Grick Species in Tairos | World Anvil

Grick

We thought no one in all of Tairos would be happy to see our traitor kin. Turns out, we needed only to look below, not above. Did not sound like the traitors were all that happy though, judging from all the screams we heard.
— From the journal of one of the guards overseeing the traitors' march into the Bitter Depths.
 
Grick are a subterranean species of non-arthropod invertebrates possessing a very rudimentary level of intelligence. They're common all throughout the Bitter Depths where they function largely as scavengers and feast on the refuse generated by Sha'Hidun and her colonies.
 
Grick are organized into groups referred to as Writhes by the Drekhians. Writhes are all slaves to the alpha leader of the group, known as the Writhe Queen. In fact, Writhes really only consist of the Queen and her lesser, sterile, clones who she repeatedly gives birth to if resources permit.
 
Grick are an example of a species that is slowly evolving. Writhes demonstrate very rudimentary levels of intelligence that most likely was born of some kind of hive mind structure belonging to their ancestors. While they still seem to be largely subservient and reliant on the Writhe Queen there are demonstrations of individual intelligence such as simple displays of language, personality, and a sense of self. Tool use has yet to be observed but there is a tendency for them gather around large sources of exposed metal, and to steal such things when they can. Travelers in the Bitter Depths have seen what they call Writhe Congregations forming around veins of exposed ore, abandoned mining equipment, and even invasions into smitheries where they seem to "worship" the metal for lack of a better word. More likely there is some electromagnetic property they're attracted to but no expert has cared to research the phenomenon.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Single long body with four tendrils that are generally closed and form the head. While eating or engaging in combat the tendrils will open and reveal the bony beak inside.

Genetics and Reproduction

The Writhe Queens produce eggs that contained sterile, stunted, genetic clones of herself. Eggs are laid once the queen has eaten sufficient resources to fuel the process. Generally six to ten eggs are laid at a time though more are possible with larger meals. The ability of queens to continuously create lesser copies of themselves degrades over time, forcing them to hunt down another Writhe Queen to devour. This meal refreshes her reproductive system and allows the process to restart a new

Growth Rate & Stages

Grick mature rather quickly and are lethal shortly after hatching. Though it does take time for them to pick up the language skills of their fully mature older sisters. The lesser Grick cease growing after a few short months and remain in their version of a mature state until death. Some lesser Grick do on occasion continue to grow past maturity and prove to in fact be perfect clones of their Writhe Queen. These new queens will instinctively try to devour their sister/mother and take control of the Writhe. Those that succeed become the new queen, those that fail become the current queen's next meal and a source of reproductive refreshening.

Ecology and Habitats

Grick live exclusively underground where they burrow through the soft earth and create nests for the Writhe to operate around. More and more Writhes are nesting in and around the garbage dumps of Sha'Hidun

Dietary Needs and Habits

Grick are carnivores by preference and before the arrival of the fallen elves their species used to behave as pack hunters preying upon the Dutroti. However, as the influence of the Drekh spread the Dutroti were hunted to near extinction. In turn, the Grick have adapted into scavengers and could be comparable to wolves on the surface who approached primitive humanoids and eventually gave way to modern dogs. The Grick seem to be on a similar evolutionary path as they are tolerated by the Drekh so long as they do not misbehave.

Additional Information

Social Structure

Primitive matriarchal structure based around subservience to the Writhe Queen. This subservience seems to not apply when a Writhe Queen is attacked by one of her true twins. In such cases all the lesser Grick will simply wait to see whom is the winner of the struggle

Domestication

Keeping Grick as pets is seen as particularly "rural" by most Drekhians.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

The bodies of Grick tend to decay very quickly and leave little behind. The only exception is their beaks which are made of hard chitin. These beaks can be fashioned into crude weapons and mining equipment. They're difficult to shape though and often crumble if broken.

Average Intelligence

Very primitive

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

They do not possess eyes but are believed to sense their environment via tremor sense
Origin/Ancestry
Annelida
Lifespan
Lesser Grick seem to degrade within a few short years of birth. Writhe Queens can live indefinitely by consuming other Queens.
Average Weight
ranges between 150lbs to 200 lbs with Queens reaching a heft of around 600lbs
Average Length
7 to 9 feet long for most lesser Grick. Writhe Queens tend to grow to twice the length of their stunted twins
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Identical in coloration to their Writhe Queen which is generally shades of black and green
Geographic Distribution


Cover image: Grick 5E by Wizards of the Coast

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