Seals are a common sight in the waters around Sevrin, but they are most likely to be found sunning on the rocks surrounding the forest island of Sveonis. Tales of selkies–seals that can take on human form–are common fireside tales, but few people in Sevrin believe they truly exist.
Still, even naysayers can’t help but notice that the fisherfolk of Sveonis tend to have dark eyes and dark, ashy blond hair that’s suspiciously close in hue to a grey seal’s pelt. Most shrug this off as just another peculiarity of the insular community. In the tales, selkies maidens are incomparably beautiful, slight and winsome and graceful. Most women from the Sveonis fishing villages are not, to put it kindly, fashioned from the fabric of legend. They tend to be short and stout, dwarf-like in silhouette and temperment.
But it has never occurred to anyone, not even the storyspinners, that the old tales might have gotten it wrong. Human legends might speak of selkies lovers, but elves and dwarves know the selkies as warriors. The fisherfolk of Sveonis are, in fact, the remnants of a very old civilization, the descendants of guardians who fell in defense of the lost elven kingdom of Sveonis. The children escaped into the sea and returned many years later to an island deserted by elves and depleted of magic. Each generation, fewer selkies are born with the ability to take on sealskin. They believe that one day the elves will return with magic that will restore selkies to their former strength. Until then, they pass along old tales, secretly train each new generation in the fighting arts, and bide their time.