Monday, September 23, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Day 19 - Favorite Monster (Elemental/Plant)

What an odd pairing!  What do elements and plants have to do with each other, and why would you pick between them?  Honestly, I don't really like any plants very much in D&D.  I can kinda dig treants, since they're clearly a slightly re-named ent; the exact same concept as Tolkien's Quickbeam and Treebeard, etc.  And elementals?  Bo-ring!  They exist merely to be summoned.  They have no personality, nothing about them could possibly make them a favorite (in spite of the fact that they tend to be pretty ubiquitous in fantasy literature.)

Rather, there are other creatures, which aren't technically elemental in nature, but which are much more likely to get my vote.  Mephits, for example, are like imps or quasits, but instead of being overtly fiendish, they're overtly elemental.  Nice one.  Genies are also much like bigger, badder elemental-like creatures.  Some of them (efreeti in particular) seem to converge in concept with fiends.  I know, I know, the basic original of them is from Arabian folklore, while fiends come from Judeo-Christian writings about demons and fallen angels, and the devil, and whatnot.  After later Islamification of Arabia, the genies existed alongside folkloric entities that were more directly applicable to Judeo-Christian fiends.  But still, they seem to fill a cosmologically similar niche.  Or, if the cosmology is different, it seems to lead to only superficial actual differences.

So, since I like fiends a lot, naturally, I like genies a lot, as an Arabian Nights themed variety of fiendish-like creature.  And since I like fiends a lot, naturally, the efreeti are my favorite of the genies, since they bear the closest resemblance to "classic" fiends, in most respects.

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