Mountain Selki

It is said...

that in the time of Giants, a pair of dwarves were gifted with the ability to change their shapes. The brothers each preferred a specific shape expressing their most characteristic personality trait. Fafnir, the eldest, preferred the shape of a chromatic dragon. He satisfied his greedy nature by using this form to accumulate and guard a great hoard of golden treasures. His brother, Otr, favored the shape of a simple river otter. He reveled in the beauty of the mountain streams and lakes, spending endless days feasting on salmon, playing in the waterfalls, and basking in the summer sunshine. Apparently, Otr was also very popular with the local population, especially the females, because he is credited with being the father of the Mountain Selkies.


General Overview

Like their ocean or river dwelling cousins, mountain selkies make their homes beside the deep alpine and sub-alpine lakes of the Ryopytav mountains.


In their humanoid form, selkies resemble dwarves. They average around 4 feet tall, with a heavy-boned build. Culturally, however, selkies are completely unlike the stereotypical dwarf. They love play, rich food, and luxeries. A selkie might not be overtly greedy, but he would absolutely expect you to give him your beautiful ring because it would look so much better on him. Because of these consistant personality traits, it is speculated that they have more than a bit of feywild in them.


A Mountain selkie deprived of her pelt is unable to shapeshift, and must remain in dwarven form. There are legends of hunters trapping a selkie this way in order to take her for a wife. Most of the time, this didn't end well for the hunter.


Mountain selkies have a simple morality. They love those who protect their lake and treat them with gifts (a pretty bead bracelet will do). They hate those try to harm them, or threaten their home. They consider the theft of a pelt equivelent to an act of great violence.




Selkies maintain their security by constructing their homes in caves accessible only through the depths of an adjacent mountain lake. In their otter form, they can easily swim and hold their breath in order to gain the entrance. Just as skilled as any dwarf, selkies often construct elaborate and many-chambered lodges. It is common for extended families to share a lodge Communal spaces are designed to facilitate large banquets and other social activities.

As weather permits, selkies spend most of their time outside their lodge, hunting and playing. Selkies love watersport, hunting, and (quite frankly) sex. During the long mountain winters, they pass the time with song and storytelling. Winter is also the preferrred season for new construction in the lodge, and for repairing gear or crafting new items.

Basic Information

Biological Traits

Mountain selkie are true shapeshifters; they have total control of their form, and maintain consistant intelligence and personality.   In their humanoid form, selkies resemble dwarves. They average around 4 feet tall, with a heavy-boned build. Males and females sport the same amount of body hair as the average dwarf, but it is always well groomed and a silky, chestnut brown, matching their otter pelt. Their eyes are the brown/black of an otter, even in their humanoid form.   In their otter form, selkie resemble a slightly bigger than average river otter. Weighing in at around 45 pounds, and about 40 inches long from nose to tail, they are sometimes mistaken for dwarvish labradore retrivers. They are, of course excellent swimmers, and in this form about as well suited to the cold mountain waters as you could wish.   A feature of all selkie unique among true shapeshifters, is the selkie's pelt. When a selkie desire to take humanoid form, it simply removes its pelt like a cloak. When they want to change to animal form, they don the pelt again. Each selkie has a pelt unique to themselves; pelts are not interchangable. Also, the pelt in and of iteslf does not grant shapeshiting ability to any other creature.

Genetics and Reproduction

Selkie pupchildren are rare and cherished by the whole community. It unlikely that a female will carry to term unless she is aware of her condition and carefully refrains from shapeshifting. In anycase, fertility cycles in either shape are identical to the analogous non-shifter biology. Shapeshifting for this species is stable, although genetic mutations will rarely produce a pupchild who is unable to access one of their forms.   Gestation lasts about 9 months, and pregnancies generally produce a single pupchild. Twins are not unheard of, and recieved with great pride and joy. Selkie sill rarely have more than one dependant pupchild (or pupchildren in the case of twins) at a time. So a given female will generally not have another pupchild until her current offspring are over 20 years old.

Growth Rate & Stages

Selkie pupchildren share the same maturation timeline and extended childhood as their dwarven cousins. Their otter form reflects the maturity level of their humanoid form.   The average lifespan of a mountain selkie is roughly 200 years. They are considered adults at around 28 years of age.

Ecology and Habitats

In order to thrive, mountain selkie in the Ryopytavs need two things: a deep lake and salmon.   Selkie construct their lodges in subterranian spaces accessable only via a deep, underwater enterance. If a desirable lake has no natural caverns, Selkie are completly up to the task of creating one: like their dwarven cousins, Selkie are masters of mining and stonework.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Mountain Selkie's preferred food is Salmon. They do augment this diet by hunting and foraging on land and in water. As selkie do not hybernate, they do utilize the same food preservation strategies known to most humanoids in the region. An while they do enjoy raw food as otters, they have developed a complex culinary culture.

Additional Information

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Known only in by the lakes of the Ryopytav Mountains.

Average Intelligence

Selkies' intelligence is comperable to humans and dwarves.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Like most true shapeshifters, Selkies in their humanoid form still benefit from heightened senses, especially perception of scent and sound. They are also unusally dexterious and skilled at acrobatics.   In their animal form, Selkies are exceptionally at home in the water. They can outswim any natural beast, and their maneuverability gives them the advantage over almost anything else. While underwater, selkies can see clearly to a distance of 60 feet, irregardless of light conditions. As beasts, Selkies have been known to dive to depths of over 300 feet, and hold their breath for over 6 minutes.
From a drawing in 'Travels in Africa during the years 1875-1878', Wilhelm Junker, 1890. by Wilhelm Junker

Dear reader, let me preface this entry by admitting that all the information herein was collected and recorded by an outsider. The author is not a mountain selkie, and so is not entitled to present this as uncontested fact. I am attempting to faithfully pass on that which I have observed and been told. Forgive me my errors.

280 years
Conservation Status
Mountain Selkies are precious to Eldath. They are also considered a protected species by the Emerald Enclave. Trapping or hunting Selkies for their pelts is strictly forbidden, and punishable by death (as far as the Emerald Enclave is concerned), or by severe curse in the case of Eldath and her followers (generally a curse of permanent blindness).
Average Height
4 feet (humanoid form) 16-21 inches (beast form)
Average Weight
110 to 125 pounds (humanoid form) 44-64 pounds (beast form)
Average Length
n/a (humanoid form) 44-64 inches (beast form)
Geographic Distribution
For more lore regarding Otr


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6 Jul, 2022 14:35

I like the story of the dwarf brothers, it would be cool to read even more of what happened to them!

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6 Jul, 2022 16:57

The story of the dwarf brothers is actually part of Norse mythology in real life. you can find a full rendition of the story here:

Greetings fromThe Ring of Fire and Dragons! I invite you to read my submission for the Spooktober 2022 challenge, Spooktober in the Ring of Fire and Dragons
7 Jul, 2022 15:12

Cool, thanks!

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