Cloudwhales Species in Etharai | World Anvil

Cloudwhales

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Cloudwhales are a species of Etharyan megafauna that lives in the dewdrop peaks. They are gentle and curious creatures, watching the angels and travellers from afar. Some tourists enjoy going whale-spotting in the Heavens, watching them swim through the sky. The cloudwhales cast shadows onto the islands below as they move, providing some much-needed relief from the heat of the sun.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Cloudwhales are large creatures, reaching up to 25 metres in length in adulthood. They are gentle giants, subsisting off of the moisture of the clouds and a type of neutrient development process known as aquasynthesis. They tend to range in colour between greys and dark blues, with lighter bellies and darker backs. They have monocular vision, with two eyes - one on either side of their head.
They are able to fly through the use of lyathos powder, which allows them to move through the air nearly weightlessly. They are somewhat balloon-like in regards to their interior, with nearly as much air as there is organs, and no bones.

Genetics & Reproduction

Cloudwhales experience a dedicated breeding season, which occurs during the winter. During this season, a female cloudwhale will often mate with multiple males. Gestation takes about half a year, ensuring that most cloudwhale babies are born in the summer.

Growth Rate & Stages

A few weeks after being born, a baby cloudwhale will begin to rapidly increase in size, growing to its full adult size in less than a year. Cloudcalves are still fed and taken care of by their mothers, who raise no more than 3 calves at a time.

Ecology and Habitats

Cloudwhales live high above the planet's surface, in the dewdrop peaks. Due to their size, travelling lower than that not only would be harmful to their health but also leave them prone to bumping into other things sharing airspace with them. While they mostly swim just above the cloudline, they dip down to the cloud layer to feed, collecting the moisture from the clouds.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Cloudwhales live on a diet of entirely water. They need a lot of it to sustain their energy with their large bodies, but they are able to obtain this amount as long as there are enough clouds in the area. As such, cloudwhales will travel with the clouds, staying with their primary food source.

Culture Surrounding Cloudwhales

"Mommy, mommy! Look! Look! It's a cloudwhale!"
"Not now, honey, mommy's busy."
— Excited child on a family trip, and their exhausted mother

Angels: Cultural Significance

Among the angels, cloudwhales are seen in a fairly high regard. They are one of the few creatures capable of magical flight using lyathos powder. In addition, these whales spend the entirety of their lives moving and travelling, an ideal life for much of angel society. To them, whales represent an innate goodness.

Tourism and the Cloudwhales

Tourists, on the other hand, see the cloudwhales as a novelty. They are not visible from the surface, as they always accompany patches of clouds, so some will travel to the Heavens with the specific intent of cloudwhale-spotting. These tourists often will try to attract the attention of the cloudwhales, disturbing and panicking the poor creatures unknowingly. Angels will try to prevent people from doing this, but this has had little efficacy. Instead, they have chosen to hinder travellers, messing with their methods of travels or painting their windows.


Cover image: Grey White Clouds by Pixabay

Comments

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Dec 6, 2023 01:18 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I love the cloudwhales. No bones! :D I would go cloudwhale spotting, but I'd do it from a respectful distance. Poor whales getting disturbed by tourists.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Dec 6, 2023 01:42 by spleen

:D they're really like giant balloons, tbh. they would appreciate the respectful distance, and probably watch you back!

Jan 26, 2024 21:35 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

They sounds so nice! Are they the same size as actual whales? Do they make big shadows on the ground or are they too far up for that?

To see what I am up to: World Ember 2023 list of articles.
Jan 27, 2024 01:03 by spleen

they're a bit smaller than real-life blue whales! they do make shadows if they fly low enough :)

Jan 31, 2024 00:06 by Aster Blackwell

Sky whales! Sky whales! I'll never be tired of sky whales. I love how they have no bones! Could you get swallowed by one and survive? :O I'd love to see some art of them.

Jan 31, 2024 02:36 by spleen

hmmm... if i can find some extra time and motivation, i may just draw them!