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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2336 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2013 :  20:12:48  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Another topic (http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=18450) got my brain going on a new/old? adaptation for malaugrym.

What happens when a malaugrym chooses to become a shade? I imagine it has to have happened before, as there are so many powerful spellcaster malaugrym and they live in the Demiplane already and they all seem to be looking for their own path to personal power. Despite living in the shadow realm and being called Shadowmasters very little of their nature (from the MC write up in VilliansLorebook) has to do with shadows...

Perhaps "Shadowmaster" is the title given to malaugrym who infuse their bodies with shadowstuff....

Any thoughts guys?

George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6303 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2013 :  05:46:24  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's an interesting question. The best information we have about the malaugrym is in Ed's "Avatar" novels. Those novels tend to indicate that the malaugrym are not infused with shadow and that they are not shades. If anything, their demiplane protects them from the insidious effects of the Plane of Shadow (I think that the shades of Thultanthar became shades more out of necessity than choice - if they wanted to survive and live for an extended period of time on that plane, they had to adapt or perish). So, in answer to your question, I'm guessing that a malaugrym that became a shade would be banished from Shadowhome and declared renegade. Given that's how malaugrym operate as a matter of course, that doesn't sound like too much of a stretch. Perhaps they are "shadowmasters" because they have withstanded the effects of the Plane of Shadow.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Lord Bane
Senior Scribe

Germany
479 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2013 :  09:41:19  Show Profile Send Lord Bane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yet that would rule out the option of infiltrating the Shades when a malaugrim gets shunned for being infused with shadows. I would certainly see them as cunning enough to attempt an infiltration of Thultanthar and as a Shade they have a higher chance to do so.

The driving force in the multiverse is evil, for it forces good to act.
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Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1104 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2013 :  14:14:45  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Malaugrym are no longer human, nor even technically humanoid (but for their preferred shape), and as such cannot become shades. Where the shadovar were slowly infused with shadowstuff, the shadowmasters draw their power from their ancestor's mating with odd extraplanar creatures, from whom they inherit their strange abilities. Where Thultanthar/Shade adopted the shadow, the Citadel of Shadows was a bastion for Maulaugadorn and his strange offspring.

I'd recommend, if you're looking for more information about the shadowmasters, the Ecology of the Malaugrym article. We got to reveal some interesting stuff in there.
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2336 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2013 :  15:05:11  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Garen Thal

Malaugrym are no longer human, nor even technically humanoid (but for their preferred shape), and as such cannot become shades. Where the shadovar were slowly infused with shadowstuff, the shadowmasters draw their power from their ancestor's mating with odd extraplanar creatures, from whom they inherit their strange abilities. Where Thultanthar/Shade adopted the shadow, the Citadel of Shadows was a bastion for Maulaugadorn and his strange offspring.

I'd recommend, if you're looking for more information about the shadowmasters, the Ecology of the Malaugrym article. We got to reveal some interesting stuff in there.



Unfortunately that seems to directly controvert their old MC listing. Not like its the first time, but still. That source directly states that they ARE a family of humans (and that their mothers must be FULL humans), that their powers come from living in the citadel and are NOT inherent, and that they have no class restrictions as humans do.
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Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1104 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2013 :  15:28:06  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by Garen Thal

Malaugrym are no longer human, nor even technically humanoid (but for their preferred shape), and as such cannot become shades. Where the shadovar were slowly infused with shadowstuff, the shadowmasters draw their power from their ancestor's mating with odd extraplanar creatures, from whom they inherit their strange abilities. Where Thultanthar/Shade adopted the shadow, the Citadel of Shadows was a bastion for Maulaugadorn and his strange offspring.

I'd recommend, if you're looking for more information about the shadowmasters, the Ecology of the Malaugrym article. We got to reveal some interesting stuff in there.



Unfortunately that seems to directly controvert their old MC listing. Not like its the first time, but still. That source directly states that they ARE a family of humans (and that their mothers must be FULL humans), that their powers come from living in the citadel and are NOT inherent, and that they have no class restrictions as humans do.
Yes, their mothers are humans. Now. That is not the case in their origin, however.

Information revealed over the course of editions changes. The information given in 2E was sparse, and based on the relevant fiction. More information was provided in 3E, and slightly different in 4E (mostly dealing with cosmology changes).

The things I've said here--and in the article--are based on all the published lore, as well as extensive discussion with Ed (who created the Malaugrym, and their history, and their physiology) prior to writing the article. So when I say they "are no longer human," that's because they aren't, any more than a vampire or a lich that's lived for centuries is still a human. Their abilities are different. Their psychology is different. The fact that they're descended from humans is relevant to how they think, how they behave, and how they prefer to appear, but it in game terms, they are anything but humans.
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2336 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2013 :  16:56:13  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My point was more along these lines, Brian - based on the MC write up, after a Malaugrym is born if it is not taken back to the Citadel, then it would exist as a human, without any supernatural abilities: "The shape-shifting ability of the malaugrym is an effect of their environment, not some innate ability." This suggests that their differences are due to sociology and an influx of magic (from either the Citadel or the Plane). Certainly no psychological or sociological dissimilarities would make becoming a shade impossible.

I have read the 3rd (3.5?) monsters of Faerun and the 4th E entry, as well. Where they got the "natural form" from is beyond me as its not reflected in anything about them I've seen elsewhere - including any novels. Anyone who wants to go that way is more than welcome to, but for me one more "outsider" is far less interesting than a unique clan of magically mutated humans hell bent on dominion.

Now it is possible that there is some magical incompatibility. Since Malaug's citadel most likely has magic designed to protect from the dangers of the Shadow Plane, the infusion of this magic might also prevent the shade transformation. If that's the case, perhaps they have some unique method of becoming a shade - or an alternate being fused with shadowstuff.
This seems likely to me, as part of their modus operandi is the pursuit of alternate means of personal empowerment.
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2336 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2013 :  17:20:03  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
BTW, I liked the idea that Undarl was in fact Malaug himself, not just one of his descendents.
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Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1104 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2013 :  17:37:01  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

My point was more along these lines, Brian - based on the MC write up, after a Malaugrym is born if it is not taken back to the Citadel, then it would exist as a human, without any supernatural abilities: "The shape-shifting ability of the malaugrym is an effect of their environment, not some innate ability." This suggests that their differences are due to sociology and an influx of magic (from either the Citadel or the Plane). Certainly no psychological or sociological dissimilarities would make becoming a shade impossible.
Certainly, no. I'm saying that the physiological differences are what make the malaugrym incapable of becoming shades.

quote:
I have read the 3rd (3.5?) monsters of Faerun and the 4th E entry, as well. Where they got the "natural form" from is beyond me as its not reflected in anything about them I've seen elsewhere - including any novels. Anyone who wants to go that way is more than welcome to, but for me one more "outsider" is far less interesting than a unique clan of magically mutated humans hell bent on dominion.
Where they got it from was Ed. The writhing, tentacle-thing natural form is part of his conception of the race. It is a primary reason that infant malaugrym are stolen by their non-human parent at birth; they have no ability to assume and hold humanoid form yet.

It's certainly possible that poweful malaugrym spellcasters could find a way to join more fully with the Shadow--and, in fact, I'd love to see such a character in print someday--but it would not, strictly, be a "shade" in the sense of "a normal human with the shade template." They are, as ou say, a "clan of magically mutated humans." Absolutely. But that magical mutation makes them no longer human enough to become shades.

Anyone is, of course, free to use whichever conception of the Malaugrym works best for their game or imaginations. I'm just sharing what the official/canon understanding of the race is as of this moment.
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2336 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2013 :  18:39:08  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Garen Thal

[quote]Originally posted by The Masked Mage
It's certainly possible that poweful malaugrym spellcasters could find a way to join more fully with the Shadow--and, in fact, I'd love to see such a character in print someday--but it would not, strictly, be a "shade" in the sense of "a normal human with the shade template."


I hereby appoint you this task, brother Garen :D
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Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1104 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2013 :  20:56:35  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by Garen Thal
It's certainly possible that poweful malaugrym spellcasters could find a way to join more fully with the Shadow--and, in fact, I'd love to see such a character in print someday--but it would not, strictly, be a "shade" in the sense of "a normal human with the shade template."


I hereby appoint you this task, brother Garen :D
I will endeavor to add it to the pile. Good luck!
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