Long before the birth of human civilization, the Utopian society of Atlantis existed in peace with their world. These people were masters of science, who ushered in a golden age of enlightenment that brought an end to poverty, war, and strife. As centuries passed, each new generation delved further into the secrets of creation, and their knowledge grew. Soon, nothing would be beyond their grasp. They would possess the power of the gods and bring peace to the universe!
Their zeal soon led co disaster when the planet rebelled against its former ally. In the blink of an eye, the climate changed and the very ground rolled beneath them as their home started to slip beneath the waves. Hastily, the elders of the realm marshaled their remaining power in an attempt to save their people from oblivion. It was decided that those who best represented their race would use the Atlantean’s limited interstellar capability to take to the stars. If all else failed, perhaps their seed would continue elsewhere. Those who remained behind would receive generic alteration in order to survive the coming doom by living underneath the sea.
Unfortunately, fate was not finished with the foolish people who dared co wield the divine energy. To the horror of those who were left behind, Atlantis fractured far faster than anticipated, and rioters captured the streets. Those who could, quickly completed transformation rituals and took to the surf. Their island home exploded and quickly sank to the bottom of the sea.
The Atlanteans would spend years wandering the ocean’s floor. The once-proud people became homeless nomads who fought for survival on a daily basis. Atlantis and their idyllic life on the surface was soon a fading memory. Some gave up the will to live when the misery of their situation became too much to bear. Others, who were stronger in spirit, pressed onward.
A haven of sorts finally presented itself when the great Lanara reef was discovered. Food was found here in abundance and the natural lay of the area was defensible. For the first time in what seemed to be ages, the Atlanteans dared to hope again, and they quickly adopted the reef as their home. The nightmarish exodus was over, and they vowed to wander no more. Atlantis had returned, and those who survived the cataclysm rejoiced! Lanara soon grew in splendor as undersea cowers rose from the reef. Larger fortifications soon followed. As time passed, the city thrived.
However, their flight had taken its coll on the refugee population. As the nomads adjusted to living in the reef, their leaders metro discuss ways of defending their new homeland. Ir was decided that magic would fill this void, and great arcane forces were once again set in motion Wizards toiled deep below the city as they worked to create courageous, formidable defenders. Their efforts brought forth the Knights of Lanara, who were fierce warriors char had been infused with the essence of sharks. The eldritch tampering made them immense! y strong and deadly.
The newfound champions defended the realm valiantly, but new generation grew more violent and started to resent their creators. They referred to the unaltered Atlanteans as “mere folk” because of their lesser size, and they felt they lacked true power. Unrest led to revolution, and several years later, the champions of Lanara turned on their weaker brethren. The undersea realm fell before their onslaught, and its defenders fled to safer water. Their once proud city lies in ruin and its conquerors, the descendants of the Knights of Lanara, refer co themselves as Lanarans. The “mere folk” they drove from the city are known today as merfolk. The fall of Lanara scattered the descendants of Atlantis across the globe. Some have attempted to settle on the ocean’s floor; others live the life of tribal nomads. A thankfully small number of them live as predators.
Lanarans are large, hulking, muscular creatures with powerful claws. These engines of destruction have pale white underbellies. The rest of their body is bluish-green with the areas from the forearms to the fingers and calves to the toes being darker in coloration. Lanarans see the world through emotionless, milky-white, saucer-like eyes. Their fingers, toes, and underarms have webbing that aids them in swimming.
These people live a barbaric, brutal lifestyle where weakness is not tolerated. Wounded and aged pack members are separated from their brethren and left to die. Typically, warriors are encountered in packs of four to seven members, and blue sharks often accompany them on the hunt. Trophies are important symbols of status to the Lanarans. They often proudly wear remnants of captured clothing or the hides of their victims. The fiercest warrior rules the tribe and carries a long, wicked spear into battle. Leadership can be contested at any time and is resolved by lethal combat.
Of all the merfolk subraces, the Mujiin best resemble their Atlantean ancestors. They have thin, wispy features and, at first glance, appear to be quite frail. This is hardly the case, however, as life in the sea has evolved them into a wiry, spirited people. The former masters of Lanara have pale skin, dark eyes, a11d visible gills on both sides of their neck below where their jaws are hinged. Their fingers and toes are lightly webbed, but they provide no enhancement to their swimming abilities. Small fins run from their calf muscles to their heels.
The Mujiin are well versed in the mystic arts and pass on their arcane lore to each new generation. Of all their brethren, they are the most likely to construct cities, as they wish to return to the glory of old. The seven eldest Mujiin govern the rest of their community and delegate tasks according to ability. This governing style is reminiscent of fallen Lanara’s ruling body. They prefer lightweight garments that often have shell motifs. As a rule, the Mujiin choose to parlay with those they are at odds with instead of resorting to violence to resolve problems. Typically, they travel in groups of 12 to 20, but powerful wizards have been known to walk alone.
These are only the two largest factions of Atlantean descendants. The ocean’s depths are vast enough to support many other tribes, cities, and nomadic schools. Espionage settings may see merfolk employed as undersea spies and saboteurs.
Heroes might also find themselves drawn into a conflict if plans to build a secret government installation on the ocean’s floor infringes upon the Mujiin territory or Lanaran hunting grounds. Pulp fiction campaigns could use the water breathers as a horror element when fantasy collides with known reality. Zealots may try to exterminate them while organized crime czars might have interesting uses for their unique talents. Merfolk could petition the United Nations to be recognized as a sovereign entity in real-world games.
This could have a significant impact on shipping, fishing, and travel. Players may find their characters trying to help the planet avoid a surface/undersea war if the situation is handled improperly. Super hero worlds could see merfolk as characters. They might be ambassadors from an oceanic l<kingdom, the sole survivors of their tribe, or Lanarans trying to overcome their bestial nature. Wild West settings can use the spawn of Atlantis as comic relief Such creatures would be unheard of to the locals. Those who claim to have seen one might be looked upon as being a bit daft. Add to the humor by having the players’ characters encounter the spawn of Atlantis when no one else is around.
Reflexes 3D: brawling 4D, dodge 3D+2, melee combat 5D+ l
Physique 5 D ( + 3): swimming 6D, stamina 6D+2
Perception 1 D
Presence 2D: animal handling 20+2, intimidate 3D
Strength Damage: 30 (+3)
Fate Points: 1
Character Points: 3
Body Points: 25
Wound levels: 3
Disadvantages: Illiterate (R1); Quirk (R3), always attack non-Lanarans when given the opportunity
Advantages: Size: Large (R1), scale value 3
Special Abilities: Combat Sense (RI), surprise penalties reduced by 2; Increased Attribute: Physique (R3), +3 to related totals, including damage resistance; Ultravision (R1), negates up to 2 points of modifiers for dim or dark conditions; Water Breathing (RI)
Equipment: spear (damage +2D)
Physique 2D: swimming 2D+ 1
Knowledge 4D: scholar 5D
Perception 3D: search 4D
Presence 3D: willpower 4D
Magic 30: alteration 40, conjuration 5D
Strength Damage: 10
Fate Points: 1
Character Points: 3
Body Points: 16
Wound levels: 3
Disadvantages: Bad Luck (R2); Devotion (R3), pacifism; Quirk (R3) dire fear of the Lanarans
Special Abilities: Attack Resistance: Extranormal (R1), +1D to damage resistance rolls against related attacks; Ultravision (R1), negates up to 2 points of modifiers for dim or dark conditions; Immunity (R1), +1D to related rolls to resist illnesses and ingested poisons; Water Breathing (RI)
Equipment: spell components