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Procotyles or "Procs"

The procotyle is a longish stylish greenish crocodilish critter often kept as a pet by the highly decadent uppercrust. It has a few virtues as a domestic companion because it doesn't attack people, it doesn't go poo on the carpet, and doesn't take much work to maintain. A procotyle is inconvenient because it's really expensive to buy one and it only lives for a few years. Eventually it withers and perishes and needs to be replaced even if it doesn't first wander into a fire or eat a heaping pile of soap. They're damn adorable, though. Even when they get nine feet long and eat watermelons in a single messy bite.

Basic Information


A procotyle is a long, tapering, slightly translucent green critter which laboriously lumbers along the ground on its four stumpy legs. It is well suited to swimming as its conical head and smooth contours dispose it to speed and endurance quite in contrast of its capabilities on land. The head has large, globous, clear orbs for eyes through which one may catch refracted glimpses of a shaded green inner surface, but no pupil is present. Its wide head is split by a mouth with only rough gums in lieu of teeth. The animal's back has a pair of ridges which are used in nature to secrete a toxic mucous, but a happy and territorially-secure individual never resorts to this defense. The belly and tail are more flabby and translucent than the rest of the animal, and both are used in an undulating action to provide swimming thrust.

Genetics and Reproduction

No known case of procotyle reproduction has been observed in the wild nor in captivity. They seem to lack any particularly useful anatomical consessions to the task, and no two genders have been distinguished between which a reproduction could occur. How the critter came about, and how it remains plentiful in its far eastern homeland, remains a mystery and a source of offensive jokes among zoologists.

Growth Rate & Stages

Procotyles seem to start out around the size and shape of a tube sock according to the smallest specimens observed in the wild. However, the longevity of an individual is only vaguely linked to the size at which it was captured; it seems like some very old (i.e. approaching 5 years) specimens can retain the small size used to identify it as an infant, while many very large initial captures keep bumbling around for almost a full lifetime. Finally, at around 6 or 7 years of age, the procotyle begins a monotonic decline, shrivelling and eventually giving out with a little puff.

Ecology and Habitats

Procotyles are harvested from a thick mountain glade known as the Cirque du Freak, where travelling merchants trap and then transport them hence. In nature they are reported to be very solitary, and until captured they actually have a form of natural defense. The ridges on the procotyle's back exude a noxious mucos which is highly toxic to the touch, and ingestion thereof is usually fatal. The beasts are seen to occupy and defend strict territories in the rivers and bogs of their homeland, sometimes fighting for hours with a competitor in a savage sort of cuddling wrestle after which the winner normally kills its rival with its dull foreclaws. However, as soon as removed from its territory to a place with standing water, the procotyle becomes utterly placid and even amicable until another member of its species is detected.   To sufficiently imitate the needful surroundings of the proc's home, the aspiring owner must prepare in advance a fitting enclosure with the following amenities:  
  • A body of water at least two feet deep, and long enough for the procotyle to fully submerge itself. For the greatest comfort of one's pet, it is better to specify a pond or stretch of river large enough for the animal to paddle around for exercise, since they are almost totally sedentary on land.
  • A sunny spot where the proc can enjoy direct sunlight for at least five hours a day. Any less sunning seems to deteriorate the critter's health and further shorten its lifespan.
  • A proco-fence perimeter where no vertical walls border the pen. See Behavior for details.
  • Sufficient supply of beets or sweet potatoes to serve two or three per day as a non-optional dietary supplement. It has been proven that these foodstuffs contain some vital mineral without which a proc cannot survive for long. It helps that, when peeling or cutting the supplement for your proc, it invariably does the Smelling Dance and lopes over in a most amusing way (See Behavior).

Dietary Needs and Habits

The procotyle feeds on the soft vegetation which grows at the bottom of rivers, but it can process nearly any vegetable matter, and even seeks and gluts itself with abandon on the leaves of even the most inedible conifers and succulents. For this reason, a proc must be kept clear of any garden plants which the owner deems worthy to remain. This is, fortunately, easy to accomplish. See below.  


The proc is kept largely for the inane antics for which it is famous. It shows little ability to observe, learn, predict, or avoid things, and so it is constantly wandering around and getting into various forms of trouble. A classic amusement is to lead the proc to a small trench. It usually watches its owner with such intent that it fails to notice the defile and steps right into it with its front legs. Then, if it can't reach the floor of the trench with its forepaws, it will simply remain stuck, held up on its hind legs, chest, and chin, pedaling away at the air with its front feet with increasing insistence until it decides it is hopelessly stuck and backs out of its predicament. The same effect is produced with a procotyle trap, where several wooden ties or timbers are laid parallel so that the critter climbs one and becomes stuck on the second.   Other favorite tricks to play on ones procotyle rely on its careless, blissful ebullience. A crate or block of sufficient height can be left in the critter's view. It often climbs on top to survey its territory or bask in the sun, but then can't figure out how to get back down and can become trapped, turning in circles in confusion, for an indefinite period. Another trick is to hang a ball from a nearby tree, which the proc will prod and recoil from its back-swing repeatedly for hours. Your proc may be induced to dip its nose in tar or thick molasses; it will cross its eyes and backpedal from the stain until it's cleaned off by a helpful human.   When a favorite snack is cut or peeled and the procotyle catches its scent, it doesn't immediately react but rather performs an amusing little caper, affectionately called the Smelling Dance, before running off in search of the treat. First, the creature goes rigid, and then walks its front and back halves together until its back arches and nearly folds in half. The effort causes the proc to take on a very intent expression. The critter then rotates on its feet a quarter turn, plops its belly back down, and then begins a wriggling procession about a vertical axis. It continues this until lined up with the subject of its olfactory excitement, at which point it sets off at full speed. About one time in three, it starts running the opposite way, makes a hard stop which piles its sinuous body in a heap behind its set forepaws, and then goes loping off in the correct direction.   Procs also love to shove rocks around with no apparent purpose, to soak their hindquarters in water while sitting in the sun, to lay around on hot rocks or pavement, and to be scratched on the neck. They also love to eat any leafy plant which can be reached. To prevent a procotyle from accessing valued topiary, one need only install a proco-fence, which is merely a long tray of salty water. Stepping in a warm saline solution seems to sting the procotyle, and it will learn to avoid whatever manner of container was used to create the sensation. Eventually, the little trough need not even be filled and the creature will avoid it. This remains effective when your procotyle grows quite large enough to step effortlessly over the obstacle. Simply create a hem of the troughs around your chosen proc pen and your garden will be entirely safe.

Additional Information

Social Structure

None. Procotyles normally fight and often kill members of their own species on sight.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

The procotyle's meat is oddly watery and insubstantial, with only the toes and cartilaginous skeleton having any real structure to them after death.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Native only to Cirque du Freak, north of Rhaul.

Average Intelligence

Dismal, with curious omissions, much to the owner's amusement.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

The procotyle has poor vision, and in fact is noted for bumping into things regurlarly and falling from low rises with poor grace. It has bad hearing as well, with almost no ability to learn verbal commands, though some of them can distinguish between male and female voices. They do, however, have a keen sense of smell. Smelling takes a bit of a process, as outlined in Behavior.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

The spin critter, which, in native assemblages, occasionally finds and grabs hold of the procotyle. This clinging stowaway is inextricable except with human intervention, and the procotyle inevitably curls up and dies after a few days of carrying the parasite. Oddly, the parasite also dies at the same time. This may be an altruistic defense mechanism for the spin critter's young or relatives, though no social structures have been observed among these admittedly elusive little animals. Spin critters are incredibly persistent; they are even known to catch hold of the merchant carts which bear procs away, and they must be hunted out and killed to prevent any animals of the shipment being lost upon unpacking.
Procotyle in proc trap
by Oogalook
A procotyle in a proc-trap, as used in their native Cirque du Freak to harvest them for the pet trade.
Scientific Name
Procotylus sp. based on the remaining text of a tattered manuscript found at Timbertowne.
6 years
Conservation Status
All exotic pet traders claim that Cirque du Freak is absolutely packed with these critters, so no efforts have been made to combat their harvest. However, prices per specimen are high, avowedly due to the travel costs but suspected to reflect difficulty in finding sufficient supply to warrant the return journey to market. Because of either the rarity or the remoteness, the purchase of a procotyle sets the aspiring owner back 3-5 lbAu.
Average Height
18" at the shoulder
Average Weight
300 lbs
Average Length
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Always leafy green, and somewhat translucent. Only the paws are of more tough material, having a pasty color.

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