As a preview of what the 1879 GM’s Guide will provide, here’s one of the creatures from the Gruv Bestiary.
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Saurischia Deinonychosauria Dromaeosauridae Ornithodesmus Megaraptor carrolliensis
While not resembling John Tenniel’s famous illustration perhaps quite as much as the initial field reports would have had it, the jabberwock, M. carrolliensis, certainly has enough features in common, along with its size and predatory nature, to make the comparison inevitable. According to the report from the first encounter, one of the soldiers referred to it as a gryphon. The Color Sergeant took exception to this, pointing to his regimental badge. His words, as transcribed: “This’s a gryphon, ye glaikit dobber. Yon’s a bastit great jabberwock. Now up wi’ yer rifle afore it skelps yer erse.”
Based on study of the available partial specimens, as Lt. Faversham has been most adamant that we will not be seeking out a live specimen for field observation, I have to place M. carrolliensis in the proposed suborder of Theropoda that Mr. Marsh has defined. As my uncle was wont to say, even a blind hog can find an acorn. Ranging in size from 23 to 36 feet in length, snout to tail tip, and six to nine feet at the shoulder, M. carrolliensis is a larger and considerably more advanced form of theropod that either Mr. Marsh or Dr. Cope have thus far excavated.
I do not expect my classification to hold for very long. While M. carrolliensis’ physiognomy matches that of the theropoda up to a point, with a slender body, long neck, and much longer tail, a notable variation suggests the possibility of a new family, possibly even a new order. M. carrolliensis has six limbs: two large, muscular hind legs, two smaller, agile forelimbs equipped with the requisite sickle-shaped claws of the dromaeosaurs, and a pair of large, vaguely birdlike wings, connected to a second shoulder girdle placed above the first that supports the arms. While these are partly membranous, like the wings of a bat, the leading edges are feathered, with pinion feathers at the tips. This combination makes M. carrolliensis somewhat ungainly in the air, poor at close-order maneuvering, and more likely to use its aerial capabilities to stoop upon its prey in a single rushing glide from a stationary perch, or to gain a temporary height advantage in combat. Additional feathers may be found in the usual locations of the deinonychosaurs, those being the shoulders, base of the skull, and tail plume. M. carrolliensis has the customary dentition of the deinonychosaurs as well, with the emphasis on incisors one would expect in a carnivore.
I intend to propose the classification of Draculosauriae for the six-limbed saurians of the Gruv, when (or if) we find another such. Certainly, while they do not breathe fire, these creatures would fit the physiognomy ascribed to the dragons of legend.
DEX: 10 STR: 12 TOU: 13
PER: 5 WIL: 8 CHA: 8
Initiative: 10 Physical Defense: 14
Actions: 1 Mystic Defense: 7
Attack (2): 16 Social Defense: 11
Damage: Physical Armor: 9
Bite (5): 17; 2x Claw (4): 16 Mystic Armor: 6
Death: 83 Recovery Tests: 6
Unconsciousness: 70 Knockdown: 21
Wound Threshold: 20 Movement: 11/12 *
Adventure Award: Journeyman Tier
* The second number is the jabberwock’s Flying movement.
Powers: Charge (5); Down StrikeS (4): 16; Enhanced Senses (Listen, Sight) (4): 9; Heat Sight; Low-light Vision; Shake It OffS (3): 16
The jabberwock must make a Dexterity (8) Test to change direction when airborne, as it’s much more of a straight-line glider than an actual flying creature.