Kraken

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Kraken
Kraken
Kraken, from Ultima VII manual
Also known as: Giant Squid, Man-o-War
First appearance: Ultima I
Last appearance: Serpent Isle

The kraken (a term including such beasts as the Man-o-War and the giant squid) is a type of tentacle-bearing monstrous sea creature known to attack ships at sea and adventures wandering too close to perilous shores.

Description[edit]

Monster-manowar.gif

It is not known if the creatures referred to as kraken are all the same breed of monster, as no records exist of the full body of a specimen having been uncovered. A threat to mariners since the earliest days of Sosaria, these monsters generally take their prey with their tentacles, crushing their victims in a beak-like maw after dragging them below the water's surface.

In addition to the advantage the kraken gain via size and strength, these creatures have further displayed a number of unique mechanisms of attack, including the vomiting of toxic ink and discharges of magical lightning. During the age of Exodus it was further observed that the tentacles of some kraken bore venom in their tentacles as well as in their ink, making encounters of any kind with these beasts especially perilous.

In later ages, kraken became far less visible, with only their tentacles protruding above the waters, grasping for travelers on land coming too close to their domains. It is unclear if this behavior was the result of a slow adaptation on the part of these sea-beasts, or due to different species coming into prominence along the Britannian shorelines.

Observable Traits of Various Kraken[edit]

As alluded to above, "kraken" have exhibited a variety of different abilities and gone by a variety of different names throughout the ages. Whether these are due to different genus of these sea monsters existing or due to quirks of evolution is unknown. The chart below lists what various incarnations of these beasts have been capable of doing.

Game Creature Name Abilities
Ultima I Kraken, Giant Squid None observed aside from substantial physical strength
Ultima III Man-O-War Projects toxic ink; tentacles contain venom
Ultima IV Giant Squid Generates electrical discharges
Ultima V Giant Squid Projects toxic ink
Ultima VI Giant Squid None observed aside from substantial physical strength
Ultima VII /Ultima VII Part Two Kraken None observed aside from substantial physical strength
Runes of Virtue Squid None observed aside from substantial physical strength

Swamp Tentacles[edit]

On the Serpent Isle, a species of yellow-hued tentacular beasts can be found in the swamps of the realm, exhibiting behavior and appearance similar to the kraken of Britannian origin. Like the kraken and other tentacled beasts such as corpsers and lurkers, no full body specimen of these creatures has ever been uncovered.[1]

Lore[edit]

Sosarian mariners swap legends of the Kraken, or Giant Squid, in every pub in every port of the Realm. These monstrous, creatures have been known to rise from the ocean depths, seize a vessel in their long tentacles, and drag the hapless vessel and its crew to a watery grave in the space of but a half-dozen heartbeats.
Giantsquid2.gif
These are the most feared of all the denizens of the oceans. Their long giant tentacles are poisonous, and they hurl magic. Because of their nature, Man-O-Wars can take vast punishment without dying. A Party attacked by such as these has a very slim chance for survival.
When tentacles of the Giant Squid close around a man or a ship, the very power of lightning is released upon the prey. 'Tis best to try to destroy the evil Squid with cannon fire before it can engage thee at close quarters.
Squid2.gif
Squids are unintelligent, but the dexterity of their tentacles makes their considerable strength a real menace. They throw their poisonous ink from a distance, and it is always very damaging. These unpleasant sea creatures are hardy and difficult to overcome.
The dreaded scourge of all mariners, this horror of the high seas is legendary for its ability to destroy a large sailing vessel with its dextrous tentacles and crushing beak. It being exceedingly strong and durable, one should avoid confrontations with this nemesis of the deep.
This mysterious peril of the sea is not well understood. There have been numerous reports of sailors being snatched from the decks of ships by huge suckered tentacles and dragged down to the bottom of the ocean, never to be seen again. No one has yet reported an actual sighting of the full body of this creature.

Trivia[edit]

  • The Man o' War of real world Earth, while similar to the Ultima III analogue in its capacity for envenoming victims with its tentacles, has little relation to squid of any variety. Such animals are not even independent organisms, but rather sipphonophores - colonies of independently structured organ-like zooids working in concert.[2]
  • The bioelectrogenesis which appears to be exhibited by the giant squid of Ultima IV has no counterpart in the known squid of Terran ecosystems, although numerous rays and knife-fish on Earth do possess the capacity to generate electricity for purposes of hunting and defense. Whether or not this implies that such a mechanism in Britannian cephalopods is magical in nature, or that the biology of squid in the realm has moved in vastly different directions cannot be said for certain.[3]
  • Kraken were to be included in the canceled Ultima X. See Planned Monsters for Ultima X for further details.

See Also[edit]

Squid-ROV1.jpg

References[edit]

  1. Morris, Andrew. "Beastiary". Beyond the Serpent Pillars (Ultima VII Part Two). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1993. Pages 23.
  2.  "Portuguese Man o' War". Wikipedia. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  3.  "Bioelectrogenesis". Wikipedia. Retrieved 2010-11-27.