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Phaerimms, also known as magicgrubs[6] and thornbacks[7] were malevolent and highly intelligent aberrations who were natural spell-casters.[2]

DescriptionEdit

Phaerimms were conical in shape with an ovoid head. They had barbed teeth and a venomous hollow barb on the end of their tails. Phaerimms had four arms. Their spiked, slug-shaped body was a greenish color covered by a rough, scaly, and leathery hide.[8]

PersonalityEdit

Wholly evil and sadistic, phaerimms were ambitious and malicious creatures that worked only for their own individual causes. They delighted in bringing pain to others and would gladly erase all other beings from existence, save for the fact that they would lack slaves to torture for sport if they did so.[9]

CombatEdit

In addition to their spell-casting abilities, phaerimms were formidable opponents in melee combat. Their tail was strong enough to knock over most humanoids. The stinger at the end of their tail injected a powerful venom into a target, causing paralysis.[1] They used their four arms to great effect in combat. Each arm was able to wield a weapon independently. A common tactic used by phaerimms in combat was to simply grab an opponent and drag them to their tooth-covered maw, delivering a usually fatal bite.[10]

AbilitiesEdit

Phaerimms were incredibly powerful spell-casters. Not only were they capable of casting far more spells than most human mages, they have developed their own unique spells, which could only be cast by phaerimms.[1] They specialized in mind-controlling spells, which were so powerful they could control nearly any creature, including powerful ones such as beholders and mind flayers. A negative side-effect of phaerimm magic was that it drained moisture from the surrounding area. Extensive use of this magic led to the creation of the infamous Anauroch desert.[9]

All spells cast by a phaerimm was done so through will alone, they did not require spell components or incantations. Their magical studies mainly composed of altering spells cast by humanoids to be cast in such a way. As they learned new spells, they had the ability to retain one spell per skill level attained. This spell was permanently memorized by the phaerimm.[1]

Phaerimms had a degree of natural resistance to nearly all affects and spells. Additionally, they also had the natural ability to absorb or deflect any spell cast on them.[1] Phaerimm also had the ability to detect any magic.[2]

SocietyEdit

Phaerimms were solitary creatures but always lived near other phaerimms, both for protection and to gain pleasure from unleashing devious schemes on one another. A phaerimm always retained a retinue of enslaved creatures.[1] Phaerimms communicated with one another non-verbally by varying the wind speeds around their bodies. With non-phaerimms, they communicated telepathically. They understood Common and knew several other languages.[2] The phaerimm language was so complex it was incomprehensible to other creatures.[10]

They did not maintain direct relations with non-phaerimm organizations or realms, instead relying on magically-enslaved agents to do their bidding beyond their territory.[1]

Phaerimm had a particular hatred from tomb trappers, due to their immunity to phaerimm mind control.[1]

HabitatEdit

Phaerimms made their homes in fortified underground caves. Since this was were a phaerimm stored their magical items and spellsbooks, they were defended by powerful magical traps, slaves and spellfields.[5] Most phaerimm lived in the Buried Realms beneath Anauroch[11] but a small group lived in the ruins of Myth Drannor.[12]

EcologyEdit

Phaerimms would always choose to fly unless prevented from doing so.[8] Phaerimms were carnivores, capturing mammals and reptiles, sentient or not, and holding them as slaves until slaughtered for consumption.[1] Phaerimms had to live in an area that had magic. This was a result of their unique digestive tract. Their stomach acid and intestines relied on the presence of magic to digest and absorb nutrients properly.[10]

Phaerimms reproduced by injecting an egg into a victim via the stinger on their tail. The egg hatched within the paralyzed victim, and the larva began consuming them alive from the inside. The larva could be killed safely only with the casting of a cure disease spell.[1]

Phaerimm were capable of seeing any astral, incorporeal or invisible creature within 120 ft (37 m).[2] They were also able to see in infravision to a distance of up to 160 ft (49 m) away.[1]

HistoryEdit

Phaerimms date back to the Days of Thunder. The wizards of the sarrukh Empire of Isstosseffifil battled the phaerimm and although the Isstossef succeeded in driving the phaerimm deep into the Underdark, the massive ecological change resulting from their weavings of Art caused the Isstosseffifil empire to collapse.[13]

At one point during The Founding Time, it was rumoured the Mhaurlok Expanse, an area of the Northdark where chaotic energy and primal forces run wild, was created as a result of an ancient battle between the Delzoun and the phaerimm.[14]

In −461 DR, in retaliation and for their own survival, the phaerimm developed a powerful spell that drained the life from Netherese lands and their floating cities. Unbeknownst to the Netherese, their enormous usage of magic was destroying the underground home of the entire phaerimm race, which depended on the inherent magic of nature to survive. This created barren wastelands where there once were lush fields and areas of wild magic. The chaotic effects of magics caused the arcanists of High Netheril to flee the empire for safer lands.[15][16][17]

In −427 DR, the phaerimm used spells to bring down the floating cities of Lhaoda and Tith Tilendrothael were destroyed, resulting in the other Netherese enclaves setting wards against this type of attack.[15][16][17]

Circa −450 DR, large-scale Netherese migration into the Savage Frontier began when the effects of the phaerimms’ lifedrain dweomers became apparent. Many of the arcanists of Low Netheril fled for the recently-established magocracy of Illusk. The absence of the arcanists caused civil unrest in Low Netheril, and the commoners fled their home. As the empire found it more difficult to feed its people, the stress led a series of wars, some fought to keep the restless populace entertained, while others were fought to claim more arable land.[15][16]

In −354 DR the arcanist Melathlar fled Netheril to Illusk. He sacrificed his life to power the spell that raised a great stone tower, walls, and powerful spellwards around the Netherese settlement in order to protect it from the phaerimm. This tower was now known as the Host Tower of the Arcane.[18]

In −354 DR, the first recorded clash between the phaerimms and sharns occurred.[18] In 329 DR, the sharns finally defeated the phaerimms and imprisoned them behind the Sharn Wall beneath Anauroch, in the Buried Realms, which the phaerimms called the Phaerlin.[19]

In −350 DR, three powerful phaerimm sorcerers known as the Triumvirate take over the beholder city of Ooltul.[18]

In −100 DR, Delzoun, the Northkingdom, met its end before the advancing phaerimms and other threats. Its citadels on the surface survive and stay under dwarven control.[20]

In 1346 DR, a portal to Avernus was erected in the Burial Glen of Myth Drannor by Banites loyal to the High Imperceptor of Mulmaster, but under the influence of Zhentarim agents and, by proxy, a cabal of alhoon living in the ruins. The alhoon had it erected so that the devils it spawned would prevent the local phaerimms from attacking the liches while they searched the city for magic.[21][22]

In 1372 DR, the return of the Netherese to Faerûn saw them quickly target the colony of phaerimm living in the ruins for destruction. They erected a shadowshell that prevented the phaerimm's escape before they were to descend and wipe out their ancient foes. An attack on Thultanthar by the Chosen of Mystra however, prevented them from both confirming that all of the phaerimms living there had been killed and looting what magic remained.[23]

On Nightal 20, the Year of the Unstrung Harp, 1371 DR, the Sharn Wall was breached near the city of Evereska, unleashing the phaerimm to cause chaos in the lands outside. Eventually, the return of Thultanthar and the forces combating the phaerimm kept them at bay.[11]

During the 1470s DR, the shadovar ruthlessly hunted down any phaerimm they could find. Their desire for revenge drove them to hunt the phaerimm to extinction, although at least one corpse of a phaerimm remained intact within the Phaerimm Memory Spire in Netheril.[24]

AppendixEdit

GalleryEdit

AppearancesEdit

Adventures
How the Mighty Are FallenShadowdale: The Scouring of the LandThe Ruins of Myth Drannor
Novels
The SiegeThe SorcererThe Summoning
Short Stories
First FlightWhen Shadows Come Seeking a Throne
Video Games
Baldur's Gate

ReferencesEdit

  1. 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 Ed Greenwood (November 1991). Anauroch. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 94. ISBN 1-56076-126-1.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 70. ISBN 0-7869-1832-2.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Richard Baker and James Wyatt (2004-03-13). Monster Update (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. pp. 8–9. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-10.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 187–189. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ed Greenwood (March 1993). “Campaign Guide to Myth Drannor”. In Newton H. Ewell ed. The Ruins of Myth Drannor (TSR, Inc.), p. 36. ISBN 1-5607-6569-0.
  6. Troy Denning (Mar 2001). The Summoning. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 111. ISBN 07-8691-801-2.
  7. Richard Baker, Eric L. Boyd, Thomas M. Reid (July 2007). Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 117. ISBN 07-8694-039-5.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Steven E. Schend (July 2006). Blackstaff. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 2. ISBN 978-0786940165.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Ed Greenwood (November 1991). Anauroch. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 25. ISBN 1-56076-126-1.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 118. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 122. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
  12. Ed Greenwood (March 1993). “Campaign Guide to Myth Drannor”. In Newton H. Ewell ed. The Ruins of Myth Drannor (TSR, Inc.), p. 8. ISBN 1-5607-6569-0.
  13. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  14. Brian R. James, Eric Menge (August 2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108. ISBN 978-0786960361.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 98. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 9–12. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 43. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 47. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  19. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  20. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 58. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  21. Ed Greenwood (March 1993). “Campaign Guide to Myth Drannor”. In Newton H. Ewell ed. The Ruins of Myth Drannor (TSR, Inc.), p. 69. ISBN 1-5607-6569-0.
  22. Eric L. Boyd (September 2007). “Volo's Guide: Myth Drannor, City of Song”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #359 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 102–103.
  23. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 153. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  24. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 165. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
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