What is known to surface dwellers about the aquatic races that they call "Gloppies" is but a small part of what goes on beneath the waves. Here are further details for those who would know the truth.
In their own language, the Wild Gloppies are called the "!/ee/rr", which can be transliterated from the Gloppy-speak notation to roughly "K'keerr", meaning "Those Who Drift With the Currents". They are nomadic and live in the shallow-mid zones of the sea. They cannot breathe air and so have little interaction with surface dwellers, instead forming a connection between True Gloppies and other deep-dwelling races.
There is little or no competition between Those Who Drift and humans. Human fishermen or divers tend to be connected to one spot, and if they prove troublesome to the Wild Gloppies, they simply move to another place.
Compared to "True" Gloppies, Those Who Drift are smaller and darker. Their hands are more webbed and their fingers less defined, more fin-like. Their heads and necks are less distinguishable from their torso, with eyes placed higher up on the head so that they look forward when swimming. They are also able to expand their body size in the fashion of a puffer-fish, and their wrist secretions are more poisonous than that of True Gloppies.
Humankind is mistaken about the Wild Gloppies' relationship to their giant sea-slugs, however. They do not herd them for food as is assumed, but in fact each tribe is centred on one sea-slug that is more or less worshipped. The creatures are essential to their reproduction, and are called "()()!/rr", or "P'P'k'k'rr" - "The Heart of Life".
Each Heart is about the size of a small hut, is brightly coloured and covered with stinging tentacles. These creatures are mindless and feed on algae, coral and plankton. Those Who Drift follow the Heart, or direct it to where food is plentiful, to ensure its survival. When it is time to mate, the Those Who Drift lay their eggs on the body of the Heart where they are protected by the stinging tentacles (the Wild Gloppies are immune to the stings). The Heart also provides nourishment to the eggs like a surrogate womb, and it is during this development phase that the life-long link between Heart and Gloppy is formed. The Hearts reproduce by budding, which they do when a Gloppy tribe reaches a certain size that it can no longer sustain all their eggs. At this point, the Gloppy tribe splits, and a new tribe is formed around the Heart bud.
All Gloppies have the innate ability to breathe underwater, and some species such as True Gloppies can breathe air as well. True and Wild Gloppies can secrete noxious ink from their wrist glands. In True Gloppies this secretion is irritating to humans, in Wild Gloppies it can be deadly. Wild Gloppies are also able to inflate themselves to double their size as an intimidation technique, but they lose some agility by doing so.
- Fishing - all kinds, hunting for individual fish, using nets, harpoons
- Pearl gathering
- Rope making (*)
- Sailing (*)
- Seaweed farming (*)
- Shellfish farming (*)
Arts and Crafts
- Sign language (has local dialects)
- Singing - this is a special form of communication not just an art. The sounds made can travel miles underwater allowing communication between communities. The better the singer the further the distance it can travel.
- Storytelling/oral historian
- Tribal Language
- Body piercing
- Seabone and shell carving
- Seaweed weaving
- Dart gun (*)
- Underwater wrestling
(*) True Gloppies only.