Release The Kraken!

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Hafgufa, Lyngbakr, Kraken.

Fantastic depictions of this glorious sea god have risen up in popular culture to the delight of many. Clash of the Titans, Dead Man’s Chest and Kong Skull Island are all big budget block-busters which feature totally-righteous-mega-squid. It’s such a wonderful time to be alive.

What is your favourite imagining of the Kraken? Spoiler: mine is down below. There are many to choose from. Pop culture references to this naval nightmare date all the way back to 1830. The Kraken was a poem written by Poet Laureate Alfred Tennyson.

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Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

1954 was a good year for underwater monsters. Monster from the Ocean Floor and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea were released 7 months apart from each other, with 20,000 Leagues hitting theaters 2 days before Christmas. Surely the holiday was filled with holly, jolly and thalassophobia.

 The Creature Feature of “Monster from the Ocean Floor”. Pretty convincing for a total budget of $30,000.

The Creature Feature of “Monster from the Ocean Floor”. Pretty convincing for a total budget of $30,000.

 Disney’s giant squid, engineered by Robert A. Mattey is a touch more threatening.

Disney’s giant squid, engineered by Robert A. Mattey is a touch more threatening.

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Krakens have even inked their way into the Dungeons and Dragons 5e Monster Manual! They are described as: “[tentacled horrors that obliterate the greatest achievements of civilization as if they were castles in the sand. Krakens can breathe air as easily as water, and some crawl up rivers to nest in freshwater lakes, destroying cities and towns along the way.]”

They are legendary creatures with a challenge rating of 23. The Kraken stands alongside ancient Dragons and immortal demons as sone of the toughest foes in the bestiary.

So what’s with all this squid-talk? Well I’ve just finished painting Mierce Miniature’s Kraken, and I’ve got to admit I’m pretty pleased. Not only with the sculpt, but also my pigment pushing.

The figure belongs to the Fomoraic, a faction of immortals “who lie with beasts and men alike the better to fill their ranks with willing kin-warriors who claim to have the seas in their veins and great slaughter in their minds.”

I don’t play Darklands, but I sure am glad it exists! Sculpted by Daniel Cockersell (great name), UUTHÜLL, RISEN KRAACKEN might be my favourite miniature (if you can call it that) of all time. Well… it’s a toss up between ol’ squiddy here and Krull, who is next on the painting block.

It seems to me that Uuthull is a mix between a Kraken, and Cthulu. He wields an anchor, a sunken vessel’s figurehead and a whale’s jaw bone. Awesome. I’ve mounted him on an aptly decorated base featuring pentagons and the like which I picked up at a local hobby shop, though unfortunately I’ve forgotten the manufacturer’s name.

Without further adieu, I give you Kraken!

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