Boggles, sometimes referred to as bogeymen or simply bogeys, were trickster fey that delighted in japing the beings of the Material Plane. Often thought of as the figments of overactive imaginations, boggles used their dimension warping abilities and ingenuity to disappear from sight, but not without leaving behind some kind of trouble.
Boggle comes and boggle goes, Steals your rings and stamps your toes. Turn around the compass rose, Where it went to, no one knows.
|— Fallcrest children’s rhyme|
Boggles were three feet (0.9 meter) tall creatures, humanoid in shape but who walked hunched over with their knuckles dragging along the floor. A pair of large ears rested on the sides of their bulbous heads. Rubbery and hairless flesh covered their small frames, oddly stretchable and compressible, and ranging from blackish-blue to dark gray in coloration. It was there that the similarities between boggles ended, as past that point they had no common features. Noses could be large, long, flat, or slits, while their limbs could be lanky, or oversized for their diminutive forms. Arms, legs, hands, feet, torso, abdomen, and facial features were all disproportionate in several ways, making individual boggles immediately visually distinct. Old boggles were made recognizable by their lack of elasticity compared to their kin, while younger boggles were far more bouncy.
Often engaging in random acts of mischief, a boggle's love of pranks was regularly demonstrated whether desired or not. A myriad of methods to vex people were often at a boggle's disposal such as spoiling milk, lighting socks, tying shoelaces, stripping bed sheets, hiding tools, frightening animals, breaking dishes, throwing things at walls or knocking on doors only to disappear. More boisterous boggles might grab people from beneath their beds, replace weapons with broken variants, or hide the pieces of important equipment. Boggle pranks were generally more mischievous than malevolent, although some were known to lure adventurers into dangerous situations, misplace infants and sometimes even replace them with baby animals.
When forced to engage with others directly, boggles were whiny, babbling and cowardly. It was in fact their cowardice that typically offset their desire for trickery, as entities with strong presences were capable of forcing them into line. They possessed an intellect similar to monkeys, lacking in decorum and knowledge but compensating with cleverness and cunning. Whimpering when confronted directly, boggles made use of taunts and blusters only when their targets could not reach them. Despite their lack of confidence, a boggle in its lair was an aggressive creature, as sly as it was insatiable. Like monkeys, they had no concept of treasure outside of shiny trinkets such as gold, gems, or polished pieces of garbage. Charismatic souls could befriend boggles, especially by appealing to their love of food and sweets, although camaraderie as constrictive as alliances was usually short lived.
All boggles shared a small array of strange powers that allowed them to engage in their escapades. Boggles sweated a nonflammable and slippery black ooze they could leave to puddle or trail behind them like a slug's slime. This ability could intentionally be invoked, although they also secreted the substance accidentally when nervous. They were also capable of inducing an opposite effect, causing a sticky viscous fluid to flow from their pores instead and allowing them to climb on walls and easily latch onto people. When they allowed their oily secretions to pool, they could cause inch deep puddles that stuck people to the floor or resulted in slipping. Devious by nature, boggles would exercise this ability to create opportunities to steal weapons or buy time to escape from pursuers. The fireproof oil that covered their bodies gave them a resistance to flames and heat.
The second power in the boggles' tool set was their remarkably strong senses. Noses could be broad, narrow, or nonexistent, but the sharp sense of smell of the boggle remained, powerful enough to sniff out even invisible creatures. Their huge ears were not for show, and much like a dog could perceive noises imperceptible to most.
The most enigmatic power of the bogeymen was their ability to turn any complete frame, that is, any rigid structure with a completely enclosed hole in it, into a dimensional portal before appearing from any similar point within a few dozen feet. Such places could be holes in the walls, open windows, doorways, bags or pockets, and cage bars. The frames they disappeared into need not have been wholly part of the same object. For example, the underside of a legged object like a bed or table contained a fixed hole between the object's base, legs and the floor, allowing dimensional travel. These portals were invisible and only lasted a few seconds, but usually not before the boggle stole or hit whatever it needed to through the rift. Not all bogeymen were dimensionally bound in the same way, and some were thought to have the power to warp others through space, and even possess them.
Social structure among boggles was loose, tribal and familial, with somewhere between 2-8 individuals living in any one area. Boggle nests were normally pit marked caves, burrows, or holes in walls, usually requiring their space bending abilities to reach without severe force. Within their earthen homes they often constructed cubbies and clay frames out of random debris by using their oil as a kind of mortar. Treasure was often kept within walled off cubbies and secret areas. Some boggles made their homes in old closets, under beds, or in other rarely visited places within a home. Others that did not occupy the material realm often lurked on the outskirts between it and the Feywild, constantly searching for opportunities to cross over.
Boggles were often persuaded into, spying or stealing for other clever creatures due to their innate ability to steal and escape. Some Archfey had boggles at their command and bestowed them to their warlock subordinates. Fomorians and hags were both known to shelter boggles in their lair before later coercing them into serving their own nefarious ends. Goblins had been known to use boggles as guards and watchdogs due to their sharp senses and ability to hide valuable objects through the use of inward barbed collars and high frequency noises. Guarding boggles, often were trained to make loud high pitched noises to simulate alarms when they detected unwanted presences. Orcs, hobgoblins and races like them had also been known to use them for similar reasons.
Scavenging whatever food was nearby, boggles fed on on organic waste, insects, plants, lichens, and the carcasses of animals that others killed. They were normally clever enough to herd lizards, beetles and slugs into their nests. If need be they could acquire fresh prey by using their dimensional rifts to unexpectedly snatch small prey like birds and rabbits Larger creatures could be taken down by sticking to them using claws and sweat while they strangled them to death. Of their favorite foods were ants, grubs as well as sweets. Young boggles known as kits had a greater elasticity then their older counterparts. They were able to bounce and roll throughout their environment as opposed to simply running. Older boggles on the other hand lost their bounciness, as well as their sharp sense of smell and eyesight.
Bogeymen spoke their own rudimentary language, composted of grunts, shrieks, clicks, whistles hisses, and taps. Some could often understand Goblin, as well as speak a halting form of common or Sylvan. Although they typically only spoke Boggle, they could be taught to understand other languages with significant motivation.
Boggle origins remained somewhat of a mystery to many, although two main hypothesis were normally proposed. One postulation was that boggles shared a common ancestry with goblins and banderhobbs similarly to humans and apes. Those who held to this idea believed that it was the boggles' space bending powers that caused them to become elongated and misshapen, and that they migrated to the material realm using fey crossings. Secondly was the theory that like certain other fey beings, boggles materialized when strong emotions were felt in places between the Feywild and Material Plane. In the case of the boggle the feelings that generated them were purported to be intense emotions of loneliness, isolation, or abandonment.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 Jon Pickens ed. (1995). Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 0-7869-0199-3.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Wizards RPG Team (2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 978-0786966011.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Brian R. James, Matt James, Sterling Hershey, Steve Townshend (December 2011). Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-0-7869-5838-2.
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Ed Bonny, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter (September 2002). Monster Manual II 3rd edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 33–34. ISBN 07-8692-873-5.
- ↑ Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 20. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Template:Cite book/Secret of the Slaver's Stockade