Dungeon 193 - Monster Manual Update: Kuo-Toa and Sahuagin

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Dungeon 193
Monster Manual Update: Kuo-Toa and Sahuagin

by Logan Bonner

This article series revisits monsters from the Monster Manual.  This iteration of the article includes kuo-toa and sahuagin.

Talk about this article here.

What no Blibdoolpoolp?  Enjoyed the new fluff, especially the re-introduction of the malenti.  I'm glad to see some revised aquatic races since there's currently a dearth of them in 4e.
Tim Eagon My DDI Articles Follow me on Twitter @Tim_Eagon
I've always loved Kua-Toa - but don't they change color depending on their mood?  That was always one of my favorite aspects.  "The Kua-Toa is angry at you! His scales turn a deep brown color!"
The development team seems to be twisting in circles over introducing old gods into the new cosmogony. This is strange to me since they have two great places for "weird/evil" powers can come from. Blidoolpoolp with her strange "notquitecthullu" look would be such a great weird power of the far realm. Sekolah meanwhile, imho, should have been retrodemonized.

They've introduced the idea of demon cults amongst monsters, I think they should keep that idea up, and have Sekolah join Baphomet, and Yeenoghu, as a Demon Prince of the Abyss. Given that the Sahaugin have a history with the sea elves I think Sekolah as an Exarch to Lolth or Gruumsh would have ramped up their evil, as opposed to following the merely unaligned Melora. Especially since when they reintroduce Aquatic Elves they might want to make them servants of Melora. Will Deep Sashelas be an exarch of Melora too?
Why not, if the concept of Exarches exist also in POL? It's what I do, and a bit what is it for - more minor gods. Who can be in real life myths a HUGE LOT. 

Look at Hinduism, the many branches of it, an HUGE number of small gods.. It's not bad. Close to real world mythologies and religions.

Well I don't know a lot about Hinduism, but an exarch would be like Garuda or Hanuman? For my more familiar realm, maybe a better analogue would be in Greek mythology where Iris or Eileithyia would be Exarchs of Hera. A helper, messenger, mercenary, etc.

If Sekolah is supposed to be a threat, in my world he would have to be a Demon Prince because it gives an autonomy to him and his own goals, as opposed to being Melora's lacky. It just feels weird to me that the heroes would start their adventure in a sea side village with Halflings dancing in prasie to Melora, only to then have to fight priests of her lapdog. I admit it's a little overdone, but Sekolah trying to overthrow Melora as Supreme power of the seas, is a lot more material for me to work with, instead of the Sekolah who takes out Melora's trash, and maybe tries to kill Sea Elves, which his boss may or may not like.

An example - fictional world - is in FR, from old times.. Talos and his gods of destructions.. it is kinda the idea of Exarches, 20 years ago.

Also, non-Gods have exarches too I heard... It's how I rule also. 
Blipdoolpoolp should totally be a Far Realm entity however, and if they ever make a Heroes of the Ocean's Depths, there should be psionic and star pact feats to support.
Eh, not a bad idea, this have indeed a Chthulhuoid feel - I could steal this.
I thought the Kuo-Toa were always well known to be adapted straight from The Shadow Over Innsmouth, but seperated from Dagon to not be too literal.
I thought the Kuo-Toa were always well known to be adapted straight from The Shadow Over Innsmouth, but seperated from Dagon to not be too literal.

Not everyone know litterature all well, 'cuse if I sounds biting...
Traditionally sahuagin are not depicted as murderous destructive chaotic species. They are savage, cruel and have a love for the hunt, but their society was well organized. I never saw them as demon prince worshippers, and as such Sekolah as demon prince makes little sense to me...
Why not, if the concept of Exarches exist also in POL?


Agreed.  They already made the goblin deity Maglubiyet an exarch of Bane.
Again it's not the exarch part that bothers me, If you think story-wise Sekolah can't hold his own, and is better as another god's henchman, fine. But is Melora the best one?

do you think your players would get as excited about destroying the servents of Melora as much as they would a servent of Lolth, Asmodeus, or Gruumsh? (I'll admit there are a bunch of players who would love to punch a whole village of elves in the face, but they don't need Sekolah as a reason)

Do you think the WotC can still have Deep Sashelas be an exarch of Melora? Do you feel that it would seem strange if the Sea Elves worship Melora if she has Sekolah as her right hand man?

Would it be as if they are competing for Melora's affection? Does Melora shrug her shoulders when Sekolah chews his way through half a village of Sea Elves, and say "oh Sekolah, you silly shark!"

"As the god of the wilderness and the sea, she represents the unfettered savagery of a natural world that does not care what titles its visitors hold or how much gold is in their treasuries. But those who fear her don’t truly know her. They forget that her faithful spend years in the wilderness, hunting creatures that threaten both the natural order and the civilized world." - Dragon 401
I'm actually in favor of the gods having exarchs that are not of the same alignment as themselves.  I think it makes for a more interesting dynamic and I'd love it if they'd further explore these ideas.

As for Deep Sashelas, he's Corellon's exarch, at least in the FR, which is the only place he's currently mentioned in 4e.
Tim Eagon My DDI Articles Follow me on Twitter @Tim_Eagon
Well, in my campaign, I have decided recently to have an 'alternate universe'.. Eilistraee, exarch of the moon goddess. (Both less tied to elves of all kinds, more racialy globalists so to speak... And less 'saviour' figuren in the later) And they have also different alignements, maybe. The Moon is Unaligned. She may be good (still working on details).

it do not fases off heroes. And bad guys in an Evil campaign - it would be an interesting game. 
i really enjoyed the kuo-toa fluff in this article.

regarding sahuagin, their fluff does not suggest chaotic evil to me so much as evil (i felt the same way about drow, back in 3e).  however, assuming for the sake of argument that sahuagin should in fact be chaotic evil, then i have the following comments:

the monster manual describes sahuagin as worshipers of sekolah, great demonic shark, who is an exarch of melora. however, given their chaotic evil alignment, i instead would have them worshipping the demon lord, dagon.

i supposed that i am inclined to see most, if not all, chaotic evil races worshipping demons rather than gods because, in my view, none of the gods are chaotic evil, with one explainable exception--tharizdun. originally, tharizdun was not chaotic evil. he became chaotic evil when he was overwhelmed by the shard of evil. anyway, he is locked up and largely out of the picture now, despite what his looney worshippers might believe. gruumsh, in my view, is a demon lord, not a god. so that leaves no chaotic evil gods.

so, who among the demon lords would best serve as the patriarch of sahuagin? well, an aquatic oriented demon would be fitting. dagon is an aquatic demon lord. also, from the monster manual 2, we know that dagon's temples are underwater. what else do we know?

i) dagon's [land-based] cultists reside in isolated seaside towns and villages;

ii) sahuagin dwell along coastal waters;

iii) villages prone to [dagon's] cult descend into savagery;

iv) sahuagin slaughter and devour anything they can catch, raiding coastal settlements in the dead of night;

v) a sahuagin kingdom can stretch along an entire seacoast, and the sahuagin sometimes trade for goods, but they are more inclined to take what they want by pillaging coastal communities and merchant ships; and

vi) dagon's temples include air-filled chambers and caverns for his terrestrial followers.

although not a completely compelling argument, i do think that the above information makes for a good fit between sahuagin and the demon lord, dagon.


p.s., there is a great little adventure in dungeon 156 called the last breaths of ashenport. i think that the fish men of dagon easily could be re-skinned as sahuagin.

I rather like that Sekolah is the Exarch of Melora. It explains why civilization can exist on the coasts. Melora is the Queen of the Seas and Sekolah is the vicious dog that she lets roam her domain inorder to keep those that would try and claim it at bay. As for Kuo-toa, I'm inclined toward Dagon as their patron.
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