I was never much of a dungeon delver. My red box (and blue and green and…) D&D years were spent with my characters on the Isle of Dread and my nose in the Gazetteers, and I’m practically too young for 1e AD&D. So I don't have many reference points for some of the classic (or reviled) dungeon threats like the cave fisher, piercer, qullan, xvart, and so on. Many are just names I ran across in the pages of Dragon or Dungeon with zero context until Tome of Horrors came out (and even that book I’ve only skimmed).
So I had no context, good or bad, for adherers when Misfit Monsters Redeemed was released. But I dig the rehab that Jason Nelson delivered. Making adherers the escaped science experiment and food source of the Ethereal Plane’s phase spiders is quite cool and actually makes a lot of sense. If phase spiders aren’t your thing, I can easily see experimentation by kytons, drow fleshwarpers, neothelids/seugathi, or even cloakers having similar results. (3.5 fans, adherers scream Far Realm to me.)
So adherers are a nice symptom of leakage, of one world sending a tendril or cyst or hunting parties into another, and how such an event can warp those it encounters unrecognizably. Then again, here are some alternate origins…
The tomb of Atem-Kur was burgled long ago, but a new side chamber has recently been discovered. An investigation unearths not mummies, but adherers. Nor, it is revealed, was Atem-Kur’s tomb precisely burgled. Rather, many of the treasures were moved into uncannily similar vaults on the Ethereal Plane by parties unknown—presumably phase spiders…but why?
Alchemy and industry have turned Seven Rapids from a mill town and lumber processor into a sludgy mess. Life below Sixth and Seventh, the bottommost cataracts, is nearly unbearable. Indeed, the warrens of Seventh District are now largely given over to adherers who were once the district’s poor.
A mutant strain of xenopterids captures prey alive and then sucks their blood, mosquito-like. Parasites in their saliva and long exposure to the xenopterids’ slime turn their victims into adherers who then fight mindlessly to defend the hive.
—Misfit Monsters Redeemed 4–9 & Pathfinder Bestiary 3 8
Were any of you Far Realm fans? It was a late addition to 2e (during my low point of RPG engagement) so I only know what I picked up from later issues of Dragon and the 3.0 Fiend Folio.
I don't want to overwhelm you with yet another milestone, but The Daily Bestiary is three years old today! The traditional 3-year anniversary gifts are leather, crystal, or glass, right?
…If you all send me kyton, a crysmal, and a glass golem, I’m going to be very upset.
PS: No radio show tomorrow—they’re doing electrical work on the building. But I may be doing an interview with Laney Jones in a couple weeks, so in my absence go and give “Broken Hearts” some traffic.”
PPS: (I’ll take a nearsighted oread in a bustier though.)