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Basically, in my fantasy world there is an 'amphibious' race of anthropomorphic isopods known for their underwater lifestyles, scattered land settlements, shoe raiding parties and the lead cause of vanishing vessels.

They are the Ghoehmi, 'children of the sea', creations of the Father Earth, Mother Life and their Sea Daughter. Taught to live under the sea be their godly patrons, they use nature magics to weave coral to their will, growing it into shapes of 'structures' intertwining rock and other materials found in their environment forming primitive village colonies.

Due to their ability to walk land too, albeit slower than a human, and much heavier than a human, they have adapted land to their usages over time, forming coastal trading villages, strongholds, and self-made palaces of the rich. Why would they choose to remain underwater despite the bounties and new resources (easy sources of fire, as an example) the lands above provide?

Some extra facts:

  • As described, they possess proficient wielders of nature magic among their people, using it to twist natural corals into shape for their primitive structures, defensive walls, and other miscellaneous needs. Though, their abilities often falter with the flora and fauna of land, rendering them to manually harvesting wood from trees and other resources.
  • Their culture, despite a large reverence for undersea nature and the sea itself, is largely clan-based and warlike. Some larger clan parties have expanded onto land, forming outposts, trading huts, and strongholds, but these are often the victim from rival clans, or the other races of the land. Despite this, the species is prone to overpopulation in some underwater populations.
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    $\begingroup$ But Mom! All my stuff is here. All my friends are here. I don't want to move onto dry land! You and Dad can move and leave me here. $\endgroup$ – puppetsock Feb 25 '20 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ 15 minutes to accept an answer is a very short time. Waiting at least 24 hours allows more users to answer and you get more chances of getting good solutions to your problem $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Feb 25 '20 at 15:11
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    $\begingroup$ There aren't any tongues large enough to amputate and take over for as a gruesome endoparasite. $\endgroup$ – John O Feb 25 '20 at 17:48
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1: Transportation, without land animals to carry them (like horses carry humans) their inland exploration is severely limited.

2: Enemies, they are the kings of the sea but it is doubtful they are to dominant species on the land so staying in or close to water would drastically increase their survival.

3: Climate, mainland is a lot dryer then the ocean (kinda obvious) so they might suffer medical conditions relating to dehydration.

4: Faith, certain parts of their religion require to be submerged or in water. Like if not being "buried" underwater within a certain amount of time after death goes against their religion it might entice them to stay closer to the ocean. (In the sense that they fear their gods/angels can't find them outside of the water and therefor not bring them to their watery heaven)

5: Stigma, Perhaps lack of (certain type of ) water in combination with more harsh sunlight changes the skin color of their offspring making them "freaks" and therefor undesirable in their mainstream society making going on land a more (generationally) permanent decision.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yep! Could see the main purposes of on-land expansion being largely some clans wanting a more distant stronghold, but most importantly, trade for uneasy to get resources and items, especially weapons crafted with metal, and other trinkets. $\endgroup$ – McGerridae Feb 25 '20 at 14:58
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/much heavier than a human/

They are heavy.

It is hard to be heavy. Everything is harder. In the salt water their weight is supported in large part by buoyancy. The really big old ones have floaty vests they wear to keep them light on their feet.

Out of the water, everything is a struggle. It is hard to get from place to place. Stuff weighs a ton and is hard to carry. The floaty vests don't help at all.

Land is a serious schlep for these creatures. The water is so much nicer.

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They Don't Want To Go.

The willingness of a people to explore and exploit a new resource depends upon two factors:

  • Culture - is the society structured in a way that supports exploration and risk?
  • Technology - are the explorers capable of surviving and exploiting in the new environment?

The question has already answered the second factor (yes, it's possible). Therefore, the reason must be the first.

Maybe local politics depends upon keeping people in, under control of the clan. Maybe undersea history is rife with invading land-monsters and air-monsters. Maybe tax policies are prohibitive. There are many possible cultural reasons to not explore (Example: China turned it's back on exploration once)

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