Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mud Elemental

Back when we covered the lightning elemental, I opined that casters who favored summoning mud elementals are likely eccentric or self-taught, with druids and sorcerers being predominant.  I still stand by that.  I also think that mud elementals are more likely to thrive and prosper on the Material Plane than most of their quasi-cousins.  Ice elementals hate the hot mortal world, and lightning elementals and magma elementals tend to spontaneously arise in only the most remote places of natural violence.  But Earth and Water meet all over the planet—and given the right planar conditions, that means there are countless places a mud elemental might manifest.

The “Mud Sorceress” Shar is known for specializing in earth and water magic.  Her favored steed is a mud elemental toad.  Two mud elementals shaped like chameleons silently watch a beach that is said to hide a portal to the Plane of Water.  And on the Plane of Earth, the shaitan Houssam despises the soft, burbling things, but keeps a few in his household to serve as both servants and carefully calculated insults to unwanted guests.

Once a thriving city of scholars, Gilderhome is now little more than a necropolis located deep underground.  Its famous library is now the home of the ravener Harufex, a tarnished bronze dragon who embraced undeath in pursuit of his fell studies.  The easiest way to get there is through a sinkhole from the badlands above.  The sinkhole is guarded by mud elementals (perhaps called by the energies released in the sinking of the city or the raveners’ ties to water in life) who brook no intrusion on their domain.

The Jealous Mire is a planar backwater that is vaguely sentient—the whole marshy layer is somehow alive and aware.  Those who visit (typically those druids, healers, and necromancers who want to study the region’s magically accelerated rate of growth and decay) find the Mire as safe as any mortal swamp—quicksand is a real problem, for instance, as are drakes, but game and helpful herbs are plentiful.  The trouble is when visitors try to leave.  The smotheringly maternal Mire considers all creatures its children, and will send progressively larger mud elementals to persuade, detain, or entrap anyone make obvious preparations to depart.

Pathfinder Bestiary 120–121

First of all, hope you all had a long weekend (I did!) and hope it was happy.  Here in Baltimore, it was particularly nice weekend.  For those of you who don’t follow certain American forms of sport, let me put it in Golarion terminology for you: some New Andoran gunslingers got their blunderbusses handed to them by some Riddleport dire corbies.

Remember the Where’s Waldo book with the dryads(?) and their mud elemental servants?  Me, too.  Kinda.  Barely.

If you’re looking for the mu spore, don’t panic—we’ll get to it Thursday.  The only way I can possibly keep my sanity doing this is by ignoring spaces and punctuation, so this is one of the rare times that I deviate from the Table of Contents order in the Bestiaries.

You know how I say my show is “The best new and independent rock, pop, and folk in the capital region”?  This week the emphasis was on the “new”: two straight hours of new music, including new Tegan and Sara, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, PAPA, and Erin McKeown.  Download it!

(Music starts 5:30 into the file—not because I was late this week, but because the computer is cranky.  If the feed skips, let load in Firefox or Chrome, Save As an mp3, and enjoy in iTunes.  Link good till Friday, 1/25, at midnight.)

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