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Animals and Monsters As Guards

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by ShadeZ, Aug 27, 2020.

  1. ShadeZ

    ShadeZ Inkling

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    What sort of animal based guards would you find to be the scariest and most intimidating? Assuming human or higher intelligence on all of them. Currently thinking of going with large magic weilding dog/wolf monsters as guards but I wanted to get alternative ideas.
     
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  2. Mia.P.Fisher

    Mia.P.Fisher Minstrel

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    bears. gooses. no kidding they have three sets of teeth and one one the tongue. super sharp and long.
     
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  3. ShadeZ

    ShadeZ Inkling

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    Especially if you count the at least human grade smart. Even more if its giant or predatory and so on. Imagine that a giant flesh eating goose that can outsmart a human.
     
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  4. Mia.P.Fisher

    Mia.P.Fisher Minstrel

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    that would be a nightmare
     
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  5. Carl Brothers

    Carl Brothers Scribe

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    What do you think about something reptilian. Most people have a natural aversion to reptiles. Just something about them. Actually, it's everything about them. Dragons are overdone tho...
     
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  6. Mia.P.Fisher

    Mia.P.Fisher Minstrel

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    lezards, crocodiles, snakes, komodore dragons, salamandres... they are dangerous (at least some of them) yes but what is aversive about them? their scales are so beautiful
     
  7. Carl Brothers

    Carl Brothers Scribe

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    just imagine those scales moving across your skin. Or the komodo dragon's tongue flicking your skin. Crocs just lie there and stare at you. What are they thinking? Too late! They are ripping you apart and just swallowing chunks of you. Not even bothering to savor the meal.
    I acknowledge i may have gone overboard here.
     
  8. ShadeZ

    ShadeZ Inkling

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    Could easily do a basilisk type monster giant intelligent snake with horns and ear fins poison bite possibly.
     
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  9. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

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    Swans. I saw much mention of gooses, but not their more foul fowl cousins. For more mundane sorts of terror. Graceful, beautiful, utterly terrifying birdies. No wonder elves like them. As per Basilisks, they also have that power of stoning people. As long as someone hasn't figured out the mirror trick or they can be outstared and killed by something more powerful then them.

    As for dragons, they may be a bit overdone, but there's so many types that there can be a guard variety. But anything with human intelligence doing guard work is, eventually, going to get bored and get into routine and habit. And take shortcuts and such. Are susceptible to bribes or looking the other way.
     
  10. Dutchcourage

    Dutchcourage Acolyte

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    Spiders and/or insects with human intelligence could definitely be nightmare fuel. On the other hand, that's been done a million times already... Maybe a caterpillar would work? Or is that getting too much into "Purple Worm" territory?
     
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  11. ShadeZ

    ShadeZ Inkling

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    Not inherently. Being human grade smart doesn't mean you ACT human. A wolf for example might be a very smart guard but might be hyper loyal in a way humans aren't. On the other hand it may be more prone to distractions like a giant rabbit.
     
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  12. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    It would depend on the type of guarding. One sort would be a camp guard, a military position out in the field. Another is the monarch's bodyguard, which might only assemble in times of war but otoh might be a permanent garrison along the lines of the Roman praetorian guard. Palace guards are another sort. Then there are guards at city gates, night watchmen types. I can picture a wizard in a tower wanting a guard.

    Very broadly, one sort of guard is there to protect a person from physical harm. Another sort of guard is more of a gate keeper, regulating access. A third type isn't really expected to fight but simply to sound a warning. A fourth type watches over objects, like in a warehouse.

    Each type of guard might employ a different sort of animal.
     
  13. Leonardo Pisano

    Leonardo Pisano Scribe

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    Varanus komodoensis
     
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  14. Night Gardener

    Night Gardener Inkling

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    Arachnids large and small, because those are my favorite.

    Reptiles and Snakes, because when you research the biomechanic strength of reptiles it's mind-numbing to contemplate the power and damage they can inflict.

    In the "they'd see you, and you'd never hear or see them coming" category... how about Very large and powerful Cats that hunt in packs, or giant Eagles or Owls. Anything that has recurved claws and is an ambush predator lends itself well to watching and waiting.

    How about very large Bears?

    Or, take the creepy factor in another direction...
    How about somewhat smaller creatures that have a hivemind or swarm intelligence, like...
    giant Hornets?
     
  15. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Inkling

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    A sentient hippopotamus. It can defend both on land and in water (imagine a few in your moat). It's big and hard to hurt and its chomp is pretty deadly. It's suspicious of anything that enters its territory. It's easy to care for—a bit of water to cool off in, plenty of veggies. Okay, it might not work if your keep is in the Arctic or something, but still. And they can look pretty darn scary.
     
  16. ChasingSuns

    ChasingSuns Sage

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    What if you combined a couple? Say take a large spider and throw some wings on it (bat wings perhaps?), and maybe throw a stinger on for good measure. Not sure if that is specifically the one to build with, but you probably see what I mean. If we are sticking to one single type of animal, Then my brain goes to bats, snakes, scorpions, vultures, and centipedes.

    Or cockroaches... those evil little critters can survive basically anything and eat basically everything. Giant intelligent cockroaches is probably the LAST thing anyone wants to mess with.
     
  17. Dutchcourage

    Dutchcourage Acolyte

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    The idea of flying spiders with stingers made me think of my first encounter with Cazadors in New Vegas... Now that was terrifying!
     
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  18. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    FLYING SPIDERS???



    But seriously, this reminds me of a scene in one of the Lethal Weapon movies (3, I think) where Riggs runs into a massive male guard Rottweiler. Within five minutes he's got the dog from slobbering and barking ferociously to rolling on his back for treats. So, a lot depends on how you treat your guards, animal or otherwise. "But 'cus I told him to," rarely works like you think it will and your mileage may vary.
     
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  19. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    As with some others, my first thought was a reptile. There's so many adaptations in the reptile kingdom that you can choose from with a creature, like having two more camouflaged nearby and a fourth ready to spit venom from the roof. There's a lot of room for terrifying surprises.

    Big cats, jackals, or wolverines would be good for covering a lot of ground, defending borders instead of doors. Being able to locate and ambush a target before it gets to you is ideal.

    But honestly, I'd personally just go with a gorilla. If you've ever seen them in real life you'd understand. They have massive strength and they completely own their territory. If you have a spot that needs constant guarding, putting a group of smart gorillas there will get the job done. It may be harder for some writers to capture the terror of a gorilla because so much of it is attitude, but if you can they are definitely terrifying.
     
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  20. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    There's one more that's a true beast... You'd need a red shirt to set up a demonstration though. Weasels are known to go through an animal's eye socket to eat its brains. There's a surprise factor because you think of weasels less as being scary and more as kind of a sleazy joke. But their spry fast bodies, plus choice of attack, creates a terrifying shock value.
     
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