Girl Genius
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Girl Genius

The Great Cetaceans are a species of hyper-gigantic whale-like entities who live in the deepest depths of the Atlantic Ocean, in the general vicinity of England. They are so large that they can have entire human-sized city-ish structures inside of them, and travel surrounded by a vast swarm of smaller lifeforms. To give an idea of their scale, in the attached picture, the object in the upper right corner appears to be a regular-sized whale.

Their bodies and intellects are so vast it is difficult for the aforementioned human-sized types to even communicate with them, requiring them to use interpreters recruited from the race of amphibious "Deepdweller" bipeds who dwell in cities located on the, well, not-quite-so-deep floor of the ocean. (Trogulus the exchange student to the undersea dome of the Queen's Society is conjectured in-universe to be one of this species, if a somewhat immature and scruffy example.) Despite this barrier, the Sparkish monster-expert Dimitri Vapnoople is reported to have somehow managed during his heyday to provoke the Cetaceans into attacking Queen Albia's sunken kingdom, resulting in the destruction of large parts of Londinium and the death of three of the Cetaceans at the hands of the Queen. This led to a chilly and uncommunicative peace between the two sides.

One of the Cetaceans, called Ahnkokanth in "midsonic" language, is near the Society dome during Agatha and the mentally-diminished Vapnoople's eventful visit to it, and rescue-swallows one of Our Heroes' fleeing submarines when it gets caught in the shock wave as the dome Self Destructs. The sub's baffled inhabitants, sort of led by Hadrian Rakethorn, then meet with the one of the interpreters. This worthy is mostly interested in beating Rakethorn over the head with his staff of office, but his assistants more helpfully inform the new arrivals that Ahnkokanth has lots of questions for them. The feeling is obviously mutual, but thanks to the history discussed above, the Cetaceans are wary about trusting surface-dwellers. Agatha's sub is also collected, and due to certain.. misunderstandings .. she is selected as a "worthy" person to talk to, leading to a frantic Sparky scramble among the protagonists to prepare for the meeting.

At said meeting, Agatha learns that the Cetaceans' historian, the Song Keeper, has been twisted by a corruption that has started spewing in the species' most sacred stretch of ocean. It isn't explicitly spelled out, but it is evidently very similar to what the Dyne in Mechanicsburg used to do to the surrounding countryside before Castle Heterodyne began harvesting that river's powers for its own use. When Agatha confirms that to the best of her knowledge Albia (and Vapnoople) have nothing to do with this situation, Ahnkokanth appoints Agatha as their dryspeaker spokesperson/liaison, and sends a Deepdweller contingent to meet with the British monarch.

We and the characters later also learn that the contaminated ocean is centered around an island which used to be a major outpost of the great vanished pre-Queen civilization, and is where those schemers Madwa Korel, Ariadne Steelgarter and Francisia Monahan are currently headquartered. And so an expedition is mounted by Agatha and Co., whereupon it is eventually revealed that Monahan's ongoing experiments with the local well-head of Queen-power are causing the contamination. Various plots and counter-plots lead to the island being physically torn apart, and the Song Keeper appearing in person, spewing out a horde of similarly-corrupted monsters.

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