The magru appears to be a huge, gelatinous red lump that pulses, swelling and shrinking slightly with a hypnotic rhythm. Its skin glistens with a dark, disgusting ooze.
Any weapon attack except for one-handed blunt weapons is useless against a magru.
You swing your pink vultite maul at the magru, but when the weapon slices through the magru's flesh, the wound closes instantly leaving no trace that the magru was injured!
Magru are also immune to fire damage.
You utter a light chant and raise your hands, beckoning the lesser spirits to aid you with the Fire Spirit spell... Your spell is ready. You gesture at a magru. You hurl a roaring ball of fire at a magru! AS: +265 vs DS: +75 with AvD: +70 + d100 roll: +86 = +346 The magru scoffs at the heat! The roaring ball of fire strikes a magru, blossoming into a much larger sphere of flame upon impact. The magru scoffs at the heat! A burst of flame from your roaring ball of fire flies off and hits a magru. The magru scoffs at the heat! Cast Roundtime 3 Seconds.
Magru and beetles are immune to Mind Jolt (706). The magru and vruul are immune to nightmares because it "IS a nightmare." The dark vorteces absorb the spell. The myklian, giant fog beetles, and hooded figures are susceptible. Magru and beetles will stun for Evil Eye (717), though the vruul are invulnerable. The magru do not take criticals. Pestilence (716) gives "spiritual malady wracks a magru causing XX points of damage!"
Stream of Fluid
More offensive stances are safer against the magru's stream of fluid attack, which causes acid damage. They automatically perform this maneuver if they witness another magru be killed: "A magru is enraged by the death of its fellow magru!" Dead magru by itself does not enrage them.
- Successful dodge:
A magru pulsates violently and a stream of dark fluid shoots out in your direction! You try to dodge out of the way and manage to avoid the stream of fluid.
- Mild hit:
A magru pulsates violently and a stream of dark fluid shoots out in your direction! You try to dodge out of the way but you are struck by the stream of fluid! Hit for 3 concussion points. ... 2 points of damage! Bit of acid strikes your calf leaving bright red spots.
- Major hit:
A magru pulsates violently and a stream of dark fluid shoots out in your direction! You try to dodge out of the way but you are struck by the stream of fluid! Hit for 5 concussion points. ... 22 points of damage! Acid dissolves the skin on the neck exposing the windpipe! You are stunned for 6 rounds!
- Perception plays a role in searching or looting them. Each search causes one minor hand injury and uncovers between zero and three gems. There is no known way to avoid the hand wound, so access to a good bundle of ambrominas leaf or Troll's Blood (1125) is recommended. Alternatively, one might be able to ignore the wounds allow the minors to accumulate to mediums, effectively maintaining two fractured and bleeding hands.
You reach out to search the magru. As soon as you make contact with it, you feel an intense burning sensation! You are injured! You do not find anything in the disgusting pile of jelly. The remains of a magru evaporate away.
You reach out to search the magru. As soon as you make contact with it, you feel an intense burning sensation! You are injured! You find a white opal, a large black pearl and a turquoise stone concealed in the disgusting pile of jelly! The remains of a magru evaporate away.
In spite of their background lore and the bone pit, the magru do not eat your flesh when they kill you. The foul corrosive smell throughout The Broken Lands is likely their residue from stone sculpting.
The surface of the magru suddenly pulsates, forming a long blunt appendage! A magru pounds at you with its fist! AS: +210 vs DS: +290 with AvD: +42 + d100 roll: +80 = +42 A clean miss. A magru heads southwest. A magru just arrived. A magru pulsates violently and a stream of dark fluid shoots out in your direction! You try to roll out of the way but you are struck by the stream of fluid! Hit for 19 concussion points. ... 60 points of damage! Acid eats into lungs. Hemorrhaging fills your lungs with fluid! (death) A magru pulses, swelling and shrinking slightly. A magru heads southeast. The remains of a magru evaporate away.
Behind the Scenes
Uthex Kathiasas named these "lug'shuk traglaakh" (Iruaric: "ugly fire cave makers" [actually a subtle play on words in Iruaric, see explanation below]), which formed parts or all of the Dark Grotto. "shuk" would be plausibly derived from "shulu" as well, which is the Iruaric word for "wet", referencing their acidic sprays and gelatinous bodies. These were "other standard" (non-demonic) extra-planar entities from Rolemaster called Absorbers. They originated on a highly caustic "unearthly" plane of existence, and were always trying to escape to others, because there was almost no flesh left for them to absorb. They would use the mass of the flesh to replicate themselves, like v'reen morphs in the modern history. Whether it is an homage to the grue trope is unclear, but it is similar to Morgu.
While intelligent, they were utterly alien, so no one knew how to communicate with them. They would follow portals wherever they led. Absorbers would attack with acid, causing heat criticals, and were so caustic most weapons were useless on them. Their immunity to fire and heat is not derived from Rolemaster. They are not considered extraplanar beings for system purposes in GemStone IV. It is typical for Dungeons & Dragons kinds of adaptations of shoggoths to be acidic, pounding blobs with such immunities. The magru may actually be an unnatural hybrid of the Absorbers and Hoard.
The Broken Lands contains numerous allusions to "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" by H.P. Lovecraft. The myklian correspond to the "toad-things" who lived on the moon with black cats, allied with almost-humans, with the various factions slaughtering each other with reference to the "blasphemous plateau" of fungi. However, the magru refer instead to the shoggoths from "At the Mountains of Madness", which is also based on the cold waste of Kadath. (The shoggoths pulsed with green light, were cold immune, and covered in black ooze. They slumbered in a foul lake in the nether pits of the night-gaunts, below the peaks of Throk, in "Fungi from Yuggoth" right before the Nyarlathotep poem. The foul lake as shoggoth pit might also refer to the Xian race who controlled lizards, explaining the dark cavern lizards, as remote appendages and whose bodies were warped by the "Maker of Moons".) These acquired independence long after their artificial creation by the Old Ones, with only the manipulation of existing life now possible. This is reflected in the extra-planar entities originating in Lord of Essaence experiments, with Uthex limited to making and telepathically controlling templates.
"With the march of time, as the sculptures sadly confessed, the art of creating new life from inorganic matter had been lost; so that the Old Ones had to depend on the moulding of forms already in existence. On land the great reptiles proved highly tractable; but the shoggoths of the sea, reproducing by fission and acquiring a dangerous degree of accidental intelligence, presented for a time a formidable problem. They had always been controlled through the hypnotic suggestion of the Old Ones, and had modelled their tough plasticity into various useful temporary limbs and organs; but now their self-modelling powers were sometimes exercised independently, and in various imitative forms implanted by past suggestion. They had, it seems, developed a semi-stable brain whose separate and occasionally stubborn volition echoed the will of the Old Ones without always obeying it." "They were normally shapeless entities composed of a viscous jelly which looked like an agglutination of bubbles; and each averaged about fifteen feet in diameter when a sphere. They had, however, a constantly shifting shape and volume; throwing out temporary developments or forming apparent organs of sight, hearing, and speech in imitation of their masters, either spontaneously or according to suggestion." - At the Mountains of Madness; (Antarctica, material world Kadath near South Pole)
In "The Mound" (the basis of Shadow Valley) a similar telepathic "Old One" race discovers ruins of these beings, and seals off the material world version of the vaults of Zin to seal in the shoggoths. To clarify this point, the "Great Race of Yith" were the trans-temporal telepaths, the "Elder Things" from below created most life and destroyed them with their shoggoths, and the "K'n-yans" were a different immortalized telepathic race that much later experimented cruelly on life and found the ruins of the Elder Things. The Lords of Essaence are relevant to the first, while mere humans to the third.
"At any rate, when the men of K’n-yan went down into N’kai’s black abyss with their great atom-power searchlights they found living things—living things that oozed along stone channels and worshipped onyx and basalt images of Tsathoggua. But they were not toads like Tsathoggua himself. Far worse—they were amorphous lumps of viscous black slime that took temporary shapes for various purposes. The explorers of K’n-yan did not pause for detailed observations, and those who escaped alive sealed the passage leading from red-litten Yoth down into the gulfs of nether horror. Then all the images of Tsathoggua in the land of K’n-yan were dissolved into the ether by disintegrating rays, and the cult was abolished forever." - The Mound; (the K'n-yans once lived near Kadath)
The word "shuk" is also a particularly odd composite glyph in their original name, possibly incorporating the concept of "hulkanen", implying the magru make worlds and whatever they touch ugly, barren and empty. The Dark Shrine inscription notably dropped the "k" on "Throk", but these guardians gained the "k" as a suffix. (Their mountain corresponds to the "peaks of Throk" and "Vale of Pnoth".) In favor of the former view is "ul" being missing as a glottal stop for an ancient speaker of Iruaric allows "lyxarulis" to become "lyxaris", which is essentially only a pronunciation difference from "lyxatis". In this approach the word "lugshuk" is a composite of "shulu" for wet with "hulk" for barren, with the "ul" removed as a glottalization leaving the term "shuk", which hints that "lyxatis" may be missing "ul."
Interestingly, "traglaakh" was likely a dark joke, since "trag" is an improper Iruaric phoneme. The Iruaric glossary in the Tomes of Kulthea used "laakh" to mean both "maker" and "lost", when the source material has maker as "lavan." It was apparently an intentional typographical error, so the phrase would have a double meaning, referring to two separate properties. Since "trog" is cavern and "shu" is fire, players interpreted it as "ugly fire cave makers." (Similarly, this version of the glossary is missing the translation for the word fire or flames, pushing players away from translating it that way. It added lore about symbols containing multiple meanings.) It would more literally mean "ugly fiery wet-emptying traag losers", or "made from the loss of traag", which were another kind of "other standard" extra-planar entity. Traag resembled huge black panthers, which were known for their demonic summoning, residing in subterranean chambers. Uthex was implying he had Traag, but the magru ate them all.
|Near-level creatures - edit|