Creature Seed: Ghrups.

Ghrups – Google Docs


Description: basically, a mini-shoggoth (8 lbs); only it glows faintly blue, and doesn’t try to eat you.  Ghrups absolutely look slimy, but they’re not. They smell like various metal ores; Dwarves at least find Ghrup-scent pleasant and comfortable.  The species generally makes no sounds on its own.

Ghrups are what you get when you take a slime mold that lives in caves and expose it to High Magic for a while. The result is a slime mold that’s amorphous, boneless, active, mobile, and mildly curious.  Ghrups generally eat plant matter, lichens and fungi, and whatever insects they can catch, by a variety of methods. Some Ghrups spread themselves out into a thin film and wait for prey that way; other Ghrups construct long tongues out of their bodies to target flying insects, or turn themselves into intricate webs.  Food is absorbed through the ‘skin’ and dissolved, in classic gelatinous fashion. Inorganic residue is usually excreted every few days.

Ghrups last about twenty to thirty years in the wild, and up to a century when tended.  They theoretically reproduce by budding, but Dwarves have discovered that if you take samples from two different Ghrups and mix them together, the result can grow into a Ghrup that takes traits from both ‘parents.’  Dwarvish Ghrup ‘breeds’ are merely the most successful combinations.

Oh, yes, the Dwarves breed them.  Interestingly, Ghrups are easily domesticable. Humans and demi-humans are perfectly safe around them, as are most larger animals (a Ghrup can and will tackle rats). The species is about as intelligent as a dog, and can be easily trained to stay out of food supplies and whatnot; they’re absolutely useless in combat, but as companions they’re surprisingly congenial.  At least, that’s what the Dwarves say; they’ve been ‘breeding’ Ghrups for as long as the Dwarves have been keeping records. Other humanoid species have their own opinions, but it is grudgingly conceded that Ghrups are excellent at keeping vermin populations down.

Very grudgingly conceded, though.  Most non-Dwarves simply don’t understand the appeal.


  • Rockphed says:

    So you can trade insects and rats for motile piles of goo? Yeah, I’m going to have to think on that for a while.

  • acat says:

    This nicely emphasizes that dwarves are not just short humans.
    ‘s challenging, getting across the underlying “they’re not shorter versions of us” mindset .. having a bearded NPC in the party who insists on carting along an Erlenmeyer flask for her Ghrups .. a “trapdoor spider” breed .. cutting bits off of slain enemies and feeding said Ghrups .. and perhaps singing to said Ghrups .. makes it quite clear.
    p.s. That said NPC would be bat-[guano] crazy by Dwarf standards .. is for a late-campaign denouement.

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