Fictional Creature Feature - Puggle
An Amphibious Humanoid Based Creature Type
Resembling chubby little, lizard-like gnomes, Puggles live amongst the deeps of swamps and bogs. They spend most of their time snuggling together, sleeping under their moist and cool, muck drenched blankets, concealed from weather and nature alike. They make very few trips outside their homes unless they feel a threat imposed on them and their peaceful slumbering.
Puggles are happy to share their home with other creatures, even, though it's hardly ever known, occasionally can be found nestled in the murkiness of a pig pen. During cold periods, their body heat makes a perfect resting environment for frogs and other swamp life who nest there during the winter. Though they come complete with a gooey, moss-like secretion (which one may find if they ever go wading in the mud barefoot, having collected between their toes) to protect their moist bodies, a lone Puggle may not secrete enough goo to protect itself alone, which is why many a puggle skeleton has been found dehydrated underneath the surface of a dried up bog.
Their blubbery bodies are their main form of protection - they are impossible to squish! Research found that their bodies could expand beyond comprehension, being spread out under the heaviest of objects. Their bone structure is more like a spongy, springy cartilage, even their skulls, which act like impenetrable casings, surround a very intelligent brain encased in a sort of bubble.
Every 8th year, during the late days of spring, just as the rains are subsiding and the sun is starting to grow hottest, the Puggles come out for a 3 day celebration involving community togetherness, worship, and of course, their mating season. Celebrations involve displays of science, tinkering, and magic. Worship is to their two Gods, Swooma, Goddess of Storms, and Perchall, God of Earth, both of which are considered the prosperity of their murky world. Their mating begins with courtship on the first day, engagement on the second morning with marriage at nightfall, and finally egg-laying on the third and final day. Eggs are distributed in the dankest areas of a family's bog, where they grow and hatch right into the family by fall.
Puggles live on mostly plankton and mosquito larvae, which are always plentiful. It's believed that their race is one of the major reasons why mosquitoes haven't thoroughly infested the planet! Still, even though they benefit humanity, very seldom have they ever been appreciated well, probably due to their frog-like appearance, and so instead their communities have agreed to ban almost all interaction with humans unless it is dire circumstances.
One of the few recorded interactions with humans is remembered only as a fairytale. At one point in time, both a human man and a Puggle were in conflict over a princess and her royal family. The Puggle felt his neighboring swamp threatened by the royal family at the time, meanwhile the man had a longing crush on the princess. Putting their differences aside, they agreed to help one another. The man swore that if he were able to marry the lovely princess, he would permanently secure the Puggle's swamp from harm. The Puggle agreed to use his coercive magic to woo the princess, and at the proper moment, swap places with the man so that she would fall in love with him. We know this tale nowadays, minus the actual reasoning behind the story, as the Princess and the Frog.
I hope you've enjoyed this journey into the hidden world of the Puggles!
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