Manat Ericson (pronounced mə·năt), aka Manat II (the Second), is from the third generation of merfolk. He's named for his grandfather (see Ericson clan), who became wealthy after starting a construction company called Hydro Erections in West Ocean, in 830. The original construction project was an underwater apartment complex called Manat Arms, which became a second division of the company, itself. In 835, Manat had a son named Toller who in 854, at age 19, was among a group of merfolk who migrated to First Sea. There, Toller opened new branches of H.E. and Manat Arms. In 860, Toller had a son, who he named after his father. At the age of 21, in 881, Manat II was put in charge of running the First Sea branch of the Manat Arms chain.
However, Manat II mainly accepted this position as a temporary means of paying his bills, expecting to eventually make his own way in the world, rather than relying on the family business. His first love was magic, and he had been apprenticed to a master warlock named Cyril in 871, at the age of eleven. He graduated to master status in 880, though didn't immediately take on any apprentices of his own. He soon found there was no work to be had specifically in the field of magic, other than teaching, which is why he later accepted the job offered him by his father. However, over the years he developed a number of spell devices to be used by merfolk, including "aquapaper and aquastylus" (in 883), which allow for writing underwater. The production and sale of these various spell devices have served over the years to make Manat II quite wealthy independently of his family's fortune. He did eventually take on apprentices, so that he might teach them to produce these spell devices, so that he wouldn't have to do so himself; though he does hold patents on his inventions, from which he regularly derives royalties. Manat is also known to have frequently interacted with various Sorreters and sorcerers over the years, both by t-mail and, after inventing aquapaper, via postal services. In 890, he officially resigned his position as manager of the Manat Arms chain, passing the position on to his brother Honal.
In late Sp'yet of 903, then-Grand Sorreter Drag contacted the merfolk, requesting their assistance in opposing the Coming. There was some disagreement among merfolk, and Manat himself was in favor of helping the Order rather than the Protestant Movement. However, he was outvoted, and the Marine Corps was organized to assist the Protestant navies. It is rumored that Manat warned Durell of Sorret about this development, though if it's true, the warning didn't come soon enough to prevent the Protestant victory in the first battle of the war, the Battle of Shipsister, where the Marines seemed to surprise the Order's Navy. However, another rumor holds that even before the merfolk had been contacted by Drag, Manat had provided various other types of assistance to Durell, including possibly having helped him locate the elves in 901. After the war, the Marine Corps was incorporated into the military of the Second Order (which would later be renamed First Nation). All rumors aside, it is a known fact that Manat helped facilitate that transition.
Manat was one of the two High Councillors from First Sea elected to Congress in 904; while his fellow Councillor attended sessions via t-mail, Manat had a water tank installed in Congressional Hall, into which he could translocate to attend meetings in person. (He also suggested the installation of such tanks in other places, like Sorret Magic Academy, and Archibald Hall in Monab, so that witches or warlocks- or their employers- could travel to land-based areas where they might have business. However, this suggestion never came to be widely implemented, and was rendered unnecessary in 916, when Manat developed aquachairs, which he unveiled at the World Fair in Kurok.) Following the taking of the first census in 905, First Sea would have only one High Councillor in the next election (909), and at that time Manat was reelected to the position. Also in 909, Manat took on his nephew Victor (his brother Honal's son) as an apprentice warlock (his first since entering politics five years earlier).
When the surname law was passed in 904, Manat thought about something once told to him by a spirit friend of his (for as a warlock, he was also technically a spirit-talker). In fact, it was the same spirit friend of Eric's who had once made a casual comment that had later led Eric to suggest the name "Manat Arms" to Manat's grandfather, Manat the First. Decades later, when Manat the Second began running the chain of apartments, the same spirit told him that he found the name amusing, because it sounded like an old Terran term, "Man-at-arms." He also thought of a separate conversation he'd had with a different spirit, at some point during his training as a warlock, in which this other spirit had mentioned that on Earth, creatures called manatees had sometimes been mistaken for merfolk. This amused Manat more than the "Man-at-arms" thing, but either way, he thought that puns were, intentionally or not, part of a sort of family tradition. (He wondered if the name "Manat" had been chosen for his grandfather by Eric or someone else on the team that created the first generation of merfolk specifically because of this manatee creature, but there was apparently no way of knowing, so he gave that point no further thought.) At least, he thought, he should make a joke of it himself, by choosing a surname with the initial "E," so that he could be called "Manat E." It took very little thought after that to decide upon incorporating "Eric" into his surname, and as he knew it was also common in Earth surnames to add "son" to a father's first name, he did so here... on the grounds that any merman was deserving of the name, as Eric was, in a way, the father of all of them. And since he had influence in the government (and considering it would have been nigh-impossible to even take a census in either First Sea or West Ocean without the aquapaper he himself had invented), it was a simple matter to reserve the name for himself and his family.