Quaggoth

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Greyhawk creature
Quaggoth
Quaggoth01.jpg
Quaggoths, as depicted in Monstrous Compendium: Monsters of Faerun (2001).
Alignment Neutral
Type Monstrous Humanoid
Subtype
First appearance Fiend Folio (1981)

The quaggoth is a monstrous humanoid creature covered in hair. The most notable quaggoth in the Flanaess is Shag Solomon, a "civilized" quaggoth who plays a minor role in the Age of Worms adventure path.

Ecology

Quaggoths are sometimes enslaved by other races, notably drow and illithids. They are dangerous hunters, but just as often prey. They can be trained as servants and guards if captured early in life. Quaggoths are omnivores, but prefer meat, especially the meat of sentients. They readily eat humans, gnomes, goblinoids, and just about any other creature that enters their lands, but detest dwarf meat, resorting to it only when starving. Some have a special taste for drow. Quaggoths usually devour all the dead after a victorious battle, including their own.

Quaggoths can mate at any time of the year. Young are born 10 months later. Births are usually singular, but twins are fairly common.

Quaggoths do not create many crafts, though some few are skilled at making wood, stone, or bone necklaces. Most of their items are crudely carved from stone. Those who follow the beast destroy or bury the crafts of other races for fear of raising the ire of their gods, while those who follow magic make use of scavenged equipment.

Environment

Quaggoths usually live in underground lairs, or in cold regions above ground. They are most commonly found in the Forlorn Forest, but have also been encountered in Blackmoor, the Burneal Forest, the Cold Marshes, the Hraak Forest, and the lands of the Tiger and Wolf Nomads.

Quaggoth lairs are filthy, filled with rubbish, excrement, bones, and rotting meat, rife with disease.

Typical physical characteristics

Quaggoths are about six feet tall and covered in shaggy white hair, though brown-haired quaggoths are sometimes seen. Females are about half a foot shorter than males, but weigh about the same, which is usually over 250 pounds. Females tend toward obesity. Quaggoths can see in pitch dark up to 120' feet. They are immune to all known poisons.

Alignment

The 2nd edition Monstrous Manual gives the quaggoths' alignment as "neutral," while Races of Faerun gives it as usually neutral evil. Drow of the Underdark (2007) states that they are "always neutral evil. They are self-interested beings, with little understanding of or concern for the consequences of their actions, motivated purely to fulfill their every desire."

A few quaggoths manage to rise above the savageness of their kin, and some have been known to become the loyal companions of adventurers. Good-aligned quaggoths generally concentrate on liberating their kin from the races that enslave them.

Society

Quaggoths are generally savage, bestial hunters who live in nomadic tribes of up to 50 members. They change territories every so often, claiming a central cave as a lair. On rare occasions, several tribes may meet together to discuss matters of great mutual importance. Quaggoth leaders are known as jalds, and their psionic shaman-equivalents are called thonots.

Religion

Monsters of Faerun says that quaggoths are divided between those who "follow the beast" and "those who follow magic." Dragon #265 says that quaggoths are led by thonots, psionicists who fill a role similar to shamans, interpreting omens, performing rituals, and tending to the sick. 3rd edition's Drow of the Underdark says that those who "follow the beast" are "virtually indistinguishable in nature and outlook from wild animals." Those who "follow magic," on the other hand, "improve on their innate strengths, which they see as a gift from their gods (though still primitive and elemental)." It also says "Quaggoth clerics are extremely rare and worship a primitive aspect of Nerull. The god of death's trickery aspect fits in well with the quaggoths' battle tactics," while "the most wise are spirit-shamans... left alone to commune with the spirits and gods that created the race."

The rituals overseen by thonots include preparation for hunting, coming of age, and death. The funeral ritual includes brief whistling to usher away the spirit before the other quaggoths consume the corpse. They are not known to have any rituals for courtship or mating.

Language

Quaggoths lack their own language, so halting, snarling dialects of Undercommon, Duergar, Drow, or Common might be considered their native tongue, depending on the tribe. Independent quaggoth tribes may have dialects of one of these languages different enough to be considered a separate language. Slaps and pushes are common punctuation marks in quaggoth body languge.

History

Some believe that quaggoths were once a semi-civilized race that dominated much of the Underdark through conquest and ritual sacrifice until the drow, duergar, and other races ended their reign. A competing theory holds that the quaggoths once had a civilization of some sort on the surface until they were driven underground; this theory is supported by the intense hate quaggoths hold for surface-dwelling dwarves and elves.

Erik Mona's unpublished article "The Great Emarkation" has it that the quaggoths were allies of the kuo-toa back when the elves were new to the Flanaess. While elves (and their gnome and primitive human allies) drove the kuo-toa into the sea, the quaggoths rebelled against the elves who claimed the northern forests as their own, managing to slay a legendary elven princess. The elven retribution is said to have been far out of proportion, putting thousands of quaggoths to death for each slain elf. Some consider this tale to be only legend, though the quaggoths maintain it is the truth.

Bibliography

  • Brown, Lloyd III. "Primitive PCs." Dragon #265. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1999.
  • Cordell, Bruce R., Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick. Underdark. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2003.
  • Mona, Erik. "Ancient History: The Great Embarkation." Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, unpublished. Available online:[1]
  • Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1994.
  • Turnbull, Don, ed. Fiend Folio. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1981.
  • Williams, Skip, et al. Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1992.
  • Wyatt, James, and Rob Heinsoo. Monstrous Compendium: Monsters of Faerun. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2001.