Gods and Monsters
When the early legionnaires encountered the Aquitani people, they couldn't imagine a more belligerent or unpleasant creature in all the systems. Alas, when they met one of the sea serpents, they no longer needed to imagine.
- Imperian treatise on the Gallic satellites
I've seen one. I've fought one. I've carved my name into the skull of Potresursia, and I've used the acid blood to burn away my fear. Of the Legions. Of Caesar. And certainly of you.
The Cheulque word for monster, truo is made plural with the suffix krø-, combining into krøtruo. These gargantuan creatures live in the fathomless oceans that cover seventy percent of Aquitania called The Deeps, and were the catalyst for the Aquitani people to leave the deeper seas for The Shallows.
The Gods of Aquitania
The many types of krøtruo served as early gods for ancient Aquitani, who largely prayed to them for mercy and to spare them from death or destruction. After San Vuepaque raised The Shallows in order to shelter the Aquitani from the krøtruo, their status as gods declined until they became recognized as only natural creatues. Some of the ancient krøtruo gods:
Ljopab, One Who Drowns
Chos Mialmiche, the Spring Lion
Potresursia, Terrible Serpent
Ouistruo, Deep Monster
Puem Ljoglo, Stormbringer
Hunting of the krøtruo has occurred since the Aquitani moved to The Shallows because of the potent medicinal qualities of their blood, gincuer. Krøtruo blood is antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, and also contains compounds to stop cancerous tumor growth. When an Aquitani completes a krøtruo hunt, they will collect thousands of gallons of the creature's blood in special barrels and distribute them to the other Aquitani clans for use in hospitals and clinics. Any vessel belonging to Chos Krømialmiche carries at least one barrel of krøtruo blood, and many Aquitani Mariners have a single self-dose of the blood in special amulets they wear as necklaces, earrings, or other piece of jewelry.
The Imperia's Arrival
Upon arrival of the Imperia to Aquitania, the krøtruo devastated the unsuspecting legionnaires, who believed their advanced weaponry would stand against the monsters. The species known as Ouistro and Puem Ljoglo were the most attracted to the legionnaires and therefore did the most damage. When the Imperia solicited help from the Aquitani, they were met with outright resistance, or in some cases, false information that resulted in further legionnaire deaths. The ancient god-scrolls of the Aquitani were hidden and sometimes destroyed in order to keep information out of the hands of the Imperia.
We have pulled back from the seas here, although I am unsure that the creatures in the shallows are any better than those of the depths.
The larger krøtruo live deeper in the seas, coming to the surface in pursuit of food, mates, or if summoned by certain stimuli. The smaller krøtruo are found nearer to The Shallows and infrequently may breach the barrier islands and come into the shallow waters there; however, The Shallows are generally too warm and krøtruo will avoid them.
True omnivores, krøtruo will eat whatever can fit inside their mouths. After hunts, krøtruo stomach contents have included other sea creatures, but also whole boats, trees, boulders, spaceship parts, and in one case the crested ceremonial helmet of the Legatus Legionis of the first Legion to arrive on Aquitania.