Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Leviathan

I just ran across a post showing a preview of the upcoming SF movie “The Leviathan.” The art is striking in its own right, but for me it really hits home since this parallels one of my original concepts for the World of Calidar. Click here for the original article about this movie, so you’ll know what I’m talking about. I couldn't help make the analogy with a Ghülean grön. Picture Calidaran wind-driven skyships instead of anti-grav gunboats. Replace energy blasters with wizard spells. Imagine tattered, orcish standards fitted on the leviathan, along with defensive turrets for war-machines, and a few metal plates bolted on the beast's skin. Now multiply the leviathan times the number of Ghülean hordes flying through the clouds.



For good measure, I took my original description from CAL1 and posted it here.

These creatures are native of Ghüle, the orcs’ alien world. They are colossal, grossly fat, mangy worms partially covered with gray fur except where orcs have bolted armor plates onto them. Orcish standards and the bones of defeated monsters sometimes adorn the beasts. Like those on humpback anglerfish, appendages with glowing lures extend from the top of the gröns’ monstrous heads. Two huge, greenish eyes complete the picture. Gröns vary from the size of small galleys to something large enough to swallow several thousand orcs and their war machines.


Calidar Gron Leviathan
These beasts can fly, though a bit more slowly than an average skyship, and are unmaneuverable. The largest ones require miles to turn when moving at full speed, or several long minutes if hovering. Gröns can sustain flight in space’s airless void for several hours before suffocating. Once outside a planet’s atmosphere, elder worms use the appendages on their heads to generate wormholes and reach nearby worlds. They appear just outside their destinations’ atmosphere where the wormholes end. Younger gröns travel alongside their parents and through their wormholes. If the appendage is destroyed or cut off, it regrows in one to three Calidaran years. Flying through space is the gröns’ favored way of ridding themselves of vermin and other unsavory creatures dwelling on their skin.

Gröns are parasites without means of attacking anything, at least physically. Their natural life involves nesting in the deepest caverns of a world and feeding upon its natural magic core. This energy is what allows them to fly and control wormholes. When a world is stripped bare of its soul, gröns migrate to another and resume the process. Orcs of Ghüle do not allow this to happen, at least to protect their own world, and therefore keep the number of gröns within safe limits. A great many elder gröns would be needed for a long time to deplete Calidar’s world soul, but they could potentially succeed if allowed to multiply.

Gröns can live more than a thousand years. They reproduce not more than once per century. Ghülean clans breed them in captivity and use them as troop transports between their world and another they wish to raid. Orcs enter through the beasts’ cavernous mouths and wait inside their bodies, among hollow innards. Pups can hold a few hundred orcs, elder worms up to several thousand. Air supply is limited but sufficient for an hour-long journey through space. Gröns stranded outside a wormhole eventually die, along with their passengers. Ghülean shamans wield spells altering the layout of organs and flesh inside their gröns, which allows them to open a passage into the beasts’ heads. A shaman may stand inside a cranium and commune with the host, sensing all that it sees and feels. This allows the shaman to train the creature from its youngest age and control its flight, including forming wormholes. Gröns are the pride and joy of the orcish clans who raise them, a source of even more delight than tormenting slaves and ripping the wings off flies.