Matrix animations are done!
Really it wasn't too hard. For starters, I forgot (see how I am) I had a complete framework already in place in the engine that could handle this kind of animation without modifying anything, I just had to add another ganim module (87 lines lazy coded).
The exporter was a bit fun. Blender 2.32 KICKS ASS! This thing, wow, it's just awesome. Anyhow, there was stick a "hitch" in the exporter, namely I couldn't actually export the matrices (the animation system wouldn't update the object matrix I guess, kept returning the "base" one) so instead I had to export the euler angles / location informtation, which really isn't that hard and is a lot more compact data-wise (6 floats vs. 16 per matrix per frame). I lose scaling information, but, that is probably just as well given my propensity to push animation a bit past the limits of taste and decency.
So what I have now is basically, most likely all the parts I need to animate creatures in a way that is heirarchical, and without using bones or anything complex calculations, actually. So nice, eh!