Inktober Monstrosities: M for Moon Dog

In real life, a moon dog is a rare bright spot on the halo of the moon, caused by the refraction of moonlight by ice crystals in clouds.

In D&D they are strange, benevolent dog, with dark shaggy fur, opposable thumbs on their forepaws, and the ability to travel on either two or four. Kind and intelligent, these dogs are truly any good man's best friend.

They first appeared in the Monster Manual II for first edition AD&D, then later in various releases for later editions.



Inktober Monstrosities: L for Locathah

The Locathah is a real classic of D&D beast. It first appeared in the original D&D supplement Blackmoor all the way back in 1975, then later in the first edition Monster Manual, the Monstrous compendium (volum 2) and Monstrous Manual for second edition and the Monster Manual for third edition, and then, despite its prominent placement in the first three versions, all but disappeared.

Described as a race of  aquatic humanoids, that live in nomadic, civilized societies, roaming shallow warm waters, hunting and gathering food.

Quite why they suddenly went into obscurity is unclear, but it is probable they were just competing for an already over crowed niche of aquatic fish-like humanoids, competing with other, more "exciting" races, such as the sahuagina and the kuo toa.

Still, the Locathah is the creature that most closely resembles the iconic Gill Man, best known as the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and given a new renaissance in Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water.




Inktober Monstrosities: K for Kappa

The Kappa is a strange being from Japanese folklore. A type of spirit, demon, or imp they inhabit lakes and rivers. They are about the size of a child, roughly human in appearance, with scaly  greenish skin, webbed and clawed hands and feet and a turtle shell on its back. They are said to be fond of cucumbers and sumo wrestling, as well as looking up women's kimonos.

The most peculiar trait of the Kappa is the indentation at the top of their skull. This is filled with water from the body of water where the Kappa resides, and should it ever be emptied or dried out, the kappa will loose its power, and might even die.

The kappa first appeared in the Oriental Adventures book, and then later in the Kara-Tur Monstrous Compendium for second edition, and the newer Oriental Adventures for 3rd edition.



Inktober Monstrosities: J for Jermaline

These diminutive tricksters first appeared in the original Fiend Folio, and have made frequent reappearances throughout the history of the game since (including the Monstrous Compendium 2, the Monstrous Manual, both for second edition, as well as the Monster Manual II for edition 3.5), despite their innate ability for subterfuge.



Inktober Monstrosities: I for Ibrandlin


You'll be forgiven if you've never heard about the Ibrandlin, but as it turned out, finding a good monster for the letter i turned out to be quite a challenge (especially once it turned out that my original choice, the ixitxachiitl, actually had been covered in the Rage of Demons adventure).

The ibrandlin originally appeared in the first Ruins of the Undermountain boxed set in 1991, and then again for 3rd edition in the Monsters of Faerun book. In appearance they are said to look like fire lizards with long, thick tails, or wingless red dragons. Apparently they are bred as temple guardians by the priests of Ibrandul, a Forgotten Realms god of caverns, dragons and the underdark.

Seemingly tied to the infamous Undermountain, Wizards of the Coast might of course revive these beasts in their upcoming Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage, set just there. If so, remember, you saw it here first....



Inktober Monstrosities: H for Hippocamp

The Hippocamp, or Hippocampus (not to be confused with the latin name for the common sea horse, or the part of the brain integral in navigation and memory) is a classic, both in real world mythology and in the world of D&D.

Half horse with webbed hooves, half fish, the hippocamp is obviously the result of someone taking the description of a common sea horse a tad too litteraly. They are part of both Etruscan, Phoenician and Greek mythology, among other things described as the horses of Poseidon, god of the sea. They are a common motif on fountains and heraldic designs throughout the world.

In D&D they are usually called Hippocampus, and they first appeared in the original Monster Manual, and then later throughout 2nd and 3rd edition. 5th edition does have stats for a Giant Sea Horse, but no mention is made there to it having hooves, so that is clearly just an oversized version of the common sea horse.



Inktober Monstrosities: G for Greenvise

The Greenvise doesn't really have much history in D&D, only appearing in Monster Manual II for edition 3.5. Still, it's so reminiscent of the Piranha Plants from the Mario games, and Audrey II from the 1986 Frank Oz version of Little Shop of Horrors, that it still feels like an old familiar face.



Inktober Monstrosities: F for Flaming Skeleton

This one is a bit of a cheat, as there isn't really a Flaming Skeleton in any of the previous books, though I think there are enough versions of burning skeletons throughout, to warrant this creature's existence. Some examples of variant burning skeletons include a Giant Skeleton that could reach into its burning belly to bring forth a ball of flame it could hurl at its enemies, a creature called a Fireshadow from the world of Dragonlance, and the Blazing skeleton from 4th edition.