The Sceilla are a bipedal aquatic species of humanoids whose skin closely resembles that of a dolphin’s in texture. It’s rubbery surface allows a sheen in any setting of light, often making them look wet even when completely dry. They range in skin tones but keep mainly to cool colors, either blue or green, in any shade from pastel to midnight. Each being has laced webbing between their toes and fingers, and often sport fins of various size along the backs of their forearms as well as the backs of their torso.
There are several notable differences between the males and females of the species. The males tend to sport high, arching, brilliantly colored (bright reds are most common) folding fins atop their heads and running down their backs, ending just before the end of their spine. This is for attracting a (yes) mate. The females of the species often seek out a male with the most colorful of head-fins. This is apparently incredibly attractive. For a male, this dorsal fin is an expression of himself. It can be used to attract females or show emotion.
The females of the species, however, are adorned with a crown of coral and tentacles (growing up to a foot in length) branching from their head, much like an ornate headdress in a color that matches that of their skin. They, too, have dorsal fins, but to a much lesser degree and much less brilliant in color.
Facial features for the Sceilla include that of a flattened nose, similar to simple slits much like that on a snake, multi pointed ears extending long past that of a human’s, lack of eyebrows (or hair of any sort, anywhere on their body for that matter), and large, slanting eyes. Their eyes are nearly entirely pitch black pupil and have a thin film that covers the orbs for protection when swimming.
Much like a shark, a Sceilla has no bones. Where there should be bones or skeletal structure, there is cartilage, allowing for high flexibility. The only bones that the Sceilla have are their teeth, which have been whittled down by evolution into neatly cut fangs. This often makes chewing food difficult, and swallowing things whole more preferable. Their bodies are ectomorphic; long and thin, easily carried about by undersea currents. (The males are slightly broader than the females, but are still rather thin.) On either side of the Sceilla's head, just before and beneath the ears, as a set of translucent fins that splay when showing emotion.
Though aquatic, the Sceilla have the potential to live comfortably on land. This is thanks to a set of lungs, as well as gills upon their sides that line up neatly with their rib cage. Hydration is incredibly important to maintain for any land-dwelling Sceilla; their thick skin not only serves for a hefty, natural defense, but also is made up of a water storing membrane that keeps the individual fresh as a daisy for up to a days at a time. However, if they are to “dry out” and are unable to ingest water to resupply this membrane of hydration, their fates are much like a reversal of drowning. (Drowning in air.)
Sceilla are often used to fighting the pull of the currents underwater, and fighting additional layers of atmosphere. This has resulted in their species being formidable on land; they're often more swift or strong than appearance would suggest, from practice of living in sub-aquatic conditions.
Besides these features, the body of a Sceilla is much like a human's. They bear all of the same organs as a human might, and yes, this means the same reproductive organs as well. (Though the Sceilla lay eggs, they are in fact mammalia. Imagine the platypus, if it were a person.)
The Sceilla have a culture based entirely upon the arts and religion. Their belief system centers around a single Goddess to whom they attribute the creation of all things . However, being secluded from much of the other races, until quite recently, their idea of “all things” boiled down to their own cities and the seas in which they live.
In celebration of this Goddess, whom has no name besides “The Goddess”, the Sceilla create and perform in hopes of pleasing her. Their underwater kingdom is adorned with works of art, not an inch untouched by creative fins. Statues of an ethereal beauty line their temples, manipulated prismatic coral dot the stone, domed buildings. Every corner of their homes is alight with song, dance, and constant merrymaking, as it is believed that every moment is a gift and should be celebrated. (Everything is a giant party to them.) When one’s life is over, a simple burial takes place; the family will lay the deceased to rest amongst the city’s many gardens of coral. They will then manipulate the coral about the bodies, and once completely covered, the family will set about celebrating the life of the individual often with creating a mural or epic poem about their accomplishments.
A high priest or priestess will normally be in rule of the people. They are the ones who carry out law, see to punishment, and are the closest thing to a "ruler" that the Sceilla possess. Beneath them are the priests and priestesses, then specialists of crafts, then defenders, followed by any other Sceilla. Their social structure lacks in petty titles, and though there is little room to move up, one might accomplish this by perfecting a craft or by becoming a priest or priestess. To become a priest or priestess, one needs only to apprentice to one whom has perfected worship. (To know the duties of a priest or priestess, see daily life.)
Sociology and Common Traits:
Though the Sceilla mate for life, the rearing of children is a task left up to the males of the Sceilla. After a mating process not unlike that of the humans', the females will lay up to ten eggs at a time, of which the males will watch over until they hatch leaving the women to work. Not all of the eggs will hatch, however, and the ones that do not are buried amongst the coralline graveyards. The young that do hatch will return to their mother on whom they are breast fed, much like a human infant. From hatching onwards, they are normally raised by both parents.
Around one a year, around the time of the first full moon, the Sceilla have a time which they title "Life Bringing." This is most similar to a mating season, though mating can occur year round. What makes this time of the year different is the uncontrollable release of both hormones and pheromones, no matter the location. This subsect of fae may interbreed and reproduce with anything a human might.
The average Sceilla will live anywhere from 100 to 120 years, though living to be older than 120 years is not unheard of. The oldest living Sceilla in record was nearly 137 years (or "Life Bringings") old before passing away. Maturity of the Sceilla happens around their 20th year.
Much like any other kind of fae, the use of magic is common amongst this people. They have the ability to control and manipulate both the shape of water or growth and shape of coral. Both these skills are limited, as water or coral must be present in order to be manipulated. (They cannot spout water or coral from places it would not normally occur.) Sceilla also have minor strengths in causing illusions. They commonly cast glamours upon themselves or upon others or upon objects of their choosing. Again, all of these magics are limited to the prowess of the individual.
The Sceilla communicate through a language called “Sacas”. Below water, Sacas is a myriad of melodies, clicks, and general fluidity. However, on land, the Sacas sounds more like soft, guttural, high pitched shrieking, clicking, or hissing. Though even the Sceilla are hard pressed to understand their own language out of water. However, they have the ability to mimic other languages with ease; if it makes sense to them or not, is up to the individual. (ie, one can bark like a dog yet not know what they are saying.) Luckily for the fish-people, their songs and dance translate rather well above water.
Sceilla are known carnivores and prefer to eat fish to any other type of meat. Though they do not prefer it, they have the ability to digest most vegetable life, regardless of how unappealing it is to their tastes. The meat that they ingest is raw, cooked meat would more often than not lead to violent illness.
Within the submerged cities, there is no form of currency. When something is needed or wanted, a system of bartering takes place. If the thing in question is of great need, the community will come together to obtain it. Sceilla people, as a whole, are heavily influenced by neighbors and family, and are seen as a tight-knit community. This results in some misunderstandings to outside cultures; the Sceilla have no mind for "personal space" or "too much information", or even "privacy".
The Sceilla often go about wearing little to no clothing. Though mostly nude, they enjoy burdening themselves with extravagant amounts of jewelry formed from metals, glass, coral, and nearly anything that will bend to their will. This serves as clothing in their culture, though other races may not see eye to eye on this opinion.
The Sceilla have natural penchants for finding things. Like a magpie, a Sceilla will often take appealing items (whether considered garbage by others or not) home with them and store them for later use. These items are often put to play in their want for creation or when decorating. They are also born with a natural curiosity, and seek information wherever it can be provided.
The Sceilla are a rather secluded subgenre of humanoids, therefore giving them a naive outlook upon the world. Few Sceilla have ventured upon dry land, and those who have in the past do not make it very far inland. Being a peaceful sort of people, Sceilla would not take up arms as a first option to a threat. Negotiation and avoidance are usual tactics for proceeding forth, keeping violence on a back burner until it is the only option not exercised.
That being said, the Sceilla lack in any sort of standing army. That, however, does not mean they lack in warriors. These warriors are viewed more as defenders, and act as a sentinel about the outside of their cities, patrolling and keeping watch in order to dissuade stray creatures from finding their way into the homes of the Sceilla. A preferred weapon for these aquatic life forms are long spears meant for jabbing and stabbing motion, but lacking in value when used in any kind of swinging attack. The defender's gender matters not, and they are often celebrated as heroes of the people.
Besides defenders, an array of other professions are allotted. Jewelry makers, hunters, gardeners, architects, and smithies are a few examples. (Many of the occupations deal solely with visual appeal.) One can even be professionally beautiful or entertaining. No other job is as highly viewed as the alchemists, also known as priests and preistesses. Not only do they create medicines and healing tonics, they also involve themselves with the making of potions. Anything from an underwater adaptation of drugs similar to ecstasy or weed in liquid, digestible form, to powerful aphrodisiacs can be found in an alchemist's workshop, ie, the temples of the Goddess.
All Sceilla are responsible for day to day chores. These include anything from hunting to gathering, to cleaning, and yes, beautification of their homes. It is commonly acceptable to stop whatever one is doing, regardless if it is finished or not, to work on making their world a lovelier place.
Sceilla prefer to keep their days long and nights short, resulting in a need for less sleep. They receive, on average, six hours of sleep if not less. The depths of their homelands does not allow for a "night" or "day" time, and time itself is completely irrelevant. The closest thing to "time" they keep is the span of one's life, or the how many times "Life Bringing" has passed. For example, if a Sceilla were to describe to you three years ago, they might say "thrice Life Bringings prior."
(If anything needs to be added, or if someone has an idea to go along with them, I'd be happy to change it up!)
For discussion and development of the world of Pal Tahrenor
1 post • Page 1 of 1