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Every day, sailors are lost to their harsh mistress. The fortunate among them simply drown, the less fortunate are devoured by some underwater creature, and the least fortunate wind up in the clutches of the Teuthians; who subject them to torturous experimentation in the pursuit of magical and alchemical knowledge. The Teuthians, known in the vulgar tongue as the "Squid-Men" are beings of uncertain origins and pitiless amorality. Teuthians display very little in the way of sexual dimorphism but otherwise possess great physical variety; adults stand between five and seven feet tall and are completely hairless. They have two glossy , bulbous, void-black eyes. Their slimy, rubbery skin can be stark white, inky black, and many colors in-between; though shades of pink and purple, mottled with black spots seem to represent the vast majority. Owing to the pressure of their deep-sea homes, Teuthians are stronger than even the most robust Obon or Mumuye. They cannot normally breathe air, but they've created alchemical apparatuses that give them a measure of mobility above the waves.
Their most distinctive feature though, are the slender tentacles that hang from their faces; where a mouth and chin would be on a man. The tentacles are generally one-and-a half or two feet in length, smooth on one side and covered with toothy suckers on the side facing the Teuthian's body. The average Teuthian will have six of these tentacles, higher caste members of the race seem pre-disposed to having nine, and the Physic-Kings and Sorcerer-Chemists will also have nine tentacles but two of them will be longer than the rest by half.
Teuthians do not have traditional families, and their young are raised collectively. Adults tend to treat children as apprentices to be passed around until they demonstrate ability and motivation for a particular pursuit or until they become an adult; whichever comes first. Adults are generally free to go into any line of work; it's not at all unusual for a craft supervisor to suddenly have an extra hand that they didn't solicit. The exception to this employment process are with practitioners of the mystic sciences who do not suffer trespassers into their laboratories lightly.
Teuthians occupy cities carved into the walls of ocean trenches, or constructed from limestone and coral. These cities will always have quarters where air-breathers can survive, though they're typically just prisons that feed into laboratories, arenas, or other chambers that their surface-world captives would rather not be. Major Teuthian cities are built around volcanic vents, which they harness through mystical means for use in their various experiments. Though they can see in the unlit depths just fine, their cities are illuminated with phosphorescent coral. To protect their homes from monsters and their undersea rivals, bigger enclaves keep a colossal kraken as a guardian. Lesser krakens are utilized for attacking ships.
Collectively the Teuthians are obsessed with magic, alchemy, and their applications. They value the arcane in all forms, with no regard for the notions of good and evil that exist on the surface. Body transformation and the creation or alteration of life is considered the most interesting of the mystic sciences. Many Teuthians seek immortality, methods of breathing air and surviving in lower pressure environments. They mutate surface slaves, and perform otherwise impossible breeding experiments to push the limits of biology and sorcery.
Their society offers many opportunities for advancement, but little security at the higher echelons. The Physic-Kings are simply the most accomplished alchemists and magic-users. The Sorcerer-Chemists are less accomplished, but always seeking to hone their crafts. A Physic-King theoretically has unlimited power over their subjects, but they rarely micromanage their people. A Physic-King is used to simply declaring that they want something accomplished within a particular time-table and letting the other Teuthians organize themselves.
The Teuthians primary nemesis beneath the waves are the voracious Xoc. They are also frequently rebuffed by the mariners of Quelosq who take exception to the Teuthians resemblance to, and use of squids; which they consider to be an animal sacred to the Deep.