Iguamor Species in Valor | World Anvil
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Once common across southern Valor and northeastern Anteus, the mighty Iguamor is now quite rare both in the wild and captavity. However, there are still a few families who raise and keep these huge, lizard-like beasts as part of their traditional, nomadic lifestyle.

Basic Information


The Iguamor is a long, bulky creature with six stout legs and armored hide. Their defence is further enhanced in key areas, such as around the throat, by an excess of said hide--any bite or blow is likely to encounter nothing but thick, scaled leather. Each foot has long talons, but these are kept worn and blunt by travel. An Iguamor's main weapon is its bite, which features sharp teeth and incredible bite pressure.

They are large and strong enough for two adults to ride comfortably, with a somewhat stubby tail about half the length of the rest of its body.

Genetics and Reproduction

Iguamors bury their clutches of four to eight eggs in sand or gravel, then stay to guard the nest and rearrange the eggs from time to time. They may even relocate the nest if the temperatures in the first location are no longer to their liking. Generally, only about 60-75% of the eggs will hatch successfully, though more experienced dams can achieve better results.

Growth Rate & Stages

Iguamor hatchlings follow their mother--or whatever incubated them--closely for several days, during which time they would otherwise be vulnerable as their scales harden. Observing their parent, they learn how to ambush food, to lay still when they get too hot, or to find some sun to bask in when they get too cold. After this time, they wander increasingly far, until they leave their parent entirely.

Iguamor grow quite slowly, taking as much as 20 years to reach full maturity. At that time, their growth slows even more, but does continue for the rest of their life.

Ecology and Habitats

They are native to hot, dry, rocky areas. They do not do well in sand or in too much humidity, but otherwise can survive anywhere so long as they have access to adequate warmth at night.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Natural scavengers, they will eat just about anything. If no carrion is available, they prefer to hunt larger, slower prey--but in a pinch, they are capable of taking down whatever they can successfully ambush. They are known to eat a variety of monsters, to particularly enjoy Giant Antlions, and even to devour a Dragon Tortoise should they find one vulnerable.

Additional Information

Social Structure

In the wild, Iguamor are naturally solitary. However, so long as they are fed adequately, they tolerate and can even enjoy the company of others.


Iguamor are easy to tame, though harder to train. So long as they are well-fed, they tend to be placid, patient, and agreeable; when hungry, they do whatever it seems they must. Unlike most domesticated species, Iguamor transition quite easily between being a mount and beast of burden for a nomadic family, and living on their own in the wild--or the other way around.

Thus, if a nomadic family needs more of the beasts, they track down and capture one large enough for their purposes but still young enough for a degree of training. Then, if enough eggs hatch the next season, any extra young are released into the wild as soon as they can fend for themselves--usually within a week, though it does not seem to disadvantage them to be released much later if circumstances change.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

The Raithar Empire made extensive use of the Iguamor, which they called Gravel Drakes, in supply caravans and as mounts for their ground forces. They considered them useful but brutish--the dense, ugly, graceless, and grounded cousins of the noble dragon--and were generally treated poorly and considered expendable. Under the empire, their numbers were decimated, and the once-common creature became rare throughout its range, even disappearing from many areas where they were previously found.

In their absence, the populations of other desert and badland fauna destabilized, and monsters have become a much greater threat.

Since the empire's fall, the nomads have been careful to keep the Iguamor from extinction by careful management, including breeding their domestic animals with wild kin and releasing some of the young. The species finally seems to be recovering somewhat, though it is still far more rare than it was prior to the Raitharan occupation of its habitat.

Facial characteristics

Iguamor have deceptively intelligent-looking eyes, with round pupils and irises the colors of fire. There are several 'sensory pits' near their nostrils and ears, over their eyes, and under their jaws, which are all receptive to vibration, and to lesser extend, scents and magic. In their large mouths, they have a variety of teeth for piercing, ripping, and grinding.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Their sense of smell and sensitivity to vibration are very good, allowing them to hunt down prey in nearly any conditions, and they rely on these senses much more heavily than their eyesight. Their sense of touch is generally hindered by their armor--among the nomads, stories abound of an Iguamor walking about apparently unaware of the smaller predator currently attempting to bite it.

Known To
Regional Knowledge

Alternate Names
Gravel Drakes, Gravel Salamanders

Average Intelligence

Conservation Status
Rare, but recovering
Average Physique
Remarkably strong and robust
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking

The armor of the Iguamor is colored and textured to blend in with their native, rocky landscapes, with lighter colors being more common in southern Valor and redder in Anteus. Their scale-like armored plates are quite small around their heads and necks, a bit broader on their bellies and legs, and quite large and highly textured on their backs.

Nomadic Life

The nomadic way of life was almost lost along with its emblematic mount, as the Raitharan Empire all but oulawed nearly every aspect of the nomads' lives. However, family ties among them are strong--even in the face of relocation, boarding schools, and destruction of their native languages.

Like other cultures among the Free Nations, it is possible that modern nomads have little in common with their ancestors. They do carry on many of the old traditions, though, including conducting all of their travel on the backs of Iguamor.

Children are often placed in sleeping bags suspended in an Iguamor's rigging, riding along as the beast grazes or lulled into sleep by the even rise and fall of its breathing at rest. Their shelters can be easily disassembled and loaded, carried off by the Iguamor to their next camping site.

Though mostly the nomads do not claim any nationality, they tend to stick to one side or the other of the border (at least where the border can be known without a map), not wanting to draw the attention of either mainstream Valorans or Anteians. So long as they keep to rural areas and do not flaunt the border, they expect that they will be left alone and allowed to carry on their reclaimed traditions--and that has worked for them so far.

Cover image: photo by CraigSteffan


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