|Common Nicknames||Iron Fish|
The Findt is a species of silver-grey fish that heavily populate several of Aloria’s most well-traveled oceans. Key to the lifestyle of both Velheim fishermen and the Ériunin people who believe the fish to be a gift from The Uilemáthair (the upper deity of the local religion and one associated with nature), the fish exists in a nearly ceaseless series of migration patterns across the many Alorian bodies of water. The fish are also well known for their extreme differences in size, seemingly at random for no particular reason.
Findt are one of the most common fish in all of Aloria, heavily populating the Altar Sea, Great Middle Sea and Daen Sea since time immemorial. The Altalar have been aware of the fish since they sailed through the region, and their plentiful presence was a major source of food for expeditions in these areas. When Ailor passed through the region in the centuries leading up to the Cataclysm, they also benefited from the fish, in particular the seaborn Velheim. But no single Culture has benefited more from the Findt than the Ériunin. Their island region is small, and fairly insignificant for much of its history. Indeed, it went undiscovered for four centuries after the original inhabitants were stranded there. While the terrain did offer resources and food, the population largely survived thanks to the plentiful waters awash with Findt, whose most widely accepted name is taken from Ériunnach, the Culture’s language. It sits right at the crossroads of the great Findt migration patterns, and so each and every spring perhaps a million Findt stream past Ériu-Innis. For this yearly and continuous bounty, the regional Ailor came to see the fish as a gift from their central goddess, a corruption of Estel known as The Uilemháthair. As the goddess of nature and spring, naturally she must be the source of these fish. Beyond the shores of this isolated isle though, many Ailor have come to rely on the fish as a basic source of food and work in life. Their schools are so vast that it is heavily unlikely any Alorian fishing efforts will damage this species of fish for a long time to come.
The Findt is an usual 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 grey scaling forming their faces while their large, downward-facing mouths are colored dark grey like the rest of their scaled bodies. Behind the head and its pale grey eyes are the fish’s gills, with two 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 grey like much of the animal’s face. Behind this is a generally slim body, with only a small, similarly pale grey dorsal fin reaching back until the animal’s tail fin. This fin 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 several feet 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, while 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. However, these ideas are vague and most assume that the animal’s growth is tied to their diet and traits from their parents.
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, where Findt males will then 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 into 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, who 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. Indeed, the Findt has an almost pack mentality, as they swim with their fellows in whatever direction is dictated. When isolated though, 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 an appropriate size, the largest of these reaching into the thousands with the largest ever supposedly being observed by the Altalar in 1300 BC at some 10,000 individuals in a single group united and moving together. They move across Aloria in massive cyclical patterns, 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.
- Findt tails are occasionally used in bridal ceremonies for those Velheim who live close to the sea and are dried before being used to veil a woman’s face to then be revealed by her husband when she reaches his arms.