Seces are water-dwelling species closely related to the maren, and by extension the mer and naga.
They are a friendly race that enjoys travelling and often find themselves becoming merchants or shopkeepers in foreign countries.
They tend to have good relationships with the Rendi races, especially the gural.
There are many different kinds of seces subspecies and cultures from all over the world, including freshwater and saltwater varieties.
Saltwater varieties are the only seces able to handle salty water; which burns the skin of non-saltwater seces. All seces are able to handle fresh water, though are sensitive to contamination.
Seces are a colourful, hairless species with a slimy, mucus-coated skin. They tend to have rather flat-looking faces, with small earholes that are mostly hidden by their large facial fins.
Their builds can be anywhere from slightly-chubby to a slender, muscular frame. They don’t tend to gain too much weight or grow too thin unless they are extremely unhealthy.
They have gills alongside air-breathing lungs. When above water, they can inhale into their air-breathing lungs through their mouths, noses, and their gills. Most seces are more comfortable breathing through their gills than their mouths, and this shows in their speech.
Av. Height: 5’8”
Fins, Gills, Skin, Freckles, and Tails.
Seces have webbed fingers and toes that help them catch water when they swim; these fingers and toes tend to be clawed, with long sharp nails that they use for grip.
Their gills are oddly flexible, similar to a betta fish’s beard, which they flare to express emotion.
When above water a secondary channel in their throat opens so they can breathe into their air-breathing lungs. They can inhale through their gills into their land-lungs, though it is very difficult to do at a young age and most seces are not allowed to practice ‘lung-breathing’ until they are 6 eclipses.
Their skin is slimy and soft, coated in a sticky mucus that seeps through their pours to keep them moist when they’re above water. Because they produce the mucus they are likely to dehydrate, and need to stay moist. Because of the risk of dehydration they are rarely found without a gourd or flask of clean water, which they rub onto their body when needed. The first place a seces will put water when they are dehydrated is their gills, as this eases their breathing and provides the most comfort.
Their mucus is said to have healing properties and is sometimes used in potions (such as Kazani’s Elixers, made by the foxen people) or in salves used to preserve dead animals. Seces are fine with this use, as they are paid handsomely for clean mucus samples.
Their skin is dotted with beautiful, glowing freckles that, with the exception of some sub-species, cannot be consciously controlled or dimmed. Instead their brightness indicates health and energy; dulling when the seces is sick or sleeping and brightening when they are healthy and energetic.
Seces have long, thick-but-flexible tails to help them swim and change direction underwater. They also use their tails for balance above water. These tails can be tipped with sharp barbs or beautiful fins.
A seces’ skin colour is determined by their family history and subspecies. They tend to be shades of blues, greens, or browns, though some rarer seces have pink or white-grey skin.
Their freckles are usually a different colour to their skin. Though it is possible to have freckles that are just a lighter shade of their skin colour (such as blue freckles on blue skin) it is much more common for freckles to different more noticeable colours (like green freckles on blue skin).
Their eyes are usually bright and reflective, with the sclera being the same colour as, or at least a very similar colour to, the iris. Sometimes the iris is easy to see, other times it is nearly impossible to tell apart from the sclera; regardless of whether or not it is visible, the iris will always exist on a seces.
Mouth and Teeth
A seces’ mouth is filled with small, sharp teeth that are evenly spaced and sized, similar to a piranha’s. Despite how they might look at a first glance, a seces’ teeth are not serrated.
Their mouths are lipless, and the flesh inside matches the colour of their skin.
Freshwater seces come from rivers and lakes all around Demrefor. They are usually blue, green, or green-brown in colour, and have the most fragile and sensitive skin of all seces.
Their tales are longer and more flexible than other subspecies, usually with fins on the end to act as a paddle. Any fins on their face, arms, or back will match the colour of their tail-fin; though they tend to not have very decorated bodies.
Often, they will have whiskers on their face or bioluminescent bulbs protruding from their forehead on the end of a short, flexible tentacle.
High-water seces are ocean-dwelling seces that live on beaches and coral reefs. They have dark green or blue skin, sometimes appearing almost purple. Their freckles are usually contrasting colours to their skin, but are smaller than other subspecies’ freckles; appearing as tiny dots on their skin that are barely noticeable.
Their tails are thicker and shorter than other seces, though they are still very flexible.
High-water seces can have a variety of frill shapes and sizes, especially on their face. They often have frills on their backs and tails, as well as on their arms and legs.
Deep-dweller seces live in the deeper oceans. Their skin is so dark they may appear almost black, though in reality they are shades of blue, brown, or grey-green. Their skin is lumpy, and they often have glowing face-like patterns on their back.
Their freckles are large, almost like spots, and are the only seces to have control over the level of brightness the freckles display; able to flash the freckles brightly or dim them until they are barely noticeable.
They can have elongated, animal-like faces with large teeth and eyes, and are the only seces with glowing lures on the ends of their tails.
Despite their dark environment, their night vision isn’t the best; instead they are hypersensitive to vibrations in the water and use their sense of touch to navigate.
Undercave seces are rare, cave-dwelling seces that don’t often leave their underground homes. They are usually pale white with transparent skin, sometimes appearing pink, and their freckles are usually a bright, glowing red.
They are very light and heat sensitive and so only come out of their caves at night. They are rather wrinkly and thin, sometimes said to resemble goblins.
They are the only seces able to digest soulstone, though it is not good for them and often makes them feel ill.
Mud seces evolved to live in filthy water and mud-holes and are most commonly found in swamps or wastelands. They have grey and brown coloured skin with dull, non-glowing freckles of similar colours.
Their mucus is thicker than other seces and, though it means they dehydrate slower than other seces and have tougher skin, it carries a foul odour to it that turns off most other Sentients.
Their faces are rather goblin-like, with eyes that bulge and small, needle-like fangs. They also have a large, spotted frill down their back that they can raise and lower to express emotion similar to their gills.
Mud seces flesh is toxic to consume; as are all their body fluids. Likewise, they have a natural immunity to toxins and can eat rotten flesh, consume and breathe poisons, and survive venomous animal bites.
Their toxic flesh means they have difficulty having children with other Sentients. It is mostly female mud seces who have safely conceived with other Sentients and it not recommended for women of other races to conceive with a mud seces man, as their children are likely to inherit the toxicity of their father and may kill their mother before they are born. The only women who have never been sick from baring half-mud children are avio women, who have a natural immunity to the mud seces’ toxins.
There are colonies of mud seces in the Heck’ne, though they are not part of the Har’py religion.
Deformities and Disabilities
No-Glow / Death Mimic
Seces with no-glow (also known as the death mimics) have a birth defect that damages the bioluminescence in their freckles. The name “death mimic” comes from the lack of glow in their usually-bright freckles; something that usually only happens after a seces’ death, meaning they can appear dead when motionless or asleep.
This has actually been useful to no-glows before; Jaisa Bavie, a seces who took part in The Land of Night Magic’s cult war, was able to hide from the necromancers by pretending to be one of their collected corpses.
A no-glow’s freckles only light up during intense expression of emotion and are nearly impossible to control. It takes a lot of practice for a no-glow to suppress their light-ups and most don’t bother practising.
This defect is especially bad for deep-dweller seces who need their glow to navigate the darkest parts of the ocean.
Reproduction and Lifespan
Marriage and Partners
Seces pair off into couples and get married, not separating unless they absolutely have to. And mostly, seces marriages work out. This tends to be because they court each other for months (sometimes even years) before they even think about getting in a relationship together.
Though they pair off into couples, they often get together with other seces for fun nights; especially when a married pair are trying for children, as seces have a belief that having sex with multiple partners increases fertility.
Seces penises are long and prehensile. They have cloaca that they keep their penis in when un-erect. A seces penis has a large bulb-like head that is covered in multiple holes that ejaculates sperm at strangely high pressures. None of the holes are used for urination, instead, they have a urethra between their cloaca’s lips. This is in the same place as the females’ urethra.
Asides from their urethra, female seces do not have outer genitalia such as a clitoris. However, their vaginal passage is EXTREMELY sensitive. The vaginal canal is very wide; almost circular, and filled with soft, pillowy vaginal muscles that will mould over any insertions and allow quite a bit of flexibility for the males.
Many seces females will have sex with multiple males at the same time, and it is believed in many seces cultures that this increases the chance of multiple offspring more than having sex with partners one after the other would.
Due to how sensitive both male and female seces are, sex lasts an average of 3 minutes before both parties have orgasmed.
Seces will have any number of children, simply depending on where they live and how enthusiastic they are about being parents; though they don’t usually have more than 10 children.
Gestation lasts roughly 7 months in a seces, with 1-3 babies born per pregnancy. When born, a baby seces is small enough to be held in one hand; though above water this is not recommended as their head cannot be supported properly. This makes labour fairly easy for seces, only lasting 2-3 hours per child.
Seces are born sexless and without genitalia. Once they begin to mature they choose their sex by exposing themselves to certain elements that will increase different hormones. Many seces are unable to choose or they decide to leave it up to chance. Often these seces become intersex. Over 80% of the known population of seces are non-binary and intersex and use either xie/xer or they/them pronouns. The 20% of seces who choose binary genders are considered unusual, and are often compared to transgender people of other Sentient races.
Seces are also able to change sex later in life; although it takes longer to change after they stop growing, as it is basically a second puberty.
Intersex seces are not infertile and can reproduce by both carrying a child and producing sperm.
There are debates over whether or not intersex seces are able to impregnate themselves. Some claim to have done so, bringing forward already-born children who they claim were conceived without a partner, but all public attempts to reproduce with oneself have been unsuccessful.
The development of a seces starts off at a relatively slow crawl until they are 6 eclipses, when they are old enough to practice lung breathing.
Once they hit 6 eclipses their development starts to speed up until they are around 12, when they hit puberty and their development more than doubles speed until they are 15; the legal age of adulthood. Once they are adults, their development slows again, evening its pace until they are about the equivalent of most other Sentients.
• The average lifespan of a seces is 96 eclipses.
• The oldest known seces lived for 163 eclipses; raised by valenor, she spoke of being upset by how short her life had to be.
• Seces subspecies commonly mix, and in seces communities it is rare to find a seces who doesn’t show traits of another subspecies. Pureblood seces are only common in other non-seces cultures, where they are cut off from others of their kind.
• Miscarriages are rare in seces. Most will absorb sickly foetuses before they know they were pregnant, and after pregnancy is discovered there is only a 0.1% chance of losing the baby.
• Mud seces are common targets of organ harvesters, with their toxic blood highly priced on the black market. Because of this, their population is the lowest of any subspecies and their child mortality rate is 5 times higher than other seces.
Seces prefer to live alone or in small family groups. They mark out territories for themselves and, though they are not often bothered by others coming into their space, tend not to stray into others’ territories without meeting them at the border first.
Most seces feel the urge to travel and, if they take their travelling above water, they tend to become traders. Most seces traders avoid the dry deserts and wastelands of the planet, meaning those few who risk it are very successful in their craft.
Seces traders will not be caught dead without an incarah —a large, aquatic canine— and many have tanks of incarah pups in their homes that they raise as pets and guards.
Seces are art lovers, especially when it comes to performance and coral carving, and they have entire cave systems set up as dedicated to art and actors; allowing anyone of any skill level to contribute to the expanding collections. These places are considered almost-sacred and are extremely communal.
Seces from all over the planet will travel just to find different museums and theatres to explore or contribute to.
Above water, seces tend to speak their own languages through their gills. They have very unique clicking and popping sounds that they can make to express themselves. The flexibility of a seces’ gills allows them to make some unique screeches, as well, which they use to express emotion.
When they learn other languages, such as International, they make an effort to speak with their mouths. This is very difficult for them, however, and a lot of seces have trouble being understood.
While underwater, seces speak with sign language. They use their entire body to speak; swishes of their tails, motions of their hands, flaring of gills, and flicks of their fins all contribute to the language.
Seces have a “written” language that is 3D. They use carved shells or stone, or bundled seaweed, to create the shape of the words they want and will leave them in their territories as markers or signs. The language is limited to a single word per sculpture, and the words vary greatly depending on territory; meaning it is very difficult for seces from different areas to understand each other’s written languages.
Because of this seces tend to dye their sculptures; coloured dye expresses emotion universally in the seces language, and by dying the words even those who don’t recognise the dialect can tell if they are a welcome or a warning.
Dye Dancing is a language made out of dance and coloured dyes; it mixes the seces sign language with the colour-emotions associations to create underwater theatre. All seces learn how to understand Dye Dance at a young age and use it to express abstract thought that they would otherwise have trouble expressing.
Seces laughter is through the gills. It’s a high, usually loud, squealing sound accompanied by chuckling. It is the only vocal seces communication that can be heard underwater.
Clothing and Armour
Seces do not wear clothing or armour in their own culture. When they leave the water they tend to wear clothes from whatever culture they are currently living with, though they prefer their clothes to be skintight and able to handle their moister.
Most seces, whether religious or not, have heard about Mo’ay’a’s Oasis.
Seces have first and last names with no middle names. Alongside their names, they also have a colour assigned to them at birth. This colour is considered private and believed to shape their future.
Seces flick and point with two fingers. The pointer and the middle finger are held tightly together as the seces points.
Inns for seces are often made from large, flooded cave systems. Charges are made on things such as salt water, fish in the room, coral, etc.
Non-seces inns usually keep large wooden tubs aside for when a seces stays in their building. They replace the hired bed with this tub and fill it with clean water so the seces can sleep comfortably without ruining the inns’ bedding.
Make Your Own!
If you would like to make your own dassen character, you can use this base!