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Windwhale by Didier Graffet

Windwhales, depicted by Didier Graffet.

From below it looked like a cross between a man-o'-war jellyfish and the world's biggest shark. From up top where Bomanz was, the broad flat back looked like something from an opium smoker's pipe dream.

Case, The Silver Spike

The windwhales are sentient flying beasts native to the Plain of Fear. From below, they "looked like a cross between a man-o'-war jellyfish and the world's biggest shark", and, their topsides are broad, flat, and pocked with crevices that are populated with families of the symbiotic flying mantas. Some specimens can be over 500 yards long and 100 yards wide. Their only vulnerability is fire, as the whales produce flammable gas in order to fly. They are carnivorous, and with their gigantic tentacles can consume horses and soldiers with ease and pulverize buildings.

The windwhales, like all Plain species, obey Father Tree and his servants, the mysterious talking rocks known as menhirs. They became critical allies of the New White Rose Rebellion in The White Rose and continued helping Darling throughout the subsequent events of The Silver Spike.

The White RoseEdit

Several windwhales are supplied to Darling for transport and living weapons by Father Tree after the Tree reveals his sentience. Before this point, the windwhales were hardly seen by the Black Company, even though the Company men were living in the Hole near the center of the Plain for two years.

The White Rose (Vaskikirjat 2017) Cover

A soaring windwhale carrying a Rebel army, depicted on the cover of the Finnish translation of The White Rose. Art by Petri Hiltunen.

Raid outside Rust Edit

A frightened windwhale drops off the team of about 35 men who raid the Limper's headquarters outside Rust. This team, including most prominently Croaker, the Lieutenant, Elmo, Silent, Goblin, One-Eye, and Tracker (with his hound) is left to fend for themselves when the windwhale flees too early. A smaller, more confident windwhale is sent to rescue them: it retrieves most of them just as they are about to be swarmed by imperial soldiers.

The sack of Frost Edit

The windwhales were key players in Darling's military actions against the Lady's Empire afterward. In one battle, a "phalanx" of windwhales devastated the imperial city Frost. They kept close to Darling's null to be protected from the sorcery of the new Taken. At least one windwhale died here, when it was ignited by a storm of shafts fired by gigantic ballistae.

The skirmish outside Horse Edit

The Lady soon adjusted her strategy, and the Taken were equipped with new styles of flying carpets and outfitted with explosive spears. The windwhales could no longer rely on Darling's null for protection. After at least three were killed in battle during Darling's march toward the town called Horse, she turned them around, not willing to lose anymore of the precious creatures.

At the Battle of the Barrowland Edit

After Darling and the Lady created their alliance to defeat the Dominator, the windwhales played a major role in the Battle of the Barrowland. Two of them were exploded by the Dominator's dramatic spells. A third windwhale grabbed the Dominator in its tentacles and deposited the evil tyrant at the place within Darling's null where he would be killed in furious combat.

The Silver SpikeEdit

Windwhale

A windwhale outside the Temple as depicted in the The Black Company Campaign Setting.

Even after the defeat of the Dominator, the windwhales remained available to Darling. They carried her and a force of Plain creatures including menhirs and centaurs all the way across the Sea of Torments, as far south as the Temple of Travellers' Repose, in pursuit of the Limper and Toadkiller Dog. One of the windwhales was fatally wounded by the fire-eater sent by the Limper. The remaining windwhales dropped boulders onto the Temple walls as a distraction until tiny Plain creatures executed their ambush. They carried everyone back north when they were recalled north by Father Tree, where they paused in Opal and soon helped Darling in Oar to recapture the silver spike.

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