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Tritons (pronounced: /ˈtrtʌnzTRY-tunz[5]) were an outsider race native to the seas but hailing from the Elemental Plane of Water.[2][6]


Tritons were a humaniform race, notable in their many underwater adaptations that render them visually distinct from other humanoid races. Their skin was most commonly a deep-blue, but had also been known to appear as pearl, light green, or in rare cases, other mutant colors.[7] Their hands and feet were webbed, and they had minor dorsal fins that run from their mid-calf and end at their ankles. They were notably shorter than humans, averaging around five feet tall.[8]

Triton hair tended to be dark blue or dark green, and were worn in the form of long, flowing ‘manes’. Triton men typically cut their hair around five inches past their shoulders, braiding it to keep it out of their eyes. While triton women occasionally followed this rule, they have also been known to let it flow free. Triton hair did not grow within two inches of the base of their pointed ears, giving the appearance that it had been shaved there. When heading into combat, they often bound their hair into styles such as tight ponytails, so as to maintain visibility. They were also known to weave pieces of coral or metal into their hair for emergency use as bludgeons.[8]

Triton eyes typically seemed to vary between brilliant shades of green or blue. If seen in standard lighting (typically within 200 feet of the surface of the sea or near a typical torch), their eyes appeared similar to a human’s. In dim lighting, their pupils expanded greatly to allow for better sight in the dark, sometimes turning the entire eye black. Their eyes also possessed a nictitating membrane, which protected them from sudden changes or flashes in light. All of this allowed for them to have normal vision even up to depths of 1,000 feet under the sea[8], though the triton were known to be able to safely swim down to 3,000 feet.[9]


Tritons were a very proud people, with many biases and preconceptions as a result of their way of life. Having spent centuries protecting the world from supposed great evils under the sea, they believed they were entitled to a certain amount of fealty and respect from other races[8], something that was rarely acknowledged due to the lack of awareness many people held for the triton. Their isolation from the rest of the world also left them ignorant of the grand achievements of other civilizations or struggles the rest of the world has dealt with. When they were aware of such things, they considered them minor compared to the triton’s attempts to protect the world.[1]

Despite this, the triton were a noble and kind-hearted people who valued the world and other races. Their arrogance aside, they would readily sacrifice themselves to protect others, willing to fight and die for the other races of the world. They harbored a sense of guilt over allowing the evils of the Elemental Plane of Water threaten this world, and felt a need to make up for this crime.[1] The fact that their name, ‘Triton’, translated to ‘guardian’ in their language is an example of their heroic nature.[10]


Tritons riding a hippocampus, and others with tapal and trident.


Triton society was a patriarchal feudal system that consisted of inherited noble titles.[8] In addition, the military and priesthood shared a great deal of power, with the priesthood ruling over citizens at home and the military ensuring the survival of the communities. Their rule did not extend past their own protectorates, as each protectorate was a sovereign nation independent from the others.[11]

Triton settlements were built in a very orthodox, logical manner that stems from a characteristic orderliness. Triton protectorates started with a single garrisoned outpost, which took the form of a central tower surrounded by additional buildings or caverns to provide more space. There were then four more outposts created sixteen miles from the center tower, in each of the four cardinal directions. More outposts were then created, in sets of four, to create a grid-like pattern, ensuring that each settlement was within a half-day’s journey of each other. These protectorates ended up being composed of a capital city, a ring of eight trade cities, twelve farming villages, and twenty-four outposts guarding it all.[8] These cities reached no higher than 1,250 feet below sea level.[11]

The triton made regular use of hydrothermal vents to smelt metals and produce valuable weapons and armor. However, continued exposure to the mineral-rich waters could make them ill, so they limited their interactions with them.[12]


The triton were a theocratic society, where all triton had ties to the church of their creator-god, Persana. All that non-tritons knew of Persana’s worship was that it placed a great deal of focus on craftsmanship and guardianship, with the triton having created great cities in his name. Persana’s priests were known to work readily with those of other faiths, if such an arrangement would benefit the triton, something that Persana would do himself.[13]

The triton believed that Persana created their species out of magically treated water from the fountain of the Elemental Plane of Water. While Persana seemed to only care about the triton in particular, he would cooperate with other races and their gods if it means aiding his people. Rarely, he would have his avatar appear in triton courts to guide them, or would send omens in the form of things such as pearls, underwater whirlpools, or living caverns.[14]

Persana’s priests had many responsibilities in triton life. They were known to administer justice in court, act as architects for undersea cities, and even lead others in battle.[14]

Some triton claimed the god Eadro as their creator. The triton were also said to have a more significant druidic population than the the air-breathing races, tending to their aquatic environment and protecting it from harm.[15]


Tritons battling their foes with tapal and with spell.

The tritons had a special weapon that was unique solely to their culture, known as the tapal.[13] These were weapons traditionally carried through family lines, to be presented to a triton when they become an adult. Triton were also known to use more traditional weapons, such as unique aquatic variants of crossbows, designed with thicker wire and reinforced to withstand the pressure of the sea. They also used other aquatic weapons, such as stingray whips[16], daggers, javelins, nets,[17] and their favored weapons, tridents[18]. Triton weapons were often made from bone or coral, with enchantments to strengthen them. Some used metal, with magical enhancements to make them immune to rusting and pitting. [19]

The triton of Serôs wore two unique kinds of armor. The first, called silverweave, was a light and flexible fabric made out of coral fronds, treated so that it had the durability of chainmail but moved like cloth. This was rarely worn outside of war, and usually was made to protect the legs. The bulkier, ornamental pearl armor served as a counterpart, offering protection akin to plate armor while being much lighter.[18]

Triton spellcasters tended to use various shells in the place of magical staves.[20] When it came to writing down spells, they shunned books in favor of carving spells into a cavern wall, typically in a language only the triton wizards knew and in a cave only they can access.[19]

Triton believed in the Law of Duels, in which two combating armies would instead put forward their champions to represent their faction and fight a personal challenge. This public conflict could have been nonlethal and to first blood, if the challenged (not the challenger) chosen so.[21]


The most well-known triton-founded organization were the Dukars. The Dukars, through a mysterious ritual, used coral implants in their skeletons that caused magic to flow through them. The Dukars were divided between the Lorekeepers, who strove to preserve history, and the Peacekeepers, who kept the peace and gathered knowledge. Their numbers consisted of many races, with some claiming they counted storm giants, great whales, dolphins, koalinth, and ixitxachitl among their ranks. The organization disappeared due to an unknown conflict six hundred years ago, however, bringing an end to their 8,000 year long campaign for peace. They remained, but only in small number, with their goal being to maintain the fragile alliances in Serôs.[22]

The triton were also said to have an order of paladins known as the Order of the Crimson Shell, whose purpose was to destroy the sahuagin and put an end to their cult, the Jaws of Sekolah, as well as the terror it spread.[23]


Tritons had good relations with giant sea horses, hippocampi, and sea lions, such that these creatures would hark to a summons by the sounding of a conch shell horn.[24] They were uneasy around dolphins, who would invade their space without care and often would try to break down the triton’s aloof attitude.[8] The triton also domesticated twilight turtles, a species of black-and-purple aquatic turtles which glowed with bioluminescence, while also acting as a pack animal.[25]

Triton had a number of sapient allies. In Serôs, their allies included the shalarin, the merfolk, the morkoth of Qatoris[26], and the inhabitants of Myth Nantar.[13]

They were sometimes found as courtiers or servants in the palace of the marid Kalbari al-Durrat al-Amwaj ibn Jari, the Citadel of Ten Thousand Pearls, and entire tribes of them would occasionally accompany her whenever she traveled on the Prime Material plane.[27] Besides her, tritons often acted as bodyguards of traveling marids.[28]

Despite their xenophobic attitude, the triton rarely killed outsiders without reason. Instead, their preferred method of dealing with intruders depended on the quality of the individual, which was tested in a triton court. Those deemed innocent awakened the next day on a nearby shore, while the guilty were stripped of their belongings and set adrift ten miles from the nearest shore. This practice was called leaving them “to the fate of the seas”.[3]


The triton were said to be created long ago, when their patron god Persana created them out of magically treated water from the Elemental Plane of Water. They are said to be the ‘cousins’ of nereids, sharing a common ancestry.[29]

Centuries ago, the triton fought a number of elemental evils within the Elemental Plane of Water. These evils--such as the krakens, the sahuagin, and much more--were eventually defeated, and forced them into the Darkest Depths, a dark and crushing part of the plane. Eventually, the triton noticed that their enemies were strangely silent, causing them to investigate the Darkest Depths. There, they learned that their enemies had fled into the Prime Material Plane.[1]

The triton, feeling guilty from allowing this to occur, decided to pursue their enemies. Triton volunteers, skilled in weapons and magic, were sent into the Prime Material Plane to seek out these evils. They spread across the ocean, creating protectorates that served to guard locations they believed these creatures might lurk in, such as near portals or deep sea trenches.[1]

Once they had banished these evils to the farthest reaches of the ocean, the triton chose to stay in this plane, waiting for their enemies to return. Their cities spread throughout the seafloor, trading with other races but remaining so remote that even the merfolk and sea elves would rarely meet them.[1]

The first recorded appearance of the triton in Toril was in −106 DR, near the end of the Seventh Serôs War. The triton suddenly appeared from the deepest trenches of the Sea of Fallen Stars, where they struck at the morkoth Theocracy of the Deep Ones, forcing the morkoth to retreat back into the depths. From then on, the triton would keep balance between the shalarin and the morkoth, making a home on the ocean floor. The triton would continue to play an active role in Serôs, creating three new protectorates in the area: Ahlors in −91 DR, Vuuvax in 12 DR, and Pumana in 165 DR. These protectorates acted as sovereign city-states, separate from one another.[26]

In the time approaching the Twelfth Serôs War, the triton ignored the disruptions caused by the evil megalodon Iakhovas, believing it to be an “upwater problem” that would distract them from protecting the ocean floor. They wouldn’t involve themselves in the war until a triton conch was stolen by a mermaid and shalarin who sought aid against their enemies, causing the triton to chase after them. Soon afterward, the morkoth invaded the triton protectorates of Pumanath and Abydos, taking back fell magic that they would use to fight the Twelfth Serôs War. This caused the triton to realize their arrogance, and inspired them to join the war soon after.[8]

In Flamerule, 1369 DR, the tritons joined an alliance between the shalarin of Es’rath, the merfolk of Voalidru, and the good-aligned morkoth of Qatoris, in an attempt to rally against the growing plans of the morkoth of Olleth. In the month of Uktar, the triton formally joined the war, breaking the army of Iakhovas in two at Myth Nantar. The war ended soon afterward with Iakhovas being banished from Serôs.[26]

Notable Tritons[]

  • Dukar, a triton wizard who founded the Dukar organization.[30]
  • Jhimar, the triton warrior maiden who founded the now Lost Order of the Dukars, the Red Adherents, dedicated to the use of their coral weaponry.[31]
  • Keros the Wanderer, a triton exile who came into possession of the corrupt Claw of Xynakt, and ended up helping his people during the battle at Myth Nantar.[32]
  • Pythan, a triton wizard who sacrificed her life to seal away the greatest evils of Serôs within the Alamber Sea.[33]
  • Rusar, the first triton to learn to forge weapons with Rusar’s Coral, a type of coral that, when heated, becomes a steel-hard emerald-green crystal.[34]
  • Vodos, the Great Builder, a priest of Persana who designed the Sharksteeth Mounts and the Sharksbane Wall.[35]



Polyhedron #87, "Eye of the Leviathan"
Card Games


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