Windwhales

Wind whale

Windwhales are gigantic creatures, many growing to over 150 feet in length, with thick armor-plated hides that nevertheless manage to fly with gas-filled air sacs. They tend to have four long tentacles, and have only been seen nesting naturally in the chain of floating islands called the Sky Gems. Uncovered by the Girallons in the early 1100’s BC, Windwhales were first seen being tended by the deity Garos. Despite being gentle creatures, the windwhales were immediately seen as a potential tool for warfare, raining down large stones on the cities below by the girallons. Upon learning of this plan, Garos caused whatever ethereal tether holding the floating island the Girallon civilization was built upon to begin floating away to the east, stranding the girallons and ensuring the continued peaceful existence of these behemoths.

Windwhales subsist on the dangerous fruit of the alumina trees, and show no ill effects. They have been observed to excrete waste as near-perfect spheres of highly compressed pure carbon. Occasionally, small diamonds on unsurpassed quality can be found in the center of these spheres, which have become known as Windwhale Eggs, despite not actually being an egg. Scholars theorize that the internal temperature of a windwhale must be rather extreme to survive the cold air they frequent, and is evidenced by the fact that windwhales occasionally set fire to their surroundings when dropping windwhale eggs, which are hot enough to immediately ignite nearby flammables when they land.

Their blood, likely a result of their diet, is incredibly toxic. Most agree it has a faint smell of almond, though some claim it is completely odorless. They exhibit no substantial intellect, and have no natural enemies. They are protected not only by their toxic blood but also their strong but incredibly light armored hide, which has an appearance not unlike a silvery black beetle chitin. One observation of a windwhale struck by lightning during an intense storm showed that they can explode in a tremendous fashion if their air sacs are ruptured by flame. Windwhales try to avoid thunderstorms when possible, for this very reason.

Windwhales utilize a series of air bladders to move themselves through the skies, and a windwhale at full speed sounds like it is propelled by one continuous episode of flatulence. They are capable of making progress against a strong headwind, though it is slow going. They control their height by a combination of liquid storage (usually water) in biological ballast tanks, and releasing some of the gas in their air sacs.

While windwhales have a discernible front and back, they have no obvious face. It is unknown if they ever sleep, although they have been seen spending hours tethering themselves to the ground or nearby sturdy trees with their tentacles, sometimes even on the underside of a floating island to avoid a thunderstorm.

At night, the belly of a windwhale glows with a soft pink fluorescence, bright enough to illuminate the ground under them when they tether down. Malvolians have been seen to camp under a resting windwhale, using the heat and glow of it’s underside to light their camp and protect against the elements, and the occasional pack of Floodhounds.

While Malvolians appear to have a peaceful relationship with windwhales, only one race can be said to have a truly cooperative relationship: the Voski. Through unknown means, a Vosk can establish a relationship with a windwhale appearing much like that of respected partners. This ability has allowed the Voski to become masters of the air, and the sole captains of the well-known windwhale caravans; flying barges ferrying precious goods and rich passengers through many stops on Jord.

Windwhales

Jord: Dawn of a World Morgus Morgus