Saltwater kelpies are thought by fae scholars to be the original breed of kelpie from which all others derived.
Saltwater kelpies favour the open oceans and seas of the world and do not do well in small enclosed bodies of water like lakes or ponds. Despite their name they can survive in freshwater bodies if large enough to accommodate them. They are by far the largest and most violent breed of kelpie which has made them a valuable addition to fae court cavalries around the globe. However their speed, cunning and violence has also made them a popular target for hunting parties who see killing and skinning these animals as a mark of true skill.
Saltwater kelpies prefer colder climates and as such are mostly found in the North-East. The largest pods are thought now to inhabit the Ocean of Fjirstaf but have been spotted in the Blight Sea and the Gulf of Ryt in large numbers.
River Kelpies are much smaller than their sea-bound cousins and instead of webbed hooves have ventral and pectoral fins.
Much like the saltwater kelpies, river kelpies can survive in fresh and saltwater, however their skins are not as tough as the saltwater kelpies and as such they prefer warmer waters. As such you will not often find these kelpies near the source of the river but on the wide flatter bends.
Out of all the kelpies the river kelpies are perhaps the fastest but they are not as strong. During the mating months they will swim upstream against the current to reach the better mating grounds.
Freshwater kelpies are the smallest kind of kelpie currently known to zoologists measuring no more than 1.7m in length when in their kelpie form. They are most often found in glaciers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds though occasionally they will inhabit small rivers too.
Unlike saltwater kelpies, they cannot survive outside of the climate in which they are born. This means not only will they die in saltwater but that there is also a risk of life if a freshwater kelpie is moved between freshbodies of water.
Their more docile nature, colourful scales and smaller stature make them incredibly popular pets among the fae kind. They very rarely shift their forms and are considered by other kelpies to be a 'sub' species
of their kind, more mythical beast than fae.
Despite their size a freshwater kelpie's diet is still carnivorous. In particular they favour small adults or children.
Swamp kelpies hail predominantly from the Bayu Garramarisma, the Iuk-'U-Delta and the Ixchel Wilds. They are some of the hardest and most elusive kelpies preferring, unusually, not to live in groups but alone or with one or two others in a small family unity.
The swamp kelpies do not have fins like their cousins but a curious series of vines and kelp which move like limbs and enable them to disguise themselves as they move through swamps.
There is not much known about this kind of kelpie other than that they are famed for their violence and hatred of direct sunlight.
Coral Reef Kelpies
Coral Reef kelpies are found predominantly in the South-West and the warmer waters they so favour. Their personalities are widely different to that of their cousins and instead of eating humans
and preying on them, they are often heard in stories as helping lost sailors or shipwrecked souls.
This does not mean they are not as powerful as the other kelpies. Indeed they are deeply territorial and protective of fae or humans to whom they had formed big attachments to and will often fight to the death to protect that which they see as theirs.
Coral Reef kelpies uniquely do not have to live off of meat. Instead they get a lot of their sustenance from the sun, which soaks into their scales and harbours as energy like food would. Storing energy up like this however takes a long time and involves nearly 12 hours of sunbathing.
Their mischievous and playful nature has led to them dominating a large part of the Dawn Court
, which is unusual as Lesser Fae, holding as much power as the legendary
Deep Water Kelpies
As the name suggests, Deep Water kelpies can be found at meters of at least 2000m though they no doubt dive much, much deeper.
Very little is known about the breed and over the last millennia alone they have only been spotted twice. The stories say they have long, eel like bodies that could wrap around a large ship and drag it to the depths with ease.
Saltwater kelpies who have said to come in contact with these ancient beings often talk about them as Gods.