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The amphibians known as "Buford's spitters" are named after a Sorreter (whose own name, obviously, was Buford), who was a member of the team responsible for the creation of a number of mythical creatures. The discovery of these amphibians in 552 was a direct result of Buford's leading an expedition to Lake River, for the purpose of creating Kelpies. While the discovery of Buford's spitters was a completely unexpected result of the expedition, they nevertheless enhanced the genetic design of Kelpies, when Buford decided to incorporate them into the species his team was developing at the time.

Buford's spitters are somewhat smaller than oras, though otherwise are quite similar in appearance. There are, however, a couple of major differences. One is that, while the spitter looks like a lizard, it is, as has been mentioned, amphibious in nature. It is equally capable of living on land or underwater, and spends a fair amount of time in both environments. The other difference from oras is that the other half of the species' name is derived from the fact that they have a defense mechanism by which they spit a psychoactive venom, which can cause hallucinations if a sufficient quantity of the venom touches a person or other animal's skin. (Ingesting the venom is generally fatal within a few centhours, but if the contact is purely external, the hallucinations usually abate within an hour.) While in and of itself, the venom is not necessarily physically dangerous, the hallucinations it causes can make the victim do dangerous things, being unaware of one's actual surroundings. (This can lead to accidents such as falling off cliffs or drowning, for example.) However, it is easy to avoid this danger by wearing protective clothing when in the presence of Buford's spitters.

As a side note, Buford kept a journal detailing various facets of his life and work, including conversations he had with various spirits. Though none of these conversations were ever submitted for possible inclusion in the O'Gas, some excerpts from his journal were published posthumously, in 596. In one entry from the day he discovered this species, he noted telling one of the spirits he knew that the other members of the expedition had chosen to name the lizard after him (at that point it had not yet been learned that the creature was amphibious). The spirit then replied, "No way. That's too much of a coincidence. The name of the guy who discovers a lizard that spits a bufotoxin just happens to be named Buford? C'mon, no one'll buy that." After some questioning, as well as use of his subword sense, Buford came to understand, in lay terms, what a bufotoxin was, though the spirit refused to explain exactly what he meant or who he was referring to when he said "no one'll buy that." It remains a mystery to this day, though one which is rarely given any thought by anyone.

See alsoEdit

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