Fat Bulb Back
|Fat Bulb Back|
|Official Name||Fat Bulb Back|
|Common Nicknames||Bulbback Whale|
|Habitat||Variety of waters in the northern half of Aloria|
Fat Bulb Backs are a species of whale well known in the north half of Aloria. They have a large size and a well known form, with plenty of bodily resources for whalers, which is one of the reasons their populations are on the decline. The decline has been helped in recent years as world events have now opened previously hidden and protected nursing grounds. The animals are also well known for their unique minor appearance differences between each individual.
Fat Bulb Backs were once undisturbed, existing in the northern half of Aloria beyond the reach of most civilizations. While scholars suspect that the Drovv had contact with the animals, there is no record of this, and the first records instead come from the Velheim Ailor. These records are not written either, but ancient carvings and depictions of the beasts in water scenes found within the graves of the ancient proto-Velheim. However, by the time the Velheim properly formed, the waters of the north would undergo a series of devastating events that would shortly change the animal’s existence in Aloria. First, there was the freezing blast from the birth of the Isldar and their undead Dragon matriarch, Frisit. At sea, huge ice caps formed and snowstorms churned for weeks at the water’s surface. Then, 200 years later came the Cataclysm. This event substantially damaged the whale’s population, even more than the previous freezing over; the seas boiled and churned as Drowda was torn apart and smashed back together along with various other pieces of Alorian geography in the region. By the time sailors next sighted these creatures, they were skittish and few in number. Over the coming decades, the species gradually rebounded in numbers, but since 150 AC they have been on the decline again. The Velheim Ailor of the region and corporate efforts of the Regalian Empire have been seeking the creatures out, as their meat, skin, and more are all key products for the modern age of Aloria. The creature has additionally suffered as, since the vanishing of once powerful Void storms that raged in the north, whaling vessels are now piercing nursery and feeding grounds untouched in centuries. Despite this, the animals still have the hostile northern waters and weather on their side, and their decline has been slowed as with Ellador on lockdown, the whaling activities of Ellador have greatly decreased.
The Fat Bulb Back is well known in Aloria as being one of the largest animals, certainly one of the largest sea mammals. It can exist anywhere from 40 to 55 feet long, and weigh 25 to 30 tons. The species of whale has a well known shape, with a large mouth coming to a point ahead of two small blue eyes set on either side of the creature’s head. The underside of the mouth is covered in bumps and knobs from which small hairs grow, almost impossible to see unless the animal is hauled out of the water. The rest of their body forms the shape it is named after, possessing a “fat back” that is pushed up where the long dorsal fin sits. This area is indeed often thick and filled with blubber, but it rapidly decreases as the body tapers into the tail structure, where the flat, horizontal tail fin gently propels the animal through the water. As for its pectoral fins, these are the longest of any Cetacean and have a slight curve to them, a pair of them being located on the lower half of the animal’s sides. The animal is colored a blend of dark, dark blue, and white, though the white exists sparingly along the underside of its pectoral and tail fins in addition to its lower body underside.
Fat Bulb Backs have several features that mark out their differences between gender. For one, females are usually larger when compared to males. Additionally, each tail fin, while possessing the same general shape, is slightly different in its exact shape and coloration from dark blue to white. Some have very little white, others have very little dark blue, and others have only one color.
Life Span and Development
Fat Bulb Backs live and give birth underwater, often in isolated conditions in the north of Aloria. Upon birth, the Bulb Back calf is a small, more pale copy of its parent. Over the next year, they gradually are weaned and then mature in size. By the age of two, they are fully independent on their mothers, and join the wider pod. When mating season comes, females are polyamorous, with males competing through a variety of courtship rituals to attract a female’s attention. The female will instigate the relationship, and upon conception, are in gestation for nearly a year. The Fat Bulb Back can live up to 100 years, as reports of some notable members of the species by whalers, sailors, and more prove it.
Fat Bulb Backs are complex creatures, with many facets to their being. In general, they are gentle creatures, living communally and caring for their calves as they slowly mature over two years. This species of whale, like all such creatures, are capable of communication in strange underwear singing that can go on for hours. Males of the same pod have the same song, and only rarely unite to sing it, though some suspect that those who sing “loudest” or “best” assert their dominance. Additionally, the creatures are highly social, interacting with a variety of other sea mammals and creatures who are not their predators.
Territory and Groupings
Fat Bulb Backs live in whale pods of up to forty individuals at most, with individual pods migrating ceaselessly across Aloria’s northern waters. This does not just mean the cold waters of areas around Ellador or Drowda, but waters down to the northern coastline of the Regalian Archipelago and the northern half of Essalonia in addition to the coastline of Fendarfelle. The whale simply doesn’t appear to cross below this line.
- The Fat Bulb Back has been known to have, on at least one occasion, crossbred with a Rockback Whale. Daendroque sailors operating in the Western Calms report a “Rocky Bulb Back” whale who was quite friendly to their ship allowing them to get a close look at it. It was apparently travelling north with a pod of Fat Bulb Backs.