This deadly and mysterious beast has been a source of fear and myth on the northern seas for many years. Nothing can bring about as many nightmares, yet nothing is so prized in its capture as one of these Dark Stryke Sharks. Found in the northern oceans, and said to be created by the Gods Aleshnir in her struggle against Zundefor, these beasts will leap up to 6 peds from the hidden darkness below to capture their prey and can be considered extremely dangerous to its environment, fish and men alike. Fin soup made out of the Dark Stryke Shark on the other hand is said to increase male virility, and is sought-after by many a Remusian.
Picture description. The Dark Stryke Shark - source of fear of the area around the Peninsula of Glandor. Image drawn by Seeker.
This creature is about three to five
peds in length, and three
peds in girth. It is very
much designed to be quick in the water, with
smooth skin and a long body without many protrusions. It has a tall dorsal fin
midway along its back, a smaller secondary dorsal fin halfway between the first
dorsal fin and the beginning of the caudal fin, and then the large caudal fin
itself. To each side, behind the gills and before the dorsal fin, are its two
pectoral fins. The Dark Stryke Shark has a large mouth, filled with three rows
of very sharp triangular teeth. Above its mouth is a large round set of eyes.
Surprisingly, there are no eyelids. Because of this, they are rumoured not to
sleep. This is one explanation for the dogged determination these feared animals
display while on the hunt. Between the mouth and the pectoral fins are a set of
The colouring ranges from nearly black, through the hues of blue, to a green. This colour is darkest on its back, and lightens as it goes to its underbelly. The tips of the fins are nearly always black in colour, but occasionally a dark blue. The eyes are very nearly black, though rarely a dark blue.
These dangerous animals are notorious for their ability to leap. Many a sailor
has been pulled off of the deck of a ship while carelessly staying too close to
the edge. These sharks have been known to leap up to 6
peds out of the
water, grab a man’s arm, and pull him, or in
some case only the arm, back into the dark water.
Several of these sharks sometimes work together to hunt
carteloreen, and can be seen leaping out of the
water around the
carteloreen, as they hunt the giant creature. This has led some researchers
to speculate that they have a limited form of sentient mindset, as the tactics
they employ are quite advanced.
Deep water is not the only place these creatures are feared. They have been known to throw themselves on to the edge of ice floes, and onto the shoreline, to catch their prey. They then use their powerful tails to work their way back into the water.
Territory. The Dark Stryke Shark seems to be a cold water animal. They have been seen only as far south as the Peninsula of Glandor on the western side of Sarvonia, and the Peninsula of Kr’uul on the eastern side. They are usually found in the deep water areas, but this is in no means the rule. They often come into shallow waters to hunt pinnips and penguins. The only restriction on them, is that they only live in salt water, and do not venture into the rivers or lakes.
Habitat/Behaviour. Very little is known of the Dark Stryke Shark behaviour. Most of its time is spent far below the surface, and it is only seen while hunting. During this time, it has been confirmed that they have a very keen sense of eyesight, for they can come out of the water at great speed, sail through the air, and grab prey off the deck of a ship, before falling back into the water, even while the ship is under high sail.
on the 4th day of our journey that disaster struck. My first mate, Hanz
Sterm, was out on the foredeck. We were providing armed protection for a
group of small whaling vessels. A
carteloreen had been taken, and was being carved.
The blood in the water must have
attracted the devils, for they came at us fast and hard. The first one
lept from the water, and caught Hanz'
arm. In a blink he was
overboard. Poor bastard was not dead right away, but his arm had been
ripped from his body. We tried to get a rope to him, but another shark
dragged him beneath the waves. In total, six men were killed that day, one
of mine and five from the whaling vessel. As well,
the carteloreen that had been so laboriously won,
was lost to the hungry beasts. It was one of my last trips to sea. I had
Though it can only be guessed at what this creature eats in the oceans depths,
there are a variety of animals that it regularly eats while hunting near the
surface. The carteloreen seems to be a favourite meal of
the sharks. As well, so are humans, and other
races that venture out on ships or boats. Though not a main food source, the
Dark Stryke Shark is one of the few creatures that actually seems to actively
hunt people, and goes out of its way to hunt them.
Close to shore it feeds on pinnips, seals, as well as wison during the migration over the channels in spring and autumn. Low flying birds have also fallen prey to these creatures.
Mating. Very little is known of the mating habits of the Dark Stryke Shark, as they have not been observed breeding in shallow waters or near the surface. All that can be said with certainty is that there are male and female of the breed, and that the females are the larger of the species. As well, they give birth to live young, as more than one female has been captured, and when cut into, has had up to three fully formed babies within.
Picture description. The fins of the dark stryke are used for great soup. Image by Bard Judith.
The meat of the Dark Stryke Shark is considered a delicacy, by the
Ice Tribe people, due to the
rarity of actually killing one. It is high in fat content, and thus provides a
The teeth of the shark is used as arrowheads, and is the preferred medium, where metal is hard to come by. The more nomadic and primitive Ice Tribes use teeth in this way exclusively.
The thick skin of the shark can be tanned and used for shield material. It is naturally leathery and can withstand much abuse. Likewise, it has been turned into a type of leather armour as well, by the most prestigious of the tribe.
Shark fin soup has been known to increase male virility. For this reason, shark fins have been known to sell at twice their weight in gold.
Myth/Lore. There is a tale that is told in the Ice Tribes region on how the Dark Stryke Shark came into the world:
The Creation of the Dark Stryke Shark. Ages long gone, when the gods were still upon the face of the land, it had come about that Zundefor had given to Necteref, the caracal, as her personal familiar. He had done this to gain favour with her, and get her as an ally against Aleshnir. Without allies of her own, Aleshnir knew that Zundefor would be able to best her, and gain dominion over the animals of the sea. To this end, she created a gift herself, that she gave to Asendin. This was the Dark Stryke Shark. As fearful in the water, as caracal was on land. Seeing this new alliance, Zundefor knew that he would no longer be stronger than Aleshnir, and so a new peace was garnered.
The relation between the Dark Stryke Shark and virility is also recounted vividly in the following tale:
About the Uses of Shark Fin Soup. Long
ago, when the Remusians were
still a primitive people, the same as the other
Ice Tribes, there lived a
lanrul, Ierytumen. Now Ierytumen had 73 wives, but none of these wives had
children. At first, he had blamed the wife, but after the 54th wife, it
was becoming clearer that perhaps it was Ierytumen who was at fault.
Fearing that his lack of virility might lead some to question his
authority, or maybe to challenge him for the role of Lanrul. He consulted
the shaman of the tribe who meditated for several days. Then in a dream,
he saw his lanrul, with several children, ruling over a vast land. The
next night he dreamed that Ierytumen had gone hunting at sea and had
speared a Dark Stryke Shark. After a long struggle, Ierytumen finally
landed the beast, cutting off the fins and eating them. The shaman knew
what needed to be done.