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The aquatic elves of Gaeleth are perhaps the most numerous, living as they do in the water, breathing through gill slits in their the sides of their throats and in their ribs. Aquatics tend to have webbed fingers and toes – fingers and toes that are quite long. They also have retractable spines with additional webbing along their forearms and calves.

Their hair tends towards greens and blues, as do their eyes. Their skin tends towards a gray to gray-white, though light blues are not uncommon. More rarely, Aquatics with lobster-red coloration are found.

Aquatics tend to shun their terrestrial kin, living as they do wholly in the water for all of their lives. They can understand many of the whale tongues, and have their own under-water tongue. They can leave the water for brief periods of time, sometimes measured in weeks, but rarely do so as a people. Secretive and xenophobic, Aquatics rarely tend to allow the locations of their underwater cities to be discovered.

The ocean is dynamic and, to a casual observer, chaotic. It can be bountiful and yet coldly impartial to its denizens. The sea elves have learned that predicting the patterns of something so vast requires careful and constant attention to the environment. That careful attention is not the only the key to staying alive but has shaped the culture of this elven subrace. Alignment tends toward neutral good or true neutral. Most sea elves would not recognize any law that is not natural and thus do not tend toward lawful alignments. Due to the community dynamics it would be improbable for a sea elf to reach an evil alignment unless isolated from the native culture.

Sea elves are hunters and gatherers. Their communities (called pods) tend to be small, private, and somewhat secretive. Pods will occupy relatively large territories that they travel through with the passing seasons (and food supply). As denizens of the ocean they are often the hunted as well as the hunters. Children are a precious commodity that is guarded carefully. All children belong to the pod in which they are born rather than the parents they are born to. Lineage tends to be matriarchal due to the female ability to produce children. Marriage is a foreign concept and mated couples will seldom form a permanent attachment. The male will normally travel with the pod of a chosen female (or females) until the union is fruitful or whim takes him elsewhere. Thus, pods tend to be family groups that are overwhelmingly loyal to one another.

As a subrace the sea elves do not tend toward the gaiety of their distant kin. While laughter is exceedingly rare they have a keen sense of the ironic and the beautiful. Music is the most common indulgence. The music of this elf culture is often hauntingly beautiful or wildly pulsing to reflect the environment that inspires it. As a people they tend to be quick thinking, stoic, and fatalistic. Sea elves will not lie but are known for sharing partial, misleading, or vague information if pressed. They are keen observers but have learned that quick action is sometimes all that stands between an individual and death. Ruthless practicality is learned at an early age of any who plan to reach adulthood. However, rather like the ocean that shelters them, they can be mercurial in temperament and blindingly persistent in a chosen path.

All sea elves will profess a faith in the sea goddess Olorin. Other races often perceive the sea elves to be a chosen people of Olorin. As such, sailors often give sea elves a wide passage and a healthy dose of fearful respect. However, the elves themselves will often harbor faith in a variety of other gods as well depending on the individual’s chosen path. Sea elf history is often oral history that is taught from birth. An excellent memory is a highly prized ability among the communities and often one of the major components in choosing a pod leader.

gaeleth/races/merfolk.txt · Last modified: 2021/09/28 15:50 (external edit)