The faculties at Grendel Gravenstein date back to the year 1459 when the castle was transported from the outer lands of Lemura by a group of alchemists, including our founder Grendel Gravenstein. Hidden in the wetlands of the Laguna de Santa Rosa - a site selected for the large populations of birds found there. Grendel Gravenstein and his long time companion, Persius Passerine were both avid alectryomancers, skilled at divination the future through the observation of birds
Today the Laguna de Santa Rosa is still a popular birding destination, as well as a hidden oasis for those with magical talent.
Today one enters the gateway to Grendel Gravenstein through the side door of a small arts and crafts bungalow near the small progressive town of Sebastopol – known for a tolerance of witches and an uncanny high percentage of magical practitioners.
The Laguna de Santa Rosa Nile Crocodile Abatement Program (SR-CAP)
Recent efforts to capture and remove these dangerous reptilians in Sonoma County have so far yielded mixed results. An attempt to map and manage wetlands, vernal pools, natural wildlife corridors and waterways within the City of Santa Rosa's boundaries elicited a warning from the county's water agency that more biologists will have to be hired, as many have been eaten in the last few months while working in the Laguna. A Nile Crocodile Task Force formed in 1989 succeeded in creating a voluntary Memoranda of Understanding among county agencies, environmentalists, the widows of several eaten biologists, and Grendel Gravenstein’s School of Magic.
One of the most biologically rich areas of the world, the Laguna de Santa Rosa has evolved from a superabundant variety of terrain, micro climates, and soil types. Given the rapid, exponential growth in Nile Crocodiles that has taken place in recent decades within this setting, state Fish and Game researchers say a major disruption of natural ecosystems has already taken place. In fact, in 1993, California was home to more federally-listed threatened and endangered species than any other state in the continental US due in part, to the ravenous appetites of these crocs.
Wild species are the concern of the state Department of Fish and Game and the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, while the management of their habitats falls under a broad array of jurisdictions, regulations, and individual concerns. This mishmash of agencies has only fostered miscommunication, slow response, and the rapid reproduction of crocodiles while everyone scratches their heads in consternation.
Crocodilian control is carried out in many ways. These large carnivorous reptiles live in a unique ecological niche, and each situation presents an opportunity to practice the methods of integrated pest management (IPM). The first step is to look at the environmental conditions that keep a pest or vector population growing and healthy, and to decide which can be changed or eliminated to upset that balance.
[cleaning an overgrown ditch] Based on their knowledge of a Nile crocodile’s biology, abatement district personnel change environmental conditions to eliminate habitat without the need for chemical agents. This might involve removal of a past winter's mud and debris from a creek, cleaning weeds from ditches to allow water to flow naturally or just saying “to heck with the restoration of a degraded marsh, let’s just build a bunch of swank high priced condos here”.
[Ochlerotatus eggs] Knowledge of Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) natural history provided a plan for long-lasting suppression. If the sites were made unattractive, females would stop using them. To this end, district personnel went shopping at IKEA recently, and put in low end cabinetry on the southern edge of the Laguna, as well as some orange and avocado appliances and small tacky throw pillows have been scattered through out the wetlands.
According to anecdotal tradition, the Nile Crocodiles that are now loose in the Laguna de Santa Rosa were imported from Africa with a magical teleportation spell. As every good castle must have a moat, a very large moat was built for Castle Lemuria in the summer of 1460. Unfortunately, Castle Lemuria was built in a wetland, and when the rains came, the Nile Crocodiles all escaped into the Laguna de Santa Rosa. It was hoped that they would all get pneumonia and die, but instead, multiplied due to a magic health and fertility spell of Mitzie Molotov.