Gar'ro'dah, the pet rocks

The Pet Rock

These idiots will buy anything.  
— Roen, Gar'ro'dah Merchant
  As highly prized as they are rare, the exotic Gar'ro'dah are bio-organic rocks from the Far Deep that are becoming the craze of the highest circles of society as the pet to have. Wealthy noble or merchant seeks one of these strange creatures to impress friend and foe alike.  

Description

  The Gar'ro'dah resemble rocks, with a thick tough exterior studded with small red crystals. These crystals are actually feeding-filters, splitting open in four parts to take in water and sift it through for food. The stone-like hide will generally be whatever coloration and hue of the stone surrounding it, though trauma will change and discolor the surface and form crystal-like "scars", adding greatly to their appeal as pets.   If cut open the Gar'ro'dah look like a stone that's been filled with organs, which isn't far from the truth.  

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A Gar'ro'dah, split open.
    By bruising the Gar'ro'dah or exposing it to cold, flame or radiation, its owner can encourage the growth of the crystalline scars along its surface. These are organic in nature and respond to further injury it by lighting up with a soft, subdued glow. When tapped, these produce a slight, clear tone.  
Does it hurt them? Man, it's a living rock. How am I supposed to know?  
— Roen, Gar'ro'dah Merchant
   

Life Cycle

  Little is understood by the denizens of Araea about the Gar'ro'dah. It is both animal and rock, easy to crack open but seemingly ageless. Due to their rarity in the Inner Shell (and almost completely unknown above it), few have managed to study them in any great detail. It's a rock, that lives. What little is known suggest the Gar'ro'dah begin life as a sort of fungal barnacle, seeded into the waters by means known.  

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  There barnacle colonies begin to clump together as they grow, fusing into a single being as the Gar'ro'dah ages. Several Gar'ro'dah can fuse to each other into a larger mass and it has been theorized by scholars of the Far Deep that the rock-like form of the Gar'ro'dah is just a larval stage for a larger form. No evidence have been found to support it and no Kaia have been keen to brave the black waters of the Far Deep to find it.    

Behavior

 
About as dumb as a rock.  
— Roen, Gar'ro'dah Merchant
  Gar'ro'dah are aquatic scavengers. They cling to cliffs, rocks and corrals beneath the waters, only rarely detaching to drift if food is becoming unbearably scarce. Beyond that, they are content to spend their lives idle and waiting for spawning season when they open their vents to regurgitate great quantities of spore-like pods. Most are eaten by predators, but enough mingle together to start forming the next generation of barnacle-like colonies.    

I Want One!

  Gar'ro'dah dwell in the dangerous Far Deep. To find one, explorers must brave abyssal chasms and cthonic beasts, trek across underground rivers of black ice or molten magma. The waters of the Deep are not uninhibited. Leeches the size of cats, parasitic lamprey-eels and stranger things all prowl the dark waters in search of prey. Should the adventurers extract their prize from the murky depths, they must then make it all the way back and survive everything from backstabbing middle-men to opportunistic bandits.  
Can I Eat It?   What? Why would y- I don't.. Yes, of course. They're real tasty. I guess that means I'll get to sell you another one, at least.  
— Roen, Gar'ro'dah Merchant
  To the most refined of palettes, the internal organs of Gar'ro'dah is an exotic delicacy rarely enjoyed. They're eaten either raw with seasoning and mushrooms or cooked in oil into one big clump of organ meat. Reports vary as to how they actually taste, but always described as a strong flavor.    
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    For these reasons and more, the Gar'ro'dah are rare and exotic pets. While they exist in some number in the Inner Shell, there are only a handful in the Outer and none on the Surface.  
Feeding the Gar'ro'dah has always been an experiment, with some ending in failure (and a really dead rock) while others brag of having grown their Gar'ro'dah to massive proportions. They are generally kept in basins, with foodstuff minced and mixed in. They don't seem to mind it, much.

Lifespan
Unknown
Average Height
20-30~ cm
Average Weight
50-80~ kg
Average Length
30-40~ cm
Rarely, the Gar'ro'dah brought from the Far Deep are infected with parasites. These plated lamprey-like creatures eat the Gar'ro'dah from the inside and can grow to fill its hollowed out shell completely, much to the surprise of at least one unlucky chef.

Comments

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18 Jul, 2018 12:41

Aaaaaah! Meat rocks! I saw an article about P. chilensis ages back and love them to bits. <3

18 Jul, 2018 12:45

I saw them on a GMM youtube video and "Ding! Idea!" :D   Thanks for the comment! <3

28 Jul, 2018 13:51

I really liked that article! Well done. Although... I don't know why I feel so bad about rocks being abused, but hey, more points for you, less point for this monstrous merchant. Fµ$k you Roen!

28 Jul, 2018 15:20

Thank you :D

28 Jul, 2018 14:38

"About as dumb as a rock" lol. I loved this one, definitely giving your world a follow, although I'm not sure I would want one of them as a pet. Our relationship would be quite rocky!

28 Jul, 2018 14:44

Don't underestimate them! They're like dogs; once they bind to you, its set in stone!   Glad you enjoyed the article. <3

28 Jul, 2018 15:15

So fucking gross. *yak*. Do I say a good job? Or do I worry about your sanity and optic nerves?

28 Jul, 2018 15:20

Both? ;)