Common Names: Edit
The Old Ones, Reefbacks, Tropic Runners
Commonly seen migrating in a constant clockwise migration of the oceans. Exact positions can be fixed to a near-perfect guess based on the season and weather patterns.
===Physical Description=== Edit
Size/Weight: Average ~250-300 feet. *TOO LARGE TO WEIGH*
Mariners are a seasonal sight anywhere in the world and a welcome sign of warmer waters and plentiful food. Mariners usually enter a region as the waters spring to life following quiet, harsh winters and mark the several months of spring/summer feeding seasons.
Immense creatures, Mariners are generally loiter close to the surface, rarely exceeding one to two hundred feet in depth. The most notable part of the Mariner’s anatomy is the immense coral reef(s) growing along the Mariners’ back (FIGURE 1 & 3). The reefs are used as an indicator of not only the age of the Mariner, but also as a sort of snorkel, keeping a hollow air air chamber that the mariner can draw from at any time and cycle air out of at the surface. The reefs are normally populated by bright tropical fish and crustaceans who become less active in the temperate waters and are fished within reason by the peoples along the coastlines and seaways.
While they might live hundreds of years in their blue home, Mariners are not known for their speed. They drift along, paddling with their eight flippers (FIGURE 2A) and wide stroking tail. The dorsal surfaces of the flippers have been noted as being overgrown by masses of kelp forests that draw into herbivores and other fish to hide amongst the Mariner’s body. In essence, this turns Mariners into floating food markets for the cunning and quick.
Pre-War archives show connection with Blue and Humpback whales.
Mariners spend most of their time wandering on their own or in small pods, normally of breeding pairs and their offspring. During the spring feeding season and fall mating season, Mariners have been described and documented at forming archipelagos with their sheer numbers. When moving along, Mariners are normally docile unless threatened and even then they will throw their weight around to drive off annoyances.
Mariners are baleen whales, feeding mostly on plankton adrift on the waves. However, studies and dissection of several specimens seems to also show symbiotic relationships with the kelp forests and coral colonies. The hitchhikers pay a sort of nutrient tribute into the Mariners’ bloodstream in exchange for the ride.
Most predators don’t attack the Mariner, instead focusing on the plethora of smaller, easier prey items living amongst the reefs and forests. One creature however, will kill a Mariner outright: Leviathans. Once they Mariners are dead, Cruisers and Lurkers have been documented as scavenging the corpse.