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Domarrorb (aka Dror)
The whalebear is a smaller (up to 20 ft) inshore predator. These evolved in northern territory from something like a polar bear, becoming more aquatic, although they still beach to give birth. Whalebears are covered in heavy white fur and a thick layer of blubber. The huge wedge-shaped head bears a mouth full of sharp teeth. The front legs are broad paddles ending in long sharp claws. The rear legs have dwindled to smaller flippers, similar to those of a northern fur seal, but still retain small sharp claws. Both teeth and claws make impressive ornaments. The short tail serves as a rudder. On land, whalebears can move on all four limbs with the humping gait of a seal. They are tolerable divers; they can reach depths of 200 feet and hold their breath for 15-20 minutes. They can live 20-30 years.
Whalebears travel in small pods of 6-12 individuals, usually a family group. Extra males may be solitary. When a female is ready to give birth, the whole pod will beach for about a day, to provide protection until the cub can swim. They are far from helpless on land, but are more graceful in the water. They eat smaller aquatic mammals, fish, sea birds, and sometimes other sea monsters. The heat-thief, northern trapjaw, and northern soldierfish sometimes hunt whalebears.
Whalebears will happily eat humans, and will attack small or occasionally medium boats. They like to hunt by lurking near air holes in the ice. They are capable of breaking the ice and lunging atop it to attack creatures on the surface. In that case, the best approach is to spear the whalebear and then tease it until it bleeds to death. It is difficult to achieve a quick kill through the dense fur and blubber; however, those are valuable materials. Far more dangerous is a situation where the whalebear knocks a person off the ice into the water; that's usually fatal for the human(s) involved, as there is rarely time for anyone to respond effectively. Whalebears are also troublesome when a pod beaches for birth, as all the adults are extremely aggressive at that time. They will lumber up the beach at any sizable creature in sight, attacking to kill. They are almost impossible to dissuade, so avoidance or retreat is advisable.
Before Upheaval: Two species, one white and one dark, were being introduced to the wilderness in small populations.
Sundered Times: The whalebear is the white polar form, and it survived in time shard #63, gradually multiplying. A related dark-furred species, adapted to temperate habitats, died out in shard #3.
Modern Times: Whalebears spread slowly from time shard #63 through the shattered area into shards #67 and #61 then through shard #60 into the northern part of shard #3. They have expanded somewhat southward, but are unlikely to go much further as they are adapted for cold habitat. Although the habitat in shard #1 is apt for whalebears, they are almost never sighted there, as they have trouble competing against the thriving population of other sea monsters. It takes a whole pod to stand up to most species of sea monster. On the ice and the small rocky islands, they compete better; no other sea monster hunts atop the ice or ashore, although northern trapjaws will lurk near air holes in the ice and can beach themselves safely to lay eggs. Whalebears are uncommon in their home shard and rarer elsewhere.
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All Related Articles:
Bears of the North: A resource about bears found in the north.
Sea Monsters; An Introduction: An overview of the sea monsters of Torn World.