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October 1, 2008

monster month - the nile keratos

by sven at 10:50 pm

The Nile keratos is a dog-sized amphibian native to Egypt.

"Keratos" derives from the Greek for "horned face." Three large cartilaginous horns protrude from its face area. Two additional horns extend forward from its front legs. The legs themselves end in dagger-like points, rather than feet.

The keratos lives in underground passages. It has no eyes or other visual sense organs. Like a bat, it navigates using ultrasonic echolocation. The creature emits quick chirps at a pitch too high for human hearing. While audibly silent, a keen observer may still notice membranes at the top of the head vibrating as it calls out.

According to certain occult texts, the species was discovered by ancient Egyptians at about the same time the Giza pyramid complex was being built. The keratos were discovered by a construction team of slaves in flooded underground tunnels -- only one of whom survived to tell the tale.

It is said that a "powerful magician" led an expedition that managed to capture several keratos and then destroy the rest of the colony. However, keeping the "demons" was not part of magician's directive. His insistence on preserving several specimens led to a heated conflict with the Pharaoh -- and a hurried, clandestine escape from Egypt.

Reports appear 200 years later regarding a keratos breeding program to the east, in Sinai... Apparently still being overseen by the magician's heirs.

In recent decades rumors have circulated about a mysterious breeder who maintains keratos descended from the original stock. However, no definitive evidence of the species' survival has yet come to light.

Note: There is a competing theory of the Nile keratos' origins, which suggests that the animal did not evolve on Earth. Instead, it was supposedly brought here by the same alien civilization that used spaceships to help erect the pyramids.

I reject this idea. It's true that illegal trafficking in alien life between worlds has been ongoing for centuries -- but the pyramids were most certainly built by human hands.

posted by sven | October 1, 2008 10:50 PM | categories: bestiary