The Krrroa'haxpattl, how the icetribes name this beast due to the sounds it makes when mating (sometimes also referred in its short form, "Krrroa"), is one of the most feared beasts of the Northern seas of Caelereth, but one of the most fascinating and strange at the same time. It is often described as a gargantuan, black mass with no fixed form with a forest of tentacles. Actually it is not very ferocious, except in certain circumstances. It is not its enormous size which frightens the people, but it is said that looking at it causes horror in the bravest man or woman, though this can not be explained with its sheer appearance alone.
Picture description. Illustration of Turik of Barsalon encountering the fabled monster of the Ice Coast, the Krrroa'haxpattl. Image by Seeker.
The Krrroa‘haxpattl appears regularly about every thirty years in greater numbers at the ice coast shores and in Cyhalloi, though there are encounters in-between as well, though much rarer.
Some icetribes, especially the Himiko of the Three Island's Bay as well as the Kasumarii have found a way to use the rare carcasses of these beast despite the stench in different ways. The Himiko only set traps, the Kasumarii however hunt it down, though this is an extremely rare event.
Maybe some of the fear this beast induces in most sentient and half sentient creatures comes apart from its huge size from its uncommon, anomalous and strange appearance in combination with the rare sights and the tales told about it. Or it is the fear of us landborn natures from entities out of the depth of the unknown sea.
Appearance. The first impression one gets when witnessing the beast coming out of the sea is that of a gargantuan, black mass with no fixed form - and that it is unbelievably long, because it has a very outstretched body and while an immense length of it is already on shore, its tail might still be covered by the sea, giving the impression, that it will never end. A forest of tentacles covers its back and belly and numerous, seemingly jointless legs complete its strange appearance.
There was no reliable description until recently, when one of the most famous travellers and adventurers of our time, Turik of Barsalon, happened to visit the Icelands Coast when three of these beasts came out of the sea to lay their eggs on the shore near Inlear.
Here is a part of Turik‘s report :
A Sighting of the Krrroa'haxpattl. „We went to the shore near Inlear, where a place on a formation of rocks high above the beach promised some shelter, if this creature really was to come on shore, as the old women of the village had predicted. And so we went there, with provisions for a few days, though all of us showed a strange kind of reluctance to go - totally untypical for me. But because it was a matter of honour, no one retreated. Finally we arrived at the cliffs and looked for the place, where we would have a good view on the site. And we didn‘t have to wait for long. But before we even saw a glimpse of any beast, a strange kind of fear grew in us and an urge to leave the place to save our lives. I admit, I was not braver than all the other men who dropped out, one after the other, but when climbing up the cliffs, I slipped and fell down. Not far, and I wasn‘t hurt badly, except that my leg got stuck in a crevice and I couldn‘t move nor run away. So I witnessed the most fascinating beasts I ever met, though I nearly died out of fear.
We have to leave the judgement about the validness of this report to ever one's own discretion , but so far many of the miraculous stories this man brought to New-Santhala proofed to be true.
After his rescue, Turik travelled north even farther, up to Sirnil and back at the west side to Rhemir, questioned his hosts about this beast, listened to stories and old myths. From this travels he brought back some more information, nothing more essential than he himself observed, but as important as new facts, the confirmation of his own observations. After his researches, the beast can grow up to the phenomenal length of hundred peds and more, the oldest ones possessing up to thirty pairs of legs or more. However, this seems more to belong into the realm of myth or fairy tale.
There is another source of our knowledge about these beasts, Minoki Kíuru, the woman from the Wicker Isles. Though she has never seen one of these beast for herself, she knows a lot about them from narratives around the campfires of her tribe, the Himiko. She not only confirmed the appearance Turik described, but added herself details, which obviously weren‘t told to Turik. So if one would have the opportunity to see such a beast lying dead on land and could overcome the stench it emanates, small parallel slits could be seen between the tentacles, dividing the body into different sections, like one can find it at worms or caterpillars. These could be ports, but nothing is known about their function. The tentacles themselves show tiny openings or holes, especially at their base and now it can be clearly seen, that a variety of strange, unknown kinds of clams, mussels and plants have found a habitat in this forest of protrusions.
Lady Kíuru tells us as well, that a strange nightly sight, which was until now banned into the realm of teratology or weird stories, reported from sailors all around the waters of Northern Sarvonia, could have well been a nightly hunting Krrroa'haxpattl. All those stories tell of a band of light points, dancing at the surface of the water, but moving with an astonishing speed through the sea. Rumours are told of ships suddenly stopped on their way through the waters, when those lights occurred under the bow. The Himiko say, these light points are created by a Krrroa'haxpattl swimming closely near the surcface, and the irisdecendant ends of the tentacles are producing them. However, during these encounters, no case of the deep sitting fear is mentioned, the Krrroa produces when on shore.
Special Abilities. To describe the special abilities of a creature like the Krrroa‘haxpattl is a difficult task. For one, only few is known about them, and even that may belong more to the realms of myths than to those of facts. So it is said, that these beasts live forever, or at least have a timespan which is - compared to those of humans - seemingly endless, if they aren't killed through unnatural events. They seem to be very fast swimmers, though there are no reports available, which tell something about the sight of a swimming Krroa by day. So their speed can only be judged by their nightly appearance. They are said to be able to swim on both sides, to have no up and down, no back or belly, but they are able to just switch around and go on as before, even on dry land, as Turik reported.
And then the most important one: The ability to induce fear in sentient or half sentient creatures, the stronger the more bigger the beast is. The Himiko think that this - apart from the impenetrable skin - is their only weapon against predators which they might encounter on shore, where they would be otherwise quite vulnerable, without any claws or spikes to defend this long body except the sharp hook at the end of the tail.
Finally the Krrroa's most beautiful ability is that it can produce light at the end of its tentacles - to which purpose apart from representing an element in the mating ritual is still debated.
Territory. Krrroa‘haxpattl is how the icetribes name the beast. The most reliable reports about the sights are from the Icetribes, the mainland tribes as well as the Himiko, followed by the Kasumarii of Cyhalloi. Maybe the Krrroa‘haxpattl needs the warm currents which melt the ice around the Wicker Islands, the Icelands coast and the coasts of Cyhalloi to come ashore and lay its eggs.
Not much is known about its appearance in other parts of Northern Caelereth.
Nobody can tell, if the last ice elves of the peninsula of Iol knew anything about it, if it laid its eggs at the shores of the White Sea as well, any information about the elves themselves is of dubious character anyway.
However, there might be a connection between the seabeast the humans of Kaaer'dár'shín call "Great Seaworm", so the peninsula Caael'heroth might be visited by it, though probably more the west coast, especially the ice free west coast of the peninsula of Aden than the Shadow Coast. Then again, the animal referred to as just "The Beast" in Corthmangar might well be the Krrroa‘haxpattl.
Cyhalloi knows the Krrroa'haxpattl for sure, for the description of the "Black Dread" or "Black Threat" by the Kasumarii and the "Sea Serpent" by the Cyhalloi elves resembles much the Krrroa'haxpattl, though more thorough research is needed there, for some stories or tales seem to mix up our seabeast with the Lindorm, a mythical (?), serpent or drakelike landbeast, which is said has huge dimensions as well and induces fear in sentient beings.
We have so far no reports about any sightings of the Krrroa‘haxpattl from Akdor, but information about this continent is rare anyway, so nothing can be said, if it is at home there as well.
Habitat/Behaviour. Again, there are not many direct observations apart the recent by Turik of Barsalon, most are from stories told at nightly fires, much is assumption, based or derived from rare encounters, more is deduction from the few things we know truly.
The first assumption is that the Krrroa‘haxpattl is a creature of the depths of the sea, only emerging from the abyss to mate. Why it has not been seen so far on high sea by day, but only by night, cannot yet be explained. So nobody has seen its normal behaviour, apart from the mating rituals which take place on shore. However, to the sorrow of many people living next to the sea, an abnormal behaviour is recorded in cases, where obviously only two or, if the settlements nearby were lucky, only one of the beast had come to mate. As will be described in the Mating section, always three of the "worms" are needed for a successful reproduction. If only two have found the way to the shore, disaster is striking. For after a few hours, the two beasts will go mad. No mating ritual will take place, the two animals will circle each other, but not touch as usual, instead the normally relatively slow movements will speed up, the emanation of fear rises, till one after the other makes its way into the interior of the land, away of the shore.
In addition, the Krrroas get bigger the longer they are onshore, as if an internal pressure blows their bodies up. They don‘t get far, not farer than maybe ten or maybe fifteen strals, before they collapse, not able to carry their weight anymore, or are killed by the cold, or which other reason may cause their death. But the Krrroas aim with great accuracy to the next village, the next settlement, the bigger it is, the more probably it will be hit. Apart from throwing its tail and neck around, it doesn‘t act in a ferocious way, it just walks over everything, burying all which is in its way under itself. And this can be - due to its enormous size - even a whole village. The worst thing however is, the beast will die there, it can't be removed due to its size and the impenetrability of its skin - and the carcass will soon develop a stench which nobody, no human nor any predator, can stand. If the beast was one of the bigger one, there can well be a diameter of ten strals which can't be entered for the next thirty years, till the flesh is nearly entirely decayed. No scavengers or carrion eaters are seen at the cadaver. So, even if there were time to evacuate the people and some goods, the well and the maybe fertile land is lost for the next three decades.
Diet. Nothing is known about the diet of these beasts. No mouth which could take in food is visible, no other part to depose the wastes. The Himiko only know about the parallel slits which are found between the tentacles, which might be able to open and suck in something, but if the food are schools of little fish or all those tiny animals or plants which live in abundance in the cold fertile water of the north cannot be said. At one of the rare occasions, where the Himiko cut apart such a creature, some sort of tubes and organs have been found which might support this assumption. The theory is, that with the light at the end of their tentacles, the Krrroa'haxpattl attract their food, suck it in and with the openings at the base of the tentacles they depose its waste, nourishing the clams and plants living within this area. Which advantage the beast draws out of the accompanying flora and fauna can only be guessed.
Mating. No details were known about the Krroas' mating, apart from that always three animals are needed for a successful reproduction, but the - for us researchers - lucky mishap of Turik provided the interested community with the description of a nearly complete mating ritual:
The Mating Rituals of the Krrroas. I can‘t have been unconscious for long, for the three beasts had not moved far away from the place I was caught. There was a piece of relatively flat shore lying directly at the base of the cliffs I was sitting on, partly sandy, partly stony, near the waterline. After some initially uncoordinated movement around each other, the biggest of the beast started to move in tight circles around its own centre, bending its body, so that its neck was not too far away from the end of the tail, which moved from one side to the other, flinging the bigger stones aside, the hook rawing a deep line into the soil.The smaller beasts had stopped in their crawling around, I would say, they "watched" the big one - if they would have had eyes, that is. After quite a time, one of the other two joined it. It entered the circle the big one span with his body, but moved in the opposite direction, rubbing his own body to the inner side of the big one. This was not an easy task, for the legs sitting in the middle between the upper and lower tentacles didn‘t permit a smooth gliding along each others sides, it was an up and down, one time crawling over a leg, next time emerging under the next. Not long, and the smallest joined as well, moving in the centre of the place. As far as I could see it, as it was partly hidden from the other two, bigger beast, it rubbed his sides as well on the sides of the other two, however, I couldn‘t see, if there was a certain order. After a seemingly endless time, the biggest beast stopped, but only to turn his whole body around, so that what was his back first, was now his belly, and to continue with the circling - in the same direction as before. I couldn‘t clearly see, if the smaller two did the same, but I assume it, because for a few minutes, I saw only a frightening whirling of black tentacles. The three beasts looked like they had merged to one huge monster. I don‘t know, how long it took, but when they finally stopped, the Injčrá was about to set.
Myth/Lore. There are a lot of myths around this beasts, from the tale how it angered a sea god and was forced to mate on land to the one that it was created to bring death and horror to the men who ventured to far into the sea. But all these numerous tales and stories need still more research, before any collection can be published.
Researchers. Turik of Barsalon contributed the most details to this Compendium entry, derived from his own encounter with the beasts as from stories he collected from the icetribes living on the continent. Others were Minóki Kíuru from the Himiko tribe, information coming from the Kasumarii were provided by Terra Artemos, who had lived for some time with them.
Information provided by Talia Sturmwind