Idea Guild > The World of Acqua

Undersea Races


Cheka Man:
The Seelies live on the edges of the polar lands to the north and south of the planet, moving with the seasons. They would look to a human like large gray seals with arms, and have large tusks like a walrus and strong sharp teeth.They are hunters,and whilst their main food is fish, they are not afraid to attack, kill and eat other Mer-races.They will not eat the beautiful females of the People of the Coral, prefering to kiddnap them for their beauty, their sweet singing voices and their storytelling ability.

Sadly most of the females they kiddnap suffer and die in the freezing polar seas that the Seelies rule.They have tried to keep them warm, with such things as blankets taken from wrecked ships, but it only keeps them alive for a few days.The colourful scales of the kiddnapped females turn grey first, then they die rapidly and are left to float to the bottom. So they kiddnap more to replace them. Once they dared to raid the Shura to try and take their females, but the Shura massacred the raiding party, so after that they left the Shura well alone and only fight them in self-defence.

Whilst they can raid the warm waters, they cannot settle there as they grow sick and parasite-infected if they remain too long in the warm waters.

Like the People of the Coral the Seelies tend to mate for life.It is up to the females to choose when to become pregnant and they turn purple when they are willing. Younger females occasionly go on raids but the older ones look after the children and pups and hunt for food for them. The normal number of pups a family will have is two or three.

For the first three months of it's life a pup needs near constant feeding to put on blubber and avoid dying of cold.Also, it does not grow arms for a year and a few human polar hunters have mistaken Seelie babies for seals and clubbed them.If such a thing happens the Seelies will wait until the hunters row out to their ships and then flip their boats over and tear them to pieces, since they are a water-race and can only move very slowly on land.

Within seven years after growing it's arms a Seelie is fully grown and has learnt about how to do well in Seelie society.The Seelies are a warrior race first and foremost.Laws are few and based on common sense, and offenders and cowards in battle are either executed or exiled and banished to the Warm Waters.They have limited stocks of amythest but the thing they prize most is iron tools that can cut breathing holes in the ice and enable them to rule over a greater area then the edges of the ice.

They wear no clothes except, for the bravest as a symbol of bravery, amythest armbands cut out of solid amythest blocks.Their weapons are their fangs and tusks plus whatever they can find on a raid or take from their enimies or from sunken ships.

Cheka Man:
The People of the Coral
The People of the Coral are a species of Merpeople that live in warm sunlit areas amongst the coral reefs. The males would look ugly to human eyes and quite possibly to other mer-species as well. They are grey-skinned and around five feet tall, with large round eyes that can see well in all but the darkest or the most murky water., and with flippers instead of feet and long, muscular arms. They can change their skin to the colour of the water around them, be it blue or grey or another colour, which makes them hard to see.

And that is just as well, for Sea Spiders and several dangerous beasts of the oceans will happily eat them if they can catch them, whilst many members of the other mer-species see them as inferior and a threat to their territory.

Their weapons, clubs and spears, come from different types of coral,as do the few tools that they use.The males roam around finding fish that they can spear and bring back for food.They spend quite a lot of their lives hunting.Their weapons are tipped with Fire Coral which means that even a touch from the point can cause a nasty wound that is slow to heal.

The females are beautiful to look upon, with beautiful many-colored scales all over their bodies that glitter in the light of the sun.Unlike the males, they are poisonous to most of the dangerous creatures that would otherwise eat them,although there are a few that the poison has no effect on. This beauty causes them to be very visible, which is dangerous within the seas of Acqua. Anything that can eat them can see them easily, whilst there are other races out there which like to kidnap them.Their eyesight and hearing,whilst good, is only half as good as that of the males, and their arms are weaker.Just like the males they have flippers instead of feet.

The females are the ones who look after the children, tell the myths and the stories of the People of the Coral, tend the kelp plants that forms part of their food, and sing beautiful songs.

Laws amongst the tribes are few and commonsense and lawbreaking is rare.
Those who do break the laws in a serious way face being expelled from the tribes and left unprotected amonsgt the horrors of the Acquan oceans.

The tribes like to live in underwater caves near reefs.They often share the caves with Cleaner Fish and Glow Fish, that live on thier leftovers.The Cleaner Fish eat any parasites that start to grow on the People,whilst the Glow Fish emit a soft green glow at night.

Pairs normally mate for life and will have several children.A kiddnapped female will slowly lose the colour in her scales, as they turn into a light grey color after a long period of unhappyness, but her sweet voice is unaffected.
If rescued in this state all the colours will rush back into her scales within seconds.

Sadly, the People are declining, as the Shura are taking over their kelp beds, coral reefs and caves, on which they depend for food,tools and safety.Where once they were numbered in the tens of thousands, now they are only a few thousand strong.

Cheka Man:
The Sea Hag
Fifty leagues off the southern flank of the grim penal colony known as Murderer's Isle,lies a vast reef reknown for the beautiful anemones that seemingly swamp every inch of it. They come in all kinds of breath taking colors,ranging from blue of the deepest hue to a violet so bright,it hurts the eye of one who looks at it. Strange tales surround these amazing jewels of the ocean,tales that stem from the mysterious folklore of the local islander cultures that live in the vicinity of the reef. Tales that seem to complement bizzare stories told by certain divers from the Demadden Company who claim that the anemones would startle them by crying out for help in human voices filled with desperation and despair when attempts to pry them loose from the reef were made.

The local islanders say that the anemones are nothing like what they seem. It is the work of the Sea Hag,they say,the beautiful but sinister mer-sorceress of ancient myth who has always called the reef her home since time immemorial.

Local legend states that deep under the surface,the Sea Hag lives in a vast castle carved out of the living coral. There she keeps her vast treasure of precious riches and even more highly prized mountains of amethyst,the possession of which can make so many feverant fantasies and dreams come true for even the most desperate..

It is a prize that awaits any man daring enough to brave the terror of the deeps and confront the Sea Hag. Only a man,for the path to the Sea Hag's dwelling is concealed from all women,even the most gifted of witches. Once the visitor convinces her that he means her no harm,she is willing to let him carry off as much of it as he can. Provided that he answers three simple questions of hers. Firstly,''What must keep moving,or it dies instantly?'',follwed by ''What is the destroyer that even the dread G'Thrann fear?'',and finally ''Name the monster who devors entire reefs''. If a man answers all these correctly,he can take anything he wishes,and return to the surface.

Should he fail however,his punishment will be awful indeed,a fate far worse than mere death. Cackling with a glee so maloveant it makes the unfortunate man's very heart tremble,she calls upon her diabolical enchantments and sunders his unfortunate soul from his body,imprisoning it in one of the famed anemones that sprout everwhere. There it will be forced to languish for all eternity,calling out in vain to be rescued,even as it's fleshy shell becomes food for the ravenous sharks.

As the islanders say,''A brave man will go in search of the Hag's treasure,but if smart he is not,part of her kingdom he will become''. A cautinory warning that all avaricous men hungry for her treasure would be wise to heed.

Cheka Man:
The Shura
Carved into the vast rock formations and shoals that lurk beneath the waves,are the dwellings of the Shura. These highly aggressive beings posses the muscular upper bodies of humans and the streamlined bottom half of a shark and have both gills and lungs,allowing them to study the ships that sail on the ocean surface above.

There are many different clans and tribes of Shura,each with their own High Chief and war leaders. Screaming praises to the savage Shark Spirit,they make fierce war upon one another for control of the undersea amethysts deposits that are scattered in the Shura lands. These deposits are rather scarce and the Shura tribe that controls the greatest number of them is easily the most powerful. Amethyst is important to the Shura for many reasons,foremost among them being the heavy dependance that their tribal Shamans have on them. Shamans who enjoy a large stockpile of amethysts,are able to cast awesome summoning spells that can compel even the dread Sea Spiders and Sirens to obey them. In battles between the most powerful tribes,it is not uncommon to see magic controlled Sea Spiders fight on behalf of their Shura masters,unable to refuse the demands imposed on them. Not that the Shura really need them. Shura berserkers are able to channel the unrelenting hunger of the Shark Spirit through heavy use of the sacred weed. When whipped into this frenzy,they rip open the bellies of their foes with their barbed bone tridents and devour the entrails that spill open. The more entrails of a foe that a Shura warrior devours,the stronger he is believed to become.

Shura society is utterly brutal and ruthless,as befitting such a merciless folk. Physical strength and the ability to fend for one's self is a quality revered above all others,as all young male Shura learn from the day they are first brought into the savage world of their people. Tough and determined to survive from the very start,the young males are born with the inherent hunting instincts of their kind. For two months,the young male juveniles have these instincts honed to a razor keen edge under the baleful gaze of experienced hunters of the tribe. Then,upon completing this phase of their lives,they are expelled from the domain of the tribe to prove their worth in the dangerous waters that lie beyond. There for a period of four months,they must fend for themselves against the dangerous predators that swarm the seas of Acqua,as well as warriors of the other Shura tribes that will have no compunction against slaying and devouring them should they find these younglings hunting in hunting grounds claimed by them. Only the strongest and most resourceful of braves survive this brutal rite of passage.

Upon returning to the tribe once their term of exile is over,these victorious survivors are now permitted the right to impregnate the females during the great breeding orgy that takes place in the middle of the month. During this frenzied time of copulation,each male will attempt to plant his seed in as may females as possible,all to aware that most of his children,will in all likelihood,not survive the brutal period of exile...

The Shura are known by many islanders of Acqua as the Old Ones. It is widely held,that in an age now lost forever in the mists of time,the Shura were once air breathing beings that dwelled on the islands until the coming of the children of Acqua. According to the old tales,the Shura had almost wiped each other out when the sons of Acqua arrived on their shores. There the latter made a wager with the three warring Kings of the Shura. What the wager was,none can recall. But what they do know, is that had the sons of Acqua lost it,they would have had to leave the islands,never to return. Fortunately for humanity,the sons of Acqua won and it was the Shura that had to leave. So the islander version goes.

The Shura resent this as a foul lie. They tell a different story to those willing to hear it. The Shura people were driven into the sea they say,by the ruthless invaders with their burning weapons of iron. This old wrong still burns in their hearts,with many of their chiefs and Shamans woving to work towards the day the vile humans are driven off the islands that once belonged to them.

Idle talk perhaps,for a people terrified of iron weapons and tools. But the Shura are sly and willy foes. They have shown themselves to be more than an idle threat. Many smaller ships of the mighty De Madden company have found themselves shattered upon treacherous shoals,after following the beacon from what they believe to be a light house showing them the safest way out of dangerous waters,unaware that these lights are actually cunning spells cast by Shamans of the Shura to lead them to their death. The crews of the ships are quickly devoured,while a big part of the amethyst is given to the Shaman,with the rest going to the chief and his bravest warriors. The tribes of the Golden Shore call the deadly lights of the Shura 'Demon Lights.'' A Sea Wizard or Witch can recognize the magical aura emanating from them,and will order the captain to ignore them.

But it seems that the Shura are no longer content with preying on their hated foes at sea. Unknown to the people of Acqua,after much argument and debate,some of the strongest tribes of the Shura have formed a pact to rid the islands of the human plague. Agents have been sent out to secure the support of ambitious Krakens that aspire to attain the power of the fabled Big Red. The Shura have promised to deliver to them great amounts of the precious amethyst in return for their assaults on the great docks and ports of the humans. Quite a few have already chosen to join the Shura cause. The time may come when the people of Acqua find themselves cowering and cringing before the wrath of the Shura.


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