In the chill blue waters of the briny deep can be found many horrors as well as wonders. Bloodseekers fall into the former category. While it is fairly certain that they are related to the sahuagin, the bloodseekers are a race in their own right, the solitary sharkfolk patrolling the endless waves as their instinct directs. There are rumors that the sharkfolk originated in the depths of the river Styx, and were stranded on the Prime Material Plane many eons past by the tail end of the same flood that pushed the surf riders onto Therafim, and forced to adapt, but nothing can be said about this for certain because of the solitary nature of the bloodseekers and their unwillingness to share details about their ways with non-bloodseekers. Despite their terrifying appearance, bloodseekers are not a malicious people. Rather, they are an instinctive one, given over to primitive impulses as old as the sea itself, with a thin veneer of rational intelligence to give their actions some stability.
As a rule bloodseekers are astonishingly methodical in their manner of behavior. Their actions are guided by an instinctive certainty that carries over into almost everything they do. If a bloodseeker decides to do something, then that is what the bloodseeker will do, so long as it is possible, with no remorse, and no regrets. The sharkfolk also live for the thrill of bloodshed. This can be the challenge of the hunt or the chaos of combat, both feeling about the same for a bloodseeker, so long as they have the chance to scent blood in the water or air around them, and to sink their jaws into something that spurts hot and red.
Bloodseekers are humanoid sharks. They can take their general appearance from just about any of the many dangerous, sharp-toothed shark species in the water, the most common being makos, hammerheads, bull sharks, great whites and tiger sharks, though a host of others are equally possible. A bloodseeker can range in height from a lithe 4 feet to a truly massive 8 feet tall, with a prominent dorsal fin, large webbed hands and feet, dark eyes as deep and black as the lightless depths of the sea itself, and a set of jaws that are the stuff of nightmares.
The reaction that comes most easily to those who meet a bloodseeker is stark, primal terror. Because of this, bloodseekers are not a very popular race. For their own part, the bloodseekers could not care less, preferring lives of near-solitude. It is not uncommon for bloodseekers to hire themselves out as mercenaries to aquatic and maritime communities in need of protection, or to join pirate crews, but these are usually the limits of their interactions with other races. Surprisingly, though they are related to the sahuagin, and sahuagin do not mind the presence of bloodseekers, and can interbreed with them, bloodseekers are indifferent towards the sahuagin, regarding them as troublemakers that disturb the placid calm of the sea, making it harder to hunt.
The nomadic lifestyle of bloodseekers is highly demanding, and often takes most of a bloodseeker’s time and efforts, just trying to stay alive in the cold reaches of the endless sea. Most bloodseekers are also relatively solitary, though a few might form small bands for mutual protection, and this creates difficulties in forming a party, as does the preference for underwater actions that attends a bloodseekers life. However, bloodseekers might be convinced to engage in adventuring if they owe their life to another member of a party, or if they can be convinced of the greater opportunity for bloodshed and savage combat that comes with the adventuring lifestyle, coupled with the added likelihood of surviving that bloodshed that comes with cooperating with a group. Bloodseekers that are convinced to lend their aid to the crews of various ships are also known to take to surface life reasonably well, some of them becoming more than decent sailors and pirates.
Note: Bloodseekers can take Scent, the extraordinary ability, as a racial feat, without needing any further requirements. This Scent ability works equally well both above and below water.
In the little-peopled lands of the frigid north and south of Therafim live the people called "finfeet" by outsiders, or sealfolk. They are known for living in tribal rookeries along the coasts of the icy waters of those lands, keeping to close-knit extended families, usually consisting of a tribal chief and his wives, and their children. Finfeet are known for having many strange tribal secrets that come from their close associations with the sea, and which they share with no outsider, and whole tribes are known to vanish into the great waters for months at a time, living out on the open waters, before returning to the land once more.
On first meeting finfeet, the sealfolk seem dour and reserved, keeping to themselves and not sharing much information. However, once a tribe has learned to trust an outsider, then their true natures becomes apparent. Their healthy distrust built up over time by raiders, leading to a state of quiet defensiveness, finfeet are actually highly gregarious and boisterous once they are among those that they trust, and often playful and fun-loving. The males of the species tend to be rather aggressive, feeling a need to prove their worth against other males and other races, but the females tend to be very warm and accepting, and work to keep their males in line.
Taking their names from their obviously webbed, somwhat elongated feet, finfeet look much like seals, sea lions, and walruses in a humanoid form, except that they are quite a bit less awkward on land, though this means that they sacrifice some of the unerring grace underwater that their animal relatives have. Their bodies still tend to be roughly torpedo-shaped, and in colder waters most finfeet also have a healthy layer of blubber, though this tends to give them a sleek appearance, rather than a fat one.
For the most part, finfeet just want to be left alone. They are known to engage in some minor raiding between tribes, and against other cold-living people, but these are seldom lethal in nature, instead intended to steal bare essentials in the frigid regions that they frequent. Besides these mionr skirmishes, finfeet spend most of their time fishing, hunting, harvesting underwater plant life where it can be found, and occasionally whaling.
Though finfeet prefer to lead their solitary tribal lifestyles without interference, they are also noted for having a strong sense of curiosity and playfulness, which will sometimes lead young finfeet out into the open seas, to points unknown. These young wanderers often become adventurers for the sake of continuing their explorations, while keeping to the comfort of a close-knit, familiar group that is so like their home tribes.
The lutrin are a truly blessed people, though they are also prone to some of the worst tragedies, due to their innocent natures. Filled with a lust for life, and a freespirited nature, lutrin seldom leave the tropical island paradises and secluded coastal regions where they make their homes. While they are capable of mounting highly efficient defenses of their homes and lives, and are very skilled hunters, the lutrin tend to prefer to live life as each day comes, enjoying what comes their way as much as is possible. A rare few lutrin find themselves drawn to the outside world through insatiable curiousity, while others are taken as slaves, though most of these eventually escape. These lutrin have learned to adapt to the outside world, one way or another, and have the wisdom of experience to temper their native exhuberences.
One would be hard-pressed to find a race more trusting, accepting, and cheerful than the lutrin. Lutrin are a loving people, curious and full of a love for life that is seldom found anywhere on the Prime Material Plane. Visitors among the lutrin are accepted with open arms, and then engaged with extensive questioning and curious observation. Lutrin who live among other races quickly learn to curb their credulous trust, but few indeed are the lutrin who ever lose their cultural gregariousness and racial hyperactivity.
Standing between four and six feet tall, the otterlike lutrin are lithe and well-built, seemingly made for aquatic life thanks to their strong, rudderlike tails, webbed hands and feat, and thick, oily, waterproof fur which comes in shades of brown ranging from a light tan to almost black, with the underbelly usually being a lighter color. Lutrin often use extensive body painting as their major form of decoration, and they prefer to wear as little else as possible, due to their preference for an amphibious lifestyle, where clothing would only get in the way.
Because of their outlook and the isolated nature of their homeland, lutrin do their best to get along with just about everybody, and have a hard time understanding the nature of evil, or that there might actually be evil races at all. If a race, however vile under normal circumstances, does not threaten the lutrin directly, then the lutrin automatically consider that race to be a friendly one, and react accordingly. Lutrin are not foolish, though, and while they are a trusting people by nature, if given good reason to fear or distrust a group or class of outsiders (such as ships flags identifying them as slavers) then they take steps to avoid or neutralize these threats, though flight is the preferable option in most cases. Slavers are actually the greatest threat to the lutrin, because of their trusting natures, and races and nations who engage in this practice, especially those who take lutrin as slaves, are some of the few groups that can draw down the fury of the lutrin on their heads, culminating in full tribal warfare, with word spread as far as messengers can swim that this race or group must be wiped out for the sake of freedom, peace and happiness, in a battle to the death. Another exception to the normally peaceful nature of the lutrin is their hatred of undead, which they regard as an abomination to the natural order that must be corrected at all costs.
Lutrin do not generally adventure not so much because they are not interested in adventuring as because they live so far away from everybody else. Lutrin seeking to sate their curiosity about the world, usually younger lutrin who have no responsibilities to family or tribe, do occasionally take passage aboard ships passing through their tropical archipelagoes or even build their own seagoing craft, or else are forced into service by press gangs or slavers seeking to fill quotas. Once they discover the rest of the world, lutrin are quickly taken up with the idea of exploration and adventure, and most greatly enjoy life of the open road, with new discoveries around every corner.
A strange race, as befitting their racial name, the paradoxus live in small, loosely-organized family units, though they are always eager to let outsiders into their groups.
Hedonistic in the extreme, the paradoxus are almost always willing to try something new and different. This has led them to tend to be rather reckless at times, especially when their experimentation leads them into intellectual realms. It is widely thought that creatures such as the first duckbunnies and owlbears are the result of magically-inclined paradoxus, as an example of their eccentricity and lack of restraint. Sensuality is also a large part of a paradoxus' personality, though they tend to be quite embarrassed about bringing the subject up with other races. Once the ice is broken, however, paradoxus can be wild party animals.
With webbed feet and a tail similar to those of a bucktoothed builder (see "Rodents and Lapids of Note"), a fleshy, flexible beak like that of a duck, and a body similar to that of a lutrin, besides their laying of eggs despite being mammals, the paradoxus are a strange-looking race to say the least.
Strange as they are, the paradoxus are a friendly race, and have the odd distinction of being able to interbreed with any other mammalian race, the offspring of these unions almost always being more pureblooded paradoxus, regardless of whether it is the mother or the father who is the paradoxus in the lineage. Because of this, they do their best to get along with all other races, seeing them as a part of their extended families, and few races, even the most evil of them, prey on the paradoxus.
While adventuring is often considered to be too hard work for this race, some are willing to risk it for the sake of the interesting experiences it might bring, and the greater opportunities for thrill-seeking.
Born from the waters of Oceanus itself, if legend is to be believed, the people known as surf riders were swept onto the Prime Material Plane in the distant past by an unfortunate and unexpected flooding of the Celestial River that pushed them through a portal onto Therafim. They arrived shortly before the sharklike bloodseekers, and the two races have been enemies every since.
Appearing much like dolphins and the small whales (such as belugas and orcas), surf riders are about as cheerful and playful and intelligent as might be expected. They are most like the lutrin in temperament, though they are somewhat more serious and wise than the often-frivolous lutrin, and can be quite fierce in defending their loved ones. To surf riders, one's family and friends are more important than anything else in the world, though it makes perfect sense to try and keep the rest of the world a nice place for your family and friends, as well as yourself. A study in contrasts, surf riders are like the upper reaches of the sea itself, with brief stormy periods, near-constant playful motion, and an eagerness to enjoy life to the fullest while it lasts.
Surf riders have a fair amount of variation in their basic appearances, mostly thanks to the interesting offspring that have resulted from their attractions to other races. Because of this, while all surf riders have the basic general appearance of a small cetacean's smooth skin, blowhole, webbed appendages, and beaklike nose, the exact specifics can vary to a remarkable degree. Thus, it is perfectly possible to meet a surf rider with a very humanlike head and no tail, or a very dolphin- or whale-like head and horizontal-facing tail, or almost any variation in between. Generally, surf riders vary in size between six and seven feet, with a very rare few reaching close to eight feet tall.
About Surf Riders:
Living almost completely at sea, with only brief trips onto land, surf riders are used to being in a state of almost constant danger, and to relying on those that they love. This is also why they are so happy, because they have learned to squeeze all the fun out of their lives that is possible, the freedom of the open ocean the only place where they can achieve this ultimate ideal. A rare few surf riders will find similar groups among land dwellers, and they tend to be fiercely loyal to any such friends, even to the point of leaving the waters so as to better help and aid their landlocked allies and adopted family.