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Merfolk

From PathfinderWiki
Merfolk
A merfolk rogue.
(Creature)
Type Humanoid
(aquatic)
CR By character class
Environment Temperate oceans
Alignment
Images of merfolk

Source: Bestiary, pg(s). 204

Merfolk[1] are amphibious humanoids encountered in the temperate waters and coastlines of the Inner Sea region. A merfolk's torso resembles that of a human or elf, while their lower bodies are dominated by a fish-like tail and fins. They are highly xenophobic, and commonly attack members of other races that encroach upon their territory; the only other intelligent creatures merfolk consider allies are the aboleths.[2][3]

Appearance

From the waist up, a merfolk's body resembles that of a human, though their features and build are usually more elven in appearance; members of others races sometimes experience feelings of desire due to the attractiveness of a merfolk's upper body. A merfolk's lower body, however, is comprised of a scaled tail and fins similar to that of a giant fish. Female merfolk are generally smaller in size than their male counterparts, but members of the race tend to weigh an average of over 200 pounds and measure between six and eight feet in length.[3][4]

The hair and scales of merfolk can come in a wide range of colors and hues. Despite the potential variety in the race's appearance, merfolk in shared habitats tend to boast similar pigmentation.[5]

Ecology

Merfolk are naturally adapted to life underwater, but they are amphibious creatures; merfolk can breathe both in and out of the water. They are even capable of traversing short distances across land, though these journeys are rare, and merfolk tend stay relatively close to their aquatic homes.[3]

Merfolk favor temperate waters, and can be found in the coastal and deeper regions of the Arcadian and Obari oceans, as well as the Inner and Steaming seas.[2]

Deep merfolk

Merfolk kin adapted to extreme underwater depths are known as deep merfolk. These merfolk have dark transparent skin and hunt along the depths of ocean trenches.[6][7]

Society

The merfolk race is highly xenophobic; they generally shelter themselves in hidden communities, fiercely protecting the territory they hold from outsiders. Merfolk are especially distrusting of surface races, and go to great lengths to conceal their presence from those that live primarily on land. As a result, most merfolk settlements remain unknown to those on the surface, and encounters between merfolk and surface dwellers are uncommon. It is partially due to the infrequent sightings of merfolk that their presence is sometimes considered an ill omen by sailors.[4][2][8]

Merfolk xenophobia extends below the waves as well. Though merfolk will keep aquatic animals for the purposes of companionship, they generally isolate themselves from other aquatic races. The sole exception to this distrust are the fish-like aberrations known as aboleth; many merfolk serve aboleth masters, sometimes willingly.[2]

On Golarion

Merfolk in Outsea.

In addition to the settlements listed below, merfolk can also be found among the undersea canyons of the doomed continent of Azlant.[9]

Chosovosei
Chosovosei is a small merfolk city located in a trench in the Steaming Sea. They peacefully coexist with the the elves of the Mordant Spire, also located in this region, but are forced to make offerings to placate the krakens of the Endless Eye.[8]
Jehyseel
Located in the Obari Ocean, the city of Jehyseel is protected by a forest of deadly stinging anemones.[8]
Outsea
While not an exclusively merfolk-inhabited city, they comprise a plurality of this amphibious River Kingdoms city.[10]
Stormshoal
Stormshoal is a merfolk settlement that floats beneath the waters along the edge of the Eye of Abendego. This isolated city is composed of coral and stone, and anchored in place by gigantic seaweed fronds.[8]

On other planes

Merfolk have emigrated to the Plane of Water, where they live in seclusion in dimly lit seas. They use illusion magic and other mundane techniques to hide their homes, often to the annoyance of travelers and the plane's other inhabitants.[11]

References