Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday Werk: Molg

In this week's Wednesday Werk, we'll look at the Molg.

First things first: read the Wednesday Werk post on the Ordrang first (and read the original Hereticwerks post, because you love it).  Baron Lee van Hook has some stuff to say on the Molg (what's a plant biologist doing talking about slugs?), and his statements might make marginally more sense if you understand some of his other stuff.

Maybe.

Additionally, Ordrang and Molg occupy similar ecological niches, and so compete heavily.

Anyway, the Molg, like the Ordrang, are scavengers of ectoplasm.  Whereas the Ordrang are typically found singly or in small groups, the Molg tend to travel in larger groups, occasionally being sighted in groups as large as twenty or so individuals (the collective noun for molg is a "march," as in "a march of molg").

In his research of the Ordrang, Baron Lee van Hook of the University of the Study of the Arcane Arts and Sciences in Duchy Jepson came across the Molg — not only do they compete, but Molg are known to attack and devour Ordrang for their stores of ectoplasm.  Not knowing anything about animals (although some of his alleged microphytes have animal-like behavior), he started doing research and trying to recruit some of his fellows.  He managed to obtain research partners in no less than Headmaster Magister Ebenezer Cascata Ail-Mudren Jepson (a noted naturalist in addition to his many credits as an adventurer and parliamentarian on the Council of Magi) and fellow professor Magister Remegni the Stoic (famed anatomist, healer, and purveyor of curses; only the Goldenear twins know more about shadow magic, and good luck gaining audience with them).

What they found was that the Molg are scavengers, although they are small enough to devour ectoplasmic residues from graveyards, battlefields, and suchlike.  However, they are significantly more aggressive than Ordrang — the Ordrang typically only attack ghosts, and even then, they do so with a very simple need to eat.  The Molg, on the other hand, coordinate their actions like wolves, and they will attack living or undead targets with equal ferocity.

The Molg have also developed a method of external digestion; Baron Hook says some plants (which he calls carnophytes, meaning "fleshy plant"), like mushrooms, puffballs, and tree brackets, digest food in this manner, while Headmaster Jepson says that some insects do the same thing.  In the case of the Molg, they use energy projections, apparently having developed the ability to project radiant and necrotic energy at their foes.  These specialized projections break down ectoplasm, releasing it into the environment.  The Molg can then harvest the ectoplasmic residues.

Sorcerers and necromancers have been known to domesticate the creatures (as much as one can domesticate a slug, anyway) to clean out areas saturated with ectoplasm.  Necromancers especially like to keep them on hand because they attack Ordrang, and because they can be trained to specifically attack living creatures.  Magister Remegni kept a couple from the Hook-Jepson-Remegni survey, and is apparently attempting to study the life cycle.

The following entry represents a fairly typical Molg specimen.  In combat, Molg will typically target undead first with Ektoplasmolysis (yeah, Baron Hook's been naming stuff again), then target any remaining living creatures with Ektoplasmorrhage.  They are cunning enough to switch if a tactic isn't working (for instance, if you resist 5 necrotic, they'll start hitting you with Ektoplasmolysis), but they'll probably stick to the routine for the first attack, giving you a round or so of inefficient attacks.  Domesticated specimens follow their master's instructions, typically attacking a little more efficiently — maybe only the first one hits with Ektoplasmorrhage before the rest switch tactics, for example.


7 comments:

  1. I love these entries, and I love that your researchers exist within the world of the campaign you're running for us. As such, this line gave me particular pause:

    "Adeptus Remegni kept a couple from the Hook-Jepson-Remegni survey, and is apparently attempting to study the life cycle."

    Oh great, now we have an Overly Curious shadowmancer (etc.) who has a bevy of death slugs. However, it would be really silly to encounter Baron van Hook in game, so there's that, too.

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    1. Basically, over at Hereticwerks they're typically talking about how these creatures manifest in, say, Wermspittle or Jalamere (with general information of interest to adventurers and planeswalkers of all stripes), while Wednesday Werk describes how they might be encountered in 4e generally and the Sorrowfell Plains specifically.

      The real question is why the Sorrowfell Plains suffers all these planar breaches. Hm...

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    2. Oh, the hook has certainly not been lost on me, both here and with the mech we fought last session, and I believe I intend to find out, good sir!

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  2. I am really, really enjoying this series! Herr Baron Doktor's insights sound spot-on and should be confirmed with a little experimentation and dissection. There simply isn't enough good, solid research being done on all these competing ectophagic creatures, nor do we have a good answer as to why so many of them tend to congregate in locales such as Duchy Jepson or Wermspittle...despite numerous instances of wild allegations and unverifiable hypotheses bordering on hysteria...

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    1. To be fair, most scholars are more interested in dragons and humanoids, based solely on prevalence and perceived threat. When they care at all — it's pretty easy to ignore scientific rigor when, say, the orcs are attacking and the Plague has descended on your village.

      Also, funding either comes from eccentric nobles or wandering adventurers, so research grants are somewhat erratic.

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  3. Just found this site and am throughly enjoying it.

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    1. Great! I don't know what sick, mad urge drove me to start a gaming blog, but I'm glad people are enjoying my blatherings.

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