Hey, I’m back with another Monster Name Game, where I take a picture and name of a classic Dungeons & Dragons monster and create a totally new monster from it. Because I love a challenge, I’ve decided to go with the flumph, a strange jelly-fish monster who was the only “Lawful Good” creature in the classic Fiend Folio book. The creature has long been derided by D&D fans, both for its strange appearance and for the incongruous alignment. What is so benevolent about these floating jellyfish? Do they rescue maidens? Heal the sick? Always pay their taxes on time? What good deeds do jellyfish perform?
So what direction could I go based on their appearance and their name, which sounds like it’s being spoken by someone with his mouth full of marshmallows? Just to make things extra difficult, how about I keep the “Lawful Good” alignment. Whatever kind of creature my flumph is, it’s benevolent.
Well, what do I think of when I see a bizarre tentacled creature with a peculiar name? Aliens. Now fantasy fiction is not generally big about visitors from another planet, but what about visitors from another universe? Some extraplanar entities who have phased into our reality for some special purpose. What if the flumph is like those benevolent “star-brother” aliens you often get in stories? The ones who show-up to deliver some message of peace to humanity or perhaps to supply use with knowledge that will improve our lot as a species. The flumph look so strange because they are inhabitants of a higher plane of existence, one where our heavy, clumsy bodies would not function. They’re not angels, not servants of a divine power, but simply a more self-aware kind of being than us who has watched us for a long time and sometimes given a helping tentacle. They almost treat us like we were their little siblings to be taught and protected, though they are aware that us mere four-dimensional beings often respond to the strange with fear and hate, so the flumph generally keep their appearance known to only a deserving few.
What’s interesting about them being extra-dimensional beings is that then their strange appearance and goofy name makes sense. Their universe is different from ours, and their views of what’s beautiful are different as well. To each other, the flumph appear handsome and heroic, and their species name is grand and noble. It shows the jarring contrast of the two universes that we have a hard time taking the flumph seriously.
“Do not be afraid, young one. We come in peace. We have much to teach you.”