The Dolforro don’t have an analog in your world. Mermaids might be the closest, but they’re not even close. Mermaids are part woman, part fish and Dolforro were 100% fish. They looked very much like dolphins with arms ending in webbed hands (and yes, I know that dolphins are mammals, not fish, but the Dolforro were fish-men, not mammal-men). Dorsal fins grew from their backs and their arms ended in webbed hands. They had black eyes that looked past bottle shaped noses sporting bushy whiskers.
They gathered air through the water and could breath air too, with the aid of sorcery, which could also transform their tails into leg if they wished to walk ashore. They were strong in the ways of the Spires and had their own spin on the proper way to cast spells. They sang instead of speaking while casting and imbedded sea shells in their oily, black skin. The more gifted sorcerers had more shells and Sunome’s back, he was the son of Perlinora the Firstborn, looked like a mosaic from a Roman bath house.
They lived in two underwater cities sung up from the ocean floor. Perlinora sung up Calisende first. The heart of the city was the great pearl, a gift from her patron Rabyn. Perlinora buried the pearl at a nexus of Spirit’s ley lines and sang until she couldn’t sing any more. Reefs grew on the bottom to form Calisende, a vast coral city where the Dolforro lived and prayed. They didn’t have Stones, but the buried pearl functioned like Stones.
Her son, Sunome, came to Nammovalle with the second of Rabyn’s pearls needing a sorcerer to awaken the pearl’s power. Nammoran refused, but Elras was intrigued. The pearl already hummed with earthsong and he thought adding sorcery might make for an interesting experiment.
Still, Elras might not have gone against his father if Indallar hadn’t egged him on, but it’s a good thing he did. His sorcery did more than awaken the pearl, it also unlocked his Earthmagery. Now, Elras could fuse earthsong and sorcery into a third magik, more potent than either alone. This was the rarest and most potent of gifts, and when Elras passed, it went to Kandol, not his son. Elnos’s best magik was with a sword.
Sunome returned to the ocean, buried his pearl near the mouth of the the River Lorelin and sang serpent-shaped Dellavende up from the depths. When Indallar sailed into the cove a century later, Sunome was waiting for him atop one of the serpent’s coral coils. He showed Indallar the grotto hidden nearby, glad to repay the favor with the pearl. Indallar and his bride, Selenna, the daughter of Cerelim, along with the crew from the Blue Horizon and Sea Elves from Jali, made a home of the grotto and built terraced Indalle, one of the three great elven kingdoms of old.
The Dolforro were on the best of terms with the Elves of Indalle and at times, maybe on too good of terms. Sunome and Embyrl, the daughter of Indis, Andis’s twin brother, fell in love. They knew it was wrong, knew it was against Lillandra’s Ban, but didn’t care. At least they didn’t care until the Lady of Esel showed up, furious at what they were thinking of doing, You see, they hadn’t actually gotten around to consummating their love, as much as they wanted to (don’t ask me how that would work, somethings are better left to the imagination. Or not.)
Like Jimmy Carter, they were only guilty of lust in the heart, but that, as far as the Lady was concerned (and she was the gods’ enforcer) was enough. The price of defying Lillandra’s Ban was too high to tolerate even the thought of crossing that line. She stripped both of sorcery and imposed a curse on the two would-be lovers right out of the movie Ladyhawke. From that moment on, Sunome could only breathe underwater and Embyrl only air. They couldn’ be together. The best they could manage was to catch a glimpse of one another as the tide came in.
The curse lasted until Embyrl showed true remorse, which, given her prideful nature, took much longer than it should have, thousands of years, in fact. It wasn’t until the Darkening, when Embyrl realized what she and Sunome might have been responsible for that she was at all repentant. Once the Lady saw that she’d had a change of heart, she lifted the curse, returning Embyrl and Sunome’s sorcery, just in time for them to wage war against Zara and the Ulgarja attacking Indalle.
The Darkening devastated the Dolforro. They were unprepared for the Ulgarja and worse, Zara knew the secret of the pearls. The Temptress destroyed Callavende and Dellavende, and in doing so, killed all the Dolforro. By the time the Suns were Rekindled, no Dolforro yet swam in Sangrar’s oceans, and poor Rabyn went mad with grief.