Divinity War Worlds: Atlantis
Catastrophic climate change on a world without plate tectonics has left the surface of the planet Atlantis under water, forever.
Its highest species, the Atlanteans, evolved in a lowland swamp-like environment in the tropics and spread to to ice-bound islands in the polar regions. On the second planet of creation, Atlanteans experienced millennia of progress. But as their grasp of electricity and magnetism reached the level of mid-twentieth century Earth, their use of carbon-based resources created a runaway global warming event.
Frozen lands released trapped methane as the planet warmed. Ocean currents shifted, releasing large amounts of trapped CO2, and polar ice caps melted. Surrounded by a tide of rising water, Atlanteans built increasingly larger and taller structures. After hundreds of years battling rising water, they resorted to genetic engineering.
Atlanteans are air-breathing mammals, however their genetic alterations provide sufficient adaptations to survive in the shallow seas that were once home to their grand civilization.
Unlike Earth's depictions of mer-people with scaled tails, Atlanteans have an appearance that is more similar to aquatic mammals.
Atlantean's legs are webbed together down to the knee. They can hobble awkwardly on land with their wide, elongated flipper-like feet. A layer of dense, seal-like fur covers Atlantean's legs, hips and stomach. Hands are webbed and arms are similarly covered in fur. Only an Atlantean's upper chest, neck and face remains smooth and free of the dense fur. Perhaps it was an attempt to flatter their vanity, but the Atlanteans' genetic experimentation succeeded in keeping their facial structure nearly unchanged, based on the large ancient statues that dot the floor of the shallow sea.
Atlantean ears, however, are gone. They survive at night within the fronds of a specialized variety of giant kelp. Bubble kelp generates enough oxygen at night to keep a sleeping Atlantean breathing until morning. Bubble kelp absorb solar energy in the day, storing it in the form of a chemical intermediary, then it harvests carbon dioxide from an Atlantean's breath to complete the photosynthetic process. The unique co-adaptation makes the species interdependent for survival. As a result, Atlanteans are intensely environmentally conscious.
Atlanteans will pipe air into underground rooms for tasks such as forge work. Otherwise, they keep to the water. Communication is largely by sign language, although the written language is still kept. Since words are scribed onto precious gold foil, Atlanteans are naturally given to brevity in discourse.
An undeniably noble race, Atlanteans represent the best of what could be considered human. Having come through their own doomsday and survived, the race possesses an innate wisdom, although their temperament remains as tumultuous as the sea. One never knows what answer they will get from an Atlantean.
Their role in the gathering of the twelve worlds, and in particular, in the the finding of Zion at the Prime Star is still unknown.