Perenties in GURPS

Varanus giganteus

Modern Australia boast three huge goannas. The Perentie is arguably the largest of these. This is an inhabitant of the desert, a secretive dweller of the outback. The perentie makes its home in rock outcroppings, but wanders widely in search of food. The perentie is beige in color with dark red-brown reticulations. Although large, it is also a fairly slender lizard with a relatively long neck and tail and a narrow head.

Perenties are more often ambush hunters than active foragers, waiting for wallabies or other mid sized prey to happen by. They are known to take prey as large as grey kangaroos. When the European rabbit was introduced, it provided the perenties an additional and plentiful source of food. It seems their range has expanded in historical times because of this, although they no longer get quite so large as they once did. Perenties must be a rabbit's nightmare - they can creep right down a rabbit burrow or dig new tunnels into a warren complex to suprise them from an unknown direction.

While perenties are shy around people and rarely venture close to civilization, they do have an unusual habit. When startled, they are known to run up any tall object in search of refuge. When this is a tree, it serves them well, when a fence post, less well. When the only tall object around is a standing man, or a horse and rider, a frightened perentie may well dash right up anyway, no doubt spooking the horse and giving the man quite a fright. A frightened perentie does not take kindly to being removed from its refuge, and any attempts to disentangle the lizard from one's person are likely to result in badly mangled hands from the perentie's knife-like teeth.

Perenties commonly reach Medium to Large size as adults, although a few become Huge. In the past, relatively more would have been Huge.

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