From the Files of Frank Womack, Kaiju Expert*Kaiju File # 006
Somalian Coastline, AfricaLast Seen:
Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Current Location Unknown)
Grorn, in its first appearance, was described as appearing like a cross between a grassy hillside and a dinosaur, with several crystalline protrusions all over of its body. And honestly you could just leave it at that, but if you look closely you can see that there's a lot more to this mysterious organism's appearance. Its not just random assemblage, there's an intelligence behind it that makes one wonder just what Grorn truly is. For one, though we like to refer to it as a singular entity, there is no one central 'Grorn' as we know it. It is in fact a collection of billions of microscopic organisms unlike any ever discovered before. There are traits in these that resemble the unusual kingdom of Archaea, but that's a very simple comparison. Like comparing a hyena to a wolf, or a pine tree to an oak, the resemblance is skin-deep, nothing more. Even more interesting is the fluidity of their anatomy. They are capable of altering their physical makeup to moreso resemble plant or animal cells, as well as hardening into almost mineral-like compositions as well. And the alterations don't stop there.
In fact, Grorn has been observed taking many forms for different battles, environments and, sometimes, depending on how much energy its managed to restore since its last battle. There are attributes of several lifeforms in Grorn's repertoire. Consider the Terra form, pictured above. With arms resembling the cambrian predator anomalocaris, a club tipped tail straight out of the ankylosaur family, and a heavyset, theropod build that gives it a lot of raw physical power behind its blows, it truly is a seamless chimera of life. Most noticeably, though, is the grass-like filament covering its entire body, giving is a plantlike appearance despite its quasi-organic nature. Lining the body are several azure crystals of unknown composition that seem to absorb energy from any source nearby, and also can be used to deflect blows and penetrate attackers. With animal, vegetable and mineral aspects, you might be tempted to make a Gilbert and Sullivan joke or two about it, but you shouldn't. I've tried, and nothing really works in place of 'general.'
But, as chimeric and unusual as its appearance is, the biggest thing one notices about Grorn is the intelligence. Most kaiju are able to think, even engage in problem solving, but this is far beyond the mind of a crafty, opportunistic predator. There's a calm, tranquil consciousness to it that, according to those who have contacted it, feels ancient beyond measure. Carbon dating on what pieces of the being we have collected has been very inconclusive, but many theorize based on its appearances that this creature dates back at least to the early Paleozoic era, making it the oldest known lifeform on earth by a margin of tens of millions of years. Its exact origins are a true mystery no one is currently close to figuring out, and it doesn't help that Grorn itself seems unconcerned with its own beginnings. In fact, all it seems to worry about is what it deems its 'purpose,' preventing any potential disturbance in the equilibrium of the planet and its ecosystems. And unfortunately, our own actions have put us on that chopping block before. Grorn is no friend of humankind, but, unless we give it cause, it is not an enemy either. I doubt its even possible to kill it.
Hoo boy, where to begin here. There... aren't? In all seriousness, Grorn is a cut above the typical threat we've encountered, it possesses a raw intelligence we can't do much to counter or outsmart. It rarely attacks humankind, but when it has the best you can do is placate it or tire it out until it needs to rest. I personally would recommend the former, Grorn is an ally we really need if another monster threat appears, but some more... corporate-minded individuals might insist their gains are more important than the future well-being of mankind. In that event, however unwise it is, Grorn can be deterred and tired out depending on how long it has had to rest before this. It runs on an unexact timer of sorts, but as it progresses, keep an eye out for its form to change, usually shrinking and simplifying into something easier to deal with. But don't feel confident about your odds. Seriously, Grorn is an unstoppable force, and all the best you can afford to throw at it will only delay the inevitable. This thing's been hit by the SOL and appeared again three weeks later, preventing the disaster after only a minor setback. And let's not even talk about how it earned that rank 4 on the mortality scale...
-Air of Tranquility
: An ability no one is even close to understanding, organisms in Grorn's presence have described a peculiar effect when in proximity to the entity. Its described as an absence of emotion or thought, a passive, tranquil state that can last for hours. The closer one is, the more severe and long-lasting the effect can be. With kaiju, it can take much longer in most cases, but even they can be pacified. It only seems to work on organisms with complex nervous systems, however, leading to several hypotheses with as of yet no proof.
: Grorn is somehow, with its supernatural abilities, able to sense threats instantaneously from anywhere across the globe, and very few can manage to truly evade it for long. It also understands keenly when that threat is no longer important enough to deal with, or in some cases, that the threat has already altered the world too much to return to its old ways. In the event of a new status quo, such as kaiju emerging worldwide, it will step aside, only emerging to deal with particularly dangerous cases.
-The Mark of Grorn
: An ability Grorn has only used once since we began studies into kaiju. The being is somehow able to imbue its own essence into individuals it deems worthy, giving them a sort of immortality and a constant connection to its consciousness. These can be those who speak for it to humankind, such as its now deceased prior 'mouth' and its current one, [redacted]. It also can acquire 'champions' of sorts, monsters that it has bested in the ancient past and granted its own boon to, summoning them in the event that the current foe will be too much of a challenge to fight alone. Two thus far have been documented, the avian Karazak and the serpentine Qingu.
: Grorn's shifting ability is two-fold. The more obvious version seen is its capacity to alter its appearance and anatomy. At this point, half a dozen different forms have been recorded, and it is fully believed more are likely to emerge in the event of a new threat. These individual forms each have their own files, so there will not be a detailed description here.
The second aspect of its shifting ability is how quickly Grorn is able to get around. Its trademark ability to 'melt' into the ground and reappear on the other side of the planet in minutes sounds impossible, but the Syyd incursion, Grorn's most recent sighting, proved it something well within the realm of its abilities. It seems to be quite draining on its energy reserves to do so, however.-Mana Pulse
: The most iconic of Grorn's abilities, as well as its most frightening. It begins when the crystals atop its body begin to glow, and the world around it begins to change. Plants wilt, birds fall out of the sky, people experience several decades worth of aging, all in seconds. Grorn is able to drain the life-force of any unaltered terrestrial lifeform into itself, channeling that energy into one of the deadliest attacks any known kaiju possesses. Depending on its form, the delivery changes, (in the terra form's case, it is emitted by slamming the tail-club into the ground) but the result is the same, the area is whited out in a bright light and a deafening shockwave, leaving a smoldering crater and, typically, no remains. Few things have survived this attack, and those that have rarely surface on earth. After utilizing this, Grorn typically returns to the earth to rest, as much of its reserves can be expended in the attack.
I'm going to level with you all, dear readers. You may have trouble believing this, but before all this started, I didn't believe in the supernatural at all. I know, shocker, right? Guy who ran a semi-popular cryptozoology blog and traveled the country in a solar powered RV I inherited to find said cryptids doesn't believe in the non-scientific? Hilarious.
But that changed when that... honestly, I don't know what to call Grorn. It flies in the face of so many established principles, and that's already taking the ones kaiju broke first into account. It doesn't feel like its even alive in the same sense that we are. The best word I have for it is 'elemental,' but even that seems to fall short. Anyway, Grorn changed the world for me, and millions of others, widening it even further than it was before. And immediately we saw that things couldn't be done like they once were without consequences.
The Amminot blooms
, which threatened the entire world's balance of nature, were annihilated in less than 12 hours. Which is especially impressive when you realize the largest bloom could be seen from space. We didn't see another for almost a decade after that, and none have equaled that one in size. Grorn has seen to that. And yet, global security had its hands full pacifying the public after the amminot incident. The existence of Grorn, a being able to do what it did so easily, made a lot of people nervous. Especially when the second thing it did was appear in the arctic, where it attacked the quite well-hidden gene bank. Not as a dinosaur, mind you, it only held that form for a moment before dissipating into a verdant tsunami that covered the entire complex in what workers described as 'warm slime mold from hell.' After only ten minutes, it vanished, and workers realized that Grorn had only gone after one thing, a surviving strain of the virus they had taken to study. We had entered a world with no secrets going unseen, and it scared those up high. Many ecology warriors rallied behind the creature, some even proposing worshiping it as a vengeful nature goddess, despite the lack of gender. But surprisingly, it didn't emerge when an old oil rig sank in the arctic. It didn't appear when a massive nuclear plant was reopened, or when the world militaries began testing the more extreme anti-kaiju weapons that thankfully never saw the light of day again. Instead, it came to a little kid in a dream, telling them they would need to listen for its voice, as its old one was dying and needed replacing.
It kept surprising mankind, and they, I mean we, realized its agenda, its age, prevented it from seeing the same dangers we did. It could only think in the long term, and its idea of long term is measured in eons, not years. The world had been through extinction events before, what was another so long as life on earth went on? It was humbling, to say the least. Inspiring, for many. Use of self-sustaining technology skyrocketed after the green thing began to leave its footprint on our soil. But it didn't stop the dangers from occurring, kaiju attacks were beginning to increase. One attack every year became one every three months as the number waking up increased. Before long, we stopped treating each attack like a freak accident, and began treating them more like typhoons, just something you dealt with. And Grorn appeared, on occasion, to ward them off, but the appearances were random. Unreliable. Not enough. We just weren't a big enough blip on its radar to provoke that kind of concern. And apparently, neither were kaiju. Just how used to them was an ancient guardian supposed to be when we were only seeing them for the first time?
We were in the presence of a god, and just our luck, it was a fickle one. And things were not getting better fast.
*These files are in no representative of nor indicating the opinions and/or facts concerning various government bureaus, including but not limited to: The United Nations, UNDER, etc. These are unofficial productions by a private citizen determined to aid the concerned public in the event of a kaiju or extraterrestrial incursion and are in no way to be considered authoritative reports on the aforementioned dangers.
Everyone, meet the first of several 'hero' kaiju in the Fathom series. And I'm sure its a nice familiar face for most of you.
I've been looking forward to getting Grorn posted on here again for a long time now, to be honest. He's one of my most popular monsters and he's fun to write, so its a win-win for everyone. I was originally going to get him posted before I went to work last week, but time ran out on me so I had to wait to put the finishing touches on it. It worked out, though, it gave me time to really put some thought into the bio and how to progress with the story from here.
Grorn plays a sort of dual role in the Fathom mythos. To put it in equivalencies, its a fine line between Showa Mothra, the wisened, ancient protector that comes to aid the deserving and the deserving alone, and Heisei Gamera, the fickle destroyer and defender with a vague connection to humanity that only sometimes really benefits us. He's one of the heroes, but not exactly a cure-all to the kaiju problem; he'll protect mankind from a big and bad enough danger, but it won't shed a tear if a lot of people die in the crossfire. Its motivations are broader than the well-being of one species, sapient or otherwise. In fact, if we hadn't cleaned up our act, we would have been its primary target instead of the blooms when it emerged. Not exactly optimistic, I know. I'm sure many are hoping mankind has a more bright future ahead of them. And they will.
The first showa stories were darker, they reflected the fear of the unknown society faced. As time passed that attitude changed, and the films became lighter in tone and content, which I plan to mirror in some aspects. I don't want people to forget just how unlike us monsters can be, but I want to ride that line, showing that in constrast we're very alike, in good and bad terms. Grorn plays with the idea of nature's revenge, a common enough theme in kaiju lore. It first came to me several years ago when I first read Jurassic Park all the way through. Book!Ian Malcolm made a big point about how indifferent nature was and how even extinction was part of the natural cycle, and it made an impression on me I've never been able to shake off.
I'd created Grorn originally as a more symbolic, religious monster before, with a more tree-like, yygdrassil appearance, but it fit that fickle defender role well, and the plant-o-saurus design came together very quickly, and a much more distinctive monster was born. That first run I did of him is one of the best kaiju stories my younger self managed to squeeze out, and if my old laptop hadn't died, I probably would have kept it going to completion. For a long time I considered making Grorn the main character of this series, but ultimately I decided to make it a broader universe with no one single hero or villain, but Grorn is still one of the most important figures in the story, and will appear multiple times before we're done.
Now that that text wall is done, I'm sure you're wondering what comes next. Well, while the story goes right to the next major event, several kaiju appear in between these entries in the planned novel series, so you'll be seeing several minor kaiju for a couple of weeks while I get my next big event put together. Until then, enjoy Grorn and feel free to let me know what you think.