Archives of Nethys

Pathfinder | Starfinder

All | Unique
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Families | Templates | Types | Subtypes | Universal Monster Rules


Qlippoth

Source Bestiary 2 pg. 218
Before the Abyss was taught how to process and transform larvae into demons—indeed, before larvae even existed or the idea of mortal life had been conceived—it was rife with foul life. These creatures exist still, yet in drastically reduced numbers and often only in the deepest pits of the plane. Known as the qlippoth (the singular and plural are identical), these fiends may well be the oldest form of life in the Great Beyond—certainly, they were already in existence before the proteans discovered them. Some believe that the qlippoth come from an unknowable realm on what might be described as the “outside shell” of the Outer Sphere, but if the qlippoth are to be taken as indicative of what order of existence rules in such a realm, it is a good thing indeed that this outer realm is so impossibly distant.

The qlippoth do not possess in their forms anything approximating the human shape except by cosmic fluke or sinister mockery. In their twitching, squirming visages, the mad might make comparisons to life’s most primeval shapes—spiders and cephalopods, insects and worms, and even baser forms of life. What this might imply about these lower forms of life has disturbed philosophers for ages, and is not a train of thought that many enjoy lingering upon.

Since the rise of mortal sin, the rule of the Abyss has passed from the qlippoth to the much more fecund demons. When the Abyss first “learned” how to transform mortal souls into demons, the resulting explosion of demonic life culminated in a violent and destructive war with the then-rulers of the Abyss—the qlippoth. For unguessed millennia this war raged across the countless layers of the Abyss. The qlippoth had the advantage of knowing their ancient realm and, as a general rule, were individually more powerful than most demons, but the demons had numbers on their side. And as the demons continued to win battle after battle, new powers among their kind rose—balors, balor lords, nascent demon lords, and eventually demon lords themselves. Over time, the qlippoth were hunted nearly to extinction on the upper layers of the Abyss, and were forced to retreat deep into that realm’s darkest and most remote realms, to places even the demons feared to tread.

Here, the qlippoth have festered and lurked for ages. None can say how many qlippoth survived that ancient war, for none can know how deep the Abyss goes. The qlippoth dwell in these darkest pits, periodically emerging to do battle against their hated demonic foes, yet their wrath is not limited to the demonic host. The qlippoth know that daemons played a role in “teaching” the Abyss how to birth demonic life, and their war with the denizens of Abaddon is one fueled more by a driving need to punish than any need for survival. Yet as the eons have worn on, the qlippoth have come to realize that the true enemy is not a fiendish race—it is mortal life itself. For as long as mortal life continues to sin and die, the Abyss can continue to birth demons into its pits and rifts. The destruction of sin, by changing the way mortals live, would halt demonic growth, yet the qlippoth have no concept of how this goal might be achieved—to the qlippoth, only the murder of all mortality can suffice.

As a result, all qlippoth possess within their minds a burning hatred of mortal life, particularly humanoids, whom they know to be the primary seeds of sin. When a qlippoth is conjured to the Material Plane, it seeks any way to escape control in order to maul and destroy humans—they have a particular hatred of children and pregnant women, and if given a choice between harming someone already dying or close to death and someone with a full life ahead of them, they always choose to attack the latter, save for the rare case where the death of an elder or a dying loved one might result in a chain reaction of death among the young.

When called via spells like planar ally that require opposed Charisma checks or similar mechanics in order for the conjuring spellcaster to secure the outsider’s aid, evil humanoids take a —6 penalty when interacting with qlippoth due to the sin in their souls. The promise of a task that would afford the qlippoth the opportunity to kill many humanoids, or a sacrifice of a pregnant woman or a child, can sometimes offset this penalty. When a qlippoth shakes off the shackles of a conjuration, it attempts to remain on the Material Plane as long as possible, and during that time tries to murder as many mortals as it can, doing its part to deprive the Abyss of possible future sinful souls to build demons from.

Qlippoth Lords

That the qlippoth have among their kind paragons akin to demon lords is indisputable, yet these powers rarely, if ever, emerge from the deepest realms of the Abyss to interact with the rest of the multiverse. They are only rarely worshiped on the Material Plane, but such cults, where they exist, are singularly destructive and ruinous.

Yet the power granted by mortal worship can have a curious effect on a qlippoth—it can, in a way, infect it with the sins of its worshipers. Qlippoth who become so infected are either murdered by their kin or forced to flee to the upper realms of the Abyss, where they complete their transformation and, instead of remaining qlippoth lords, become demon lords. One can know the nature of a demon lord that began life as a qlippoth most easily by its shape—those demon lords, such as ichthyic Dagon or foul and festering Jubilex, bear little or no sign of a humanoid frame.

Creatures in "Qlippoth" Category

NameCR
Augnagar14
Behimiron13
Cataboligne16
Chernobue12
Cythnigot2
Deinochos5
Gongorinan11
Gorgoros9
Hydraggon3
Iathavos20
Nyogoth10
Shoggti7
Thognorok4
Thulgant18
Utukku8
Vexenion6

Qlippoth, Cataboligne

Spiked clubs extend from each end of this six-legged fiend. A spiky growth sticks up from its back, and a mouth yawns in its belly.

Cataboligne CR 16

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 225
XP 76,800
CE Gargantuan outsider (chaotic, evil, extraplanar, qlippoth)
Init +9; Senses blindsight 120 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +26

Defense

AC 31, touch 31, flat-footed 26 (+5 Dex, +20 natural, –4 size)
hp 241 (21d10+126)
Fort +18, Ref +17, Will +11
Defensive Abilities deflective carapace; DR 15/cold iron and lawful; Immune cold, mind-affecting effects, poison; Resist acid 10, electricity 10, fire 10; SR 27

Offense

Speed 50 ft.
Melee bite +26 (4d8+7 plus poison), 2 slams +31 (3d6+14/19–20)
Space 20 ft., Reach 20 ft.
Special Attacks demolish, devastating strike, disintegration beam, horrific appearance (DC 24)

Statistics

Str 38, Dex 21, Con 22, Int 3, Wis 14, Cha 19
Base Atk +21; CMB +39 (+41 bull rush, +43 sunder); CMD 54 (56 vs. bull rush and sunder)
Feats Awesome Blow, Bleeding Critical, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Greater Sunder, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (slam), Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Power Attack
Skills Perception +26, Swim +38
Languages Abyssal; telepathy 100 ft.

Ecology

Environment any (Abyss)
Organization solitary, pair, or siege (3–4)
Treasure incidental

Special Abilities

Bite (Ex) A cataboligne’s bite is a secondary attack.
Deflective Carapace (Su) A cataboligne’s touch AC is modified by armor and natural armor bonuses.
Demolish (Ex) As a full-round action, a cataboligne deals 12d6+28 points of damage to an adjacent structure.
Devastating Strike (Ex) A cataboligne’s slam attacks ignore the first 10 points of hardness of objects and creatures it damages. A creature struck with a critical hit from a cataboligne’s tail slap must succeed at a DC 34 Fortitude save or be stunned for 1 round. The save DC is Strength-based.
Disintegration Beam (Su) As a standard action once every 1d4 rounds, a cataboligne can unleash a concentrated beam of pure obliteration from the spiky growth on its back. The cataboligne makes a separate ranged touch attack roll against each creature in a 60-foot line. Roll to confirm each critical threat separately. A creature or object hit by the disintegration beam takes 20d6 points of damage. An affected creature can reduce the damage to 5d6 with a successful DC 26 Fortitude save. Any creature reduced to 0 hit points or fewer by the disintegration beam is turned to dust and killed, as per disintegrate. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Horrific Appearance (Su) Creatures that succumb to a cataboligne’s horrific appearance feel as though their bodies were falling to pieces. Affected creatures take 1d4 points of Dexterity damage.
Poison (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 26; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d4 Constitution drain plus stunned for 1 round; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Description

Catabolignes are the devastating siege engines of the qlippoth, rampaging among demonic fortifications and unmaking everything in their path. The treelike growth on a cataboligne’s back is capable of unleashing a beam of entropic power that turns all it touches to dust, while its mouth drools a terrible flesh-eating poison. Oddly, catabolignes do not seem hostile toward proteans, who will often merrily lead these devastating qlippoth on destructive sprees.

A cataboligne is 30 feet tall and 40 feet long, and weighs 16 tons.