The Origin of the Grooks - Aetolia Online Help

16.3.3 The Origin of the Grooks

As told by the Grooks:

It was the time of the great unknowing. All was dark, and yet our people showed
wisdom even before they could think or feel. For their homeland, they chose the
River.

They did not live beside the River, nor near the River, but within the rushing
streams did they find safety. Even before we could think to give the River a
name, it blessed us with good health and fortune. In its waters we found
nourishment and companionship and relief from the summer sun. We could not
conceive of anything else we could need. One among us, the most learned,
developed an evening song that he enjoyed burbling into the setting sun.

"Goruk rik. Goruuuuk!" he called, and though he could understand neither joy
nor worship, he delighted just the same to sing his nonsense song. The waters
heard and they, too, delighted. They swept around his feet, submerging his form
in a gentle embrace. When again he stood from the River, he had been changed.

Smooth and moist was his skin, to carry with him the River always. Wide was his
mouth, to better catch the fish and insects to fill his belly. Better-shaped,
too, were his fingers and toes, to more easily swim. Soon enough, all the
children of the River sang his song in twilight, "Goruk, goruk, rik!" and all
were changed. This was the River's greatest boon, for we have since been known
as the Goruk, in the Old Tongue, better known as Grook.

Yet there were those who saw our blessing, and wanted it for their own. Imagine
the frog, with her newly-caught dragonfly, eating delightedly. Like the bird
who comes upon the frog and snaps, hoping to scare the frog away from her
prize, so did these people hurl rocks at us from the shore to drive us from our
sanctuary and take it when we had gone.

The River, however, had not forgotten us. It again demonstrated its
appreciation for our ignorant, accidental loyalty and worship, and the will of
the Divine took hold. It burbled in the waters against the pebbles, and in the
roar of waterfalls from the mountains, intoning, "These are My best-loved, and
you shall not not walk here again. Away with you, mistaken, ill-intentioned
creatures, away."

And cast away were the attackers, swept by a flood past the sandy beach and
into the depths of the ocean. Never again were they to tread upon the Riverbed,
for their legs had become awkward tails and deeply did they begin to breathe
the nasty salted waters of the sea. They are the Mistakes, and I urge you even
now not to trust those the Humans have named "merfolk", for their ill will is
not the sort to fade with years.