“They possess a childlike innocence, it seems. With curiosity to spare. Fear not should one settle itself within your hearth. Leave it be, and you shall likely be safe” – Salamander: A Treatise by Raphael Dubois.
Ah, the salamander. So many entries in this compendium have been awe-inspiring or frightening. Even those that we’re fairly safe from. But, now we speak of salamanders.
Of course, it should be noted that I speak of the salamanders with fire affinity rather than ordinary salamanders. Unfortunately, they look similar enough that both types were given the name of salamander.
An unfortunate thing given that while the salamander I speak of today would be more than happy to lounge in a fire, an ordinary salamander would quickly die as a result.
So, without further ado let’s dive right in.
Salamanders are somewhat lizard-like in appearance, and typically have a red, blue, orange, or white coloration. I expect this is as a type of camouflage, as they usually turn a fire the same color as they are. If you’ve never seen a white flame, I assure you it’s quite a sight.
And, salamanders are entirely at home in fires. And, many households end up with one in the fireplace. But, it really isn’t something to panic over.
Salamanders are one of the least aggressive creatures around. Though they could incinerate someone with little difficulty, they choose instead to flee when confronted. Unless they’ve been backed into a corner somehow. Perhaps in defense of their offspring, or if it believes escape is not an option.
Some researches thought they were a cowardly species, but there are records of them standing their ground when need be. Rather, it seems they just don’t like conflict. Should you wish to remove a salamander from your fireplace, you likely need only wait for the fire to die or to call for a wizard with the skills to convince them to leave. And, they’ll probably do so quite peacefully.
Although, they may walk away with a sullen attitude as they look over their shoulder at you and plod forward sadly… I warn you, they are very cute. They have large eyes and a very non-threatening appearance. Many a family has hired someone to remove a salamander, only to change their minds and let it stay. A few have even become household pets of a sort.
Like I said, they’re really very cute. And, they’re so non-violent and not prone to causing trouble that there isn’t really an issue with keeping them.
In fact, they’ll make fires burn for longer and hotter with the same amount of fuel, so you won’t need to gather as much wood or as often.
Although some have concerns about their poison and don’t want to cook food near them.
And, while I understand this concern, it’s almost never an issue. While salamander poison is exceedingly deadly, it is secreted from a salamander’s skin only when threatened and only when it believes it cannot flee. And, even then, it usually tries to use fire first. If it wanted to kill you, it would do so with fire. You’re really quite safe.
If you really want to be safe, make sure the salamander doesn’t touch the food or anything you use to cook it. But, honestly, you needn’t worry. Just leave it be, and you’ll be quite alright.
That being said… should you attack a salamander for some reason they have control over fire and can quickly create blazes hot enough to burn a man alive. These blazes are not nearly as hot as the fire of many other magical creatures, but still deadly all the same.
Usually, salamanders will use these fires as more of a distraction than anything else. They tend to be fairly small. A few have been reported as being a few feet in length, but most are a foot or less. They’re also sleek and quick when they want to be.
And, although they enjoy living in fire they’re amphibious much like those that share their name.
They’ll likely summon fire and scurry away to safety. If they’re cornered and you leave them no other option, they will secrete deadly poison.
This poison doesn’t need to be ingested to be deadly. It’s absorbed directly through the skin and can kill in moments. Ingesting it only makes it worse and takes an even smaller amount.
It’s not fully known exactly how deadly it is on men, given that only the most vile of men would put such a thing to the test and those that have often run out of men. Research was found by an ancient wizard who was hanged for the murder of several thousand people. His notes were sloppy, however, and while he said that the poison could kill over two hundred men he never said how much poison was used in his sick test.
Salamander poison is used by certain sects and assassins the world over though. They coat their blades with it, turning even a small scratch into a fatal wound.
Several of these groups have found ways to ‘farm’ salamanders for their poison. Terrorizing them and harvesting the poison they secrete over and over again.
It saddens me that in this entry of the sweet, childlike (though deadly) salamander… it is humanoids who take the spotlight of monster… perhaps it is they I should include in this compendium in place of the salamander…
- Nicholas Wolfram, Professor of Monsterology at Lestria University