Dinosaurs Found!

For years rumors have circulated about the presence of dinosaurs in Valhalla.  Time and time again these rumors have proved false.  Often these brief sightings turn out to be known creatures, such as Intulo, or even dragons.  Other incidents have been hoaxes, such as the infamous Appleton Abbey T-Rex scare.

Ice age creatures such as the mastodon and smilodon have been known to exist in certain areas of Bifrost, as well as in remote areas of the Imperial Nations, so why not dinosaurs?  As of today, they can stop wondering.  Dinosaurs have been found!

The news comes upon the return of a scientific exploration from the Razor Reef.  The project was jointly sponsored by the philanthropist Herman James and the British Museum of Natural History (Allied Nations).  They were tasked with mapping this largely uncharted area.  While most of the islands they explored were completely uninhabited tidal islands, others had only limited fauna and flora or served as resting spots for migratory birds.  Others were teeming with sea scags, a constant problem on the reef, and one of the major reasons that the area has been largely ignored.

While already considered a success by the team, the explorers had not found anything earth-shattering until they stepped ashore a large, volcanic island on the last week of the journey.   This island, officially recorded as “James Island 406” would soon become known as “Dinosaur Island.”

“We encountered at least four species of dinosaur while on the island and found trace evidence of many others,” says Dr. Norbert Medaharthy of the British Museum of Natural History.  “We were barely a half hour on the island before we stumbled upon a young ankylosaurus.  Though it was only a juvenile, it already stood over four feet at the hips and probably weighed just shy of a ton.  Not nearly the four ton behemoth that it will become.”

The scientists did not kill the creature or capture it to bring it back for study, citing the fact that this could be the only creature of its kind in Valhalla.  The majority of the specimens that the team retrieved were plaster castings of footprints.  They also brought back hours of video, thousands of photographs, and immense amounts of dinosaur scat.  While remarkable, these finds all took the back seat to the partial remains of two dinosaurs that they did bring back.

“The first one,” Dr. Medaharthy explains, “was found on an open grassy area.  It was the body of a large sauropod, possibly a diplodocus.  Though it had been dead for at least a week by the time we found it, there were scavengers still fighting over its bones.  When they left we quickly went to work scavenging many of the bones for ourselves!”

The other body that they were able to recover was far more complete.  It was that of a Utahraptor, one of the largest members of the raptor family.  “The creature ambushed us around noon of our third day.  Thomas was killed instantly.  The beast didn’t even run away after it made the kill.  It must have thought that we were no threat.  I imagine it is used to creatures of our size running from it.  We humans are not known to be intimidated long, though,” Medaharthy proclaims with muted pride.

A hail of bullets and plasma weapons from hired adventurers quickly brought the creature down.  Saddened by the loss of a team member and the death of the dinosaur itself, the team quickly butchered the one-ton predator and bagged its body parts for study back at the lab.

Ultimately the incident proved the danger that the team was in every moment they stayed on the island.  “It was a combination of Thomas’s death and the T-rex footprint that we found that convinced us to move along.  Our mission, after all, was to study and chart the interior of the Razor Reef, not to fully immerse ourselves on one island.”

With the excitement of the find bringing interest to a fever pitch, Herman James and other financial backers are already considering a return to the island.  If things go well, explorers might be able to set sail within the year.