Merfolk

Knowledge Level: 
3 - Very common, noble born children are taught this during classes.
Statistics
Creator: 
Religion: 
Keywords: 
Sea dwelling
Rulers of the ocean
Hunter-gatherers
Rarely seen
Breath underwater
Fish like
Skin Colour: 
Regular skin color combined with scale color

Merfolk are Sea dwelling hunter-gatherers that are rarely seen by the rest of the races. They can breath underwater and have a fishlike appearance.

Physical appearance

Merfolks are quite easy to identify as members of their species. All merfolk have fins on their legs, arms, and sides of their heads. A merfolk is cold blooded like a fish and also sport gills and have slight difficulty breathing outside of the water. Some merfolk also have small patches of scales on their upper bodies, varying in colour, where the female colour scheme is somewhat lighter then the male.

The colour of their near human upper body is usually a combination of regular skin colour and the colour of their scales (it is unknown weather the skin tone of merfolk varies in more tropical regions). Merfolks have ears pointed in the shape of fins. Some merfolks also lack a nose and have small breathing slits instead of them. Their mouth is also somewhat wider than a human´s so that they can easier swallow their food whole.

Their eyes are also quite human except for a larger pupil and smaller iris. Some merfolks also have a backfin and smaller fins on their lower arms, both used for manoeuvring underwater. Merfolks also have advanced sensory capabilities under water such as better taste of water, sight and hearing.

Biology

Merfolk live an average life of 100 years before dying of old age.

Reproduction

Merfolks reproduce in the same method as humans do, witch puts them in the mammal category. They do not lay eggs, as their fish like physique would suggest. Merfolks are pregnant for about 5 months.

Diet

Merfolk are omnivorous. They hunt for meat and gather the vegetation in the seas but are also known to venture on small islands to look for dates and coconuts. Merfolk that live close to settlements of oher races try to trade with them for varieties in food supply.

Common culture

Merfolk culture isn’t exactly complicated. In the text above a few examples are given of merfolk culture, and only a few select important facts are listed here. Merfolk learn to hunt with both their claws and spears.

Merfolk childeren are not only raised by its parents, but by the entire tribe. Every female merfolk is as a mother, and every male merfolk is as a father to the child. Sometimes this leads to confusion, because it becomes unclear who is the real father or mother of a specific child.

As a merfolk ages, they are given a sort of tutelage. This tutelage consists of all the necessary skills to live in the harsh aquatic environment. They learn to hunt, communicate in their language and a set of other useful skills for survival. A merfolk is officially adult if she loses her virginity. This may sound strange to other cultures, but the merfolk see it as a sign that the now adult merfolk is responsible enough to conceive children of her own.

Habitat

As far as people know merfolks live under the water surface. They mostly live in caverns located rather deep below the water surface where the average temperature is lower and the risk of fishnets is far lower. They also have a single city like communal living place, witch suggest a level of sophistication far beyond regular animals. Their culture may not be as sophisticated as some other cultures, but they do have their own religion and way of life.

Language

Merfolks have no written language, only a language that is a combination of verbal and non verbal components, not quite unlike trolls. They communicate trough sign language, movements and a small amount of clicking noises made with their tongue. This noise is typical for merfolks as it requires a long time to master the different tones and meanings of this seemingly simple sound. This has resulted in limited communication with other races.

Merfolks communicate similar in day to day activities as land dwelling races do, their language is just far more difficult to master. Their language is adequate to express love, pain and other complex notions, and usually is combined with a lot of emotion and touching.

The difficulty in learning the merfolk language is in the many slight variations in pronunciations. If one would pronounce the same word slightly different the complete meaning of the word might change.

History

Merfolks have always looked the way they do nowadays, as far as records go back. Unfortunately not many ancient images of the merfolk exist so it is an unreliable fact at best. The numbers and sizes of merfolk groups are increasing however.