. Since their native names are nearly impossible to pronounce without gills, these squat emerald amphibiods have chosen to be called Grog, individually and in groups. Grog are loyal friends, fierce enemies, and find buffoonery and chicanery distasteful as a rule.
. Habitat . The Grog Home Planet
. The Grog Home Planet (often shortened
to, "GHP" or simply, "Grog")
is located in the Milfoil Galaxy and is the fourth planet
of that system's only green sun, called Mo. This planet
was erroneously referred to as Verdantia by early explorers
and is listed as such on some expired or novelty star charts.
GHP has four relatively uninteresting and lifeless moons.
. The Planet is predominantly covered with a thick sea of multilayered bio-ooze and living murk, spawning millions of green-centric plant and animal life forms, the most advanced of which are Grog. Only 33% of the planet's surface is dry land and most of that is covered by mossy jungles and territorial vine colonies.
. The vast majority of life on the planet occurs in the 3 upper layers of the Majestic Sea of Ooze (see chart below).
. Grog inhabit caves and mud huts along the floor of the Majestic Sea of Ooze and have also been known to use larger fungi and moss structures for shelter. Some floating offshore colonies have been established on beds of murk weeds that grow below the ooze.
. Biology and Behavior
. Male Grog are stocky green bipeds with wide, stumpy feet and delicate webbed hands that are usually clenched into fists. Mobility in their native ooze requires great physical strength which becomes even greater in non-ooze environments. Their long delicate fingers and ponderous analytical natures predispose them to the mechanical arts and sciences. Males feature a prominent white microbe-filtering organ on the front of the head that is often mistaken for an aggressive snarl, but that's just they way they look.
. Female Grog
are taller, thinner and weaker than the males but are capable
of intimate attacks with incidental teeth and claws. When threatened,
challenged, or disappointed, mature females are capable of emitting
a dangerously loud series of screeches that can render
motionless any who do not immediately flee. "The Louder
Sex" are typically some combination of selfish, brutish
and aggressive, but all are noticeably unconcerned with personal
hygiene. Females feed and roam in small groups dominated by infighting,
controversy and fiercely competitive prattling. They display
intellects vastly inferior to the males, who for the most part
regard them as useful pets.
. Mating Seasonsoccur every three years and effects only males, who are compelled by instinct to build an ovoid nest of rounded stones from which each presents exhaustive croaking poetry in order to attract a female. Repression or neglect of this powerful drive can prove detrimental to the Grog psyche and may result in powerful bursts of anger and woe until the ritual is satisfied. Ironically, this romantic behavior has little to do with actual mating in the modern Grog society and the ritual itself has largely replaced procreation as the focus.
. Grog Ooze Defense is shared by both genders and many believe it evolved from generations of conflict with the gigantic constricting murk-eels (see native predators below). When gripped by fear or panic, Grog secrete a viscous slime from their already moist skin that makes physical restraint next to impossible. Although mostly a mystery to outsiders, skilled Grog healers are able to determine much about another Grog's emotional and physical state by the level and quality of their natural skin slimes.
. Society and History
. Grog live most of their lives below the surface of the primary layer of ooze, usually in the service of a larger social community, called a Pod. Pods are self-governing family structures that vary in nature and intent but are usually centered around a specific skill or practical talent, like Dome Gardening, Slog Husbandry, etc. Some Pods are migratory while other maintain claims to specific geographical regions that they rarely leave.
. Their only native predators are gigantic constricting murk-eels with great fangs and a powerful breath weapon, the name for which remains a mystery as its utterance is a critical taboo among Grog.
. Grog have achieved great technological
accomplishments and are capable of space flight, but most
prefer the simple moist pleasures of their ancestral bogs to
the frozen vacuum of space. Dr. Edvard Ng of the Ng
Institute has described their civilization as "adroit-primitive."
. Dome Gardeningprovides an abundance of plant based food and medicine by altering light and growth with specialized lens-like domes. Dome Gardening is one of the oldest Grog industries and remains of vital importance to the modern Grog society. Wealth, authority and social status are usually conveyed by the kind and quantity of swamp blossoms worn, and some rare varieties are even accepted as legal currency. Keeping a small personal dome garden can serve as a profound spiritual metaphor, and cultivating plant life in general is considered one of the highest Grog callings.
. Grog society is strictly divided by gender. Male Grog raise the young and engage in study, invention and commerce. Females live relatively free, having long ago proven that they are incapable of handling even meager responsibilities.
. Females will bond themselves to a male based on estate and the quality of his poetry (see Mating Seasons, above) but most of their time is spent embroiled in obscure social machinations that are largely ignored by males. Except for the gripping dramas of their social circles, females are aloof and generally uninterested in everything else. Some have shown a compulsion to have their pictures taken repeatedly, and while this sometimes risqué behavior creates a stir in polite Grog society the rest of the universe seems markedly uninterested.
. Males called "Uncles" raise the Grog young, schooling them in the traditions of their Pod and directing any natural talents. Here we see a young Grog being instructed in the proper method of stunning a slog larva.
. Extended Study
Slogs are winged aquatic reptiles that propel themselves through the ooze seas like bovine manta rays. They are capable of short excursions to dry land (see photo above) but are slow and awkward there when compared to their massive strength and grace below the surface of the ooze.
Each season, slog cows give birth to millions of eel-like slog larva (see photo above), many more in fact than the environment could ever sustain. The larva are considered a staple food by many of the surrounding life forms, including Grog, who operate larva farms and organize Larva Festivals.
Grog also select a few slog larva each season based on strength and behavior and allow them to mature deep under enriched mud beds. The maturation process can take up to 3 years, and has for generations happened under the careful direction of Authorized Slog Masters. When a mature slog emerges from the mud it is fed and raised according to careful tradition, and with proper training they become beasts of burden and heavy transportation for Grog Pods everywhere.
Faces of Grog World