The Wurld ... a blue orb spinning in the darkness of space, beneath a single moon. It's surface a great ocean dotted with island chains. This is the land of the Grophs, strange creatures a little like slugs, a little like butterflies and a little like us, with their own passions, rivalries, dreams and loves. Burrow-living, Insect-eating, Nest-making, Egg-laying, resilient and sociable, the Grophs have mastered their strange world with a little help from their human friends.
Long ago The Wurld was one nation under the thumb of Grophamun, dread ruler of the desert lands and all beyond that his armies could conquer. With his beloved Sellara at his side, and cruel Nekhefus at the head of his armies, all the islands of the Wurldsea bowed their heads to him. Even the Gods of the desert lands feared the Great Pharoh. All things must fall, however, even the mightiest of Kings. Treachery and love stole his wife and his champion from him, sending Grophamun to his grave unquiet and bitter. With his fall a host known only as the Kharak swept across the lands he had ruled and ground all to dust.
Centuries later, on an island across the sea from the ruins of the desert, the descendants of Grophamun's bureaucracy gave rise to a new dynasty, the Mergrophi. From the ruins of the old Kingdom they build a new one, at first only in a few small lands, but soon all across the island they called the Mainland. Though the Mergrophi dynasty rose and fell again, their culture grew strong and began to spread once more across the Wurld, not as conquerors, but as traders and explorers. In the south they made contact with the forest living tribes of the Jungle Island. In the sea they warred with the Sorceror Nullibrach and made friends of the Aquarian grophs. In the far east they discovered the insular Grophugani, and at last in the West they landed on the shores of the ancient desert isle and came to the gates of Khnarr, last city of Grophamun's Kingdom.
Now is the age of Discovery and Exploration. Ancient ruins have been uncovered for the first time in centuries. Strange peoples have emerged from their burrows into the light of day. Old artefacts, and secrets of alchemy, are there for the taking. With every year the Groph's understanding of how their world works and is constructed grows, even as certain forces look back longingly on the lost ages of tyranny and slavery and want them back.
Ahh yes ... Human friends indeed. As we said above, Grophs are social. They live in nests, crowded together in caves or houses with their offspring and kin. From the earliest times Grophs have always believed that other, invisible, creatures have shared their homes, watching over them and helping protect them from the dangers of The Wurld. In the days before Grophamun these creatures had a hundred different names from a hundred different languages and groups, now they are generally just called owners. Each Groph cave believes in it's own owner, a sort of household spirit, who helps provide food, turn away curses, and rescue Grophs from danger. In return all the owner asks is love, acknowledgement, and regular gifts of the strange stone coins that can be excavated from the earth all over the Wurld.
Of course those owners ... they are you.