Narwhal
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Basic Information

The narwhal is a species of whale most noteworthy for it's "horn". A single tooth on the left side of the mouth of male narwhals grows very long (~10 feet / 3 meters!), and has a spiraling shape like a unicorn. As a result, narwhal teeth have been occasionally presented or sold as unicorn horns by various con artists and vikings, for several times their weight in gold.

The body of an adult narwhals is only about 12 feet (4 meters) long, so a single tooth adding another 75% the length from tooth to tail is pretty crazy.

About 15% of female narwhals grow a "horn", but it's generally smaller and less spirally than the males.

About 1 in 500 male narwhals grows 2 such teeth, one from each side of their mouth.

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Game and Story Use

  • Narwhal tusk could be an interesting spell component, ritual tool or treasure.
  • Confidence games using narwhal teeth as a stand-in for unicorn horns could be cool, but it might be more fun if it's not a lie.
    • Unicorns and their horns have all sorts of magical properties. Do narwhal teeth work the same magic?
    • You could transplant all the properties and myths of unicorns onto narwhals. Perhaps they cure poison and purify waters. Maybe they can only be summoned by a virginal woman pure of heart.
    • Or you could riff on the older unicorn myths that were less sanitized. In this case, you'd have sea monster narwhals that are carnivorous and fierce, who maybe stalk women in coastal communities.
      • It is the left tooth that grows so large. The sinister tooth. That could be meaningful.
  • Fun fodder for a random animal hybrid.
    • This arcanist used to run an Amber DRPG campaign where one of the PCs was a parachuting narwhal. He had kangaroo legs and T-Rex arms and a great big psychic brain. It was a very strange campaign.
  • A space whale version of a narwhal might have a laser tusk.
    • They're the jedi of the sea - they stops cthulhu eatin' thee.
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