Mer are the underwater denizens of Riariti, occupying oceans and lakes around the world. They're strongly tied to Elves, with whom they live in harmony and have strong trade relations. They're one of the many "Bonus" races that can be made available to Players during character creation depending on information gathered by the headset, and are capable of hybridizing with other races. Their main stat is "Strength".
Mer are all similar in the fact that their lower halves (and often upper halves) resemble some form of sea creature. They all sport sets of gills on their sides, and freckled skin where there isn't scales. They tend to range from slim to muscled, very few of them sporting any body fat. They're athletic creatures by necessity and usually have some form of muscle tone, even if very little - much of their strength is found in their abdomen and tails. Most of them have human-like faces, most of them lacking noses entirely - hybrids can have noses, but most don't.
Their hair can be any color, but natural colors are more common. Most common are white/silver, red, brown, black, and pale blue. Their eyes can be literally any color, with no particular hue being more common than the next.
Their skin tone often matches the types of colors seen on fish most similar to them - Peix, for example, would commonly have grey, black, brown, or blue skin, much like the sharks they resemble.
Excluding the Peix, most Mer have long hair, but it isn't unheard of or completely uncommon for them to have shorter hair.
Anyone with any Mer blood will have glowing spots marking their body like freckles, most obvious in the dark, that match their aura color.
Mer are only slightly sexually dimorphous in appearance, with females having only a little bit more of a curve to them than usual, and fatty pads on their chest vaguely resembling small breasts. They don't actually have nipples or bellybuttons, neither male nor female, as they don't give live birth - save the Hiu, though their children are born able to digest and eat fish as per usual so while they DO have bellybuttons, they don't have nipples.
The mer culture is a lively one; they're split into 'clans' of sorts, each one ruled by it's own long-since-elected royal bloodline. They're all very peaceful with eachother for the most part, seeing as Mer all consider eachother to be part of a larger network of family and brotherhood. Loyalty is highly regarded and you can more or less take a Mer at their word.
Most clans try to live completely off of the environment around them, preferring not to drag in materials from the surface or ruin the ecosystem with their constructs and lifestyles. There are exceptions to this, but they're few. Most 'buildings' are dug into the sides of trenches or built up out of natural resources like coral or sandstone. These structures are usually shaped using magic, but Mer will always try to find naturally-occuring structures before resorting to those types of measures.
They tend to keep their villages brightly lit and decorated, making good use of the natural color and beauty of the surrounding anemones, plants, and sponges. The lighting is usually produced with magic, though glowing crystals are also common.
Mer are capable of taking on a bipedal form, but it's usually a painful process and avoided if possible. The ritual to do so can only be performed by a Mer once every month. In other words, they have to spend an entire month above water, but at the end of said month they can go back into the water, and can't repeat the process for another month.
Mer first names, unsurprisingly, usually have to do with things in the ocean or lakes. They're usually short. Their last names are often a color combined with a type of shell or underwater plant.
There are many different varieties of Mer, the following are just a small set of examples. Peix are the least-humanoid type of Mer, sporting Shark-like tails. They're the largest variety, reaching up to an impressive 13 feet in length from the top of their head to the end of their tail. They also tend to be the largest in muscle mass, priding themselves on their athletics. Their skin is almost rubbery in texture, and usually consists of solid blues, greys, and whites. Less common colors are black and silver. Most of them are bald, but occasionally one with hair can be spotted. They have flat faces that lack noses, as well as narrowed eyes and lipless mouths. Their torsos are fairly humanoid in shape, as well as their arms, though they do have dorsal fins along their spines. They're the only type of Mer that are prone to unruly behaviour, and not all of them are friendly. They're rowdy in nature and hunt for sport, unlike the other Mer who only hunt for survival. They're very powerful swimmers and have very sharp teeth.
Okhorae are the least common type of Mer; they have humanoid torsos, heads, arms, and faces. Their lower halves resemble those of an octopus, with eight tentacles. They're not very fast swimmers, but they tend to be quite strong. They have a calmer nature than the rest of the Mer, and make excellent mentors and political figures. They're more nomadic than the other Mer as well; you won't find a whole village of them, but you may find a few of them in a village of Samaki or Hiu, whom they get along with better than the Peix.
Samaki are the most common type of mer, resembling merfolk from legends. Their fins and tails usually liken to some type of fish, but they're vastly dynamic. The scales and fins can be any color, pattern, and length. Their fingers are usually webbed and they're the least likely of the Mer to be heavily muscular. Some of them have scales growing along parts of their body besides the tails, but it isn't necessarily applicable to all of them. Their hair and eyes can be any color, just like their tails. They're the liveliest type of Mer, deeply enjoying song and celebration. They're very hospitable and welcoming, as well as the most respectful.
Hiu are the second-most common type of mer, resembling the Samaki closely. However, their lower halves are less like regular fish and more like those of Dolphins or porpoises. Their fingers also aren't as webbed, some of them even lacking the webbing entirely. Their upper halves have rubbery skin whose color matches their tail. They have sharper canines and stronger physiques than the Samaki. They get along well with the Samaki due to their similar natures, though the Hiu are more sensible and prefer for their guests to prove themselves before allowing them into their villages and homes. Once someone has proved themselves, though, the Hiu are very loyal and accomodating.
There are many different abilities/flaws tied to Mer, the following are just a small set of examples.
Faint glow - The Individual gives off a faint glow from their spots. The light they generate is not enough to illuminate anything other than themselves, and is much easier to see in the dark. The glow is brighter the healthier they are, a person in low health would have a very faint glow. +5% to vision limiting percentages, -50% to stealth.
Swift Swim - Movement speed increased by 75% in the water.(only applies to bipedal form, seeing as their normal forms are required to be in water for any type of efficient movement.)
Gills - Can breath underwater, regardless of form.
Waterskin - 40% chance to absorb Water element magic and turn it into mana or health.
Natural Fisher (Mandatory for Peix) -Able to spot fish even in the murkiest of water. Gain a bonus to fishing abilities, increasing capture rate and size regardless of the pole used. Gain +10% bonuses to Agility and Dexterity for 3 hours when the last meal eaten contained fish.
Blood Madness (Unique to Peix)- Increases chance of Blood Frenzy status regardless of injury so long as someone (enemy or ally) is injured within area of scent (the maximum radius the Character can pick scents up from).
Perfect Pitch (Unique to Hiu) - Able to distinguish subtleties of sounds that most miss, it is difficult for those of lower levels to sneak attack one with this ability. Also permits the user to navigate by sound alone.
Goggle eyes- Even in bipedal form, their vision is not blurred or impaired underwater. +10% resistance to vision impairing ailments.