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Author Topic: Baniops (Frogs O' Doom)  (Read 15327 times)
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Valan Nonesuch
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« on: 24 June 2009, 08:07:12 »

Bestiary/Water Creatures/Amphibians

Overview
The Baniop, also called the Bloodjumper Frog or False-Frog, is among the most feared and reviled members of its kind because of its ghoulish habit of consuming blood. Worse still is the alarming tendency of Baniops to swarm in groups of fifty or more in a feeding frenzy, enabling them to suck men or even larger beasts dry. Baniops are only known to live in the Falsejungles of Chuu, located in northern Nybelmar, where the local Meelaimada men, understandably, regard them as cursed.
                                                
Appearance
"Why? Why did they have teeth?"
Delirious Frog Victim, while being carried away by healers


To all outward appearances, the Baniop looks like an ordinary frog. Its colouring is something of a deviation from the norm, being bright blue with large red starting at from the tops of its eyes and running down the creature’s back. It is by no stretch of the imagination a large frog; two of them could rest comfortably on the palm of a man’s hand. The eyes of the Baniop are rather disconcerting, being green with a curious pattern of coloured lines. The eyes bulge out from the sockets, which themselves protrude from the top of the Baniop's head, and have a distinct shine to them, unlike the rest of the body which is simply slimy.
Its feet have sticky pads which enable the Baniop to hang from branches and sturdy leaves, while its powerful legs enable it to jump distances up to three fores in length and up to a fore in height from a standing start. The Baniop has, instead of the typical frog's elastic tongue, a set of rather sharp teeth, which it uses to feed. These have a tendency to fall out and are replaced by new teeth after a short while.

Special Abilities
The Baniop is known for its stomach capacity. It can actually eat itself to death, since its stomach is more flexible than the rest of the frog’s body. A wet popping noise is usually associated with the phenomena of a tree frog bursting, and is usually cause to stay away from the source of the sound, lest one unwittingly leads more frogs to a messy death. The Baniop also has an uncanny ability to sense living animals. Whereas some creatures (like ducks) might be confused by a cleverly constructed fake, a Baniop is not. Some postulate that they can actually hear a creature’s blood pumping. The Baniop also possess a remarkable ability to suck blood. Much like blood-sucking insects, a False-frog will drain a creature of its blood after biting. The frogs form a tight seal with their mouths, and then drain their prey of its blood much as one would suck an egg.

Territory
The Baniops are found exclusively in the Falsejungles of Chuu, where their amphibious nature is of great use during the occasional flood-rains that inundate the forest floor. The Falsejungles may be found near the northern coast of Nybelmar, southwest of the Ivyieth Mountains and north of Sarthera.
Due to the efforts of the Meelaimada to kill these frogs, they are not found with any particular proximity to settlements of any reputable size.
    
Habitat/Behavior
Baniops roam in loose groups of individuals, numbering two dozen at the very least and three score at the most, clinging to trees like over-painted mushrooms. Once they discover a target, the Baniops will descend like a living rain to bite the unwitting victim, using their feet to stick to the hide of the unfortunate prey.

Diet
The Baniop is not picky about what it eats, since it actually consumes the blood of its victims rather than their flesh; they do however tend to go after larger animals, including Meelaimada unlucky enough to run afoul of a hungry pod. Baniops do have an unusual taste for the Cadensis cats that are their main predators, and the sight of many dead frogs usually indicates a fight between some cats and several groups of Baniops. To feed, a Baniop will land on a creature, cling to it with its feet and bite. The Baniop then sucks the blood from the wound until it runs dry. Oddly enough, Baniops have never been reported to feed on shed blood, nor have they been seen to feed on deceased creatures, leading some scholars to suspect that "they like it hot".The late Citon Tyurs, a noted bestiary researcher, believes that Sarvonian tales of bats "drinking" blood may have started with exaggerated stories of Baniops or at the very least were exacerbated by such tales.It is presumed the Citon met his unfortunate end while studying the Baniops after sending his most recent batch of notes upon which much of this entry is formulated.

Mating
Female Baniops lay a multitude of eggs numbering between fifty and eighty, sometimes even up to a hundred on a large leaf. The males then fight over, to the point of using their teeth, the right to fertilize these eggs. Baniops can be very dangerous during this season, since anything that moves and has a heartbeat is considered a potential aggressor. Travellers are warned to be especially careful in the later parts of the month of Awakening Earth as frogs have been known to be more aggressive than usual.
  
Myth/Lore/Origin
The Meelaimada tell that the Baniops were not always as they were. They once were frogs that ate the juice of the fruit of a certain tree, believed by some scholars to have been the Keelo tree, that grew within the Falsejungles in abundance, and were known for the beautiful singing noise they made to attract mates. When the jungles began to rot and decay, so did the trees, which ceased to bear fruit. The frogs, now lacking food, began to die in great numbers, leaving corpses scattered across the floor of the jungles like flower petals after a storm. After a short while, they could no longer hear the frogs singing. The Meelaimada believed that all the frogs had died without the fruit.  When it was discovered that the frogs lived, the Meelaimada were perturbed at the change that ad been wrought in the creatures. The frogs now drank blood instead of juice, and are held as a sign by the Meelaimada of their curse and of the downfall of Chuu.

Researchers have had difficulty categorizing the Baniop, in part because of the difficulty in obtaining whole specimens. Its anatomy and feeding habits, among other details, leave the question of whether or not it is a true frog rather hotly debated by bestiary experts.

Usages
Meelaimada folk will often try to lure Baniops into pits, usually with a sick or wounded anima as bait, and then harvest the frogs for their stomachs, which are used as waterproof pouches. Several stomachs can be used to make a larger pouch, if sewn by overlapping them at the seams. These stomachs must be treated, most often with a mixture of the blood found in the stomach and lake oil, in order to keep them elastic.

The saliva of the Baniop is also harvested, because it acts as a blood thinner and is sought after by healers. Applying Baniop saliva to a wound will prevent it from thickening and beginning to scab, and is useful if there is debris caught in the wound. Care must be taken to use this sparingly however; if the wound is too large an inability to scab over may lead to disease or death from blood loss.

While non-Meelaimada have been known to use the Banops solely for these elements, a Meelaimad will purify the corpse, usually by suspending it from a tree in the wind and sun or by smoking it over a fire with various herbs. This practice is said to "purify" the creature, in order to render the remaining parts fit for use and presumably free of whatever curse the Meelamada.Researchers have noted that the smell of a Baniop being smoked is quite unpleasant, and should be avoided if at all possible.

Researchers
The (once again) presumed late Citon Tyrus, whose notes were invaluable in the creation of this entry, compendiumist and researcher of the "unmundane" is the last person known to have done any significant research on the subject of Banops. However, because of previous lack of communication on the part of Master Tyrus as well as the rather humorous and unprecedented event of Tyrus interrupting his own funeral service there has been some hesitation to actually pronounce him dead again.
« Last Edit: 10 October 2009, 20:08:28 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Bard Judith
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« Reply #1 on: 24 June 2009, 09:11:08 »

What's with all the evil frogs lately?  Couldn't this be a 'tree toad' instead?  However, I see potential here...




A couple of ideas for you...  WARNING - MAY BE CONSIDERED INAPPROPRIATE BY SOME SO READ WITH CARE!    :evil




Usages:  the stomach is extremely elastic (obviously) and tough: in fact, when the amphibian 'bursts', it is because the stomach has expanded with digestive gasses more rapidly than the rest of the body of the beast.  Ribs crack outwards through the flesh and skin, legs can become detached, and gobbets of various other organs fly about - but the distended 'bubble' of the stomach often remains intact, its contents slowly digesting into rot.

If the toad/frog/whatever can be captured(without harm to the researcher), its stomach can be removed, cleaned, and used as a very handy pouch.  It is thin, tough, and stretchable.  Also, it does not dry out quickly, as other animal-derived tissues such as parchment do.   As such, it can be used and reused to cover widemouthed jars to keep the contents fresh.   It will hold water for up to three months without leakage and cracking.   And inevitably, experiments have been made by various Nybelmarnian herbwives, madames, and chirogeons as to its ability to prevent conception in humans...



(chortles and ducks out of the room hastily)
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #2 on: 24 June 2009, 10:47:11 »

@ Ze Bard:  I thought that they might actually eat themselves to death, or murder each other in a feeding frenzy. I can see the usage working out though.

I believe it was mentioned that folks would ask why all our frogs were terrible murderous brutes. The reply was "Why not?"
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« Reply #3 on: 24 June 2009, 17:03:03 »

@Judy:  Well someone was talking about frogs eating orcs in the shoutbox for some reason I've forgotten, and then after a bit of discussion Seth declared that anyone who made any carnivorous frogs would gain her undying respect...of course with such a prize on offer how could anyone refuse!
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Deklitch Hardin
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« Reply #4 on: 24 June 2009, 18:09:01 »

That was me ... and as for the reason ... well I'm weird like that. grin

Actually, I was trying to have a bit of fun at the expense of our favourite orc, Tharoc.

* Hangs head in shame. *
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« Reply #5 on: 24 June 2009, 18:45:11 »

*gives him a cookie before running off quickly*
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seth ghibta
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« Reply #6 on: 24 June 2009, 19:53:58 »

ooh, i love it! lessee, names - you could have some fun with these.

bloodvein (stole it from a moth, but with the markings you've described, could work)
inops (in my very bad dictionary-latin, that's "help!")
thirsty treefrog
glutton frog
ghoulfrog
exploding frog

dunno if any of them are any good. buck
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« Reply #7 on: 24 June 2009, 22:32:47 »

Oh, come on.... Ghoultoad is so much scarier!    Make'm toads, please please pretty please!


(hint hint picture cough ahem)
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #8 on: 25 June 2009, 00:02:52 »

I like inops (it sounds a little bit like "it hops")

I think I will call them Baniops

@Ze Bard
Toads exist in a somewhat drier clime than I have in mind for the Baniops.

Find me a wasteland and I will make ghoultoads. They will glow. Creepily.
« Last Edit: 25 June 2009, 00:09:43 by Valan » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: 25 June 2009, 00:07:58 »

Wasteland------------------> Venlaken Enclave
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seth ghibta
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« Reply #10 on: 25 June 2009, 01:32:20 »

or alternatively - there are lots of toads which would fit your current stuff - tree toads (did Judith mention them earlier? currently too hyper to check  :D) look like slightly odd, largeish tree frogs - example: http://www.arkive.org/warty-asian-tree-toad/pedostibes-tuberculosus/
just a thought. Because I agree, ghoultoad sounds better. :)
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« Reply #11 on: 01 July 2009, 06:04:25 »

Ok.  Two things I noticed right of the bat before I even got down into the meat of this entry.

1)Overview needs to be longer then a single sentence.  It should touch on all the major highlights of the beast.

2)Territory should be longer then three words, even if it is just a single -complete- sentence
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Nsikigan Ho´Tonanese Yourth
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« Reply #12 on: 02 July 2009, 00:33:20 »

Yes, the entry is on the shortish side. I feel there's lots and lots of fun stuff here: I just want to read more of it!
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #13 on: 02 July 2009, 07:53:54 »

Should be fix-ed now
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« Reply #14 on: 02 July 2009, 12:54:30 »

I drew a picture just for you! Spent three hours on it in GIMP2.6. So I hope that you like it. My hand was cramping up near the end, so sorry if there's some sloppy bits :(

Anyway, enjoy:

the Baniop
clicky clicky

Click on it to see a bigger version of it. grin


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« Last Edit: 09 July 2009, 06:03:07 by Val O´Neil » Logged

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