The Lady

Moigno, Imaginary (by Jon Winter, art by Jeremiah Golden)


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Imaginary Moigno


Very rare












Lawful neutral






Fly 24 (A)


1 hp








Limited wish


+1 or better weapon to hit




Small (1' diameter)





Many cutter find it a hard concept to grasp, but really the imaginary (or complex) moigno doesn't exist. "Oh, so they're just a legend then", scoff the less-than-bloods. Actually, no. A cutter is just as likely to encounter an imaginary moigno as a real (rational or irrational), but that doesn't mean they are actually there.

See, some mathematical problems have answers that can't be easily explained away. The square root of four is two, right? So what's the square root of minus four? A number that when it's multiplied by itself gives a negative that just ain't possible using any numbers that are real, but there's still an answer. Imaginary two.

So we have a number that doesn't exist, which when you multiply it by itself does. Does your head hurt yet? Well, think of it like this: two negative numbers multiplied together give a positive one. Two imaginary moignos multiplied together give a real one, too.

In fact, some graybeards reckon that all moignos start out as imaginary -- just figments in some mathematician's mind, and only when two meet can they interact and manifest themselves in the physical world. Well, that's as maybe, but it still doesn't explain how you can see imaginary ones, does it? Well, whatever its origin, the complex moigno has an imaginary component. Perhaps it's easier to think of a complex moigno as a living phantasm, or a purely illusionary creature? Well, whatever the truth, the complex moigno certainly has great dominion over the imagination of creatures it comes into contact with, and the physical reality of the location where it comes into non-existence.

When a moigno (or any sufficiently advanced mathematician) gets into a tight spot, there's a chance an imaginary moigno is created. These impossible creatures spontaneously appear, altering the local physical laws in a bizarre way that is always convenient for their creator. This allows the mathematician to give his foes the slip, call forth a convenient ally, or solve a tricky equation. There are also complex magical incantations that set up the correct equations to allow the formation of an imaginary moigno.

COMBAT: The imaginary moigno plays little part in combat situations, other than allowing its creator to temporarily bend the laws of reality. In game terms, the calling forth of an imaginary moigno allows the mathematician responsible to make a limited wish. To do this, the cutter must make an intelligence check at -4; failure means the wish is twisted in some way to harm the berk. That's not due to malice on a part of the moigno, but more an imperfect understanding of imaginary mathematics. If the limited wish is made successfully, the moigno shimmers and collapses in a puff of imaginary logic. Clearly, it's not a task to be undertaken lightly.

When they're not destroyed by wishes, imaginary moigno are highly telepathic, and tend to use psionic powers like they're going out of fashion (200 PSPs, Score 17; when all PSPs are used the moigno ceases to "exist" again). The bad news for psionicists, however, is that since the complex moigno isn't actually real, it's nigh-on impossible to contact or fight -- when feeling threatened, the moigno simply turns its imaginary face towards the attacker and ceases to exist! The only way to harm a complex moigno is to surprise it in its "real" state and wound it before it has a chance to cease existing.

Fortunately, the imaginary creatures are unable to cause physical damage (except by psionic powers like psychic crush or through illusions like shadow monsters), but they can use an effect like the wild magic spell there/not there once per round. This isn't wild magic per se (that doesn't work on Mechanus), and has no danger of causing a wild surge, but the effects are virtually identical. The complex moigno can control exactly what appears or disappears and when. If pressed, a complex moigno can use this power to topple arches or trees onto enemies, drop them into pits and so on. Complex moigno are nothing is not imaginative!

Imaginary moigno can also cast illusion spells as if they were wizards of 14th level, even on Mechanus (this breaks the usual restriction).

If struck or harmed in any way by a magical weapon or spell before the wish can be made, a paradoxical situation occurs as real and imaginary interact. A small implosion of energy occurs, causing 3d6 points of damage to both the attacker and the moigno's creator, wherever they may be. Non-magical objects do not affect the moigno, since it does not really exist.

HABITAT/SOCIETY: Existing for only short periods of time (no complex moigno is known to have survived for more than a few hours before returning to non-existence), the imaginary moigno can only interact with reality in a very small way! Real moignos know of the existence of imaginaries and frequently make use of their short-lived brothers when confronted by a dangerous situation. Mortal spellcasters, mathematicians and heirarch modrons can all invoke imaginary moignos, as can Signers who have an intelligence of 14 or greater, up to once per week. Cutters are warned against overusing imaginary moignos, however, for there is a cumulative 5% chance per calling that the creator is struck by a paradox backlash, for 5d6 points of damage and if a save versus magic is failed, flung into a random neighbouring plane.

Complex moignos realise they're the only illusions on Mechanus, and this seems to both please and trouble them. The little equations surround themselves with layers of deceit and counterintuitive logic, but it's not known why. It's almost like they're guarding some great secret...speculation ranges from the location of portals to their imaginary dimension, to them being the minions of some exiled power of Mechanus.

ECOLOGY: Not even existing when called forth (and note this can only happen on Mechanus anyway), the imaginary moigno has little impact upon the plane as a whole except when its creation is used to alter reality.

Since they do not exist, imaginary moignos cannot reproduce (and nobody knows where they go when they are destroyed). However, if two imaginary moignos should interact with each other they can combine to create a new real moigno -- whether this creature is rational or irrational depends on the nature of the equations used to create the imaginaries. This additional method of reproduction is most often used by moignos who need to increase their numbers quickly to perform an especially challenging calculation in a hurry.

Imaginary moignos give less than a flying fig about the value of pi from what it seems. In fact, they're usually none too happy about being dragged into reality. As any Signer will tell you, it's a lot more fun to be imaginary than real!

Naturally-occurring imaginary moignos (as opposed to ones called forth by a mathematician's calculations) are rare creatures indeed. Chant goes that they pop in and out of reality, often in pairs, and just as quickly disappear again in a puff of logic. Perhaps, graybeards reckon, they're the spawn of some barmy Signer mathematician's addled imagination. Imaginary moigno are always curious, and want to learn everything they can about beings they meet. They do this by simple observation (usually from an unseen and virtually undetectable vantage point, as they're slightly out of phase with reality at the best of times), but also using ESP and psychic probing.

Some graybeards reckon that the imaginary moigno are the real reason illusion magic fails on Mechanus. Perhaps the illusionary moigno drained the magical flux of its potential for illusions long ago, or maybe the plane itself reacted to their presence by preventing any further wizards using illusions. In any case, the complex moigno are the only known creatures on the plane able to use illusion and phantasm magic.

The diet of complex moigno is unknown; perhaps they subsist on magical energy, or maybe since they're not real they don't need real nourishment. In any case, nobody's ever observed a complex moigno eating. As you'd imagine, a creature that doesn't exist doesn't really contribute much to the ecosystem either!

Copyright 1999 by Jon Winter

Consult the Mimir Again