The Kraken comes in a variety of shapes and colors. It has a strange and alien appearance, having 8 arms, a fleshy head, and two enormous eyes, giving rise to the idea of it being a horrible killer that attacks humans and drags them into the murky depths of the ocean. However, most krakens do not behave in this manner, and are actually friendly to humans. They are sometimes called "Coór’masýr" (Coór’masýr) especially by elves who dub this animal as being one of Coór and who will not dare touch the creature.
The Kraken is a strange creature, so different from the animals of land that is
sometimes is considered to not be part of this world. Others believe that it is
a dark creature created by
to bring fear to the world of Caelereth.
Its appearance certainly evokes such opinions of it. Its 8 arms stemming from
its soft, fleshy head are lined with many round suckers underneath. These long
appendages are used for grabbing food and feeling things, as well as helping it
move along the ocean floor. In the center of the legs is the mouth, which has a
bird-like beak, strong enough to tear and rip flesh. They also have a
tongue-like structure that can rasp flesh and drill into shells. The ‘head’ of
the creature isn’t really a head, but more of a body, as it seems to contain all
the internal organs of the creature.
Just below the head of the Kraken are the eyes: large eyes that are usually rather pale, sometimes with a slight silvery gleam, and a large dark band across them. The Kraken also has what is called a jet tube. This tube protrudes from its head, near its eyes, and is used for a fast get-away. By pushing water through this tube, they can push themselves away in a flash.
One of the most strange and haunting qualities of the Kraken is its ability to change colors. Its skin can change in a matter of seconds to help it hide in its environment. It is typically a brownish or tan color, though it can make patterns on its skin to blend in with amazing accuracy. This makes them sneaky and deadly hunters. However, they also change colors when in certain moods. It is believed that they turn red when nervous and, when frightened, can turn a ghostly white. When they are cornered, sometimes they will spread their legs about them, and turn a ghastly white, except for around the edges of the middle part between its legs, which turn black, along with the skin around its eyes. It is a truly amazing yet frightening thing to behold.
But color is not the only way it is able to blend in with its environment, because color is not the only thing it can change about its skin. It is also able to change the texture of its skin, going from a soft, smooth surface to a surface with thorn-like protrusions in a matter of seconds. This makes them even harder to detect and even more deadly killers.
The size of the Kraken varies. The largest species is the Giant Kraken, measuring 40 peds from the tip of its longest arm to the top of its fleshy head. The smallest may be the size of a pea. Some have decorative designs on their skin, which never change. It is believed that if one comes across an octopus with blue, purple, or green markings on it of any kind, they should leave it alone. Usually these bright colors warn predators that they are poisonous.
The Kraken has no bones anywhere in its body, and thus is able to bend and turn
in ways other animals can’t. It can fit through openings smaller than its own
head, allowing it to hide in some of even the tightest crevices and holes. Also,
Kraken are incredibly strong, having a body and arms of almost pure muscle. A
Kraken that may only be an od in weight can lift an object of over a heb, ten
times heavier than itself! This strength makes them even more frightening and
The Kraken has also developed a defensive mechanism that they are well known for. They are able to shoot ink out at their enemy if they are pursued. Usually they will spout this ink, change color, and quickly dart in another direction. Most predators find the taste and smell of this ink absolutely revolting as well as distracting. The ink is usually a black or dark brown color and is dispelled through their jet tube.
Territory. Some species of Kraken can be found almost anywhere in the ocean and at every depth currently known. However, most seem to live in rocky areas with lots of seaweed and places to hide. They like rocky areas with lots of holes and crevices in which to make their dens. They will also commonly live among patches of sea grasses, but they are always found on the ocean ground since they are not good swimmers.
Habitat/Behaviour. Despite their frightening appearance, Kraken are really more curious than anything. They have been seen fiddling with things and, in some rare cases, have actually inspected people, wrapping their arms around them. However, so far there have been no reported cases of the Kraken who display this behavior of ever drowning anyone. These sea animals live and hunt independently from others of their kind. They typically seek out a safe den where they will live for a time. They usually hunt live food by stalking since they are fairly slow swimmers. They will avoid danger and do not often fight.
Diet. The Kraken’s diet consists primarily of crabs, though they will also eat lobsters, shrimp, and fish. They hunt by stalking, hiding behind rocks or blending in and moving closer to their prey before lashing out one of their suckered arms to capture their victim. They will then bring the prey to their mouths where they use their mouth parts to rip the pieces of flesh and eat it or, in cases of the crab, which has a hard shell, they will use their tongue to drill through the shell and pull out the tender meat, leaving only the shell behind.
Mating. No one knows quite when the mating season takes place or if there is one at all for the Kraken. Some claim to have seen Kraken mating in late spring while others swear they saw this occurrence in mid august. There is usually very little done in the way of courtship between male and female. A male will approaches a female. He may mount her, but usually he will simply extend his ‘mating arm’ towards her. The mating arm is modified into a spoon-shaped palm that is used to transfer sperm into the female, pushing the arm into her head through the hole through which her jet tube extends. A package of sperm will travel down the arm and into the female’s body. The sperm may transfer as many as fifty of these packages within an hour.
After mating, the male leaves and the female will lay her eggs. However, egg laying is a long process and may take as long as a week since she only releases a few at a time through her tube jet. During this time, the female Kraken will have retreated to her den, connecting the eggs in grape-like clusters to the walls. She will remain with her eggs for several weeks, not eating or leaving her den, but instead constantly tending to the eggs. She will blow water on them through her jet tube and run her arms through them to keep them clean. The baby Kraken hatch as miniatures of their parents, tiny and hardly able to be seen. The mother dies soon after the hatching of her young.
Though no one is quite sure how long it takes these animals to mature into adults, most researchers estimate that it takes two or three years, even though these creatures may live as long as 50 years.
Image description. A Santharian speciality: Krakalamari with weeproot rings. Picture drawn by Bard Judith.
Usages. The Kraken has
a few usages, one of which sprouts from its ink. People around the coast as well
as people of nobility in writing often use the ink because of its dark color.
However, the ink is often very hard to attain. The only way one can get it is to
cut open one of these creatures, and there is only a small amount of ink in each
animal. It is estimated that it would take nearly fifty one-od Kraken to get a
sip of ink.
Luckily, ink isn’t the only thing that this creature is used for. It is also edible in many cases. The meat is often chewy and has a fishy taste, but is still edible. Many Avennorian women prepare it with special herbs and spices, as well as plants from the ocean, to flavor it. It can be boiled or sautéed, but most prefer it fried. Most elves don’t dare to eat it, believing the creature is one of Coór and to eat it would be to poison their bodies.
Myth/Lore. Many elves, and even some humans consider the Kraken, to have been created by Coór. It is said that this God of Chaos and darkness created the Kraken to bring fear into the world of Caelereth and to influence dreams into nightmares. Some elven researchers consider it even a demon and categorize it as such. So full of darkness is this creature, so many elves say, that it cannot even contain all of it within its corporeal form and must eject some of the blackness into the seas in the form of ink. Because many believe that this creature is a dark one, the meat of the Kraken has never been popular save in some small sea-faring communities. The ink is also not used by elves or some humans, but continues to be popular to unbelieving royalty.
Researchers. For a long time, though the existence of the Kraken was known, people didn’t know much about it. It wasn’t until an Avennorian researcher named Akillian Seasur (1239–1255) began studying these creatures that more information was found. It is believed that contact with a large Kraken inspired him to find more about them. He is known for spending much of his time in the water, diving to study these animals. He recorded their eating habits and their color changes and defensive mechanisms. He was also lucky enough to come across a mating pair and studied the female Kraken until she died a few days after her babies hatched. Seasur was a dedicated scholar and his research helped inspire many to continue his work.
Information provided by Rayne Avalotus