Of Kings and Dragons
Asleifar is a sprawling coastal village whose foremost industry is whaling. Longships ply the waters of the Arcadian Ocean hunting pods of whales. They harpoon the great marine animals and return to Asleifar with the f lensed and dismembered carcasses. Right whales and bowhead whales are the most popular, but larger whaling ships prefer to hunt sperm whales for the precious substances only this breed holds. Whalers avoid certain species, such as blue whales and humpback whales; these animals sink when killed and are therefore unfeasible to harvest.
The docklands of Asleifar are a rough-and-ready neighborhood; dank f lophouses, sweaty brothels, and squalid waterside taverns cater to the tough whale hunters, while nearby harbor facilities and dry docks swiftly repair and refit whaling vessels. The rancid smell of Asleifar’s processing houses wafts over the town. The workshops boil down blubber into oil, clean and dry whalebones, and extract valuable cetacean substances, such as spermaceti, baleen, and ambergris. Whale meat is plentiful and popular with locals. Recently, rumors have surfaced of a huge dark-gray narwhal aggressively capsizing ships in the deep ocean, and increasingly, ships bearing long, deep furrows in their hulls—gouges as if from an immense narwhal’s tusk—have pulled into port with harrowing stories of this creature’s aggression. Curiously, whalers from other Linnorm Kingdoms seem not to have any problems at all with this unusual beast.