These hairless waterborne humanoids usually have dark blue skin (though other hues are not uncommon), large dark eyes, long spindly arms, webbed fingers and toes, and a dorsal fin that travels down from their head to the base of their spine and are as slender as elves. This race of aquatic humanoids are fast swimmers and have slippery skin instead of scales.
Shalarin originally come from the Sea of Corynactis but, in an effort to gain divine power, the demon lord Dagon opened the Wildtide Portal that swept up a large number of shalarin from their home and deposited them in the Sea of Fallen Stars. Having already managed to restrict the shalarin pantheon's influence to the Corynactis, he hoped to destroy the contingent in the inner sea by having those loyal to him attack them. He didn't count on the merfolk intervening though and together, the merfolk and the surviving 30% of the shalarin defeated Dagon's forces. The shalarin found a new god to replace the old ones whom they could no longer hear and Dagon's plan was foiled.
The Wildtide Portal continued to open every 720 years however, and each time a new load of shalarin were swept into the inner sea. This continued until the fifth 'Shalarin Passing' during which, the Wildtide Portal didn't close, creating a permanent link between the Sea of Fallen Stars and the Sea of Corynactis. The fact that the Portal didn't close became a highly guarded secret of the shalarin who prevented word of the fact from reaching the ears of the other being of Faerûn.
Shalarin are social creatures. They created the kingdom of As'arem which came to prominence in the wake of the Sixth Serôs War. Shalarin also live in Myth Nantar and have very few enemies except for the sahuagin race.
Shalarin are organized in clans, which are subdivided in castes that are assigned before birth according to the color of the egg they hatch from. Roughly, they were divided in Ruler and Servant castes. The existing castes are those of :
- Rulers: Those destined to rule the clan.
- Scholars: Those that will keep the lore of the clans intact. Rust colored shells with striated surfaces signaled a would be scholar shalarin.
- Protectors: Those that will defend the Shalarin from enemies of any kind, either with magic or weapons. The eggs were rough and dark brown colored.
- Providers: The ones that provide services, such as keeping the hatcheries, providing equipment and others. Particularly, they were allowed to choose what she would want to do. They are born from rust colored shells with striated surfaces.
- Seekers: Shalarin meant to wander the seas and look for greater meaning beyond the shalarin themselves. The caste of Seekers was announced with smooth black eggs.
It was thought that someone from a caste could not really perform the tasks of another caste effectively. However, there is no indication that the color of the eggs indicates any intellectual or physical difference among the shalarin before training to fulfill the roles of the caste they have been assigned.
The shalarin who still lived in the Sea of Corynactis had invariably been corrupted by the Cult of Dagon which came to prominence after the shalarin pantheon fell silent at some point between the fourth and fifth Shalarin Passings. Little did the Serôsian shalarin know, but their communities had been infiltrated by the Cult of Dagon without their noticing and the numbers of the cult grew in secret from 1371 DR onward.
Tu'uua'col: He was a male shalarin, advisor and close friend to merking Vhaemas of Eadraal. Despite his wisdom and good nature, he was mistrusted and envied by the other king's advisors. He foresaw that the merfolk of Serôs would have to collaborate with the other underwater races in order to stop Iakhovas.
Tridents are used a lot by shalarin but their most common weapon is magic. The shalarin people can also use mind control over some aquatic animals but this may be due to the serving of a certain deity.
Even though some worship Umberlee or the "Bitch Queen," they are not a sinister people. Though some of the shalarin worship Umberlee unwillingly, their main deity is Trishina or known to them as Ri'da'trisha. She has been known as the "Mother Goddess" to the shalarin since her description looks similar to theirs.
- Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
- Richard Lee Byers (August 2005). Queen of the Depths. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3737-8.