Commonly called the "Seafolk", Atlantaens are an aquatic Incarnate Adept bloodline. They can be said to be part fish and part human: Their DNA matrix is a combination of Piscine, human and components of exotic DNA such as those derived from the amphibian Axolotl.
Just like other Adepts, in human form, most Atlantaens are indistinguishable from regular humans. When in their Hybrid form, Atlantaens have fins on their arms and legs, gills on the sides of their neck (or behind their ears) and large dilated eyes for improved underwater perception. Some Atlantaen families sport sharp teeth, and some have nematodes. There is a wide variety of different patterns and colours for different Atlantaen families due to their rich biodiversity.
Anatomy and biology
The Incarnates originally engineered the Atlantaen lineage to be perfectly adapted to colonize oceanic worlds and their great regenerative abilities were designed to increase their survivability against the threats of deep sea predators as well as environmental pollution, including radiation.
Just like other Adepts since the Aohu Accord, all Atlantaens are born human, thus families will have to spend a portion of their time living on land to care for their young. Since the Awakening, many Atlantaens lived in coastal towns and on islands, never far from large bodies of water.
The majority of Atlantaens are either bipedal; having two separate feet. But roughly one quarter of their population have the 'classic' appearance of a single fish tail from the waist down, which is really a conjoining of both legs during a shift for superior swimming speed and less drag. These 'monotail' Atlantaen families are normally found in deeper waters, further away from human and Corp settlements. Monotail Atlantaens, particularly the females, are subject to media attention because of their beauty and the rich historical references of legends with Mermaids. In the popular tourist destination of Vanida it is an almost stereotpical "bucketlist" goal to bed a monotail Mermaid... although most Atlantaens scoff at this as physical copulation with a monotail is impossible if she does not shift into human form.
The Atlantaens have a similar issue with shifting with the Nephalem in that they cannot morph into a complete animal (Fish) form, however, unlike their Nephalem cousins, they can freely go between a functional hybrid human form sporting scales, fins, gills to a full human form. Greater mastery of their shift allows Atlantaens to isolate particular components of their hybrid morphology including webbed toes and/or fingers for superior swimming and of course gills for breathing underwater.
Their regeneration ability (See Atlantaen Regeneration) allows them to shift almost painlessly which makes them the envy of the other lineages. This singular factor has been their greatest recruiting mechanism for Atlantaen Assignment.
The Atlantaens have the highest degree of variance between anatomy of any of the Adept strains, leading the leaders of the Atlantaen community to argue that it is a conspiracy among land-dwelling Incarnates to generalise and thus marginalize the scale and thus importance of their culture.
The famous racial ability of the Atlantaens is their incredible regeneration. While all Adepts have some degree of healing that can be said to be superhuman, the Atlantaens' capacity is beyond even that. Thanks to their Axolotl genetic donors, the Atlantaens are capable of growing back any body part, even their brains, without the need for transplants. Severed appendages can be held to the site of incision and rejoined to an Atlantaen's body. Burns vanish without leaving scars. This remarkable genetic adaptation has been greatly sought after, but still out of reach of any contemporary scientist as it represents the 'holy grail' of medical research: True Cellular regeneration. Perhaps only the Atlantaen Progressive families possess the ancestral secrets of this gift, but they are tight lipped on the subject.
Atlantaen Regeneration: Atlantaens can focus for 6 seconds to heal themselves, this action triggers the start of the regeneration process. The character regains 1 BQ per rank of Atlantaen Regeneration per second subsequently, but may not take any other actions while regenerating. The character can interrupt this process but needs to focus again to resume regeneration. An unconscious Atlantaen will heal up to 1 BQ point (if less than that) but will need medical intervention to kickstart the regeneration process.
Visitors to Atlantaen communities are advised to avoid using the terms "Mermaid", "Merman" and "Merfolk". While not actually rude, most Atlantaens find usage of the term ignorant and politically incorrect given that the 'Mer' Progressive royal line are no longer their Monarchs due to a provision of the Sovereign Act in the Aohu Accord. "Seafolk" is the most widely accepted name, followed by "Orang Laut" which is their historical name.
The Sovereign act caused the feudal political system of the underwater kingdoms to fragment into an unimaginable number of Civil corporations.
The Atlantaens mostly resent the Aohu Accord and by extension, the awakening as their way of life was dramatically disrupted due to the dependence on land; as their children are now born without being able to breathe in water. Deep Sea Atlantaens have circumvented this by importing breathing gear and some even create air-filled domiciles for them to interact with their children without ever having to leave the ocean. This causes problems in itself due to the children never interacting with non-atlantaen society, breeding almost an entire generation of Atlantaen nationalists.
The Mer family
The unchallenged rulers of the Deep, the largest Atlantaen community in the world are a Progressive family named the Mer. The current patriach, Dagan, the Master of the Deep, is currently on his deathbed. Having ruled for nearly 200 years, his children have not fully borne the responsibilities of his office, as the representative of the Atlantaens to both the World Board and a member of the IGOC. Mer Succession is a large issue in the minds of the Atlantaen people as the two sons, despite being both legitimate heirs and possessing all the skills and knowledge of their father, have radically different personalities. The younger son, Hemeng is notorious for spending most of his time philandering on the surface, mostly in Vanida and San Miguel. Hemeng is known to skirt with the wrong side of the law, driving sports cars too fast, making terrible business decisions and impregnating various celebrities. Hemeng desires to take over his father's position, but wants to also inflame the separatist movement of the Vanidan Atlantaens. Hemeng is also known to associate with a dangerous Draken criminal on the ICBI watchlist: Snake. The Elder son, the heir apparent, Heming, is an academic and a recluse. Very little is known of his activities due to his paranoid and secretive nature. Political watchers speculate that Heming is in fact estranged from his father and seeks to form a commercial relationship with one of the major Civil Corporations on land. Possibly, selling out his family's stake and tipping the balance of power in Ampawn.