Appearance and Behaviour: The Selkies of Rebma are close to their counterparts in folklore; they are an aquatic race of shapeshifters, who can transform themselves between human and seal forms. They are known for taking lovers and even spouses from surface dwellers, with a greater frequency than the noble Rebmans. While the noble Rebmans take surface spouses to keep their bloodlines diverse, the Selkies seem to do it for any number of reasons, some of them understandable, some not. Selkie blood can lurk in a genepool without physical manifestation, skipping one or more generations, before suddenly popping up in the next.
Selkies are mischievous creatures, fond of play in either form, and appear to be friendly and accepting of all sentient races above and below the waves. Whether any given Selkie is truly as trusting and good-natured as she or he seems, with those big shiny innocent eyes and that charming perma-smile, is up to the individual. The default would be a flippant, facetious, or deceptive inward nature. They are restless and not given to settling down in one place, or mating for life. They even prefer frequent (or constant) snacking to sit-down meals. The Throne makes use of these slippery qualities by employing Selkies as border explorers and spies, where their vagabond nature and curiosity is a help rather than a hindrance.
Habitat: The Selkies claim no region as their own; they can be found throughout the realm. If they have dedicated bloodlines or a hierarchy of leadership, they apparently feel no need to advertise the specifics. Essentially, they like to mingle. They're minglers.
Statistics: Despite their high visibility amongst Rebman races, theirs is a relatively small population, recorded at approximately 15,000 before the Cataclysm.
Abilities: Aside from the shifting ability, Selkies are great vertical swimmers, attaining deep dives of ~6500ft. This makes them useful for scouting and fast strikes on fixed targets. Their swiftness is on par with the Tritons, and while Dolphins are quicker, Selkies have the endurance to sustain their top speed for five times as long.
Combat: In seal-form, the Selkie does not have many options other than biting, but while in human-form, they can be as capable as any for hand-to-hand combat or weaponed.
Selkie Characters will need to keep a few things in mind:
- Shapeshifting gifts are limited to two forms; there is no free-form shapeshifting, nor is there any sort of in-between hybrid form. The character in seal-form will always be the same type of seal with the same markings. Wounds, illness, and other physical conditions are also transferable, however one form may be better able to cope than the other. Mysteriously, the character can retain clothing and other accessories previously held, between seal-form shifts.
- Selkies in seal-form have all the outward characteristics of the animal, including vocals limited to goofy barking. They are not true seals, however, and are not genetically compatible. While a Selkie may act aggrieved at the sight of a genuine sealskin blanket or food product, any suggestion that they were taken from dear ol' Grampa is very likely a deception. As land-dwellers tend to be confused by the distinction, it can be an effective sort of manipulation.
- Sea Ranger
- Court Jester
- Manipulative Seducer
- Long-distance Messenger