The Abyss is clearly defined as chaotic and evil. And yet, I am reading everywhere about the queen of this or the duke of this group of demons or of such-and-such realm. The Forgotten Realms Wiki describes the marilith as follows:
"Maraliths were the tacticians of Abyssal hordes and queens of the Abyssal realms. They served as the generals and advisors to the demon lords of the Abyss. They sought strategies that brought the most destruction in whatever realm they were in."
|All the pics I found for mariliths were poor. This one|
is so overused it's painful. A less cartoonish, expressive
image is dearly needed.
I've always seen the Abyss as a mess of layers where the denizens are at the mercy of incredibly powerful loner serial killer types, who don't work together, don't make plans, don't have purposes, seeing existence as the pure hedonistic pursuit of physical and immediate emotional gratification. They don't form "armies." Hey, buddy. This is the abyss. We don't follow "orders." We don't even want to give orders. Chill out, take a pill, slaughter a few fresh souls and get off my fucking cloud, man.
The Abyss has enough room for that. It has enough room for everyone. Ain't no resources and no land we gots to fight for.
It would be one thing if the various morons in charge of the "official" worldbuilding program had real insight about how a grand big picture of modules should work. Instead, it's just the same concept repeated over and over by half-baked derivative slack-asses without real creativity stretched across every kind of monster. If devils form armies, then obviously demons should too, and why not everything else in the universe? Call it Rule 69. Eventually the fan service of every game concept mirrors every other concept.
That this doesn't make any sense in the universe that's published and re-published ad nauseum as dogma plainly doesn't matter.
It is disconcerting that after 40+ years, there is so painfully little that's been expanded on the nature of so many creatures and concepts that are instantly recognizable to many of us. Sometimes, what we do have is plainly ridiculous. Quote, "Mariliths stood around 9 feet tall and measured 20 feet from head to tip of tail. They weighed 4,000 pounds."
Huh? A Kodiak bear stands between 8 and 10 feet tall and weighs between 600 and 1400 lbs. This is four times that average, for a creature that has a woman's volumptuous body and a thin, snake-like body. Is it made of basalt?
I said "morons" and I meant morons.
40+ years and we get 29 words about their personalities, and these don't even make sense as they basically describe character aspects that are diametrically opposed to chaos. All in all, it's enormously frustrating.
I've written a bunch of posts lately about the importance of having rules, but this is a special problem that pervades throughout the game universe. If we go looking for dense, meaningful content, it just isn't there. We're given the same statistics, with half-notes that improve nothing, with the expectation that we're going to use these ideas for combat and for nothing else. And then we're told by a whole other group of twits that the game "shouldn't be about combat," or that combat bores people, or whatever.
What a bunch of shiftless jerks.