Pa'Nui (/paa:nuuih/)


The Pa'Nui are a species of ocean-bound sophonts that have lived within the Strait of Embers on Marus since the Obsidian Arbiter first raised his islands from the sea. They are described as strange crab-like creatures crossed with a humanoid insect; a striking silhouette with thick exoskeletons, multiple limbs, and large foreclaws. They are considered by many to be the watery cousins of the Balao, substituting their dense chitinous shells for the pliable rubbery bladders of their aerial kin. This outer shell alongside a complex series of biological valves and pressure seals allows these semiaquatic creatures to survive the otherwise crushing pressures of their preferred depth. They dwell atop semi-buoyant reef structures they construct in the center of sacred atolls hidden within the murky tropical waters of the Strait of Embers. The Pa'Nui emerge from these defensible homes to strip entire ships, like seaborn locusts, that drift too close to their established territorial waters. For countless generations, these chitinous Faefolk have adhered to the divine mandates of Volcanar and have in turn been protected him. They live in a world of absolute truth and iron-clad oaths; a world where a white lie can see you ostracized and breaking an oath may bring the wrath of a God down on all involved. This harsh society and the bleak nature of the Strait of Embers has given few but the most gracious of outsiders the chance to observe and interact with a Pa'Nui atoll.
"They are a comin'...
Can you hear em'!?
Them claws and mandibles, clickin' and whirlin' like the devil himself!"
— Comments Of A Cascarn Strait Runner


The Pa'Nui are among the oldest societies on Marus, with a history stretching back to the very foundation of the Realm. Their unfortunate isolation beneath the crushing waves has given few people the opportunity to interact with and observe the chitinous Faefolk. They are known to strictly adhere to a sense of truth and honesty that permeates all aspects of their society. Their trustworthiness is a well-known trait shared by their entire people and one further enforced in their ancestral sea by the oldest living Divine found in the Realm of Seas. A true Pa'Nui will never willingly break their word and any oath made is a sacred promise honored by an entire bloodline. The few Pa'Nui who do leave their homes and explore the outside world are almost always outcasts or have in some way bound themselves to outside service. Day-to-day life in Pa'Nui society seems almost entirely centered around the growth and protection of their atoll.
Training as a Strait Runner or knowledge of trade is required to know this secret.

Knowledge of Pa'Nui customs and superstitions is required to know this secret.

An underwater adaptation or visiting a Pa'Nui atoll is required to know this secret.
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General Information

100 years old, reaching maturity at 10 years.
Average Height
3 to 4 feet tall.
Average Weight
Approximately 5 pounds per year.
Average Length
4 to 5 feet long.
Geographic Distribution
Related Ethnicities

Pa'Nui Naming Scheme

Pa'Nui begin their lives with short, singlular syllable names with hard sounds that often end in a vowel. Every decade when they molt their full shell, they will take on an additional name. Full names are quite formal and used mainly to respectfully address elders, while most Pa'Nui only go by their first two or three names.
Pa'Nui Unisex Names
Ka, Kana, Tho, Nahi, Dig, Aikona, Ki, Aka, Lakola, Za, Ong, Nomi, So, Ra, Kulako, Nemi, Jakodo, Po, Xi, Zoka, Oa, Liou.
Elder Names
Thonahikidignomi, Yukimodig, Qoginoongzaka, Nahizanaka, Kulakokinahithojakota, Akakizaongnahikakanajo.

Semiaquatic Biology

All Pa'Nui possess a thick chitnous exoskeleton and many complex biological systems that allow them to survive their harsh existence above and beneath the waves. They are the only known Sophont to still live underwater after the ascension of Caydon Rel.


A Pa'Nui can have up to eight limbs, with two primary pincer-like hands and between two and six walking legs. Those with fewer legs may exhibit smaller vestigial arms in place of them.


Chitter is the Pa'Nui's native tongue and is made up of repetative trilling clicks created by precise mandible control. It is impossible to speak for those who lack the required biology.

Cover image: by Logo by Garret Grace Lewis, edited by Oneriwien.
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Feb 15, 2024 22:18 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

What I have learnt from this article is to not annoy the crab people because they can strip ships and probably also people.

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