Races of Dirt
- taken from Sir Paltry Bearkiller-Jones’s “Some Things Gleaned from a Conversation with Mr. Mole”, Hrazbo-Y lecture series, 288 MSY.
“‘Scutters’, ‘Scuttlers’, ‘Domed-fuddlers’, ‘Grubs’, ‘Sadpackers’, ‘Molies’, ‘Holie-Molies’, and perhaps the most insulting, simply ‘the Gardeners’, I’m sure you’ve heard all of these before, the derogatory names for the Garahjah. I am here today to tell you that they are a proud race with a complex culture, language, and strong preference for the subterranean. And yes, they love a good strong cup of tea…
An average Garahjah stands between four-and-a-half and… well… four-and-a-half-feet tall, there being little deviation in their general physiology. They are typically chitinous little termite-men. To make up for their physical similarity, Garahjah elaborately decorate their bodies by carving their chitin. A Garahjah always seeks to stand out from his brethren, either through grooming and dress, or by complicated elaborations of speech. Or a funny accent. Or by frequent singing. Or hats. They really are an odd lot of birds, when you come right down to it.
Garahjah are exceptionally hardy, all but immune to toxins and disease, as befits a race that spends much of its time in dank holes or classifying strange flora using their sense of taste. They can see in near darkness, and some in pitch blackness, utilizing the very vibrations of the earth to guide them. Garahjah have an extraordinary relationship with dirt; it speaks to them, in fact sometimes it even listens, moving out of the way to let one pass. Some think the Garahjah can burrow in the manner of burrowing animals. This is not the case. The earth parts for them, albeit quite slowly, like a crowd of the morbidly obese parting for passing royalty.
The Garahjah effectively rule themselves and their home city of Ling-Garah, whose name usually means ‘The Constant Garden’ in their perplexing native tongue. Natural philosophers suggest that the Garahjah language ‘is rooted in the very language of nature, with meanings shifting like the play of streams over stones, with only a few concepts as solid as the stones themselves’. Linguists, however, suggest the Garahjah are lying to us, foiling any attempt to accurately translate their language as some kind of species-wide joke.
Take, for example, the Garahjah governing body, the so-called ‘Bishopric of Trees’, which isn’t particularly remarkable until you realize the Garahjah have no word for ‘bishop’, or priest of any kind, really. Which is odd, seeing as the Garahjah taught early man the art of ‘speaking to the dirt’, which gave rise to modern-day urban and ex-urban Druidism. Yes, there’s nothing quite so funny as a Garahjah, except, perhaps, when one is trying to behead you for despoiling its garden.
Garadja are chitinous, with colours ranging from khaki to rust red, have two large compound eyes and compound brains. Their average height is roughly 2 feet less than humans, and they weigh much less.
Ha’antec, their complex language, is written in pictographs and cannot be spoken by other species.
Weight: 110-120 lbs.