Vanguard

Vanguards are the natural mimics of the ocean. They come in many different shapes and sizes.

Common affinities Water, Ice, Poison, Sound
Ability to plan and abstract Very capable
Languages Depends on continents
Diet Fish
Native location Glissod; varied population on every other contient
Size between 1 and 12 feet (30~360 cm)

Vanguards image - Large

Influence

Hereditary influence

Vanguards almost always pass down affinities to their offspring. If at least one parent has a Water affinity, that affinity will take priority over any other.

Environmental influence

Vanguards easily change their secondary affinities by living in an environment different from their original one.

Ability to reason

All Vanguards are capable of higher-level thinking, such as the ability to plan ahead, to reason, rationalize, and to understand abstract concepts and principles.

Languages

Vanguards don't have a native language, and they usually speak the vehicular and vernacular languages of the area they inhabit.

Continent Common languages
Owel Common, Aurorian, Gnawthian, Altharian
Glissod Uponna
Cenastre Lumin
Eastar Coco

Habitat

Climate preferences

Vanguards live easily in both saltwater and freshwater, as long as water pollution is kept to a minimum.

Native location

Glissod.

Common locations

Vanguards live in or near all waterside cities.

Elements

Affinities

Except in rare cases, vanguards always have a Water affinity. They can often have a secondary affinity to Ice, Poison or Sound. Vanguards without a Water affinity do exist, but are usually a cross with some other species.

Vanguards seem to be for the most part biologically incompatible with the Fire and Air elements. When this is not the case, the most common secondary affinities (aside from Water-based ones) are Acid and Cloud.

It is highly unusual to find a vanguard with no type of Water affinity. All known vanguards lacking a Water affinity are most likely a hybrid species.

Weaknesses

Plasma, Acid, Sand, and Magnet tend to wreak havoc on the normally robust senses of smell, hearing and vision of vanguards. The current popular theory is that these elements readily destroy, taint or obscure water itself, and vanguards, being a heavily water-based species, suffer some of the same effects.

Resistances

Vanguards have a remarkable familiarity with Water and Ice, and, as a great deal of them are venomous, Poison as well. They are able to avoid or negate most harmful effects of uncomplicated Storm-based magic.

Abilities

Trait inheritance (to offsprings)

Each successive generation of vanguards take on more and more features and abilities of local wildlife.

Vanguards that live by really bizarre water creatures can pass down traits that were present in neither parent. It's not known at this time how this works or how to pass down specific traits to new generations of vanguard children.

Vanguards don't seem to be able to pass down traits they observe in non-marine life — even if that life has a water or water subtype affinity.

Trait inheritance (to non-vanguards)

Living among a community of vanguards for an extended period of time will make one begin to take on various aspects of vanguards, usually the resistances and strengths most prevalent among that particular group. These effects last until one ceases to live among vanguards.

Physiology

Many vanguards resemble other aquatic animals, due to a form of natural mimicry.

A "base", or "pure" form of vanguard, i.e. a variety of vanguard that has not mimicked native wildlife and has essentially lived in isolation, is rumored to exist but has yet to be found.

Bioluminescence can develop on vanguards who spend a lot of time deep in the ocean. Glowing is quite attractive to a vanguard.

Not all vanguards have gills, but many do.

Most vanguards will have some part of their body coated with a dense fuzz — even if only the muzzle.

Owel

Owel Vanguards image - Large
Owel vanguards usually will have shark-like features and may have glowing spots and gills. These vanguards will usually prefer the ocean to rivers.

Glissod

Glissod is said to be the home continent of vanguards. Translucent ones are rarer outside of Glissod. They will sometimes have many stingers all over their body — similar to the jellyfish they imitate.

Cenastre

Cenastre Vanguards image - Large
Cenastre is known for its puffy and spiny groups of vanguards. These "pufferguards" will sometimes be venomous as well. They are generally rather small compared to Owel's, but can grow just as long.

Jewell

Jewell Vanguards image - Large
Cenastre and Jewell both commonly spawn armored, spiny varieties that come in many colors. Bright colors are used as a warning for other creatures.

Eastar

Eastar Vanguards image - Large
Eastar has large populations of tentacled vanguards. Color-changers are prominent, too, for camouflage. Slimy and goopy vanguards exist too, and some possess a very limited ability to transform parts of their bodies.

Reproduction

Regarding procreation, vanguards are compatible only with other vanguards. However, one exception does exist: any individual having lived among vanguards for an extended period of time can usually crossbreed with them.

Hybrids

Other parent Child Example
Bearring Sea bearring Image of Bearring + Vanguard
Necropossum Bonefish Image of Necropossum + Vanguard
Turf tiger Surf tiger Image of Turf Tiger + Vanguard
Flowercat ? Image of Flowercat + Vanguard
Sea dragon ? Image of Sea Dragon + Vanguard

References

Floraverse: Vanguard Species
Floraverse Wiki: Vanguard
deviantArt: Species - Vanguards (Version of 2014-10-02)
deviantArt: Species - Vanguards (Version of 2014-01-12)

Other notes

The vanguard species is currently the only one to have received an update of its species sheet. The contents of the original species sheet mostly corresponds to Owel vanguards.