The Science of Dragons (and Other Assorted Beasties)

Is “hard fantasy” a thing? Because I love it when there is at least the attempt to ground fantastic beasts, magic, and so forth in known science.

Maddie Stone has enlisted the help of some biology experts to uncover the science behind some of the creatures found in Game of Thrones. She looks at dragons, direwolves, manticores, lizard lions, krakens, and white walkers.

A while back I noted some prehistoric beasts that would make excellent stand-ins for some of the more notable monsters of mythology. One of those, the naked bear (aka the stiff-legged bear) even made its way onto the cover of The Devil’s Due.

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I Had Always Assumed Adult Beverages Were Involved

Apparently, some of those weird monsters from Dungeons & Dragons were made in China–literally! According to Tim Kask, a D&D play tester,

There once was an unknown company in Hong Kong that made a bag of weird animal-things that were then sold in what once were called dime stores or variety stores for like $.99. I know of four other very early monsters based on them.

Gary and I talked about how hard it was to find monster figures, and how one day he came upon this bag of weird beasts… He nearly ran home, eager as a kid to get home and open his baseball cards. Then he proceeded to invent the carrion crawler, umber hulk, rust monster and purple worm, all based on those silly plastic figures.

The one that I chose was known in the Greyhawk campaign as “the bullet” (for it’s shape) but had only amorphous stats and abilities, not being developed. Gary told me to take it home, study it, and decide what it was and what it could do.

I Never Knew There Was an International Cryptozoology Museum

…in Portland, Maine or anywhere else! But Christa Thompson, the Fairytale Traveler, has the scoop.

The only one of its kind, the museum showcases a bizarre, extraordinary and diligent collection of mythical and unusual creatures from around the world. In other words, if you’re looking for the Jersey Devil or Bigfoot, this is your best bet at finding them.