Merfolk Species in Lost Realms of Ebelar | World Anvil
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Basic Information


Merfolk in their mer form have a head with sharp jaws, amber eyes, finned ears, and spiny hair that resembles the barbels of catfish. They have two arms with webbed fingers tipped with small claws. Their skin fades into grayer, slicker skin below the belly button. Below this point, they have a tail that is about 2/3 the length of their body, with the torso only making up 1/3. They are longer in mer form than humanoid form. The tail has soft grayish skin that is similar to that of a shark, with a long fin extending from it. They do have a form of sexual dimorphism in which males have a thinner caudal fin that is typically longer, and females have a shorter, thicker caudal fin. They have a relatively small dorsal fin that extends from just near the transition from torso to tail. In humanoid form, the tail is replaced with two separate limbs. They retain the gray, sharklike skin and the toes are webbed. In terms of breathing, in mer form the neck opens to reveal gills, and while the mouth can open and close, it typically does not and they don't usually speak in mer form. Normal speech does not work, and only Meir can be spoken underwater. The gills close up in humanoid form, and they can only breathe through a normal humanoid respiratory system.

Genetics and Reproduction

They can only reproduce when in humanoid form, though they are able to maintain a pregnancy while in mer form. They reproduce sexually using the anatomy they obtain in humanoid form, and females are only able to give birth in humanoid form. Interestingly enough, they have egg sacs within the mother's body, but they are born when the sac begins to split. Typically the sac is expelled just before the child. They have a gestation period of around 10 months, and the children are born weighing between 6 and 10 pounds.

Growth Rate & Stages

Born at between 6 and 10 pounds, infants are almost fully aquatic. They are born in mer form, and are able to swim only hours after birth. Their eyes, however, do not open for several days, which leaves them blind. They gain the ability to shift into a humanoid form usually between 12 and 16 months of age, and will often not learn to walk until past 2 years of age. However, by 2 they are typically already accomplished swimmers, which can often frustrate young mers. They will usually gain full control of the shift at age 6-7, and will be considered independent age by 15. They are fully grown, both mentally and physically, at 23. They grow at a similar rate to humans, though their physical development in humanoid form is delayed.

Ecology and Habitats

Merfolk prefer a damp environment and typically dislike being dry for extended periods of time. It is unhealthy for their skin to go even a few days without water. This is typically not a problem for mers in their native habitats, as Dreanesia is a naturally very wet continent and one is never more than a few miles from a water source. However, in the arid Desert of Souls, it would be a struggle. There are, however, balms, medicines, and magic items designed to help this, so it isn't typically a matter of extreme seriousness.

Dietary Needs and Habits

They have a higher sodium requirement than most other species, and some of their favorite foods are primarily grown in underwater farms and are typically served fresh or rehydrated.

Additional Information

Facial characteristics

They have average size, forward facing eyes that rest just above their nose. Their eyes are typically deep blue or deep brown, though rare specimens have shown lighter eyes. They have gill lines just below their head in humanoid form, with an impression similar to that of a scar. It leaves behind three darkened lines. Their hair is similar to the barbels of a catfish, and is overly thick and sensitive to touch. It is typically long in both genders, as cutting the hair is a procedure similar to your average surgery. Their hair is able to be on some level controlled, though it cannot grasp objects or support more than two pounds of weight. They have sharp teeth that often look menacing, even in friendly facial expressions. Their mouth is also slightly wider than that of a human. They have fin like ears that don't have a clearly defined ear hole in order to restrict water entry.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

They are most commonly seen in Dreanesia, as the weather is perfectly suited to them.

Average Intelligence

They are a sapient species, with an average intelligence of 10.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Their hair is made of barbels similar to those of a catfish. These serve as sensory organs, and can detect touch. On land this is not incredibly useful, but in the water it can be used to get a feel for one's surroundings regardless of murkiness in the water. It is very typical to never cut the hair, and doing so is the equivalent seriousness of a major surgery, as it being damaged is incredibly painful.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Mer typically have two names, their childhood name and their adulthood name. In childhood, they are referred to by a name that is only comfortably pronounceable by other mer, similar to the names that dolphins give each other. It is typically a unique pattern of clicks and whistles. They typically adopt another name that is from the region they live in when they move out of a mer society. This can occasionally occur at birth, where they are simply given two names and referred to by one in public and one by their parents, but some mers never get a second name. Merfolk adult names vary strongly by region, but some common ones are: Krill, Leith, River, Delta, Morcus, Moby, Octopian, Trout

Major Organizations

The current nations that are heavily comprised of merfolk are The United Nation of Lycanor, Draxil, Dryx, Guanii, and Cytossii. As well as this, merfolk are famed for being the original founders of the POAS (People Of All Species), an organization that is in charge worldwide of classifying species and managing requests to be classified as a legitimate species.

Beauty Ideals

Their beauty standards are pretty standard for a sentient race. They enjoy symmetry, both in the face and the tail. Typically having blunter teeth is considered substandard, and maintaining the teeth is considered a common beauty standard. Often perfect symmetry in the tail is considered incredibly appealing, as is having large, powerful fluke. It is considered to be more appealing to have darker colored, thicker head barbels, while lighter colored ones are typically considered less appealing.

Gender Ideals

They have relatively standard gender ideals, with it not being incredibly important to society as a whole. Typically gender doesn't determine much outside of appearance, name, and reproduction.

Relationship Ideals

An ideal relationship among merfolk is one in which several people, some couples, some not, who all love each other in some way, platonic or romantic, come together to live together. Merfolk society does not really have a concept of a nuclear family, and usually children are raised in a household with between 3 and 7 adults, with any number of them being actually in a romantic relationship.

Average Technological Level

One of their most commonly used technological advances that was created very early on in their evolutionary history was a variety of lotion that is drastically more effective than any other in different regions. This is designed to combat the dehydration that is so frequent amount Merfolk, especially when they wish to travel, work, or live in regions other than Dreanesia. They have also developed a technological form of holographic video recording, which man

Major Language Groups and Dialects

The main mer language that is innate among mers in usually referred to in common simply as "Liu", and its mer alternative is ts'ái'k. Dialects very strongly by region, as well as any attempts at a written version of the language, but mer are born with the knowledge of the language of Liu.

Common Etiquette Rules

It is typically considered polite to greet someone with a grin, revealing the teeth is considered a polite gesture, while curling the lips around the teeth is seen as an insult, and a symbol of aggression. It is impolite to touch someone's hair without explicit permission, though unlike many species the tail is typically seen as fair game, and typically a light tug or tap on a tail is a way to get attention.

Common Dress Code

There is not a strict code of dress among merfolk, though it is typically accepted to wear at least a top of some variety in mer form and a top and pants in humanoid form. Shoes are typically not required at all, due to the fact that most streets and public areas are relatively soft. Clothing is always water resistant to some extent, as their main geographic distribution is Dreanesia, a swampy continent with little dry land.


When Dreanesia was flooded in 2AL, most of the population died almost immediately. Merfolk evolved in the chaos that remained. Legend has it, the great mershark was the first merfolk, and lived at around 50AL, though there is no actual evidence. According to this popular legend, he sired thousands of children, and all merfolk have genes that on some level tie back to him. Written records of merfolk begin around 200AL, making them one of the oldest post losing species. They, therefore, have a richer and more developed culture, as well as literature spreading back to the beginning of their history. There are four primary merfolk nations spread around the continent, with hundreds of years of warring between them. The first recorded nation was Lycanor, located along the northwestern coast. Next formed Draxil, very close to it. Both went out to attempt to conquer the whole nation. From between 221AL and 232AL, they warred constantly. However, civil warring within Lycanor caused so much internal strife that they ended up surrendering, giving up huge chunks of territory. To further add insult to injury, Lycanor split into two seperate nations, the United Nation of Lycanor, and the former Federal State of Lycanor. Later, the Federal State of Lycanor was renamed to Dryx, after their first leader, Dryxol Arimore. Dryx is located on the northeastern coast, and is quite small. In modern day, Lycanor retains its placement on the southwestern coast, but is now the smallest nation on Dreanesia. Later on, in 420AL, two new nations formed, Guanoi and Cytossii, which were much more heavily populated by non merfolk, such as lizardfolk. These two nations both formed around the same time, around the middle of the continent. All of these nations have been in a state of on and off war for the entire time of their existence, but there have not been any extremely major shifts since around 450AL.
110 years
Conservation Status
This species is not under protection, though they are sapient and it is illegal to kill them.
Average Height
In humanoid form, 5-6 feet
Average Length
7.5-9 feet in mer form
Average Physique
They are typically quite strong in their mer form due to swimming a lot, with an average strength of 12.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Their skin comes in varying shades of gray, and their skin is typically slick to the touch, similar to that of a dolphin or a shark. In mer form, the cross between their humanoid skin and their tail is typically marked in that their tail skin is substantially lighter in color. This is due almost entirely to the fact that their torso tans in the sun, while their tail almost never does. This shift is almost nonexistent in young mer, but is incredibly pronounced in elders. They also have webbing between their fingers and toes, and typically have small markings in humanoid form where their fins would be.
Geographic Distribution
Related Ethnicities
Related Materials


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