WIP - Summer Camp 2023
The steene whale is a domesticated, medium-sized whale, with adult males growing up to thirty five feet in length. They are sleek and dark grey, with powerful muscles to propel them quickly through the water. They are migratory mammals, chasing the summer from pole to pole alongside the polar merfolk, the Kanai. There are about three hundred steene whales, and all of them are domesticated by the Kanai. When stationary, they split into smaller pods attached to the Kanai clans, but when the clans come together for the great migration, so do the whales, who are used to pull the caravans. Their closest relatives are the wild silver whales, who live in the cold waters around the Barren in the south of Etrea. It is thought that ancient Kanai domesticated a small pod of silver whales, and the steene whales originated from there. Steene whales use a whole range of vocalisations to communicate with each other, and a separate range of vocalisations to communicate with the Kanai. Though it is not technically a language, the Kanai can tell how a whale is feeling, if it needs food, and can even pick out individual whales by the sounds they make. Reproduction wise, Kanai whale herder generally control which whales are allowed to breed for the year. Steene whales carry one baby at the time, their pregnancies lasting for around a year. Pregnant whales and nursing mothers are not used to pull caravans, but instead bring up the rear of the caravan trail with their dedicated herders. Steene whales feed on a diet of small fish. During the great migration, much of the fresh food the hunters catch goes to the whales, whilst the people mostly survive on preserved food. It is taboo to eat steene whale meat in Kanai culture, even if the whale in question dies of natural causes.