Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Archelon & Baluchitherium

Giants from another age—and I do mean giants; these things were huge—the archelon and baluchitherium recall an older, wilder era.  But older does not mean forgotten.  As the Bestiary 3 notes, these megafauna are prized as guardians or mounts in their respective environments.

Archelons are turning up dead and drugs are pouring into Mersea.  The culprit is a bizarre aquatic smuggling ring.  Vodyanois surround packages of contraband in water orbs shaped to look like jellyfish, which are then fed to archelons on the sly.  When the giant turtles make the trip to Mersea, they are intercepted by ceratioidi thugs, who gut them and reclaim the goods.  To the ceratioidi, the profits from the contraband more than make up for the cost in slain archelons.  In truth, the fact that slaying these beasts undermines their locathah rivals is an added bonus.

Ettins aren't the only ones who value baluchitheriums.  Whole tribes of gripplis live out their lives on the backs of these herding megafauna.  Their mobile homes keep them safe from army ants, kamadans, and mobats.  The gripplis only abandon their baluchitheriums during mating season (for obvious reasons), meeting other tribes to trade, arrange marriages, and conduct religious ceremonies.

“The Old World is not a myth,” says Professor Jeffersil Frobisher.  “I believe the story that humans migrated from there is true—not as part of some mythical, metaphorical origin story but as historical fact.”  He pauses to sip his water.  “What’s more, I believe the Old World still exists…and it is a land of giants.”  He brandishes a baluchitherium skull for emphasis.  “I intend to prove it.  I intend to go there.”  These are the last words he speaks before obsidian-tipped arrow shafts loosed from unseen bows pierce his heart.

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 192

Daily Planescape has a nice take on these beasts as well.

Speaking of megafauna, back when I was a college concert promoter I had to cut Star Ghost Dog’s stage time—not just once, but twice.  One time was beyond my control; the other was poor judgment.  This link to their album The Great Indoors, featuring the track “Megafauna,” is a sad attempt at a public apology to them.  Sorry, guys.

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