The World Of Khoras - The Cultured Races - Lesser Races

Merfolk

The merfolk are a good natured race of aquatic semi-humanoids. A merman appears as a blue skinned humanoid with webbing between fingers and toes and fins along arms and legs. Some specimens, aberrant mermen, have no legs, but instead a long fish-like tail and appear to be the classic mermaid of myth and legend. The merfolk have evolved a number of biophysical characteristics in adapting to their watery world. For instance, a merman has nictitating membranes over the eyes. Males are bald while females have long white hair.

The smooth oily skin of a merman is a blue skin with a spidery web of light blue lines across the skin. This color is stable when the merman is at rest. When excited, scared and consciously focusing his attention, a merman can make this pattern of spiderweb lines ripple across his skin. This chameleon trick mimics the patterns that waves play on sand and rocks on the ocean floor.

A merman has gills and cannot breathe the air above the waves. However, they are more tolerant of such atmospheric changes than their land dwelling cousins. A merman can saturate his gills with oxygen before leaving the water and in this way can survive for up to ten or fifteen minutes on land before suffocating.

Merman have sharp teeth and clawed fingers and toes. Hands and feet are disproportionately elongated.

There are many thousands of merfolk that live in the seas. They dwell in large underwater cities built in warm tropical waters. Usually, they can be found near the coastline or amongst islands in shallow water (less than a thousand fathoms). However, some merfolk cities are deep at sea. Merfolk cities are built around huge underwater geothermal vents in the ocean floor. These vents produce heat and energy for the cities. In addition, whole ecologies have developed around these geothermal vents which provides a varied and abundant food source for the cities. The merfolk harvest whole crops of algae, kelp and seaweed and a variety of animals that feed on these things.

Merfolk are peaceful creatures that live in harmony with all of nature. They have an unusually high rapport, almost an empathic link, with all creatures of the sea and typically befriend them. Dolphins, seahorses, fish, whales and even sharks can be found working with merfolk. Their most elite warriors ride a giant variety of seahorse.

Merfolk are, naturally, excellent swimmers and excel at hunting under the waves.

Merfolk have been known to come to the aid of a drowning sailor or a doomed ship. They often converse with sailors and warn of storms or coral reefs. However, because these two worlds are so alien to each other, there is very little trade and virtually no political ties between them.

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