oh my god that scene in Stormhaven where Griffin’s parents ask Whyborne and Christine what church they attend and they have to quickly make up sth plausible except they are actually atheists who don’t do churches so they come up with
Christine said. “Parson, um…?”
“High Priest Thornhill,” I whispered out of the corner of my mouth.
“Yes. His sermons are quite invigorating.”
“The tiaras are most impressive,” I added.
Everyone else stared at us as if we’d grown extra heads. Didn’t most preachers wear tiaras? Since my greatest religious feeling had come as a small child building altars to Pan and Bacchus, I didn’t really know for certain.
“Yes,” Christine said, stabbing the soup with her spoon. “The tiaras are excellent.”
Logged on to my work email to check some things (and because if I leave it for FIVE DAYS it’s going to be a god damn disaster), and saw a group chat with a few of my coworkers had some new messages, so I checked them.
One of them said, “Okay, raise your hand if you had a legit moment of OH MY GOD WHERE IS SAM?! when you walked in.”
What do you think Nidoking and Nidoqueen are based of?
Their lines seem to be inspired by bits of all sorts of animals - we git some unmistakably mammalian influences, for example from rhinos, rodents/rabbits etc. but also something archaic and reptilian - hey don’t have cheeks for example. I think that they form a unique little clade within pokémon, a distinct body plan (that includes having also similar quadruped pre-evos) that allies them with the rhydon line. Indeed the Nido royalties, Rhydon, and Rhyperior all are known as The Drill Pokémon. Also, Khangaskan shares many features of this group too.
The body plan of a large, eared, bipedal, tailed, spiny, reptiley-mammal has an unmistakably gen 1 feel about it, it is so recognisable, for example it stars as the iconic gym statues, and as one of the major roster sprites in gen1/2. Rhydon like mons everywhere man.
Of course, rhydon was one of the first Pokémon designed, and you can see from this early concept art that the original rhydon was even more Nido like than now.
Ok I don’t know where I’m going with this, but before I had a tendency to shoehorn pokémon into definitive groups based on real life counterparts, however this often runs into difficulties where you have pokémon based on more than one unrelated real life animal, or when a real life counterpart simply doesn’t exist. Plus we have lots of game mechanic bullshit that can be just plain biological sacrilege - eggs, B̑́ͧ͐rͨͩ̇ͣ̏ͧE̷͗E͑͟d͗͆iͤͦͫ͒n͟Ǧ̃̃̄̌, evolutionary stages (though I see pokémon evolution in this sense as a form of facultative metamorphosis) etc.
I think now it’s better to assume that Pokémon is an incredibly different universe, but one that does share some fundamental biological and evolutionary laws and similarities. Thus for example instead of saying that Rattata is a rat definitively, it could be better to say that Rattata is an organism that shares many morphological and ecological characteristics with a rat, and thus, since we have very limited data to go upon (we can’t properly study it’s physiology, behaviour etc., sequence DNA etc., and like,the pokedex is written by a ten year old child lol), we can infer aspects of it’s biology from rats as well as it’s evolutionary relationships to other rodent like pokémon that share a similar suite of physiological and ecological characters, from what we know about such relationships in Rodentia, and from real world character evolution.
So what can we say about the Nidos? They are part of a distinguishable group of pokémon that all possess a distinct set of ecological, behavioural, and morphological characters, which have analogies to a variety of real life mammalian and reptilian real life counterparts, such as rhinos, glires (rodents and lagomorphs (hares, pikas, and rabbits), and mammal like reptiles. The variation within this group of pokemon is less than the differences between members ofthis group and other pokémon, and this unites this group as a clade. It would be a lot of work to actually work out what pokémon the drill pokémon + khangaskan are most closely related to, i.e. make a phylogenetic tree, but here is just a rough within group tree with a possible scenario of major character evolutionary events (indicated by black rectangles).
(also, the breeding rules between the Nidos, and whether the king and queen are different species or this is just sexual dimorphism is completely clouded by game mechanics of having gendered pokémon before established gender mechanics, so I’m not going to into that - however, I will say for a quick example, meerkats live in a matriarchal society and the alpha female usually has most of the breeding rights - however, because she has to defend the her position, as well as the group itself from danger, she often has very high testosterone levels which reduces her fertility - perhaps nidorina and nidoqueen are extreme examples of this, changing physically to take on a more protective role, letting nidoran sisters/aunts/mothers take on breeding roles)
okay, so in the very early stages of the original beauty and
the beast, gaston was an aristocrat. that eventually got scrapped, but oh what if it didn’t
so say gaston is the son of someone very high up in the
royalty chain, someone who’s parents are important enough that he spends an
awful lot of time at the castle? and our prince adam isn’t really down with
this whole ~being a prince~ thing, he’s a brat, like so many other kids are
brats (but these kids don’t get turned into beasts by random witches, like i’m
sorry but i’ll never not think that beast didn’t get the short end of the stick
there) and so he spends the least about of time possible parading about with a
crown on his head. he likes going outside, like riding his horses and playing
in the woods, and all sorts of other things that make his parents shake their
heads and despair at the inability to have another child, because their son is a small disaster.
and here comes gaston, who’s older and more long suffering.
gaston in naturally dramatic, okay, he likes being flashy and fun and loud, all
the things the son of a noble shouldn’t be. so by the point he meets adam he’s
listened to his parents, folded himself up nice and tight into this quiet boy
who just doesn’t want any trouble. adam loves
trouble. if he can’t find it, he invents it.
so he grabs onto gaston like glue, and gaston is irritated,
but he’s the prince, he can’t say
anything or his parents will kill him. so he lets adam keep dragging him out
horseback riding and hunting and rock climbing and all sorts of things little
noble boys aren’t supposed to do. they spare, and no matter that gaston is
bigger and older he never wins, adam always ends up pinning him to the ground
with his arm to his throat and he’d more irritated about it if the prince didn’t
look so delighted every time he won. adam loves all the animals that he’s not
interested in eating, and gaston tries to point out that it’s a little weird
how thrilled adam is to take down a deer when two minute later he’s trying to
entice a wolf to come closer so he can pet it, and also holy shit adam that’s a wolf what’s wrong with you
adam loves his staff, the people who do their best to reign
in this little terror but don’t try that hard, because the thing about bratty
kids is that they’re rarely brats all the time, as an adult you swing between
wanting to strangle them and finding them so adorable and charming your chest
hurts. so mrs. potts indulges him, likes the way he’s only ever really patient
while he’s playing with her son chip when he’s snuck into the kitchen to beg
her for some extra cookies. lumiere and cogsworth are his tutors and spend more
time arguing with each other than teaching him, and he’s delighted by that.
and so adam is this loud, exuberant little prince who slowly
but surely picks at gaston’s barrier until gaston almost feels like himself again,
and adam doesn’t do what his parents did. adam doesn’t make fun of him for how
much he cares about his hair, about how he hates dirt under his fingernails. as
long as gaston keeps following him into dangerous situations, adam doesn’t care
about much of anything, and gaston loves him for it.
and gaston’s on the cusp of teenagerhood when he realizes he loves adam, the prince, this is awful
and he immediately has a panic attack over it, he’s to be lord and adam is to
be king, it will never work, oh, and adam probably doesn’t like boys, and – oh my
god, all those schoolyard taunts about him being gay we’re right this is a nightmare.
he’d freak out about this properly and probably go charging
to the castle to confess his love in true embarrassing 12 year old fashion –
except his parents set him down, pale, and say, “they’re gone, they’re all
gone, the king and queen were found dead and the prince is gone and now a
monster lives in the castle.” and of course gaston takes this to the most
logical conclusion – a beast broke into the castle, killed the love of his
young life, and now he’s claimed the castle for his own.
this is gaston’s defining moment okay, this is the point
where he snaps and never goes back.
he rebels against his parents, refuses to fit himself back into the mold of the
perfect son, tries to live his life like adam would have wanted him to. that
means being exactly who he is and damn the consequences. he focuses on his hair
and his clothes and his looks, he pursues hunting because it reminds him of
adam, because so much of their friendship took place in the woods, covered in
mud and laughing. he pursues hunting because, one day, when he’s the very best
he’s going to go the castle and kill the beast that killed adam. and his
parents are furious about all of this and they disown him in favor of his young
siblings and he just. doesn’t give a shit.
so he moves to the town, and everyone loves him, of course
they love him. he’s loud and arrogant, but – he’s not cruel. he’s beautiful and brings in more pelts and meat than any
other hunter and gaston doesn’t miss the days of being a young lordling in the
slightest. but girls keep throwing themselves at him and he doesn’t know how to
keep refusing either outing himself or hurting their feelings, so he goes to
belle. belle, who is every inch as pretty he is. belle, who is smart and quiet
and kind in a reserved sort of way. if there’s anyone who won’t judge him, it’s
so he goes to her, and tells her the truth – that he only
likes men, that he’s not interested in advertising the fact, and asks her to
pretend to be his lady. and belle, kind sweet belle, agrees. she does it out of
sense of duty to help those in need, because nothing she knows of gaston says
she will enjoy this. but she’s proven wrong, because gaston was raised to be a lord of course he’s educated, just
because he doesn’t really care about any of that stuff doesn’t mean he doesn’t
know it. and belle can speak with him like she can no other, because gaston has
more formal education than anyone else in this village. and to their surprise,
gaston and belle become friends, become the closest of friends, and gaston hasn’t
known this closeness since adam, although it’s different because he loves belle
but he’s not in love with belle.
and one day belle and her father are out traveling and
sudden snowstorm forces them into the castle. belle knows there’s some sort of
monster that supposedly lives there, but it’s either the castle for refuge or
dying of cold outside, so into the castle they go. and instead of a hideous
monster there’s adam, the beast. he’s rude and gruff and calls them twelve
kinds of idiots for getting caught in a snowstorm in the first place. he offers
them a room before sulking back into his study, watching the last petal
threaten to the fall from the rose.
the castle is so excited to have guests, to have a young
girl that may be their saving grace, and beast doesn’t know how to tell them
that he likes girls well enough, but the only person he’s ever loved is a
prickly, stuffy little boy who used to wring his hands together whenever they
went looking for wolves. the storm doesn’t abate, and belle and her father
stay. beast likes belle, likes how much she loves his library and the courteous
way she speaks to all his staff even tho they’re all furniture, and he wishes
he could love her, she is a woman that deserves to be loved. but he can’t.
back in the village, gaston has had it. the beast took adam from him, and he wont allow that thing
to take belle. he rallies the villagers and goes marching to the castle,
determined to save belle and her father, determined to kill the thing that
so they storm the castle and he and the beast fight. belle
and her father rush forward to stop the rest of the angry village men, and
belle is screaming at gaston to stop, that things aren’t as they seem. but he’s
mad with bloodlust, with revenge, and he’s about to take the beast’s head off
with his axe when the beast lunges and pushes him to the ground, pinning him
with an arm to his throat. and the muscle memory is so sudden and visceral that
gaston freezes and stares at the snarling beast and whispers, “adam?”
and the beast blinks, and pulls back a little, and goes …… “gaston!?”
literally everyone is so confused, but they only get more
confused when gaston throws himself at the beast and there’s a rush of magic as
the last petal falls and the spell is broken. gaston sees beast for who he
really is, loves him wholly and completely in the way only children can, and
the curse is broken.
so gaston goes from having the beast in his arms to having a
man, and he kisses him, outing himself in front of the whole village and not
caring in the slightest. “i’ve missed you,” adam says, reaching out a hand to
cup gaston’s cheek.
his staff are people again, and the cloud of darkness that
had fallen over the castle is lifted. the old and irritable third cousin twice
removed who’d been running the country is more than happy to hand it back over
to adam, so happy in fact that he doesn’t question anything about this
incredibly weird situation.
gaston and adam were children with a children’s love, but as
adam gets his castle and kingdom up and running again, gaston is there. and
their love deepens, and strengthens, and becomes something much more real and
true than it ever was before. and gaston knows he can’t keep this, that adam
will need to take a queen and gaston won’t be able to be with him after that.
except no one told adam that, because he goes to belle who
just, never left the castle because she likes it and it likes her and her two
favorite people are here. and also they’ll pry her from that library over her
dead body. “hey,” adam says, “so, i’m kind of the king now.”
“i noticed,” belle answers, and doesn’t look up from her
adam considers closing it, but also considers that he likes
his hands attached to his wrists. “want to get married? we’ll need to produce
an heir or two, but beyond that you’ll get all the books you want and a whole
country to boss around.” one of the things adam had quickly learned was that
belle loved bossing people around.
belle doesn’t look up from her book. he hadn’t honestly
expected her too. “okay. I’m dating plumette. im going to keep doing that.”
“nice,” he says, because plumette is a lot prettier now that
she isn’t a feather duster.
so adam find gaston and tells him that he’s marrying belle,
and gaston’s whole heart breaks but it makes sense, adam and belle make sense
together, and he wishes he could make himself hate either of them but he can’t
because he loves them both. but then adam is talking about how belle will have
the rooms next to theirs, and gaston should probably stop paying rent for his
house in the village, he lives in a literal palace, come on now.
and gaston figures out that adam is planning to stay with him, that belle is his wife and queen in name only and and gaston will
continue to be the one in his heart and in his bed. adam is talking about how
they all really need to sit down and do something about the redistribution of
tax revenue, and they should probably do it before the wedding because
otherwise their subjects will only show up to throw fruit at them. gaston cuts
him off by pressing his king and love of his life against the wall and kissing
cogsworth and lumiere walk by and pause mid-argument to wolf
whistle at them before continuing on their way. gaston and adam end up having
to hold each other up as they laugh so hard they can’t breath.
what about the stairs in the forests!!! and what doc were you watching and would you recommend?
ok so I DON’T BELIEVE IN THE STAIRS IN THE FORESTS! mainly because I’m A Search and Rescue Officer for the U.S. Forest Service, and I Have Some Stories to Tell a) is posted on /r/nosleep so it’s definitely made up, b) the op admits to knowing about David Paulides, and lbr knowing about = being influenced by, so it’s definitely made up, and c) if you read all the way through to the end it stops being even vaguely believable and starts reading like a WTNV transcript, and then he plugs his book, so it’s DEFINITELY MADE UP. however, it is an amazing (read: terrifying) thread, some of it is obviously based on truths/insider SAR knowledge which means a lot of it is probably uncomfortably close to actually being true, and it’s a good Gateway Read into MISSING PEOPLE IN NATIONAL PARKS CONSPIRACY THEORIES, which is where I live now. (plus, if you read this before getting into anything else it imbues every single missing persons case with an unsettling sense of Eldritch horror, which is why I had to turn on three overheads and unfocus my eyes all the way to the bathroom last night at 2am.)
so yeah, after reading that /r/nosleep thing for the first time I drew a line under it and moved on until SOMEONE (ahem, @roundtop) sent me a link to an article called How 1,600 People Went Missing from Our Public Lands Without a Trace (on a legit and sensible outdoorsy people website), like ‘haha, stairs in the forest!’ and I SWAN DIVED DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE. thus: the documentary-watching, staying up till 2am and spending all day today trying to find copies of David Paulides’ books for less than $80 inc. postage.
THIS DUDE DAVID PAULIDES. he was in law enforcement before, for some reason, deciding to become a ~*~cryptozoologist~*~ and certified gung-ho Bigfoot conspiracy theorist, and through that found out about how many people had disappeared without a trace from National Parks in the U.S., did 7,000 hours worth of digging, and wrote a bunch of books about it. his books are called Missing 411 and are about the ridiculous number of people who go missing in National Parks, the usually weird circumstances around their disappearances, the fact that when people are found (dead or alive) it’s often in places miles and miles and sometimes waaaaay higher up mountains than where they disappeared from, and all sorts of creepy crap to boot. like they can’t get bloodhounds to find a scent, or they find tiny children miles away from where they got lost, barefoot, without a scratch on the soles of their feet, human remains being found years later in places that were search dozens and dozens of times. not to mention the National Parks… People (? I really don’t know enough to be making this post) are aware of what’s happening but don’t keep a list of the people who’ve gone missing on their lands.
(which is all part of why I’m A Search and Rescue Officer for the U.S. Forest Service is so freaky – enough of it (people being found miles away, kids being found up mountains, the people in charge being cagey about it all) sounds real that you can believe it was actually written by a SAR Officer. heebies!)
it’s all real nightmare fuel, if you’re the sort of person who is absolutely terrified by all this Scary Forest Disappearing People Unexplainable Deaths stuff, i.e. me. luckily I can’t afford to buy any of them! phew! however, I haven’t let that stop me from a) SCARING MYSELF SHITLESS and b) BECOMING A TIN HATTER, and it shouldn’t stop you either: you can read loads of stuff over at /r/missing411, listen to one of his initial interviews (in which he talks about how he was approached by two park employees in plain clothes who were like ‘please investigate this, there’s SOMETHING going on and it’s so goddamn weird’) on Coast to Coast AM (which is, like, a paranormal radio station… I’m sorry), watch a bunch of Paulides’/CanAm Missing Project’s vids about disappearances on youtube, and listen to hours worth of interviews and late night spooky radio/podcast discussions with Paulides.
the documentary I thought I was watching was Missing 411, which is based on his books and Kickstarted by the public in 2015, but it turns out that they’re apparently shopping it around at festivals so it’s not out yet. what I was actually watching (and quickly abandoned) was a weird supercut of all of David Paulides’ tv interviews and some cryptozoologist chatter about Bigfoot. Paulides, god love him, never ever SAYS Bigfoot in any of his books, and everything he presents is 100% factually accurate and extensively researched, but… I think we can safely say he thinks it’s Bigfoot. tbh, after reading about JarydAtaderoI think it’s Bigfoot. I mean, goddamn.
so, yeah. I’ve finished reading every search and rescue story on this blog (Hunt for the Death Valley Germans is LONG but awesome), I’ve got West of Memphis ready to watch after work tomorrow because I remembered how much I love that case and spooky true crime things, if you have any related LINKS or STUFF about This Shit then REBLOG THIS/MSG ME AND TELL ME, or if you have a copy of a Missing 411 book you wouldn’t mind mailing to me then LET ME KNOW, and in conclusion I can’t believe America is so fucking huge and unkind, goodnight.