Merfolk

The merfolk of Golarian have a strange and mysterious past that has all but been forgotten by the races above. Long ago there were a people who lived on a great island on the inner sea. They had great lust for knowledge; one that led them down a perilous path and inevitably almost destroyed them all. In their quest for power, they inadvertently opened a dimensional rift between their world and that of the old gods. A tremendous battle broke out and the ancient people were only barely able to contain the rift before the full power could be released… but at a terrible cost. The gods looked down upon them, and knew they had suffered greatly, yet the mistake they made could never be repeated. So the gods took their ruined homeland and used it to bury the rift at the bottom of the sea and they changed the people who remained so they could forever guard it and any other threat the old gods may pose to the world.

For countless centuries rumors and mystery has revolved around the enigmatic merfolk of Golarian. Though on occasion these creatures are seen, no full account has ever been made of their culture of physiology. The reasoning behind this is quite simple; merfolk simply do not like to be seen – at least for what they truly are. In all honesty almost everyone whose ever been near the coast has probably seen one at some point, but merfolk are possessed of an ability that literally lets them hide in plain sight. The ability to change into a human, or at least something that closely resembles one.

Merfolk are strong, hale and graceful, full of natural joy and wonder, but prone to flights of fancy. For the most part, merfolk band together in what best could be referred to as ethnicities, usually divided along the bloodlines that differentiate their physiology. As such they can resemble any number of aquatic creatures, generally dictated by their environment, but the most common are the sleek, dolphin-like merfolk. Though they are closest to aquatic mammals in appearance, they still possess fish-like fins and their bodies are covered with fine scales – much like a sharks. Unlike sharks though they have a bone skeletal structure, though their spine is incredibly flexible, not dissimilarly to a cats. Beneath their thick, scaly hide is a layer of blubber that insulates them from the cold. This protects them in their deep water environment from any side effects of frigid temperature.

Merfolk get along with other races that have appreciation for the arts and who share a curiosity for the world around them, however they are in the unique position of being too short lived and flighty to truly connect with elves and too whimsical and inquisitive for dwarves and most humans. Their best relations tend to be among those races that are half-breeds and outcasts; having a unique perception on being dual-natured themselves.

Though they do not often leave the expansive depths of the mighty oceans, some merfolk are drawn to seek out new mysteries and wonders that await them in what they refer to as “the world above”. Often they take such opportunities to chronicle what they find and bring that knowledge back to their people to store in their massive libraries. They feel this is especially important, for they fear the warring nations of the world will in time destroy themselves, but the beauty they created should not be forgotten.


Natural Form:

Age:
Adulthood: 60 years old
Intuitive: +4d6 years
Self-Taught: +6d6 years
Trained: +8d6 years

Length:
Males 8’ + 2d12 in.
Females 6’ + 2d10 in.

Weight:
Males 160 lbs + 2d6 x 10 lbs
Females 130 lbs + 2d4 x 10 lbs

Ability Score Modifiers:
+2 Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution, +4 Charisma, and -2 Wisdom

Racial Traits:
Outsider (Native)
Darkvision: 60 ft.
Amphibious: Can breathe both air and water..
Slow Land Speed: 5 ft.
Swim Speed: 50 ft.
Natural Armor: 2
Celestial Resistance: Cold Resist 5, Electrical Resist 5, Acid Resist 5
Claw and Maw: Natural Claw and Bite Attack

Languages:
Starting: Aquan and Celestial
Additional: Aboleth, Auran, Azlanti, Common, Elven, Ignan, and Terran.

Alternative Racial Traits
Deep Heritage: Some merfolk are based on invertebrates, like octopus or squid. These creatures have tentacles on the lower portion of their body instead of fins, and tendrils instead of hair. Though they lack the ferocious claw and bite attack of common merfolk, they instead can slam and grab their foes with their tentacles. This replaces Claw and Maw, and they possess only a slam attack in their human form.


Human Form:

The merfolk’s bipedal form is adapted for moving swiftly on land and returning to the waters when needed. It is a clever disguise and a shape that looks almost entirely human. Scholars who are wise enough to notice the differences are often mistaken in believing them to be undine. The human form is always physically appealing, with brightly colored (sometimes unnaturally so) hair and eyes, clear skin and a lyrical voice. As such, merfolk are often prone to passing themselves off as human bards or rakish rogues because it plays into their innate talents the best.

As a defense mechanism any time a merfolk is submerged in water they will naturally abandon their changed form and revert to their natural state. Likewise, if they are exposed to air for more than a minute, they will assume their human-like form, even if they are unaware of it.

Height:
Male: 4’10" + 2d10 in.
Female: 4’5" + 2d10 in.

Weight:
Male: 120 lbs + 2d10 x5 lbs
Female: 85 lbs + 2d10 x5 lbs

Racial Traits:
Outsider (Native)
Darkvision 60 ft.
Speed: 30 ft.
Natural Armor: +2
Celestial Resistance: Cold Resist 5, Electrical Resist 5, Acid Resist 5
Claw and Maw: Natural claw and bite attack.

Merfolk.jpg

Merfolk

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