Coastal People Ethnicity in Four Quadrants | World Anvil
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Coastal People

by hughpierre

Naming Traditions

Feminine names

Women's names are marked with a slight pause at the beginning of their name.

Masculine names

Men's names are marked with a pause at the end of their name.


Major language groups and dialects


It is common for people on the coast to speak in a voice that is husky. Low and rough, in an attractive way; the sound is directed from the back of the throat area, above the chest.

Average technological level

Marine Breeding Techniques

These people used a curious tradition of utilizing animals' natural abilities, or breeding in such abilities, to their own benefit. The dream fish, for example, was originally a small dull reed swimmer before careful pairings created the luminous fish that lights the nightway. Similar for medicine from coral or grafting from red weed.

Common Dress code


Coastal people prized skilled workmenship of soft metals into unlike jewelry. Crowns of gold and silver are worn by men as signifiers of marriage.

Head Scarf

Causal wear worn by everyone to protect their (bald) head against the sun.

Art & Architecture

Boat Towns

A small fleet of fishing canoes rowed in the open ocean and lashed together into a temporary platform for marine harvesting.

Land Settings

Impermanent beach settlements or river docks to facilitate trade and bulk storage with the mud men.

Birth & Baptismal Rites

Water Births

Naturally occurring saltwater pools, under the silver trench, are a sacred site for pregnant women to give birth. They travel by canoe, accompanied by singing priestesses and female family members in a two day trip. Once there, they walk, sit or dance in the shallow waters until contractions begin.

Coming of Age Rites

Breath Holding

Before a fisherperson can take their first dive, they must subject themselves several difficult deep breathing exercises at the top of skinny poles on land.
The weight of your own body is the minimum factor in fighting against the weight of the ocean.
— breathing instructor
This can take years of practice and is extremely stressful. It involves taking deep, steady breaths while lying your front over 5 or 6 poles for ever increasing amounts of time.

Funerary and Memorial customs

Burial at Sea

A boat takes a cloth-wrapped body out to sea and puts it into the water. This means the sea bed becomes someone's final resting place.   Whenever possible, if there was a spot of particular importance or favor, the mourners would aim to drop the corpse there.   The body will then break down and become part of the ocean.

Common Taboos


People who lived in the setting have a stronger-than-usual distaste for qualities they consider to be culturally untenable. This has included:
  • flat noses
  • receding foreheads
  • protruding chins
  • drunkeness
  • underdeveloped ears
  • gnarled fingers
  • hunched backs
  • wrinkles
  • thinning hair
  • odor
  • stubby teeth
  • glossy skin
  • It seems, more like, they had an aversion to aging?
    — question from a visiting Mama to a local house

    Common Myths and Legends

    Temples under the Sea

    Phosphorescent terraced monuments covered in coral and salty residue are submerged far from shore. They are occasionally revealed every couple of decades with the tides. Some of the people tell tales of previously living in those ruins.
    It might be that they did- once upon a time. But the waters have since encroached onto that part of the world.

    Historical figures


    Once in a generation, there would be a set of people who grow unusually large. They hold significant religious power in the collective coastal cultures. Their presence regularly raise morale during major gatherings and hard times and are practically worshipped as representatives of their gods.
    A 9ft woman with grey skin who died at 44.
    A 7ft man with blueish skin who died at 23.
    A 8ft woman with grayish-green skin who died at 41.
    A 10ft man with tan skin who died at 22.
    The tallest of the coastal people enjoy an easily lifestyle. They spent the most of their days lounging in natural pools with their beautiful entourage catering to their every need.


    Beauty Ideals

    The coastal people were a strong and tall folk. Irrespective of gender, good-looking traits are ubiquitous across the genders. These range from the understandable to the bizarre. Their most beautiful have big eyes, full lips, a narrow head and a long neck.  
    Strangely, hairlessness (up to and including baldness) as well as big feet and hands, are also preferable.

    Courtship Ideals

    Divine Dreams

    Since the age of 10, children would report their nightly dreams to an interpreter until they reach puberty. At around 13 or 15, the interpreter would have compiled the dreams of all the maturing adults and made public announcements as to the future marriages based on this information.   This tradition was not without its problems, however. As this iteration of the marriage maker can pair a person with someone outside the settlement and who no one knows. Or, though rarely, to a family member as close as a sibling.

    Relationship Ideals

    Lifelong Partners

    Couples gave a series of oaths to one another that involved keeping the other's secrets, loyalty to the home, to eventually marry, to sire and bare children. It is explicitly more contractual than other cultures, in order to secure the family unit in light of the drawbacks to the coupling ritual. As such, there are many unconventional familial relations composed of bastards of one parent, rearing mysterious children, unusual pets and adopting grown adults.

    Encompassed species
    Related Organizations
    Related Items
    Related Locations
    STR (Choose the lowest roll as modifier)
    Armour 2d6
    HP 3d6+6 ([min+max]/2)
    Speed 2d10+10 ft
    Species | Jan 15, 2024
    Ink Stone
    Material | Oct 8, 2021
    Coral City
    Geographic Location | Nov 29, 2020

    Cover image: by Charlotte Delannoy


    Please Login in order to comment!
    Jan 3, 2023 16:16

    Great article! Visually well-constructed, and I liked that there were so many links. The quote blocks occasionally threw me off, but it was a lot of really good details overall.

    If you're seeing this, I may have used your article for my 2023 Reading Challenge.
    Jan 10, 2023 19:18

    Thanks for the feedback. Do you think the quotes interrupted the text flow or was it aesthetic?