To the west of the islands, the creatures sighted are usually described as sea dragons. Inquisitive creatures, they frequently rise from the sea like a standing stone, and the head and long, slender neck resemble pictures (and reports) of land-dwelling dragons. They are are dragon-like in size, as well; judging from the the portion of the sea serpent above water, most sailers estimate their total length as being between 100 and 250 feet.
Sea serpents seen along the mainland shore are smaller–around 50 feet–and are often called sea lynx because their manes resemble the ruff and ear tuffs of the wildcats who hunt the mainland forest. These creatures lair in caves and are frequently seen in the mainland fyords. They are also reputed to come ashore for short periods of time, usually to steal a goat or calf–and on a few occasion, a child–that has ventured too close to the shore.
That such creatures exist is daunting enough, but sailors suspect them of having a keen and devious intelligence. Though most sightings are of solitary creatures, serpents have been known to gather in pods. On such occasions their behavior can be disturbingly complex and canny.
The captain and crew of the Blue Selkie, the only surviving ship of a fishing fleet, tell a grim tale of a hard voyage homeward over fog-shrouded seas. Days of foul weather made navigation difficult, so no one was too surprised to see the dark, rocky craigs to the north of the Crown emerging from the mist sooner than anyone expected. The experienced sailors manuvered past the first of these outcrops with ease, growing worried only when the expected coastline did not appear. The “rocks” then broke formation and surrounded the ships. Only the Selkie, which trailed the other ships due to a heavy load and a badly ripped sail, was spared.
This ambush is an extreme example, and fortunately such tales are few. Sea serpents seldom seek the company of their own kind. Their solitary nature makes them far less dangerous than they might otherwise be.