Groats are grazers native to Fulacin ( Rhylanor / Spinward Marches 2613) and live mostly in large herds on upper mountain fields. Relatively innocuous as individuals, a groat herd is a dangerous encounter; groats find strength in numbers, attacking almost any perceived danger. They are capable fighters, using teeth and hooves. Their three-toed feet give tham splendid footing in the mountains (although slowing them in the desert). Finally, they have a secret weapon; a small gland, concealed under the tail, can expel a noxious fluid to a distance of nearly 3m. Somewhat like tear gas, it makes an enemy concentrate on getting away rather than attacking. Strangely, this fluid does not work on the snowcats of Fulacin . At irregular times, groats migrate from the mountain meadows to desert oases for mating and for the old ones to die. The males fight for control of the herd, & then the herd returns home.
Cloth made from the hair of groats is called groatle. At first, the shaggy groat hair seems ordinary, but if cleaned and groomed has a softness and silkiness which rivals the finest synthetic. Also, the hair has a high concentration of heavy metals in each strand (due to the effect of Fulacin 's atmosphere on the groats), which provides two benefits. First, it is proof against most insects & mildew; fibres are poisonous to most off-world pests. Second, a simple chemical treatment can bring out an iridescent shimmering quality which is quite attractive. This cloth (and the raw material for such cloth) is in great demand in the Imperial Core.
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