Dec 18, 2013

Where do Gremlins fit into Malifaux?

 Welcome to the Black Swamp Bayou! This being my first post I hope you enjoy and come back for more. Special thanks to Dave/sssk for the idea (even if he didn't know it!). Onto the content!

 Recently I read a blog about where the Gremlin faction fits into the overall story arc of Malifaux and their "bad fluff"  (read about it here), I hope that this may lay some minds at ease and help tell the story of the Bayou. Now there will be spoilers so please if you haven't read the M2E book yet, you may want to read that before going on, don't say I didn't warn you!

 A Brief History of Gremlins

 Gremlins were introduced into Malifaux in the very first edition with the character of So'mer Teeth Jones. This gremlin noticed the Guild and that the meanest person with the biggest hat was in charge so in his own simplistic way he imitated that and then took to learning the secrets of the 'shine the Guild kept around. This is the only named character and for the rest of it we have to look at the Gremlin fluff from the entry on Bayou Gremlins. The Gremlins are described as a voracious, curious creature. They look at the humans coming through the Breach as food as well as a "race" to mimic to give them an advantage over the other creatures that they share the Bayou with. So'mer is wanted by the Guild because of his success in raiding Guild caravans for more trinkets, boomsticks and moon shine. All in all in the first book they are little more than raiders on Guild caravans and they fit into their faction (Outcasts) well since there was no mixing of models in the Outcast faction unless they were mercenaries anyway. Sure the fluff of them wasn't really fleshed out but then Lilith also didn't have a huge part in book one either.

 The next entry of Gremlin fluff takes place as a series of journal entries in book two. Describing various parts of Gremlin life and ending with a note from Lucius that the existence of the documents should be entered into his "Special Divisions" files and forgotten by all involved.  Then we get into the individual bios of the LaCroix and we see a little more of how the Gremlins are evolving, copying their adversaries and using Guild tactics along with some of their own. Overall the second book sees a general growing and the adaptability of Gremlins overall. They are seen as a rising force within Malifaux that still may have a part to play in the "Big Show". The bigger question is what are the motives of Lucius at this point?  The document clearly describes a ritual of a human sacrifice, the first known existence of the LaCroix as the little green Ortegas and the hierarchy of Gremlins in general. That might come in handy to the Ortegas and other Guild officers!

The last fluffy entry on Gremlins that we see (M2E) expounds upon this idea with the old hag herself, Zorida calling a meeting of all the Gremlin leaders.  Now I know the questions. Why is Zorida calling a meeting of Gremlins? The answer to that is she has lived among the Gremlins for a long time. She has watched the rise of Gremlins from nothing more than little green creatures that have an interesting predator/prey relationship with pigs into a force that she can use to do her bidding. At the end of the book Gremlins are poised to make their move onto the big stage and come into their own as a faction. 

Gremlins as a full blown Faction and why they aren't the comedy fluff.

 Now I know that some feel that Gremlins should not be a faction but I believe that Gremlins have been shown as a creature that is actually intelligent, adept at mimicry, and willing to do things that some factions wouldn't. In the fluff they are not written as the comedy of Malifaux but rather a growing power that cares not for it's losses since their birth rate is "alarming". The only thing that kept the Gremlins in check was the wild pigs that they learned how to domesticate and use for their own purposes. Unchecked, it is implied that Gremlins will overpopulate and conquer Malifaux through sheer numbers. A lot of the comedy of Gremlins comes from their play on the table and not really what has been written about them fluff wise.

Well that's it. Hope y'all enjoyed it, feel free to tell me where I've gone wrong!


  1. Interesting post and some good points made.

    Question for you however: Who are the Gremlins?

    Book 1 says that they are part of the original inhabitants of Malifaux that have evolved in their own way. I don't know about you but that sounds an awful lot like the Neverborn.

    Now keep in mind (at least in book 1), that so many Neverborn were completely separate to others. Look at the Nightmares vs Nephilim vs Woes vs Swampies.

    So if they are original inhabitants but have strong ties with The Swamp Hag, then should the Gremlins not be part of the Neverborn, rather than Z being dual faction Gremlin?

  2. Well looks like I've found my next topic!