From Marked wiki
The Undine are water elementals, immortal spirits of rivers, lakes, and oceans alike. They reveal an ethereal appearance, detailing various aquatic and fairy like features. They are like oracles due to their strong connection to the sea and the sky, but many who know of Undines refer to them as 'Witches of the sea'. They are soulless beings with the only way of regaining their soul, and their mortality, by falling in love with a human. Although they are an aquatic half-breed they have no dependency on the sea, and as such can live on land for all of their immortal life without any ill-effects. They do not need to eat or drink, but they have the capabilities to do so if they ever need to 'blend in'. An Undines clear blood is one the secrets to their immortality, and if drank the individual will feel the temporary benefits of slow ageing.
The top half of an Undine's body is relatively human, albeit a human body still adorned with many unique features. From directly behind their ears, and from the centre of their backs, are sharp fin-like features which aid the Undine in swimming around 200mph, and will become more streamline when an Undine wishes to achieve these speeds. Their leathery tail splits fairly high up in the centre, producing two slender tails that part alongside one another, and this allows them to swim with acute agility. The detailed markings which cover their tail and fins also produce tiger-like markings along their torso, arms, and face. Their skin and facial features are noticeably paler too, with the faintest touch of colour to it as well as nothing of a blemish or scar. In regards to their eye colour it is generally a fairly vibrant colour which adorns their soft features. Their hair grows to, for a normal human, unmanageable lengths, with it reaching sometimes up to 9ft in length. Locks of Undine hair can easily be compared to high quality silk, meaning that it is almost unbelievable to touch.
Specific Female Undine Features
Female Undines grow to a maximum of 12ft in length, and it is something unreflective of an Undine's age. A 2000 year old Undine could be 8ft in length, and another at 12ft. Their tail fins are also noticeably more slender too, The fins on their back are positioned along the centre of their spines, taking the appearance of fairy-esque wings, and a similar style can be seen on the fins behind their ears. Their hair is especially long, going to about half or more of their natural length, for example a twelve foot Undine may have hair that extends about ten feet. Generally their hair color is blonde, as the dominant color to all Undines, but variations of chocolate brown, strawberry blonde, and deep crimson red can be found. One commonality among all of them is an additional hair color that look like "streaks" going through their hair that mirror the colors of their fins: blue, green, and purple. In terms of weight, Undine are deceptively light for creatures with heavy looking tails. Their weight is completely dependent on their human height. For example, since typical height ranges for Undine women in their human form is between 5'6 and 5'10, a female's weight would be that of a small framed adult female between the weights of 120 and 145 lb.
Specific Male Undine Features
Male Undines grow to a maximum of 15ft in length, and like the females it is something unreflective of an Undines age. They are physically more broader than female Undine, with muscular define features along their torso and arms. Their tail fins are longer and thicker too, but are equally as agile to a female Undine in terms of swimming. The fins on their back are positioned a little higher on their backs, appearing more like shark fins reducing in size as it trails down the spine. For males, their hair isn't as long as their female counterparts, mostly kept at around shoulder length but still very soft and silky to the touch. Their hair color is predominately light, corn blonde or even silver and white. Unlike the females, they hold no streaks in their hair. In terms of weight, Undine are deceptively light for creatures with heavy looking tails. Their weight is completely dependent on their human height. Undine males are between the height ranges of 5'9 and 6'2 with most falling closer to 5'10 and 6'0. For their weight class, it'd peg them in the medium frame of 148-178 despite how muscular this may make them look. This 'light weight' attributes strongly to their agility.
Natural Form Glamour
Considering, especially, that there are many underwater tribes swimming around in the ocean, the glamour works to hide the Undine's by giving them the appearance of oceanic life or invisibility. Generally by oceanic life, it means that the Undine's would blend into a group of animals by masquerading as a school of fish or some sort of kelp, however they're never transformed into giant underwater animals. For example, glamours wouldn't have them look like killer whales or great white sharks, but something smaller and less conspicuous. Maybe even a school of clown fish or a group of jellyfish in areas where they are logically found. In open areas of the water, sometimes the glamours work to completely hide them entirely, camouflaging them into its surroundings.
An Undine can take on the physical appearance of a human relative to whatever 'age appearance' they are currently at as a half-breed. So, if an Undine looks around twenty, then they will be able to transform into a twenty year old appearance. Their facial features, and general physical structure, do not change all that much, but obviously legs are now replaced the tail for a more average height, the fins are no longer present, and their hair becomes considerably shorter. Their eyes also become much softer, generally of a similar colour to that of their half-breed iris tone, but just a few tones less vibrant. If their hair color is considered something "unnatural", for example the white hair that some males have, the glamour will change their hair color to blonde or brown.
The physical transformation allows the Undine to create the human appearance, but their defined markings still remain over their body. Not only that, but their back fins and head fins still show as well. An Undine uses their glamour to disguise both of these.
Telepathy/Telepathic Image Location
Undines have the ability to communicate via telepathic means with other half-breeds, humans, and aquatic animals. The telepathy is limited to a thirty meter radius, which is doubled to sixty meters if they are immersed in water, and extends to ninety meters if the target of their telepathy is also in the same body of water. Up to ten individuals and/or animals at any one time can receive the same telepathic message.
The telepathic image location ability allows the Undine to send out location images into the minds of others, either a selected individual or people within a distinct radius. The images can either be faint or completely clear, but the key factor in this is that the image location will only work if an Undine has been to the location in the past, or has seen an image of it. The path to the location is also a task easily done for an Undine, so they can easily help the lost find their way. They can do this by request, or out of the kindness of their hearts if they overhear someone.
Undines can use both abilities adjacent to one another, which can assist the lost.
Ability as Swimmers
Undine's can reach a top speed of 200mph through the water, with experienced swimmers achieving 0-100mph in a mere 0.2 seconds. Their fins on their backs will become streamline to help obtain such speeds, and their tails help in making quick and accurate changes in direction. They can breath underwater for a seemingly infinite amount of time, with their enhanced hearing, taste, and eyesight allowing them to continuously keep in check with their surroundings.
Control of Water and Connection to the Water/Sky.
Their strong connection to nature allows the Undine to manipulate bodies of water, and create bodies of water from the moisture in the air. An Undine, on average, can control a volume of water around the size of a standard public swimming pool, and can do pretty much anything from defense walls or tidal waves to beautiful water features and designs, even bubbles are created for mild amusement. Their weakness with the water stems from how much they can control at the time. Unlike the Elder's, a regular Undine can only manipulate a swimming pool quantity of water. This can be especially tiring for an Undine who has to work extra hard to control water from an area that is unusually dry for them, such as Arizona or any desert, making them unable to effectively manipulate water that is difficult to collect.
Their strong connection to the water, and the sky because of the natural earths cycle, allows the Undine to known in advance if the weather is changing. It also allows them to work on a 'sixth sense' and feel when the elements are out of balance, which will usually indicate that something either good or bad is soon to happen. Although their oracle nature is reflective of this talent an Undine does not have any precognitive parts to this ability, they can only say what they are feeling. However, a Undines 'feeling' is rarely ever wrong.
They do not have physical superhuman strength or defenses, but if placed in water they can show exceptional supernatural healing abilities. Their healing abilities function only within the water and is able to heal minor flesh wounds within seconds and deeper wounds within minutes. If pulled out of the water before being fully healed, the Undines' wound will only be partially healed. The pain from the inflicted wound would numb before completely go away, though there will be a faint red mark for about a day from where it once was. Deeper, life threatening wounds take a very long time to heal and provided the Undine does not die from blood loss or trauma, it could take one to several days to fully heal. Poisons and toxins, when in the water, is immediately flushed out due to the Undines' strong connection to the water and the water naturally ability to dilute the poison.
This power is the ability to grant one, and only one, wish. The specifications of this wish is that they cannot defy the laws of nature. A person can't sprout wings and fly if they aren't Marked and they can't get rid of gravity. The wish has to be plausible and likely to happen. They also can't bring people back to life as that would fall into the defying the laws of nature. The wish is one that an Undine can give only if they fully trust the person, however, as many Undines, despite their trustful nature, have been hesitant to give up their one wish, many Undines still hold them.
Undines are highly intelligent creatures, with a seemingly infinite memory storage system. They only need to be shown a task once for it to be fully understood, and will always be able to perform a task to the best of their ability and perfect understanding. They are able to hold centuries of information and then recite it without a moments hesitation, as if the information is simply rolling off their tongues. Out of the five human senses only their sight, hearing, and taste senses are enhanced beyond human levels, with touch and scent being surprisingly below average.
Undines Curse stems from the very first Undine some 3500 years ago. A Daemos cursed unfaithful lovers with the gift of immortality, but this gift was only maintained if the Undine could prove faithful to their own kind. If an Undine were to ever fall in love with a human, and have their feelings reciprocated, they will once again become mortal and continue to age at whatever appearance they are currently at, eventually dying at an appropriate human old age. Once they fall in love and are given a normal human lifespan, they lose their powers three years afterward as their "magic" slowly dwindles before becoming entirely nonexistent. Though they still retain their half-breed status, any part of them that once made them an Undine would virtually cease to exist. No longer will they be able to use any of their abilities nor would they be able to shift into their aquatic form.
Over time the Undine have grown in numbers, but have become much less unfaithful and rebellious. Undines curse was soon taught in detail by the Elders, and it was described as a blessing as much as a curse. Mortality came as a price, and although many would not opt out of their supernatural powers, many wish to grow old peacefully with a true love. The numbers leveled out then soon decreased over time, with many of the Undine feeling that they have lived for too long, and no longer feel any benefit of existing. Love became a dominant part of the Undine's existence, as well as the option to whom they wished to love.
An Undine becomes an Elder at 1500 years, and their abilities noticeably peak at this age. When their power peaks, they gain better control over large volumes of water, with the ability to create mini whirlpools and small-scale (8-9 ft) 'rogue' waves in the ocean, as well as stronger waves as big as 12 feet. Their prediction using the weather is a lot more keen, able to sense climate shifts and sense ominous forecasts on a wider scale, for example, a natural disaster hitting a specific area closest to them. Not to confuse this with a sudden precognitive ability, this merely means that they can predict weather changes, but not see the affects of the disaster or if one person or groups of people will be strongly affected. What this is, is a more enhanced 'feeling' when the scales of balance are tipped to one side more than the other, causing a feeling of dread, though the exact point or cause of it is a mystery. Their telepathic connection also sharpens significantly with age, allowing them to bypass the thirty meter radius to ninety meters radius when the Elder is outside of the water and then by another ninety when within water and one hundred and twelve when both are in water. Considering their experience with the world after reaching such an old age (since almost all Elders by then have navigated in and out of water), their image location power is a lot broader due to experience.
Despite their immense power over the ocean, telepathy, and their weather connection, the Undine Elder still holds many of the same weaknesses as other Undine's. They are very physically weak in terms of strength and prowess, combining the fact that many, despite their power, chooses not to fight unless the whole of the tribe in which they're in is affected. An Elder is also more likely to sacrifice his wellbeing and life for the sake of the tribe in the event that they are threatened, passing the staff over towards the next member and fending off the threat.
The Elder's_Staff is in the possession of the oldest Undine in current existence. Should the Elder fall under the hands of combat or relinquish his status to another, the staff will be passed onto the next oldest member. The staff allows for greater telepathic communication, greater control over larger volumes of water, and more accurate predictions to what the weather may be trying to tell. When coupled with the staff, their powers double in strength, allowing for a 'power boost' in their power. The Elder's staff has been associated with many mythological faces, which attributes strongly to the ambiguity of the Undine.
There is no set personality for the Undine, but there a few natural traits which many have. Undine are naturally curious, kind, polite, and always willing to help. Although a few may still show rebellious tendencies many have mellowed out of the traits that the first Undines displayed. They are easily approachable most of the time, and will always help in finding locations for others if they are given a request. However, as intelligent creatures they can easily tell when an individual has negative intentions and will choose not to help them, and will defend themselves against them if necessary.
For both land and sea Undines, there is no real set location for them. Sea-Undines, famous for traveling in groups, can be found in any large quantity of water that allows them to live in peace. Large rivers and lakes house less than 1% of the Underwater community as it offers the best of both worlds for the Undine, the comfort and disguise of the water and the close proximity to the land. The only two bodies outside the ocean that the Undine have ever been found is in Lake Baikal in Southern Russia and Lake Ladoga. Despite the fact that the Undine can live in rivers, no Undine community has and can be thought of as a temporary living situation for a solitary Undine. In the ocean, the Undine are found in larger communities than their lake based brethren and are the most notoriously well known of the oceanic communities. They are difficult to pinpoint since they are always moving, as part of their nomadic nature, but most dwell within the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, often times straying to other parts of the world, though due to the cold temperatures, Undines do not venture any north than the Lower-North Atlantic or Pacific Regions.
Land-Undines are exceptionally diverse, though coinciding with their roots, they very rarely venture out of the country or continent of their creation unless they're going into the ocean. As such, the oldest Undine still reside in the Near East like Iraq or Pakistan as it was the birth of their kind. Other Land-Undine generally stay close to their countries in parts of Europe and Asia. As a result there are virtually no Undine in Australia unless they came from the sea and no Undine in the United States unless they came from the sea. Most Land-Undine can be found in Russia, Japan, India, France, Greece, and the United Kingdom
Society and Lifestyle
In terms of a societal structure the Undine do not have a concrete system in place, there is a very weak hierarchy but nothing as much as rules, laws, and punishments exist. They believe in looking out for their own, but they also believe in independence. Many will live in pairs, and a few will choose to live alone in hope for a human partner, but most choose to live like humans and become an integral part of society. Undines are close to nature in terms to their belief, finding little interest in materialistic needs, and as such enjoy living each day as it comes with no assumptions. Many will choose to live in either bustling towns or remote locations, using their glamours to assist in disguising their immortal life until they no longer have the ability to age.
Once two Undines become romantically involved it is rare for them to come apart, as if Mother Nature herself has allowed them to come together as one. Relationships with other half-breeds and/or humans are viewed differently, with the latter leading to an mortal life. The bond that an Undine shares with their child is unbreakable, and anything attempting to tear that bond apart will be dealt with accordingly... leaving nature itself to leave judgment on the actions. For a parent to actually be separated from their child is horrible for any species, but for an Undine the emotional turmoil can leave them emotionally and physically weak.
The Daemos that had created the Undine is ignored greatly in their history, with it only mentioned as having a major part with their immortal vs mortal struggle. It is almost a taboo for an Undine to mention it at all, instead choosing to refrain from drawing any attention to themselves as a half-breed race. They simply wish to live a peaceful existence, whether this is through immortality, or through mortality with the love of a human. Only a mere 1500 Undine are now known to exist, and the numbers continue to fall as more and more opt for a mortal life of growing old gracefully above living an immortal and youthful life. Birthing Undine is an option, a couple by couple choice, but not something enforced by any Undine, as reproducing for the sake of increasing numbers is not something that is taught.
Respect of Age
Although there is a clear line of respect between the Undine and their elders, age is in farct a major contributor to the respect that all Undine show to one another. One to two year differences do not count for that much, but even a minimum of five years is enough for an Undine to know that the older Undine is wiser. They feel that nature's power itself grows adjacent to their lifespan, and as such become wiser and stronger with their ability to consume and understand all fields of knowledge.
The Elders are what define any level of hierarchy within the Undine race. They are viewed with unquestionable levels of respect, and are always approached by one of their own if uncertainty has come their way. An Undine reaches the Elder status when they reach 1500 years, and this status only continues with age. A few of the elders are known to possess the Elders staff, an item which has been passed down since the first Undine were created, and it is these Elders which will be approached if anything significantly life changing, or dangerous to Earth, has become too close for comfort.
Although many Undine resign independently on land there are a few of whom choose to embrace their oceanic nature fully. Some of the Undine, of who truly loved what had become of them, took to the sea almost immediately, and broke apart in small groups. There is no set number to a group, with some being around five and others around thirty five, but each group in time came under the teachings of the oldest Undine; the Elders. The Elders words were always final, and whereas the smaller societies were absent of political laws and rules there was the understanding that the Elders were always right. It was taught that only a fool would doubt an Undine's wisdom.
Common places for Undine to live underwater;
- Marsh land
More or less anything deep enough for the Elders and the Undine to live comfortably, and out of the view of everyone else.
The Sea-Elder is the Elder who is not only the oldest Elder currently in the world, but also the one in possession of the Elder's Staff. Throughout history the title of the Sea-Elder varied until Jacob. In the beginning the Sea-Elder was like a king, highly influential and ruling over the oceanic communities with the greatest influence above a regular Elder. In hierarchical comparison, the Sea-Elder was the king and the Elders were the nobles. However, when Jacob became the new Sea-Elder, he pulled back on his influence, going back to the beginning when the Elders of the specific tribe were the 'de facto' leaders of the group due to their wisdom and influence. As it currently stands, the Sea-Elder is the final authoritative figure on matters that pertain to the entire species when it comes to large scale dangers affecting the Undine as a whole. He is sought after to handle disputes, and is the leader of any battle campaigns or volatile threats to the Undine population. He is also the sole protector of the Elder's Staff.
Undine’s have formed nomadic communities underneath the ocean’s depths, never allowing their numbers to get too big. On record, the biggest Undine ‘tribe’ is around thirty-five with the oldest being the leader who guides his fellow Undine through the perilous depths of the sea and makes decisions that are best for the entire band, normally having to do with survival.
As an aquatic nomadic group, the moment danger is present in that area of the ocean, they move on and try to find a new temporary home. Because of this fact, tracking Undine tribes are extremely difficult and even estimating how many are actually in existence is next to impossible since besides the difficulty in tracking them, when disputes occur or survival is necessary, it is logical to separate the group with the oldest member of the other group becoming the new Elder.
Each tribe has some kind of name with no definite linguistic root since the groups are so spread out around the world that the root of the name can literally be from any language. Most of the names hold some kind of aquatic meaning to them.
The Undine’s preference of shelter is based solely on the necessity of cover and protection while they sleep. That being said, they will find water areas on the ocean floor that can fit their forms or they’ll try to figure out a way to build a small make shift cloak with whatever is available to them. Those with the fortune of being around caves, corals, or other means of shelter will hide in there.
When it comes to defense, all members of the group know how to build and create a weapon, which is usually carved out of rocks found underwater or by the edges of water aquatic area they inhabit. The men are the hunters of the group, the warriors that find the food (if the desire warrants), clear paths to new grounds, and generally scouts ahead, while the women and the group Elder stay behind to protect the young children. In the event of an attack, the children hide while the able bodied adults prepare to defend themselves. Seeing as they have no territorial interest, the only form of attack would be to their lives and even then, they would much rather escape the confrontation, depending on the opponent, then face them head on. Normally, these kinds of dangers exist in areas where predatory animals run rampant and lake/river dwellers have less to worry about then their ocean-dwelling counterparts.
Travels to Land
Though it is very rare for aquatic Undine to travel up to land, there is only one exception that permits it. Every 200 years, one Undine male is chosen to travel up to land for eight months to see how the world has changed. Considering that the aquatic tribes have cut ties with the people above land and that includes their fellow Undine, they are very primitive and even a little bit naïve about the world above them. In this way, they can learn about the world above and see if there are any dangers to their way of life. Males are the only one chosen for this task, and the same male Undine is hardly ever chose twice. Usually, tribe changes, like separation, additions or growth, recycle the choices of male Undines that can go up. When they travel up to the land, they take with them a Conch Shell that holds special communication properties. This gives the Undine male the chance to check in to make aware of his safety as well what he observes on land. This shell comes in pairs and only the Elder carries them both during the times in between the 200 year span and only he carries the other one for communication when one is on land.
Rites of Passage
There are several rites of passage that are distinct to the oceanic aquatic communities of the Undine and some that are even more specified to just the gender. A basic rite of passage is the formation of a distinct weapon forged with the Undine’s own hands that is done only on their fifty-fifth year. Beforehand, every Undine is expected to learn how to wield a weapon and how to fashion a weapon though the latter is exclusively left until they reach this age and pass a test that tests their ability to fully wield a weapon underwater. Until such time they are given standard long sword weapons that are specifically designed to cut through the water, as it is much difficult to wield something properly underwater than on land. Once an Undine reaches their fifty-fifth year, they can create a weapon of their choice, which can range in style and length. When they are one-hundred, they are given the option of designing a second weapon of their choice. Considering that the underwater tribes are semi-permanent/nomadic, weapons are limited to one or two as finding materials to fashion proper weapons are hard to come by in the expanse ocean floor and they need to travel light on long trips.
These weapons are made out of a specific type of stone that is both inaccessible to humans unless they traveled deep enough and knew where to find it and exceptionally rare. This stone is called maria which is latin for ‘seas’. Normally, the hilt or handle of the blade is made of pearl with the blade made of maria. This stone, when carved out, is as sharp and strong as any manmade knife could hope to be. Maria can come in a myriad of colors from glass clear to yellowish off white, to very rich blues. It is both because of travel and rarity, that all Undines are prohibited from making more than two. Normally, Undines choose a longer weapon and then a smaller blade. Only the blade is allowed to be carved out of maria, while the rest is made out of pearl or some kind of other stone. Women generally only wield one while the males choose two. This stone is completely distinct to oceanic and sea tribes.
For the female side of the species, the women have a transitional ritual into womanhood that is marked when the female turns sixty years of age. This ritual is done on the full moon closest to the vernal equinox. Anyone turning sixty after this date waits until next year as they are not seen as ‘women’ yet even if it is just a few days after. This carries several significance. For one, it marks that the female Undine is old enough to make her own choices, which revolve around whom she can marry and if there is a separation of the group, she can choose to go with the group opposite her parents. The ritual is performed by either the Elder’s wife or, if the Elder has no such companion, that of the oldest woman in the tribe. Typical seashell headdresses and specific chants are commonly employed during this night. Another aspect helps it promote unity within the group by giving all the women and by association parents and able bodied men, something to look forward to since a major festival is held soon afterwards to welcome the ‘new women’ of the tribe.
The ‘hunting’ rite, is when they turn seventy. This passage is when they are considered the ‘warriors’ of their group and join the males in hunting parties. The hunting party leaves for several days so that the new ‘men’ of their group can locate an animal and kill it by himself. If he can survive or kill it without aid, than he has passed his test and is now welcomed as a warrior. This is usually signified by a necklace displaying the trophy of the animal he killed, which is usually a tooth or a chipped piece of the tooth of the slain animal. This normally takes several days to find appropriate ‘game’ that the hunter claims as his opponent.
Creation of the Undine
The existence of Undines are known to few, appearing more socially over 600 years ago with their origins are unclear. To the Elder Undines however their origins are very clear, and hold a lot of standing behind their ‘Undine Curse’. The true name of the Daemos that had cursed them long ago remains largely unknown, though to the Undine the Daemos is known simply as 'Ea' or 'He Whose House is the Water', leading many Undine to believe that they were initially aquatic beasts. Ea had began the Undine race some 3500 years ago.
When the tear into the human realm allowed this species into the world, bringing along with destruction precious maria stone, Ea was among the first wave. It was during his residence there that he fell in love with a human woman. However, not long afterwards, he found her unfaithful. Ea killed her and her lover, using their blood and his in mixture as a cursing catalyst for all unfaithful lovers that he came across. When mixed in with their drinks, the unfaithful's blood mingled with his own would distort the human, granting them powers as well as a fish-like appearance. Cursing unfaithful lovers alike, Ea left them with the option of immortality and unique powers if they then prove faithful to their own kind.
Ea, like the rest of his kind, soon disappeared within the pages of history, never being heard from again. Even the oldest of Undine in existence now are unsure of what he looked like or even what other powers he was capable of. For the original Undine are not even left. However, the story of the Undine's conception is not lost to the Undine and taught to the newest Undine offspring as a reminder of the importance fidelity and loyalty.
Finding the Sea
After their creation, many Undine turned to the sea for an escape from the world in which had led them to this fate. From all areas of the Old World, from Europe to Asia, Undine flocked into the depths of the sea, eventually meeting up and forming their own bands, culture, and language known simple as Nereidian, after the Greek Nereids. They knew that surviving under the sea would be a perilous existence, but shying away from their family, friends, and the world of mortals, it was a justifiable compromise to embrace their aquatic side and find solace among the waves.
Through this, the Sea-Undines started creating systematic rules of the sea, most importantly, never let the tribe get too big and that survival, first and foremost, came first. It was the Sea-Undine who found the legendary maria, and the Sea-Undine alone who possess it. During the early part of the 1300's BC, the first maria stone was found deep in the Atlantic ocean, and forged into the first weapon. Maria, a previously unknown precious stone became the signature of the Undine as well as a weapon of war.
All throughout the tribes within the ocean, most notably Atlantic and Pacific, the Weapon of War became the symbol of the first Undine and recognizable as a status symbol of power for the oldest until the formation of the Elder's Staff. It was the Sea-Undine who had created the respect of age belief as it was long since thought that the oldest and most experienced Undine held all the wisdom of the sea and therefore knew how to better protect the tribe as a whole.
Ebisu: Forger of the Elder's Staff
The Elder's staff replaced the Weapon of War status symbol as the Elder's Staff was created by a type of maria that doubled an Elder's power. From then on, the oldest Elder's are the only ones who possess them, and the oldest Elder's are exclusively in the ocean since most flocked to it when they were turned. This status symbol, though, specifically seen within the ocean, is virtually accepted to all Undine, even those on land, since all Undine's know of the Elder's Staff and all Undine's show respect for elder Undine.
Ebisu, the original creator of the Elder's Staff, was the first universally accepted 'ancient' of the species and the first one to carry the brunt of the staff's curse. After the birth of the staff, the realization that it held properties that doubled his power, became almost instantaneously. Using this power as a gift and a calling that their kind needed to be protected with the use of this weapon. The staff then became a symbol of chiefdom for the Undine, with Ebisu being the unofficial 'leader' and guide for all other Undine. Him and the other Undine were the first to address the custom of one male from each tribe venturing off to land to learn of the world above. Through the usage of the Elder's Staff, Ebisu was connected to the other Sea-Undine and the staff provided unity for the Undine.
However, it came at a price. Slowly, but surely, Ebisu's mental state started to deteriorate until he felt he could become the ruler of his species. Being an independent species, the Undine rejected the idea and tried to pass the staff off to someone more neutral and fair who followed what an Elder was supposed to be, a man of wisdom and unity, not a tyrant, but the corruption of the Elder's Staff had already done its job. A small scale battle for the staff would have erupted had Ebisu not grown careless with his life and lost it at the hands of a sea creature.
Misfortune Favors the Weak
After Ebisu's death, the Undine had not realized that the staff held some sort of properties that could corrupt and so the staff was passed down to another Undine, significantly younger. The staff immediately burned up the Undine, causing him to grow weak and ill before falling at the hands of the staff due to the power being too much for him.
It was then that the staff was passed onto an older Undine and for a time, everything was getting better. But the power of the Elder's Staff is specific and soon the corruptive power of the staff had killed both men. The great confusion and slight fear had erupted within the Sea-Undine population. As arguments about who the true wielder was meant to be, and who would take on the title and position as the Sea-Elder and hold the Elder's staff, one female Undine did the unthinkable. Taking the Elder's Staff away from the tribe, she cast it into the shadows of the abyss from where it was born: The Mariana Trench.
Thereafter, the Undine's grew weak without proper guidance. No longer did they trust their Elder's to lead a tribe after what had happened to both previous members and no longer did they trust in the staff which had been like a blessing to them before. With their weakening numbers and separation, the Undine eventually started to dwindle in numbers either through death or mortality. It wasn't until Poseidon, did the Sea-Undine finally find unity and peace.
Poseidon: The Sea 'God'
Poseidon was the first Elder to reach back into the Mariana Trench and recover the Elder's staff. The cause for this was an ancient aquatic daemos seeking and destroying the Undine population. The only thing that could destroy it was the legendary Elder's Staff, forged by a material brought to the world by a daemos more powerful than their current foe. With the Elder's Staff, Poseidon was able to destroy the daemos and reclaim faith in the Elder's.
Through the use of the Elder's Staff, Poseidon became aware that the staff was too powerful for a mere Undine to possess, no matter the age. Only one of strong heart and purity could actually wield it without succumbing to madness. He was actually the first Undine Elder to connect with the land-Undine, since even Ebisu did not even care much about what his brethren on land was doing. All that mattered to him was his fellow sea-dweller and information on the changing world above. Poseidon, on the other hand, cared deeply for both worlds and would often visit the land and locate other Undines that he came across with.
It was during one of these trips on land that he would eventually be thought of as a god. When a tsunami hit the coastline of Greece, one half-breed nymph saw him and his trident, mistaking him as the source. For centuries to come, mythological stories surrounding him would be created and eventually a distorted view of his personality would form.
Eventually, though, love would enter into Poseidon's heart, allowing him forsake his immortality in exchange for a normal lifespan. A new Elder named Augustus would be carefully chosen as the new Sea-Elder.
Augustus: The Warrior Elder
While most Undine were not particularly warrior-like, the new Elder after Poseidon quickly changed that. Augustus was a Roman Undine, born from the area of the Italian peninsula where Rome was founded before it became a Republic. He was inspired by the Roman ideals of the importance of loyalty to the State, then to Family, then to everything else. He felt that despite the militarist aspect of the Romans, those ideals of loyalty and strength within the Undine species was reflected in that. Under Poseidon the Sea and Land-Undines knew of loyalty. Despite living separate, they held that trait amongst each other and it was strongly associated with the Land-Undines preference for coastal areas where they could be close to their brethren without sacrificing their land lives.
Through inspiration from the Romans, the decree from the Sea-Elder, Augustus, was a strong militaristic training for the males and females. Especially from the dark age of the Undine where the sea-daemos that had haunted the Undine centuries before had taught them that they needed to be stronger. With his word as law, the Sea-Undine learned from the cultures closest to them and soon, the Undine became powerful and speedy fighters under the sea. His influence on the importance of strength and protection even went so far as to reach land, where the Land-Undine had started practicing the art of fighting.
This militaristic approach had eventually prepared them, for several centuries later, a powerful half-breed race surfaced in the ocean. The attack for resources and land was something that the Undine had never experience before, not even with the mermaids who also inhabited the land. But this branch of half-breed wanted one thing only, complete eradication of the Undine and total possession of their prized possession, the Elder's Staff.
During the final battle, known as the Battle of Atlantis, Augustus face his final stance and the complete extinction of the other half-breed. It was the first time that the Undine showed such fervor in the face of battle. In more recent times, this point in time would serve as a warning to Undine about the dangers of yearning too much power and the corruptive properties it held. The Sea-Undine numbers fell drastically after this point in time and soon another Elder would rise as the newly appointed Sea-Elder: Jacob.
Jacob: The Common Era Elder
After Augustus' death, Jacob became the new Elder. Through him, he feared that the intense militaristic strength that Augustus so heavily instilled would ruin the nature of the Undine and create a collapse. As a result, he pulled back on the heavy training, making survival and protection the most important reasons for fighting. This way, no Undine would feel the need to use his powers to gain more control and there wouldn't be internal conflict. He also pulled back on his position as the Sea-Elder, more so than the other Elders before him who had emphasized on unity under one person. His station as the Sea-Elder became less influential and less like a king and more as a guide or final say while still allowing other Elders of equal age and influence guide their tribe freely.
Living in a Mortal World
While only a fraction of the Undine chose to go into the ocean, a movement now taught as 'The Great Schism' when the land and sea Undine separated and formed their own paths in the land or sea, most chose to stay on land. Those who did, did not change in personality as quickly as their ocean counterparts, maintaining a relatively humanistic outlook until centuries of immortal isolation took its toll. As diverse as the Undine are in respect to both land and sea, so is their occupation.
Many of the Undine took up a large range of occupations and many assume that some of the Ancient Near East Kings were part of this cursed species. However, despite their willingness to remain closely tied to society, as many land-Undine hold the belief that to lose yourself in the waves is to lose your humanity, the Undine are still nomadic, despite their geographic area. The glamour that they possess allow them grow in respect to the world around them, but after a certain point where their body ages, but do not die, the Undine must leave to another location and start anew. This has forced many Undine families to abandon their homes for other areas of the world, though all Undine's rarely make drastic changes unless their lives are in peril.
The earliest known records of oracular statements from the Oracle at Delphi stems from the 9th century BC, however, there are, in fact, more dated back. When the Land-Dwelling Undine decided to make use of their gifts, some went here and became oracles. While the Oracles at Delphi were female, oracles around the world were most notably Undine. These are just among the most famous examples. Using vague riddles to avoid giving direct answers for events that even they weren't aware of, the Undine used the weather connection to give armies and kingdom vague information that something unfortunate was going to happen.
Unfortunately, not all oracles were treated kindly, especially during the European Witch trials when female Undine once revered for their mystical properties became targets for death. The occupant of oracle eventually became just a memory of times when inklings of misfortune was not looked upon as a sign of the devil and the Undine quickly turned away from obvious showcasing of their gut instincts.
Before the kidnap of the young Undine Skyla, Undine’s were not known in America, with their main residence being the United Kingdom and a few locations in Southern-Western Europe. Their positions in society have varied from mere shop keepers to influential politicians, as they themselves have no set societal structure or government. Their population is also small in numbers, with only 1000-1300 Undines known to still exist, as many rarely choose to reproduce or they fall in love with a human and pass on with old age. However times do change, and the existence of Undines may or may not be more openly known.
Modern technology is something that is just ‘there’ in the society, and as beings who are content with natural means they find little desire for it, but will rarely find a major reason for not using it. For those Undine in particular who choose to live primarily under the waters surface, there will be less need for modern amenities.
Half-breeds who know of the Undine classify them as the ‘Witches of the sea’, because of their abilities, high connection to nature, and due to their peaceful aura that they simply seem to just radiate. Due to a lack of dependency on the sea the Undine will generally only swim in their true form for pleasure, despite the rare exceptions of those who do choose to live under the sea. Many have been known to never spend any time at sea, but each is an option that an Undine will come to make in time.
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