Chulorviah, also known as the Abyssal Strain or the Kraken-born, are a strange umbral creature that act akin to a disease. They are only found in the abyssal depths of the ocean, where the Gauntlet is nearly non-existent.
The Kraken-born propagate via Chulorviosis, a strange disease that affects both cephalopods and humans. The disease is purely spiritual; autopsies of Chulorviah corpses that have washed ashore have yielded no information on them. The virus changes humans and cephalopods so that they become more like the other: A human might grow a beak, mottled skin and suckers, while an octopus might grow vestigial fingernails or change eye color.
Human intellect gives way to instinct, while cephalopods become more sentient and malicious. It can take months for the transformation to take hold, but it is nearly inescapable once it has begun. After approximately six months, humans flee from the surface to join their fellow species beneath the sea. Before they reach that state, most Chulorviah seek to infect as many as possible.
All Chulorviah share a few traits in common. They are able to psychically and silently communicate with one another regardless of any language barriers. All Chulorviah are fully amphibious, able to survive for unlimited periods above or below the waves, and at any depth. Chulorviah can sense other carriers of the abyssal strain; whenever a Chulorviah sleeps, it awakens with a certain awareness of exactly how many other Chulorviah can be found within 50 miles of its location, where those Kraken-Born are, and what identities they wear, if any.
Viewed with spiritual senses, a murky, tattered halo surrounds a Chulorviah, mottled like rotting flesh. Garou sense them as aligned to the Wyrm, and while some powerful Chulorviah have expressed knowledge of the workings of the Triat, they seem to act independent from it. Pentex seems to be aware of the Chulorviah and aid them in their plans, providing infected personnel with opportunities to carry their infection into the world.
The exact nature of the Chulorviah is not well understood. They seem to originate in the Deep Umbra and colonize the seas for their own inscrutable goals. The Chulorviah are clearly intelligent, and carrying out some great and organized plan, but what that might be remains a mystery. In recent years, they have taken a great interest in offshore drilling, working to promote and expand the practice; those few that have fought the Chulorviah conjecture that Kraken’s children seek the unearthing of something lost beneath the bottom of the sea... lost, or deliberately sealed away.
Mages who study the Otherworlds, like the Dreamspeakers and Void Engineers, believe that the Chulorviah were originally parasites to much greater and horrible entities that dwelled in this realm. Umbral explorers became infected during their visits in the Deep Umbra and brought the virus to Earth, where they could only exist in the deep sea. Some mages, who speculate about the goals of these creatures, think that the Chulorviah seek to use humanity as a means to avenge themselves on their former hosts. Others suspect that the Kopa Loei, due to their long tradition with the umbral seas, could know more about the Kraken-born.
The Changing Breeds see the similarities between the Chulorvian reproduction and Bane possession, leading to speculations that the Chulorviah are actually an extremly adapted form of Fomori. The Rokea see them as agents of Qyrl and fight them whenever they rear from their deep sea trenches. Some of the more spiritually inclined weresharks believe that the Chulorviah are Qyrl's attempt to close the Great Wound (the sun) and unite Unsea and Sea again.
The Enfolded seem to be lower caste of the Abyssal Strain. Made up of infected humans, they are usually seen as workers and shock troopers, acting as menial workers for the Kraken. They are mostly human in their appearance, but carry a certain dread along with them. Some speculate that this is what humanity will become if the Abyssal Strain has its way.
The Petryani (singular Petryanos) are infected cephalopods, usually small variants like cuttlefish, although the Rokea tell stories of gigantic war-squids that roam the deeps. Petryani usually act as puppeteers, burrowing into a target's brain to control them. With this ability, they oversee the implementation of the Chulorvian agenda, moving from useful host to useful host and directing the more numerous Enfolded under their command. While most Petryani favour humans, they have also attached themselves to sharks, cetaceans, and even the rare vampire that can be found in the sea. Most hosts are left to die after their purpose for the Petryanos has ended.
Few Chulorviah live long enough to become Elders, who are writhing masses of pale flesh and tentacles, with only minuscule remains of their former identities (all observed Elders have once been Enfolded). Those who do are forces to be reckoned with, even if they rarely leave their territories, instead preferring to send out Petryani to act as their agents.
The Chulorvian elders are timeless and ageless. They claim to inherit the memory of the abyssal strain, and speak of events that happened long before their birth as though they had witnessed them personally. The memories of the Chulorvian elders stretch back and back, ever into deeper darkness, through geological ages. They remember a time before humanity. They remember the time before land or light, when all was simply icy darkness. At the great extremes of their recollection, they do not know if they recall the past or the future; perhaps it is both, and this is the goal toward which the abyssal strain strives, attempting to meet itself across the bridge of time.