Chris Perkins' Io9 Interview: Art & A Bit Of Plot (Big Spoilers!)

There's a lengthy interview with Chris Perkins over at iO9 about Out of the Abyss (release date - tomorrow!) Not only does it contain some new art, it also contains a major plot spoiler - one major enough that I've left it below the fold for those reading this on the news page. The interview also discusses illithids, svirneblin, insane derro cuthroat gangs, weird architecture, and more. This is an interview which covers more of the darker stuff than the whimsical stuff we've been seeing a lot of recently.

So, what's the big spoiler. Well, some folks wondered why a certain Spider Queen was not featured in the eight rampaging demon lords of the adventure. It turns out there's a reason for that: the whole thing is Lloth's scheme! Here's the main plot; like I said - spoilers!

The story begins with a single disenfranchised male drow casting a spell that harnesses the power of the faerzress (the ambient magical radiation of the Underdark) and opens the floodgates to the Abyss. This drow is Gromph Baenre, the Archmage of Menzoberranzan, arguably the most powerful male drow spellcaster in the Forgotten Realms, yet he feels subjugated and betrayed by Lolth and her priestesses. His sister, Quenthel Baenre, pushes him a bit too far. However, she’s no pushover herself. In fact, she views the demonic invasion as an opportunity to purge the Underdark of its dregs, within drow society and without. Consequently, she doesn’t fret when Demogorgon rampages through Menzoberranzan. As far as she’s concerned, everything that happens is part of Lolth’s grand scheme, and in this case, she’s right.

Plus Illithiliches. "Orcus, the Demon Prince of Undeath, “saving” a mind flayer enclave whose elder brain, Cyrog, has died. Orcus reanimates the dead elder brain and uses it to telepathically compel the mind flayers to embrace undeath, because the only thing scarier than a mob of mind flayers is a mob of undead mind flayers."

Read the full interview here.

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Original post:
Mostly some art and some plot info: The drow matriarchy is put to the test in Rage of Demons. The story begins with a single disenfranchised male drow casting a spell that harnesses the power of the faerzress (the ambient magical radiation of the Underdark) and opens the floodgates to the Abyss. This drow is Gromph Baenre, the Archmage of Menzoberranzan, arguably the most powerful male drow spellcaster in the Forgotten Realms, yet he feels subjugated and betrayed by Lolth and her priestesses. His sister, Quenthel Baenre, pushes him a bit too far. However, she’s no pushover herself. In fact, she views the demonic invasion as an opportunity to purge the Underdark of its dregs, within drow society and without. Consequently, she doesn’t fret when Demogorgon rampages through Menzoberranzan. As far as she’s concerned, everything that happens is part of Lolth’s grand scheme, and in this case, she’s right.
 
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Comments

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
So, I called it correctly, then...in some thread around here. The reason Lolth isn't being showcased as one of the rampaging demonlords/-ladies is the whole thing is a Lolth scheme. Way to give away the punchline there, Mr. Perkins. But always nice to be validated. :)

EDIT: I mean, not really giving it away by much. It drops tomorrow so the boards will be ablaze with spoilers from then on.
 
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Voort

Villager
"...because the only thing scarier than a mob of mind flayers is a mob of undead mind flayers."

Why? Now they REALLY want to eat your brain? An undead mind flayer is just a better target for clerics and paladins.
 

Louis Brenton

Explorer
Forgive my ignorance, but I'm not aware of the process or standards by which some stores become preferred stores. Anyone have knowledge on that topic?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Forgive my ignorance, but I'm not aware of the process or standards by which some stores become preferred stores. Anyone have knowledge on that topic?
They sign up for it. You should check with your local store to see if they have.
 

pedr

Explorer
Preferred stores are ones which have a particular level of status gained by running organised Magic and D&D events. You can find details on the Wizards Play Network pages on the WotC site.
 

Mistwell

Hero
"...because the only thing scarier than a mob of mind flayers is a mob of undead mind flayers."

Why? Now they REALLY want to eat your brain? An undead mind flayer is just a better target for clerics and paladins.
Before, Mind Flayers were thinking beings. Evil, corrupt thinking beings, but thinking beings. You could persuade them, intimidate them, or deceive them, into not attacking or working towards your goals.

Now, as undead, you pretty much have to fight them - they have an unwavering loyalty to a deity of death and are killing machines that want you dead. And they will likely be immune to being charmed, exhausted, or poisoned. Telepathic, psionic-using, levitating, thought detecting, plane shifting, and monster dominating undead who are immune to the things undead are immune to.

It's kinda terrifying. Sure, the Cleric can turn them temporarily maybe...but they will be back. The Underdark is going to be a lonely, dark place when the radiant damage runs low.
 

dalisprime

Explorer
Are demonweb pits back in the abyss? Cause if so that would make a great deal of sense for Lolth to be okay with other demon princes being relocated elsewhere. Major layers of the plane ripe for the talking.
 

Uchawi

Villager
The mind flayers being undead changes the dynamic of the creature. Instead of consuming brains to gather latent psionic energy, I believe they would be more interested into creating more undead creatures. I am not sure what type of undead functions without a brain. Maybe a zombie. But I have a bias, I am not a big Orcus fan.

I guess we may see an undead version of an Intellect Devourer,
 

WackyAnne

Villager
Wizards Play Network stores would be what they are referring to when they say "preferred". They have business agreements with WotC directly, I believe, and sell a certain volume of product (Magic, D&D, and whatever else) to qualify for different degrees of benefits. For instance, all stores would get Encounters, but you have to be the next level up to get Expeditions as well. (No doubt there are more extensive benefits for MtG participation/sales, as that is a heck of a lot more lucrative for both stores & WotC)
 

Zarithar

Explorer
The thought of Demogorgon rampaging through Menzoberranzan (sp?) makes me almost as happy as purple unicorns gliding through cloud castles. I am excited about this!
 

Blackwarder

Villager
I don't know how big of a spoiler it is, the new Salvatore book spell it out right and it's been out for a week iirc...

Warder
 

graves3141

Villager
Interesting article, the concept art is really good and I admit that parts of this adventure sound appealing.

However, derro that love pancakes? I had to re-read that three times before I realized I wasn't seeing it wrong. There are ways to make NPCs interesting without straying into silly territory like that. For me, that takes away too much from how I think about the Underdark and its denizens. I just hope there aren't mind flayers that love biscuits and gravy as well.
 

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