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96 Grey Renders


James: The Beastly One Freeman: The Intelligent One

Book: MToF 209 or MotM 146

D&D Lore

“I suspect the Grey Renders owe their origin to the Neogi, since they are often in their company. Those that appear in the wilderness are likely castaways from frustrated Neogi masters.”


· I will start with an annoyance.

o This quote is in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. But is inexplicably removed in Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse.

o This annoys me because NOTHING in MotM mentions anything about the Neogi.

o Effectively removing the connection between the creatures for anyone who owns only MotM and not MToF.

o I nearly missed the connection entirely myself.

· Origin – Forgotten Realms Wiki

o Some say they were created by the Neogi, given it’s fairly common to see them together.

o The other option is having origins traced to the Inner Plane of Elemental Chaos

§ More on Chaos later…

· Grey Renders hulking beast-like creatures with an active appetite.

o Hulking powerful masses of dense bones and muscle, they walk on two feet, albeit in a hunched over posture, with long arms that drag along the ground.

o Even hunched over they stoof around 9 ft. tall, with 4 ft. wide shoulders, and are said to have the strength of a giant.

o Hairless and of course grey all over, they have sharp claws and powerful jaws with black teeth, and six small yellows eyes along a sloped forehead.

o But curiously they crave something specific from birth: the need to bond with an intelligent creature.

o If they find such a creature with which they can bond…they lend their great strength, rather savage nature and incredible loyalty to their protection.

o However, they lack any sort of…cunning.

· Grey Renders can reproduce on their own.

o They form nodules on their body that eventually reach a level of “maturity” that causes them to drop off and begin new life as another Grey Render.

o The parent feels no obligation toward the young, and they are left to their own devices.

o One can imagine that this could lead to sudden burst in population in the right circumstances.

§ However, this is extremely vague, and we are given no timeline or number of nodules.

§ Looking at 3.5e, it’s actually described as one Render produces one offspring in its lifetime only, and while is still produced asexually, it is formed and develops in a pouch or pocket on the Render’s body.

· The Bond

o Between the editions things are quite curious.

o The bond seems to form in the context of the Grey Render “adopting” the intelligent creature.

o Its own lack of intelligence making it a fierce ally…with consequences.

o Sometimes the adoptee is unwilling, but that does not matter to the Render. It will follow and protect regardless.

§ In fact, even if its “master” attacks it, it will simply retreat and return later without any ‘hard feelings’.

§ I say master because it is a term that is consistently used in 5e that is at odds with previous editions with the concept of “adopting”.

§ I think it’s bad change and going forward we will refer to the “master” as the “bond”.

o When the Render finds an intelligent creature to bond with, it sings to it.

§ A weird, warbling sort of cry along with the scratching of earth and show of humility and submission. (5e description).

o The render will NEVER willingly cause harm to the bond.

§ “Willing” being the operative word here.

§ When hunting, for example, they will happily lie in wait and spring a trap, and then attack in a murderous rampage. Only the bond is avoided when it comes to collateral damage.

§ They will also…maybe not…listen if told to stay…and follow their bond into a situation that becomes more dangerous with its presence.

· Or…they might accidentally destroy a bond’s house

· Or…burrow a whole in the side of a boat not realizing it’s not earth.

· Or…simply attack someone out of jealousy for tis bond.

· Or…return home with a fresh kill, like a cat with a rat or bird…who knows what it killed though…

o This one I like as the introduction to being “adopted”. Like caring for the a new bond, willing or not.

§ The point is, there is a hugely unpredictable side to having this creature “adopt” you.

· Quirks

o Here’s the fun part. A roll table is offered to give a quirk to any given Grey Render.

o Some of the list simply includes lore, the rest is gold.


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