During the third age, The Time of Folly, one group of humans was not taken in by the Demons lies and false religions. They did not succumb to the same foolishness and eventually destructive and harmful beliefs. They took council from the Verdurans, but these were sea folk, dwellers on the edge of oceans and vast lakes who made their livelihood off of the bounty of the sea or lake. And so they naturally sought a place to hide from the insanity gripping their fellow humans, and found it in the depths of watery places they knew so well. Thus they avoided the grip of the false religions fostered by demons during the third age.
Now, hundreds of years later they have developed towns and villages, which they call a haven or cay in the shallows of lakes and oceans. In the oceans Waerians have built underwater castles called Corstles, the foundations made from dead corals and the outer works from living coral. Underwater their dwellings are three dimensional, without the structure and necessity of gravity based design. Halls and passages may be vertical as often as horizontal.
They will occasionally have a small land village they call a frontage, on the shore somewhat near their haven or cay. This is to do rare business with ‘dryskins’, or ‘flatwalkers’ as they call those who spend their whole lives living on land. But even the few Waerians that work in the Frontage do not live there; they commute back to their underwater dwellings at night.
This humanoid race self adapted their human bodies to survive and live within the depths of water. Waerians can breathe water using gills low on the sides of their neck, though they also have lungs for traveling on land.
They are cold blooded giving them the ability to handle the cold water, and their skin is scaled like a fish. Waerians have webbed fingers and longer than normal wide feet to help quickly propel them when they swim. The do not have hair, but instead have a series of tentacles of varying length. Their eyes are large and rounded and their noses nearly nonexistent. Their skin is colored like the fish from which they took some of their physical attributes when they changed over from human.
Waerians are quick to distrust strangers and not only skeptical, but true unbelievers in gods. They believe in an afterlife, because they have seen it and talk to their ancestors. But the idea that some other being needs their worship is amusing to them. The revere their ancestors who have passed on to the first or second veil, but they have seen no evidence of any other more superior being.
As to the Dead ‘Gods’, they believe they existed, but they do not consider them gods, nor do they believe they would have desired their creations to worship them. They feel this is a childish and somewhat flawed human idea. To them, a more superior being would not need the worship of a lesser being. Case in point, in their opinion they are obviously more superior to humans, and yet do not need their worship or deference. They prefer to just be left alone.
Ancestral spheres are grown from a coral like substance excreted by the Waerians. They grow their spheres to create a connection between their spirit when their bodies dies and they enter the next phase of their life it the First Veil. Here they stay for some time becoming the teachers of future Waerian generations. Eventually they move on, generally when their children have grown up and are ready to pass on to the first Veil. Then there is a big celebration when they choose to make the journey, knowing that their children will be the new teachers of the races knowledge and ways.
Waerians trust their own values and the wisdom of their race. They believe that all free folk are meant to create their own destiny, and that nothing is preordained or guided. Your mistakes are you own, as are your triumphs. It is the respect of their elders that is their moral compass. Not that there aren’t evil Waerian, but when they lose the respect of their race they are simply punished when they die by the destruction of their ancestral orb. Then they cannot pass on their evil ways to new generations of Waerians. Only those who gained respect in life are allowed to teach in death.
Waerians are one of the most mysterious and misunderstood of the free races. Living in a different medium, they seldom if ever have any of the other races living within their Cay or Haven. Though their skills underwater are often sought for the building of bridges and dams, land races find them disdainful of other cultures and beliefs. But, their creation of light, strong and flexible armor based off the designs of fish scales are legendary, and sought after by all races. They are almost a closed society and do not tolerate the coming of outside ideas, and ‘missionary’ is a derogatory word in their culture. When it comes to other races coming to their underwater communities, Waerians believe in spearing first, and welcoming last.
Food and Drink
Waerians don’t drink, in fact the whole idea of consumable liquid is silly to them. They live in liquid and take it in with every breath while underwater. But good food is to die for in their minds. Recipes are like state secrets, and handed down from ancestral spirit to family only after they pass to the first veil. All their foods are prepared fresh and eaten raw, and they consider any cooked food ‘spoiled’. Indeed, the speed in which they take a live ‘catch’ or plant from capture to meal is part of their recipe and skill. They say that a meal twenty minutes past start of preparation is a stale meal.
As to liquor, since they don’t drink alcohol is abhorrent to them, like drinking chlorine would be to a human. But they indulge their minds with their own form of mild hallucinogens and inebriating foods in a social. These are often made from poisonous sea plants and creatures, where just the right amount will get the effect they want, but too much would kill you. Thus, Waerians are known for their poisons, though these are never in liquid form and are generally rubbed onto a surface and delivered by piercing weapons.
Waerians and the Fallen Heroes
When the Enchantress was rescued from the Darkhalls by her Heroes, she now understood the full danger of the demons. She sought aid from all free races. She went alone into one of the largest Havens of the Waerians and allowed them to capture her and take her before their leaders. There, protected from the water by new magic she created to breath air from water, the Enchantress fed the egos of the Waerians, praising them for their mental strength in not being taken in by the demons, and pleading for them to use those strengths to help the other weaker minded races rid themselves of the demons. But it was her convincing arguments that once the demons ruled and fed on the other races, they would eventually turn their attention on the Waerians, and if they did not help now, they were doom to fall later.
The Waerians saw her wisdom and sent their greatest warriors from all arts to join the Enchantress and her battle against the false religions of the demon pretend gods. They swore oaths of fealty to the Enchantress and would not disgrace their ancestors by doing any less than their best while amongst the other ‘lesser’ races (in their opinion). To this day, Fallen Heroes of the Enchantress who were Waerians are often the only Waerian any ‘land’ person has ever met, for only these Waerians spend much time on land and are willing to tolerate the company of dryskins.
Waerians may prefer to live underwater, but they are also fine on land. They may prefer to stay apart from the other races, but if they are Fallen Heroes they set aside those prejudices (as much as possible). The Waerians that have fought for the Enchantress in the past continue to hold to their oaths, though they may have forgotten where they came from and how those oaths were first given. They abhor the demons and their plots, and are disdainful of Morphael and his desire to change them into his slaves. Water is their love and they try to return to it, even if only briefly, each day of their lives.