Monday, November 24, 2014

Dimetrodon & Iguanodon

With their distinctive sails, dimetrodons are the charismatic megafauna of their clade.  (Seriously, how many other Permian animals can you name?  Okay fine, edaphosaurus; you’re very smart.)  In terms of ecological niche, think of them as crocodiles with their own HVAC systems installed.  Meanwhile, iguanodons get points for being discovered pretty much before any other dinosaur (except Megalosaurus hipsterus) and for having sweet thumb spikes.

The world tree Yggdrasil holds far more than the nine worlds.  Demirealms cling like mistletoe to its many branches.  In a swampy domain time lost to time, swamp korreds dance among the peat bogs and everglades.  They also happen to disdain outsiders even more than their highland kin.  One such korred offers to lead adventurers through the swamp.  As soon as it is close to a rock large enough to stone stride through, it unleashes a stunning laugh, attracting a hunting pack of dimetrodons who have learned such sounds promise helpless prey.

The nation of Belgroth is an unusual land where humans, kobolds, and awakened iguanodons dressed in courtly finery live in harmony.  Depending on their intelligence, the iguanodons are valued as judges, guards, and draft animals in carnivore and lizardfolk territory—all professions where a placid demeanor is useful in the course of day-to-day events, but the suggestion of a thumb spike through the eye never hurts.  Would-be thieves—including adventurers with cavalier attitudes toward breaking and entering—should be warned that iguanodons are herd animals, and that instinct to protect with violence extends to objects and buildings under their care.

Nemroth Green’s dimetrodon companion Pink has saved his life on numerous occasions.  Unfortunately, as the synapsid has grown in size (advancing from Medium to Large) it has become more aggressive.  Flashing its fuchsia sail in a mating display, the dimetrodon attacks objects it mistakes for rivals, including kite sellers’ carts, horses in brightly colored jousting caparisons, and pretty much any gnome’s hair.

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 78

Belgroth is definitely my nod to James Gurney’s Dinotopia.  I should probably clarify I’ve never read the books.  I was a high school freshman when it came out, and I remember looking at the pictures in Waldenbooks and realizing my mind would have been beyond blown if only they’d been published 10 years earlier.

I’ve mentioned this before, but as a Belgian by accident of birth, I’m irrationally fond of the iguanodon for Belgium-related reasons.

I am indebted to today’s entry for introducing me to Dinosaurs! WTF?, a blog fighting the good fight for humanity.

I am also super-aware that I am super-behind on reader comments.  Over the long weekend, hopefully? 

As we count down toward Turkey Day, another equally beloved holiday took place this past weekend: Skanksgiving on The New Indie Canon!

With the help of WMUC alumn, former Rudie Patootie host, and ska aficionado Amanda Gaines, this Saturday we abandoned the usual indie rock, pop, and folk to serve up two hours of first, second, and third wave ska to all you hip turkeys.  Here’s the link (good through Friday, 11/28, at midnight)—this is definitely one you’re going to grab as an mp3. 

(Forgive the mic levels—I’m too loud; Amanda’s too soft—but there’s only so much we could know/do with the tech we had.)

You can find more Skamanda on Twitter at @argaines.  She’s also got a blog at that she is admits she hasn't updated recently, but which I secretly love because the last update features my too-soon-departed friend Josh.  Special thanks to Aaron Smith and Robert Marbury (whose just-released book on taxidermy art will make a gorgeous Christmas gift) for helping me dig up some phenomenal old-school tracks.

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