Sentient Graephs have many different Types, ranging from Scoutlings, Gatherlings,
Bloodlings, and Horrorlings. Due to their size differences, not all Graeph types are compatible
with each other. This leads to some types (most notably Horrorlings) often being forced to
breed outside their own species.
Graephs have a large genetic pool, which can lead to a wide variety of physical traits.
One of the two smaller breeds of Graephs, the Scoutlings aren't made for close-knit combat.
True to their name they serve the purpose of being scouts, and are often used by Hives to
keep an open eye on surrounding areas. They are the fastest species of Graephs, and even
though it's not their usual way, Scoutlings could easily kill a target just from sheer speed alone.
Scoutlings usually have dulled talons, and lack any sort of spike growths. Their only physical
weapons are their tail blades.
The second smallest breed of Graephs, the Gatherlings are usually given the task of collecting
food for the Hive. As they are always born with sharp talons on all four limbs they are brutal
hunters. One pounce from a Gatherling usually reduces the prey to ribbons, and makes
gathering food easy.
As Gatherlings are made for the hunt, they can easily match Scoutlings in speed (but only for
limited bursts of time). Usually Scoutlings and Gatherlings move around areas together, one
hunting, the other keeping a watchful eye for trouble.
Gatherlings and Scoutlings are inter-breedable.
The warriors of the Graeph species, and the highest in population number. True to their name
Bloodlings are dangerous creatures, made for the thrill of fighting and brutality. Bloodlings are
about the size of Raveen Kats, but with smaller builds to them that allow for them to move
around with swifter ease.
They can be born with any assortment of talons/dull talons, spikes, flightless wings, horns, etc.
As far as their "job" in their societies are concerned, Bloodlings are the ones who usually keep
the Graeph territories protected. They are the ones who keep the Hive Lands free of dangers
to their species, but they're also the ones who cause the most havoc.
Like any sentient creature, Bloodlings can have any type of personality and any ambitions in
life. So some may be devoted to their Hives, while others could remotely care less about the
prosperity of their own species.
Bloodlings can choose to take on a mate who is another Bloodling, or join an Open Hive where
they are not devoted to just one other Bloodling.
Bloodlings are compatible with other Bloodlings, and Bloodling-sized Hybridlings.
The largest of the Graeph species, female Horrorlings are viewed as the topmost authorities in
Graeph societies. In Hives, there is always one Queen Matriarch, and sometimes a male who
she has laid Claim upon. But in either case, it is always the female Horrorling who is in
command of a Hive.
Female Horrorlings have the power to directly affect the mentality of other Graephs. If they
come across a Bloodling, Scoutling, or Gatherling, who is not tied to a Hive (and Claimed by
another Horrorling), she can take control over them. Usually this is done in a brutal manner
which results in the death of the stray Graeph, as the Horrorling will either take it into her Hive
or destroy it so a competing Horrorling can't increase the size of their Hive.
In the case where a female Horrorling comes across an already claimed Graeph, she can't do
anything to them. As Graephs are a telegenic creature (at least when a part of a Hive), they
are able to feel and maintain contact with their Hive-mates at all times. This makes it so if a
member of a Hive is ever attacked, other members of the Hive can be there in seconds to
Sometimes a Bloodling, Scoutling, or Gatherling, will join a Hive just so they don't run the risk
of having a Horrorling mess with their minds. The protection of a Horrorling doesn't just expand
to other Horrorlings, but also protects Graephs against the mental/psionic powers of other
species. It's usually in one's best interest to gain the help of a Horrorling when it's offered.
Horrorlings can have any genetic traits show up in them, but always have the large body and
form of a Demonic Dragon. Their jaws are so powerful, and large, that they can easily snap the
bodies of smaller Graephs (and their prey) in two. Their tails are usually exceptionally long,
and end with a swift blade that can cut through anything -- however their tails are also covered
in hundreds of smaller blades all the way down to the tail blade, and once an enemy is caught
within the range of a Horrorling's tail they're usually already dead.
Female Horrorlings will never enter lands where Graephs haven't already settled. They need
the beginnings of a Hive in order to do so, and without that, they won't make the journey into
Male Horrorlings are rare, and hard to find these days. Because of the brutality of some female
Horrorlings the males of their species have begun to suffer massive losses in their population
numbers. Female Horrorlings can be extremely territorial, especially when they're carrying
offspring, and will usually attack other Horrorlings and kill them on the spot instead of taking
any risk. Other times, the males aren't necessary to keep around so the females will just kill
them off (female Horrorlings can keep fertilized eggs inside them for years).
This has, unfortunately, led to female Horrorlings being forced to seek mates outside of their
own species. And this has added to the rise of Feral Graephs, and the decline of the number
of pure Horrorlings. Which has only led to further complications, with bloodlines dying off, and
female Horrorlings becoming increasingly possessive towards the males of their species. If
they come across an unclaimed Horrorling they'll try their best to sway them over to their Hive,
or if that offer is rejected, kill them on the spot so that another Horrorling can't have them.
Claiming is a female Horrorling-specific trait. It causes the Horrorling, usually a Matriarch with a
Hive, to have a telegenic claim on others of her species. It's a claim that cannot be broken
unless the Matriarch is killed -- and it keeps members of her Hive safe, and marks them as
"Hers". The Claiming is done in a similar fashion as Blood-Marking, with the Matriarch injecting
a type of venom into the Graeph's bloodstream that irrevocably ties them to her. (She's the
only one that can break the Claim)
Horrorlings can birth other Horrorlings, Bloodlings, Scoutlings, Gatherlings, or even Feral
Graephs -- but can only breed with other Horrorlings or compatible species of equal size
(dragons, demons, etc).
The most common breed of Graeph, the Shadow Graephs are generally the ones referred to
as "just" Graephs. They're black with a thin blue aura that surrounds their bodies, and the
glowing organ-bubbles on their bodies are blue. They have red blood, and the exposed areas
of their tongue/mouth are always red as well.
A mutated gene led to some Graephs being born with red hues on their bodies instead of blue.
They became so numerous in number, as the gene turned out to be dominate, that they were
eventually acknowledge as a separate breed. Blood Graephs have red organ-bubbles, are
tend to have more obvious secondary false-jaws than their Shadow Graeph counterparts. The
Blood Graeph trait seems to only be passed on through Horrorlings, but can be passed on by
males of any Graeph type (Scoutlings, Bloodlings, etc.).
As their name implies, these Graephs are poisonous and toxic in body. They have a
burgundy/pink aura, blue glowing organ-bubbles, and blue blood/tongue. Tend to live in wet
areas, but have spread to have Hives found in almost every type of environment. Seem to be
most numerous in the Central Dimension, where their Hives have become so large that they've
become a notable threat to the species there.
A deep-sea variant of a Graeph, they've evolved to primarily hunt Merkanlos and other
deep-sea creatures. They have physical traits that make them almost indistinguishable from
Merkanlos at a distance, which allows for them to easily trick their prey into approaching them.
Have a purple-hued aura, and darker glowing organ-bubbles.
Lurker Graephs tend to have a high mortality rate, as they make their Hives in deep waters
where they're just as much prey as the Merkanlos they hunt. Lurker Horrorlings have a habit of
being eaten by creatures that are much, much, larger than themselves. Lurker Graephs tend
to have the highest populace of Rogue Graephs because of this.
Graephs that have been mutated by overflow energy from the Soulstream, Revenants are
identifiable by their dark green-aura and ghostly glowing organ-bubbles. Their blood is green,
and their visible tongue/mouth areas are also green. Revenant Graephs are the only breed of
Graephs that have a natural voice of their own, and do not mimic the sounds/voices of others.
Revenant Graephs are most known for their haunting, high-pitched screams.
|images © Alicia Brons
Graephs are © Alicia Brons