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Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Review: The Thweem by Adam Lee

 The Thweem is a short story "by Chris Perkins, written by Adam Lee", whatever that collaboration means. It can be found for free in Dragon+ issue 4, published October 2015. The short story is a tie-in to the Rage of Demons storyline. It is a short tale about a flumph named Freemo and its experience in the Underdark during the tumult of 1485-1486 DR.

A flumph

Flumph's are one of the only good species of the subterranean Realms; as the fifth edition Monster Manual states: "Trust a flumph". They speak telepathically together in their little cloisters, a look as shown above.

The tale itself revolves around thweem, as one could probably guess from the title. Thweem, known as Faerzress to the drow, is an odd sort of magical radiation only found in the Underdark. During the story the thweem becomes contaminated and infects Freemo, who becomes irritated and aggressive, or full of rage.

Following his infection he subsequently leaves his cloister of flumph (flumphs? flumphi?) and has an encounter with mind flayers and their undead Elder Brain. The story is really silly, uses a handful of juvenile insults, and I think most would find it appropriate for younger audiences. Like Ice Out, it is also written in first person, which may help younger audiences enjoy the story more. The most confusing part with the storytelling though is the lack of quotation marks. Most dialogue is inner monologue, and when the flumph communicate with each other it is telepathically, and no quotation marks are used, neither are the thoughts indicated otherwise, such as with italics. The only time quotation marks are present is for the brief moment humans are present and speak, and one time the Elder Brain says "what", which is probably a mistake; as far as I know they can't project a voice beyond psionic means.

Overall The Thweem is fun short story. For those who like Drizzt, you will receive a pleasant surprise of a cameo at the end of the story. I enjoyed my time reading the story, and it was fun being in Freemo's alien head. I think The Thweem is Good, and I'd encourage those fans of the darker parts of the Forgotten Realms to get a little taste of the Underdark in this tale.


You can track my current progress here.

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