Cohost writing prompt: @Making-up-Monsters — Monster who is the last of their kind. They made sure of that

"I fought a kraken once before," says the elf on the frost-caked foredeck. "There was a dwarven dynasty whose royal flagship was lost with all hands. They blamed a sea-monster, so they spent twenty years building the biggest, nastiest, most unhinged experimental hunting-ship you ever saw, crewed it with the most hardened sailors and adventurers money could buy, and sailed for revenge." He fall silent for a little, eyes adrift on remembrance. "I don't know, still," he says eventually. "Whether any of it was the creature's fault. If the flagship was as seaworthy a tub as their kraken-hunting ship, I think the first stiff squall maybe did for it. But they found one. Fought it for six days. Ship and beast died together, and I spent another four days with a handful of survivors on a raft, until another vessel found us. That was a sufficiently good end for their honour's sake, apparently; they had medals struck for us, I think, though I never went back to collect."

Vasthilde blows out a misty breath. "No," she says softly. "You didn't. That wasn't a kraken."

"Excuse me," the elf says.

"No offence to you, master elf," Vasthilde says. "None. I believe your story; some of the particulars I know from histories. But I also know the life cycle of the beast, and it is this: the kraken spawns once, when it dies, and it spawns millions of young. Each a monster. Each unique. And they grow from too small to see, feasted on in uncounted myriad by fish and whale and gull and tentacled wiggler of the deeps, and by each other, in ever-decreasing number and in ever-increasing size and might. Here is an essential truth of the universe, you see, master elf: there is only one kraken. Beyond a certain size and might, their only predators are each other, and none of them can assume the crown of the King of Fish until it is the only one surviving. They grow ceaselessly, devour bottomlessly, and hunt each other through the world-sized darkness of the benthic night."

"You mean," the elf says, "what I fought—"

"Was only a krakenspawn," she says, meditatively. "A child, to the kraken's adult. The caterpillar to its butterfly."

"Fuck me," the elf says, and looks slowly around the horizon, at the cold salt sea interrupted only by ice. "And the thing now—"

"Maybe it's not the kraken, proper, yet," she says. "But in the centuries since, master elf, I think they've thinned each other out. There may now be no more than six or seven, in all the ocean; the dilute might of the kraken concentrating in the survivors, where yours was one of perhaps several hundred."

"Fuck me, we're all going to die," the elf says.