Deep Sea Serpent
|Deep Sea Serpent|
|Official Name||Sea Serpent|
|Common Nicknames||Bane of Fleets|
|Current Status||Assumed Extinct|
The Deep Sea Serpent is one of the largest creatures in all Aloria, certainly in the Alorian Oceans. For centuries they were worshipped as divine beings and living gods by the Slizzar, but their numbers diminished after the Cataclysm. With the fall of the Essa Empire, Deep Sea Serpents were declared extinct after the Regalian military’s victory at Fesso Hualla. Unknown to many, the Deep Sea Serpent still lives on in the depths of the ocean, but they have become very scarce following the Bone Horror Crisis that filled their waters with undead monstrosities.
The Deep Sea Serpent’s origins are unknown to history. Most scholars today believe they were a cousin to the Dragons who adapted to living in the depths of the ocean rather than close to the surface. At some point, the Slizzar culture grew attached to them, and they became central to the Nessrassian faith, the Slizzar religion. When the Allorn Empire reached its zenith, the damage these creatures inflicted upon Altalar trade shipping around the north and northeastern coastlines of Daen became too much. For the next 200 years, the Deep Sea Serpents were hunted on and off before the Empire turned away, assuming their extinction. They survived and were able to rebound, but when the Cataclysm struck, their numbers were cut back once more. Devastated, the serpents retreated from the surface for over a century to recover and grow. They began to return in 120 AC when a cult among the Slizzar unlocked an ancient method of gaining magical control over the creatures, a method which the Slizzar priests and priestesses used in attempts to summon the gods.
By the time of the Chrysant War, the cult had focused entirely around Miko Missa and aided her in summoning the beasts at the Battle of Fesso Hualla. This action was the largest magical summoning of Deep Sea Serpents attempted and awakened them from their position in the depths. The Deep Sea Serpents of Hadaria grew more active in the following years, thus scaring the Maiar to the surface, but due to the Bone Horror Crisis, they have stalled in their reawakening. The many Bone Horror monstrosities of the sea now invade the domain of the Serpent and harm their numbers. But slowly, these unnatural creatures are being defeated and the Serpents near a time that they may re-emerge, or perhaps go into dormancy once more.
Deep Sea Serpents are incredibly long creatures, with the longest sighted being longer than a Regalian warship. They range in size between 85 to 100 feet in length, their bodies tapering off into a pointed tail. Their heads have large eyes, often colored yellow or blue, which are well-adapted to seeing in the dark depths of the ocean. Their two comparatively tiny nostrils are surprisingly powerful and aid them in locating prey in the depths. Their large mouths are beaked but, hidden deeper inside, are two rows of sharp teeth that act like a saw upon flesh. Behind a crest of head frills lies a short-ridged backside, the sharp points of which match the color of the scales that cover their entire being. These scales were known to be wondrous and come in a variety of cool colors, which are often sought out by collectors of rare goods. Beneath these scales are immensely strong bones capable of resisting the great pressures of the deep sea and are also renowned as significant symbols of power among the Slizzar.
It is unknown where Deep Sea Serpents truly come from, though some scholars have speculated they might somehow be related to Dragons, their skulls sharing many similar aspects. For several hundred years, they ranged in the primordial waters of pre-Cataclysm Daen. After the Cataclysm had occurred, their numbers were drastically reduced, and they retreated to Hadaria to recuperate. Deep Sea Serpents can now only be found in the deep ocean waters in and around the immediate area of Hadaria. They also have no exterior physical differences between the sexs.
Life Span and Development
One of the main reasons that Deep Sea Serpents are so few is due to their unique life span and body functions. Sea Serpents can live up to nearly 100 years if they are well fed and healthy. They reach maturity around 30 years after hatching, which is when they can finally mate. However, there are only three eggs produced if the process is successful. Usually, only one in three young survives to mate for themselves, thus resulting in a low population increase each generation.
While thought by the Slizzar to be intelligent creatures capable of wonders, Deep Sea Serpents are, in truth, dumb, vicious and carry little love for their worshippers. As hunters, they move swiftly, preying on large sea creatures, schools of fish and any Maiar who get in their way. However, a mother Serpent cares for her children after they hatch, evidenced by her letting them stay by her side for several years after birth before they are either driven off or leave themselves. Fathers, on the other hand, leave immediately after mating, or try to eat young males, seeing them as threats to his domination.
Territory and Groupings
Deep Sea Serpents are solitary, territorial beasts, with each Serpent having their own patch of the sea around Hadaria. These often stretch dozens of miles underwater. Unless it is mating season, Serpents who pass into each other's territories are considered threats which leads to fierce confrontations. Often the result is one of the Serpents dead and the victor feeding on its corpse.
- One of the most precious items carved from Deep Sea Serpent Scale is held in the Imperial Treasury. A gift to the Emperor from Admiral Gerwald Theli, the large purple scale is carved with golden storks, dragons, images of Unionism and is set in a golden frame.
- The Maiar are the only ones who know that the Deep Sea Serpents still live as the Regalian Empire fiercely stipulates that the last ones were killed at the Battle of Fessa Hualla. Not all Maiar are aware of this, especially if they have left their native lands within a number of years.
- The rituals used to summon Deep Sea Serpents were often complex and incredibly draining for one to perform it, which is why it was most common for groups of Slizzar mages to perform this art together. When the Regalians won the war against their people, however, all users of this magic were killed off and its knowledge was destroyed or captured.