by adolescence.
Due to the humid tropical settings, it is the norm among most ethnic and family groups in daily life to not to wear any clothes. Adult male homins however are likely to wear clothing on their lower bodies to cover their genitals when hunting, foraging. These can be as simple as penis sheaths or more covering like loincloths or wrap skirts. Women are expected to lack clothing but some may wear decorative versions to stand out or during festive dances. Tropic homin groups often decorate their bodies with semi-permanent tattoos from various materials such as ink or clay. They serve as a visual shorthand for an band or tribe and serve as an important marker for newly created bands to establish themselves.
Ancestral tropic homins were able to find shelter in trees occupied by spirits and forest faye by paying their respects to their neighbors. Astounded by their innate magic, homins myths and legends revered them and local traditions and religions revolved around learning how to pay their respects to them. As such many families have permission to cohabit in the canopy of fairy homes or dryad maintained trees, as long as they protect them.
Geographic Range: deciduous temperate forest, monsoon forests and woodlands
Provisioning: horticulture (agroforestry), arboreal foraging, pedestrian foraging
Vegetation/Agriculture: pome fruits (apple, pear), drupes (peach, cherry, plum), berries, bamboo, legume trees, mushrooms, bulbs, maize, rice, peanuts, soybeans, pecans, hazel nuts, chestnuts, acorns, walnuts, locust legumes, bell peppers
Livestock: snails, ants, bees, silkworm, mealworm, earthworm
Game: beetle larvae, beetles, termites, trout, bass, raccoon, rabbit, squirrel, opossum, turkey, locust, bee larvae, bamboo worm, cicada, centipede, dragonfly, fly pupae, grasshopper, hornworm, june bug, midgefly, pill-bug, wasp, wax worm, caddis fly larvae (zaza-mushi)
Common distinctive features:
- Wavy hair common, straight uncommon, curly and frizzy rare
- Black hair & Brown common, Auburn & Blue uncommon, Blonde Rare
- High noses bridges common
- Monolids common
- Brown, Amber common; Green, Hazel, Blue uncommon, Gray rare
- Widest complexion range: Beige, Cream, Tan, Olive, Brown Skin
Forest homins first made their homes in the temperate woodlands and the surrounding subtropics.Like their jungle based ancestors, they have a good standing with other tree dwelling sentients like dryads, wood fairy. Certain forest homin tribes live near garter and lamia territory and wetlands where brackish merfolk dwell. They are also in contact with certain varieties of henge, often having celebrations or being tricked on depending on the species in particular.
Their shelters are crafted and fully furnished in the tree tops, with multiple ones forming a town. They often share the tree with wood fairies living in the trunk and/or dryads living as the spirit of a tree.
Different classes of these homins wore different clothes. Upper class Homins wore cotton clothes and feather headdresses. Ordinary people wore clothes made from maguey plant fiber. Men wore loin cloths and cloaks tied with a knot at one shoulder. Women wore wrap around skirts and tunics with short sleeves. It was normal for children to go naked. Later in their history clothes became more elaborate and colorful.
Forest homin cultures often have a high affinity to music and an extensive variety of instruments are used by their people. Dance is also a large aspect as forest cultures as many festivals will also have mass dance groups to entertain the masses.
Geographic Range: tropical rainforest, wet dry subtropic forests, coastal swamps
Provisioning: arboreal foraging, aquatic foraging, horticulture (agroforestry)
Agriculture:plantain, banana, breadfruit, legume trees, palm fruits, coconut, mangosteen, granadilla, drift fruit/seeds, warm season grains, sugar cane, pulses, mango, pineapple, taro, macadamia, cashews, almonds, seaweed, kelp, red kelp, brown kelp, sugar cane, bell pepper, hot pepper
Livestock: pigeon, bees, termites
Game: bird eggs, dragonfly, mealworms, centipedes, flying ants, pill bugs, sago grubs, tarantulas, water bug shrimp, hermit crab, coconut crab, sea cucumber, lobster, codfish, clams, oysters, mussels, squid, octopus, fish, cane grub
Common distinctive features:
- Straight & Wavy hair common, Curly uncommon, Frizzy rare
- Black & Blue hair common; Brown & Blonde uncommon; Auburn rare
- Prominent cheekbones rounder faces
- Broad and low bridge noses
- Blue, Hazel common; Green, Brown, Gray uncommon; Amber rare
- Olive, Brown, Dark Brown Skin
Island homins are more often isolated and smaller than other clines of homins. That being said, their native ranges have a similar climate as those of the jungle but they are more inclined to forage near the shorelines. This leads to their diets and recipes contain more seafood than other homin clines and thus their diet and cuisine have more crustaceans and mollusks than insects.
Not surprisingly given the hot climate island homins wore only light clothing. Men wore a loincloth and a kind of kilt. Women wore a long cotton dress called a huipil. Islander homins created leather sandals and wore them when walking on hot beach sands.
They commonly have contact with both brackish and marine merfolk when they go to the shoreline. Depending on the island chain in question, they can be close to those of tropical lamia, wood fairy, even traveling giants.
Their close proximity to bodies of water means their people often forage for aquatic forms of life to eat. Many even go as far to build canoes and boats to sail and fish, unlike the majority of other homin clines. Of the few seafaring homins that have been acknowledged, the vast majority were island homins. Such island homins tend to be good swimmers and divers, many women in particular are assigned to dive for objects like seashells or pearls.
Geographic Range: Boreal forest, northern swamps and bogs, alpine forests, montane cliffs
Provisioning: arboreal foraging, horticulture (agroforesty)
Agriculture: pine nuts, pome fruits, temperate berries, shrub berries, leaf vegetables, tubers, bulbs, mushrooms, walnuts, chestnuts, acorn
Livestock: silkworm, earthworm, mealworm, bees
Game: ants, scorpion, maggots, wax-worm, wasp, hornet, centipede, millipede, shrew, silverfish, pill-bug, vole, dragonfly, caterpillars, crickets, grasshoppers, frogs, toads, newts, lemmings, muskrat, possum, woodpecker, sparrow, swallows, minnows, pike, trout, bass, perch, lake sturgeon
Common distinctive features:
- Straight & Curly hair common, Frizzy uncommon, Wavy rare
- Brown & Blonde hair common; Black & Auburn uncommon, Blue rare
- Hazel, Green Gray eyes common; Brown & Blue uncommon; Amber rare
- High nose bridges
- Beige, Ruddy, Cream, Tawny Skin
Native taiga homins live in more northern and in colder regions than the other groups. While most make their homes in mountainous evergreens, a few have made a living under rock cliffs. In the summer however, the areas they live in become rather swampy.
The weather encourages the taiga cline to dress most of the year round, especially as adults. It if turns cold both sexes wore a cloak called a manta. With this, their clothes are intricate as most families sow in special patterns in them.
Homins of the boreal forest are much more in contact with species of the youkai culture such as Huli Jing and Bake-danuki. As such apsects of their culture are seen such as purity rites when dealing with their dead, cleaning places to prevent corruption of its personal spirit, or wards to protect themselves from troublesome spirits and magical beasts. Rituals are a very important part of taiga culture. The homins celebrate a good harvest with a big feast to which nearby villages are invited. The village members gather large amounts of food, which helps to maintain good relations with their neighbors. They also decorate their bodies with feathers and flowers. During the feast, the Taiga homins eat a lot, and the women dance and sing late into the night.
Structures are built around or in trees like tree houses
For tropic and island homins, initially, a suitable tree is located: Homins are selective about sites even though many tree species are utilized. The foundation is then built by pulling together branches under them and joining them at a point. After the foundation has been built, the homin bends smaller, leafy branches onto the foundation; this serves the purpose of and is termed as the “mattress”. After this, they braid the tips of branches into the mattress. This increases the stability of the nest and forms the final process of nest building.
Homins may add additional features such as “pillows”, “blankets”, “roofs” and “bunk-beds” to their nest. Homins make “pillows” by clumping together leafy branches with the leaves in the center and the twig shoots pointed outward. They bite the twigs to blunt sharp ends. Pillows are added to night nests but are usually absent from day nests. A “blanket” consists of large leafy branches with which orangutans cover themselves after lying down. Homins may create a waterproof overhead shelter for the nest by braiding together a loose selection of branches. They may also make a “bunk-nest” or “bunk-bed”, a few meters above the main nest.
Forest and taiga homins used various material like fallen wood to construct shelters with the strongest branches of a tree. The result typically resembles a tree house which can have many variations in size, design, carrying capacity, and the like. Many have side or hanging gardens to plant flowers, crops or animals that would normally only be on the ground.
Early in their history, they encountered various local spirits and many had to determine which were helpful or harmful. This resulted in early societies having animist beliefs rooting in appeasing the local spirit creatures around them of called Deshsa. When djinn missionaries entered their settlements, they brought with them their major religions and the concept of divinity.
The variety of Deshsa followed by taiga humans has many purity rituals and a stronger focus on the exploits of spirits animating nature due to their history of contact with those of the youkai culture.
Djinn missionaries began the spread of monotheism, particularly Islam and Christianity within the homin tribes of the Eastern Zomia Tropics and surrounding island chains.
In general, children are socialized and educated informally education basically anywhere. It involves imitation of what others do and say as well as experimentation and repetitive practice of basic skills. This is what happens when children role-play adult interactions in their games.
Urban centers provide much more formal education where teachers provide knowledge to students in a specific area.
Homins in humid regions are very lax about modesty as most differentiate nudity from sexuality. As such children innocently go around with relatively little or no clothing, symbolizing innocence. Even most adults are not likely to take note of others nudity in most settings, exceptions including settings where they operate heavy machinery, office administrations or places with heavy traffic of other species less comfortable with homin nudity.
The is somewhat different for taiga homin cultures where the need for clothing in subartic environments developed more expectations of dress at a certain age.
Science and Technology
Most of their history involved walking or climbing among trees. Some homins began creating devices that made this easier for special populations like grappling hooks. With the introduction of large cities, inventions like cable cars had to set up to get people around the cities.
Like humans, homins started out with wooden or bone tools such as knives, clubs, axes, and spears and slings for ranged attacks. Some Homins have also learned metallurgy from neighboring species to create metal weapons like swords. Soon homins adopted to the use of firearms as projectile weaponry.
For most of their history lacked long distance communication and mostly relied on oral records and stories. Slowly came the adoption of recording things in books and video but the rapid efforts of globalization meant young homins found use in cellular phones quickly.
Majority of societies are fueled by various biofeuls and biodiesels extracted from vegetable oils, algae, and unused cellulose waste.
Due to lacking ordered spellcraft, homins that use charms or alchemical generators to power their homes, had rely on preternatural/supernatural neighborhoods to resupply them. In response, homins were able to come up with similar charms or reactors that could be resupplied with their own mana plasma sorcery.
Herbalism from past traditions remains alive and well but are intergrated with antibiotics and vaccination administration. The holistic approach often favors the doctor to talk with their patient and helping them to prevent a condition or common ailment, many doctors taking house calls.
Using small strings of bark and roots, they weave and decorate baskets. They can use these baskets to carry plants, crops, and food to bring back to their nests. They are also known to dye the baskets with berries and clay, as well as to paint their bodies and dye their loin cloths. After the baskets are painted, they are further decorated with masticated charcoal pigment. Similar processes were copied for other materials to trade with others.
- Cable cars
- Handheld cameras
- Organ replacement
- Utility belt
- Handheld grapple pistol
- Genetic engineering
- Genetic testing for inherited diseases
- Gene therapy
- Vaccinated fruit
- Cochlear implants
Here it is, part 1 of the lore about my original species and one of the major peoples of the Arcane Realm stories.
Homins or Kaf Humans are an extraterrestrial species of humanoids that live on the planet, Kaf. Homins have long, prehensile tails and hand-like feet capable of well-articulated movements. In fact, H. prehensus walk upright on two legs while on the ground, and crouch on two or climb on all fours along the branches of trees. Even with humble beginnings in the high leafy canopies of tropical forests, their drive, curiosity, and determination allowed them to settle in various forests the world over and plant various species of trees to extend their ranges. They also still have most of the traits shared by all species of humans, making them as at home on the ground as they are in the trees.
Quick Species Profile
Average: 65 years
Max: Possibly 180 years
Average Height: 3’8-4’2”/110-127cm
Average Weight: 50-90 lbs/30-41 kg
Hair: Black, Brown, Blond, Auburn, Midnight Blue
Eyes: Brown, Hazel, Amber, Green, Blue, Gray
Creature Type: Natural Humanoid
Homins are a sentient species that belong to the simians, a subgroup of the primate order of mammals. As such, they were similar to a number of other species variously designated as apes, including the non-sentient chimpanzees, gorillas and number of mammalian humanoids with a similar physiology.
Homins are endotherms, or “warm-blooded” animals, meaning they maintain a constant body temperature independent of the environment using the energy from their food. Homins are in fact omnivores, subsisting on both animal tissue and plant-based foods, as their gastrointestinal system was much longer than that of carnivores. Many Homins are partial to food products that have a high fat, sugar, or salt content. As is common to many humanoid species, Homins has two sexes: male and female, with the latter being distinguished by their pronounced breasts, overall smaller stature and lesser quantity of body hair.
Homins are bipedal beings with a bilateral symmetry, having a front and a back end, as well as an upside and downside. Their body comprises of one head perched atop a torso by a neck, and four limbs. The upper limbs, called arms, ends in hands which have five fingers each; the lower ones, called legs, end in feet with also five digits called toes. Homin arms are unique in that they are long enough to reach their knees without bending. The homin fingers and toes have multiple points of articulation, and one of them is an opposable thumb that allows for fine manipulation. Finally, unlike most humanoids they are all born with a fully prehensile tail that extends from the lower base of spine and sports a fine layer of hair, the same color as that on their head. Unlike other natural mammalian species such as, they have only a light covering of body hair. Most of it is concentrated on the head, underarms and groin after puberty and, in the case of adult males, face.
As for hair and eye color, some also have a natural shade of dark blue hair.
Their hair can be grown, cut, and styled for aesthetic or ritualistic reasons—The facial hair grown by adult males could be grown, styled, or shaved completely. Their hair color ranges from blond to black, sometimes with hues of red or brown, changing to gray or white as years passed and could be straight, wavy, or curly or frizzy. In addition to those varied hair colors, their eyes come in shades of blue, green, gray, or brown. Gradiation of skin tone was also seen among baseline Homins, usually limited to various shades of brown, ranging from pale yellowish brown to light brown, and dark brown. Despite the variations in skin color, homins tend to have more intermediate shades with pale or very dark skin being rare although lighter shades of skin are more common in children and females.
- Prehensile Tail– Prehensus humans have long, flexible tail from the bottom of their spine covered in terminal hair that they can use to hold on to branches and alternatively, carry objects.
- Prehensile Feet– Homin feet have a grasping opposable big toe, similar to great apes. They are capable of a precision grip as well as a power grip, having the the same range of articulation as the hands. Unlike the great apes, a particular bone embedded within the foot tendon helps keep the foot rigid, especially when jumping from one surface to another like humans.
- Thin body hair– Although covered in hair from head to toe except their palms and soles, it’s so thin and fine they look hairless. Their thinner body hair and more productive sweat glands help them avoid heat exhaustion while running or climbing for long distances. Thick hair only grows on top of their heads, under their arms, their groin, their tails and the faces of some males.
- Arboreal locomotion and expert climbing– Homins have roughly three forms of moving through the trees:
- On all fours, grasping the branches below them.
- Because they share the modified pelvis and spinal column of humans, they can also crouch bipedally on top of branches and walk straight up on the ground.
- Lastly, Homins are brachiators, and can move around in trees by swinging under branches with a hand over hand motion from limb to limb.They can also quickly adapt to climbing on rocks in cliff faces.
- High Agility- They can leap well above their heights due to high power to weight ratios launching them. The arms of Homins are very long (they can put their hands on their knees standing up; take a moment and try to do the same). When climbing a cliff face, they can typically travel up seven feet per second on average.
- Strong Grip-Their grip strength can allow them to easily carry their own body weight on only their fingertips which tend to be longer than other humanoids due to bulkier knuckles.
- High power to weight ratio– Homins bodies are relatively robust, and can withstand and exert a high amount of power. An untrained homin can lift around 4 to 6 times their own weight, while professional lifters can reach up to 12 times.
- Raw Sorcery– Being natural humanoids, when homins channel mana from the environment into magic, the energy generates a substance known as mana plasma. Their magic involves manipulation of mana plasma to do various things such as act as a projectile, barrier, mimic other substances, or alter preexisting magical effects.
Compared to sapiens, Homins lag behind in long distance running, but they are the fastest and longest distance climbers in the animal kingdom of Kaf and are much better suited to it than other human species. Due to their large power to weight ratios, the average Homin can lift and move up to four to six times their own body weight, with their athletes and warriors obviously outclassing them.
Homins are opportunistic omnivores, capable of consuming a wide variety of plant and animal material. Staples of their diet is fruit, region specific tree nuts, edible flowers, leaves, eggs, and various invertebrates likes insects or mollusks. They will also hunt for edible fungi and small vertebrates such as lizards, rodents and small birds. Communities with agricultural practices will make the efforts to grow crops like shrub berries, starchy tubers, beans, and gourd vegetables within constructed gardens in their treetop dwellings.
As with other mammals, homin reproduction takes place as internal fertilization by sexual intercourse between an opposite sex couple to produce offspring. While developing in their mother’s womb, the child gives her a distinctive “baby bump” accompanied by a significant weight gain. Being mammals, the homin females give birth to live young, either one or several at a time. Two children born at the same birth are referred to as twins, and three as triplets. The delivery itself normally takes place after nine months of pregnancy. It is a painful process that can take as much as ten hours. In some circumstances, women could die during childbirth, although it became less common in places with access to top-notch medical technologies. During their first months of existence, Homin babies are usually fed with milk from their mother’s breasts.
Lifespan and Growth
The period during which a young Homin develops from a child into an adult is known as adolescence. According to top therapists, that stage of development is emotionally hard to endure without support. Regardless of physiological and psychological changes, the legal transition from childhood to adulthood depends on culture. While some societies treated their members as adults as early as the age of 13, others considered that full adulthood was only attained at 21.
Adult Average Height:
Largest Recorded: 5’8” male
Human ancestors (likely Homo erectus) found their way to the forest region of Kaf by random temporal portals linking to prehistoric earth. Basically this gave their ancestors millions of years to adapt to the tree filled areas as they were pushed back by foreign and hostile creatures like mega fauna. Eventually their Kaf native descendants developed arboreal traits intrinsic to other primates such as the reintroduction of grasping big toes and longer arms. Random chance and sexual selection favored the development of long prehensile tails to better aid climbing through trees. Still they retained their bipedal walk and posture even in the trees, and developed traits similar to that of modern humans, such as increased brain size, similar facial features, prominent breasts in females, use of advanced tools, fire and a complex social culture.
Homins first appeared in tropical forest areas and after the Ghul wars, were able to spread to island and temperate regions. A few went as far as mountainous and boreal forests. Another group learned to construct simple boats allowing them to populate various islands as well. During the standardization era, they were able to grow forests in order to increase their range, along with other forest beings.
The trees where they first settled were massive enough for the branches to interconnect them and allow for climbing between them. The trees were also able to support small huts they eventually built among their branches. Because they have mega fauna and magical beast enemies on the forest floor, homins survived by only going down when they are gone, and eventually building weapons to fend them off when they needed to.
Before the United Sentient Species, Homin settlements were either nearby or cohabited relatively peaceful with brackish merfolk, lamia, wood fairy, and various spirits of the forest. With various empires cropping up from the jinn, and faye, homins in occupied territories grew a sense of nationalism and wanted their own nation. However the various major ethnic groups of homins couldn’t agree on a single territory which resulted in three homin created states. These nations and a few surrounding territories where controlled by monarchs until the events leading up the creation of the United Sentient Species led to them taking on ceremonial positions.
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
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)
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.