Labyrinth Lord Bestiary: Gatormount—”half horse and half alligator”

Back in the early 19th century, the backwoods pioneers of Kentucky and the Ohio River were commonly described as “half horse and half alligator” for their fierceness and woods lore. Here’s the War-of-1812 song “The Hunters of Kentucky”: “We’ll show [the foe] that Kentucky boys/Are alligator horses.” Here’s Mike Fink a-braggin’: “”I’m chockful o’ fight! I’m half wild horse and half cockeyed-alligator and the rest o’ me is crooked snags an’ red hot snappin’ turtle[!]”

How colorful is that!? Half the monsters of D&D are heraldic beasts come to life, and what better heraldic beast for the Appalachian backwoods and Ohiana than a creature that’s half horse and half alligator. It reminds me a bit of the erect crocodylomorphs from the Late Triassic, like Postosuchus (from North Carolina) and the Rauisuchidae.

Image of a Batrachotomus

Keep in mind, though, these Kentucky pioneers were a group of settlers all hot and ready to march into Indiana up to Prophetstown and fight Tecumseh—this is the political constituency for indian removal.

So here’s some game stats for Labyrinth Lord. They are slower than horses on open ground, but faster through rivers and swampy backcountry, and far more expensive to feed.

No. Enc. 0 (1d8)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120′ (40′)
Swim: 90′ (30′)
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d8
Save: F2
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: None
XP: 50
The gatormount is a chivalric beast of the river folk, and has the body of a horse and the head, scales, feet, and tail of an alligator. They stand 6 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh about 1,500 pounds. These fearsome creatures are trained as combat mounts by some river folk, and such gatormounts have a morale of 9. Gatormounts hunt near water in swamps, plains or forests, although females gather to build nesting mounds in swamps or marshes in the spring.


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