Inevitable (Dungeons & Dragons)
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The marut first appeared in the first edition in the original Manual of the Planes (1987).
The inevitables, including the marut, the kolyarut, and the zelekhut appeared in the third edition in the Manual of the Planes (2001). The quarut and the varakhut appeared in the third edition Fiend Folio (2003). The kolyarut, the marut, and the zelekhut appeared in the 3.5 revised Monster Manual (2003). The waste crawler (anhydrut) appeared in Sandstorm (2005). The inevitables were further developed in Dragon #341 (March 2006).
The marut appeared in the fourth edition Monster Manual 2 (2009). In 4th edition, they are officially classed as Immortal Humanoids, though it is eventually revealed they are technically constructs, having been created by Moradin and Amoth from the raw substance of the Astral Sea to serve as impartial judges in disputes amongst the gods. They are called inevitables by mortals because of their relentless nature, and are essentially warrior bureaucrats amongst the Astral Dominions.
In the standard cosmology, they are from Mechanus, the Lawful Neutral aligned Outer Plane. Inevitables are built and programmed in automated factories called creche-forges; one of them, mentioned in the Manual of the Planes, is called Neumannus (a reference to Von Neumann machines). Every type of inevitable is designed to enforce a particular type of universal law and will pursue its objective at any cost. In order to fulfill their tasks, they may ally themselves with other creatures or, if necessary, sacrifice themselves.
After they complete a mission, they go in search of other transgressors, some of whom they may have encountered while on previous missions. Unlike other constructs, they may learn from experience and may even develop individual personalities over time. Eventually, they are called back to Mechanus, where their personalities and knowledge are erased so they can begin anew.
- Zelekhut. These represent the ineluctability of justice. They are extremely skilled trackers and usually hunt those who flee to avoid punishment. They resemble mechanical centaurs with golden wings and use built-in spiked chains charged with electricity as their primary weapons.
- Kolyarut. These represent the ineluctability of agreements. They hunt oathbreakers, often assuming humanoid form. Their natural forms resemble humanoids made of black metal and dressed in robes. They are typically armed with swords.
- Marut. These represent the ineluctability of death. They hunt for those who either extend their lifespan unnaturally (such as liches and maybe elans) or those who commit extreme acts to keep themselves from death (such as sacrificing hundreds of others to save themselves from a plague). Maruts resemble muscular humanoids made of polished black metal, and typically use their fists in battle.
The Fiend Folio lists two others, which are:
- Varakhut. These protect the integrity of divinity by hunting down beings who are attempting to ascend to godhood. Should the attempt be successful, however, the varakhuts will defend the new god as part of the natural order, as they are also tasked with hunting down any being who attempts to kill a god. Varakhuts appear as a humanoid-shaped creature made out of metallic polygons, and fight using disintegration beams.
- Quarut. These protect the integrity of space and time, usually against wizards with the power to alter reality with wish spells or time travel. They resemble metallic humanoids made of golden clockwork with hourglasses for heads, and seal opponents in bubbles of slowed time. (Oddly enough, many of a quarut's powers have effects that alter time and space, in effect causing them to break the same rules that they enforce.)
Sandstorm introduces a sixth inevitable:
- Waste Crawler (Anhydrut). Anhydruts oppose anyone who attempts to change deserts by irrigation, farming, etc.
More information about inevitables can be found in the March 2006 edition of Dragon magazine (#341), in the article Ecology of the Inevitable by David Noonan.
- LaFountain, J. Paul. Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix. (TSR, 1991)
- Grubb, Jeff, David Noonan, and Bruce Cordell. Manual of the Planes (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
- Cagle, Eric, Jesse Decker, James Jacobs, Erik Mona, Matt Sernett, Chris Thomasson, and James Wyatt. Fiend Folio (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
- Cordell, Bruce, Jennifer Clarke-Wilkes, and JD Wiker. Sandstorm (Wizards of the Coast, 2005)
- Noonan, David. "The Ecology of the Inevitable" Dragon #341 (Paizo, 2006)