Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Greater and Lesser Blorrp

The Krimaxian fleet just priot to the Battle of Aremis IV.

The traditions of the Krimaxians lack the medals, ribbands, commendations, and other post-battle honors employed by other space navies to encourage gallantry in combat. Terran social scientists ascribe this omission to the high value placed by Krimaxian culture on attending to one’s duty, especially under duress. The closest Krimaxian equivalent to typical space navy honors are the Greater and Lesser Blorrp. Taking the form of abstract statuettes rather than worn objects, an old Terran joke refers to the Blorrps as the Oscars for Best Captain and Best Supporting Captain. Immediately after (or as soon as practical) any encounter with an enemy force in which fire is exchanged (i.e. both sides must shoot, Blorrps are not awarded for border incidents involving a trigger-happy gunner losing their cool), the surviving Captains consult with one another to confer the Blorrps. 

Outside observers are often astonished to learn that there is no prerequisite that the Krimaxian forces win the battle. It is a tenet of the insouciant Krimaxian warrior code that no battle is won or lost except in historical perspective.

Rules for Voting

  • Ballots are secret and no discussion is allowed.

  • Each Captain submits one ballot.

  • The ballot records a vote for Greater Blorrp and a separate vote for Lesser Blorrp.

  • You may not vote for the same Captain for both Blorrps.

  • You are allowed to vote for yourself for Greater Blorrp and there is no cultural stigma attached to doing so.

  • You are not allowed to vote for yourself for Lesser Blorrp. In Krimaxian culture that is considered an act of false humility.

  • Any Captain who is dead, captured, or otherwise unavailable for the vote is assumed to vote for themselves for Lesser Blorrp (this supersedes the above rules).

  • Whoever gets the most votes wins the Blorrp..

    • In the event of a tie for Greater Blorrp, the winner of the Lesser Blorrp voting actually receives the Greater Blorrp and then awards the Lesser Blorrp to their choice among the tied parties
    • If the Greater Blorrp is awarded but there is a tie on Lesser Blorrp voting, no Lesser Blorrp is awarded.
    • If both Blorrp ballots tie, the Captain with seniority awards each to separate recipients. It is typical for the senior Captain to give himself the Greater Blorrp. Again, it would be considered an act of false humility to give oneself the Lesser Blorrp.

Traditionally, a Captain receiving their first Blorrp sponsors an elaborate feast for their crew at the next opportunity. If the Captain is dead or missing but the crew survives, the other Captains who took part in the ballot split the costs. If the whole ship was lost the money normally spent on the feast is forwarded to the kinship groups from which the crew were drawn.

The Blorrps themselves are handmade by Krimaxian artisans on the homeworld, so no two are identical. Most known examples are made of a rough pinkish-purplish stone or a polymer designed to resemble such stone, but some are carved from a darkish wood. They typically stand somewhere between six and twelve inches tall. Greater Blorrps tend to resemble the Greek letter Phi with the inner bar missing, while Lesser Blorrps resemble triangles or chevrons pointing down. Both varieties of Blorrp features an opening through the center and either a wide, flat integral base or a tripod structure at the bottom.

Sketches of four Blorrps observed by Lt. Commander
Vance Dillhonker during his captivity on a Krimaxian vessel.


  1. I think I used to own an abstract boardgame whose pieces looked a bit like those blorrps, but its name eludes me. They also remind me a bit of the pieces from the old TSR boardgame 4th Dimension, mostly because they were all abstract shpes with holes in them.

  2. I thought about 4th Dimension after I did the sketch!

  3. YOU did the sketch?!?... so you're Vance Dillhonker! I've always suspected as such, but never thought you'd admit it.

    1. Oh no! My secret identity is revealed!