Cathedris Themesong

Shallow ocean Stoneshark

Sharp teeth, hard head.

They've got reaaal thick armor on their heads, and've been known to take down a ship or two just by mistakenly running into it... but for the most part, they don't target humans. For the most part.
— Wary Sea Captain
These massive sharks can reach sizes of anywhere between 4.5 to 5.5m in length. They're covered in thick gray-green skin, atop a layer of lean muscle. The defining feature of them however is the thick, dark gray plating featured on their head, underbelly, and lower back. This material is chitinous, rough, and very tough -- these stone-like qualities are what gave the sharks their name.   Stonesharks are very lean -- because the sharks live in warm, shallow oceans, they do not need any fat for warmth. They instead trade the protective layers for more muscle, which in turn makes them incredibly fast for their size. A Stoney will keep pace with any sailboat, and even the newest and most efficient steamships may struggle to pull away from the hard headed predators.

Their incredible speed allows them to hunt nearly anything in the ocean with ease. However, the sharks are not the most intelligent of beasts, and they will quite often mistake inanimate objects for food. Nearly every experienced sailor has a story they've told once or twice of Stonesharks mistakenly striking boats, and smashing holes into hulls with the thick plating atop the sharks heads.

Uhhh.. is that comin straight for us?
— Moments before disaster
...and then he said, he goes "I told the cap'n there was a buncha them, and they looked like they were huntin! But cap'n didn't listen, and that was that." ...turns out his idiot captain steered their ship right into a pod o' Stoneys, and they wound up sinkin right then and there. Twelve men died, so they say.
— Retelling the tale at the local pub.
 

Anatomy of a Stoneshark

A Stoneshark does not begin growing their thick plating until 3-5 years after birth. The plating is born of calluses, earned through the first few rough years of a sharks life. Once the calluses form, a sharks body will focus most of the calcium gained from eating the bones of their prey to these spots. The armor will continue to thicken and harden over the course of the sharks life, as they use their thick heads for bludgeoning their prey to death.   The other defining feature of the sharks is the rule of 3's found upon them -- each shark has 3 dorsal fins, 3 pectoral fins on either side, 3 hearts, and 3 stomachs. The 3 stomachs help a Stoneshark's body distribute nutrients to where they need to go, with the final stomach being the one to dissolve bones, sending nutrients to their armor plating. The sets of 3 fins all help the shark to swim as fast as it can -- and the 3 hearts ensure proper blood flow to support that speed.  

Habits

Stonesharks prefer to hunt in groups, known as pods. The sharks will remain in these pods for most of their life, living and hunting together.   They also pair for life, and most pods will have anywhere between 3 to 6 pairings within them, with a few singles. Each pod will have one dominant pairing that leads each hunt.

Hunting grounds

Stonesharks are found in shallow oceans surrounding Eriall and Russin, but have been known to swim as far south as the eastern shores of Vir Adanea.   They're also quite commonly found in the wake left by Sharenskus, as the mud stirred up conceals the sharks and allows for easy hunting.
Alternate Names
Stoney, Stonehead, Rockshark
Scientific Name
Igneous Chondrichthyes
Lifespan
40-50 years
Average Length
4.5m - 5.5m

Sport Fishing

Stoneshark meat is tough, and incredibly oily. When raw it has an incredible stench to it, that only worsens when cooked -- very few, if any, will eat Stoneshark meat. However, Stoneshark fishing still occurs at high enough rates to endanger the shark's population in certain areas. The sharks put up incredible fights, and thus have become popular with sport Anglers. Some even kill their catch, harvesting the armor plating for use on their boats, as construction material, or just neat trophies.  

A brief Training Experiment

Approximately 40 years ago, Falaradunian government experimented with a captured pod of Stonesharks. Using bright white painted morsels of food placed near the surface of the water, they trained the sharks to hunt specific targets, in the hopes they could use them to destroy enemy ships. Unfortunately the sharks were released into the wild before the Government realized most of their ships looked white from below -- it took 8 years to kill or recapture the pod, and 12 ships were lost.
There be a story my maw used to tell me, bless her soul, bout the biggest Stonehead she ever did see. Wasn't no normal one, no, this one was huge, twisted, and hungry... hungry for humans.
— Tales told to the younger generation.

 

A dash of Ichor

Plating covering far more than your average Stoneshark. Eight massive spikes where the dorsals autta be... Teeth... oh god the teeth that go up to here. It's real, I promise you. I just dunno why the Legion hasn't done nothin about it yet. 'S far as I know, the bastards haven't even acknowledged it's existence!
— Scared sober sailor
Rendlings are monsters born of the dead gods, coming in three distinct versions dependent on how the monster was formed. One type of Rendling, the Faunal Rendling, is formed when an animal comes in contact with too much blood from the dead gods -- Ichor.   Rumours have circulated for hundreds of years concerning one such Faunal Rendling -- a massive, mutated Stoneshark, covered in spikes. The massive beast is said to have gained a taste for human flesh, though it's been said to eat anything that crosses its path, including other Stonesharks. Most sailors swear the shark exists, living by itself, as it likely consumed its former pod a long time ago, after being mutated into its Rendling form.
 

Gifts and Keepsakes

In recent times, public interest in the Stonesharks has increased an extraordinary amount. The sharks' under-bite in combination with the surprisingly expressive, in-set eyes, has transformed opinion on what many would call frightening into something more cute.   This of course has transformed into a small-scale industry within Cathedris. Industrious, crafty, and creative individuals have begun to create replicas of Stonesharks, graphical representations of the beasts, and even cute stuffed versions of them. There is a small, but strong, market for creations of this sort, and many take joy in the toys and collectables that they buy that resemble their favourite shallow-ocean going animal.   Of course, any market is always vulnerable to infiltration by Snakes. Many who keep profit in mind above all else will stop at nothing to make a quick buck off of a popular trend; selling shoddy replicas, things made with poor or dangerous materials, or even attempting to pass off the corpse of an entirely unrelated shark as a "stuffed animal", nothing is beyond the detestable Snakes.  
Look, look! I want this one! This one is wearing a hat!
— An excited soon-to-be Stoneshark Memorabilia Buyer
Buy two, get one free! Truly wise shoppers should also know, if you buy one of everything, you might just win a "Swim with the Stonesharks" experience of a lifetime!
— Definitely not a Snake


Stickers of Cheer

Bright and colourful balls of fabric have been symbolically shown upon the shark's front fins, in a combination that is lovingly referred to as "Cheershark". While this is likely impossible to see in real life, many gather great enjoyment from seeing a Stoneshark cheering them on, and thus fashion stickers with "chat bubbles" above them to use as messages of hope and delight.


Comments

Author's Notes

Water background image by Jeremy Bishop


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Grandmaster CoffeeQuills
CoffeeQuills the Coffee Quaffer
10 Jul, 2020 06:01

Your images are beautiful and all the little quotes about the stonesharks really bring to mind a fishing town - loved your article!

11 Jul, 2020 01:06

Thank you so much! :)

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
10 Jul, 2020 06:32

Incredible artwork and, maybe more importantly for world building, incredible detail! I often say quotes are a great way to make things feel like they have a place in the world and you have demonstrated my point brilliantly. I can only surmise that entering conflict with the rendling of one of these bad boys would result in unavoidable death. Great work and teach me your crazy CSS ways!

-ZogMadDog

"I am become destroyer creator of worlds!"
11 Jul, 2020 01:07

Thanks Zog! I too really love quotes, its always so fun putting life into an article with them. And yeah, the Rendling Shark would not be a fun thing to run into :D   Always willing to share CSS secrets as well! :)

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Sage Tris
Tris (necromancertris)
10 Jul, 2020 15:08

Sharp teeth, hard head, SOFT BOYS <3   I wish they could also jump out of my screen, not only your stunning world, so I could pet them! But I guess not even the most powerful CSS magician of all can grant that wish :/ :D   Your articles leave me speechless most of the time and even now I don't really know what else to say - it's so rich with all the various information, the quotes, the drawings, the layout - everything about this is just so. good. I like how you not only explored the biological aspects of these predators but you also connected it into your world with the little dialogues and that brief history window in the sidebar. I really like that this is not just a "scientific" description but a vivid and well-connected part of your world. It's like "here have a taste of everything, tied in a nice toothy package" and this is precisely the kind of worldbuilding I aspire to :)   (My favourite shark is the tiny one in the header in the bottom right corner near your logo, he just seem so happy that someone is taking a "photo" of him and his buddies + that someone also looks very, very tasty xD)

11 Jul, 2020 01:09

I wanna pet them too! I really like the concerned looking one, on the left of the header image :)   And thank you so much Tris! That's extraordinarily high praise, so thank you :) <3

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
10 Jul, 2020 21:51

I think my favourite thing in this article is the brief training attempt that ended in disaster. I was reading it like 'oh noooooo'. XD   I love all the quotes you have. It really brings the world to life. And also the hint of the rendling stoneshark, which sounds (and looks) terrifying.   I think the only thing I'd like to see added is maybe a bit about their breeding/how their young are born? :)

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
11 Jul, 2020 01:11

"It'll be great, we'll have sharks taking out any ship on the sea!"   "Wait, OUR ships are on the sea! Oh nooooooooo!"   Thanks so much Emy! :) And I agree! That would definitely be some good info to add -- after summercamp, I think I'll look into how and where I'd like to add that info :)

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Yarik
Rafael Martin
1 Aug, 2020 11:34

Everything about this page is gold. I love the layout, the images and the little stoy snippets so much! What a great way to use World Anvils features.

6 Aug, 2020 16:07

Thanks so much! :D

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Sage SailingOcelot
Sailing Ocelot
13 Dec, 2020 05:00

These quotes are fantastic, haha! What a fun article to read through. I also love how the images pop around the article too, nice editing.

~~~~~~~~ SailingOcelot
8 Jun, 2021 22:50

Somehow I must have missed this notification in the crazy month of December, and had it deleted D: Just noticing this comment now, and I want to say thank you! I always really appreciate someone taking the time to read and comment :)

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Sage SailingOcelot
Sailing Ocelot
9 Jun, 2021 23:19

December is certainly a crazy month in WorldAnvil! Not long 'til summer camp too, will you be participating? Congratulations on the Featured Article by the way!

~~~~~~~~ SailingOcelot
10 Jun, 2021 01:01

It 100% is, yeah! I will be participating in summer camp this year, yeah :D Gonna aim to do more smaller articles to give this world some depth in between the bigger ones. Will you be as well?   And thank you! So happy to have these sharks featured :)

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Sage SailingOcelot
Sailing Ocelot
15 Jun, 2021 13:35

I'll be doing Summer Camp too! I look forward to seeing your articles - best of luck!

~~~~~~~~ SailingOcelot
Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
8 Jun, 2021 18:10

Hell of an article, and so nice to accidentally discover this nearly a year later thanks to you sharing your Summer Camp 2020 page during a discussion on the Discord server today. Not sure how I missed this a year ago, determined not to miss anything you put up this year!

8 Jun, 2021 22:49

Thank you so much Chris! These sharks are still one of my favourite things I've made -- and you've just inspired me to update it a little bit!   I'm excited for Summer Camp too, can't wait to see what everyone makes :D

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Thicc Shrek
Thicc Shrek
9 Jun, 2021 18:00

Your sharks are most impressive. I'd love to eat one.

10 Jun, 2021 01:14

Amazing article. love all the details put into it, particularly the quotes. on that note how did you add them into the article as you were making it? I'd really like to know if yer willing to share

10 Jun, 2021 04:45

Thank you so much! I really like using quotes, they add great flavour to any article.   They're easy to add as well, as they're just simple bbcode. Using this code here:
[quote]This is a quote that someone most said | Someone who said it[/quote]

Results in:

This is a quote that someone most said
— Someone who said it
  Additionally, I use the Euclid editor on WorldAnvil to highlight and make using bbcode easier.

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
10 Jun, 2021 07:32

Great article: I love the hunting the shark for sport, the using the shark armour to protect the boat, and the government accidentally destroying their own boats XD   "Swim with the Stonesharks" experience of a lifetime!" sounds like such a great idea XD But I love the idea of making stuff toys with them and those cheering stickers! This is funny and it really brings to life those people :D   From a biological standpoint, I imagine that those 3 stomachs/ or 3 hearts are placed directly one after another? So that it forms different parts of a same organ rather than different ones, like it does for cows. This is an interesting details, and I like biology info :p   Great illustrations and layout as always :D And I really love how you've use those quotes!

10 Jun, 2021 16:37

Thank you! :D It just seems like something people would do, right? Use animal parts for their own benefit, and then also royally mess up animal training experiments :P   I actually very recently added the keepsakes section, it was really fun to adapt the merch I made IRL into in-world lore, so I'm glad you liked it :)   I imagined the same thing for the stomachs! That way they can get every bit of energy out of what they eat, digesting it fully. The hearts though, I imagined they'd be in parallel rather than in sequence, and each would serve a different part of their body to really pump that blood all over. Maybe one supplying blood to the tail, one to body muscles, and one to organs/brain/etc? (not a biologist, not sure if that makes sense xD)   And thanks as always for the comment :)

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
10 Jun, 2021 20:05

I really like this, they look pretty cool too

10 Jun, 2021 21:18

Thank you! :)

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.