Wyrmshadow - Civilizations: Merus Akuai


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Merus Akuai


Long ago, the aquatic elves lived in a castle of glass and sandstone along the Southern coast of the main continent of Wyrmshadow. Thousands of years ago, these coastal elves spent as much time above the waves as below.

Merus changed all that when he severed his ties with the High Elven Court of Quae Elfien and migrated his people south, deep into the ocean, to build an empire of his own. Merus Akuai was built on the edge of a rich deposit of rare deep-earth minerals along the Southern Shoal Shelf, within the southernmost reaches of the Aega Basin. It became the central hub of the Undertides.

    Merus Akuai and the Outlying Regions
  • The City of Merus Akuai is connected to its surrounding regions by a series of magical rapid transit currents that crisscross the oceanic “sky” over the city.
  • The two northernmost outposts, Goukuul and Vil’hayle, are hotbeds of violent activity between the Aquatic Elves and the Sahuagin tribes that inhabit much of the region to the north and west of Merus Akuai
  • The Rheghen and Vostauch Provinces are heavily populated areas where the majority of the Gentry (the second-lowest run of the Merusian caste system) live and thrive. These areas are analogous to a suburb of a surface city, though they are distant enough from the main city that the upper classes of Royalty and Loyalists are not forced to commingle with the Gentry overmuch.
  • The Frahn and Sli’yall Highridges are artificial fortifications disguised as part of the natural oceanic floor, affording the city added protection from the Naga. In the year 1 YE there was a peaceful resolution to the long-standing hostilities between Merus Akuai and the Naga city of Lossarill, rendering the Highridges a moot effort and an example of the extreme Merusians were willing to go to in order to isolate themselves from even their aquatic neighbors.
  • Tidewake is a work camp for the miners who toil in The Forge, deep within the Trench of Akuai. Silas Vale, the reborn God of Death, began his quest to gain the support of the Aquatic Elves in the Liberation War. )These adventures took place in sessions 29-32 of Wyrmshadow: Broken Home).

The Undertide

Creatures & Peoples of Merus Akuai
& the Surrounding Areas.


The Aquatic Elves of Merus Akuai
  • The average Aquatic Elf stands about 4’6” tall and weighs 130-150lbs. They have greenish-gray skin and hair from coral to pearl white.
  • Merusian Elves, an offshoot mutated from time spent laboring in the trench mines, stand up to 6’ tall and weigh about 180lbs. They have bluish-gray skin and hair from dark green to dark blue.
  • Merusian Elves were the favored people of Merus, but since his passing have been viewed as substandard cousins to the Aquatic Elves. Some have even suggested that they are not elves at all, but some demi-elf creature, not unlike Merfolk.
  • In the year 4 YS, Merusian Elves were declared “untouchable” due to King Typhus Akuis’s “Decris Repuls.”
  • A civil war erupted between crown loyalists and Merusian sympathizers calling themselves the Aguillan Freedom Fighters. Princess Tsallya Jadryk, a cousin of Typhus Akuis (Tiburon), was the leader of the Aquillan Freedom Fighters.
  • In 22 YS, after a fifteen year civil war, King Typhus Akuis declared his reign forfeit and exiled himself from Merus Akuai, rescinding the Decris Repuls on Merusian Elves and handing Tsallya the crown.

The Caste System of Merus Akuai
  • Royalty – Like the societies of the surface elves, much of the power in Merus Akuai lies in the hands of the royalty. This includes not only the royal families, but those who have been granted royal title by the King. Knights, lords, barons, and counts are considered royalty regardless of bloodline.
  • Loyalists – Those who pay their taxes, improve their communities, and run the secular government are known as loyalists. They tend to be the wealthiest members of society outside the royalty. The one thing that unifies this group is their steadfast loyalty to the crown. Taxes are not collected from the Gentry or the Untouchables, but they are also not extended the same rights as the loyalists.
  • Gentry – Most of the citizens on Merus Akuai are considered to be gentry. The average merchant, laborer, or tradesman would fall into this category until he or she has amassed enough wealth to begin to pay taxes and reap the rewards of being a loyalist.
  • Untouchable – The dregs of Merus Akuai society. A Decris Repuls must be declared by the King in order for a person or persons to be considered Untouchable. Usually this dubious distinction is withheld for criminals or outsiders. However, in the year 4 YS, Typhus Akuis (Tiburon) declared that the Merusian Elves, whose complicity in the deaths of his family had been proven beyond a shadow of his doubt, should be considered untouchable. Untouchables are considered to have absolutely no rights. Murder, rape, and other crimes against Untouchables are considered permissible. The Decris Repuls on Merusian Elves has since been rescinded, though there is a growing movement to abolish the Untouchable caste distinction altogether.

Other Peoples of the Undertides
    Naga, Merfolk, Sahuagin, and other races share the oceans of Wyrmshadow:
  • Merfolk are to aquatic elves what orcs are to surface elves. Merfolk have the lower body of a fish and an upper body resembling that of an aquatic elf, but with some fundamental differences. They have exposed gills on their necks, kelp-like strands in place of hair, and larger, more reflective eyes. They live in the Stormgates, a narrow valley between the Arcun and Velnar Ridges that stretch over a hundred miles to the west of Merus Akuai. Their society is tribal and primitive, and they are significantly less intelligent than other underwater peoples.
  • Naga are the highly intelligent cousins of the Merfolk. These exotic folk have, through selective breeding, attained physical attributes so varied that no two Naga look exactly alike. However, they are characteristically larger and more lithe than their primitive Merfolk kin. They tend to have long serpent-like lower bodies and muscular humanoid upper bodies. They are considered by some (certainly by themselves) to be the most attractive of all the underwater peoples. They have a massive city called Losarrill far to the east of Merus Akuai, near the island nation of Idrahaal. They have a thriving mercantile group, called the Gylverin, that trade actively with the other underwater peoples. There are naga traders within the city of Merus Akuai, and they are treated like Royalty out of diplomatic respect for their kind. However, they have open trade with the Sahuagin as well, which at times strains their relations with the aquatic elves and their allies.
  • Sahuagin are considered the pirates of the undersea. They are a marauding band of barbaric nomads, moving from area to area, never settling for too long, always searching for new conquests. “They value the hunt more than the prize,” said Merus of these brutal people. They start wars just to see them fought. Sahuagin are humanoids about 8’tall with features of fish, amphibians, and even crustaceans. They, like the Naga, vary heavily in appearance and physical prowess from one to the next. They are considered a kill-on-sight enemy of the aquatic elves due to their repeated attempts to invade the city and it’s neighboring villages. They trade openly with the Naga, who claim to understand the spirit of the Sahuagin. They are every bit as intelligent as the aquatic elves, though their actions may lead one to believe otherwise.

The Creatures of the Undertide
    Nereid
  • There were seven Greater Dragons who, for one reason or another, decided to remain on Wyrmshadow, forsaking the migration to Draconia. Rubinacht and Solareigne, Caerdwin’s Red father and Gold mother respectfully, were two such Greater Dragons who paid heavily for their decision.
  • Nereid was an ancient Water Dragon who chose to stay and live out her remaining days beneath the waves of the Undertide.
  • Nereid lived in a massive trench to the south of Merus Akuai. She had been known to take aquatic elven form occasionally and mingle with the Gentry. It was even rumored that once, about 600 years ago, she married a knight and thus, technically, is a member of the Royalty.
  • However, in recent times the Draconic Curse began to take a toll on Nereid. Her decision to remain while her kin fled to the safety of Draconia meant that she was aging and dying at an alarming rate for a dragon.
  • Nereid was revealed to have been the handmaiden that helped to raise King Typhus Akuis (Tiberon). She allied herself with Silas Vale and aided him in defending Merus Akuai from the Kraken, at the expense of her own life.
    The Kraken
  • The Kraken is known as the Scourge of the Seas for a reason. It destroys everything in it’s path. An aberration of demonic origins, legend has it that Asmous, Ruler of Infernia, had the creature unleashed during the first Demonic Invasion a hundred centuries ago.
  • The same legends say that the Kraken is absolutely incapable of dying, which it’s incredibly long lifespan would seem to support. A terrifyingly colossal creature the size of a small city, the Kraken is death incarnate beneath the waves and above.
  • It is thought to be intelligent but wracked with insanity. It moves very slowly, but every attempt to destroy it throughout the ages has failed. The Kraken is the longest lived creature in the world for a reason. If even a minute particle of living flesh escapes destruction, a new body is created, stronger than ever, mere days later.
  • The Kraken has a single weakness which, while not fatal, can cause it to make a retreat. Nereid, the guardian dragon of Merus Akuai, may be the last to know of this weakness, and of the creature’s familial connection with a similar demonic weapon said to be responsible for the uprooting of the Great Tree at Nas’Nos and the collapse of the Phoenix Empire: Oblivion.
  • Testament’s ultimate weapon against the Phoenix King may indeed be based largely upon the dubious success of Lord Asmous’s previous weapon, the deadly and horrifying Kraken, Scourge of the Seas.
  • Silas Vale used the Runometric “Anti-Life Equation” to eradicate the Kraken, essentially erasing the creature from existence. Doing so nearly destroyed the God of Death as well.

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Wyrmshadow - Civilizations: Merus Akuai

Wyrmshadow Campaign Setting Duskreign