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|image = noimg.png
|officialname = Whale Crab
|officialname = Whale Crab
|nicknames = Giant Crab, Brachyptera
|nicknames = Giant Crab, Brachyptera
|habitat = Oceans
of southern Ellador
|habitat = Oceans
|domesticated = No
|domesticated = No
While regular Alorians may be more accustomed to folklore of beasts and creatures on land or soaring through the skies, menacing creatures such as the Whale Crab are revered by pirates and privateers alike. These crabs are like no other crustacean, having an enormous size that dwarfs Alorians. In the years following the [[ Cataclysm]] , sea-travellers have repeatedly reported sightings of these colossal crustaceans, despite disbelief from some of their land-dwelling acquaintances. Most, if not all, seafarers have a certain fear of these beasts in their heart, unsure when the crabs will strike. Like many other mythical leviathans, Whale Crabs are seen in folklore across coastal cultures and any individual who claims to live on the open sea.
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While those that aren’t accustomed to the sea may claim that the Whale Crabs are simply in legend, these giant sea creatures have roamed the seas of [[ Aloria]] for centuries. Despite what many would think, the Whale Crab started off as a miniscule critter that scuttled along the coastlines of tropical beaches. It was no bigger than an adult Ailor’s foot. As the [[ Fifth Void Invasion]] took place, the [[ Void]] essence mutated the creature rapidly, thickening its shell and increasing its mass many times over. At this point, the now-giant crabs migrated deeper into Aloria’s oceans as they left the eyes and memories of Alorians. Years after the mythical creature had mutated to their signature size, legends began to form about groups of giant crabs attacking seafaring people. With these tales becoming common among pirates and privateers alike, the Whale Crabs were a thing to be afraid of . Even coastal settlements reported sightings of the beasts, some going so far as to say they saw them near the surface. While many scholars and seafarers believe that these colossal crabs exist, many still are unsure and keep their status locked in superstition. Many rumors claim that these crabs roam in the waters around southern [[ Ellador]]. Despite this, many whispers say that they lurk in all oceans, and that you should watch the waters below your ship, else you may end up dead.
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Similar to how other crab species have a unique color that differentiates it from others, the whale crab sports a specific dark blue color that allows it to blend in whilst in the deep waters of its habitats. As its name infers, the Whale Crab retains a massive size when fully grown. The crab can range from 8 to 11 feet long, and around 5 to 7 feet high. It sports a hard chitin that is almost impenetrable, even to a powerful thrust from an [[Arming Sword]]. The crustacean has eight legs in total, that are accompanied by two strong, rigid claws. While rumors portray these enormous beings as having the ability to tear ships down in seconds, this ability is greatly exaggerated. Rather, the Whale Crab is only capable of inflicting minor damage to a vessel. While they can snap logs with ease, taking down an entire ship still proves to be a difficult task. The Whale Crab’s shell is adorned with sharp yet short spikes that protrude across its body. The main weak spot of the crab is on its underside, upon which major damage can be inflicted if directly attacked.
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Female Whale Crabs tend to be more populous compared to male crabs. This is due to the fact that female crabs can grow to become larger than their male counterparts. They also have stronger claws and shells which make it more durable and well-fitted against predators, if it even has any to speak of . Similar to other crabs, genders can be discerned by their apron. Females have a rounder apron while males have a sharp point at the tip of the apron.
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===Life Span and Development===
===Life Span and Development===
Female Whale Crabs produce a lot of eggs, approximately one-hundred per clutch. While many may think these eggs all successfully grow up, only a select few actually develop from their eggs and then on a even more handful of the original offspring survive to adults. These crabs survive to an astonishing age of 140 years old, but some die earlier due to a lack of resources and what prowls beneath the ocean’s surface. While the Whale Crab is younger, their shells are softer than before and can be impaled easily. As it progress into maturity, the durability of its chitin increases, as well as its agility in water, and the strength of its claws.
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The Whale Crab is far from being tamed. Accustomed to their own species (and a select few species with which they have a mutual relationship) these giant crabs are wild as can be. While superstition say these crabs attack ships and can break them down in mere seconds, they are actually docile towards vessels. However, were they to spot a person, they suddenly become hostile and will most likely attack. There are alpha Whale Crabs which the rest of the pod seem to follow and defend. Alpha males tend to be the most durable and daring of the pod, and act aggressively against any who threaten the pod.
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===Territory and Groupings===
===Territory and Groupings===
As many sea-based folklore states, the Whale Crabs do indeed travel around in packs. Moving around in pods of 4 to 9 Whale Crabs , these crustaceans are way more menacing in their groups compared to them being by themselves. Whale Crabs tend to stay in one region for approximately one to two weeks before moving somewhere else to find new food sources. Most, if not all Whale Crabs stay in deep waters where they can’t be seen, and only rarely does one stray away and go to shallow waters.
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Many seafarers tend to carry regular crab claws with them in pockets or small necklaces while at sea which is said to keep Whale Crabs away.
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|Writers = Jouster
|Writers = Jouster
HydraLana, Scribbe, Doc_Cantankerous
|Processors = , Scribbe,
Giant Crab, Brachyptera|
For as long as Alorians have been sailors, they have told tales of a leviathan that could tear apart a Altalar Peth’sella in the blink of an eye. The Whale Crab is the largest known crustacean in Aloria, and it is due to this size that it has become the subject of maritime folklore. They are said to have terrorized seafarers for millennia, across Cultures and even Civilizations. The Whale Crab has been the source of much speculation, from the ordinary mariner to the trained scholar, and whether argued to be real or mythical, it will continue to haunt the seafarers of Aloria.
The first recorded rumors surrounding the Whale Crab began during the Green Hunt, between 410BC and 260BC, reported by Fin’ullen sailors. With the Faith of Estel’s significant presence during the Hunt and the Fin’ullen preference for Tal’Sieth, many of the Altalar sailors reported that they had seen signs from the Wayfarer, interpreted as warnings from their goddess to adhere to the Rules of the Waves. The superstitious among them began interpreting mishaps as bad omens; sightings of dark silhouettes beneath their ships, divers who didn’t resurface, and freak accidents were all attributed to punishments from Tal’Sieth for their negligence and failure to follow her creeds. Although later scholars would correlate these divine punishments with the behaviours of Whale Crabs, these observations were absent in the era of the Great Hunt. Other stories with similar qualities were spread in the northeastern seas of Aloria by the flourishing Proto-Velheim; scholars took particular note of these stories specifically due to their similarities, in that the Fin’ullen stories were unknown to the Velheimers and so couldn’t have influenced their tales. The tales about these leviathans in the Windward Seas started when the Proto-Velheimers began to establish a trade route on the waters. Compared to the stories of the Altalar, the Velheimers were far more descriptive about what could have been beneath the waves, with sailors and traders aboard Tallships speaking of large claws breaching the surface of the ocean. These fears were linked to auguries surrounding the Union of Water in the Old Gods faith. However, the truth behind these reports was never discovered during this age.
At the beginning of the second century AC, hundreds of years after the first wave of stories, the authenticity of all of the sailors’ hearsay would come to light. For the Whale Crab was still known as a creature of mythos, it shocked the inhabitants of a coastal town in Zixham Kingdom when a carcass of one washed up onshore. Scholars traveled to the site where this beached body was, and analyzed it further. They matched the description of its claws to the ones in the tales of the Proto-Velheim, and thus the Whale Crab was officially recognized as a real marine animal. Despite this, further research by historians and scientists found that the Whale Crab carcass was considerably smaller than their reported sizes in the older tales, confounding sailors who claimed to have encountered one. Whale Crab sightings have been considerably more common since the Chrysant War. Even if the myth behind the legend was discovered, sailors all around Aloria are still wary of traveling waters that are known to have had sightings of them.
As their namesake suggests, the Whale Crab is a crustacean that can reach immense sizes. It is still up to debate as to whether or not a Whale Crab can grow to reach the size of a whale, as no samples have been discovered of a specimen that has reached that caliber. Even then, the largest known Whale Crab was a deceased sample whose carapace spanned across 33 feet, though rumors persist that Whale Crabs can reach even greater sizes and that those found are on the smaller end of their size. The legs of these leviathans have been recorded to reach up to lengths of 57 feet. From above, the top of a Whale Crab’s carapace has a pentagonal shape. This shell is rounder on the top and flatter towards the bottom. The abdomen, or the bottom of the Whale Crab, is a lighter color than the rest of its shell, and it is considerably weaker than any other body part. The Whale Crab’s face is similarly large; eyestalks protrude from its shell by a foot, underneath which a pair of antennae extend. These antennae vary in size from specimen to specimen, but are roughly proportionate. Beneath those are the Crab’s mandibles, adapted for the intake of large amounts of foodt.
What truly makes Whale Crabs large are their ten limbs, which grow out considerably longer than its torso. The two forelimbs bear the Crab’s pincers, which are reported to have great destructive force; many Velheim stories relay how a Whale Crab could rip holes in the wooden hulls of their ship with startling ease. Each leg has several joints which let a Whale Crab move around with ample dexterity. The formation of these legs prohibits them from walking forwards or backwards, but they are fast when they move sideways. The back pair of legs of a Whale Crab have flippers that allow it to propel itself underwater. When looking at the anatomy of a Whale Crab, they are truly no different from any ordinary crab save for its upscaled size. The entire exterior of a Whale Crab is a dirty brown color, although rarely can some be found to be in dark blue hues. Even at its size, the Whale Crab has evolved to have a body that can reliably defend itself against other monstrous beasts. The entirety of its shell is covered in spines that reach as far out as three feet from its body. These spines are thick at their bases, preventing them from breaking off while the giant roams through harsh areas or during fights against other marine life. While its bulkiness prevents it from being an apex predator, the Whale Crab can be regarded as a moving fortress.
Little is known about the population of Whale Crabs as a whole. Unlike other aquatic beasts such as the Deep Sea Serpents, aquatic Allar and Fin'ullen have seen individuals and pods of Whale Crabs which they report to sailors at sea. Contact between these groups and nautical savants has produced information that female Whale Crabs do exist, but oddly enough are always seen moving alone without any other Whale Crabs surrounding them. This leads to the belief that Whale Crabs have a maternal instinct to ensure the safety of their young, as even mothers in this species are threatened by the hunger of the males; the aggressiveness of the males is further supported by their considerably larger claws. There are no known regional differences among the Whale Crabs. There has been a variation in the color of the shells among the ones that have been spotted, but due to inconsistency, there is no exact correlation with location and differences with Whale Crab physiology.
Life Span and Development
It is believed that Whale Crabs reproduce in the same manner as their smaller relatives. Although no Whale Crab has been seen with child, an inspection of the remains of deceased Whale Crabs has given scholars enough information to come to this conclusion. The existing theory stands that female Whale Crabs carry eggs underneath a tail flap, and then birth larvae within coral reefs or enclosed, underwater caverns. On account of the dangerous fauna that is believed to normally come across Whale Crabs, it’s rumored that their young are birthed at a higher sea level to give them a fighting chance. Once born, the then larvae-stage Whale Crabs feed on plankton, mollusks, and anything edible until they can molt over and over to an adult stage. The growing stages of a Whale Crab are ironically its safest, as it’s thought that they do not migrate to lower depths until they are of a stage where they can protect themselves. It is hard for scholars to dictate a Whale Crab’s lifespan as they aren’t any ordinary animal you can track for long. What is known is that the species is ferocious enough to have lived for centuries in the deep unknown of Aloria.
Any sightings of Whale Crabs have led to hostile, or superstitious encounters that remind sailors not to investigate any further. Despite their legendary status, the Whale Crab is ultimately a wild animal, and positive interactions with them are never to be expected. Through the Fin'ullen and aquatic Allar, scholars on land have been able to learn more about the behavior of the Whale Crabs. They live up to their legend, as they will pick off any organism they believe to be a threat. What is worse, they are opportunists and will eat whatever they can to maintain their large size. The reports from Allar line up with this correctly, as even they cannot come close to them without risking their lives. Ever since the Whale Crabs were acknowledged as a real species, the numerous shipwrecks said to have fallen to large, shelled claws were drawn up to be the result of Whale Crab attacks.
Territory and Groupings
What little is known of the Whale Crabs social structures has been obtained by the aquatic Allar and Fin'ullen over the years. They have passed information down to be written, and passed over to adventures that cross areas where Whale Crabs are known to roam. So far, it is understood that Whale Crabs can form packs of up to four individuals in one grouping. Unless they are forced to move closer to the surface, they travel around deep underwater where they cannot be considered a threat to those traveling on the sea. However, anything can change at any time, so sailors are aware of the precautions they need to take to ensure that they do not encounter any Whale Crabs, let alone a group of them. As of now, sightings of Whale Crabs have been made over the majority of Aloria’s known bodies of water. The only locations without reported sightings are within the Eastern Bodies. It is unknown if all of the seas in the included bodies of water are inhabited by Whale Crabs, but all of the sailors that have passed through these routes mention the alarming presence of large, claw-like silhouettes underneath the waves.
- Due to the rise of Whale Crab sightings after the Chrysant War, many seafarers speculate about the connection between Whale Crabs and the powers of the Slizzar cults of that age. Some say that when the Deep Sea Serpents were exhausted, pockets of worshippers relied on the terrors of the Whale Crab.
- A common seafaring tradition is to keep a single crab claw on the vessel while at sea. This is believed to keep the crew safe from Whale Crabs, though evidence of this tradition working as intended is scarce.
Acosmism, Scribbe, HydraLana||
HydraLana on 06/15/2022.|
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