While Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition had many flaws when it came to integrating narrative and gameplay; on some pretty fundamental levels; one advantage of the system was that the simplified monster-creation allowed for a dickton of really interesting brand-new monsters to appear in a small space.
Sadly, due to both a lack of art for many of them and a fundamentally fluff-lite narrative approach for most of its run, almost nobody remembers them.
And that’s what we’re here to talk about today, with the name, a brief description, and the book they come from! So, in no particular order:
Banderhobbs- A horrible vore-frog that lives in the plane of Shadows. They take people away to work in their horrible shadow-mines until they turn into more Banderhobbs! [Monster Manual 3, tho they did come back in 5e’s Volo’s Guide]
Dreambreath Dracoliches- Dragon liches who root their immortality in the plane of Dreams and generally look like something that should be painted on the side of a van [Draconomicon: Chromatics]
Star Spawn- Horrible eldritch monster-avatars of the Stars, summoned by a giant planet that got fucked up by spending too long in the Cthulhu-dimension passing in front of them. They have stats so you can fight the giant planet. [Monster Manuals 2 & 3]
Filth Hags- A type of hag who always comes accompanied by a son she made out of poop. Yes I know they just give it as nonspecific “filth,” but we all know it’s poop [The Book of Vile Darkness. Yes there was a 4e version.]
Accipitridae- A centipede-thing made of grave-dirt and bone, part of a series of undead monsters created from grave-detritus known as Dethritus. There is also the Offalian who is a snake-thing made out of guts. [Open Grave]
Voracia- A giant starfish that eats fairies. Made as one of the edition’s Abominations; giant living weapons designed to fight in the war between the Gods and the jotun-like elemental Primordials. [The Plane Above]
Astral Renders- Another abomination, this giant silver/gold blob monster that doesn’t just eat flesh, but also the barriers between dimensions. To teleport. [The Plane Above]
Orium Dragons- Metallic dragons obsessed with ancient civilizations, their history and lore, and with an obsession with bringing said ancient civilizations back. They breathe acid which turns into snake-vapor monsters. Which then stay around to keep attacking you. [Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons]
Apocalypse Spells- The remnants of apocalyptically deadly/powerful spells that have gained sentience, like shards of the chains of a trapped god or colorless fire from a massive war-ending spell [Monster Manual 3]
Larval Snipers/Larval Assassins/Larval Warmasters- Variants on the basic worm-that-walks monster including snipers made of wasps, assassins made of centipedes, and warlords made of beetles [Open Grave]
Chillfire Destroyers- 4e had this thing where they condensed the Elemental Planes into one big Elemental Chaos, and one of the byproducts of that was that all the elementals (at least at first) were combinations of elements. The Chillfire Destroyer; which is literally an elemental made of ice with fire inside; was one of the cooler; more iconic (In my eyes at least) manifestations of the idea. [Monster Manual 2]
Dragonscale Sloughs- Piles of dead skin and shed scales from dragons that’ve come to undead life. The dragon doesn’t even have to be dead for it to happen, as it mentions they tend to form naturally in the lairs of elder dragons [Open Grave]
Consumptive Swarm- A “demon” that’s actually a swarm of Slaad/chaos-frog larvae mutated into demons by the energy from shard of evil that formed The Abyss (Basically Chaotic Evil Hell). There’s also versions for Efreet and Djinn and a weird thing called a Writhing Crag supposedly made from Ropers and Xorn with a great design and the ability to embed you in stone. [The Plane Below]
Unrisen- People who came back very, very wrong after a Raise Dead spell. You know Pet Sematery? It’s basically Pet Sematery. [Open Grave]
Swarmtongue Worms- While the old gold-coin-mimicking Hoard Scarab came back, they also added another parasite for draconic hordes, grotesque stomachlike wormy-tongued parasites the size of a dwarf. They come in multi-headed versions called Swarmtongue Hydras and are implied to be either relatives of Carrion Crawlers or the result of what happens when the parasites feeding on a dead dragon’s body get bathed in energy from the Cthulhu dimension [Draconomicon: Chromatic]
Dragonclaw Swarms- An “advanced” version of the Crawling Claw enemy that is literally hundreds of severed dragon feet coming to attack you. D&D is silly sometimes [Open Grave]
Quom- Bald-headed two-faced people who were pretty chill until their goddess got exploded by the God/Primordial war. Now they’re searching for all the shards of their Goddess, which is a problem given how many of those have wormed their way into magic weapons or sometimes even people. [The PlaneAbove]
Flesh Cults- One of the coolest new ideas that got only one entry, they’re basically a cult not dedicated to immortality like most undead cults but rather to ˆephemerality, being in the here and the now and that everything ends eventually, with their rituals giving themselves regeneration that makes too much flesh, with it being described as a “perpetual cascade of flesh and organs,” which they then use as weapons and reanimate as temporary quickly-decaying undead servants. Because waste not want not I suppose [Open Grave]
Oubliviae- A new demon lord who looks bland at first, basically a pretty lady with an HR Geiger-armor-body, but her backstory is fascinating. Basically she is the lord of the end of all civilizations; with her layer made from a platonic “perfect” city that she ruined to turn into a reflection of the ruins of every civilization there ever was or will be; and she’s implied to come directly from the Shard of Evil at the heart of the Abyss rather than just being mutated Primordials/other creatures like the rest of the Demon Lords [Demonomicon]
Solkara- One of the few Primordials statted up that isn’t an Elder Elemental Evil with a new coat of paint, she’s suitably honked-up looking; given she’s a humanoid eel-monster with amongst other things three arms attached to two torsos connected at the shoulder and hips, which have two necks that connect to a singular four-eyestalked head. She’s stuck in an iceberg and really, really wants out. [The Plane Below]
This probably isn’t near all of them, so if I missed some, please tell me!
Man I ‘d love to see @bogleech do an article on some of these…
As a kid I read a lot of books. Harry Potter, Twilight, Percy Jackson, Eragon, Animorphs, Jedi Apprentice and more. Growing up, some of them held up, others decidedly did not.
Additionally, while none of them were initially written to fit the “young adult genre” that we now know if, a lot of the story telling devices fit in the rather large category.
In this way, Warlocks of the Sigil is not me taking the genre to task, but it’s not a loving send-up either. It is an emotional letter of all the ups and downs and thoughts I had growing up, with characters and a narrative to convey all the conventions I loved, and to take a pitchfork to all the things I hated.
The actual blurb from Amazon is:
When Quinn was told he was deemed fit to learn magic as an apprentice, he didn’t know what to expect. He certainly didn’t expect to be plunged into a world of politics, demons, monsters, petty drama and angry primordial deities, all while being guided by a rant-happy warlock, who has more secrets than Quinn has problems. Nothing he can’t handle, right?
I have never advertised my own work, and this is quite the new experience for me. I hope you will read it and leave a review, every interaction helps. I love writing, and I want to keep writing.
Thank you for your time, and I hope you will enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.
An immensely powerful entity from the dawn of time, the Ur-Dragon is a prevailing force in the Multiverse. Its bellowing roar summons its brood, echoing through the blood of all dragonkind, for the Ur-Dragon is the progenitor from which the dragons of the Multiverse spawned.
And here is the blurb for Arahbo, Roar of the World:
Like a lion’s roar thunders across the savannah, Arahbo’s voice resounds through the Multiverse, stirring the hearts of every cat and awakening their spirits to his call. A primordial being, Arahbo represents the ideal feline: clever, perceptive, assertive, poised, and a vicious hunter.
While they’re not exactly the same, they’re both avatars of entities that call to the ideal features of their species.
He stared out the window, silently cursing the rain that was pouring from the sky and ruining all of his grand plans for the day. It wasn’t just any day. Today was the day. The one where he desperately needed everything to fall into place. As usual, the universe refused to cooperate, causing the thread of what made him an archangel to begin to fray, drawing a little more of the innate, primordial being to the surface.
That was how you found him, staring out the sliding glass door to the deck, glowering fire and brimstone down upon the first gloriously sunny day you’d had all week.
“Uh, Gabe?” You’d sounded confused and more than a little wary, though the caution your words carried wasn’t the kind where you recognized the inherent danger in him. It was where you wondered if he hadn’t somehow slipped out, drank a liquor store in your absence, and now you were going to have to keep him entertained or spend the rest of the day hiding the existence of Sparkle Fingers (his drunk alter ego aptly named for his tendency to zap things indiscriminately) from the rest of suburbia.
Unbeknownst to you, what he was looking at was halfway across the world and under the threat of taking on some serious water. Sure, he could snap his fingers and there’d be clear skies again, but it was one thing to clear up a little rain storm and completely another to wipe out a category four typhoon. The latter might draw a little more attention than he hoped considering he was technically still in hiding. Though that was mostly from the Winchesters at your insistence since the Brothers Grimm had already gotten you both respectively killed during the apocalypse.
Gabriel hadn’t argued considering how painful it had been resurrecting you once, not to mention how nearly devastating to most of North America.
“Is something wrong?” You continued when he didn’t respond. He turned, forcing himself to rein in his vexation as he made an attempt at a convincing smile. The excuse he gave sounded hollow to his own ears, though his tongue was more talented with those than the even weaker attempt at reassurance that followed. The way you continued to regard him like you were trying to remember where you kept the holy oil suggested he hadn’t been very successful.
i want to write about being more. hands of gods against lips of gold, stars crushing against lungs an attempted communication of one thing to another. the difference of a creation means nothing when you hear: it’s me. it’s me. it’s me.
the expanse of an ocean cresting white with a primordial sense of being. i was here before you, i gave you this, i loved you first. i loved you first. ( and standing on the shoreline, you’re created out of salt and it bleeds.) she says: it’s me, it’s me. it’s me.
but i am fingers and hair falling out, losing seven years of myself, scraping skin cells against table corners, numbing against the water of another another another shower. i am flesh, breath and blood and iron and bones. i am withering. there is nothing more to me. its me. it’s me. it’s me.
In the world of "Suzy of House Miller" are there sects for the older "evil" gods? The ones who were more forces of nature/destruction/creation (tiamat, etc) as opposed to fleshed out sentient gods and dirties (quetzacoatl, Anubis, God) and is there a following for Capitol G God or is there a difference between Jehovah, jaweh, yaweh, etc? Sorry but I was struck by a sudden urge to gorge on world-lore
Some gods considered evil might be worshiped differently, but it’d probably also depend on what aspect of the god their worshipper chooses to focus on. Set was a jealous god who murdered Osiris, but he also defended Ra. As for primordial beings, they probably exist and are worshiped as well.
I don’t think God/ Jehovah/ Yaweh are in this world, as it contradicts their nature (they’re the “one true god” in their religions, which can’t be true here).
- Aphrodite loves to dress to impress. If there’s a moment where she can take center stage and flaunt her beauty to the world, she’ll take it without a second thought.
- Don’t think that she’s a ditzy blonde who’s obsessed solely with make-up, beauty, and clothes. She always knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. When it comes to manipulation, Aphrodite is almost a living weapon with her charming good looks and deceiving sweetness.
- This being said, however, she does feel a lot of compassion towards her fellow Olympians and other gods in other pantheons. She is a genuinely good and kind hearted goddess who just wants everyone to learn to love each other.
- As you may know from the ‘Amaterasu Headcanons’, Cupid is on the battlefield quite often. While most may see this as terrible parenting on Aphrodite’s part, she actually has a fairly good reason for letting her son go to battle. In some myths Eros/Cupid is considered a powerful ancient being: a Primordial God (like Nox, Chronos, Janus, and Terra). Aphrodite understands that her son is very powerful and it is the only reason she allows him to fight.
- If it were any different Aphrodite would have refused to let her precious son fight against the powerful gods and goddesses that are on the battlefield as well.
- Aphrodite, although having a huge amount of confidence and swagger, does still have many faults. Sometimes her emotions get the better of her and she’ll either lash out at her fellow gods or she’ll cry uncontrollably. Aphrodite feels as if she can be a burden sometimes and tries to make up for that with her immense love for them and being quite (as some would refer to it) clingy at times.
- Although she’s not very strong on her own, Aphrodite is still considered an invaluable asset to the Greek pantheon. Not only can she keep enemies and minions distracted with her beauty, but she is an incredible healer and her often clingy nature can really help you in a tough spot.
- Aphrodite has a very soft spot for her doves. She just adores them! Their pure, snowy white coats of feathers; their little fishbowl eyes; those adorable coos- and don’t get her started on how soft they are.
- After the Trojan War, Aphrodite has done her best to stay out of conflicts of all kinds. She never meant to cause such disaster; she only wanted to help Paris fall in love.
- During a majority of her free time she’ll try to hang out with Athena (who is almost always busy with her scrolls and doesn’t have much patience for Aphrodite to begin with). When that fails she’ll go to her lover Ares and just cuddle and talk with him. When he’s not in the mood or too busy, Then Aphrodite starts to sulk back to her room to care for her beloved doves.
- If you’re wondering why she doesn’t try to do things with her son it’s because-as previously mentioned-he is a Primordial being. That means there are a lot of things he is busy with not only regarding the other Primordials, but also his own work of making people fall in love.
- As you can tell, Aphrodite is often alone. Her husband ignores her so she refuses to even try to talk to him anymore. Most other gods see her as an attention whore and a diva, so they don’t want to talk to her either. She’s usually really sad, but she manages to keep her sadness hidden when around any other gods.
I am Zeus, primordial being, god of those who you have so sacrilegiously defied. You are nothing.
Peppa Pig felt her mind burning, searing at the edges as Zeus’s power bore into her, white-hot streaks of lightning flashing behind her eyes. She steadied her stance, gripping Katastrotheón tightly. Zeus was strong - but her will was stronger.
“You are wrong, father. You are nothing but a child, mad with power.”
How dare you threaten a god.
Death’s words echoed in Peppa Pig’s mind. Death is a balance. If you tip the scales, they must be righted.
She would do more than tip them. She would destroy them.
O great being, listen to me!
My nature is like this:
I am just one unitary whole
and yet revealing, I reveal two aspects,
and emerging, I emerge as the nine lifestyles,
and integrating, I integrate into natural perfection,
and abiding, I abide in the spaciousness of reality,
and existing, I exist as pure mind,
and shinning, I shine in the sky of pure rigpa,
and embracing, I embrace life-forms and environment,
and manifesting, I manifest as matter and energy.
Yet revealed, I have no concrete attribute,
and I cannot be seen as an objective entity,
and I cannot be known in verbal expression,
and since my nature does not follow from a cause,
I am free of all verbal imputation.
To understand my nature with certainty,
take the sky as the illustration,
“unoriginated reality” as the definition,
and the elusive nature of mind as the evidence.
As “sky-like reality”
it is indicated by the simile of sky or space;
as “nonreferential reality”
the impossibility of its objectification is indicated;
as “inexpressible in words,”
the expression “inexpressible”
shows my nature to be without reference.
This concise teaching serves to clarify my actuality,
it should be enough for you to realize my reality.
If this does not suffice,
then no matter how I speak of it,
we shall not meet,
and straying from me, obfuscating my nature,
you will fail to realize the heart of reality.