Endless Blue – Kickstarter Day 16 – The Kelpygmies of Elqua   Leave a comment

The Kelpygmies of Elqua

Great swaths of ocean floor along the Shore are covered in extensive plant growth.  Veritable forests of kelp and seaweed flourish, providing a rich environment for a multitude of fish and other animals.  Something else lives in the dense tangles of seaweed: the dreaded Kelpygmies.

The Kelpygmies are stunted parodies of the piscean form, a spindled tangle of plant matter in roughly the shape of a tiny Mer.  The measure from two and a half to four feet long, and their bodies are a strange olive coloration.  Periodic rings of leaves jut from around their bodies at the fluke, fins, and wrists, and a tuft of the same stringy seaweed tops their heads in a knot.  Their eyes are a glazed green, and their mouths are filled with rough, random, molar-like nodules of stem.  Each finger terminates in a thorn that is quite capable of rending the flesh of the unwary.

It has only been in the last decade that verified proof of the existence of these plant-pisceans has been found.  Before then, the natives were considered a myth created by parents to scare their children into behaving.  But now evidence has been collected, including a few quickly withering bodies, for Resurrectionist anatomists to examine.  The corpses seem to lack ears, and strangely posses gill slits along the sides, but all evidence suggests these cannot extract oxygen from the water.  Attempts to locate kelpygmy copses in order to observe the species in its natural habitat have met in complete failure, however, so it is quite likely that the floral creatures are nomadic in nature, keeping to the tropical areas between the Tropics of Kraken and Cetacean.

Tales say the kelpygmies are inherently hostile to all animal life, and especially towards the sentient races of the Known World.  They rival Ceph ambushers in tenacity and stealth, and employ strategies that pit their victims against the ocean around them.  While their weaponry is primitive, their minds are keen and they will employ cunning tactics to eradicate a target.

The Church of Olyhydra has begun a campaign vilifying the kelpygmies as godless heathens, spawn of the Vastness bent on the destruction of all that is good and pure.  They encourage the devout to strip away large area of plant life from their lands, that such hard, grueling work is the will of the Mistress.  General fear and panic has pushed the populace to embrace this clear cutting as the only way to be safe, and already the damage to the local biology has appeared.   The more zealously the adherents to the Mistress of Law strip the vegetation from the sea bed, the more vengeful the retribution from the kelpygmies becomes.  They have become more brazen, coordinating attacks on settlements instead of simply ambush wayward travelers.

Kelpygmies can communicate with each other through sharp barks of sound called pygmit.  Pygmit seems a limited language, incapable of communicating anything but the most basic of facts, yet somehow what one gang of kelpygmies learns can be suddenly known half-way around the world to a completely different group.  The race as a whole learns at an astounding rate, making each encounter with the diminutive plant-people more deadly than the last.

The rare soldier that has survived a kelpygmy raid have revealed startling news: the kelpygmy have begun employing some kind of vegetable mass that moves, a shambling mound of plant matter that would put a Cetacean Barbarian to shame.  The where and how of these creatures are unknown, but it seems the kelpygmies are quite capable of adapting the survival skills and developed technology of the piscean races for their own ends…

William James Cuffe

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