The Thallasians are a race of aquatic semi-humanoids that dwell in the deep sea. They inhabit huge cities beneath the waves and rule the aquatic world. They are intelligent and thoroughly evil masters of the sea.
Because they dwell only in the deepest seas far from land, encounters with these creatures are rare and they are little more than myth and legend. Tales of battle with these creatures are usually dismissed as mariners' fables. However, more than one ship journeying between the continents has vanished and the thallasians are likely to blame.
The thallasian race consists of three sub-races that form a rigid caste system in their society. The three castes are: Worker, Warrior and Noble. Each caste has a specific role in thallasian society with certain rights and responsibilities.
While each caste has unique physical differences, they do share many similar traits. The thallasians, as a race, seem to have evolved from a crustacean life form. They are all covered, to varying degrees, in chitinous armor plating (like a crab's shell) which is usually a mottled green. These crustacean elements are blended with certain similarities to fish. The workers resemble a prawn evolved to a semi-humanoid state. The warriors more closely resemble a crab or lobster evolved to such a state. Nobles are more fish-like. Thallasians have no bones, only shell, skin and cartilage.
All three castes exhibit varying degrees of bio-luminescence. Certain sections of their body (usually the tips of appendages and the borders between body sections) have evolved with tissue that can be saturated with two chemicals that luminesce (i.e. when combined these two chemicals emit photons). The light produced is typically a ghostly blue or green. The thallasians can generate a wide variety of patterns with these illuminated body parts and these patterns form a language. This is the only thallasian means of communication. They do not have vocal cords and hence have no form of audible language. Nobles exhibit the most complex array of bio-luminescent organs and warriors have the simplest array. This implies that the warriors are capable of only the simplest thoughts and expressions while complex language is reserved for the nobles.
The workers are the most common type of thallasian and constitute fully 50% of the thallasian population. They consist of a roughly tubular body covered in a chitinous (crab-like) shell. The shell is segmented and tapers toward the back to a fish tail. Beneath the body are six small legs which end in broad, flat appendages. These six limbs are constantly paddling the water to provide movement. Workers have two long arms and a round head with no neck. They have have no eyes, but have two long whiskers that can sense vibration and pressure differences in the water. The workers are of limited intelligence and serve almost as slaves.
The warrior caste makes up 30% of the population. These large creatures are somewhat lobster like in appearance with only vaguely humanoid bodies. They have broad shoulders which support thick arms and powerful crab like pincers. The head lies low and flat between the shoulder plates. Twin beady black eyes peer out from beneath a hood of shell. These eyes provide poor vision. The warrior relies more on the two whiskers projecting from the lower sides of the face which detect vibration and pressure as they do in the worker. Severing a whisker will greatly limit the creatures senses on one side of its body. Most of the warrior body is covered in heavy crab shell plating. The segmented shell tapers to a broad, flat and very strong tail that can propel the warrior through the water at frightening speeds. These creatures are of low intelligence. They are little more than killing machines and understand only battle.
The nobles are the most evolved of the thallasians. They have lighter armor plating and more fluid, graceful bodies. They have shorter whiskers than either warriors and workers and more developed eyes. Their have a much more complex pattern of bio-luminescent organs in their body and their light patterns are much more elaborate.
Nobles, and only nobles, are able to learn magic. This, more than anything, allows them to bully and command the other two sub-species. Most of their spells involve water and weather in some way.
|Nobles can telekinetically control water to great affect. A noble can cause walls of water to surround a ship, individual waves to batter the side of a ship repeatedly and hurl huge spheres of water at a ship from a distance. With this ability, they can also form tentacles out of sea water to pluck unsuspecting sailors off the deck of a ship.|
|Nobles can control the temperature and pressure of water. A sailor unlucky enough to find himself underwater with a thallasian noble might find himself crushed, encased in ice or boiled alive as the priest manipulates the water around him.|
|Nobles can control other aquatic life forms. It is common for nobles to use sharks and giant squid as guardians that tirelessly patrol their underwater realms. Whales and other large creatures are sometimes used as living battering rams against ships.|
|Nobles can summon winds and storms on the surface of the sea. They can control currents and affect the course of ships. If several of them unite their magic, they can form a giant whirlpool and pull even the largest ship down to a watery grave.|
Thallasian cities are home to thousands of individuals and will typically claim an area 250 kilometers square as its own. Thallasian cities are built into huge networks of caverns in the mountain ranges on the ocean floor. These cities are built in regions where there are hundreds of geo-thermal vents (huge rock columns which eject thousands of gallons of super heated, mineral-rich water each minute). These massive geo-thermal vents are used as a source of heat and power. The cities are built such that these vents are a part of the architecture.
The thallasians and cruel and petty masters of the deep. They hate the races of the surface and consider any ship violating their territory to be an insult and a threat. Once a ship is discovered in their territory, their attack will come quickly. Thallasians will typically summon a storm at night to throw the "air-breathers" into confusion and make their attack more effective. Then warriors will climb onto the ship for close combat while the nobles remain below in relative safety and use their magic to pound the ship from all sides with a variety of spell effects.
Thallasian territoriality is not limited to the surface. The thallasians are the sworn enemy of the merfolk and these two races are constantly battling each other beneath the waves.
This website was last updated October 5, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.