Modrons as Contemplative Geometry

September 6th, 2008

Four drawings of modrons, first appearing in the AD&D Monster Manual II (1983). Modrons are geometrically-derived creatures that embody an order irrespective of morality.

Monodrone (p87).

“The Plane of Nirvana is a plane of balance and absolute order [lawful neutral]. It is equally hot and cold, equally light and dark, and made of equal parts of solid and liquid. The chief inhbitants of this plane are known as modrons and live in a rigid caste system under the absolute rule of Primus the One.

“Nirvana is laid out like a great wheel with the Tower of Primus at the hub. The wheel is infinitely wide but divided into 64 sectors, each sector with its own governor. Four sectors become a region, maintained by its ruler, and 4 regions are ruled by a viceroy as a single quarter. The 4 quarters are ruled by Primus. Access to this great wheel is possible by astral means or by portals that connect to Arcadia, Archeron, and the Plane of Concordant Opposition, but the locations of these portals change as the wheel revolves around the Tower of Primus.

“In modrons’ society all beings are classified, all actions regulated, and all procedures deliniated. Obedience to the laws is immediate and unquestioned. The society is separated into the base modrons who are the largest in number and act as the servant class, and the hierarch modrons, who are the leaders, enforcers, and governors” (p86).

The modronic castes are based on mathematical progressions: the base modrons (with their populations given in parenthesis) include monodrones (300+ million), duodrones (55+ million), tridrones (6+ million), quadrones (1.5+ million), and pentadrones (500,000+); the hierarch modrons include decatons (100), nonatons (81), octons (64), septons (49), hextons (36), quintons (25), quartons (16), tertians (9), secundi (4), and Primus (1).

Tridrone (p88).

“Modrons are not affected by any illusions or magic that affects the mind (beguilement, charm, domination, hold, hypnosis, and sleep are examples). Fear and other emotion spells have no effect, and the modrons are unaffected by attacks based in the Positive or Negative Planes (including life-draining or life-stealing)” (p86).

Nonaton (p89).

The perceptual abilities of modrons increase according to their rank in the hierarchy.  For example, a monodrones’ senses are less than humans’ and tridrones’ senses equal to humans’, whereas septons, in addition to hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch, have the two additional senses of ESP (with 30-foot range) and detect magic.  The Primus itself can communicate telepathically and immediately with any creature in Nirvana.

Primus, The one and the Prime (p91).

“Primus is a huge being who rises from the energy pool in the central part of his great tower at the center of the plane, although the Prime One may also appear as a normal human. In giant-form, Primus’ hands are unseen, the right swathed in rainbow-bright lights, the left clouded in inky darkness. Those creatures struck by the light-hand must save vs. spells or be teleported to Arcadia [tending good]; those struck by the left must save or be sent to Acheron [tending evil]” (p91).

4 Responses to “Modrons as Contemplative Geometry”

  1. Pete Skomoroch Says:

    Greg, One of Kathy’s friends makes and sells dolls with many arms and legs on etsy. She forwarded this post to her – so maybe a Modron will arrive in the mail at some point.

  2. Diterlizzi’s Modron Memories « Unurthed Says:

    […] of modrons, a duodrone drawing by Tony Diterlizzi, appearing in Dragon magazine (April 2007, […]

  3. oakfish Says:

    Some how it feels absolutely idiotic to me that the Primus is anthropomorphic.

  4. hextopher Says:

    hes a shapeshifter, duh

Leave a Comment