Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Eldritch Abomination-at-Law

My gaming group is pretty inclined towards going off on tangents. I would suppose that most groups are, in fact - maybe mine isn't special in that regard. Of course, I probably should do more as GM to keep things on track - rather than initiating many of these tangents myself.

A few weeks back, my D&D group encountered some Illithids on the surface, looking for assistance against encroaching Drow forces. If you're not familiar with illithids, they are the blue-purple octopus-faced brain-eating creatures also known as Mind Flayers, one of Dungeons and Dragons' 'iconic' monsters. In my campaign, a population explosion amongst the Drow has started putting intense pressure on the other races of the Underdark, driving them to desperate moves.

The PCs are understandably skeptical. They've fought mind flayers before. They know they eat the brains of sentient creatures. On the other hand, they like the Drow even less after an incident earlier in the game that saw the party taken captive. The flayers promise that no harm will befall the players at their hands or tentacles.

Player : "But can we trust them?"
Me : "Well, they're LAWFUL Evil.."

I love that line. Most of the party is on board for a wary and temporary alliance with the creatures, but there's still one skeptic - Katie, our newest player. She's got an ex-pirate rogue, and her character comes from a large merchant family, so she's thinking in terms of her character for ways to ease the trust issues.

Katie : "Can we get them to sign a contract?"
Me : "They don't really use contracts, per se - they do most of their writing on stone, because paper doesn't easily survive the damp conditions. Since it's not as portable or compactable a medium, they don't use it for things they see as unimportant. Besides, they're a telepathic society - they generally know when not to trust one another."
Katie : "But we could make a contract for them."
Me : "Sure, they'll sign it. But.. you want to introduce one of the most evil races in the universe to the concept of Contract Law?"

That exchange sparked one of those tangents of mine : Mind Flawyers. Two evil tastes that tastes evil together! Rather than sucking out your brains, they can just initiate a hostile takeover proceeding to gain custody.

And woe betide your next-of-kin who might try to recover it for you, because - in the words of famed Illithid attorney Br'xssth Grmbl, Esquid :

"Possession is nine tentacles of the law."

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