Friday, June 7, 2013


Salamanders are…

YOU GUYS, WAIT!  We totally forgot something!  Yesterday was The Daily Bestiary’s SECOND BIRTHDAY!  And I missed it!  …I forgot to acknowledge the birth of my child.  Worst.  Father.  EVER.

But seriously, two years ago yesterday I sat down on my loveseat and began this crazy endeavor.  Definitely feel free to check to check those older posts out—they were shorter, sweeter (originally all I posted was adventure seeds, with no intros), and I buried my personal thoughts in the comments.  Obviously I’ve loosened up since then.

Want to help me celebrate?  You know what to do: Get your friends to read the DB.  Reblog or otherwise share (especially the cleaner, less typo-plagued Tumblr addy).  Post it to message boards you like.  And there’s always listening to the radio show (link good from noon Saturdays through midnight Fridays) or following me on Twitter—but if that’s more Patch than you can handle, I do not blame you.

Pardon me as I shove a frosting-covered candle into my CD drive. Huzzah!

Okay, salamanders.  Here’s how you know salamanders are bad news: They often hang out in the Abyss by choice.  If that’s not indicative of their natures, I don’t know what is. 

The other concept to keep in mind with salamanders is inertia.  They are lazy, surly, prone to violence, and like dominating those weaker than themselves (…basically like teenagers, really.)  (Or picture the worst parts of orc and lizardfolk society mixed together…and then set on fire.)  If they start fighting, they will keep fighting; if they can be persuaded not to fight, their more sluggish instincts will take over.  Unfortunately, the cold makes them irritable, and almost everywhere is colder then the Plane of Fire.

An aasimar is found murdered—or is it martyred?—with iron spears piercing his body and his clothes charred as if by a fire.  Is he the victim of random violence, or did his charitable work arouse the ire of dark forces?

Traveling to the Abyss, adventurers discover few demons but many salamanders—they have been transported to a salamander ghetto.  Their goal is to get to the next portal with fewer than three street fights.  If they manage this (ideally with quick, clearly decisive victories) the salamanders let them leave; if not, the various street gangs unite to enslave and sell the heroes.

Adventurers discover the mansion they have been staying in exists on the Material Plan and the Plane of Fire simultaneously—and their host is an efreeti.  Taking advantage of the debt they owe him, he asks them to retrieve some valuable escaped salamander slaves.  Turning the offer down will offend not only their host but also high society in both cities—the rites of hospitality must be observed.  The efreeti also makes a persuasive case that salamanders kept contained is the lesser evil than salamanders left at large.

Pathfinder Bestiary 240

Does anyone know why salamanders became humanoidish?  All the descriptions I’ve read of them in folklore were of “ordinary” magical salamanders.

Speaking of Twitter, this, this, and this.

Yes, I still need to do a big mailbag post (looking at you, A.A.!).  But real quick I have to thank the always-perceptive minneyar42 for a thought-provoking reblog.  (Go look!)  And Pathfinder author Todd Stewart popped by to fill us in a bit:

So as it turns out, I wrote that part of Heart of the Jungle, and originally they started out as sasasbonsam (from West African myth). During the book's editing/development the name got changed to sabosan.

Ah…the name change explains why I couldn’t find anything about them while Googling.  *Shakes fist*  You win this round, Paizo.

While we’re at it, Todd, The Great Beyond doesn’t really cover salamanders.  Thoughts?  I presume they want to stay as far away from the stifling strictures of efreet and mephit society as they can…

1 comment:

  1. They'd have their own kingdoms, and they'd probably be wary in dealing with some of their neighbors to avoid being largely a slave race like the azers. I'd probably split them into a number of nations, each with a slightly different viewpoint on relations with those from outside of Elemental Fire (some as clients of the shaitan genies for instance), others as slavers no better than the efreeti, while still others as isolationist racial and elemental purists.

    Honestly I ran out of space. There was a ton of stuff (like 10k words +) that didn't make it into that book because of space, some of which ended up being used in later books where appropriate. But yeah, the salamanders (and the azer to a lesser extent) would be fun to expand upon at some point (personally above all others I adore the fire mephits).