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Selkies – RMSS/RMFRP

Overview: Selkies are a gentle folk who appear to be Grey Seals but have the ability to take human form by casting off their seal skins. They are also known as Silkies, Selchies, or Roanes.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Build: In seal form, Selkies resemble Grey Seals. The males are much larger than the females, often weighing up to three times as much.

In seal form, males range from 375 pounds up to 880 pounds. Females range from 220 pounds up to 572 pounds.

Selkies in human form will weigh roughly half of what they weigh in seal form. They usually appear slim and graceful when in human form, although older males will start to appear bulkier with thicker necks and shoulders and larger rounded noses. Selkies that spend a considerable amount of time in human form tend to stay near the lighter end of the scale, while the Selkies that spend most of their time in seal form are the ones that reach the larger sizes.

Coloring: In seal form, Selkies vary in appearance from being whitish with black markings to being almost black with white specks and blotches. Generally the males are darker in color than the females. Actual coloration varies considerably, all shades of gray, brown, black and silver may be found.

Pups are born white with a yellowish tint. The eyes are usually large and dark in color and are the one feature that changes very little between seal form and human form.

In human form, young Selkies usually have very white unblemished skin, as they get older the skin color darkens, again, the females are generally lighter and the males darker. The skin usually remains unblemished although there may be some light freckling that is reminiscent of the speckles and blotches on the seal skin. Hair is usually dark in color.

Endurance: In seal form Selkies can dive up to 475 feet deep and can remain underwater for up to 20 minutes at a time. In human form they have average endurance.

Selkies require 6 hours of sleep each night, have no bonus to exhaustion points and can go one day without sleep

Height: In seal form, males can grow close to ten feet long although slightly over eight feet long is more typical. Females can reach a length of seven feet. Selkies in human form will be slightly more than three quarters as tall as they are long in seal form, averaging 6’0″ for males, 5’4″ for females

Lifespan: Short, about 40-80 years

Resistance: +10 versus cold attacks

Special Abilities: Selkies appear to be Gray Seals in most respects, but have the ability to cast off their seal skins and assume human form. Selkies require the seal skin to return to their seal shape, and if this is stolen or lost they become trapped in human form. Selkies in human form appear very beautiful and almost irresistible to normal humans. They have the Intense Eyes talent, which gives them a +10 to all skills in which they interact with other people (Duping, Bribery, Interrogation, Diplomacy, Seduction, etc). Their eyes must be visible to whomever they are talking to for them to gain this bonus.

Selkies have the Nightvision talent, which allows them to see in the presence of extremely faint light. Even a tiny point of light will allow them to see normally up to 25′. They also have the Strong Lungs talent, which allows them to hold their breath for 10 seconds plus 1 minute per Constitution bonus, minimum 10 seconds in human form, minimum of 10 minutes in seal form.

GM’s may wish to allow Selkies to take the Mentalism Training Package Spell List, “Houri’s Beguilement” (Mentalism Companion, page 151) as their Adolescence Spell List and/or spend Hobby Ranks on this Spell List

CULTURE

Clothing & Decoration: In seal form, Selkies do not wear clothing and seldom wear any sort of decoration. On rare occasions they will wear a favourite necklace. If they are in human form and will be mingling with a local human population, they will adopt the clothing and styles of that population, although they tend to avoid wearing fur or skins, preferring to wear cloth garments.

Fears & Inabilities: Selkies’ natural enemies are killer whales and large sharks.

Lifestyle: Selkies prefer cold open waters for feeding, generally traveling alone or in small groups when looking for food. Their diet consists of fish, squid, octopus, and small crustaceans. They occasionally eat seabirds as well. In human form, they will eat most things that humans eat, but retain their preference for seafood and meat.

Selkies will often gather in larger groups on isolated shores to dance in the moonlight, or on sunny days may be found basking in the sun on outlying rocks, either in seal form or often in human form. If disturbed while in human form, they will quickly grab their seal skins and rush back to the safety of the sea.

Young Selkies, especially the males, often develop wanderlust, travelling great distances, exploring both the waters and nearby lands along the shores of the lands.

During this time of wandering, male Selkies are very amorous and often make expeditions ashore to court human women, particularly those unsatisfied with their current relationships. Selkie males will seldom stay with these women, preferring to return to the sea and their travels fairly quickly.

It is said that should a women wish to have an encounter with a Selkie, she should make her way to a suitable rock along the shore, then at high tide, shed seven tears into the sea. A young Selkie male will come ashore shortly, removing his seal skin and approach the woman as a handsome young man.

Usually after three to five years of wandering, Selkies will settle down, often, but not always, returning to the waters where they were born.

Selkie women do not normally seek human lovers, but occasionally a human male will obtain the seal skin of a careless Selkie. The beautiful maiden is then trapped in human form and is forced to marry her captor and bear him children. Often the Selkie or her children will eventually find the hidden seal skin and she will return to the sea.

Marriage and Family Pattern: While Selkies may have an adventurous youth, they normally eventually settle down into a monogamous relationship with another Selkie. Young are usually conceived in a four to six week period in the spring when Selkies gather in larger groups, leading up to the Midsummer’s Eve festival. Gestation lasts from ten months to a year, with most pups being born in early spring. Females usually give birth to a single pup at a time, but occasionally give birth to twins.

The offspring of Selkie and human unions are normal humans, but often have webbed hands and feet.

Religion: Informal and centered around communal celebrations, particularly in the spring. Selkies will gather in groups ranging from a dozen to close to two hundred on isolated beaches and shores on clear spring nights, courting each other and celebrating reunions with friends. This leads up to Midsummer’s Eve when many marriages are formalized (and many pups are conceived)

OTHER FACTORS

Demeanor: Gentle, impulsive, amorous, playful, and capricious.

Language: Starting Languages: Selkie (S8/W4), Sea-speech (S7/W3), Common-speech (S6/W2). Allowed Adolescence Development: Selkie (S10/W10), Common-speech (S10/W10), Sea-speech (S10/W10), Grey Elvish (S8/W8)

Prejudices: Shuikmar (Sharkmen) are mortal enemies of Selkies. Selkies may sometimes attack the boats of seal hunters, especially to avenge the death of loved ones.

Professions: All, Selkie Spell Users tend to be Mentalists as these spells can still be cast while in Seal form without penalties.

Training Packages: All

Special Skills: Everyman: Swimming, Seduction; Restricted: None

Standard Hobby Skills: Acrobatics, Play Instrument, Singing, Dancing, Read Runes, Signalling, Star-gazing, Swimming, Weather-watching, First Aid, Foraging, Tale Telling, Spell Lists, Seduction

OUTFITTING OPTIONS

Armor: None

Money: Pearls 20 sp

Weapons: Dagger, broadsword, short sword, quarterstaff, spear, cutlass, javelin, harpoon, sabre

BACKGROUND OPTIONS

Selkies get four background options.

Extra Languages: In addition to the languages listed above, High-speech (S8/W8), Elvish (S6/W6), Black-speech (S8/W8), North speech (S6/W6)

Extra Money: Pearls, coinage, gems, shells.

Special Items: All available, but usually something water proof.

Talents: All available, Selkies have 45 Talent Points

OTHER STATISTICS

Stat Bonuses:

Ag: +2
Co: +4
Me: +0
Re: +0
SD: -3
Em: +2
In: +0
Pr: +4
Qu: +2
St: +0

RR Mods:

Ess: +0
Chan: +0
Ment: +0
Poison: +0
Disease: +0

Body Development Progression: 0*6*4*2*1

Channeling Power Point Development Progression: 0*6*5*4*3

Essence Power Point Development Progression: 0*6*5*4*3

Mentalism Power Point Development Progression: 0*7*6*5*4

Soul Departure: 12 rounds

Adolescence Ranks:

Athletic * Brawn Skill Category 1
Athletic * Endurance Skill Category 2
Swimming Skill 5
Athletic * Gymnastics Skill Category 1
Awareness * Perceptions Skill Category 0
Alertness Skill 2
Awareness * Searching Skill Category 1
Body Development Skill 2
Communications Skill Category 1
Language Skills 8
Influence Skill Category 2
Seduction Skill 6
Lore * General Skill Category 3
“Own” Region Lore Skill 3
Selkie Culture Lore Skill 3
Outdoor Environmental Skill Category 5
Power Awareness Skill Category 1
Spells * Own Realm Open Lists 0
Skill in one Spell List 4
Technical Trade * General Skill Category 1
Weapon * 1 Handed Edged Skill Category 1
1 Weapon based on Culture/Race 1
Weapon * Pole Arms Skill Category 1
1 Weapon based on Culture/Race 1
Hobby Ranks 12

REFERENCES

Additional information on Gray Seals can be found on these websites:

http://www.bergen.org/Smithsonian/GreySeal/index.HTMhttp://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/OceanLiving/Facts/graysealfacts.cfm

http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/walker/pinnipedia.phocidae.halichoerus.html

Additional information and stories about Selkies can be found on these websites: http://www.orkneyjar.com/folklore/selkiefolk/index.htmlhttp://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/4611/fairyS.html#Selkies

http://www.wku.edu/~rob.harbison/kim/selkies.html

http://echoes.devin.com/selkie/selkie.html

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