The following are Lucy’s collected thoughts on a pop-academic text, excerpted from her copious critical journals and notebooks. Some broad personal attacks on the author have been omitted for clarity…
I didn’t expect much from the latest in Iago Munchhausen’s “Zoological Investigations” series, and boy was I not let down at all. Iago has a bad habit of making sweeping statements and generalizations that cannot – literally cannot – be true.
He divided “Scaly Peoples” into two broad categories: dragonfolk and lizardfolk. I found this taxonomy lacking. Yes, there’s certainly a similar family tree between gatorfolk, caimanfolk, and subterranean troglodytes. But even in Iago’s own text, I found evidence for a further distinction between amphibious lizardfolk and land-bound lizardfolk. I will note a few highlights on certain species, with the caveat that I don’t think Iago Munchausen should be the final word on any zoological research.
Kobolds – Iago classed them as a subspecies of “dragonfolk,” largely because of kobold mythology tying them back to the long-forgotten Time of the Dragons. Tend to operate in familial clans; prefer subterranean living generally. Iago wrote that they are a “hostile” and “uncivilized” race; in my experience, I have met a few kobold merchants living happy, peaceful lives in Lone Tower. Bunkum, Iago!
Gatorfolk – a subspecies of lizardfolk (amphibious). Related, of course, to alligators. Long snouts, broad shoulders, not a species to be messed with. Their hide, according to Iago, can be fashioned into thick plates of armor. He claims to have met a band of adventurers from Sohorrisk called “The Gator Bustin’ Boys” who dress exclusively in gatorfolkskin armor. It sounds cool. (Related to gatorfolk, of course, are the caimanfolk, thin-snooted variants found in the marshland around Kaendell).
Troglodytes – Rarely seen. Closer to gatorfolk than kobolds. Short snouts, stooped backs, able to run on all fours. Whereas kobolds have civilization and even gatorfolk have “tribes,” troggies seem to be one of the most animalistic of the sentient scaled races. I saw the body of a troggie once; it had tunneled under someone’s house, and the guards had to come and exterminate it. Tough-looking thing. Iago insists that they may have developed sweeping underground societies, but his citation here is noted insane person Ulrich Vommannikin, whose latest tract “We All Must Worship Iar-Lathotep, Demon Goat of Morestown” does not inspire academic confidence.
Dragons – a note here on dragons. They go largely unmentioned by Iago, except as ancestors for kobolds. But he does claim to have seen a living dragon – a green one, in the skies over Clearspring, winging east. Now, I’ve never seen a living dragon. I have seen parts of dead ones. For one thing, Koldak Bloodnutt wielded a dragonbone mace a few seasons ago in the gladitorial games (Nutmeg and I got tickets as compensation for a job). But more than that, I have had…dealings…with specialty vendors who carry powdered dragontooth, dragonscale, even dragonblood. I’m sure there aren’t many dragons out there, but it wouldn’t surprise me to know that they exist on the edge of civilization. I just hope they aren’t planning anything. That would probably suck for us.