Jump to content
Runeblogger

Almost all mermen breathe only air. Why?

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

A friend of mine likes to run Gloranthan campaigns that go way out the beaten path. He has been running a campaign in the gloranthan hell for years, for example. Now he's thinking about running a merfolk campaign, where only mermen are allowed as PCs.

However, he has come across the fact that almost all merfolk breathe air, not water. Only the gnydron seem to breathe water, and that makes a lot of sense because they inhabit the abyssal depths. All the other merfolk have to surface almost every hour to breathe air or they suffocate. I'm OK with ludoch and ouori having to surface to breathe, since they are mammals and more or less like half-dolphins and half-walruses. But does it sound OK to you that the more fish-like malasp, as well as zabdamar and yssabau need to go to the surface to breathe air? I think for this friend of mine, this is where his Glorantha is going to vary. He wants to have merfolk underwater cities, after all, and he's trying to come up with strange magical ways for merfolk to be able to build underwater cities while they need to go to the surface every hour to breathe (!). I've told him about Deep in Choralinthor Bay, but then, that's a magical city of its own, and the Bay is not that deep anyway, so it almost doesn't count as an example of a merfolk underwater city.

I wonder if almost all Gloranthan merfolk were designed from the start as air-breathing creatures just so land-dwellers (the main characters in the usual stories) could come across them more often? :huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Runeblogger said:

I wonder if almost all Gloranthan merfolk were designed from the start as air-breathing creatures just so land-dwellers (the main characters in the usual stories) could come across them more often? :huh:

Some merfolk are descended from Niiads who allied with Air Gods and so breathe air, and others are descended from Niiads who fought the Air Gods, and don't breathe air. The former are mammalian, the latter fish-like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both the Piscoi (Malasps, Yssabau) and the Cetoi (Ludochs, Ouori) breath water.  The ancestors of the fish-like Piscoi fought the storm gods while the Cetoi ancestors welcomed them.  The ancestors of the Black-Lagoon-like Gnydrons who defeated the storm gods and so breathe water.  The Zabdamar and the Dwerulans are also air-breathers but they have a different origin.  

There are underwater cities of Ludoch such as Deeper in the Holy Country.  The merfolk there have special magics to create a bubble so they don't have to swim to the surface.  The principle is the same as the Fish Roads.  I expect similar cities in the Mournsea.  Hence I don't think it odd at all that the Merfolk have deep underwater cities (I would prefer different methods of doing so in each merfolk cultural zone - Jrustela/Dashomo, Masloi/Marthino, Eastern Isles & Southern Genertela - the Ouori don't have a civ as far as I can see)

The merfolk in glorantha say close to the surface because that is where most of the food is.  The deeper zone between 200-1000 yards is somewhat scary and full of menacing creatures while below 1000 yards is Cthuloid territory which even the merfolk fear.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought that most merfolk breathed water, just a few types breathed air.

When the Storm tribe conquered the waters, there was a lot of looting and taking of Naiads, the children of these matings became the ancestors of the air-breathing mermen. Some Naiads voluntarily aided the Storm tribe but most did not.

Water-breathing mermen are the descendants of Water Gods and Naiads - There were a lot more of them than the Storm Tribe.

Surface dwellers probably see more air-breathers as they are the ones who have to come to the surface more often. Water-breathers don't need to come to the surface at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote
36 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Both the Piscoi (Malasps, Yssabau) and the Cetoi (Ludochs, Ouori) breath water.

 

I guess you mean they breathe air. According to canon, only the gnydron breathe water.

The "air bubble" idea is cool, but I think I once read somewhere, that Deeper is highly magical in the sense that merfolk can still swim all through the city, while land-dwellers can walk normally, both groups breathing air normally.

 

Quote

The merfolk in glorantha say close to the surface because that is where most of the food is.  The deeper zone between 200-1000 yards is somewhat scary and full of menacing creatures while below 1000 yards is Cthuloid territory which even the merfolk fear.

Right, that makes sense. So I guess that means any underwater cities will be relatively close to the shores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

According to canon, only the gnydron breathe water.

By canon you mean the Guide (and possibly RQ3 Gloranthan Bestiary and HW Anaxial's Roster). Are these the only sources?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Bestiary is the earliest source detailing the kindreds, and set the pattern of the air-breathing mortal merfolk. The Missing Lands has all the companion info that had been collected for publication during the original RQ3 era powered by Greg and Sandy at Chaosium. Tales 10 was something of a pre-release of much of the stuff from Missing Lands (originally cut from the publication which saw light as the Genertela box) spiced up with more recent (i.e. mid-90ies) comments by Greg and other co-workers.

Men of the Seas built on expansions of that material - I have seen some of the additional material, but I cannot say whether it originated from Greg or from others expanding that material. Not sure whether Martin Hawley can tell, either - most contact with Issaries Inc. was through its employee at the time. There were cool mythical concepts about the relation between the water tribe and the solid land and air/sky folk (and inanimate stuff). Think of the nascent earth cube both as something like a pearl forming within the reproductive organ of the sea, and as a source of food for all the waters, whether material, spirit, or soul. (And this was before the explicit strict dogmatic separation of the three Otherworlds.) Stuff like the Seven Kindreds being counted as the descendants of seven of the ten tritons, with the remaining three being the three magicians (animist, theist, sorcerer). And with the sorcerer triton being involved in Waertagi ancestry. There once were more than the five known Triolini merfolk tribes (Piscoi: Gnydron, Ysabbau, Malasp; Cetoi: Ludoch, Ouori), e.g. the orca-like cetoi merfolk that were burnt to extinction in the Battle of Tanian's Victory.

To repeat, of the Triolini, only the Gnydron overcame the storm parentage and the need to breathe air. Cetoi merfolk made friends/love with their storm parentage, while piscoi are the product of rape and hate. Other (non-Triolini) merfolk have other patterns - while Kahar is a storm god, his offspring are not part of the Triolini ancestry, so different rules can apply.

The merfolk with storm god parentage are among the youngest races of Glorantha, younger than most human ancestors. However, if you want to count them among the Elder Races, you could regard them as stunted version of their water-breathing niiad ancestors, in a similar line to dark trolls and trollkin  being inferior versions of the mistress race trolls, brown elves as recent variant of the earlier (pre-winter) state, or you could regard Malkioni as stunted (no longer un-aging) versions of the Brithini/Vadeli of Danmalastan. Note the special case of the Malkioni/Brithini as descendants of Warera Triolina, a niiad who made love to Aerlit (another storm god) - not counted among the Triolini, with the possible exception of the Waertagi (who have a crossbreed variant that doesn't need to breathe air, according to Missing Lands).

The niiads are ancestral Triolini, and they cohabitate with the Manti water deities. They rarely travel to the surface, but leave these realms mostly to their tainted descendants.

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surely the Guide is the ultimate canon source here? And it backs up what the OP says. On p103 it says "Almost all merfolk can stay underwater for about an hour at a time, but must then surface to breathe for a time". And of the Gnydron it says "They are the only merfolk which still breathe water".

 

Edited by Steve
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since Aerlit is associated with Seshnela and the father of Damol (Guide p411 and 417) I doubt that long-ago statements about Malkion's descent from Aerlit and Warera are even correct.  Otherwise Damol would have had a considerably far more exalted status as Malkion's brother something which isn't mentioned in the sources.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Steve said:

Surely the Guide is the ultimate canon source here? And it backs up when the OP says. On p103 it says "Almost all merfolk can stay underwater for about an hour at a time, but must then surface to breathe for a time". And of the Gnydron it says "They are the only merfolk which still breathe water".

 

You are correct. Almost all merfolk can stay underwater for about an hour at a time, but must then surface to breathe. Even the surface hating Malaps.

And yes, even in modern texts, Malkion is held to be the offspring of Aerlit and Warera. From the forthcoming Sourcebook:

 

Malkion

Aerlit was one of the demigods of Air that followed Vadrus in the Gods War. Aerlit spied Warera the Triolini sunning herself upon the shore of the Neliomi Sea. Rather than rape, he carried her away with love, as is befitting the Sea Goddesses. Their child was Malkion.

Malkion travelled to the Citadel of Thought where he received the revelation of the Invisible God, Creator and Preserver, the force behind the gods. Malkion taught people to use reason and logic to define and master the rest of the world to obtain liberation from their troubles. This would allow them to shape the universe without enslaving oneself to the gods and deliver them to Solace, a state of inner peace or mystical ambience.

With the goddess Britha, Malkion had four sons, Dronar, Horal, Talar, and Zzabur, and one daughter, Menena, and he taught each secrets, duties, and responsibilities. Thus to Dronar, he taught the arts of labor and making; to Horal, he taught the arts of fighting and warfare; to Talar, he taught the arts of rule and mediation; and to Zzabur, he taught the arts of sorcery.

Malkion was killed in the Gods War, but his teachings still form the basis of Malkioni philosophy. Adherents include the immortal Brithini and Vadeli, the nations of the West, and the God Learners of the Second Age. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, metcalph said:

Since Aerlit is associated with Seshnela and the father of Damol (Guide p411 and 417) I doubt that long-ago statements about Malkion's descent from Aerlit and Warera are even correct.  Otherwise Damol would have had a considerably far more exalted status as Malkion's brother something which isn't mentioned in the sources.

Even worse - Damol, the uncle of Zzabur (not Zzabur the Erasanchula but still Zzabur the Supreme Sorcerer of Brithos, even though these two are one and the same according to the Brithini)...

But I find that there are few fraternal feelings between half-slblings of a deity. Often enough they are too far separated in time or location to have anything to do with one another.

And, being Malkioni, pagan ancestry isn't much to boast about if you are being orthodox. During the reign of the Serpent Kings, things were different, though.

I still feel that much like the Sartar Rising series suffered from limited scope by being stoutly anti-Lunar in tone, the history of the western philosophies has demonized or at least apocryphized all henotheistic expressions. At the start of each Age within Time, henotheistic sects/philosophies were in charge of the majority or at least a very sizeable chunk of Malkioni population. Until the appearance of the Abiding Book, the leading Malkioni philosophy was Arkatism, for instance, and a significant portion of the later Jrusteli God Learners could be called henotheists without stretching that definition much.

 

I find the Waertagi connection that produces completely aquatic mixed breeds a lot more interesting, and more on topic under this heading, though.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wyrm's Footnotes 8, Gods & Goddesses of Glorantha: Part Four - Spirits of the Sea, has some rudimentary family trees. Does anyone know of a more recent one for the Sea Gods?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Wyrm's Footnotes 8, Gods & Goddesses of Glorantha: Part Four - Spirits of the Sea, has some rudimentary family trees. Does anyone know of a more recent one for the Sea Gods?

 

Missing Lands has a few (1998) including a Genealogy of the Triolini. It doesn't differ significantly from the one in Footnotes.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 26/04/2016 at 9:22 PM, Runeblogger said:

The "air bubble" idea is cool, but I think I once read somewhere, that Deeper is highly magical in the sense that merfolk can still swim all through the city, while land-dwellers can walk normally, both groups breathing air normally.

One could also have less grandiose cities with more mundane means of oxygenating oneself.  You wouldn't want the whole city to be a giant air bubble, but you might have Breathing Halls that are. Having to visit them would be something intermediate in lifestyle terms between frequent snacking expeditions, and decently-spaced cigarette breaks.

How those are being replenished is a whole other topic.  Physical transportation of air down from the surface in large containers seems excessively onerous, but maybe snorkels, or some kind of air vents on the sea bed.  Whether you get breathable air from plants is an angle of glorabiochemistry I dare not speculate on.

 

On 26/04/2016 at 9:22 PM, Runeblogger said:

Right, that makes sense. So I guess that means any underwater cities will be relatively close to the shores.

Or atop subaquatic sea mounts, say.

I wonder if there's a Gyndron city someplace?  Someplace deep, presumably.  That'd be a strange and scary sort of location, even for other merfolk.  Not least as you'd be depending on magic or "guest air" if it's beyond the depth you can surface from before you suffocate...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 30.6.2016 at 2:46 AM, Alex said:

One could also have less grandiose cities with more mundane means of oxygenating oneself.  You wouldn't want the whole city to be a giant air bubble, but you might have Breathing Halls that are. Having to visit them would be something intermediate in lifestyle terms between frequent snacking expeditions, and decently-spaced cigarette breaks.

The easiest way would be tidally recharged grottoes, but that is no win with regards to the depths the merfolk can reach. Captured air deities would be an appropriate revanche, at least for piscoi merfolk. Given their divine nature, any problem with unbreathable exhalations can be avoided.

Whales could be domesticated to shuttle air into the depths. Not their natural deep diving depths, rather something halfway, so they can release half their air reserve and resurface.

Such habitats could be as deep as an hour's dive (assuming that merfolk don't suffer from divers' sickness), giving any merfolk inhabitants enough time to recharge a last time before escaping to the surface.

On 30.6.2016 at 2:46 AM, Alex said:


How those are being replenished is a whole other topic.  Physical transportation of air down from the surface in large containers seems excessively onerous, but maybe snorkels, or some kind of air vents on the sea bed.  Whether you get breathable air from plants is an angle of glorabiochemistry I dare not speculate on.

Given what happens in communicating pipes, I wonder what good do you think a snorkel to an underwater diving bell would do (as opposed to what damage...)? You would need a pumping agent like bellows (unlikely and ungloranthan, but feasible if you only pump through bubbles and let them exit below the diving bell) or an indentured air elemental on permanent duty.

Belintar's method of producing a realm of overlapping realities of air-breathing and sea bottom on his fish roads did away fairly elegantly with the pesky breathing problems. Given that merfolk ought to be able to travel the sea-bottom parts too, alongside landlubbers plodding the ground, they ought to have some access to breathing just like the land-dwellers after entering the intermediate reality in the appropriate way. (I still want fish swarms to be able to cross through such a Sea Road without experiencing any land dweller effects.)

On 30.6.2016 at 2:46 AM, Alex said:

Or atop subaquatic sea mounts, say.

Do we know of any? We have plenty drowned human coastal cities, whether Abzered, Thinobutu, Wenelia, Seshnela, Jrustela or Danmalastan. All of these are within an easy 15 minutes dive for merfolk, usually much less.

There is always the possibility of underwater floating cities, too, possibly attached to leviathanic sea creatures never (or extremely rarely) seen in the shallower waters, possibly connected to floating kelp or made from uninhabited nautilus shells.

On 30.6.2016 at 2:46 AM, Alex said:

I wonder if there's a Gyndron city someplace?  Someplace deep, presumably.  That'd be a strange and scary sort of location, even for other merfolk.  Not least as you'd be depending on magic or "guest air" if it's beyond the depth you can surface from before you suffocate...

A gnydron sea-ground city would be a forbidding place for air breathers - at least as oppressive as a visit to Trowjang for males.

I always wanted to explore the deep rifts between the three fragments of the earth cube. Imagine cliffside habitats, dimly illuminated by occasional lava flows emptying into these rifts, inhabited by a mix of deep sea entities (lesser offspring of tritons and niiads) and underworld entities possibly using domes or similar to interact with the deep sea next to their underground realms.

The currents in the gaps needn't be murderous all the way down - after a certain depth, they might have an outward, upward current from all the waters that return to Sramak's River after having rushed down Magasta's Pool. There would be some calm zone in the middle.

Mother-of-pearl would cover the flanks of the earth cube here, and probably provide semi-transparent seals for the entrances into the underworld of the earth, some of which will be flooded, other parts of which would be dry.

You might meet a few familiar races down there - possibly a pocket of Swems-worshipping mistress race trolls or Kitori, or a mostali workroom whose tunnel was separated from the Decamony by the rift. A civilization of not quite dead, not quite undead is a possibility, too - perhaps cousins of the Alkothi Shadzorings.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Given what happens in communicating pipes, I wonder what good do you think a snorkel to an underwater diving bell would do (as opposed to what damage...)? You would need a pumping agent like bellows (unlikely and ungloranthan, but feasible if you only pump through bubbles and let them exit below the diving bell) or an indentured air elemental on permanent duty.

I'm not suggesting anyone run out and Mythbuster an underwater city on this design spec, mind!  But I'd make no assumptions either way how similar RW physics and Gloranthan fuzzy-icks are in that regard.  Nothing that couldn't be rule-of-cool'd (if it were the coolest option, of which I have my doubts).  Magical/glorological/botanical sources of air bubbles might be better.

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Belintar's method of producing a realm of overlapping realities of air-breathing and sea bottom on his fish roads did away fairly elegantly with the pesky breathing problems.

It's elegant, sure, but it's a massive magical effect.  The gold-plated milspec solution, as it were.  (Though one could argue that the entire surface of the Kahar Sea is a somewhat similar effect, so maybe it's not actually an especially infeasible thing to do.)  I'd personally not like to simply replicate the same thing over numerous different mercities, if many of them do indeed exist.  If there's just a small handful of them lozengeally, not so much of a concern.

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Do we know of any [underwater sea mounts]?

I don't know of us knowing of any, but if there's none at all anywhere, it would be one if those rare and disappointing case where a spectacular RW phenomenon doesn't exist in Glorantha (and is then appropriated for other mythtastic stuff to be overlaid thereon).

If there were any, it would be very unsurprising they weren't previously document on small-scale surface maps -- being features that are neither large on those terms, nor visible on the surface.  I think there's a lot to be said for some hot-spot sea volcanoes somewhere!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The world beneath the waves is one of those areas that Greg and his fellow explorers have barely mapped.  Vadel himself only explored near the surface.  There could be a plant that gives off oxygen and lives beneath the sea.  The merfolk build their cities and capture it's bubbles.  There could be mounts that aren't listed in Anaxial's Roster.  Why would they be?  They didn't need to ride in the ark.  They were quite happy with the flood.  There could be empires and wars and great deeds of the Hero Wars and the years leading up to it and it's all there for any GM to explore and expand as they wish.

But I DO have one question:  How do merfolk sleep?  They just float on the surface?  If so, then one should see them fairly regularly as protecting themselves from predators would require surface regions that are regularly patrolled and inhabited.  Or do they not sleep?

It's an important question for running merfolk PCs in any campaign.  It may seem mundane, but it has far reaching societal ramifications.

Dolphins and whales, for instance, either sleep by floating like logs or swimming slowly next to a companion.  Bottlenosed dolphins sleep half a hemisphere of the brain at a time.  newborn whales are pulled along in their mothers after tow which means the mom can't sleep for three weeks until the newborn has enough fat to not sink.  It's all rather complicated, but means lone dolphins and whales are rare as they depend upon each other to sleep.  Also, they have voluntary respiratory systems, unlike humans, who can breathe while asleep.  Whales and Dolphins only breathe on purpose to prevent accidental drowning.  They have to feel air touch their blowholes.

Merfolk would face the same realities.

Edited by Pentallion
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Pentallion said:

Merfolk would face the same realities.

I don't think so in a magical world.The easiest option is air spirits and elementals. Followed by sorcery. Just as in real life people put animals in the structure of buildings to perform a magical duty, I'd say the same in Glorantha:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5200089/400-year-old-mummified-cat-found-in-walls-of-cottage.html

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know how mermen build cities underwater, or how they sleep, but the concept of mermen adventurers going down into abyssal depths to dungeon crawl through Gnydron cities in the gloom of the deep is appealling to me. I like the time limit of the hour of breathe that they have, I like the opportunities for unique sea monsters and sunken treasures, 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, David Scott said:

I don't think so in a magical world.The easiest option is air spirits and elementals. Followed by sorcery. Just as in real life people put animals in the structure of buildings to perform a magical duty, I'd say the same in Glorantha:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5200089/400-year-old-mummified-cat-found-in-walls-of-cottage.html

Yeah magic all the way. It's not even hand wavy, it's just the reality of Glorantha.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding seamounts, the whole of the sea south of Genertela consists of sunken lands. They would have had hills and mountains that would be the equivalent of seamounts.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think they mean sea creatures they can ride as mounts, not sea mountains.  But I may be the one who is mistaken.

 

As for Mermen sleeping.  So I have a group of fresh faced PC mermen.  We adventure.  At some point, the mermen must sleep.  Unlike humans, where this can be skipped to "the next day....", or "who's on watch?" we have an issue here.  HOW is it exactly that they sleep?  My brand new mermen PCs either don't HAVE any magic to help them sleep, or there's a spirit magic as common as Peaceful Cut that every merman has.  Except then, how do the children sleep?

So just waving a hand and saying Glorantha is magical doesn't cut it.  Having established that sleeping is a very social issue for mermen, then I think it needs addressing on a societal level.  Something that would make sense in their mythology, in their spells, in the way they get played and rolled up.

Because they have nowhere safe to sleep.  the water around them will kill them.  When landlubbers sleep, the earth doesn't rise up and bury them and if it did, you can bet it would result in a huge part of their social structure being developed to deal with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Pentallion said:

I think they mean sea creatures they can ride as mounts, not sea mountains.  But I may be the one who is mistaken.

I read it as sea mountains, although I brought up the leviathan-based sea creatures as base for their cities, too. Not really different from what Waertag did to sea dragons, only submerged most (if not all) of the time.

4 hours ago, Pentallion said:

As for Mermen sleeping.  So I have a group of fresh faced PC mermen.  We adventure.  At some point, the mermen must sleep.  Unlike humans, where this can be skipped to "the next day....", or "who's on watch?" we have an issue here.  HOW is it exactly that they sleep?  My brand new mermen PCs either don't HAVE any magic to help them sleep, or there's a spirit magic as common as Peaceful Cut that every merman has.  Except then, how do the children sleep?

So just waving a hand and saying Glorantha is magical doesn't cut it.  Having established that sleeping is a very social issue for mermen, then I think it needs addressing on a societal level.  Something that would make sense in their mythology, in their spells, in the way they get played and rolled up.

Because they have nowhere safe to sleep.  the water around them will kill them.  When landlubbers sleep, the earth doesn't rise up and bury them and if it did, you can bet it would result in a huge part of their social structure being developed to deal with it.

In that case, we might have to ask us about their need to sleep, and how they pattern their sleep.

Glorantha knows weird sleeping patterns, e.g. for the aldryami (brown elves hibernate, but don't sleep, for instance, while green elves generally follow the day/night cycle, and pay for taking the night shift the same way humans do).

I am not sure that merfolk usually have a sedentary culture. And I think that their sleeping habits might be different from species to species, too.

I wouldn't be surprised if Ouori climbed halfway or even all the way out of the water for sleeping. They share the body shape of seals, after all, and they foster friendship with land-dwelling humans.

Ludoch (and the extinct orca-like merfolk who participated in the battle of Tanian's Flame) probably behave like dolphins, and may follow a catnap strategy while swimming with minimal energy expenditure in a pod, not far from the surface. This lends itself to a more nomadic life-style - while the Ludoch apparently like undersea cities, I don't think that these cities are where they spend most of their lives. They probably still claim coastal territory, but the cities may serve mainly as cultic and craft centers. Family shrines and storage for possessions too bulky to carrry along all day rather than housing.

Malasp and Ysabbau are Piscoi, and probably loathe their dependence on the surface. The Malasp appear to inhabit very shallow seas. I would guess that they prefer to find an underwater shelter where they hide for their 45 minute or so sleep phases, then surface a bit away from said shelter for air before returning to their hideout. Such a strategy would make them highly territorial (which is sort of corrroborated by the behavior of the followers of Terthinus).

Ysabbau appear to be attracted to deeper waters than any other of the Triolini. Having them follow bigger sea monsters like pilot fish, leaving them briefly for short gasps of air sounds attractive.

The Zabdamar of Kahar's Sea aren't Triolini, and they have the bonus ability to swim the fog - problem more or less solved as long as they stick to their magical home sea, which they usually do.

 

One thing that might differ between merfolk and humans may be their reaction to attrition by predators. A fatal encounter with some predator's maw may be the usual form of death for them, even for healthy and young specimen. Being the necessary sacrifice for the pod could be ingrained in their culture. If we look at the parent cultrues  of the Triolini, there is the Seas philosophy which treats all the world (or at least all non-liquid parts of it) as food, and then there is their paternal "culture" of Vadrudi rapacity. Most of their society's cohesion probably comes from the Niiad's overpowering urge to procreate (which is why they chose their life-giving great-grandmother for their kins' name), which also would explain niiads' roles in the creation of the Malkioni race and the Yggites.

Triolini material culture appears to be quite sparse. I picture the sedentary species (Malasp and Ludoch) as coral gardeners rather than builders, although they are more than happy to use drowned human stone edifices or ship hulls as basis for their cultivated reefs.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×