Jane, I’ve been trying to get more information out of Condemner about its native environment. Here’s what I’ve gotten so far.
Grabbies is the name of the race, or the name that they call themselves. It is basically the equivalent of our word ‘human’. It isn’t what their Investigating Entities use, (Condemner doesn’t know that), it is what the common being uses.
An individual Grabby is about like a dog or a cat. They roam about among the Entities, and are basically kept and treated as beloved pets. (Entities do not keep any other beings as pets, and the notion seemed to appall Condemner. I think the Entities who study realities such as ours are as close as any of them come to appreciating the existence of another race. This may just be Condemner’s bias, however.) Individual Grabbies come in a wide variety of different forms, each of which determines which entities they can be part of.
Entities are made up of between four and twenty Grabbies, and live for our equivalent of six months or so. They share the memories of the entities that their components have been part of, and have a natural drive to perform the function they were raveled for. Fighting Entities will Fight, Building Entities will build, etc.
Entities can induce Grabbies to ravel, to some degree. They herd them together and hope for the best. Controlling how many of each kind are in the mix gives them a lot of influence over what kind of Entity results.
This isn’t perfect, Condemner felt it necessary to clarify. An individual Grabby will sometimes be ‘tired’, or a state that resembles fatigue but is more absolute. Such creatures will not ravel until they have recovered, and it is very difficult to tell when one is in such a state.
Grabbies do not appear to die natural deaths. Condemner indicates that all of their eldest and most prestigious components that didn’t perish in accidents or battle are still among them. Age is apparently a peculiarity of our magisteria. The Grabbies do not have anything like that in their world.
Their reproduction, however, is extremely rare. This is, presumably, the only reason that they haven’t entirely filled their available space, although Condemner gave me the impression that ‘available space’ doesn’t apply to whatever their world is like.
Sometimes when an Entity dissolves a new Grabby will come out alongside the rest. They don’t know why this happens, and don’t seem incredibly curious about it. Reproduction among their kind isn’t something that they think a lot about.
It is overwhelming. For every question I ask I realize I need the answers to two more to understand. Even when I get a fact pinned down, I have the uneasy feeling that the terms I am using are only vague analogs for what these beings experience. It may be that understanding the creatures is impossible for us, that Condemner’s ilk will remain forever beyond our ability to comprehend.
One thing I am convinced of, however. This creatures’ desire to destroy Remover is quite genuine. It longs for it. It speaks with great hunger of the prestige and glory that it will win for the deed.
I believe it wants her dead slightly more than it wants you dead.