About the Blirthibo

The Blirthibo are water-dwellers. They have a tough shell surrounding their brain and all vital organs, with six sensory tentacles and six finger tentacles extending through holes in it. The shell contains many small chambers into which they can allow gas or water, so as to rise or sink -- rather like a nautilus. Grown-ups mass from 100 to 300 kg.

If a sensory tentacle is lost, it is lost permanently, though it will sometimes grow back as a weaker finger tentacle. Finger tentacles can be grown back at full strength in about half a year. The finger tentacles have a long part which is stout and strong, and a short part near the end which is used for delicate work.

Blirthibo are amphibians; they can breathe air as well as water, but they find it difficult to maneuver on land, especially on uneven ground.

They are egg-layers. The female will lay several large eggs in a protectable spot such as a sea-cave, and the whole Blirthibo community, especially the mother and certain old ones presently on guard-duty, protects the egg-place from predators. The eggs don't need incubation, just protection.

Blirthibo GURPS notes

The Blirthibo have an average ST of 20 (when using several tentacles in coordination; +175 pts), DX of 12 (+20), HT of 10, and IQ of 10. Their outer shell has a damage resistance of {...}

They have the advantages Gills (10 pts) and Amphibious (10 points) and the disadvantage Cannot Move on Land (-25 points); their tentacles are simply not strong enough to move their large mass without the supporting buoyancy of water. This disadvantage can be balanced by having one or more land-mobile forms that they can transform into with the Ballapoj humour.

They have the advantages 360-degree vision (25 pts), Independently Focusable Eyes (75 points for 5 "extra" eyes), Nicitating Membrane (1 level, 10 pts), Acute Hearing (2 pts/level for --- levels), Double-jointed (5 pts) (their tentacles are very flexible) and the disadvantage Color Blindness (-10 pts).

All Blirthibo have Swimming at ST or DX, whichever is higher (usually ST) (1 point).

For each creature that a starting character is able to transform himself into with the Ballapoj humour, he must pay 10% of the "character" points that the creature has. Calculate its character-point value using the regular table for its physical attributes, plus its DR, advantages and disadvantags, and skills.


The Blirthibo have a watertalk, used for conversing at great distances underwater. It may be compared to whale-songs. Many of them also learn to understand the languages of seamen and shoredwellers, but in their natural forms they can't pronounce them.


The Blirthibo account of the Creation

In the beginning all was ice. As cold as cold may be was the ice: it had never been melted, nor was it bounded on top by the air nor on bottom by the sea floor, but all was ice from as high as up to as low as down.

Then Llorbathio, Giver of Life, the Sun, bright and hot as she is today, bright and hot as she shall ever be, came from somewhere far beyond, we know not where. She melted a great part of the ice: now it was a great layer of water between ice and vapor. For a longer time than can be told Llorbathio danced alone above the vapor.

Then Piribi, Mover and Changer, the Moon, came: perhaps from the same beyond from which came Llorbathio, perhaps from some other beyond; who knows? But came he did: he changed the ice into mud and rock, he changed the vapor into the air for breathing. For a longer time than may be told Piribi danced with Llorbathio. It may be that they spoke of many things, or it may be that they were silent: who can say?

At length Piribi dove from the sky into the sea, and swam to the bottom of the sea. There he took some mud and rock, and changed it into fishes. But the fishes were still and cold, and swam not. Piribi swam with them to the surface and threw them to Llorbathio: Llorbathio caught them and threw them back, and as she touched them with her bright heat they came alive, and they hit the water swimming. They swam alone for a little while: but Piribi was busy, and soon more creatures of many kinds swam in the sea, and still Piribi made more and Llorbathio gave them life. At last Piribi made the Blirthibo, and when Llorbathio had given them life Piribi and Llorbathio danced. For a long while they tossed the unfinished Blirthibo back and forth between them, and because Llorbathio handled them more than she had done the other creatures, the Blirthibo woke up, and were more alive than before: Llorbathio had given them souls. Finally the Blirthibo were finished, and Piribi carried them to the sea. Piribi returned to the sky and danced awhile with Llorbathio.

Later, Piribi dove to the sea once again, and deep into the mud and rock he swam. He drove great parts of it up out of the sea, to face the air. Fishes, kelps, and Blirthibo floundered in confusion, no longer surrounded by the friendly water; but not for long. Piribi went swiftly from land to land, and changed kelps to trees and grasses, fishes to walking, running, climbing, and burrowing creatures, (and a few of them to birds), and then he turned to the Blirthibo. Some he changed to Zun, some to Toaliralolo, some to Pliv; he made them into several kinds of creatures.

Piribi and Llorbathio have danced together since then, and Piribi has not dived again to the land or the sea. Who can say when he will dive again, or what he will change when he does? But a few stories tell that he has answered the prayers of mortals sometimes, and made small changes that they asked for. There is the tale of Siuartelo, a Slithu sailor who fell overboard, and was mercifully changed into a Blirthibo; and another of Lerrimab, a Blirthibo washed ashore by a powerful hurricane, unable to make her way to the sea, who was changed into a Krinth.

The Gods

The chief gods are Piribi, the Mover, the Changer, the Wise; and Llorbathio, the Giver of Life, the Generous One, the Bright. Most Blirthibo worship both of them, but most females honor Llorbathio especially and most males honor Piribi especially. Llorbathio is honored in festivals held near and at the surface, at midday. Piribi is honored in festivals near the shore and near the sea floor. They are held at irregular intervals.

Though all hold Piribi and Llorbathio in honor, there are disagreements on such points as: whether Piribi changes small things here and there, or makes only great changes at the end of each age; whether he presides over all changes, or only improvements; whether Blirthibo should help him by changing things as much as they can, or whether that is usurping Piribi's perogatives; and so on. Various sects and churches, some more organized than others, are formed of those of like opinion in such matters. There are disagreements about Llorbathio, too, but fewer of them. The Brothers of Jarpafa are a monastic order devoted to praying for the next Great Change, and the Sisters of Yelawesn are a companion order devoted to praying to Llorbathio for the new kinds of creatures that may be created in this Great Change. There is also a small sect that believes Piribi and Llorbathio are aspects or parts of a single god.

Social System

The Blirthibo herd fishes and cultivate sea-flora of several kinds. They trade with the land-dwellers for tools and things that they cannot make in the sea (lacking fire to smelt ores); in return they supply fish and kelp, and recover cargo from sunken ships. Also (and most important) they protect ships from the attentions of sea monsters. The few Blirthibo with the Tharoal humour, being able to command the great beasts of the deep, hold the life and death of all sailors in their hands.

The Blirthibo and the Tharoala are especially powerful in Caligo Triyk and Caligo Skargard, where the four lands are cut off from one another by the central sea.


Ship-Escort (requires Tharoal humour)
Water-Mage (requires Thorapobo humour)


The Tharoala, who command the great beasts of the deep and are obeyed, deal with the shoredwellers and ship-sailors. Any Blirthibo who violates the treaties the Tharoala make with the landfolk will feel their wrath promptly; but beyond this, the government of the Blirthibo is not strict or burdensome.

Not all the Tharoala take an active part in governing, and the Thorapoboa, the water-mages, are nearly their equals in power and influence.


BALLAPOJ - This humour enables Blirthibo to change themselves into other creatures for a limited time (how long depends on the individual's skill and power; several hours to several days). In order to add a new creature (plant or animal) to his repertoire, the Blirthibo must devour it alive and then go into an absorption trance, which takes several hours and a lot of energy. This cannot be done often more often than once in a few months. The Ballapoj humour proper becomes inactive at puberty (about eight years), but the Blirthibo retains the ability to transform into all creatures he has already absorbed.

When transforming, the Blirthibo becomes that creature entirely -- to age, sex, coloration, state of health, and humours (losing his own humours except the Ballapoj which allows him to change back later). The mind of the creature remains but is subordinate to the Blirthibo's mind. However, if the creature was a sapient being, a battle of willpower will take place and the devoured creature may wind up in control of the Blirthibo permanently. Murder-vengeance is likely to come upon any Blirthibo who devours a sapient being, unless he can show that he actually is that person now.

PIBATHE - Most Blirthibo from about 8 to 30 can change sex, not more than about once a year. They usually do so less often. It is sometimes voluntary, sometimes spontaneous. The change takes two or three days, during which time the Blirthibo is unusually hungry.

THAROAL - (Very rare in Blirthibo over 30) Blirthibo with this humour can command sea creatures to do their will. This power does not extend to aquatic mammals or to land-creatures who happen to be swimming at the moment, nor does it extend to sapient beings, nor to sapient beings who are presently transformed into animals. A Tharoala can give a general "stay away!" or "go away!" command to all animals of a certain type within in range, or command in detail a single creature (or a school of creatures that naturally act together) -- not both at once.

The ordinary range for this power is half a mile to two miles, depending on the Blirthibo's willpower, state of health, fatigue, etc. Certain drugs can greatly extend this range, but they have nasty after-effects.

THORAPOBO -- (Rare in Blirthibo over 30) Blirthibo with this humour can learn water-magic. Typical spells:

          Purify water
          Freeze, melt, or boil water quickly
          Transmute fluids
          Enchant fluids (make potions)
          Transform creature (temporary)
          Influence weather (e.g. steer hurricane)
          Transform creature (permanent)
          Control weather (e.g. create hurricane)

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