Everyone is familiar with mermaids, but merfolk are a surprisingly diverse group of individuals. The Karkaros in particular are merfolk that take the form of sharks.
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Please note that all Racial Tome entries are based on Ember's personal UPG and may not reflect yours. Karkaros, in this incarnation, are exclusive to Three Souls.
Previously called the 'shark variant' for merfolk, I decided to come up with a set nickname that was less wordy for the shark species I've been working with for the past decade. Karkaros is a spin on 'carcharodon carcharias', aka the great white shark!
Karkaros tend to make rather spunky companions who push their human counterparts to be more indulgent and pleasure seeking when they notice them slipping into a slump. Karkaros are much more in touch with their bestial sides, and there is a particular stigma that comes with being a shark. Many are falsely labelled as being berserkers who are bloodthirsty and impulsive. This often false stereotype has pushed a lot of Karkaros to live in their own cities away from prying eyes, as there are a lot of tensions between them and other “prey” merfolk.
Karkaros have, over time, developed their own unique culture, which can at times--to us humans--appear as being harsh or unforgiving, including territory fights, dominance displays resulting in skirmishes among males, or even rough and public mating practices.
It seems that the Karkaros, overall, are happier away from the other types of merfolk that simply don’t understand how they uniquely bond with others of their kind. There is never any expectation for outsiders to join in and adopt their way of doing things, but there is an expectation for mutual respect.
These beings are ultimately very closely linked to their predatory instincts, and much like watching a nature program on television, individuals that are more sensitive towards the cycle of life may find some of their ways a bit difficult to stomach. For this reason, Karkaros require a companion with an open mind and a willingness to understand a very different way of life.
In companionship, they bond well with people who like a good roast, or aren’t afraid to say what’s on their mind, but can also be drawn to people who are more reserved and quiet. They’ll push you to really come into your own, be unabashedly proud of who you are, conquer any shyness you might have, and aid you in becoming unafraid to take up space. They can help those who are more servile, timid, or mousy demand respect for themselves and learn to say no. Karkaros are also quite carnal in nature, as sex (platonic or otherwise) is seen as way to strengthen bonds.
HOME WORLD OR REALM
The Karkaros come from a water realm that has all kinds of underwater cities and infrastructure. There are human-like beings that live ashore, but my primary focus has been on the underwater aspects of the world. The Karkaros and merfolk in general are not super hi-tech, and because of it, their experience with human technology is very limited and something that feels a bit alien to them. Most of their technology is very much whatever they can make with their own hands. Their cities do not have highly defined architecture like we are accustomed to, and instead look much more natural. Homes are often made form coral-like structures and rock in particular. The closest example I can provide is something akin to this image here.
Karkaros believe in themselves first and foremost. While some may believe in magic and have a more spiritual approach to their craft, most Karkaros believe in only the things they are absolutely sure of: the flow of the currents and what they can do with their own two hands.
SEXUALITY AND GENDER
Karkaros have a large range of genders and sexuality, but for the most part pansexual/panromantic and similar all encompassing identities are the most prevalent sexual identity.
MARRIAGE AND REPRODUCTION
Karkaros don't have any real sense of marriage in the way we humans think of it. As for reproduction, the females of this species only become fertile once every 2-3 years, while males stay virile all year round.
Those who make their homes within the large underwater environs are not as intense in how they live their lives. They are much more used to living in close proximity to other species and plenty of other Karkaros and have learned how to adapt in order to get along with their neighbors who may not hold the same ideals and values. They are perhaps the most cushioned subtypes, leading far easier lives than the other two types of Karkaros, but they are the most socially adaptable to make up for their lack of survival skills that come with the convenience of city living.
The Karkaros that hail from the volcanic and warmer waters often live much more secluded lives and have an emphasis on community. They take care of their own, but due to their more isolated nature they can be a little xenophobic. They often fall victim to believing that Karkaros who are not a part of their immediate settlement are absolutely the combative and domineering stereotypes that Karkaros are known for. It's not very often that volcanic sharks invite other Karkaros into their carefully curated social circles, but living as a group of recluses certainly has its draw backs when it comes to the available gene pool. Because of this, the volcanic sharks have a coming of age ceremony where they must go out into the open oceans to live for at least a year's time and attempt to make new connections and bring back fresh blood to who align with volcanic values. For the volcanoes with less room to spare, part of their justice system when people break rules is banishing fellow Karkaros to life beyond the safety of their protected homes.
OPEN OCEAN NOMADS
Whatever "laws" or codes of conduct that city dwellers and those that live in the waters of the volcanic region follow, the open ocean nomads do not. These Karkaros follow their own wilder, freer creed that allows them do whatever they want whenever they want, and perhaps cause a little chaos along the way. They are the bulldogs of the sea, and lean towards being more aggressive an antagonistic in their approach towards others. Many of these individuals choose to swim solo, but some a shiver of sharks can gather together to increase their chances of survival against deeper and darker creature that call the oceans home. While many would like to think they are the apex predators of their home world, much like humans, they are have sorely mistaken privelledge for being top of the food chain. The sea serpents, dragons, and other deep sea monsters don't know the Karkaros view themselves in this light, and don't particularly care about their egos either. All they care about it a decent snack, of which a shiver of sharks provides plenty.
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