The Royal Report On Dealing With Dragons

…it’s only one word: DON’T!

 

The Doclopedia #1,180

The Truth About Monsters: Ents

The physical description of Ents that Professor Tolkien gave us in The Lord of the Rings is spot on. These “tree shepherds” are roughly humanoid looking trees themselves. Any sort of tree can be represented, with the deciduous species being the most common.

What the good professor got wrong was how talkative Ents are. They are not the slow and excruciatingly deliberate speakers they were portrayed as. Indeed, most Ents will talk your leg off given half a chance. Depending upon how great a hurry you are in, this can be either good or bad.

Among themselves, Ents speak by rustling their leaves and creaking their branches. With other species, they speak the Common tongue. Ents are also great gossips and a treasure trove of useful information, which is why most other sentients seek them out. The secret to getting the good info is patience. Ents are easily set off on tangents and can take a good long while to get back to the main topic.

Ents are also big on songs and poems, many of which relate events centuries past. You can learn a lot from these, if you have a few hours to spare. It was in fact the Entish story of Old Roughbark and the Great Flood that helped the Adventurers Five find the lost tomb of the Golden Emperor. Of course, the telling of the tale did take nearly 9 hours.

Ents are almost always found in groups of 10-30 in the deepest parts of old growth forests. They are found in every climatic zone that such forests exist. Young Ents, those under a century old, often wander into less dense forests or even lightly wooded areas.

Chapter 146: In Which Our Hero Saves A Fair Maiden From The French, Then Tosses The Evil Cardinal Off A Cliff

…sadly, God was not on the cardinal’s side

 

The Doclopedia #1,179

The Truth About Monsters: Owlbears

Few monsters are as strange looking and as misunderstood as the Owlbear. It’s half a ton of grizzly bear with the head of an enormous owl, walks upright and, when it can find a mate, reproduces by laying eggs.

The first half dozen Owlbears, three of each sex, were created by the well known and totally insane wizard Igor Vanaskofsky. Old Igor was infamous for his creation of strange and dangerous creatures such as Butterfly Cobras, Tigoose (tiger/moose), Octoapes and Owlbears. Fortunately for the world, Igor was killed and eaten by his final creation, a cross between a shrew and an crocodile.

Owlbears can be very dangerous during mating season or when raising young, but most of the time, they are solitary creatures that prefer a very large home territory. They eat almost anything they can catch and sleep in caves or lairs they dig themselves.

What most people don’t know about Owlbears is that they are quite a bit more intelligent than either bears or owls. Studies of them reveal that they are just shy of being sentient, which is beginning to come into conflict with their solitary nature. They want to interact with other Owlbears and certain other species, but their instinct keeps them from it most of the time.

A few Owlbears have started staying together as couples for at least long enough to raise young. A very few have formed bonded pairs. Not surprisingly, these bonded pairs have a much higher survival rate than loners do. It is also more likely that their offspring will form bonded pairs when they mate.

Finally, a few Owlbears have been observed using tools. Now, by tools, we mean things like a stick to knock a prey animal out of a tree or a rock to drop on an unsuspecting future meal, but that is still definite tool use.

In conclusion, it is obvious that Owlbears are no longer the dumb creatures we once thought they were and are in fact rapidly heading toward becoming yet another sentient species.

Three Young Ladies In Search Of Adventure

…or cheap drinks

 

The Doclopedia #1,178
The Truth About Monsters: Hydras

Let’s face it, anything with more or less than one head is scary. Something big and reptilian with SEVEN heads is pretty much guaranteed to terrify you, possibly into soiling yourself.

Enter the creatures known as Hydras. They got the name from that old Greek legend, which managed to bleed over into realities that don’t even have a Greece. People saw a multiheaded dragonish looking thing and it was like, “Holy Shit! A hydra!”.

The big problem is that hydra are not generally aggressive and the vast majority are plant eaters. They really only get aggressive during mating season and during the raising of their young. Or if you decide to attack them, which happens every so often.

In their normal state, hydra have only two heads, both on long flexible necks. This allows then to eat twice as fast or look out for predators while one head eats. Yes, these 8 ton creatures do have predators. You do NOT want to meet one of them.

Anyway, the near instant re-growing of heads & necks is a hell of a survival adaptation. Most hydras can go as high as 7-8 heads, but the Greater Forest Hydra can go up to 12 heads. The GFH also has a poisonous bite, so you’ve been warned.

So, some dumbass adventurers see a hydra, attack it and maybe manage to cut off a head. Two more pop up and pretty soon it’s a meeting of the Dead Adventurers Club.

Afterward, once the hydra is out of danger, all but two of the heads and necks drop off and it goes back to eating plants.