the world weary ancients
Tolka are one of the largest remaining sentient species on Orrison. Despite their somewhat disconcerting physical appearance, they are quite tranquil.
Their characteristics have always made them adept in the water, and many thrive as river men working on barges. Some who have less fear may take up trade on the perilous ocean, sailing along the coast to reach destinations faster than land-bound caravans
- Capable of breathing both above and below water.
- Sensory antennae at the tip of the snout.
- Strong bite.
- Long neck.
- Long arms, short legs.
- Body is mainly covered in a tough, leathery skin (not slimy or moist), but they can also grow membrane, feathers, fur, and scales.
- Strong tail, for swimming and balance.
- Secondary sex characteristics are mixed & not restricted to gender.
Due to their unblinking stares, limited facial expressions, and capacity for stillness, others often find them unnerving to be around. Some even go as far as fearing tolka, or wrongly thinking them to be somewhat dense and unintelligent- but they have always been adept fishers, farmers, and builders.
They are cumbersome on land and move slowly but with careful purpose. If hurried on land, they can manage a scrambling amble, but are no great sprinters. They are unmatched in the water however, being strong and effortless swimmers.
the range of physical traits
Tolka builds vary greatly. Their sturdy but flexible anatomy means a greater allowance in lithe versus bulky builds.
Head & Ears
Tolka head shapes and jaw shapes can vary. Snouts can be long, round, or blunt.
Antenna are always at the end of the nose.
Fins, spines, or fur can run down the neck and back.
Whiskers can be on the head in any place or quantity.
Gill and frill styles vary.
Tolka have small sharp teeth, slightly serrated to catch hold of slippery aquatic creatures.
Their teeth grow back if damaged or lost.
Their tongues and powerful throats also help to crush fruit and other foods.
Tolka have a flat, forked tongue. Mucus membranes can be any color.
Teeth can protrude-- either as an under bite, an overbite, or poking out from both the top and bottom.
Eyes are round, lidless, and glassy. They do not blink.
Tolka eyesight is generally poor overall, but it's said that their receptors can smell fysa instead like daemons. This vision works like heat vision.
Here are some variations on eye shapes and patterns, but you're not limited to these (do whatever you want!).
Eyes are forward facing and are good at peeking out of the water.
Antenna are electro-sensitive and assist with underwater 'vision' and sensing.
Just like the fish of Orrison and likely due to their frequent interactions, Tolka can sometimes have up to 2 extra eyes.
Murk fysa is one of the strongest, as the murk element is defined as a raw excess of energy. In ages past, tolka were hunted for the magic which was concentrated in their bodies. They were also the victims of dehumanization efforts of those who trafficked their parts. They are no longer hunted, but they still suffer the efforts of these campaigns as many view them as lesser.
Treacle is a thick slime of condensed fysa that is produced in the gut of powerful tolka and regurgitated (this is an UNCOMMON fysa and must be unlocked).
It can be used to create both medicines and hallucinogenics, but in its raw form causes fysic burns (skin discoloration and an acid burning sensation).
It can poison other creatures through too much exposure, and cause a craze or rage in others. It can be used as a stimulant.
Tolka are not affected by treacle.
Miasma is a fine mist that is exhaled to change the magic levels in the atmosphere. It can affect the weather (especially when large groups of tolka are present), strengthen the fysa of other species, or bolster the vibrancy of wild flora and fauna. It is generally not harmful, acting as a mild stimulant, and doesn't normally cause fysa poisoning.
Fur, Feather, & Scales
The Tolka body is mainly covered in a tough, leathery skin. It is not slimy nor moist. They can also grow membrane, feathers, fur, and scales.
Tolka skin can grow with them so there is no instance of them going blue or having to shed off their entire skin. But they will still shed/molt scales, feathers, and fur normally if the particular individual grows them!
Hands & Feet
3 fingers and 1 thumb on the hands is typical, though any number of digits is fine.
They are always webbed in some manner, though the extent of webbing varies from tolka to tolka.
Claws are atypical, but possible. Some tolka only have one or two clawed digits.
The pads of hands and feet are textured (similar to a gecko) to allow the ease of grip.
4 toes on the feet. Feet are plantigrade.
Tail length varies. The average tail is the same length as the body.
Tails always have a sturdy and thick base, and some sort of fin membrane.
Tail membrane assists in swimming. The longer and more intricate this membrane is, the more delicate it is and can be more easily ripped or injured. Damaged tails do not grow back on their own.
Here are some examples of tail variations. Go wild with the fin shapes and formations!
the element of murk
Tolka are attuned to murk. The murk element is the most unrefined element, and is identified by its energy excess. Murk can often amplify the effects of other magics, or overpower others by sheer force.
Murk’s raw state can be utilized to force change upon the natural world. Tolka most commonly use their magic to help influence the growth and health of the plants and fish that they cultivate.
As murk creatures, Tolka have a high resistance to fysa poisoning, however diving into the concentrated fysa of the ocean will still kill them if they have prolonged contact. Still, they are able to survive in the waters of the ocean longer than any other species, being able to dive for around five minutes with no consequences.
Advanced magics are rarer than normal magics. Every character starts with one common ability within their category, and can unlock others through upgrades.