Dagger or Spear Combat 17, Agile 5W, Alert 17, Dodge Attack 17, Hide in Cover 17, Hold Breath 18W, Set Trap 2W, Tough 10W, Wriggle Silently 5W, Initiate of [deity] 17
Distribution: Worm Sea
Habitat: Shallow seas
Dwerulans are slimy, smooth-skinned, pallid beings, resembling mermen with a tadpole-like tail. They live only in shallow water for they cannot survive too long without air. All dwerulans are hermaphrodites and have the ability to fertilise their own eggs if they wish, although this practice results in the birth of a stunted sterile being known as a surutran. The creation of surutrans is banned by some dwerulan tribes, while others encourage it as a source of slave labour and others still ignore the issue.
Dwerulans live in large colonial tribes of a hundred or more individuals but rarely interact with outsiders. They use only the most basic of tools and worship little-known gods such as Swems, Molucca and Slor. They avoid combat where possible. If they must fight in their own defence, they use the spines of certain water plants as daggers and spears.
Dagger or Spear Combat 13, Agile 5W, Dodge Attack 17, Hide in Cover 17, Hold Breath 18W, Slow-witted 17, Small 12, Tough 2W, Weak 13, Wriggle Silently 10W, Worship [Dwerulan pantheon] 13
These are small, sterile, offspring which result from dwerulan self-fertilisation. Physically weak and of limited intelligence, some tribes use them as slaves, while others expel them in the knowledge that this will likely mean their death. They can never become initiates or devotees of their gods, or learn other magic. In other respects they are the same as fertile dwerulans.
Close Combat 8W, Scales +5, Acute Seasense 5W, Alert 10W, Know Fish 5W, Know Oceans 10W, Large 10W, Strong 15W, Tough 12W, Initiate or Devotee of [deity] 10W
Typical weapons & armour: Great trident +5, shortsword (used as a dagger) +2, sharkskin armour +1
Distribution: Hudaro, Banthe, Homeward and Togaro oceans
Habitat: Deep sea
Gnydron are the most powerful of the mermen. Like other piscoi, they are descended from a sea goddess who was attacked by a brutal storm god. Unlike the others, Janelosp, the gnydron ancestress, defeated her attacker, changed her sex to male and carved the storm god so that she could mate with him and force him to bear her children. As a result, gnydron breathe water, not air, and have very powerful magic.
Gnydron live in the depths of the sea where light never penetrates, and only rarely travel to lighter waters or to the surface. They are respected by all other mermen because of their power, but the piscoi in particular revere and work with them. Like other mermen, gnydron are theists, and they favour the gods of the deep, such as Magasta, Daliath, Framanthe and Drospoly.
Gnydron prefer to fight by using their magics to summon monsters from the deep to attack their opponents. If pressed, or if a powerful opponent appeals to their sense of pride, they will enter combat personally with huge versions of normal merman weapons supported by combat magics.
Innate Abilities: Thick Skin
+2, Agile 17, Hear
Distant Sounds 15W, Large 5W, Resilient 12W, Singing 2W, Strong 15W
Typical Weapons & Armour: Trident +4, shark-skin shield +1
Magic: Initiate or Devotee of [deity]
Distribution: Neliomi and White seas (Dawn Age and earlier)
Now extinct for centuries, the hreekeen were once a powerful cetoi race of mermen, descended from a niiad who married a storm goddess and took the upper hand in the arrangement. Thus, her children were greater, stronger and more magically potent than other cetoi, and were greatly respected by their ludoch and ouori brethren. They made their home in the Neliomi and White Seas, but travelled much further afield into almost all the oceans of the world. They were famed for their strange songs, which could travel for miles through the ocean. Achingly beautiful to mermen, the songs sounded haunting and alien to human ears.
Physically, they were humanoid from the waist up, although completely hairless and having tiny ears and many conical teeth like those of a whale. Below the waist was a long, muscular tail with horizontal flukes. The skin of the hreekeen was a pale greyish-yellow, almost white. They were mammals, but could hold their breath for longer than any other air-breathing mermen, being able to survive for days underwater without discomfort.
Innate Abilities: Tooth and Claw 17, Tough Skin +1, Acute Seasense 17, Large 15, Rapacious 17, See in the Dark 5W, Tireless 17
Typical Weapons: Spear +3
Magic: Initiate or Devotee of [deity]
Distribution: Banthe, Kereneth, Jorkar, and Dashomo Seas
Habitat: Deep water
While the mermen most familiar to humans are those born from the union of gods of storm and sea, there are other races, less well known, that dwell entirely beneath the waves and lack any relationship to the air. The kasagath â€˜shark-menâ€™ are particularly unpleasant example, warring with their aquatic neighbours almost constantly, although they care little for the dry surface world. They dwell in moderately deep seas, rarely approaching the surface or shallow waters, although only their greatest priests can approach the abyssal depths.
Kasagath are vaguely humanoid from the waist up, showing their relation to the Man rune, but their heads are monstrous. They have small fins on their elbows, and a much larger fin on the middle of their backs. Their fingers end in vicious talons, and their wide mouths are full of sharp teeth. From the waist down, they are fully shark-like, and they reproduce in the same manner as those creatures. They have a tough, blackish skin covered with abrasive cuticles. Unlike surface-dwelling mermen, they are unable to breathe air, and have large gill-slits near their shoulders.
Kasagath worship hostile deities of the sea, many of them unfamiliar to surface-dwellers. Some tribes have turned wholly to the worship of Chaos, deliberately warping their bodies as signs of their devotion, and destroying even their own kin in constant bloody battles.
Innate Abilities: Aggressive 17, Crafty 17, Hate Surface Dwellers 17, Large 12
Typical Weapons: Trident +3, small shield +1, malasp crossbow +2 (works underwater)
Magic: Initiate or Devotee of [deity]
Distribution: Brown, Jorkar, Dashomo and Marthino seas
Habitat: Salt water
Malasps are by far the most common of the piscoi mermen. They have humanoid upper bodies and a fish-like tail with vertical fins; their entire bodies are covered in silvery-green scales. Malasps are essentially carnivorous, and eat any aquatic creatures, even other mermen. Although fishlike in most other respects, malasps have to breathe air. They normally surface once an hour, or enter an enclosed, air-filled bubble nest, but they can remain survive without air for up to three days, although this makes them very uncomfortable.
Traditionally, malasps live in small family groups of five to ten adults based around the communal bubble nest. The females lay their eggs inside the nest and the young are raised within it for the first twenty five weeks after hatching. As female malasps do not produce milk, the young are fed on regurgitated food until they are able to hunt for themselves.
In more recent times, some malasps have begun to form large kingdoms. The earliest of these date back to the Second Age, while the largest is lead by the demigod Terthinus Voice of the Deep in the Brown Sea. These malasps are typically more technologically advanced than their disorganised cousins, and have better weapons. Power within these kingdoms is determined by ritual combats and force of arms, but as female malasps are just as tough as their menfolk there is no difference between their roles. Such kingdoms are always hostile to humans, but some of the more primitive malasps have a neutral attitude to the surface dwellers.
Malasp groups are highly variable in tactics, resources and attitudes. Most are theists, with Magasta, Wachaza and Triolina the most favoured deities, but animist malasps also exist.
Trident Combat 2W2, Tough Skin +6, Command Sea Creature 5W2, Create Temporary Illusion 18W, Know Fish 5W, Know Oceans 10W, Large 10W, Shapechange 18W, Strong 18W, Swim Fast 18W, Tough 12W, Wise 10W, Devotee of [deity] 5W2
Habitat: Offshore deep waters
Niiads are a semi-divine race, found in the deeps of the ocean. In their natural form, niiads somewhat resemble mermen, with a humanoid upper body, fins at hip level and horizontal flukes on the tail. However, all niiads have a natural shapeshifting ability, and can change their physical form through shapechanging talents or the use of illusions. Such Illusions can be, and are, used for many other purposes also, and many niiads can create illusory objects indistinguishable from real ones, save only that they vanish when the spell expires. Unlike most mermen, niiads are completely aquatic, and cannot breath air without the aid of magic.
As the name implies, niiads normally live only in the niiadic (middle) zone of the seas, where they travel in small family shoals. However, they come up to the shallow waters to give birth in the company of groups of mermen. Newborn niiads imprint upon the creatures near them at the time of birth; many end up as naturally gifted mermen as a result, rather than taking on the form of their mother. Niiads can also mate with mermen or other seaborne creatures; the results of such births always resemble the non-niiadic parent. Indeed, the first mermen were the results of mating between powerful niiads and the storm gods; peaceful marriages creating the cetoi and violent rapes creating the piscoi races.
Niiads are immortal, and many still exist who have lived since before the Dawn. The abilities given above are for a young individual, and are not typical of the race, most of whom possess a range of magical powers with two or three levels of mastery.
The original niiads were the offspring of the Tritons, even more powerful entities whose form somewhat resembles theirs. Tritons live only in the abyssal depths and are normally never encountered by mortals, although niiads may bear their messages and commands to the inhabitants of the upper waters.
Claw & Bite 12W, Thick Skin +2, Acute Darksense 17, Hide in Cover 17, Hungry 5W, Large 2W, Resist Poison 17, Strong 2W, Tough 17
Distribution: Neliomi, Solkathi, Rozgali, Sshorg, Kahar and Worm seas and Jrustelan coasts
Habitat: Coastal waters
Sea trolls are aberrant creatures which resemble uzko except for their slim hairless bodies and webbed hands and feet. They have lost the typical troll ability to eat inorganic material such as rocks, and, while they can still eat a wide range of organic matter, they prefer to eat meat. Although they breathe water and can move swiftly when required, they are generally clumsy swimmers, and move more like a frog than a fish or dolphin.
Sea trolls lurk in kelp forests and underwater caves, and travel to the surface only at night. In Kahar’s Sea, where the constant fog ensures that direct sunlight never reaches the sea, they are particularly feared by human sailors. The rare troll sailors, especially those of Koromondol, have often been seen to cooperate with sea trolls, although the bestial intelligence of the latter limits their helpfulness. They have never been known to use tools, and the webbing between their fingers would make this difficult. Few, if any, know any magic, either. Sea trolls can regenerate from wounds in the same manner as cave trolls.
Innate Abilities: Scales +1, Acute Seasense 13, Hate Surface Beings 2W, Large 2W, Strong 5W, Swim Silently 17, Tough 5W
Typical Weapons & Armour: Lance +3, shortsword +2, bow +2, fish-hide armour +1
Magic: Initiate or Devotee of [deity]
Distribution: Worldwide, except the White Sea
Habitat: Salt water
Ysabbau are hideous piscoi mermen, entirely covered in greenish-black scales with numerous spines and fang-like teeth. They travel in shoals of ten to thirty females and a single dominant male, who is much larger and stronger than his ‘wives’. They visit the surface only to take gulps of air, which they generally do once an hour, or to fight humans, and in both cases they will dive again as soon as possible. If pressed, an ysabbau may remain submerged for three days before she would begin to drown.
All ysabbau are born female, but gradually change their sex when they become strong enough to adopt a dominant position in the shoal. At that point, they must either leave to gather their own harem, or kill the existing male and take his place. Shoals often raid each other and the males consider it a matter of honour to steal away females from each other. Thus when an ysabbau eventually becomes male, he will not find himself married only to his own sisters.
The ysabbau passionately hate humans and all other surface dwellers. They consider it their sacred duty to wipe all such intruders from the surface of the sea. They use little in the way of technology aside from weapons and armour, but some know how to breed certain sea-animals to help in specialised tasks or to fight alongside them.
Ysabbau are theists. Their favoured deity is Wachaza, but some follow gods such as Magasta, Tholiana, Drospoly and Varchulanga. Each shoal is dedicated to a particular god, but the exchange of females between different groups means that most will include at least a few individuals dedicated to other gods – this does not appear to create any dissension within the shoal. Because of their experience, the males will normally possess powerful magic (at least 1W2 in the best affinity), which is almost always combat-oriented.
Ysabbau will initially attack a large ship indirectly. They will knock holes in its bottom, or attach giant hull-worms which gnaw through, break the rudder and so forth. Then they will emerge from the water and close with the sailors in bloody combat. Some will hang back to fire bows (although these are typically not magical, and so only work effectively above water) or employ ranged magic against the defenders. In the case of smaller boats they will simply overturn it and drag the sailors down to a watery grave.
Ysabbau hate surface dwellers so much that even if they are unable to engage a ship directly for lack of time or numbers, they will attach barnacles to it, cut fishing nets and otherwise hamper its operations.
- Part 1 – Mundane Carnivores
- Part 2 – Mundane Herbivores
- Part 3 – Miscellaneous Mundane Mammals & Birds
- Part 4 – Sea Mammals
- Part 5 – Reptilian Carnivores
- Part 6 – Reptilian Herbivores of Pamaltela
- Part 7 – Aquatic Reptiles
- Part 8 – Mundane Amphibians and Fish
- Part 9 – Giant Insects
- Part 10 – Other Invertebrates
- Part 11 – Non-chaotic Monsters of Pamaltela
- Part 12 – Magical Beings and Creatures
- Part 13 – Elder Races of Jrustela & the East Isles
- Part 14 – Elder Races of Pamaltela
- Part 16 – Chaos Monsters of Genertela
- Part 17 – Chaos Monsters of Pamaltela
- Part 18 – Spirits & Undead
Page Last updated: 2023-11-12 11:57:34