Saturday, 13 January 2018

Manticore is a tool user

Apparently raptors in Australia actively guide wildfires to flush out prey. Two take away messages from this news item: one, wildlife can be canny. Two, this discovery is based on -finally- taking Firehawk stories of Aboriginal peoples seriously. As one news article puts it online: they probably already knew this for 40.000 years. (Yes, Australia has been inhabited for that long.)

Back to the firehawks. Groups of kites and falcons have been observed (although not on camera - more research needed) to carry flaming branches in their beaks, light fires, and feast on escaping insects and other animals. Does it count as tool use? Or just clever use of the environment? In any case, let's look at some of the tricks that D&D monsters have up their sleeves.

Rust monster - prunes mushrooms into circles to attract faeries. Faeries are allergic to cold iron. Questing knights will bring said substance, i.e., teh nom. Faeries safe, rust monster sated, knight set back 1500gp for full plate armor but he can increase taxes.

Basilisk - hunt rust monsters for metal-dissolving antennae. Uses to peel petrified knights out of inedible metal armors.

Manticore - hates and loves to hate. Functionally immortal, so -like oozes- takes a long term view. Protects trade caravans, shipping expeditions, clears obstacles for long distance travel. Arranges for assassins to take out war hungry nobles, increases standards of living, supports the arts. All so more people have more opportunity to come into contact with fresh new ideas and take up NEW FUCKING HIPSTER HOBBIES FOR IT TO HATE

Stirge -  nests have been seen planting seeds and redirecting streams to increase plant growth and get a nice, humid area where people like to take some clothes off.

Ooze - slowly etch dungeons into the rock, herd in monsters, treasure. Once murderhobo-occupant relation takes hold, feast on victims and thus create more hygienic environment for occupant numbers to rebound. Mimics - a type of ooze - may infiltrate nearby towns and inspire the locals to set up a Murderhobo economy.

Bulette - play with stone and mud to arrange difficult terrain for topside prey. Blow rock vortices at surface folk. Create dry sand traps.

Dragon turtle - grinds up corals, bleaches in stomach and uses resulting sand to create immaculate white beaches for egg laying. Paradisical environs attract sun worshiping hedonists as baby's first NOM for when it exits its shell. Takes care to break up reefs near the coast so escapees face slow going back to their ships.

Kraken - bonsai gardens sargassos, fuels ocean currents, stirs whirlpools, binds elementals to create underwater volcanos - anything for another hilarious shipwreck.

Gnome - has craftily infiltrated society by learning to mimic its sounds - such as speech. Serves as a display to attract mates and allows parasitic occupancy of cities.

Lyrebird (Australia again)

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