Selkies are shapeshifters – seafaring, seal like fey who can transform into humanoids at will. In doing so, they shed their seal skin as a magical cloak, which they typically keep with them at all times while on land. For a selkie to lose its sealskin is disastrous – without it, they are trapped as humanoids, unable to return to their seal forms and their ocean lives. For this reason, many selkies prefer to remain in seal form, becoming humanoid intermittently to sample the pleasures available on land. However, some choose to live chiefly as humanoids, keeping their cloaks hidden and closely guarded in case they ever wish to return to the sea. Either way, selkies typically revel in this dual existence, enjoying the freedom of their lives both beneath the waves and on the shore.
In seal form, selkies seem indistinguishable from ordinary grey seals, save that they are somewhat larger. As humanoids, their appearances are as diverse as anyone else, save that their hair tends to be dark and very glossy and their pupils slightly larger than normal.
Genetics and Reproduction
Selkie reproduce sexually, typically having other selkies as partners. However, selkies have been known to have families with the terrestrial races - in these cases, their children may occasionally inherit their selkie parents shapeshifting abilities.
Selkies are very sociable beings - as seals,they travel along the coasts in close knit family pods, while as humanoids they form populations among fishing or shipping communities, where the absence of a few of them for extended periods will not be greatly questioned.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Selkies are found across the coastlines of Vastoria, more commonly in colder climates where ordinary seals are commonly found.
Civilization and Culture
Average Technological Level
Although selkies have relatively little technology of their own, having no real need for it in their seal forms, they have an far greater understanding of weather magic than most terrestrial races. Those who have mastered this art commonly using it to create areas of calm in the sea for fish to gather and their pod to rest and feed, but sometimes will generate ferocious winds or waves as a way to deter or punish those looking to hunt or hurt them or their fellow selkies.
Common Dress Code
Though selkies are completely unashamed of nudity, as they enter humanoid form naked save for their sealskin, they will typically dress in the style of whatever region they are in to better blend in, either leaving their clothes in a secure hiding place when they take seal form or having clothing kept aside for them by a humanoid selkie or trusted friend.
Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals
The most commonly observed tradition among the selkies is their coming of age - for a selkie, this is defined as the point when they are first able to transform, as a young selkies shapeshifting ability only becomes fully developed around the onset of adulthood. When this happens, their family will typically spend a night dancing and celebrating with them before seeing them off in their other form to gain their first experiences of life either on land or at sea.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Overall, selkies prefer to blend in among the other races than have their identities known – partly to keep their sealskins secure from theft or destruction, and partly because more superstitious settlements have been known to confuse their shapeshifting for lycanthropy.