|“||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.||”|
A windwhale is a sentient flying beast native to the Plain of Fear. Its overall shape is that of a shark with jellyfish tentacles beneath. Some specimens can be over 500 yards long and 100 yards wide. The windwhales live in symbiosis with the flying mantas. Flocks of mantas inhabit the crevices in its body and protect it from attack. Its only vulnerability is fire, as the whale produces flammable gas in order to fly.
The windwhales, like all Plain species, obey Father Tree and his servants, the menhirs. They are carnivorous and will consume horses and soldiers without hesitation. Their tentacles can crush buildings.
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 on the Plain itself.
A frightened windwhale drops off the team of about 35 men who raid the Limper's headquarters at Rust. This team, including most prominently 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 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 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.
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
Even after the defeat of the Dominator, the windwhales remained available to Darling. They carried her and a force of Plain monsters 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 were all recalled north by Father Tree, where they helped Darling in Oar to recapture the silver spike.