|Common Nicknames||Iron Fish, Skandale-svømmer, Tonnamac|
|Habitat||Various bodies of the Oceans|
The Findt is a species of silver-gray fish that heavily populate several of Aloria’s most well-traveled seas and oceans. It is key to the lifestyle of many fishing communities across the world but is most tied to the Velheim and Aontaithe Ailor, who believe it’s tied to the Old Gods. It exists in a nearly ceaseless series of migration patterns across the many Alorian bodies of water it inhabits with no particular or consistent reason.
Findt are one of the most common fish in all of Aloria, populating The Windward Seas, The Inner Essa Sea, The Vultarrin Sea, The Essalonian Sea, The Corontium Sea, and The West Allorn Sea as they have for millennia. The Fin’ullen and Teledden were aware of the fish from their earliest years due to the animal’s migrations which brushed over the eastern coastline of Teled Methen and other lands of Daen. As a result, it became a staple of the Fin’ullen diet that faded with time as more exotic or interesting species came to the forefront. The Ailor of Old Ceardia also forged a connection with the fish, albeit much later than the Nelfin. While Findt migration patterns have never reached Old Ceardia, they were instead encountered by the early sailors of the Proto-Velheim and later Ceardians who migrated and settled along the eastern and northern coastline of Carrhen. Centuries later, it is likely the Aontaithe were already aware of the fish when their ancestors were seized and ended up being trapped on The Emerald Isles with their captors. However, what few in such a group could have likely guessed was that The Emerald Isles served as a major spawning ground for the species and thus an epicenter of their numbers. This was ultimately revealed during the Cataclysm when the god-wave of water washed over the Isles, causing no harm.
Amidst this vast surge of the surf, many species were observed and among them was the Findt. Following this event, either due to some shifts underwater granting them greater access or a lull in the migration activity of the species, they became highly populous in the waters of the area and a staple to the Ailor diet. Fishing became a common line of work and when the barrier finally subsided in the year 120 AC, these fisherpeople became some of the first to pierce beyond the shores of The Emerald Isles. The Findt accompanied them, and it is commonly held that the earliest Aontiathe followed the migrations of the animal to find waters off other shores of Aloria. As for wider Aloria, they continued to fish and harvest the Findt across the waters of the world before and after the Cataclysm. Despite this increased reliance from the world, the fish’s population continues to remain high, helped by serious disruptions to normal life in lands like Teled Methen and the northern lands of Aloria due to conflicts with both mundane and arcane threats. The Findt has evolved into a common symbol of the sea, seen on many a hanging sign, minor noblility’s crest, and decorative element in the artwork of the world. This ubiquity is likely to remain true for decades if not centuries to come.
The Findt is an interesting creature, as it can vary in size significantly for seemingly no reason, reaching barely a foot long to up to eight feet, weighing according to this size. Their heads are triangular, with shiny gray scales forming their faces while their large, downward-facing mouths are colored dark gray like the rest of their scaled bodies. Behind the head and its gray eyes are the fish’s gills–two pale slits–before a few inches behind that sit the small pectoral fins of the fish, which point up. These pale in comparison to the large and backwards curved pectoral fins, who are pale gray like much of the animal’s face. Behind this is a generally slim body with only a small, similar gray dorsal fin reaching back until the animal’s tail fin. Their tail is very long, and largely membranous with a clear forking effect and the same general color as the creature’s shiny face. However, the fin’s effectiveness stops after the first several inches, with the remaining length lacking any muscle or function, but also weight, meaning that they are just shimmering thin endings to the creature’s body.
Findt lack external identifiers between the sexes, as the coloration is wholly uniform and unchanging between members of the species. The only difference between different Findt is their size and it is generally determined that those fish from the north generally grow larger while those from the south grow smaller. Most assume that the animal’s size is tied to their diet.
Life Span and Development
Findt are born in tiny, dark blue roe that are laid in coastal spawning areas at least once a year by Findt females, whereafter Findt males will fertilize the eggs. These roe hatch within just a few weeks and spend only a few more eating and quickly growing in size. By the time they are three months old, their bodies will have enough mass to allow them to join a school, which they do and then follow instinctual paths in their travels across Aloria. They can live an astonishing sixteen years.
Findt are generally mindless fish which react to events with pure instinct, such as trying to avoid predators or blockages by moving around them in unison with those members of the school around them. The Findt has an almost pack mentality, as they swim with their fellows in whatever direction is dictated. When isolated, the animal has both poor eyesight and low brain functions, meaning they often make an easy meal for whatever predators spy such isolated specimens.
Territory and Groupings
Findt form into vast schools after reaching maturity, the largest of these schools reaching into the thousands with the largest ever supposedly being observed by the Fin’ullen in 1300 BC at some 10,000 individuals in a single group united and moving together. Findt move across Aloria in a massive cyclical pattern, spending months at a time following ocean currents to reach more shallow seas or coastal waters where they might spawn or gain respite.
- Fishmongers are sometimes called Findtmongers in certain communities across Aloria due to their heavy, almost exclusive catches of just this type of fish.
- The Old Gods faith has many myths on the origin of the Findt, but also roles it has played in many a saga. Findt’s most common origin in such fables is cited as a dalliance by Hel, Dancer of Death with Toke, Lirh of Wilde, in an effort to gain the attention of Bev, Mirror of Life. This effort failed and the offspring of this union now ceaselessly flee their anguished mother.