Planet Gurx: Attitudes Toward Death


The Strondovarian word for death is Mev. As you would expect from any intelligent beings, the idea of death holds significant place in Strondo culture, but not in the exact way it does for humanity.

Strondos don’t look forward to their own death by any means. And they absolutely consider the deaths of their loved ones with sadness. But the tragedy they see in death is less tinged by a fear of the unknown, and more seen as an unfortunate end to ongoing work. Certainly, if they find themselves in a situation where imminent demise is threatened, they will fight against it, but unless they are noticeably near death they don’t spend time worrying about it the way many humans do.

It’s may be hard to translate in human terms, but they genuinely see the effects that a person has on the world around them as a part of that person themselves. If people are still talking about a deceased person, they still live on in a way. If the Knowledge Bank has information about the deceased, they are not forgotten. The changes that person made while alive represent proof that they existed. The tragedy is that they are no longer around to make changes.

That’s not to say that belief in the afterlife doesn’t exist on Gurx, but over the thousands of years that the Knowledge Bank has been a fixture there, it has essentially become the dominant religion. Many Strondos posit than in the distant future, after the New Gurx project is finished, perhaps, Strondos may be able to use the information in the Knowledge Bank to recreate individuals and place their minds in new, undying bodies.

Pictured to the side here is an Eoumbao, a kind of carved stone which could be likened to a tombstone on Earth, but it isn’t really that. It doesn’t mark the location of a corpse, it just serves to remind anyone who notices it that a certain Strondovarian used to exist. The standard Eoumbao depicts the deceased’s face, but the important thing is the Phrob (let’s translate that as “info-icon”), which is the colourful bit embedded into stone. When scanned by a device connected to the Knowledge Bank, it will bring up all the information it can about the person to whom the monument is dedicated. It’s standard practice for the Eoumbao to depict the honouree’s limbs extending off the stone, to represent their continuing ability to effect the world.

All of this, of course, is of no help to the poor underclass on Gurx who get to notability in society, essentially being barred from the afterlife due to a lack of notability. But even they seek to live on in the memories of their families and loved ones.

Planet Gurx: More Ocean Life

I’ll never be able to detail all the life in Gurx’s vast oceans, but here’s some more of it.

More Bwotyaxagedda

A hungry pair of Thimmagg try to capture an Ayllek, ignoring the much easier potential meal of Klisheri among a swarm nearby.


Among the apex predators in the Gurxian oceans, Thimmagg are intelligent pack hunters. When not hunting or travelling, Thimmagg packs will rest by tangling their tails together, both to help them stick together and to present themselves as a bigger target to deter larger predators.


Aylikk are an aquatic Vootuph species with a unique defence mechanism for planet Gurx: they can generate a shock that stuns or even kills creatures that are trying to attack them. It’s usually very helpful, but some smarter predators, such as Thimmagg, will take turns making the Aylikk discharge, not allowing them to recuperate. Eventually, the poor Aylikk will be unable to muster any more of its charge, and can be picked off. But usually, it works.


Though considerably smaller than the Thimmagg, Klisheri are also predators. These little swimmers prey on the smallest animals in the oceans, the Yena and the other tiny creatures that make up the bottom of the food chain down here. Klisheri are notable for their ability to tense up and then release that energy at once to fling themselves quickly right where they need to be to snatch a meal.

Planet Gurx: Reactive Devices

Strondovarian culture is all about keeping up to date on the latest information from the Knowledge Base, so it is important to have a constant connection to that source. While every home and building on Gurx would have built in terminals and relays that are active at all times. But what is one to do when not at home? What if you’re walking down the street and you need to get in touch with the world? That’s when you’d use a portable device, like this one:

Almost every Strondo you see out and about has a small portable device like this one, which they keep in a fold inside their mouth when not being used. By any door in a Strondo building you’re likely to see a shelf with several such devices to be taken by anyone who needs one while they’re away. And because their hearing organ is also in their mouth, it is not uncommon for them to keep an audio feed on, at low volume, just to stay up to date.

But what’s most important about the technological Strondovarian connections to the Knowledge Base is that they have to recognize the user. It would be inconvenient if a Strondo used the terminal in some public building and could access their own personal information. It would be unthinkable for one Strondo to pose as another and make fraudulent reports to the Knowledge Base. To prevent such things, all technology that connects to the Knowledge Base is reactive to the user.

If you are working on your portable device, but then want to use a wall terminal, you just put down the portable and use the wall terminal. It will instant be displaying the same information you were just looking at on the other portable. And if you hand your portable to your child, it will instantly display that child’s information. A combination of biometrics, and just the fact that the Knowledge Base keeps pretty constant track of who is doing what, means the devices know who is using them and knows what it is supposed to do for each and every user.

(Incidentally, on the topic of Strondo technology: One of the ways humans would be confused by Strondovarian culture is their attitude toward possessions and belongings, such as their portable reactive devices. Strondos just don’t share our human attachment to stuff. If a Strondo isn’t actively using a thing, they see no reason that someone else shouldn’t be allowed to walk up and take it. This attitude has been present in Strondos to some extent since they came to be, but it has truly been cemented in the last ten thousand years or so, with Strondo culture and technology coming into its present form. A Strondo has no need to hold onto a physical copy of a book or a piece of artwork when the Knowledge Base has all the content safely stored and easily shared.)

Planet Gurx: Grasslands


On a hill in the grasslands, a Boavaie takes a break while a small herd of Hethrooau lazily wander by.


An Aehubar species that lacks the ability to hear. Boavaie are highly social creatures, but don’t utilize the chirps and whistles common to their communicative cousins. The “tail” of the Boavaie contains organs for creating complex scents that they can use to mark territory and leave messages. For closeup communication, the topmost limbs have evolved for semaphore-like communication.


A large part of a Boavaie’s diet is made up of Vivaiyin, a fuzzy little Vootuph that is a useful pollinator in the grasslands. Feeding off plants that secrete their genetic material, that material sticks to the Vivaiyin’s fur, where it is carried off to mingle with other plants. That is, assuming the Vivaiyin is not eaten before it gets there. Fortunately, there’s a lot of them around.


An example of Gurxian megafauna, Hethrooau are the largest Aehubar. With their topmost limbs and their mouths having adapted to grazing, they roam the grasslands in herds. Their backs are covered in leathery shells that help to protect them from sharp-limbed Glounaph who might try to attack from above and their sheer size tends to protect them from land-based predators.

Planet Gurx: Still More Gurxian Animals

I have just not found the time to draw another scene of life on Planet Gurx, so I’m just gonna do a post with a bunch more of the Gurxian animals I’ve already drawn, aren’t I? I sure am. Here they go.


A predatory armoured Vootuph with four eyestalks, which allow them to seek out smaller creatures along the Gurxian beaches, and two stabbing appendages, which allow them to kill that prey. Drovoo are the largest of this branch of the Vootuph line, and often prey on smaller examples such as Pwiak.


Docile river-swimming creatures, the Twel use their hindmost limbs to gather fallen debris to build complex nests in which they, in monogamous pairs, raise their young. Early Strondos (and other Varians of those ages) would hunt Twel and they were a mainstay of their diet.


An Aehubar relatively near the Strondovarians on the evolutionary tree, the Hotaein occupy a similar place to them as monkeys do to humans. That said, Strondos don’t have the sentimentality toward their cousins that some humans have toward theirs, and generally consider Hotaein to be pests.


A rare kind of Lapaouger whose hindmost limbs have adapted into tendrils that can snare prey. These, when joined by the claws on the forelimbs, are the weapons that make Urloay one of the most fierce hunters on Gurx.


Living in the crowded branches near the canopy of the rare green forests found on some of Gurx’s more isolated islands, the Guoar like to calmly climb around the branches and eat the tiny Vootuph who also live on the trees. Guoar are mellow and slow.


With topmost limbs adapted to digging, the Ayaih live in large systems of tunnels beneath the grasslands, coming out to forage for meals. They’re skittish creatures, used to fleeing back to their tunnels to avoid predators and have a complex language of chirps used to warn each other of threats.