Sea-dwelling creatures of great size, the kraken are natural enemies to the great leviathans, and consider them to be their greatest rivals. They are noteworthy for their great size, and their myriad tentacles. The kraken never stop growing, and the eldest of their kind have been mistaken for islands.
Average Lifespan:: Immortal
Average Height:: Varies; the older the kraken, the bigger it is
Average Weight:: N/A; Depends on the individual
Location Found:: Abroad, in all the oceans across the Realms
*all statistics based on averages; extremes in any direction, or found in odd locations, are always allowed.
Aging Kraken often get not only bigger, but more impressive with age. Features that do not show upon hatching may manifest later in life, and often grow bolder and more extravagant the longer a kraken lives.
Leviathans Kraken and oceanic leviathans are natural enemies, relentlessly preying upon each other's young, and fiercely confronting each other whenever and wherever they meet. These confrontations are brutal, and often result in the death of one or both of the combatants.
Species info credited to Fyfergrund, JPG, Vizier, and Blazeh/Verridith.
Appearance The kraken is a massive, aquatic creature with an elongated body and a mass of tentacles which makes up a third of its length extending from around its beaked mouth. Generally, kraken have anywhere from four to twenty arms, and two to six tentacles. Very rarely they may be found with plates, scales, spines, and other mutations that may cover their tentacles and arms, though these usually restrict movement quite significantly and are not common because of this.
Most kraken have bodies that are typically smooth and streamlined, ending in a fin that may take various shapes. However, some have been reported to be rougher in texture; it isn't uncommon for an individual to have spikes, frills, plates, scales, and a variety of other mutations, especially around their eyes and fin. Most commonly, kraken have darker coloration, but may be seen with bolder hues and bright markings. Their eyes may be of any color imaginable, and do not blink.
Kraken are hatched small, but grow with every year to be many, many times their original size; and they do not stop growing over the entire course of their lives. The largest and most dangerous kraken commonly develop bioluminescent markings across their hides, ranging from the smallest glowing specks to bright, intricate designs. Most kraken with such markings are very large, and may have limited control over the degree of their brightness.
Culture When a kraken is newly hatched, it is incredibly tiny; these kraken are born in the hundreds from minuscule, inch-long eggs stored in rock crevasses and guarded by their mothers. Those eggs that hatch are cared for by their parents for the first year - but even then, they have an exceptionally high mortality rate, and may die from a variety of causes. Due to this, kraken parents very rarely have second clutches, and rarer still do they find mates to spend their lives with.
Once in their adolescence, they are able to defend themselves, and will begin to leave their sibling shoals to find and establish territories of their own. They are often wary of other creatures, but more outgoing than older kraken - some younger individuals are even welcome in smaller communities, so long as they do not attempt to destroy anything or kill anyone. Some become protectors, while others merely pass through with items to trade that they have found in their travels. Meetings between multiple younger (usually transient) kraken are often in friendship, though those with established territories will drive most other kraken away.
As a kraken ages, they will inevitably become more independent and less social. Though an adult kraken will allow others to pass through their territory, if one may attempt to stay, conflict is inevitable - unless the two kraken bond and become mates, however temporary. For a pair to stay together for more than a few years is rare, and those who become life-mates is nearly unheard of.
Ancient kraken in established territories are often avoided at any cost, as meeting one is considered an almost certain death.
Abilities Their great size grants them great physical power, and their tentacles and arms are capable of ensnaring anything of equal or smaller size to the kraken. Gifted with enormous eyes, they have extremely sharp eyesight in the gloomy depths, and if threatened by a foe greater then they can overcome, they can expel a cloud of thick, black ink as a cover while they jet away.
A kraken's ink may develop unusual qualities later in their lives; some become acidic or hallucinogenic, while others may be poisonous or gain the ability to stick to whatever it is aimed at in a clinging, blinding film. Rarely, this ink may be given by kraken to worthy individuals, who may make an assortment of alchemic potions and ingredients from it.
In the later years of an adult kraken's life, they may develop true magic - elements such as water and earth are relatively common, where others such as fire and lightning have never been noted. Reiatsu control, while rare, is also possible - as are non-elemental magics of any arcane nature.
While Zacyn and Sago labored on the leviathan, Albion watched from afar, remaining unseen and unnoticed, though whether it was through his own power, or simple disregard by the greater gods is unknown. He gazed upon their work with envy, then slipped away, returning to Noctis, diving deep beneath the sea.
There, deep in the dark ocean depths, he labored on a creation of his own. One that would rival the leviathan in size and power, and contest the leviathan’s dominance over the oceans. But where Zacyn and Sago chose a serpent shape for their new creation, Albion gave his many large, powerful arms to grasp and crush its foes, forging them from strong seaweed to become flesh. Then, he wove them into an island and shaped it into a sleek head, fitted with intelligent eyes that never blinked; last, he drew coral from the depths, and gave his creation a sharp beak as a mouth..
Satisfied, Albion implanted an instinctive desire to kill and consume any leviathan it encountered into the mind of the first kraken, and left it to its own whims as he followed his own. Some years later, he remembered his creation, and made more, though lesser in size and strength, and spread them throughout the oceans of Noctis. They would go on to spread to the other Realms, but the first kraken is said to still exist, lurking somewhere deep beneath the surface of the sea of Noctis.
Classification: Kuraian kraken. Location: The oceans of Kurai.
A more aggressive, rough-textured variety of kraken found solely on Kurai. Many have spikes, spines, plates, horns, and scales on their bodies, and are typically blood-red in color, though may have other markings. They prey upon smaller sea creatures, and any demon or hellwolf unfortunate enough to enter their reach. They will even attack ships passing by overhead, yanking anyone or anything they can get a grip on into the water, or outright breaking the ship in half with their tentacles.
Classification: octopus-like kraken. Location: abroad; found in most oceans.
Generally not as large as other krakens, their bodies are shorter and more rounded, although they can squeeze into much tighter spaces than their brethren, and often rely on their greater perception and cunning than brute strength. Their coloration may be bolder, and they never have fins on their bodies; they also do not have any tentacles, and sport anywhere from four to ten arms.
Classification: humanoid relatives of the kraken. Location: primarily the oceans of Millirand.
Tall, slender humanoids with heads that resemble an octopus perched atop their shoulders. Their skin is rubbery, and their glossy eyes almost always black. While most dwell beneath the waves, they are able to walk among the landfolk and breathe air, though arid climates and excessive heat can be dangerous to their bodies. They view themselves as superior to other races, and often brainwash them into obedient slaves, dwelling in secret underwater cities. The one exception to this hubris is a deep respect verging on worship of the great krakens, their mother species.
While physically rather frail, they possess formidable psionic abilities, and can link their minds with one another to further enhance their power. However, they prefer to let their slaves do their fighting for them, if at all possible. Overt displays of emotion or acts of physical violence are frowned upon. It isn't uncommon for the kal'mari to converse entirely in mind-speech, casting their cities into an eerie silence.
It is said that they originated from a group of sorcerers that were so captivated by krakens that they attempted to become more like them; they fused with the souls of dead krakens, physically and mentally altering their entire state of being. Over time, these men and women collected more to their way of life, and the kal'mari subspecies was born.