Slaadi and hybrididity

On Sundays I’ve been posting illustrations I’ve made to use in RPGs like D&D. I’ve started determining what I draw using a Twitter poll, and this week slaadi have been chosen. Here is my illustration of a red slaad, a blue slaad and a green slaad:
3 slaad

(I expect I’ll come back to these, and add the grey slaad and death slaad at some stage.)

The slaadi are beings from the plane of limbo, which is a chaotic mess of different elements. The look like bipedal, reptilian toads with sharp teeth and claws. One of the things I find most interesting about them is their origin story. They were actually created by Primus, the god of the lawful neutral modron race, in an attempt to bring order to Limbo. instead of bringing order to the chaotic plane, Primus’ intervention created rigidly hierarchical of chaotic neutral beings: the slaadi.

I think it’s often tempting to think we know what is best, and to think we can improve things by recreating others in our own image – seeing them as a blank slate for ourselves to work with. i don’t think this normally goes to plan. folks might take on some of what we direct at them, but merge it with their own identity. in postcolonial studies, Homi Bhabha talks about this as ‘hybridity’ – colonised people will take on the culture of the colonisers, but also find ways of subverting it by mixing it with their own culture. Something like this is has happened in the creation of the slaadi – Primus thought he would bring order to a foreign plane, but instead his intervention created a new chaotic neutral race, who nevertheless reflected the modrons’ rigid hierarchy.

 

One thought on “Slaadi and hybrididity

  1. I agree, I think a lot of good intentions can lead to imposed agency on people, events and structures that may not necessarily have been looking for change or ‘order’ in the first place. I guess the hubris of humanity is always working its ‘will’, on an individual or cultural level, for better or worse. Chalk it up to narcissism, goodwill, or simply a need to create a lasting legacy, it’s always happening.

    Nice slaadi btw, one of my favorite monsters. A single creature with multiple stages of development, definitely feel they have a strong influence from the Alien mythos (egg, face-hugger, zenomorph), including even the most recent blasphemy in the franchise(#covenant).

    Like

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