Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Aquatic And Marine Hazards In Xeno-Meso

Marines stand ready for a boarding action!*

Yet another picture from the "Saving Serqu's Sisters" Braunstein naval miniatures event last Saturday at Fantasy Flight Games Event Center!  All of that naval action and the various (carnivorous) flora and fauna have gotten me thinking about wildlife in the Xeno-Meso setting, and what aquatic and marine horrors may exist in that world.

In the lake surrounding Xochiquetzatlan, there are a number of giant turtles that look like this:

Black Hills Institute

For the most part the turtles busy themselves feeding on fish. Large fish. In fact, many of the fish in the lake are armored. But wise persons swim with care, and watch their children in the lake.

Any fisherman worth his salt knows the proper baits to attract a number of these large creatures. A few brave (or foolhardy) youth have become popular because they have taken up the sport of shell-hopping. Once baited, the turtles congregate, and youth compete to see who can go the farthest leaping from shell-to-shell.  An accidental slip and fall can easily lead to losing a limb or worse to a hungry turtle.

Many hazards to marine navigation exist in the form of sea creatures that look like this:

Plesiosaur, Museum of Geology,
University of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
As well as this:

Mosasaur, Museum of Geology, USD-SMT

But things get really bad in the lake surrounding Xochiquetzatlan when you see something like this:

Prehistoric Crocodile, Black Hills Institute

Thanks to Carlos the human and to the Anubian Ambassador who posed to give us a proper size contrast. 

Fortunately, these large crocodillians are quite rare, although the smaller varieties are quite abundant. The presence of large crocodillians is usually the result of sorcerous activity, including improperly dispelled gate castings. Priests and priestesses of Lord Tlaloc and Lady Chalchiuhtlicue have the power to summon these beasts from the watery otherworld of Tlalocan.

Pity the peasant who has the misfortune to have one of these monsters escape their masters and clamber up onto their chinampa.

*All photos copyright 2013 by John Everett Till

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