Monday, August 13, 2018

Classifying Monvesian Creatures: Aberrations, Celestials, Fiends

Several sets of aberrations (beholder-kin, mind flayers), celestials (angels), and fiends (demons, devils, yugoloths) have been either reclassified or denied in the Monvesia campaign setting.  This renders the question:  What remains of each of these types?  Which aberrations are the daemons of Limbo?  Which celestials are the daemons of the Empyrean?  Which fiends are the daemons of the Inferno?  The remaining creatures, and how they interact with each other, are explored below.
In the lists that follow, an asterisk (*) follows creatures presented in Volo's Guide to Monsters and a a caron (^) follows creatures presented in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes.  New creatures are followed by a tilde (~).  All other creatures are from the Monster Manual unless a link is provided.
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Aberrations

The remaining aberrations can be divided into seven rough "types" based on physical appearance.  These seven types can then be associated with the seven HMDJVNW.

  • TYPE I: Aquatic
      • FVINQRX the Nothingness
    • Aboleth
    • Chuul
    • Morkoth *
  • TYPE II:  Flyers
      • JXTHALOTH the Stillness
    • Cloaker
    • Flumph
  • TYPE III: Amorphous
      • NKNTHRAUL the Disquietude
    • Gibbering Mouther
  • TYPE IV: Cerebral
      • DNXHINTN the Darkness
    • Grell
    • Intellect Devourer
  • TYPE V: Humanoid
      • ENSHZRYD the Profundity
    • Nothic
    • Star Spawn ^
  • TYPE VI: Tentacled
      • MYRQNL the Concealment
    • Balhannoth ^
    • Choker ^
    • Otyugh
  • TYPE VII: Insectoid
      • ZDRANYCH the Endlessness
    • Neogi *
The aberrations' home plane of Limbo is the chaotic mass of forgotten thoughts, dreams, and intentions--a twisted counterpart to the Dreaming.  These seven "armies" serve their masters with a sense of devout obligation.  By virtue of their very existence, they are thralls to their old ones--each with the illusion of independent thought.  The altruism of the flumphs, however, may point to a deep-rooted generosity in the old ones, or at least JXTHALOTH.

Celestials

    • Celestial Serpent, Horned ~
    • Celestial Serpent, Winged [Couatl]
    • Empyrean
    • Ki-rin *
    • Pegasus
    • Sphinx, Androsphinx
    • Sphinx, Criosphinx ~
    • Sphinx, Gynosphinx
    • Sphinx, Hieracosphinx ~ 
    • Unicorn
The empyreans are the dominant race of the Empyrean (the Aetheric Plane).  They respect the wisdom of the celestial serpents, ki-rin, and sphinxes; and they care for herds of pegasi and unicorns.  These celestials constitute the inhabitants of a a peaceful, pastoral plane caught in a state of eternal, idyllic bliss.  They live and act under the guidance and direction of the Virtues.

Fiends

RETCON NOTE:  Originally, the cambion and succubus/incubus were reclassified as a divinity.  With this post, that reclassification is reverted.  The development of the transitive plane of Inferno has allowed these creatures to retain much of their original lore.  The divinity counterpart to the cambion is the nephil--though it uses the same statistics, it is treated as a different creature.
  • Physical Fiends
    • Cambion
    • Hell Hound
    • Nightmare
    • Succubus/Incubus
    • Vargouille *
  • Spiritual Fiends
    • Howler ^
    • Lamia
    • Rakshasa
The rakshasa and succubi/incubi are the primary inhabitants of the Inferno.  The rakshasa are most loyal to the Spiritual Vices, while the succubi/incubi are most loyal to the Physical Vices.  The other fiends fall into line behind these races.  While there is conflict between these two factions, it is not one of open hostility; instead, it is competitive in nature.  Each faction seeks to drive mortals to follow different passions.
The traditional conflict between Demons and Devils is reflected in Monvesia as a competition between Spiritual and Physical Vices.
Edited August 22, 2018 [sphinxes, lamia]; August 23, 2018.

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