Grome can be distinguished from other races by their distinctive raised bone ridges above the eyes, small bone ridges at the top of the skull and layered "ears" that lie flat against the side of the head which afford the Grome with exceptional hearing. Like humans Grome have four limbs with five digits on both hands and feet. Their skin is rough, thickly patterned, pockmarked and pitted and comes in shades from very light to dark purple.
Grome reproduce like many other species through sexual coupling of males and females. Fertilization of a female Grome is achieved through the coupling of the male's round organ in the crotch area with the female's compatible vagina that envelops the male genitalia. Once impregnated, the female with carry the developing embryo for the equivalent of 10 earth months. Once fully matured, the average Grome will grow to around 150 to 180cm tall and anything from 56 to 100kg in weight. Homosexuality does exist, though it is considered a great taboo and is punishable by death.
Grome birth rate has been in a steady decline since the Earth year 2059 when a civil war resulted in the release of a genetic plague. Though the Grome overcame the plague's lethal effects, it caused each generation of females to grow less and less fertile and give succeeding generations' skin a pitted, somewhat diseased look. The damage to Grome genetics is so great that it may eventually lead to complete infertility and the inevitable end of the race.
Society & Culture
Grome civilization dawned around the Earth year 261 and is noted for being particularly stagnant with change being an infrequent though often violent occurrence. Males dominate Grome society and there is a great deal of abuse and inequality in the treatment of their females. Marriage (polygamous or otherwise) is a requirement in Grome society and if a Grome is not married by a certain age, one is arranged for them by the Marga Chulda. Males have until their 25th birthday and may take several wives; females are only permitted a single husband and must be wed prior to their 18th birthday. Males are also permitted a form of divorce from their wife or wives known as a "sundering", though females have no such recourse. Some progress has been made to correct the legal and social disparity between Grome males and females; as with many things in Grome culture the change is slow and they yet have a long way to go.
Grome forms of recreation chiefly take the form of royal pageants and fairs that take place throughout the Klu. Fairs are used as gathering places where Grome can buy and sell goods and crafts and get the latest news from the Margus and the royal court. There are also a number of religious gatherings where the Grome reaffirm and celebrate their given faith.
The Grome enjoy competition sports and are especially fond of the Mutai, a blood combat sport originated by the Yolu in addition to their own forms of martial arts in which they also compete. Team sports tend towards the rough including games that are comparable to Earth polo, lawn hockey and a type of war-game in which two teams compete with padded weapons in order to reach an objective.
Though the Grome do not tend to drink to excess, peetcha is one of their most popular beverages. In addition to painting, sculpture and fashion design, popular Grome art forms include religious and royal plays, though they tend to be unimaginative and mired in cultural stereotypes. Visual media is practically non-existent, consisting of just a single government-run broadcast channel and a similarly run film industry. There is however an underground industry that produces subversive vids.
Their forms of literature are often akin to Earther styles but subject to very restrictive government censorship, which has also resulted in underground traffic of samizdat-style manuscripts that criticize government policy. Individuals caught in possession of such works have been known to have been sentenced to death.
The Grome have a number of belief systems, the most popular being "Marga Tain", which centers around the worship of the Margus as a divine figure and spokesman of the gods. Most Grome belief systems are essentially pantheistic and feature various god-entities. Officially, the Marga Chulda claims it tolerates all faiths; however over the years there have been a number of inquisitions and purges perpetrated by the Marga Tain which show no signs of ceasing.
Glossary of Grome Terminology
- Klu: Gromahk solar cycle equivalent to an Earth year.
- Marga Chulda: Chief governing authority.
- Margus: Government leader and religious figure. Believed to be "spokesman of the gods".
- Peetcha: A tasty concoction of fermented fruit and one of Gromahk's chief exports.
- Vorl: A thin strip of precious metal used as currency.
- Other Sources
- Babylon 5 Scripts - Other Voices: Vol 3 (Babylon 5 Alien Guide)
- The Official Guide to Babylon 5 (CD ROM)
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