Warning: I will likely be updating the information here periodically, so it's possible that some of the information will change as I flesh it out more. I'll make a note of it and try to point it out if I can, though.
Latest Updates: Cleaning sections up.
Name: Yeulveren of the Rullae
Age: Chronologically unknown; looks to be biologically around 20
Hair: White; generally quite long
Eyes: Caribbean/sea green; pupils typically appear round like a human's. However, when starving or otherwise driven to a feral state (out of desperation, anger, etc.) the pupils turn to reptilian slits.
Height: As a mermaid, she falls over seven feet long. With human legs, she stands at about 5'4".
Other notable physical details: In her human form, there are strange white markings around her thighs and ankles that glow when she uses magic. After reaching a certain point in her training, she has been given the clan markings on her face. She now also has a tattoo around her left bicep, acquired recently after being goaded to match Idradel's. Further persuasion from her siblings got her a flower tattoo on her upper back.
Offensively, Yeulveren is skilled with water and ice magic, to the point that she can draw water from the air if she is not near a suitable water source. She is typically very straightforward with her magic, preferring not to do anything particularly flashy with her spells, but can obviously put on a show if necessary. In addition to this magic, Yeulveren, like all mermaids, is capable of weaponizing her voice. This is most easily done while singing, which she cannot turn off for better or worse (as she has discovered that while she can harm others with her voice, she can also apply her healing arts as well). However, if she focuses she can also utilize this ability while speaking normally.
Defensively, Yeulveren's specialty is her healing magic. When unhindered, she is capable of healing crippling or even fatal wounds on others. She is also able to potentially drive out terminal illnesses if instructed on what to focus on healing and removing. Passively, Yeulveren retains the advanced regenerative ability of her mermaid brethren, as well as their natural immunities to illness and poison. Also, all mermaids have highly resistant minds, presumably to be able to resist other mermaids' manipulative songs. That is to say, Yeulveren has a mental barrier capable of withstanding and shrugging off attacks on her mind. Granted, this may be the reason why mermaids tend to be more physically vulnerable (regeneration notwithstanding), to keep things in balance.
- Note: In case anyone is wondering why I mention her ice manipulation more than her water manipulation in posts, this is not me forgetting my own canon. As expected, most mermaids in Yeul's story canon are adept at water manipulation. However, as they mature it's not uncommon for them to develop a second affinity--in fact, most, if not all, mermaids eventually do. Most of the time, these affinities end up weaker than the water affinity (such as if a mermaid gains a fire affinity, which is rare for their kind). Yeulveren is one of the unusual few who develops a second affinity that eventually grows to be stronger than her water affinity (i.e. at this point in time it's still weaker than her water manipulation, but in the future won't be). Her brother, Idradel, is the same way only with Lightning.
- Note2: Her "mental barrier" is often associated with her resistance to spells and other types of magic cast on her. You can think of it as her Magic Defense in terms of video game statistics, granting her some form of resistance to such things. However, this comes at a price, as it also often means that she has a chance of resisting even healing spells cast by others on her as well unless she actively lowers her mental shields in order to accept them.
Though generally lighthearted to match her more innocent appearance, Yeulveren is actually more vicious (for the lack of a better word) than she appears. While she acts very casually around people, there is a part of her that is always calculating and analyzing--she is a predator, after all, and she knows it. At times, this part of her slips out when she speaks, talking frankly about morbid topics such as drowning people or eating them for food if she was desperate enough. She's learned to keep quiet about such things since she began frequenting the surface world, but sometimes she can't stop herself.
Despite this rather feral side of her, she does genuinely want to get along with others in her time on the surface world. Like other members of her kind she is intrigued by humans and other land-dwellers and enjoys learning about them and the lands they live in. It is perhaps because of this intrigue that she's adapted herself to their customs and societal norms, because through observing them she has learned to think beyond her original, more instinctive state of mind as a mermaid and become more... human.
Yeulveren was born to the mermaid Peralei and her human lover, a human man named Henry (last name unknown) alongside her younger twin brother, Idradel, in a time when the myths and legends of mermaids were real and a stigma of the supernatural spread amongst humans like the plague. Fearing for their children's well-being, Peralei and Henry decided that the twins would be raised in the underwater realm by their mother and her clan until one day when the stigmas died out and Henry could be allowed to see them without fearing for their safety. Unfortunately, human fears stayed strong throughout his short life, leading to his estrangement from his second daughter, Endivy. Eventually, Henry died without his children ever officially meeting with him, although Yeulveren allegedly met his spirit during her first outing to the surface world.
Her father's death caused a ripple in Yeulveren's life, and she grew up unstable and uncertain, under pressure from the responsibility of taking care of her siblings in her mother's place and wishing for guidance that her fellow clan members could not give her. She became prone to acting out in her youth, but that was put to a cold stop when she was captured by human fishermen and sold on the black market to the wealthiest buyer. She remained in captivity for an undetermined amount of time, but eventually managed to escape under her own power. She killed her owner and the man who originally caught her, and spent several months searching for her family. But even after she found them she could not sit still, mimicking her mother in her absence by leaving for unknown amounts of time and reappearing at random.
It was in the midst of the years following her time in captivity that Yeulveren met Zevael, a Chimera--a genetically engineered being comprised of human DNA mixed with the DNA of various monster species. It was Zevael who finally managed to get her over her trauma, reasoning that she was not the monster that she thought she was, but that she was only a person who had been trying to survive. She did not have to condone the murders she committed--she could repent for them in her own way--but she could not let herself be swallowed by her guilt and regrets.
Taking his words to heart, Yeulveren finally returned home to her family and was given a warm welcome, gaining their reassurance that they would stick by her side because of all she had done for them while they were growing up. Grateful for their words, Yeulveren threw herself into her studies, discovering her skill for healing magic (and finding it terribly ironic) and renewing her love for discovering more about the surface world--her father's world. Though her family always insisted that she go out and live for herself now, knowing that they would be okay and that she would return, it was only when Idradel encouraged her to travel to the surface that she finally made up her mind.
Embracing her memories, both good and bad even though she may never truly recover from the latter, Yeulveren embarked on her journeys across the surface world. Though her main goal is mostly to enjoy her time there for as long as she can, there is a part of her that hopes that she will find Zevael again, so that she can thank him properly for helping her get her life back on track.
Likes: The ocean, her siblings, food (particularly fish and curry rice), geographical books and maps, music, being patted on the head, clear starry nights, (most) land-dwellers
Dislikes: Being treated like the gateway to immortality, being caged or otherwise trapped, the concept of marriage, bitter foods, bigotry
General Information of Yeulveren and Mermaids
- Yeulveren as a mermaid is pretty much an amalgam of different mermaid myths and legends. For specifics, see the Mermaid section below.
- She is the oldest of 13 siblings under her mermaid mother and the numerous human males that fathered them.
- She has two siblings from the same father--a younger twin brother named Idradel and a younger sister named Endivy. They are her closest friends.
- Her family is a part of a mermaid clan known as the Rullae, headed by none other than her mother, Peralei. Ironically, this does make her something of a mermaid princess.
- Most of her family has some variant of red hair, taking after their mother, Peralei. It's unknown as to why the shades vary when genetics don't work that way, or what causes the child to inherit one hair color over another. For example, while Rikyou and Sylphiel have black hair from their father, Mirsul, whose father had similarly black hair, was born with red hair.
- Canonically, all of Yeulveren's siblings have or had exceedingly long and flowing hair as was common for their kind in the story. Even the boys. The reason for this is due to mermaid culture (you can read more on this in the Mermaid section, under Customs). This was obviously not carried over Gaia-wise to fit their personalities (and to avoid giving all of them similar hairstyles).
- The extent of her magical abilities is much greater as a mermaid than in human form. This is because when she is in human form, much of her magic is concentrated in keeping her legs formed. However, this could be considered a type of power limiter only, as the more she grows accustomed and trains the greater her power grows, and so the more she has available in human form. It is simply the fact that as a mermaid she has greater power than she does as a human (i.e. she can have great power as a human, but she will always have even greater power as a mermaid). As of right now, she is still considered a fairly young mermaid and is acknowledged to have only unlocked a partial amount of her full power. But that power is significant, especially considering her heritage and the training involved.
- While Yeulveren can be considered skilled in her magical abilities concerning water and ice, at this point in time at her current age and experience level (see the Misc. tab below to see my estimations on her age here on Gaia), she is considered mid-to-high-tier. So, on a ranking system of C-B-A-S where C is the lowest and S is the highest, she would be around either a very high B or low A rank. To compare, her mother Peralei would be S rank (or rather higher, if we're being completely honest), as Peralei is capable of manipulating even the water in another person's body/blood--and quite easily, at that. She is also able to conjure water from the environment extremely quickly, to the point that it seems to appear out of nowhere. Yeulveren, who can also draw water from her surroundings, must noticeably concentrate on doing so and thus does it at a considerably slower pace.
- She's pretty protective of children or at least what she deems to be the young of any given race. This was most likely born of her caring for her siblings while growing up.
- The purple flower Yeul wears on her hair is an artificial magic creation made by her brother, Idradel. Yeulveren is unaware of it, believing it to be a simple hair decoration, but the flower's gem contains an enormous amount of Idradel's lightning magic.
- Despite her appearance, Yeul is very, very old. An exact age is hard to calculate since the date of her birth is not recorded (hence, "chronologically unknown" age). However, this version of Yeulveren is somewhere between the ages of 4,000 and 6,000 years old. That is actually still considered rather young for a mermaid of her species. Of course, this is hard to tell because all mermaids stop aging at a certain point.
- Mermaids do not have souls. In order to gain one, they must marry a being that has a soul, whether mortal or immortal. However, upon marriage and gaining a soul, the mermaid subjects herself to living to her spouse's lifespan and giving up her tail to live alongside him. No more, and no less.
- Tied with with the mention of Auravescia in the Origins section, my personal theory (or, at least, the main one that made its way into her story canon in bits and pieces) of why and how mermaids lack souls is traced back to their ancestor, the goddess Auravescia. As mentioned, she gave birth to the (official) first of mermaid kind--the daughter she bore from a human man, named Erisale. Erisale became the matriarch of all mermaids, and it is from her that mermaids had initially picked up their scorn of humanity out of the wrath of betraying her mother. Erisale then gave birth to nine offspring, Peralei and her brothers and sisters, Sulsaya, Noverelm, Noyerale, Thertia, Calalys, Veskalon, Rishon, and Isina, who became the leaders of the nine "noble" mermaid clans.
- Getting into the soul bit: not all mermaids are descended directly from Erisale and, thus, Auravescia, as there are some mortal creatures like dolphins or fish that can become mermaids if they acquire enough magic power. However, once they become mermaids they are acknowledged as such--as a child of Auravescia and thus given her blessing (although sometimes this may result in disputes between "pureblood" mermaids and what they describe as "halfbreed"). And as children of a goddess, they become more of a force of nature than anything. Strictly speaking, mermaids in my headcanon are essentially spirits--elementals--of water. They are a part of the sea, which is why they turn into sea foam upon death. Basically, mermaids don't really have souls of their own because they are a facet of the world's soul, connected by their Honored Great Mother, Auravescia, who has long since become one with the sea.
- And so, to make this section run full circle, if a mermaid wishes to leave behind her life as a part of the sea, she must share the soul of another through marriage, thus binding herself to him rather than the world. Why it has to be marriage to officially grant her a soul? My guess it's the whole "holy matrimony" spiel. As the descendants of a goddess, in order to break ties with their divine ancestor the bond must be held before the gods, to acknowledge that one of their own is leaving behind her life as an immortal to become mortal.
- Mermaids believe that they were spawned from their goddess, Auravescia, who fell in love with a mortal (enough to be willing to give up her immortality for him) but was left alone carrying his child when he married another woman. In her despair, she fled to the ocean so that she would not see him and his happiness without her, and there she and her child became the first mermaids. It is because of her that mermaids believe they were once compelled to sink ships and lure sailors to their deaths as revenge for their Great Mother. At the same time, it's believed that the reason why mermaids are only able to have children in human form has something to do with Auravescia's love for the mortal man, whom she allegedly never stopped loving.
- Also, in case anyone thinks I'm just making up the idea of mermaids spawning from a goddess because I want to make Yeul divine somehow--I didn't. There is an actual legend I based Auravescia on--a goddess of ancient Assyria known as Atargatis who turned herself into a mermaid out of the shame of accidentally killing her human beloved--but modified to fit the lore of the story that Yeulveren belongs to and give mermaids a sort of point of origin.
- Mermaids are long-lived, but they do not have complete immortality and can be killed. At the time of "creating" Yeul's brand of mermaids for the story she belongs to, I had Tolkien's elves in mind--incredibly long-lived and essentially ageless, but can be slain (only mermaids don't get the benefit of their spirits going to a place like Valinor since they don't have souls). Death usually comes to them by beheading, as sometimes if there is still life-force in the mermaid's body she can recover from fatal wounds. Upon death, however, their bodies will eventually turn to sea foam.
- If one has the opportunity to retrieve it before the main body dissipates, however, eating the flesh of a mermaid or drinking its blood can turn a human or other mortal being immortal. But it is a one in a million chance--literally. Most people who take the chance end up dead because mermaid flesh is a terrifyingly potent poison otherwise... or they become a mindless abomination known as a Lost Soul. (For more on this, read Rumiko Takahashi's Mermaid Saga. If you've the stomach for it.)
- There are more mermaids than mermen. No one knows the reason why.
- Mermaids can only give birth in a human body, which is why they are capable of magic that gives them legs. Both mermaids and mermen are fertile (usually), so there are instances in which a mermaid and merman join to produce children together as opposed to mating with other races.
- Mermaid offspring can go one of two paths, the mermaid's or their land-dwelling parent's (if applicable). Most of the time the mermaid takes her offspring with her if she is not married to her lover, raising the child as a mermaid. Sometimes, however, the child is left on land to live there, though the mermaid may come back to claim them.
- Most mermaids do not actually eat humans, though in modern times with food growing scarce from overfishing some become quite desperate to survive...
- In ancient tradition for mermaids, hair length was a symbol of beauty/vanity as well as age/power. While the former meaning has mostly dwindled away, hair length is still indicative of age/power, and so mermaids often keep their hair grown out to show others that they have been around for a long time and thus were not to be messed with. Put into perspective, canon!Yeulveren is mentioned to have hair that drags on the floor when in human form (which she is later persuaded to cut, much to her dismay). When met, Peralei is hinted at having hair over twice as long as she is tall (as none of the siblings have measured it) when unbound. As a result, Yeulveren is more easily approached whereas Peralei is treated with utmost respect and fear from mermaids both in and out of their clan.
- Certain mermaid clans--the nine noble clans in particular--apply markings to its members when they reach a certain power level as a result of their training. These markings can also be used as an indicator of heritage and social ranking. The Rullae's clan markings specifically are on the face, though placement in other clans can appear anywhere else on the upper body. The only exceptions to this are the nine founders of the noble clans, the children of Erisale, whose markings are not only full body but are actually natural and not tattooed on. Rather, they appear and fade when the user utilizes great power. However, given that their children did not possess the same energy markings, it was agreed that their children would be marked to indicate their lineage as part of the direct line of Auravescia, coming in the form of a crescent moon on their foreheads.
- "I will pray for blue skies for you" is, as mentioned in the Heliotrope entry, the greatest wish for luck a mermaid can give to another. Supposedly, the phrase originates from Lady Erisale, whose wrath against the human race resulted in many storms in order to sink their ships. Even she had a period of time in which she became inordinately fond of a human--so much so that when they parted she uttered these famous words to him. Legend has it that whenever he went out to sea from that point on, the skies were always clear.