MER, THE ("CHARCHAVECHE",
Dark Mer, or "Black Mer" as
they are sometimes called, are creatures of mystery believed to make their
home around Essalui Thareliath. They are solitary philosophers – brooding,
thoughtful sorts who are known to keep to themselves, but on occasion
randomly aid humans lost at sea or fishermen in distress. With pale-white
skin and scales that contrast magnificently with their dark fins and hair,
they are said to be small, reaching no more than one and a half to two peds.
They are unique among merfolk for their long fingernails and squid or
There is much prejudice in the world against Black Mer. Though there has
been no report of a Dark Mer attack, they are rumoured to be of evil intent,
and feared by sailors. Dark Mer are endowed with beautiful voices that call
out in the night for help. Should one be foolish enough to search for the
crier however, his ship is surely doomed, and will soon be destroyed by the
dark workings of these mer, and the sailors ravaged and eaten raw. Or so
goes the folklore of northern Nybelmar.
However, recent studies suggest that most of these accusations are unjust.
Dark Mer, or Charchaveche as they call themselves, are reclusive beings that
avoid contact with other races – even with their Deep Mer brothers. Brooding
and disdainful of all other beings, they are exceptionally intelligent,
often capable of speaking several human languages. It is said they are great
scholars in their own right, and users of magic that rivals that of the
humans in most aspects. The Deep Mer speak of them only with the deepest
respect, if they can be persuaded to speak of them at all.
Among the handful of facts the Compendium has been able to verify is the
Dark Mer's habit of never eating animals of any kind, supposedly because of
a deeply-rooted belief that all life has its value. This makes it unlikely
that the old stories of terror are true. Probably the only reason a Dark Mer
would seek contact with a human is to save them from drowning. Even then,
humans rarely remember anything, and attribute their rescue to the actions
of the Deep Mer instead.
MER, THE ("SOÉLIVECHE",
Deep Mer with their royal blue fins are giants among
Nybelmer; reaching an average length of six peds from head to tail they are
impressive to behold, but quite rare to find. Deep Sea Mer are the Wardens
of the Mertribes, a sort of “High Merfolk” if you will. Leaders of the
merrace in “foreign relations”, the Deep Sea Mer travel to each of the
merrealms to make sure all is well. A group of Deep Mer is rumoured live
under the Drifting Woods, but in general they seem to like to travel great
distances through the depths of the ocean without having a set home.
Deep Mer have fairly dark colours and tails resembling that of the whale.
Their scales are often a deep blue or green, and this colour seems to
'bleed' into their fins, which have coloured centres but transparent edges.
Their hair colour might be anything from light blue to dark green. The skin
tone is usually blue-ish, with a striped pattern on the shoulders, arms, and
back, usually in a slightly lighter colour than that of the scales. They
also have transparent third-eyelids, to improve their vision and shield
their eyes from the water pressure of the depths. These are the strongest of
the Mer, with an impressive physique and an aristocratic bearing.
Should one encounter a Deep Mer in the ocean, it would be advisable to
ignore the creature and keep a safe distance, as they are often ill-tempered
in their dealings with 'Surface Dwellers'. The sub-tribe residing below the
Drifting Woods is generally a bit friendlier, especially to the
with whom they have a blossoming trading relation.
As most Nybelmer, they are able to work magic to some degree, but their
abilities are strictly defined among the sexes. The 'male' merfolk, who are
usually the largest, are comparable to rudimentary mages of the School of
Water, while the 'females' seem to be able to communicate with many
creatures of the sea, and command them if needed. Finally, the 'third
gender' are the Deep Mer's link with their ancestral spirits and the only
ones that can become shamans. Their magic is that of the mind, and many a
fisherman will readily swear there are amazing women to be found underwater
in a certain area – women that mesmerise you, and call for you, but
disappear as soon as you jump into the water. It will be obvious from such
tales that the Deep Mer, while being hunters of fish themselves, do not
appreciate the human interest in the sea's bounty.
GLITTERMER, THE ("BEVOLUIVECHE",
Most commonly sighted of
all Nybelmarian Merfolk are the cheerful and sometimes frivolous Glittermer,
who dwell in the surface areas of most of the coast of the Kaerathi
peninsula. They are well-known, albeit infrequent, visitors of port towns
and fishing ships, who enjoy the sun as much as the water, often beaching
themselves or climbing atop cliffs in order to sunbathe.
Light Mer are light in mind and morals as well as in appearance – too much
exposure to sunlight has made them light-fingered magpies who acquire shiny
things just as carelessly as packrats, with as little concern for whose
property. There is a constant byplay between Light Mer and others, be they
other mertribes or human divers, where the Light Mer are constantly ‘raided’
so that the illicitly-owned property can be retrieved… Of course, finding
the culprits is the real issue, since Light Mer live in family groups
without a fixed location.
They are of medium size, usually around two peds and a few
frilled fins and light skin covered in cream, golden, or silver scales.
Their skin and scales have various markings and patterns, the colours of
which vary from individual to individual. It is even said that no two
Glitter Mer have the same secondary colour – something that can neither be
proved nor disproved.
Light Mer are very fond of pretty items, and will often try to trade
beautiful seashells and polished rocks for land-made jewellery and trinkets.
Although they are intelligent enough to realise what they are trading, they
can just as easily offer a raw gemstone in trade for a bit of coloured glass
as they would offer a common seashell with a bright shine. This surprises
many people, but in fact the Light Mer simply do not care, as they have no
need for the items they are trading away.
The magic of the Light Mer is seldom seen, and many people believe they are
incapable of such feats at all. Yet there are persistent tales of captured
Light Mer that summon ferocious waves and winds against their captors, and
similar stories of Light Mer calming a storm to aid one who has done them a
good deed. Again, this cannot be confirmed, but fishermen seem to have an
unwavering belief in these stories, and very few sailors will willingly do
something to hurt a Light Mer.
MER, THE ("BOCHILUVECHE",
Lesser Mer are the Mermish
occupants of the Inner Sea. Compared to the other mertribes of
they can be considered to be of low overall intelligence, and are in many
aspects not unlike the Baovveche of the Santharian seas. They are regarded
as a lesser species by most other Nybelmer, who attribute their stupidity to
the stale waters of the Inner Sea. Deep Mer do their best to bring them the
fresh ocean currents every time they travel to the Inner Sea, but one can
only do so much for those who have no desire to help themselves.
Coloured with various pastels, Inner Sea Mer can be quite pretty if one can
be observed calmly, but reports suggest that their numbers have been
dwindling over the past decades.
They are primal creatures, driven mostly by their desires for food and
safety. Fearful of the fishermen they encounter, they will usually flee
before they are noticed, even though they are not hunted or hurt on purpose.
Even the Dark Mer, the philosophers of the merrace, cannot explain this
fear, although they confirm that it does not extend to other mertribes. As
far as we know, Lesser Mer possess no noteworthy
magical skill, nor have the
ability to speak human tongues like other Nybelmarian Mer do.
Sarvonian Maryóns, Waterchildren or Watersprogs as they were named by the
common people are of the same race and general appearance as the
rivermaids and share most of their body-characteristics: a
torso and a fishlike tail. They are much smaller than the
merfolk, more fragile
looking, but nevertheless they seem to move effortlessly in their challenging
habitat, the waterfalls and pools at the base of the falls. If they can still
be called sentient is discussed hotly. The
elves called them in
Styrásh Marchuh'yonía (lit.
"waterfall maids") or Aél'már'yonía (lit. "white water maids").
or "ál'már'yonía" as they are called in
Styrásh are seens as "the little
sisters of the mermaids". They are said to live in
all rivers of the Sarvonian continent where
the winters are not too extreme, so that there is always some streaming
water left and the creeks are not frozen to
the ground. Though closely related to the mermaids,
they show nevertheless some differences. All seem to be female, at least the
gender cannot be distinguished. Unlike their seaborne relatives they are able to
hibernate during the cold period in areas where ice covers the open
water. They are sentient as well, but many
claim that they are not as intelligent as the merfolk.
Merfolk are sentient creatures, although
not high in intelligence. They are humanoid above the waist, merging into a strong
fish-tail below. Their hair comes in a wide range of naturally occurring oceanic
colours; black, dark green through pale green, turquoise, blue, lavender, white,
and silver. Merfolk are said to come in male (mermen) female (mermaids) and neuter
genders (mer) although only the females appear in public; that is, above water
in view of other races. Thus most legends and sailors tales speak only of
mermaids. The "Legend of Echra" tells of one possible origin of the merfolk;
a human female who was cast down into the sea for daring to love the Sun.
Their spoken name for themself is Baovveche; their spoken language, Mermish,
is simplistic, heavily aspirated and used only above water. It is technically
a pidgin - a combination of two languages, mostly coastal human dialects mixed
with Mersong. Below the water they communicate in a series of whistles, fluting
sounds, sub- and super-sonic pulses which humans cannot hear.
have managed to hear and even translate a few words of Mersong. It is thought
that whales, dolpholk, and other large fish may also hear and comprehend this
Swamphags, Moorcrocks or
Twilight Fouls - all those names tell of
one of the most ugly and possibly evil known creatures of
Sarvonia. Living in moors and
bottomless swamps, they are believed to be the personified disaster of any
sentient being which dares to get near their realm when the night approaches.