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Posts tagged au: merfolk:

mermay day 3+4

size comparisons between my mer

mermay day 1+2

big papa syd + baby lucrece

in my au the merfolk differ in size depending on their "other half," so you get Absolute Units like orcas and smol bois like uh most fish

i spent too much time on this but i made a fake wikipedia page for my merfolk au:


just a shark boi hanging out in the water

just two merfolk looking up at some waterfalls

zoom on the mer:

this is lucrece, cecil's first (and only) kid and honestly quite a handful to deal with. they hate the cold and spend most of their time curled up around their Big Orca Dad's neck like a shiny mer necklace. you can blame them for shoal circadia being late to arrive in their summer arctic grounds and setting all the events in motion

this is sydney, an orca mer

he's a large boi (~23 ft long!!!) and a very good hunter. he catches extra fish for frederick when he and his shoal are in the arctic for the summer. while he's very charismatic, most other mer are suspicious of him for being a warmblood.

he's one of the few mer that speak "dry-lander," but somehow he talks like a mix between a pirate and a new yorker

this is frederick, an albino leafy seadragon mer

his home shoal didn't want him because he's not highly pigmented like everyone else, and after a series of highly unfortunate events, he ended up in the arctic. he can't leave because he's Bad at swimming so now he farms clams and relies on the charity of his orca friend and his human boo

this is cecil, valentin's son. he got tired of the isolationist/traditionalist ways of his homewater and eloped with a big orca named syd to form their own shoal.

he is a very critical and sassy boy and he hates it when people value him only for his appearance. he also really hates the divide between the "warmbloods" and the "coldbloods" (think predator/prey relationship in zootopia)

this is valentin, a butterfly koi mer

he's a kind Old Man and a well-respected community leader in a koi-only lagoon. he has a son, cecil, but he hasn't seen the kid in years after cecil eloped with an orca mer. his One Big Regret is pushing cecil away, but he has no idea where his son is or where to find him

synclair is actually a selkie, and has been living on land for about seven years (because humans have been fucking up the oceans)

he eventually got very homesick and booked a vacation to a remote coastal town, and now he doesn't want to leave

this is vyviana, a whale shark. she's a very motherly type who will go out of her way to free fish (or other mer) tangled in nets or take care of abandoned shoalings. she's a part of an all-female shoal and acts as their healer. she can't swim too well because of a genetic defect, but she doesn't let that get in her way.

kay is ilya’s oldest son and a great white shark mer

his dad thinks he's dead, but he was out exploring when the Deadly Incident happened. now he’s swimming getting into fights while he finds his dad.

kay is small for his age because his family didn’t have the chance to teach him Valuable Life Skills and no other shoals wanted to take in a shark boy. he doesn’t mind tho because he’s a scrappy boi and it lets him move faster/get in more pot shots

ilya, sometimes called the Maneater by the other mer, is a great white shark mer

ilya hates the drylanders – they killed his family on two separate occasions and now he has a deep-seated grudge against them. every time he comes across a lone swimmer by the shore or an unprotected diver, he’ll drag them down into the depths and sometimes even eat them

he has a lot of tattoos made of squid ink and wears jewelery made of human and fish bones

The Merfolk of ‘The Fjords’

The Fjords is a merfolk AU I’ve been working on and this post is about the merfolk's physiology/culture

In this world, the merfolk (I'm just going to call them mer for short) vary in size depending on mix (think what the lower half of the mer is). Whale mer are much larger than carp mer, but even the smallest mer are at least human-sized.

They communicate with each other through sound and gestures. Private conversations are generally held using gestures/body language, while long-distance, “open” communication occur using sound waves.

Mer can be classified into 2 subcategories: warmblooded and coldblooded.

  • Warmblooded mer are endothermic and include mixes like whales, sharks, and tuna. They’re some of the best hunters in the sea since they’re not as affected by ambient temperatures. They comprise about ~10-15% of the population and have a largely predator-based hunting subculture. Most warmbloods mer migrate between arctic and tropical regions throughout the year.
  • Coldblooded mer are ectothermic and include mixes like mantas, carp, and salmon. They make up the vast majority of the mer population and have more of a hunter-gatherer-based subculture. Most coldbloods live in tropical or temperate areas and tend to settle in one place for most of their lives.

The warmbloods and coldbloods have a strained relationship, as warmbloods have historically hunted coldbloods during times of low food availability. Warmbloods are viewed with suspicion by coldbloods, and they generally live in shoals with other warmbloods. Intermingling between warmbloods and coldbloods does happen but is often frowned upon.

Mer live in pseudo-familial units called shoals. Shoals are similar to dolphin pods and comprise of the shoal leader, their mate(s) (called shoalmates), and their children (called shoalings). Each shoal has its own sigil/symbol that can be displayed on accessories/clothing or used to mark territory.

  • Shoal leaders are expected to catch all the fish that their shoalmates require, so shoal size is limited only by the ability of the shoal leader. Shoalmates and shoalings can help out with the fishing but are not expected to contribute.
  • Shoalmates are free to do whatever interests them. The addition of a new shoalmate must be agreed upon by all members of the shoal. Rarely, a shoalmate will leave one shoal for another.
  • Shoalings are cared for even into adulthood, until they have chosen one of three options for their future: leave their home shoal to set up a new shoal, join another shoal as a shoalmate, or stay and inherit the shoal. Only one (sometimes two) shoalings are allowed to inherit the shoal.

Individual mer can have one to several mates, depending on how attractive others find them. Mer attractiveness is measured in two ways – their fish-hunting ability and their pattern. How important these two traits are depends on the individual doing the judging and the individual being judged.

  • Fishing ability: strong fishers are highly attractive, as that means they can provide a steady source of food for their mates and children. This trait matters more for potential/current shoal leaders than someone looking to become a shoalmate.
  • Pattern/color: vibrant/unique patterns are highly attractive while dull/common patterns are considered a potential negative. Colorless/albinos in mixes that normally have color are shunned. This trait matters more for potential shoalmates.

Courtship is usually initiated by the “fisher” bringing a potential mate gifts of fish and rare trinkets, like pearls or an old pocketwatch from a shipwreck. Interested mates will reciprocate with a trinket of their own. Nonmigrating shoals will often have a space to display all their trinkets, while migrating shoals will carry incorporate their trinkets into their accessories.