"Proud dwellers of the Deep"
|Height||8-9 ft (2.4-2.7 m)|
|Weight||300-400 lbs (136-181 Kg)|
Overview: Mermaids are aquatic creatures that typically bear the appearance of a young human female with the top half, and a scaled long fish tales as their lower half. They seem to near shorelines all over Marin, and can even sometimes be seen resting on outlying rocks in the ocean. They cannot live on land, having to live in water. Mermaids can live in only saltwater. However while a mermaid is beautiful, they can be deadly. Should a person mistreat a mermaid or be cruel to them, they will take that person and attempt to drown them.
Mermaids have been around for centuries. Though they thrive in the water, interactions with humans have increasingly become more common. Myths and folktales surrounding the creatures have spread far and wide, but not all of them are true.
Common misunderstandings about mermaids have led to beliefs that they shed their skin when they appear on land or live in inland lakes and rivers. All are false. Mermaids and man have been known to engage in feuds, and many covens would not think twice about attacking human beings who cross into their waters. The mermaid covens of the Caspian Sea, in particular, are the most violent. One of the bloodiest wars between the mermaids and humans happened under the reign of King Cleburn Ramsalot of Feyshore, where Stormalong Harbor was attacked. After months of bloodshed, the mermaids were finally driven away from the harbor and have not attacked since.
Some covens, however, believe that humans and mermaids should not engage in violence and would rather live in peace. Covens with this mindset are a rarity, though they do exist. These mermaids can fall in love with humans and they in no way wish to hurt them unless they are attacked themselves. They can take on human form, but it is a morphing process, rather than a molting one. Lastly, they are confined to salt water and thus cannot survive in inland freshwater lakes and streams.
Mermaids come in a variety of colors such as blue, green, purple, and even orange. Their skin can range from having blue undertones to being very dark like any human’s skin color. Females mature at eighteen and will typically find a mate rather quickly. They tend to be the ones to show the stronger emotions and love small objects and fish. They also are the cooler of the two genders, thus seeking out the sun when they can. This is why so many mermaids have been spotted sunbathing upon rocks or on beaches. When they are died of salt water, they become human in appearance and can remain on land for a while. They need re-hydrating within a few days otherwise they will become ill and die. Mermaids, once mature, are allowed to learn the skills of hunting and fighting, though some can choose not to.
Though less commonly sighted than the females, mermen are abundant and make up almost half of the merfolk population. They tend to be slightly shorter in length than the females, but with broader fins and body build. They are also the more aggressive of the two. Fin colors for males include blue, green, grey, and sometimes red. They are the heartier gender and thus their skin is tougher, much like a sharks. Mermen are in charge of protecting the others in their pod and also hunting for food. They mature at about age sixteen and typically will find a mate before they reach their mid twenties. Males also can become human, though most never venture so close to shore as their duties are to their kin.
|Lifespan||58-70 years||60-75 years|
|Maturity||16 years||18 years|
|Number of Offspring||N/A||1-3 a litter|
|Weight||175-220 lbs.||110-170 lbs|
Pods and Covens
Merfolk live in what are known as pods. Pods are typically single groups of families that have come together to create a small community. Each pod can consist of three or more families. These pods live together for generations, though sometimes offspring can break off of their original pods to for their own. Pods elect a leader which acts as a mentor and guide for the pod. He or she makes the important decisions, such as which region they should live in, and also where to hunt. In times of crisis, they also act as a military leader.
The covens are larger communities of mermaids that can consist of hundreds of mermaids, led by one Mermaid Queen. There can be peaceful covens, though many are known to attack ships, should they venture into their territory. It is also fabled that the Mermaid Queen herself lures ships into the territories of covens by feigning as a drowning woman.
Bonding and Mating
Mermen and Mermaids mate rather young, but only bond once in their lifetime. When they find the partner they wish to be with for the rest of their lives, they will bond with said partner. This takes place when a merman bites a certain gland in the neck of the mermaid and draws blood. Once they are bonded, the pair cannot be separated, or they will perish, and can begin the process of having children together. Should one die of unnatural causes, the bond is severed but that partner will typically not take another. When a female is impregnated, it will carry its young for about 11-12 months before giving birth. At birth, offspring are able to float on their own, but not yet swim.
If a mermaid and a human being mate, their child will be a halfling. With all halfings, it is true that they cannot ever have children of their own, as they are infertile.
There are not many cities built by merfolk, though the ones that do exist reside close to the Southern Isles because of the warmer currents. These settlements include houses, buildings of food storage, free areas for children and adults alike, and a council hall which sits at the heart of the city. These are typically used by many leaders of the differing pod groups to discuss matters throughout the year. Matters such as their population, the best hunting grounds, and any new dangers or encounters that might have been met. When not close to a city, pods will take up residence in sea caves or valleys, making themselves small camps while they live there.
Merfolk are generally community oriented. They like to gather for meals and also to celebrate festivals. Festivals are themed around many things, such as when a couple bonds and forms a new family, when the warm summer currents reach the cities, or when there is a good hunt. Festivals are a time for socializing and meeting new mermaids and mermen.
Meals are another time when a pod or several pods will come together. The hunt will be divided equally amongst every member, so that none can claim they are treated unfairly.
Mermaids and Mermen are educated by the adult females of the pods. There is no formal school, per say, but often pods will combine their offspring and teach them as one group. When males reach the age of ten, they are sent off with the other adult mermen more often to learn the ways of hunting and fighting.
Merfolk worship the Goddess of the Sea. She is a deity that provides for each of her children with food and shelter. The sun is considered to be her daughter and the moon her son, while the sky is seen as her lover, which she is never separated from. (Most merfolk believe this is why they only bond once in their lives, because of the example the Goddess sets with her lover.) She is revered by all merfolk and there is a large festival once a year in her honor, which last for two weeks. Each parent is responsible for raising their child to know and love the Goddess, but pod leaders can also provide assistance if needed. Prayers are often prayed to her when supplies are low or children are sick. Public displays of worship to the Goddess are rare, except during the festival in her honor.
Common Dangers for Merfolk
- Fishing nets