Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Thoughtforms of Monvesia: Taintspawn

Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes presented several creatures that would be classified in Monvesia as thoughtforms. This includes: natives of the astral plane (allip, astral dreadnaught, berbalang), beings created to serve in the Mortal Realm (eidolon), and even beings born from the Taint (gray render, oblex, sorrowsworn).  The latter are classified as taintspawn, and each plays a unique role in the overall mythos of the Taint.

In their original forms, the taintspawn are monstrosities and oozes; but in Monvesia, they are physical manifestations of of thought and will that have been channeled though the taint itself.  Not all of these creatures are necessarily evil, however.
For complete statistics of these creatures, check out Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes.

Gray Render

The first gray render was created by a tainted being that lived ages ago. This ogre or orc (it is unknown which) had a strong desire to return to its old duties of guardianship, but was denied that right because of its transformation.  Its will to serve fed on the power of the Taint, and emerged as a growth on its creator's body.  As it grew, it took the shape of a gray render before breaking off of its host's body as an independent being.  Not caring who it served, it bonded itself to the first wanderer it encountered.  This process has repeated for centuries--each gray render drawing its power from the taint, and its physical form from its parent.


The origin of the oblex is more foreboding.  Where humanoids become victim to the Taint, the veil between the astral and mortal worlds stretches and thins.  It has even been known to tear.  While these tears heal quickly, in the brief time the rift is open the physical essence of the Taint can drip through.  These drips, separated from the whole, become independent beings called oblexes.  They have no masters beyond their own need to feed on memory, emotion, and thought.  Each oblex is a microcosm of the Taint, too small to affect the Mortal Realm in the same way.  It is also incapable of sustaining a great size, so must break off memories it has gathered to form new oblexes.


The lore of the sorrowsworn is altered very little--merely the plane of its origin has changed.  The Necrosphere is not the Shadowfell of other worlds; instead it is the Taint that preys on the suffering of mortals.  Instead of infecting a mortal based on the fears of others (as it normally does), the Taint latches on to the suffering of a single person and manifest it as a sorrowsworn.  This manifestation does not occur on the astral plane where the Taint dwell, but instead in the Mortal Realm.  There are places in the mortal world where tainted creatures have dwelt so long that the land itself has become tainted.  It is in these tanted regions that the sorrowsworn can be found.

Tainted Territories

The largest tainted region of the Mortal Realm is the nation of Desolation in Raviq.  The human exodus left large swaths of tainted land in both the Forest of Vines and the Sea of Sand, as well--each nearly as large as a geopolitical region of Monvesia.  In Monvesia itself, tainted territories are smaller, rarely larger than can be passed through in a single hour (a league).  These areas commonly mark the oldest goblinoid communities.

Edited September 13, 2018.

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