Group: Pod of Beorfin
General Info: Beorfin are gentle and observant creatures of the sea, expressing great emotion in their intelligent eyes. Their front half is elegant and deer-like, with a slender muzzle, wide eyes, and gently pointed ears. They take on some vaguely canine traits, having dog teeth and feet. Their two large, webbed paws help them to move swiftly through the water. A muscled fishtail propels them quickly through the water without any other aids; tendrils drifting off of the scaled appendage serve as camouflage from whatever has decided to make prey of them on any occasion. They come in a range of colors, but most are strictly natural — neon green would be relatively uncommon when compared to a more preferable sea green, and so on. Some even have pretty little markings in other colors. Their fins are usually another shade of their main body color and their eyes can also be varied. No matter the color, though, they look incredibly soulful and captivating. Always the kind to appreciate the beauty of their habitat, the Beorfin have ranked themselves against the most pleasing wonders of their world. From their names for the refraction of light to tendrils of kelp caught in an underwater eddy, one must truly think on the meanings behind the ranks before total understanding will come.
Although they must remain in the water, the species has no gills. Rather, they are equipped with an exceptionally efficient oxygen-processing system, allowing them to make their large breaths of air last for hours upon end. Beorfin have great senses of truth and justice; it has never been known for either a wild or a bonded Beorfin to lie, cheat, steal, or just about anything else deemed to be "bad" by their society. Their diet mainly consists of fish, but they are very respectful of what they eat. Having to kill to eat is not in itself bad, but it would be bad to kill unnecessarily.
They have an unspoken language with each other that cannot be discerned without some study — most assume it has to do with facial expressions and relayed emotions. They can communicate to non-Beorfin species with strong surges of emotion and sometimes small sounds to amplify the meanings of their various messages.
Mating Info: A female Beorfin does not need a male's help to first lay her bubble-like eggs in a secluded place like a fish, most commonly in an underwater cave or in a rocky outcropping. But if she wants her precious cluster to grow and hatch, there will have to be a contest. The contest varies, but generally the female will abandon her docile and gentle nature to a raging desire for the best possible sire to her children, looping in impossibly fast spirals down, down, down through the dark depths of the ocean. Not even the hardy Beorfin can withstand such awesome pressures; the mother will most likely choose the male that holds out the longest. He is then escorted to the cluster to fertilize the bubbles. While all females keep bubbles, only those of the Keran'tu and Xela-dur are fertile. The exteriors of the large spheres become thicker and more resistant to outside influences as they mature. The bubbles are opaque rather than clear, just clouded enough so that those on their exterior may see their shadows but struggle to guess colors. Both parents will help transport the cluster to calmer, shallower waters just before the time of hatching so that the new calves will not be overwhelmed by their new environment.
Bonding Info: Beorfin calves are extremely bewildered after being introduced to the world, taking their first breaths with the aid of any willing to help (usually a parent). They are usually devoted to their "breathgivers," but that does not necessarily mean they will bond to them. Other than that first breath they are generally shy and loth to leave the "safety in numbers" ideal that seems to anchor siblings. The parents are cautious but willing to let their young be approached without interfering. Beorfin calves favor practical gifts over luxurious ones, but tastes vary in individuals. Some may see gifts as bribes and actually refuse both the item and the person offering for the remainder of the bonding session. After a calf has chosen its bonded, there are no alterations to mind states, no flashy perks or effects. They have formed an attachment and will follow their chosen around even if they are unwanted by that particular person. It is not uncommon to find that two Beorfin siblings who are particularly close will often bond to the same person so as not to be separated from each other, but the parents try to discourage this as best as they can. Sometimes wild Beorfin will take a liking to humans and attach themselves in a self-instigated manner, but if a human takes the incentive their request will be denied automatically — wild Beorfin bond only when they choose, not when someone tries to bond them.
Those who find themselves bonded to a Beorfin are free to name them, but take care; one of these creatures will only accept a name that is either interjected somewhere by a hyphen or an apostrophe for a mystical-sounding blip in the appellation. They are also great lovers of names using alliteration (repetition of consonants), but it is not demanded.
Sunbeams through the water
The obvious queens, even from the moment of their hatching. Keran'tu have light colorings marked with faint patterns of gold or silver along their muzzles and tails. Their fins tend to be completely transparent and slightly iridescent, adding to their regal appearance. They are the largest of the Beorfin, averaging eight feet in length, but don’t tend to throw their weight around as much as the queens of other species. The Keran'tu are usually slender, with slightly slanted eyes and an overall shimmering appearance. As the sun through the water looks mystical and far-off, so are these females — a dream in the distance, never seeming substantial enough to be real. But surely they are… Their clusters are the largest, topping at the maximum of a dozen or more eggs and never dropping below six. They tend to keep their more severe emotions to themselves, allowing the gentler and less offensive ones to seep through to anyone who will receive them.
Sea spray against the rocks
These flirtatious and fun-loving Beorfin don’t mind playing second fiddle to the more prestigious and noble Keran'tu queens, especially since it means that they won't have to deal with all the expectations and unwanted attention usually piled on the queenly leaders. Still retaining motherly natures but abandoning the love of mystery for an omnipresent air that exclaims "Welcome!" to anything and everything, Xela-dur are quite unrestrained in their expression. These females' varied colors are usually a shade or two brighter than what is practical for camouflage, but with their streamlined bodies and over-sized fins they don’t really need it; speed is their best friend. They average six and a half feet in length but are quite slender to keep a speedy form. They don't care as much about finding the best sire for their calves as they do for the pure fun of the contest — competition does not pass lightly with this exuberant ranking. Clusters are usually around seven, but are commonly less due again to the fact that their intentions during chases do not have their bubbles' best chances at heart.
Red clouds on the horizon
The majestic and imposing high lords of the Beorfin race, Io'thelin are relatively more numerous than the Xela-dur. They are a bit bigger than the Xela-dur at seven feet in length, sporting muscular bodies and more imposing builds. True to their names once again, they are both strong-willed and stubborn, blazing brightly with daring and the inability to back down from a challenge, however little. Though fights among Beorfin are rare, it is usually a Xela-dur and an Io'thelin that have caused it, with the female going a bit too far with her playing and the male reacting unfavorably. Their colors are all shades of fire, from mottled yellow to dusky rose. Built more for stamina than speed, they will go along at their own pace but for nearly unbelievable amounts of time. Io'thelin will chase any female.
Stones weathered by time
The lonely lower lord males, Ditre'aiz have learned to accept their less important position in Beorfin ranks, although they are still important. Their appearances lean towards the unhealthy side, lacking the impressive muscle or the strong personality of the Io'thelin. They settle in at a mild six feet in length. Ditre'aiz are content to drift on the currents of life, taking whatever comes their way without much complaint. Noticeably stoic and passive when compared to others of their kind, even the reclusive Keran'tu. They hold little interest in females but will give chase for lack of anything better to do. Their colors are not much better than their personality, ranging from slate gray to marred white and any color that a rock might take, with some having slight accents of mossy green or blue mixed in. What thoughts they choose to provide others with are usually mournful or lackluster, giving more proof to the inevitable: strong pillars will always fall.
Kelp with long blades
Quite possibly the most social type of Beorfin, Caie-lyr will go to extraordinary lengths to make new friends or just to mingle with others of their kind. They have a delightful little quirk that may aid them in that endeavor: their fins are unnaturally long and tendril-like, but usually get in the way more than they help with swimming or hiding. This rank can be either male or female and are about five and a half feet long. They don't seem to mind being low-ranked as much as the brooding Ditre'aiz or the jealous Kel'rhea, treating all ranks the same. This sometimes irks the Io'thelin or Xela-dur, but most times it passes without more than a dissatisfied emotion in passing. Caie-lyr are built in a very nondescript manner, evading proper classification. They are neither muscular nor twiggy; not withdrawn nor overbearing. It seems the only thing that makes them discernible from the lot are their fins — perhaps the blasted things do serve a purpose after all. Their colors are natural, and can be found on underwater plants: green, teal, and yellow are common color roots, although a scarce few stray down the path to black or purple. Females are reluctant to lead males on chases, as they know their eggs will never hatch even if they select the best male possible. Males will usually let more powerful Beorfin pass by rather than risk their health in pursuit of a female's attentions. After all, they have plenty of other friends.
Lost treasure in the sand
These Beorfin are sort of the middleman, easily manipulated and quite the pushovers. Den'risu are eager to please, which leads most of the wild ones to be pushed around and bullied by the mischievous Mordre-tu or the moody Kel'rhea. But if treated right, the Den'risu could be your best friend! The Den'risu is really quite affectionate, loving nothing more than to cuddle up next to his bond, or any wild Beorfin who is willing, and just be near someone. They are quite majestic creatures, about five feet in length when all is said and done. These incredibly handsome males have no set color pattern, per say, but are always a mix of golds and blues, whether it be dark or light. The Den'risu are always eager to give chase to any female, though they are rarely chosen for a mate because of their willingness to step aside in the face of conflict.
Violent and unpredictable currents
The smallest Beorfin, with swiftness only exceeded by the most talented of all Xela-dur, Kel'rhea will never hesitate to show off to potential suitors or new friends. They are tiny and slender, reaching only four or five feet in length. They have no maternal instinct whatsoever, often surprisingly malicious during the chases. These females are ever jealous and resentful of their superiors, be they male or female. They're special, too; why should the queens and lords get all the attention? This often drives them to be more aggressive as a way to get the attention of others, overlooking small details in favor of the bigger picture. That's not to say Kel'rhea aren't calm; they are, as all Beorfin, primarily wisdom-loving and subtle. They just feel the need to express themselves in a more noticeable and often violent manner. There doesn’t seem to be any set range of color for this rank, but the fins are usually a different color from the rest of their body, sometimes with markings splattered sporadically around themselves.
Shadow from the ocean floor
These Beorfin are always dark in color, more often than not being some shade of gray or silver. Fins are commonly a wispy smoke color or a shimmery silver, adding to their shadowed beauty. Mordre-tu have equally dark senses of humor, liking to inflict pain or even mild misery on those around them. They're not quite as brooding or dull as Ditre'aiz, knowing full well that they're desirable Shinies. At six feet long, they don't hesitate to use size to their advantage. Along with the absence of much color, they also lack the standard Beorfin temperament of peace and mystery. Rules? So what? Peace? Yeah, right — a Mordre-tu loves mischief and generally having fun. Not that they don't have their calm, mysterious moments — things like peace and patience are just lost on them. They are always male, but they cannot sire clusters.