[Let's Read] 4e Dragon & Dungeon Magazine: Monster Articles

VoidDrifter

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Alright, in that case, allow me to amend this most grievous error; let us revisit Dragon #414 and discuss the Ecology of the Modron!

Opening Thoughts:
I've never really been a huge fan of most of the Outsiders in D&D, to be honest. They tend to rely too heavily on the Alignment spectrum to give them any depth, and frankly that rarely works. I can name exactly two Great Wheel Outsiders I genuinely like - the Arcanaloth and the Lillend - and I have a very cynical suspicion as to why.

My enmity particularly rests with the Ethically Neutral Spectrum Outsiders. Slaadi, Modrons and Rilmani. At least the Celestials and the Fiends have some basic mythological breeding to prop them up; I find the Neutral Stripers to be just dull and one-dimensional. I love Nordom, but Modrons as a whole? They can take a flying leap. I got no real use for or interest in a combination of every stereotype of the obstructive bureaucrat mixed with the mindlessly simple robot.

But... 4e was an edition that vastly changed up the cosmology. Abandoning the Alignment Grid as a sacred cow forced them to re-evaluate and reinvent outsiders to exist on their own merit, rather than just to fill out a grid. I legitimately like 4e's Angels, it finally made Demons & Devils feel distinct to me, and I was a big fan of the new context for Eladrin. I honestly wish that 4e had gotten around to tackling Guardinals, because they're a potentially interesting concept let down throughout their history by a combination of the "alignment does all the characterization work" and absolutely horrible artwork. Seriously, if you're going to have furry angels, get a damn furry artist to do the art; this should be basic logic!

...Sorry, got lost there. So, yeah; I'm interested in seeing what 4e can do with Modrons, given how well it redid literally everything in the cosmology.


The Creation of the Modrons:
The history of the modrons is kept in-universe by the Fraternity of Order, within Sigil. It traces their past to the Age of Creation, long before the Dawn War, when the Primordials exploited the fluidity of their plane to birth infant worlds and fledgling races that they ultimately swept aside to start over. One Primordial, recorded by the Fraternity as "The Prime Architect", stood apart from its peers.

The Prime Architect was the first to peer beyond the limits of the Elemental Chaos and view something outside; an anomalous plane, a counterpoint to the Far Realm, a region of perfect order and harmony that the Prime Architect named as "the Accordant Expanse". The Prime Architect found this vision so enrapturing that it took inspiration from it and began to shape the Elemental Chaos on a massive scale. Exactly what it built, I'm not certain; I think the article is implying that it crafted the entire World Axis as a whole from the foundation of the Elemental Chaos. Here's the relevant paragraphs; what's your interpretation?

Enraptured by this vision of perfection, the Prime Architect began to shape the Elemental Chaos on a massive scale. The first phase of the grand design required distilling the chaotic maelstrom into four base elements: air, earth, fire, and water. To achieve this end, the Architect enlisted four mighty elemental lords as overseers. As the framework took shape, the elemental lords in turn tasked their subordinates, the archomentals, with crafting the latticework of the final structure, incorporating mixtures of the base elements.

At last the Prime Architect beheld its momentous creation, raw elemental power molded by symmetry and order. By drawing on this cosmic arrangement of elements, the grand creations of the primordials could persist, allowing mortal life to flourish at last.
Sadly, the Prime Architect's work was not without its flaws. Somehow, their actions opened breaches into the Far Realm, and attracted the attention of one of that mad plane's squamous god-things; Mak Thuum Ngatha, the Nine-Tongued Worm. The Prime Architect battled the Worm-god and barely managed to force it back into the Far Realm. Then, mortally wounded, it called upon the energies of the Accordant Expanse and bathed in the cosmic energy of absolute Order, transforming itself into a hive-mind of living constructs of clockwork and flesh; the Modrons.

The modrons spread through the cosmos, stabilizing all of the breaches to the Far Realm. Then, the entire race shifted into the Accordant Expanse, where they fashioned an artificial world for themselves of gears and cogs inside of a metal shell; a realm called "Mechanus". At its center, the clockwork metropolis of Regulus, centered around a grand cathedral in honor of the Prime Architect. At its center, a scintillating pool of pure Order; when the four highest-ranking modrons submerged themselves, they conjoined, emerging as a vestige of the Prime Architect given new flesh and purpose: Primus, the One and the Prime.


The Great Modron March:
We all know what the Great Modron March is; every 289 years, the Modrons swarm out of Mechanus and hold an orderly rampage across the planes. In the World Axis, there's a few tweaks, which can be boiled down to the following bullet points:
* The Great Modron March happens every 289 years because that's how long it took them to build Mechanus, down to the millisecond.
* The Great March actually varies in scope from one march to the next; some marches cover only a handful of planar sites, others cover the entire process.
* The "Fake March" triggered by Orcus-as-Tenebrous occured in the World Axis.
* A new Grand Cycle is reaching its end, and evidence suggests that the Great Modron March will target the dimensional cysts caused by the plague demons of Voidharrow.


Modron Physiology:
The segment on modron physiology is surprisingly in-depth, examining all of their sensory organs and their biological needs. Suffice it to say that modrons are living constructs, and even require food in the form of a glowing, gelatinous, psychomorphic substance found only in the Accordant Expanse.


Modron Culture:
Modron culture is orderly, but that does not mean it's logical - certainly not as mortals understand the concept! They are a hive-mind species, but rigidly divided into a series of castes of increasing order. This is basically the same social structure they had in the Great Wheel, complete with the fact that killing a modron results in a chain of promotions that ultimately sees the same number of modrons per caste remain level. Which is understandable since they are the collective physique of a singular god-like entity.

The biggest change here is arguable the role associated with each modron caste, although at least the basic idea of "Base" Modrons being low-intelligence laborers and "Hierarch" Modrons being directors is consistent. The World Axis version of the hierarchy looks like this:

(Base Modrons)
* Monodrone: General Laborer
* Duodrone: Skilled Laborer
* Tridrone: Supervisor
* Quadrone: Manager
* Pentadrone: Law Enforcer
(Hierarchs)
* Decaton: Administrator
* Nonaton: Arbiter
* Octon: Mayor
* Septon: Inspector
* Hexton: General
* Quinton: Councilor
* Quarton: Governor
* Tertian: Judge
* Secundus: Viceroy
* Primus: Absolute Ruler


Modron Outlook & Psychology
Whilst modrons view themselves collectively, that doesn't mean they're entirely devoid of individuality. Each has a unique set of life experiences, which builds up to give it a subtly distinct personality, mostly made up of unique quirks. These are more notable amongst hierarchs than amongst base modrons.

At the core, modrons are (or at least view themselves as) incarnations of reason. To this end, bringing order from chaos is their obsession; many hierarchs are engaged in bizarre studies to unlock the hidden logic within apparently senseless phenomena. They come across as passionless and frustratingly bureaucratic to others, and their overriding goal to organize, clarify and regiment causes them to view free will as a blight that must be purged from an ordered universe like an infection.

Modrons have a particular dislike of portals, which makes sense when you remember that the racial memory would include the battle against Mak Thuum Ngatha. They view them as weak-points in the fabric of the cosmos, and that using them is slowly corroding the very structure of the cosmic firmament. As a consequence, modrons often appear in areas where portals are found, seeking to prevent their use and ultimately seal them up - no matter their purpose.

Obviously, modrons often need to fight the forces of chaos, which means they have a particular enmity for Slaadi... nothing's changed there, obviously. They fight using logic and proven battle stratagems; because base modrons are so rapidly replaced from the central creche, hierarchs never hesitate to employ wave tactics. Beware the modron as an enemy, because remorse and compassion do not exist in their mind's eyes.


Rogue Modrons:
As in the Great Wheel, the World Axis modrons can "go rogue". This varies in its effects from causing them to develop fully functioning individual personalities, or just enter a basic robot-style programming loop or other such malfunction. The phenomena is almost always seen in base modrons; because hierarchs are caused by a fusion of multiple lower-ranked modrons into a singular body, all of a hierarch's constituent modrons would need to malfunction to drive it rogue.

Naturally, a sizable few paragraphs are given to the idea of having a rogue modron as a companion to the party; various reasons are given for why they might tag along, as well as stats for Rogue Monodrones and Duodrones, and a note that rogue modrons are prone to moving on when they judge they no longer require the party.


Mechanus:
The Accordant Expanse is an anomalous plane, similar in basic nature to the Far Realm, but unnaturally structured and orderly, in comparison to the fluid, chaotic and amorphous nature of the Far Realm. It's still not a place you want to visit by any means; its denizens claim that the Accordant Expanse is the "true" universe, and all other existence is a failed construct of their invention, a, quote, "malignant wasteland of chaos and emotion". Thusly, those who managed to look upon the Accordant Expanse find it as terrifying as the Far Realm.

Mechanus itself is a world within the Accordant Expanse, one of many bizarre realities to coexist within that planescape. It takes the form of a metallic cube, roughly 10,000 miles on each side, whose interior is an air-filled void made up of enormous clockwork gears and cogs, pulleys, levers, springs... essentially, it's like being trapped inside of a clock the size of a solar system, with cogs the size of planets, each with its own gravity.

The capital city of the modrons, as stated before, is Regulus; a clockwork metropolis made of 64 interlocking cogs at the heart of Mechanus. Notable locations covered as part of this article are the Cathedral of Order and the Tower of Primus.


Primus:
If you're familiar with Primus at all, there's nothing really new in this sidebar that discusses who it is, beyond the second confirmation that Primus' murder at the hands of Tenebrous and his replacement is canon in the World Axis.


Bestiary:
The last segment of the article adds three new modron statblocks; the Tridrone Watcher, the Pentadrone Farstalker, and the Nonaton Arbiter. It also points the reader to check out the original modron monster article, "Creature Incarnations: Modrons" in Dungeon #186.


Closing Thoughts:
Well, that's the end of this Ecology. What do I think? Well, you might be surprised, but I like it. True, a lot of it is reiterating lore from the Great Wheel, but in this case, that's a strength, not a weakness; fans of modrons from old will find they're not getting some watered down version of the original, which is a common complaint I've seen addressed at 4e's eladrin, but there's enough new stuff here to give them a solid "fit" into the World Axis.

On an aside, I really like the idea of the Accordant Expanse and the Far Realm as mirror-images of each other. A lot of Great Wheel fans complain that the Elemental Chaos is basically an amalgamation of the Inner Planes and Limbo. In addition to pointing out that Limbo's "chaos soup" already made it basically a dumping ground for elemental encounters, this clearly paints the Far Realm as the World Axis' "Realm of Chaos". With the Accordant Expanse as its alien, Lovecraftian Order to the Far Realm's Lovecraftian Chaos, we have finally seen a true homage to D&D's long-unsung Moorcockian heritage. These two realms literally mirror the Order vs. Chaos battles of Moorcock's Eternal Champion novels, and further strengthens the 4e setting's pulp-punk/metal fantasy genre/aesthetic. How can I not love that?
 

JoeNotCharles

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The Prime Architect found this vision so enrapturing that it took inspiration from it and began to shape the Elemental Chaos on a massive scale. Exactly what it built, I'm not certain; I think the article is implying that it crafted the entire World Axis as a whole from the foundation of the Elemental Chaos. Here's the relevant paragraphs; what's your interpretation?
I haven't actually read Secrets of the Astral Sea, but I've seen references that it talks about a "lattice of heaven" that's part of the structure of the Astral Sea. (And was damaged somehow in the Dawn War?) So I assume this paragraph refers to the creation of that. Which would imply the Prime Architect created the Astral Sea. (And if I recall the creation story in the DMG correctly, the world and its echoes came later as part of a separate creation.)

On an aside, I really like the idea of the Accordant Expanse and the Far Realm as mirror-images of each other. A lot of Great Wheel fans complain that the Elemental Chaos is basically an amalgamation of the Inner Planes and Limbo. In addition to pointing out that Limbo's "chaos soup" already made it basically a dumping ground for elemental encounters, this clearly paints the Far Realm as the World Axis' "Realm of Chaos". With the Accordant Expanse as its alien, Lovecraftian Order to the Far Realm's Lovecraftian Chaos, we have finally seen a true homage to D&D's long-unsung Moorcockian heritage. These two realms literally mirror the Order vs. Chaos battles of Moorcock's Eternal Champion novels, and further strengthens the 4e setting's pulp-punk/metal fantasy genre/aesthetic. How can I not love that?
I really hate that, actually. The idea of an equal but opposite counterpart of the Far Realm is just recreating the pointless symmetry for the sake of symmetry that the Great Wheel had. The creation myth of the core World Axis explains where its symmetry came from, but there's no cosmological reason for there to be an "ordered counterpart" to the Far Realm at all. And it devalues the whole Far Realm concept from being an alien intrusion into this cosmology into being just one more layer in the pairs of opposites.

Also I disagree that the Far Ream should be the "Realm of Chaos". The Elemental Chaos is the Realm of Chaos, and the conflict between Gods and Primordials or Gods and Demon Princes are plenty Moorcockian. The Far Realm is supposed to be outside human understanding, so it's not just chaos. All the baffling and random things about the Far Realm have an underlying logic, it's just an alien one that we can't follow.

I like the idea of a Primordial who became obsessed with order and created an especially orderly construct which the other Primordials never understood. I don't see why they have to be galvanized by discovering an existing place of perfect order though. The Accordant Expanse could be just another world in the Astral Sea, or even a paradoxical region in the Elemental Chaos.

Or, you could say that the "Accordant Expanse" is part of the Far Realm, not its mirror. The Far Realm is a universe of its own and contains multitudes. It could well have its own panets and planes, one of which is horrifically regimented rather than horrifically amorphous and tentacled. In that case the Prime Mover's obsession with creating an ordered lattice - and thus the entire Astral Sea - would be the first signs of a Far Realm infestation. Pretty creepy idea.
 

Bira

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The text gives me the impression that the Prime Architect created the world, not necessarily the whole cosmology. That's how I would have things in my campaign, since I like the idea of the Astral Sea being another eternal realm.

And I'd definitely make the Accordant Expanse part of the Far Realm. Perhaps not even a distinct part, just how the Prime Architect's mind interpreted it.
 

Kakita Kojiro

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I haven't actually read Secrets of the Astral Sea, but I've seen references that it talks about a "lattice of heaven" that's part of the structure of the Astral Sea. (And was damaged somehow in the Dawn War?) So I assume this paragraph refers to the creation of that. Which would imply the Prime Architect created the Astral Sea. (And if I recall the creation story in the DMG correctly, the world and its echoes came later as part of a separate creation.)
Pretty sure that the Lattice of Heaven was a project of the gods to unify their Astral domains. Repairing/recreating it is one of Erathis' main goals. It was destroyed in the Dawn War by (a) Primordial(s). I don't recall if it's supposed to be related to the Living Gate, too.
 

Green Onion

The 8 Hour Gamer
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Interesting that all the modron creatures are given the Immortal origin despite having been originally part of a primordial.
 

prankster_dragon

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I really hate that, actually. The idea of an equal but opposite counterpart of the Far Realm is just recreating the pointless symmetry for the sake of symmetry that the Great Wheel had. The creation myth of the core World Axis explains where its symmetry came from, but there's no cosmological reason for there to be an "ordered counterpart" to the Far Realm at all. And it devalues the whole Far Realm concept from being an alien intrusion into this cosmology into being just one more layer in the pairs of opposites.

Also I disagree that the Far Ream should be the "Realm of Chaos". The Elemental Chaos is the Realm of Chaos, and the conflict between Gods and Primordials or Gods and Demon Princes are plenty Moorcockian. The Far Realm is supposed to be outside human understanding, so it's not just chaos. All the baffling and random things about the Far Realm have an underlying logic, it's just an alien one that we can't follow.

I like the idea of a Primordial who became obsessed with order and created an especially orderly construct which the other Primordials never understood. I don't see why they have to be galvanized by discovering an existing place of perfect order though. The Accordant Expanse could be just another world in the Astral Sea, or even a paradoxical region in the Elemental Chaos.

Or, you could say that the "Accordant Expanse" is part of the Far Realm, not its mirror. The Far Realm is a universe of its own and contains multitudes. It could well have its own panets and planes, one of which is horrifically regimented rather than horrifically amorphous and tentacled. In that case the Prime Mover's obsession with creating an ordered lattice - and thus the entire Astral Sea - would be the first signs of a Far Realm infestation. Pretty creepy idea.
This is basically everything I wanted to say on the article. Modrons are fine, but treating the Far Realm as "elemental plane of Chaos" feels like a step back from "Xoriat-esque plane of Wrongness" that it is advertised as elsewhere.

I do like the idea of making the Expanse a region within the Far Realm; perfect order is a different kind of creepy, after all.
 

VoidDrifter

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Now it's time to finish off the run of Dragon articles. Formally marking the midway point of this whole project, it's Dragon #430's Ecology of the Kruthik!

Opening Thoughts:
I don't really know the first thing about kruthiks. To me, they're just this weird lizard-bug thing with vague Alien overtones that showed up out of nowhere in the 4e Monster Manual. Apparently, they first debuted in 3e with the D&D Miniature Combat Game, according to Wikipedia, but I don't know the first thing about that. So we're going in blind.


Origin of the Species:
Kruthiks are an artificially engineered race created by the tieflings of Bael Turath to serve as living siege engines. They were created through beseeching the aid of Alloces, the archdevil known as the Father of Monsters (and covered in my Faces of the Planes let's read), who fused the essence of a hellish burowing insect into scytheclaw drakes. Unfortunately, whilst the kruthiks were deadly killers and naturally adapted to breaching enemy defenses with their burrows, they were too mindless to train and too vicious to trust - unlike the more successful felldrakes (which we'll cover when we get to Threats to the Nentir Vale), they were barely controllable, even with magic.

As a result, once their creators were executed for incompetence, kruthiks were herded away at imperial decree and kept in isolated Underdark outposts until needed. Naturally, when the empire fell and its magic faltered, the kruthiks slaughtered their handlers and spread into the Underdark, where they have become a noxious pest species.


Biology:
Kruthiks have a physique I can't help but liken to Zerglings; a fundamentally canine-like body covered in plates of thick, silvery chitin and steely scales, with six limbs, the front and rear ending in long, scythelike claws. Their smaller, more dexterous middle limbs are used for object manipulation. Their reptilian head is mostly large, serrated mandibles, with a frill of armored plates protecting their neck and back; these grow thicker and less flexible as the kruthik ages. Spikes sprout from behind the frill, and across the legs and mandibles, as the species reaches maturity; they can launch these spikes short distances but with surprising accuracy. To perceive the world around them, kruthiks rely primarily on sensing vibrations through the ground via their claws.

Kruthik females lay a clutch of about six slate gray eggs once a year, which hatch within a day or two. The hatchlings are already the size of a small dog, and capable of killing. Within a week, they've reached the state of young adulthood, being 3ft long and weighing 30 pounds. At these stages, kruthiks lack spikes but sport dragonfly-like wings; they're too heavy to properly fly, but can use them to propel themselves forward in glorified hops. A sidebar even suggests that giving them a Fly speed of 4 or 6 squares, perhaps with a "spend a turn on the ground" recharge, could be used to enliven kruthik encounters.

Full adulthood is achieved after a year, at which point a kruthik is over 6ft long and 250 pounds. Their violent lifestyle sees the vast majority of kruthiks die before they reach the age of 5 years; those that live up to this length mature into monstrous Hive Lords, which are nearly 12ft long, weigh up to a ton, and trade the ability to hurl spikes for spewing caustic, nauseating saliva.


Society:
Kruthiks live in hierarchical groups known as "hives", which consist of assorted breeding adults, possibly under the command of one or more hive lords, and assorted youngsters and hatchlings. They communicate through a complex series of pheromones, insectlike chitters and reptilian hisses; hive lords can strengthen this network into a rudimentary hive mind, allowing the hive to engage in more complex tasks - the more hive lords present, the more efficiently the hive can be directed - hives without a hive lord default to simple frontal assaults.

Unlike in some species, hive lords don't have to prove their status, not even amongst themselves; these elder kruthiks instinctively defer to each other based on age. Only when hive lords of different hives meet do they fight; this is a death match, with the winner eating the loser and claiming their hive to strengthen their own. A hive welcomes its new members by rhythmically striking their claws against the ground in unison. Given the sounds’ dreadful implications, denizens of the Underdark consider such an echoing cacophony to be an ill omen.

Hives have only the same basic goals as any animal; establishing a territory in which they can take shelter, safely breed, and find food. They are naturally inclined towards subterranean environments, but are intuitively drawn to areas suffused with supernatural energies - especially those of the Nine Hells, for obvious reasons. This explains their predilection for inhabiting ancient ruins. Hives do occasionally gather treasure, mostly in the form of loot on the bodies of beings they dragged back to their nest for food or shiny objects that briefly caught a kruthik's attention.


Underdark Ecology:
Naturally, kruthiks are a huge issue amongst the denizens of the Underdark, and even some of the more powerful creatures regard them as dangerous pests - they will ravenously consume all creatures in their path, and their burrowing can seriously weaken structures or inhabited caverns. Such is the danger they pose that Underdark communities will even hire adventurers to drive out or exterminate the kruthiks - which requires thorough work, to ensure that any eggs or pupating cocoons aren't left behind to hatch and renew the assault.

At the same time, they have also learned to exploit kruthiks in many ways. Kruthik body parts and ichor are a valuable resource, since they can be made into a paste that repels living kruthiks - it only holds its potency for a day or two, though. Kruthik chitin can be used to make incredibly strong but light armor and shields. Their tunnels are easily colonized by humanoids, once cleared of their hostile inhabitants. Some like to use their migrations as a divining rod to find places of supernatural power, and there are even those who try to use kruthiks as a way to predict earthquakes and cave-ins.


Breeding & Controlling Kruthiks:
The high of that attempt at exploiting kruthiks? There are people in the Nentir Vale world stupid enough to want to find ways to breed them under their own control - duergar and hobgoblins in particular have a long line of failed breeding programs under their respective belts. It's doubtful that anyone ever will figure out how to recreate kruthiks on their own terms; the original creation rituals were lost with the fall of Bael Turath; only Alloces still knows them, and for whatever reason, he's not interested in sharing them.

So, that leaves controlling them instead, which means interested factions - such as the Fell Court, a tiefling cabal dedicated to reclaiming Bael Turath's legacies from Threats to the Nentir Vale - are particularly interested in the lost Rods of Kruthik Command. Alloces forged these by magically transmuting kruthik hive lords into obsidian statues, with their souls still conscious within, before severing their forelimbs and sculpting them to be used as implements. They grant the bearer a measure of influence over kruthik minds, including the ability to enslave them for a day - kruthik handlers usually used this ability to dominate hive lords and secure the loyalty of lesser kruthiks through them - but the psychic emanations also enrage kruthiks; if the fragile veneer of control is broken, they will turn on the bearer of these rods with blind fury.

Stats are actualy provided, and they really integrate the lore well into the crunch. Whilst you have a Rod of Kruthik Command in hand, you're immune to the Gnashing Horde aura and kruthiks within 10 squares consider you an ally until you or one of your allies harms another kruthik - but they can also sense exactly where the rod (and its wielder) are within 20 squares, and the bearer grants combat advantage to all kruthiks.


Kruthik Update:
The last page of the article is devoted to two MM3 math versions of kruthik statblocks; the Kruthik Hive Lord (Level 6 Elite Controller/Leader) and the Fresh-Hatched Kruthik Swarm (level 3 Brute).


Closing Thoughts:
All in all, this is a very solid article. Kruthiks are, to the best of my knowledge, amongst the many monsters who were left out of the Monster Vault update - although Bira may correct me on this with their Let's Read of those two books - so this is best source of straight-up fluff that they've ever had, as far as I'm aware.

They're not an especially complicated monster, but if you want to run a "bug hunt" type adventure? They're a good fit. Add in other creepy-crawlies like the Ruin Scarabs or Giant Ants, and you could really use these to run a pretty horrific "bug invasion" type Creature Feature inspired gaming session.

And with that, we've officially reached the end of the Dragon articles! But there's still more to come, because Dungeon didn't slack off either once it hit its stride. Allow me to recap what we have to look forward to in the future...

* Dungeon #173: Ecology of the Mithral Dragon
* Dungeon #175: Creature Incarnations: Living Spells
* Dungeon #176: Creature Incarnations: Fomorians
* Dungeon #178: Bestiary: Monsters of Mythology
* Dungeon #182: Eye on the Realms: The Dracohar
* Dungeon #183: Ecology of the Scarecrow, Eye on Dark Sun: Magma Elementals
* Dungeon #184: Eye on Dark Sun: Silt Elementals
* Dungeon #186: Creature Incarnations: Modrons
* Dungeon #187: Creature Incarnations: Duergar, Dark Sun Threats
* Dungeon #190: Bestiary: Lightdrinkers
* Dungeon #191: Creature Incarnations: They Creep
* Dungeon #192: Creature Incarnations: Abyssal Plague Demons
* Dungeon #193: Eye on Dark Sun: The Ravenous
* Dungeon #195: Bestiary: Flowers in the Darkness, Ecology of the Banderhob, Eye on Dark Sun: Terrors of the Silt Sea
* Dungeon #197: Creature Incarnations: Hordelings, Creature Incarnations: Abyssal Plague Epic Threats
* Dungeon #199: Bestiary: Dao and Marid
* Dungeon #201: Far Realm Fiends, Ecology of the Vegepygmy
* Dungeon #203: Bestiary: Perils of the Astral Sea
* Dungeon #204: Bestiary: Denizens of the Demonweb, Ecology of the Swordwing
* Dungeon #206: Ecology of the Malaugrym
* Dungeon #208: Elves with Demonic Designs
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
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They make me thing of Starship Troopers' Arachnids, at least what the animated series and Mongoose's rpg adaptation of them. But in the end, they are just more dangerous giant ants. There isn't any great hook in using them over many of the existing underdark predators, like umber hulks or gibberlings.

Flowers in the Darkness- fungus or actual plants in the underdark?
 
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