The Beachmaster, Epic Beard Monster, Trunko, Sea Elephant Pronounced:
Chaotic Good Classification: Mirounga leonina Length:
450 feet Height:
130 feet (220 feet reared back) Weight:
83,000 tons Weaponry / Abilities: Crushing Teeth / Ripping Canines:
Unlike most seals, the teeth of elephant seals are surprisingly large and robust, allowing them to prey on much larger animals than their relatives can. Notarog’s dentition is hardly different, and he’ll gladly put his crushing teeth to devastating use on prey and opponents alike. The kaiju’s enormous, almost tusk-like upper canines make for formidable stabbing weapons and can tear open grievous wounds in even the thickest of kaiju flesh, hide, and bone. Driven like sledgehammers by an immensely powerful neck and jaws, and reinforced by a near-solid skull, the seal’s dagger-like upper fangs are his primary close-quarters weapons for a good reason. Gripper Claws:
As with typical elephant seals, Notarog’s digits are partially exposed from the flesh comprising his flippers, allowing him to use his external claws for grooming and gaining traction. However, the kaiju’s claws are notably larger and can be employed as defensive weapons in a pinch, slashing out awkwardly at an oncoming adversary. Thanks to their length, these bruin-like talons are well equipped to assist Notarog in traveling overland and to scratch the occasional itch. Bludgeoning Hindquarters:
Like all true seals, Notarog’s body is elongated into a roughly bullet-like shape to aid in hydrodynamics; additionally, the kaiju’s massive, elongated, and vaguely python-like form more than makes up for his lack of a tail. His entire lower body essentially one massive bludgeoning weapon, the monster seal can easily repel, crush, and bash his enemies into total submission. Battering-Ram / Resonator Proboscis:
The most iconic feature of all bull elephant seals – Notarog included – is their massive proboscis. Used normally for warming inhaled air and for resonating the bull’s booming calls, the front of Notarog’s trunk is also sheathed in twelve cartilaginous plates, which rattle in unison from the bass in the seal’s vocalizations. The monstrous elephant seal has recently learned to employ his proboscis as a crude, brass knuckle-like weapon, butting and ramming his opponents relentlessly; to permit respiration during such violent activity, numerous cartilage rings line the inner nasal passages, preventing outside force from pinning them shut and choking the monster. Clamshell Hindlimbs:
Perhaps his most bizarre anatomical aspect, Notarog’s hindlimbs are entirely vestigial, leaving only his webbed flippers visible. Also tipped by long claws, these five-toed flippers are surprisingly muscular and, even more surprisingly, quite dexterous; together, the seal’s hindlimbs function essentially as one massive “hand”, allowing Notarog to grasp and manipulate objects with the aid of his long, powerful torso. Notarog’s bizarre “clamshell” is also his primary long-range combat weapon, lashing out and snapping his clawed hindfins together like some freakish mammalian flytrap, or grappling and throwing about his enemies with impressive force. Sheer Bulk / Brute Strength:
Thanks to his enormous bulk and incredible brute strength, Notarog can utterly dominate in a battle based on force. Throwing about massive objects – and opponents – like ragdolls, the elephant seal is a true juggernaut. With his raw muscle might, Notarog can propel himself surprisingly quickly overland, either to avoid attack or to break into a bonecrushing charge. Amphibious:
Like any typical seal, Notarog is equally capable of moving on land or in water. Specific to elephant seals, however, is their heavily reinforced skeletal structure, which allows them to remain on dry land not for days like other seal species, but for months
at a time, namely during their arduous breeding season. Notarog has inherited this unique anatomical feature, and therefore can travel overland for considerable distances without suffering any major ill effects. Champion Diver:
Naturally moving between the extremes in water depths to feed, an elephant seal's various internal structures are built to handle the intense pressure changes. Vessels constrict and expand, skin condenses and stretches, and various fluid-based internal systems will shift their weight to adapt to changes in outside pressure. Able to remain submerged for nearly two hours on a single massive breath, and capable of diving deeper and further than even most whale species, southern elephant seals – including Notarog – are easily one of the most highly adapted diving species ever to exist. Exclusive to Notarog, however, are small fleshy nodes along his vessels that can dispose of excess nitrogen bubbles at a miraculous rate, allowing the kaiju to ascend and descend in the water column with relatively little issue. Thunderous Roar:
Owing to his massive resonating proboscis and truly gigantic lungs, Notarog can, like any bull elephant seal, emit an intense low-frequency bellow used primarily for discouraging rivals, wooing females, and claiming territory. At his massive SGO scale, Notarog’s roar is far, far louder and deeper than any typical bull’s, and is forceful enough to shatter small infrastructure and occasionally rupture fragile tissues (eyeballs, gills, and structures of the inner ear most notably
) within a half-mile radius. On top of its physical effects, the kaiju seal’s roar is a formidable psychological weapon, and is often more than enough to drive off many challengers. Leatherback Carapaces:
Oddly for a seal or any mammal for that matter, Notarog’s shoulders and upper back are shielded by a massive bony shell, encased almost entirely in a slick leathery skin. Believed to be formed from the fusion of sturdy projections from the kaiju’s vertebra, this bulky carapace vaguely resembles that of a leatherback sea turtle, exposed bone nodules and all; besides providing obvious protection from threats, the sheer weight of Notarog’s carapace makes his upper body the perfect fulcrum for maneuvering his tail-like hindquarters and “clamshell” hindlimbs about in combat. The kaiju seal’s hindlimbs are also sheathed by bony carapaces, which essentially function together as one massive, bone-cracking tail club; these smaller, narrower carapaces also aid in supporting Notarog’s webbed toes when they’re put under great mechanical stress, such as when he grapples or lashes out with his “clamshell”. Durability:
Attesting to his longevity, Notarog has an exceptionally battle-hardened body. Much of his leathery hide – his chest and throat in particular – bears faint crisscrossed scars from years past which have healed together into a sort of organic chain-mail, protecting the SGO elephant seal from more current attacker's blows. What hide hasn't become this natural mail already sports quite a thick defensive layer which is insulated by a dense layer of blubber just beneath. This blubbery layer may be why so few of the kaiju's superficial flesh wounds actually bleed. Sheer Ferocity / Tenacity:
Simply put, Notarog is relentless. No matter their size, ferocity, or firepower, any creature that dares attempt to bring him harm will be challenged almost immediately, if not outright attacked. His ferociously territorial habits ingrained in his very DNA, Notarog rarely leaves a direct threat unanswered, and he has never
been seen fleeing from a new, unfamiliar challenger. Beachmaster’s Rage:
Theorized to be onset by a release of hormones from his pituitary gland, Notarog’s muscular structure can be temporarily “supercharged”, in both its capabilities and its appearance. An as-of-yet unknown hormone is believed to cause the levels of follistatin (a protein responsible for increased muscle growth
) in Notarog’s body to skyrocket, which temporarily overwhelms any and all myostatin (a protein that inhibits muscle growth
) in his system, thus causing his muscles to swell up and strengthen considerably. Induced into this monstrous state for an average of 25-30 minutes, Notarog becomes nearly indestructible. Once his follistatin levels begin to wear down, myostatin regains control and Notarog’s muscle fibers forcibly begin retracting, his overall muscle mass slowly decreasing to its normal size over the next few hours. Weaknesses: Awkward Build:
Lacking walking limbs altogether, thus forced to drag his enormous bulk with little to no ground clearance, Notarog is a particularly awkward mover over rougher terrain. While not a weakness in and of itself, the kaiju elephant seal’s cumbersome land movements do leave him somewhat more vulnerable to attack, and at a noticeable disadvantage when actually under attack. Aerobic Aftereffects:
For all of its combative benefits, “Beachmaster’s Rage” leaves Notarog with some nasty aftereffects. Left sore for hours as nearly every muscle in his body shrinks back to normal size, the monster seal is incredibly difficult to motivate into moving during this time; in and only in potentially life-threatening situations will Notarog rack up the strength to get himself to safety. Cooldown:
“Beachmaster’s Rage” takes full control not only of Notarog’s body, but of his mind. Fueled at this time almost entirely by innate, violent instincts, Notarog can hardly control his rage, lashing out aggressively at anything near him, including inanimate objects like buildings and rock formations. Even his allies aren’t immune to the kaiju seal’s nigh-unstoppable anger, and they are forced to steer clear of Notarog’s fangs and carapaces when he loses all control; his focus nonexistent, Notarog’s frenzies give his craftier opponents a significant tactical edge in battle. Personality:
For some time, Notarog has represented the epitome of a solitary lifestyle: his male instincts have retained their influence through it all, however, and Notarog is as territorial as ever before, savagely defending his territory and himself from anything foreseen as a threat. Once, Notarog was a proud beachmaster, lording over a vast harem of doting females; his days are now spent in solitude and silence, his very existence long since forgotten by his former companions. Notarog has quietly become lonely, haunted by the absence of companionship. Hiding away his innermost feelings of grief and betrayal behind a colder, more aggressive face, Notarog became embittered over the years, as his very body began to age prematurely from the stress of social deprivation. Notarog trusts few of his fellow daikaiju, including other Defenders; after they drove him out from one of his most prized island sanctuaries a few years ago, Notarog has developed an active resentment of Sunset Blade’s facilities and all of their resident SGOs. Combat Strategy:
Despite his stress-wracked body and mind, Notarog is still a frighteningly competent combatant. If a show of aggressive roaring and posturing fails to ward off a threat, the kaiju elephant seal will quickly attempt to close the distance between him and his foe, charging into them headlong and tusks-first, bellowing wrathfully as he approaches. Rearing back and lashing out with his tusks and armored proboscis, Notarog preferably strikes vertically, using his flexible seal backbone to maneuver his natural weaponry as effectively as he can; the weight of his carapace acting as an anchor point, the kaiju seal will pivot about on his upper torso like a living turret, lashing out ferociously with his club/grapple-like hindquarters. Solid bone armor and thick leathery hide protecting his vitals, Notarog will continue to advance until he can topple his opponent, using his size and bulk to then pin, crush, and/or suffocate them until they submit or expire. If he can, Notarog will take the fight to the water, where his streamlined shape lends him a significant advantage over more terrestrial enemies; in deeper waters, Notarog’s tactics shift to more of a hit-and-run approach, ramming and thrashing his foes about until he can flee or dispose of them properly, typically via drowning or dragging them down into the crushing ocean depths. History:
How Notarog came to be an SGO is unknown, though it is presumed he was once a wild seal living near the Antarctic Circle for much of the year, as do most southern elephant seals. Notarog first reportedly appeared near South Georgia Island in late December of 2005, his instincts to reproduce apparently still in effect. After that, the monster seal seemingly vanished.
Antarctica, November 2008.
A research team drilling for ice core samples radioed their HQ out at sea, requesting “urgent assistance”: before HQ could reply, the signal was lost. Moving in on foot to investigate, the search party came across a most unsettling sight: the camp was in ruin, and some of the researchers – or rather, parts
of researchers – lay strewn about the reddened ice and snow. The source of the carnage soon returned: a horrid-looking thing, a bipedal shark-like SGO, brown-black blotches all over it, stealthily strode back into the camp from the icy hills, well aware of the presence of fresh human prey, and hungrily picked up the pace. A dark shadow, a muffled crack of ice, and its progress was suddenly cut short: screaming in agony and sheer terror, the monster shark lurched skyward and was then dragged violently back down the ice hole, warm blood bubbling up to cover the hole in a deep crimson veil. Frightened for their lives, the search party frantically fled from the gory scene.
February 20th, 2009.
The world-famous Volvo Ocean Race was already well under way: the current leg of the race, from Singapore to Rio de Janeiro, looped around Argentina’s Cape Horn, exposing the competitors to some of the most hostile waters on the planet. As veritable fleets of spectator boats pulled up and jockeyed for the best view, the racers themselves finally appeared through the midday clouds. Battling the wind and the waves solo, each racer single-mindedly kept their yacht’s course, oblivious to the numerous wakes gently rising behind them. Then, the backmost competitors just…vanished: a few spectator boats soon followed, stirring the crowds into a frenzy. The wakes suddenly shot up in violent waves, revealing nearly a hundred snarling, slavering shark-like monsters, all of them mottled in brown and black; one of the leading SGOs, nearly twice the size of the others, screamed out to its brethren, signaling the swarm to attack.
Trailing the mobile feast through the depths for nearly a week now, the mammalian monster had run deep and silent, quietly anticipating his next opportunity. New commotion from the surface gave him pause: this could be it. He rose, circling widely as he neared the source of the sounds, a riot of moving shapes and shadows slowly beginning to appear at the surface far above him. They’re distracted
, he thought. Easy prey…
Survivors and SGOC soldiers could only watch in awe as a monstrous gray beast surged up from beneath one of the shark creatures, almost instantly crushing it to death in its massive jaws. Hurling the corpse aside, the massive monster, a gigantic elephant seal SGO, let loose an almighty earth-shaking bellow that sent the terrified sharks swimming for their lives; the seal immediately gave chase, tearing through dozens of the mutant fish at a time with ruthless determination. By the time their leader intervened, the monster seal had wiped out nearly 35 of its kindred: this slaughter would be tolerated no longer
. The enraged lead shark moved in rapidly, intent on settling a lengthy score with the swarm’s relentless pursuer….
Wrenching his tusks out from the lead shark’s severed spine, the mammalian behemoth arched back and bellowed proudly, sending the few surviving shark limping fearfully back into the sea. His adrenaline wearing thin, the exhausted seal soon buckled and collapsed awkwardly on the rocky shore, his lungs heaving and his muscles faintly quivering from the exertion. His calloused hide split open by innumerable fresh wounds, the monster lay where he fell, black eyes rolling left and right as small military boats slowly landed in the shallows. The occupants cautiously filed out onto the blood-stained beach and approached the battered pinniped, a large case in each hand. Taking a large hypodermic needle out from her case, an SGOC combat medic fitted it with a nozzle, attached the nozzle to a nearby drum of morphine, and warily plunged the needle into the kaiju’s nearest open wound: low rumbles of irritation emanated from within the monster, but soon enough, he once again fell silent. Calmed by the morphine’s effects, and his wounds tended to by the many tiny beings now surrounding him, Notarog gradually drifted off to sleep as his body’s pains subsided, and his aching heart finally found itself at peace.
-------------------------------------------------- Artist's Commentary:
This is DOD’s resident pinniped kaiju, Notarog. When I was conceptualizing new kaiju for DOD Series Two, I happened across a YouTube clip of two bull elephant seals fighting for dominance: that clip made me remember just how awesome
elephant seals are…and how few half-decent seal kaiju there are in existence. As such, I first imagined my monster: a massive, temperamental elephant seal kaiju with tusk-like fangs and a bulky turtle-like shell. Besides, DOD needed more mammalian kaiju at the time, so I naturally went with one of my favorites. Design-wise, Notarog has always been a shelled, armor-nosed elephant seal, though the original concept for his shell was a bizarre two-piece arrangement that would “lock” together whenever he reared back, thus providing support: the “clamshell” hindlimb idea was actually formed the very day I was drawing this piece. Character-wise, Notarog has always been envisioned as a rather solitary brute, though deep down, he longs for social interaction and hides this fact only as a means of self-preservation. If Notarog were human…well, there’s actually a more accurate non-human analogue out there: King Kong, from Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake. As the majority of you reading this are kaiju fans, you should be able to figure this one out. Artistic Notes:
— Notarog’s body is mostly like that of a typical elephant seal, but his body is more elongated.
— Notarog has a total of 12 cartilaginous plates along the front of his proboscis.
— Notarog does
have whiskers, but they’re practically transparent (as with most true seals
), so I didn’t draw them in.
— Notarog does
have ears, but they are mere holes in his head, as with any true seal. In the illustration, they are hidden from view by a fold of Notarog’s leathery skin.
— The back of Notarog’s neck is not entirely connected to his shell: in short, there’s a bit of a gap there whenever he lies flat out on the ground. This photo of a Galapagos giant tortoise should illustrate my point: i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/a…
— Notarog’s main carapace has 5 rows of osteoderms on it; one in the middle, and two on each side of it. He has 1 osteoderm row on each of his hindlimb’s carapaces, right down the middle. He has one carapace on EACH of his “toes”, which totals up to 10: they are attached so they face outwards, a bit like an ankylosaur’s tail club when you look at it as a single appendage.
— Notarog’s flippers ALL have 5 claws each, one for each digit. His hindlimbs have webbing between their toes; see here: www.marinebio.net/marinescienc…
for accurate photos of elephant seal flippers to use as a reference. Notarog’s claws are actually more bear-like than seal-like, i.e. large and slightly curved inwards.
— Audio sample: www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7HeE3…
, especially the last one.
*First southern elephant seal kaiju on DA!*