Defiler Metamorphosis I and II

A big part of why I want to see her notes is to see if any of my questions about the decisions she made were answered. Also, everyone talks about her interpretation of Hamanu and Sielba, but I’ve seen nobody talk about her interpretation of Inenek (Lalali-Puy) aside from that she gave her ogres instead of aarakocra to kill, which may have been deliberate because she decided Kalak wasn’t a champion. But seriously, though the Oba only shows up for like 5 seconds, Abbey has her act like a vicious, scheming, seductive bitch with severe temper problems and strongly implies (as in, actually states as Hamanu’s prevailing theory) that she slept with the majority of males of an entire race. Was this Abbey’s actual interpretation, just Hamanu’s viewpoint, or her accidently mixing Lalali-Puy with early interpretations of Abalach-Re? I was leaning towards the latter, but the one letter I could dig up from the forums had Lynn Abbey specify all the sources she had access to, and the original box set was not among them, and since the prism pentad went with a more “forest maker adventure” interpretation of Abalach-Re, it doesn’t seem likely that she even knew how Abalach-Re had been interpreted by early sources (hence why her “ghost” acts so strangely).

Edit: Normally I would just call Hamanu a sexist pig and move on. But what always stood out to me about that scene, having read the book at least 4 times, is how the majority of the book actually makes it very clear to the audience what is actually going on, if you read carefully, and Hamanu is called out by the narration or himself almost every single time that he’s wrong. Nothing like that is present in this scene. Even more strangely, Inenek gets exactly zero on screen appearances anywhere in the cleansing wars era sections of the novel.

If it was an intentional interpretation, virtually the only possible reason I can think of is because Lynn Abbey saw the basically naked picture of Lalali-Puy in beyond the prism pentad (a source she stated having access to) and drew her own conclusions. I don’t understand how someone could read the Prism Pentad books and come away with that interpretation of Lalali-Puy as a character. Bory’s, Nibenay, Dregoth, etc are all on point. Only Kalak (done intentionally, if controversially), and Inenek (???) have situations that differ massively from cannon.

Edit 2: Spelling.

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I don’t sweat RaFoaDK because it is not canonical anyway. So the inconsistencies can be ignored while we mine it for good ideas.

Ogres may have been different in Athas. Perhaps ogres were small in number but individually powerful, similar to the ogre titans (psionic instead of sorcerers) of the Dragonlance setting.Just throwing that out there, but I doubt that Lalali-Puy was actually the Ogre-Doom.

By the way, I think much of the hate for RaFoaDK is because Lynn Abbey correctly showed that the ability to channel spells to templars came from the transformation by Rajaat into an advanced being, not after the cleansing wars by Borys granting the ability to do so by the other champions. The Revised Boxed Set, written by Bill Slavicsek, who misunderstood this aspect of Dark Sun lore, retconned Borys as the individual that made them into Sorcerer Kings. The mistake by Bill Slavicsek was clearly unintentional. He was working off the same material, the Prism Pentad books, as we had read.

Back to what we talked about upthread, here are some ‘what if’ scenarios for changing which city becomes the Free City of Athas.

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I keep hearing that it’s not canonical (both here and on the old forums), but I’ve never seen a statement from an official source on that (and I’ve looked). It was certainly intended to be canonical, so I tend to notice when something differs widely from most of cannon but I can’t for the life of me figure out why.

This is really cool. Thanks.

I don’t hate this part. Lynn’s version makes way too much sense. That said, i still find it amusing how everyone, fan and writer alike, seemed to miss that Troy Denning destroyed the Dark Lens at the end of Prism Pentad 5.

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I missed it. @phaaf_glien brought this matter up on the old wizards forums.

According to this website, only the Prism Pentad is canonical.,later%20regarded%20as%20non-canon.

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The problem with that is it doesn’t source that information.

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Speaking of canon, this may interest you.

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I’ve read that thread. Very interesting.

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As much as I might enjoy Lynn Abbey, from time to time, in her previous DS publications, I have a rather strong reticence to follow the story of a novel that quite literally ends my favorite campaign setting. Not only is the shark jumped, but the skier does not ever again return to the water.

There are those of us DS fans who perhaps bask too unreservedly in the reflected glory of the Champions of Rajaat. Lynn Abbey would have them as gods, omnipotent and inviolable to our favorite mortal heroes. For Abbey, Kalak has to be a lesser sort of sorcerer-king because the lowly mortal Heroes were able to kill him. Hamanu becomes a god who can ignore even the mightiest of heroines, Sadira, tossing her aside and her accomplishments with essentially the flick of a wrist. I guess all that high magic at the Pristine Tower, all the peerless will and accomplishment of an ex-slave, and all those adventures that quite literally saved the world just pale in comparison to Lynn Abbey’s Lion King.

Dark Sun is great because mortal heroes who dare to risk it all are able to overcome the odds and defeat monstrously evil tyrants. Abbey would make these kings and queens unassailable, and the heroics of our player characters largely pointless.

I say let the PCs be the real champions. Let the Champions of Rajaat be great and powerful, but let them know death even at the hands of mortal slaves like Sadira, Rikus and Neeva.


I agree with this in abstract, but disagree in specifics of how it was done in cannon. No millennia old immortals who fought battles against the greatest forces of a high magic world for a thousand years and survived every fight should die at the hands of a handful of half trained slaves. As Redking said above:


I’ve read Rise and Fall 4 times. It really doesn’t end anything. The situation is left barely changed from the end of the Cerulean Storm.

No lie, this was my favorite moment of the entire book every time.

As I said above, I do agree she empowered them a little too much.

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I agree. But what happened in the Cerulean Storm was a travesty. The ease in which the Dragon was taken down was just sad. I think that Troy wrote himself into a corner and took the easy way out. Whatever the case, it radically changed the setting to the setting’s detriment.

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I agree. I actually don’t have a huge problem with Kalak’s death, for example. But Borys of Ebe, the second most powerful entity under the crimson sun to a staggering degree, keeper of Rajaat’s prison, arguably the greatest of the champions, deserved a much more climactic and fitting death that truly showcased just why he’s the nightmare of nearly every creature on athas.


One forum I found on the old archives that seems, related, if not exactly on this topic:

I’m curious as to what kind of end stage appearances you see the sorcerer kings as having?

I didn’t really notice this before. What exactly do you mean by this?

Advanced Being is a subtype. The advanced being subtype gives access to salient feats. All of the Advanced Beings, no matter what their main type, are more similar than different to each other on account of having the Advanced Being subtype.

I’ll check it out.

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I read it. The phenotypical differences I take as a given. If Hamanu wants to be a Chinese style Lion-Dragon, why not?

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I knew this. I guess your phrasing in the part I quoted implied there was something else that I wasn’t yet aware of.

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I agree with this. The part I was most interested in, however, was where one of the posters started making unique transformations spells that would have (presumably) eventually created some statistical differences between the individuals undergoing them. As your system also allows for such things, I was wondering if you had any ideas about statistical divergence from the “standard” metamorphosis in your own game. Since I already stated up one sorcerer monarch above, I am curious as too if you want her, or say, Nibenay or Hamanu, the two I am most likely to work on next, to have any unique statistical benefits as part of their first 3 or 4 spells?

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It depends on how you view the canon. If Rajaat was responsible for transforming them, then the first spell is Anoint the Champion. If you accept RaFoADK, then in addition to trolls, Hamanu has a genocidal focus for humans in addition to trolls, and perhaps dragons as well.

Hamanu: do you remember ‘eyes of the lion’ from RaFoADK? How about ‘corruptive gaze’ from my metamorphosis seed write up? The actual appearance of the gaze could be fluffed up as yellow lights coming out of Hamanu’s eyes like laser beams.

Nibenay: Signature Spells (Sp) (from Champion of Rajaat template in LoA).

Daskinor, if you are doing a far-realm metamorphosis: Alternate Form (Su) (lifted from the pseudonatural creature template): At will, a pseudonatural creature can take the form of a grotesque, tentacled mass (or another appropriately gruesome form), but all its abilities remain unchanged despite the alien appearance. Changing shape is a standard action. Other creatures receive a -1 morale penalty on their attack rolls against pseudonatural creatures in this alternate form.

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eyes of fire actually. :slight_smile: Myron actually has it stated in LoA. I could use that or a gaze attack version.
Having Nibenay have signature spells makes sense.
What about Lalali-Puy?

I would probably make a statistically more relevant version of this, but I like the idea.

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I’m talking about the end part of Rise when the eyes of the lion king strike Hamanu. Did Hamanu himself actually have Myron’s eyes of fire?

It depends. Is Lalali-Puy a dragon type, or a fey type via the altered beast salient feat? Anyway, perhaps her long nails have a venomous attack.

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Yep. I have the book open in front of me. He used it at least twice off screen in the past. He was so disturbed by it at the time that he tried to kill himself after the second time (he failed, obviously).

Are you talking about the when Hamanu is a raging dragon and tries to breach the city walls, and the eyes on images of him channel the Spirit of Urik’s power? Because if you are talking about when he finally meets the guardian as a mortal at the very end, there is nothing like what you describe.

She’s a dragon in my stats above, though I could swap something for altered beast. Poison seems fine, though I’d have to check what sorts of things a metamorphosis granted poison could do.

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