The following is a video transcript
Todd Kenreck: The Sorrowsworn are embodiments of extremely negative emotions, and they may have been created by either the Shadowfell, or by the Shadowfell influencing people in that plane of existence, and warping and twisting them. I talked to Adam Lee about what makes these creatures so disturbing.
Adam Lee: The Sorrowsworn, they are ... Well there is much debate about how Sorrowsworn are created. Some say that they coalesce out of the energies and misery that is in the Shadowfell. Others have posited that Sorrowsworn are people who have been in the Shadowfell for a long enough time, and they are slowly mutated. They are people who have terrible anger and rage, and as they stay in the Shadowfell, the energy of that realm mutates them and warps them into something like the Sorrowsworn the angry, or the Sorrowsworn the hungry.
Each one of these, the angry, the hungry, the lost, they're all manifestations of these heavy-duty emotions that are prevalent, and either the Shadowfell magnifies them and warps these people, or that the Shadowfell just spontaneously generates that from the energy that trickles down from the prime material plane into the Shadowfell. These creatures each manifest one of those emotions, or those appetites.
When you encounter a Sorrowsworn, you're encountering a relentless force. You're encountering something that is pure hunger, or pure anger, and in dealing with them, the DM can create some of these fun stories around them. Like the angry, if you don't attack it, you don't provoke further attacks from it. If you attack an angry, it will actually get advantage, and it will then ... You're playing into its hand.
A lost is wandering around, and it's trying to find its way, and it's desperately clawing at you to try to ... It's like a drowning man, it's going to cling to you and try to pull you down. Others like the wretched, which if you ever saw a Mordenkainen's Mayhem, I played Moloch, and Emmy played the Sibriex, which we'll talk about in a bit. As Moloch, I was attacked by a ton of the wretched.
The wretched are just basically these horrible life stealing monsters that attack in packs. They will cling to you and just suck your life force out. They can take down very large monsters as was evident in Mordenkainen's Mayhem. I'm still stinging from that defeat, but that being said, the wretched yes, a single wretched by themselves, wimpy, a little jerk. Lots of them together, they can devastate you.
The hungry, they're just these ravenous ... They just have endless hunger, and they're attracted by life force. If somebody's getting healed, or if you're in the Shadowfell and you're casting healing spells and things like that, you might be able to attract a hunger, one of these hungry Sorrowsworn. They'll come creeping after you, and then try to devour your life force. We were talking about the Shadowfell and just what it is as a plane. What created this plane?
It's this negative energy world, it's dark, it's filled with sorrow and sadness. One of the ideas we were playing with, is like the Feywild, Fey creatures, some of them are manifestations of emotions. We were like, well what if in the Shadowfell, what happens when hunger becomes an actual thing? The Shadar-kai became these gloomy, morose people, because of what happened to the Raven Queen. When the Raven Queen fell, the Shadar-kai fell with her.
Through her loss of the connection with the Elven pantheon, she was this really sad, sorrowful ... The Shadowfell was ... Whether she chose the Shadowfell, or the Shadowfell chose her, is up for debate, who knows? When we were thinking about the Shadowfell, it's just like, oh man, it's just such a heavy place, what if that heaviness coalesced actually into a physical being? What if, if you stay in the Shadowfell for a long enough time, do you actually begin to warp? Does the Shadowfell actually affect who you are?
For me personally, when I was thinking about it, it's like yeah, if I stay at a heavy mood too long, could it actually affect how I physically am? My shoulders get hunched, I get down, I feel like gray. If I was to take that to an extreme, then I could turn into a Sorrowsworn. It's like playing with that idea of consciousness and energy warping the physical being. Consciousness and energy generating something from nothing.
To me, the Shadowfell is a magical realm, it has the potency and potential to do something like that. When we were jamming on the Sorrowsworn, that was the cool thing that came out of that.