The Bernumaids are the only race in Yanside native to water. They are able to walk on land with their two legs like any ordinary human, but they can also swim underwater like fish by joining together their legs and spreading their webbed feet to form a tailfin, along with spreading their capes to steer underwater like manta rays. They are a friendly race, and they get along well with all the other races. Their dexterity underwater makes them great adventurers, scientists, environmental conservators, etc. But they are equally helpful as warriors, shop owners, travellers, and any other land jobs as the other races, especially through their proficiency in magic. Though they can survive for long periods of time above water, long exposure may lead to them drying out and significantly losing stamina, maybe even dying. So they do occasionally return to any body of water to rejuvenate their form.

Bernumaid culture is very similar to human culture, even underwater. They have schools, homes, and fashion all kinds of undersea fauna into household items, such as coral combs, or anemone dinner plates. They like to bring all sorts of trinkets, souvenirs and clothes from land to their watery homes, without fear of getting them wet, because most of them don’t mind. There’s apparently a common spell among Bernumaids that can dry entire bodies and objects in a second, so they don’t have to worry about looking soggy above ground anyways. There are Bernumaids who settle homes in the undersea wildlife of oceans and seas, and they hunt all kinds of fish via magic, or by their sharp teeth or their retractable talons hidden within their toes, that they pierce enemies similar to how birds attack. Despite their large wing span, they can move very fast underwater, and are very agile hunters. However, they are not so proficient hunters on land due to their non-streamlined shapes.

Bernumaids are an entirely female race; there are no such things as male Bernumaids. Because of this, Bernumaids have to resort to consorting with males of other races on land in order to reproduce. Sometimes this is a throwaway affair, as Bernumaids have to take care of their young underwater for a few years until they can walk on land, hence their fathers would be unable to see them. And because of this, some Bernumaids go their entire lives without knowing who their father is. But to inspire stronger ties with the other races, the community strongly advise that Bernumaids make bonds with those whom they share a kin, and this involves living in deep bodies of water close to where the father lives; or have the father move closer to their lover and child, so as to inspire frequent visits and communication.

Bernumaids reproduce similarly to humans, though not entirely. They do get pregnant and harbour their young in their wombs for about 6 months before they give birth. But they don’t give birth to the child straight away; instead they lay the soft, circular egg that holds the baby, and carry it around with them underwater as it grows in size, until it hatches. This needs to be done underwater so the egg can absorb the nutrients around it and grow. If left above water for a significant amount of time, the baby inside will be severely malnutritioned and possibly die as a result. When the baby hatches, the mother continually looks after it and cares for it underwater, so they can learn how to swim, and get enough strength in their legs for them to walk above ground. Because of the bendy nature of the way Bernumaids’ legs move, the time it takes for Bernumaid babies to gain enough strength in their legs to walk above ground usually takes about 2-3 years. It is also entirely possible for multiple Bernumaids to hatch from the same egg.

Bernumaids come in many shapes, sizes and colours. Some have sharing colour schemes in their hair and capes, others have different colour schemes. Some Bernumaids’ tail capes are a different colour to their shoulder capes. Some Bernumaids’ talons, teeth and eyes are a different or a similar colour to the rest of their body. Most Bernumaids have whitish skin, with a colour rimming their capes and underside of their arms. Some Bernumaids have darker skin, even pitch black. Some Bernumaids even have extra appendages similar to other fish, like an anglerfish light, or webbed ears. The colour of a Bernumaid is entirely appearance-related, and may have no effect on their personality. What colours the Bernumaid will be is usually shown by the colour of their egg before they hatch, and this colour doesn’t even have to share the same colour as their mother. Some believe the personalities / genes of the father are responsible for the colourisation of the Bernumaid eggs, but it is an urban legend.

It’s also worth noting that Bernumaids’ hair, eyelashes and capes all feel the same; rubbery, squishy and soft, but the hair and eyelashes can be cut and styled like regular human hair. However the capes can’t, and any attempt to cut them or poke through them would hurt like hell. Each Bernumaid also bears a distinct black mark on their faces, that is different for each and every Bernumaid. This is also entirely appearance-related.

The origin of the Bernumaids is a curious folklore. According to legend, in the time of beginning, there existed a bird that took too many supplies and things from other races, and so the powers that be struck it down and it fell and sank into the water, seemingly drowning to death. But instead of that, the bird actually evolved to its current environment, tended to its own wounds, and lived below water, away from the eyes of the powers above. As it hid, it gave birth to more birds that learned to live underwater, as this line of birds gradually evolved through time, they became the Bernumaids. The sins of the first bird were repaid by the Bernumaids by contributing to the society of other races.