Groats are a species of herd animal native to Fulacin (Spinward Marches 2613). During the 2nd to 4th Century, groatle, a fabric made from groat pelts, commanded fabulous prices back in the Imperial core. Hunting expeditions went to Fulacin for the sole purpose of catching groats and passing merchants would detour just to collect a few dozen pelts. Groat meat was inedible due to high contents of heavy metals, but an idle engineer figured out how to pickle the meat. The result was a material that could be carved into various knickknacks and, after a second pickling, became incredibly hard and durable as well as beautiful. Carving scrimshaw became a popular pastime with local spacers.
In 377, Mora (Spinward Marches 3124) scientists geneered a variant species of groat that could survive in environments lacking the high heavy metal content of Fulacin’s soil and atmosphere. The metal content of the pelt was maintained by concentrating what heavy metals the groats did ingest in the pelt, leaving the meat low enough on metal content to be edible (some Vargr actually developed a taste for it) but unsuitable for pickling and carving. Groat farms quickly made it unprofitable to hunt groats on Fulacin and with the source of material thus dried up, groat-meat scrimshaw soon became a lost art. Today a groat-meat napkin ring sells for hundreds of CrImp and a set of groat-meat utensils (knife, fork, spoon, tumbler, and toothpick) can reach five figures.