"This large, jet black humpback whale can be seen in the Solomon Islands. In Paoul legend, it stands in direct contrast to the loving White Mother; where she grants new life, this whale spirit is said to preside over death and the afterlife. At least one hundred years old, every fishermen in the region knows about it and it is considered the ruler of those seas. It seems to visit Gatama Atoll in Paoul every few years, but no one knows why."
"Where legends about the White Mother are positive, those of the Black Harbinger are usually negative. His song is said to be heartbreakingly sad, and is believed to be a requiem guiding the souls of the dead. Because of this, local fishermen will burn their fishing tackle if they meet him while at sea, in an attempt to ward off the fate of being led to the land of the dead."
However, it will only appear within the three days and nights surrounding the night of a new moon, and this can be difficult for players to coordinate. Making things a little more difficult is the fact that the player must first use the telescope during the daytime on one of these days, and observe a "black shadow" moving about in Gatama Atoll before they can successfully dive during the night to find it.
The Black Harbinger simply makes a slow circuit of Spring Garden with no notable behavior quirks that differentiate it from a normal Humpback Whale. Despite his dark reputation, he does not pose a threat to the player and can even be ridden. In order to obtain its trivia, the player must use the Sea Whistle, as is common for in-game cetaceans.
- One of the definitions of the word "harbinger" (pronounced "harr-bihn-jerr"), as given by Merriam-Webster, is "something that foreshadows a future event" or "something that gives an anticipatory sign of what is to come". It can be assumed that the Black Harbinger is seen as a harbinger of death, based on the negative associations common amongst legends surrounding it and the myth that it leads lost souls to the land of the dead.
- Despite its negative connotations, it's been a point of discussion amongst members of the fanbase that the Black Harbinger might be given too many negative legends. It's not said to be particularly vicious, like Thanatos, who actively targets humans and animals to cause harm; instead, it's simply said to be a guide for souls to follow into the afterlife, rather than directly causing death. However, its association with death leads to fear from those who learn of it despite its seemingly benevolent nature and intentions.
- The Black Harbinger is likely jet-black due to the fact that black is a common color of mourning, associated with the loss of life. As such, its association with souls and the afterlife makes black a fitting phenotype. (This is, of course, assuming that the Harbinger is biological rather than supernatural in origin.)
- Its song is also said to be "heartbreakingly sad" and is described as a "requiem", which is defined as "a musical composition in honor of the dead". This fits with the theme of death and the afterlife that the Black Harbinger follows.
- It is unknown whether the legends surrounding the Harbinger were born from its (rather ominous) appearance and apparently unique song, or if it is actually associated with the loss of life, e.g. showing up at the scenes of disasters, funerals, etc.
- It is likely that the Harbinger, if biological in origin, is melanistic, a condition that can be considered the opposite of albinism, in which the creature in question produces more melanin than it should. Considering the fact that sightings of melanistic cetaceans (dolphins, whales, and related creatures) are quite rare, legends surrounding the Black Harbinger could have been born from the simple fact that nothing like it had been seen before. However, considering that legends say that it is more than one hundred years old - twice the age a standard Humpback Whale lives to - there might be something more to it after all.
- The Black Harbinger is one of two legendary creatures in the game distinguished by its jet-black coloration, with the other one being the Phantom.