- – Thanos
An Inevitable is a type of Outsider from The Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus, an Outer Plane in the Planescape setting and several cosmologies in Dungeons and Dragons. They are the upholders of the fundamental rules of the multiverse, and track down and punish those who would seek to break them.
Creation and personality
Inevitables are made in great crèche-forges located in several locations throughout Mechanus. Here they are built through unknown ways and given intelligence. While they are technically Constructs, they are capable of learning and gaining a personality, though the process is slow.
After its creation, an Inevitable is given a target by a special set of Inevitables who divine the cosmos for any lawbreakers and is sent out to mete out justice. Upon their creation, they know nothing but how to use their abilities and their target. Given their lack of social skills, asking people for directions towards its target can be a very awkward affair. From its interactions with the world, an Inevitable begins to foster a personality, though as a being of Law this makes it at best a little unhinged and detached. They often get these personalities from hunting down several targets: the more they find the less of an automaton they become. However, the more independent they become, the more they long to return to their crèche-forge. When they do so, they have their personalities wiped and are given a new target. These beings are certainly Lawful Stupid at first glance, but given that they're mostly-robots that are made partially out of the literal essence of Law, their actions seem at least a little less stupid once considered in the context of simply following their incredibly rigid programming.
Inevitables exist in several different kinds of models, each with their own specialty. It is not known if each individual crèche-forge makes only one model, or if several are made within the same facility.
Kolyarut are designed to uphold oaths both spoken and written. They appear like humanoid constructs made of black metal: they often have a half-finished look with many exposed parts jutting out here and there. Their heads often have their back exposed, and two glowing red eyes look forward from the skull (unless you were to consult the picture provided.)
Kolyarut track down oathbreakers and use intimidation, magic, or outright force to browbeat someone into upholding their bargain. They only kill if it is part of the bargain in question: otherwise they use spells like Suggestion or Geas in order to get the job done. Kolyarut hold all bargains to be equal in their importance: from the repayment of a monetary debt to the promise of an extradimensional horror to destroy the gods (see the book Elder Evils for details on that one). They are the most talkative kind of Inevitable: they often speak with people in places where oaths are normally sworn, such as courts of royalty or law, temples and other such places. As such, they return back to their crèche-forges regularly.
They do not differentiate between those who have no intent on upholding their oaths, those who unwillingly broke their oaths or those who are not able to uphold their oaths for some reason. If possible, they first inform their targets of them being in breach: if they are willing to uphold their parts of the oath the Kolyarut will make sure they do so. Those less willing are made to uphold their bargain through force or magic. But if the Kolyarut discovers that both parties do not keep their ends of a bargain, it treats the bargain as void and dismisses it.
In 5e, kolyarut does not refer to a subtype of inevitables but a single mechanical engine of absolute jurisprudence located in Sigil's Hall of Concordance. The Kolyarut (with a captial K) acts as the mediator between two parties who form a contract, which is then placed in the chest of a marut that enforces the contract.
The most recognizable of the bunch (and the one who has existed the longest, dating back to the original Manual of the Planes), the Marut, is tasked with hunting down those who cheat death and granting them the end they escaped. As such, the enemies of the Marut are beings like liches, necromancers, cult leaders, extremely long-lived wizards, those who restore the dead back to live over and over (either willing like with adventurers or on a mass-scale on the unwilling, like necromancers).
Maruts are patient in their hunts, biding their time until they are ready to strike, where they strike targets with lightning-charged fists. Because of the solitary nature of many of their targets, Maruts have little opportunity to practice their social interaction, and as such are the slowest to develop personalities.
Maruts are large and broad, with heavy frames and strong limbs to better fight for justice with their bare hands. They have what looks like Greco-Roman inspired armor with huge axe-helmets that look like low tier Warrior armor from World of Warcraft.
In 4e, Inevitables as a whole were swept away; only Maruts remained, and they were initially given a backstory as astral mercenaries, before the Astral Sea sourcebook clarified that they were originally created at the dawn of creation by the gods to serve as the ultimate impartial arbitrators and enforcers. Dedicated exclusively to the promotion of law and order, Maruts in the Astral Sea serve as mercenaries to promote their vision, with the theory that they seek payment in reciprocal favors because they hope to eventually hold the entire multiverse in their debt, allowing them to reshape existence into something much more orderly.
In 5e, Inevitables returned to their original purpose in earlier versions as Primus's enforcers. Only maruts have been shown thus far, though other inevitables are explicitly stated to exist. They behave more like kolyaruts in this edition, enforcing contracts that the Kolyarut has mediated and bringing in those who broke their oaths to the Hall of Concordance for punishment.
The Quarut are tasked with delivering justice to those who meddle with time and relative dimensions in space, causing rippling effects and distort space and all kinds of other magibabble stuff you normally see on Doctor Who. The foes of the Quarut are potent indeed, and as such they keep their distance until they better understand their quarry. They often engage their foes by matter of proxies, interrogate associates and minions and seek weaknesses in their foes. While the Quarut are formidable in battle, the easiest way to deal with them is to determine what they want and fix the damage you've done. This is often easier said than done, and may require anything up to and including time travel to undo some calamity.
Quarut look like warped marionettes with slender brown frames and complex, green-gold plating. They tend to employ magic in order to gain the upper hand in battle, even spells like Wish and Time Stop in order to seize their targets. They seem to conveniently ignore the fact that the use of these spells is what they're created to combat.
The most potent and rare kind of Inevitable, the Varakhut are meant to uphold the divine order. All those who would seek to destroy the gods, or become one themselves, will eventually get into conflict with these potent beings. They are the most lethal of their kind, employing powerful magic and physical prowess in order to destroy their enemies. Those with a legitimate bid for godhood eventually come to blows with a Varakhut, but beings who only think they do are safe. While a Varakhut is powerful, it is likely no match for a god-to-be in single combat. Instead they aim at artifacts, followers and other sources of power or reverence for the wannabe-god.
There are only a few ways to stop a Varakhut: by destroying it, to ensure that you no longer have a bid for godhood, or by actually becoming a god. If one were to become a demigod or more, you become part of the order the Varakhut is sworn to protect, and as such are no longer a valid target. Varakhut look the most alien of the bunch: their bodies have sharp geometric shapes with elongated pyramids for arms. Instead of legs, the torso terminates into a single geometric point. The head is a flat disc on top of a slightly raised tube, giving an alien and inorganic appearance.
Zelekhut are centaur-shaped beings with porcelain skin, golden clockwork, mechanical wings and long, bladed chains that can extend from their forearms. They are tasked with hunting down fugitives of the law, to either bring them in for their proper punishment or, if deemed necessary, carry out the death sentence they escaped. For this they employ their long chains to disarm and incapacitate foes, then either use spells like Mark of Justice or Geas to ensure compliance. Failing that, they simply kill their quarry. They are the fastest Inevitables as well: their legs and wings allowing them superior speed to chase those who would deny justice.
Zelekhut take a more intense approach to their searches: they question passersby with impunity and will resort to violence if they think they are being held out on. More experienced Zelekhut observe those they have interrogated to determine if they were being lied to. Because of their frequent and intense interactions with people, they develop personalities the fastest of all Inevitables, and as such visit their crèche-forges very regularly.
Anhydrut, or Waste Crawlers,
are powerful war machines of the chaos god Khorne were a type of Inevitable in 3.5 splatbook sourcebook Sandstorm. Anhydruts are charged with the sacred duty of hunting down and killing anyone who... tries to irrigate a desert, and they named it the Un-Hydrant to make sure there was no confusion about its purpose. While this may appear surprising at first, there are two perspectives one should consider. First is just what kind of role deserts play in the earth system. While humans might really hate having to live with and deal with desert conditions, they are a natural part of the planet's biosphere and if you mess with a desert the repercussions can be planetary. Famously, the real life Sahara Desert dust is what in part feeds the biosphere of the Amazon rainforests, while at the same time deserts are fairly fragile ecosystems and can be ruined by too much human activity. But unlike forests, which can generally count on druids to protect them... well, deserts SUCK for most forms of D&D sophonts, with only select sentient species really calling it home. In this context, while it may be overkill, the Anhydrut's quest to protect the biosphere of the desert, and that of the wider planet, from short sighted mortals makes a fair bit of sense, especially considering magic in D&D that can 'green' a wasteland with ease.
Which gets us to the likely actually Doylist reason for the Anhydrut's existence. It has a CR of 9, probably because by about level 12ish there is a whole host of ways a caster (arcane or divine) could potentially make the setting of Sandstorm much more pleasant and fertile, which sort of defeats the purpose of actually playing in the setting in the first place. Anhydrut then are a good way to discourage this kind of NobleBright thinking without having to re-balance half the system and spells and serve as an answer to the, excuse me, inevitable question of why no other caster before you has done anything about it.
One mechanically unusual thing about the Anhydrut is that, while only Challenge Rating 9, it has an epic spell as a spell-like ability. Epic spells as SLAs is uncommon on actual epic monsters, and, short of Dragonwrought Kobold cheese, otherwise non-existent. The spell, Global Warming, is actually a pretty decent one as far as premade Epic-Spells go: It will instantly increase the normal temperature of an area by several degrees and it stacks with itself. This is balanced by the creature not wanting to use it except to reverse opposite actions and (since Dominate Construct is a thing) being usable only once a century.
|The inhabitants of the Planes of Planescape|
|Upper Planes:||Aasimon - Angel - Animal Lord - Archon |
Asura - Eladrin - Guardinals - Lillend
|Middle Planes:||Formians - Githzerai - Inevitable - Marut |
Modron - Rilmani - Slaadi - Kamerel
|Lower Planes:||Alu-Fiend - Baatezu - Bladeling - Cambion |
Demodand - Erinyes - Hag - Hordling
Imp - Kyton - Loumara - Marilith - Obyrith
Succubus - Tanar'ri - Yugoloth
|Transitive Planes:||Astral Dreadnought - Githyanki|
|Inner Planes:||Azer - Elemental - Genie - Grue - Mephit |
Salamander - Sylph
|Sigil:||Dabus - Cranium Rat|
|High-ups:||Archangel - Archdevil - Archfey |
Archomental - Demon Prince
Amazingly (Read: they're 3.5 material that's under the Open Gaming License content), Inevitables appear in Pathfinder as well; here, they are a kind of angelic golem created by the Axiomites, the Outsiders of Axial, the Plane of Pure Order in the Golarion multiverse. Inevitables were originally soldiers used to bulk out the Axiomite armies in their great war against the Proteans, but in the modern era, each model now concerns predominantly with enforcing a particular kind of order, more subtly reinforcing the existence of the cosmos and the power of Law. Mechanically they have been changed from being extraplanar constructs to actual outsiders with some construct traits.
Arbiters, Kolyaruts, Lhaksharuts, Maruts and Zelekhuts all appeared in the Pathfinder Bestiary 2. Kastamuts appeared in the Ironfang Invasion adventure path, in the module "Seige of Stone". Hykariuts and Impariuts appeared in the War for the Crown adventure path, in the module "The Reaper's Right Hand". Novenaruts and Valharuts appeared in the Planar Adventurers splatbook.
Arbiters are the least of the Inevitable race, appearing as clockwork orbs dominated by a single central eye, with two small hands and a pair of metallic-feathered wings that keep them aloft. They serve the Inevitables as scouts and diplomats, spreading through the cosmos and keeping an eye on the forces of chaos, whilst also striving to convince people to adhere to the principles of order. To this end, they often allow themselves to serve as familiars to powerful mages. Since they have regeneration and can only be killed by Chaotic damage (Only Demons, Protean and specially made magic items can do that, and only Demons are common threats) they effectively double the entire party's HP if given a wand of Shield Other and kept safely in their master's gear.
Kolyaruts are one of the most common and low-ranked of the Inevitables, appearing as humanoid shapes comprised partially of stone and partially of clockwork machinery. As in the Great Wheel, their focus is on preserving the sanctity of contracts, punishing oathbreakers and ensuring that a contract's terms are kept. They care little for the terms of the agreements in question, only that promises are fulfilled, debts are paid, and balance is maintained. They are considered one of the more talkative breeds of Inevitable.
Lhaksharuts are powerful Inevitables charged with preserving the balance of reality by enforcing the stability of the planes themselves. This doesn't mean they punish every conjurer or planeswalker; neither summoning creatures, nor visiting other planes, nor even the occasional creation of a pocket plane or hijacking of a chunk of one reality to serve as a base within another concerns them - these are petty infringements that ultimately matter little to the multiversial balance. No, the lhaksharut's charge is to keep the plane as a whole separate and distinct from other planes; what concerns them is wide-scale planar integration, such as the formation of a permanent link between planes, or a wide-scale interplanar invasion. A typical lhaksharut is a six-armed construct that appears to be made of a mix of metals and stone. Where a human would have legs, it instead possesses a complex orb of spinning rings similar in shape to an orrery—it is this whirling machine that grants the lhaksharut the ability to fly. Though a lhaksharut has huge, metal wings, they serve as little more than stabilizers when it’s in flight. Four of the construct’s arms end in functional hands that it normally uses to carry a mix of weapons. The lhaksharut’s lower two arms hold large, flaming metal spheres in their hands—it uses these spheres to generate elemental bolts of energy that it can hurl great distances to damage foes.
Maruts are their iconic 3rd edition selves, as you'd expect in the edition made to serve as 3.75; hulking stony giants charged with preserving the sanctity of the order of life and death.
Zelekhuts are, again, just reiteration of their 3rd edition selves. They are mechanical pegataurs who seek to punish those who continually escape justice.
Kastamuts are an Inevitable breed who resemble clockwork statues of dwarves, which many have speculated about a deeper meaning behind. In an essence, they are embodiments of conservatism; a kastamut's charge is protecting a civilization's traditions and customs. They oppose sudden, radical changes in the course of a culture’s traditions, and work to prevent the destruction of established belief systems, rites, and social customs. That said, like Lhaksharuts, they do have the ability to prioritise; a petulant child resisting his parent’s teachings draws no attention from Axis. Even fundamental shifts in the beliefs shared by a large group of people are allowed, so long as they progress along the lines of a normal cultural development. What kastamuts do work against are immediate, substantial changes, such as when a new ruler outlaws a nation’s long-standing religion and seeks to wipe out all practice of the old faith in favor of a new one, especially if the new religion has no precedent. Turning slowly from old ways to new ones can be part of the natural order, but violently rebelling against traditional practices in favor of untested systems gives rise to chaos, which the powers of Axis cannot abide.
Hykariuts and Impariuts are two sides of the same coin. Both are enforced with preserving order by preventing riots, revolutions, and other sudden, violent changes in government. The difference is in how they tackle it. Both appear as imposing, strongly built humanoid statues of stone, but the Hykariut specifically focuses on putting down the riot, and the Impariut focuses on preventing riots by rooting out governmental incompetence and corruption. Despite their appearance and reputation as blunt objects that exist to simply crush revolutions by force, not helped by the fuck-off huge hammer they carry, hykariuts are neither dumb, nor as single-minded as lhaksharuts - using a sledgehammer when a scalpel will do only serves the forces of chaos. As such, hykariuts prefer to talk first and dissuade rebels and rioters, and if forced to violence, prefer to subdue non-lethally rather than massacre their foes. They typically take the attitude of a stern parent scolding a naughty child, but if things are serious enough, they are not afraid to make dramatic points by pulverizing stubborn demagogues. Impariuts are similarly flexible, by Inevitable standards; they understand that a lack of give-and-take, or an all-stick approach, will only worsen the problem. Stern but usually fair, they tend to prefer to subtly approach the corrupt or incompetent rulers whose efforts have called them forth, and try to redeem them. If redemption is impossible, they will publicly dethrone them and see to their replacement with a better candidate.
Novenaruts are one of the stranger Inevitable models; these Inevitables are charged with overseeing cultures that have developed a tradition of honor-dueling. Wherever mortals will settle matters of dispute through combat, Novenaruts are subtly dispatched to the protect the sanctity of these duels - though, understandably, they usually focus on conflicts or duels that have higher stakes, such as an honorable battle that determines the fate of a kingdom. They take the appearance of silver-and-green suits of samurai armor overlaying a clockwork endoskeleton, with their face blank save for six green gemstone-like eyes.
Valharuts have no greater purpose; they are the oldest form of Inevitable, serving as the soldiers of Axial and fighting an endless battle against the powers of chaos. They appear as four-armed, blank-featured humanoid statues of marble.
Inevitables are being largely retired in Pathfinder's second edition, getting folded into Aeons who have moved to Lawful Neutral. The stated reason for this is that the creators disliked using a concept that was neither their creation nor drawn from mythology. Somehow it seems unlikely that the other original D&D creations and various things ripped off from the works of J. R. R. Tolkien released under the Open Gaming License will suffer a similar fate...