The waterfolk were created by the entity Vatea, a god that dwells deep in the depths of the sea, beyond even the reach of the waterfolk. Vatea saw the destruction that humanity wreaked upon the upper levels of the sea, and seeking to protect his oceanic creation, he created the waterfolk to be it’s fierce and proud defenders. Imbuing each waterfolk with a unique Asparae, a fish spirit to which they were attuned, he lent them a portion of his power, in order that they may draw upon him to protect their kin and their habitat.
But Vatea did not anticipate the vanity of his new creation, the waterfolk, with their beautiful voices and their striking beauty, did not just protect the oceans, but prey on the humanity above, and angry at the violence of his creations, he cursed them with the thirst, that even those above that they cared for, would be endangered by their feral need and aggression. So this created a woeful fear in humanity, and the waterfolk were hunted to near extinction. They retreated down to the depths of the sea, seeking their original creator, Vatea, in hopes to rebuild their communities, but that didn’t stop generations of young and curious waterfolk from seeking the world above, and in 1919 the great reveal changed everything.
The great reveal exposes the Waterfolk community. Fishermen lure and trap the waterfolk in order to sell them on exotic markets, both alive and dead.
The Coast Guard is called in to respond to reports of an unusual number of capsized vessels along major US trading routes, Waterfolk response to the hunting. The Waterfolk that they can trap and net are taken to research labs in order to conduct medical and bioweapons testing. They tell the public that these trials are conducted humanely, but the Waterfolk have a different experience.
The Humane Act of 1919 is instituted, preventing the experimentation and study on supernatural beings without written consent, and while Merfolk are hopeful for release, many are euthanized for fear of illnesses and mutations effecting the gene pools of their kind and humanity.
Great South Bay becomes a migration point for many Waterfolk, particularly those that lost family and friends in the trials, or miraculously survived it themselves. A territorial species, they experiences some interracial gang violence and infighting among themselves, despite the gathering being the most tribally diverse in Waterfolk history. Many of them wish to capitalize on the local fishing industry, or simply are in the city to seek their revenge from those whom they perceive as aggressors.
Waterfolk are an incredibly diverse and beautiful species, many of them taking the properties of fish from around the globe, or combinations of features from oceanic fish, mammals, and snakes. No two look alike, though they all share the same basic physiology, a fish-like body below the waist, while their torsos tend to retain humanoid appearances, though it’s common for them to grow scales, fins, claws, and other appendages while in the water. Some have upper halves that are nearly indistinguishable from humans, easily able to lure humans into the water, seeking to help their kin, while others are nearly monstrous, with pale unnatural skin and bald heads and strange appendages. Waterfolk must shift when fully submerged in water, but are able to shift at will on land if they desire. They are able to willfully shift back into land form when not submerged in water. (showers and rain do not count)
Increased Eyesight: Waterfolk have exceptionally keen eyes, and they can see in both daylight and low light situations well. They can pick out the smallest details in a work of art, or the smallest mole or mark on a person’s skin. They are incredibly skilled as jewelers, sharpshooters, or other trades which require a sharp and keen eye.
Resilience: Waterfolk are strong and healthy, and their skin is often soft and full of moisture. They heal wounds via shifting their forms much like Fera, however they cannot heal wounds in this way on humanoid parts of their body that do not change form. Their skin is extremely elastic and soft, however, and they heal naturally at faster rates than humans. They are also extremely hardy against the cold, and take no issue with swimming in ice cold waters, or being out in freezing weather.
Exceptional Swimmer: Even when not submerged and in their water form, waterfolk can swim exceptionally well and are able to maneuver with frightened persons, heavy objects, or in awkward situations. They make great lifeguards, and it is believed that many of them partake in water rescue careers.
Dehydration: Waterfolk need water to survive, in any form they are in. Waterfolk must saturate themselves in water (via shower, bath, swim in a natural body of water, etc), at least once every three days, though most do so more often to retain their health and beauty. Waterfolk dehydrate easily, and their skin will start to wrinkle and sag if they make a practice of staying out of water.
Silver: Much like Fera, waterfolk are weak to silver weapons. While not inherently poisonous or harmful on contact, wounds made with silver weapons take long to heal, and cannot be healed by Waterfolk’s usual methods of healing. A fatal blow will kill one of the waterfolk.
Moonlight: While they do not succumb to ‘The Beast’ like shifters do, waterfolk are affected much in the same way that centaurs or fawns/satyr’s are, experiencing higher levels of aggression, mischief, and mood swings around the full moon.
The Thirst: While not affected by ‘The Beast’ in the typical way that Vampires or shifters are, waterfolk are affected by a thirst for blood. They do not require blood to survive, and some waterfolk go their entire lives without caving to the thirst, but they do feel a feral pull when they are exposed to blood, their predatory often shark-like natures kicking in.
Compelling Song: All waterfolk are blessed with extraordinary voices, and their voices are heard in some of the nation’s most famous operas and jazz clubs. Their music is soothing and alluring to the listener, and can, with prolonged exposure, even become addictive. While not definitively mind controlling, the song reduces the listener’s inhibitions, making them less wary of danger, and more curious about the source of the sound. This often draws listeners close to the water’s edge, where waterfolk attack to sate their thirst.
Partial Glamor: Like fae, the waterfolk can take on a type of glamor by channeling the energy of their Asparae. They are not able to glamor their entire appearances, but are able to make vain changes to their appearances, such as a change of hair color, skin color, or scale colorings. This can be done in both land and water forms.
Water Manipulation: All waterfolk are able to manipulate mostly water (this includes swamp water, salt-water, freshwater, carbonated water... your lemonade (theoretically the sugar and lemon would fall off into the glass).... as long as it's WATER. This includes water in frozen (ice) or gaseous (vapor) states. No blood, wine, gasoline, or other non-H2O liquids.) They do not require contact with the liquid, they are able to use psionic like abilities based in the brain, usually channeled out through the hands (though some are disciplined enough to do so without the manipulation of their extremities).
Healing: Once per day, waterfolk may channel the energy of their Asparae (their fish spirit) in order to heal a wound of themselves or an individual. This comes at a relative cost of exhaustion to the waterfolk, depending on the severity of the wound.
Venom: Once per scene, a waterfolk may choose to inject a paralytic venom with their bite, in order to incapacitate a victim. The venom may have varying effects on an individual depending on their race, current health state, location of the bite, or strength, and venom may only affect the localized limb, or may affect greater parts of the body (player discretion).
Aggressive Song: Once per scene, a waterfolk may alter their usual song into one of a nasty and dark tune. They are able to manipulate their voice to make loud, grating, screeching, nails-on-chalkboard-like music come from their throats, which will be overwhelming and stun anyone within 20m. This lasts for only one post round.
Share Breath: Waterfolk is able to grant the ability to breathe underwater to one other non-waterfolk being. The waterfolk must collect the kelp found in the bay where they reside, and imbue it with the energy of their Asparae. When consumed, this grants the non-waterfolk the ability to breathe underwater for the remainder of the scene. There is no limit to the amount of items the waterfolk can craft or use at one time.
Birth & Creation
Waterfolk are mammalian creatures, regardless of the origins of their Asparae, and bear children much in the same way that other mammals do. They can mate in land or water form, and while possible, they do not often mate with those outside their race, proud creatures about the purity of their bloodlines. The can to, give birth in water or on land, and this will effect the state of the child when it is born. Waterfolk children have a particularly painful time of shedding their fins, and it is uncommon for children to come to land until they have reached maturity. Waterfolk can be made via bite, similar to how shifters are, but a human must be bitten within three days before or after the full moon, by a waterfolk in their water form. It takes two weeks for the illness to run it’s course, upon which the human will begin dehydrating rapidly and must seek a source of water to submerge in, upon which they will shift into their water form for the first time. It can take turned water folk time to develop their fish-like features, however. Some slowly progress, becoming more creature-like with each change, while others never take on any fish-like features other than a tail.
Love & Bonding
Waterfolk are extremely proud creatures, and it is not often that they mate with others outside their species, though they have been known to take a possessive interest in some who walk on land. They are able to bond to each other, or other non-water folk via the use of a special song passed down through generations. A form of mental magic, the song links the minds of the two together, so they may communicate freely telepathically, and may feel the emotions of the other. Telepathic abilities will only work within 20m. Waterfolk are able to engage in this mental bond with multiple others, though the bond may fade over time if the subject does not hear the bonding song from the waterfolk regularly.
Waterfolk are immortal, but killable via traumatic means. While they do not die of old age or sickness, they can be killed with a fatal blow of a silver weapon, or by being exsanguinated or beheaded. A waterfolk that remains out of water for too long a time will dehydrate and shrivel up, and their bodies will appear to rapidly age and wither. Some Waterfolk chose this fate when they are done living, or after experiencing loss of a loved one associated with overwhelming grief.
Food, Drink, Drug, & Healing
Waterfolk’s diet consist’s mainly of raw fish, which provide them with the necessary levels of iron, mercury, and other nutrients needed to keep their bodies healthy, but they are known to eat a variety of foods. They are hungry individuals, and sometimes eat more than it appears their body weight would suggest. They also thirst for blood, though they do not require it for survival. They find a harder time at feeling the effects of alcohol and drugs than the average human, and they must partake of double that which a human may in order to feel the same effects. Many of them chew on sea sponges for their psychoactive effects on the mind, comparative to LSD.