Archives of Nethys

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Demon Lord

Source Bestiary 4 pg. 45
The mightiest of all demons are the demon lords of the Abyss, inf luential entities of chaos and evil and powerful demigods who each rule vast realms of horror and vice. Each demon lord is a unique creature, a paragon of sin that exists only to further its own desires. The genesis of demon lords varies. The majority of them rise from lesser demons who have transformed into powerful entities (this was how Pazuzu became a demon lord). In rare cases, a demon lord transitions directly from being a powerful, sinful mortal into the role of demon lord (as is the case with Kostchtchie), or from a qlippoth into a demon lord as a result of unknowable influences in the Abyss (as is the case with Dagon).

When a demon gathers enough power, whether by gaining class levels, advancing in Hit Dice, gaining many mythic tiers or ranks, undertaking a vile ritual, or simply amassing a sufficiently large and devoted following, it becomes what is known as a nascent demon lord. It may remain a nascent lord indefinitely, but usually seeks to complete its transformation into a full-f ledged demon lord. In order to do so, the nascent lord must build a cult among mortals, but more importantly it must claim and control a large enough Abyssal realm that the plane itself takes notice and elevates the nascent lord to the power level of a demon lord. In a few cases, demon lords have been known to ascend to the status of full deities. While there are likely thousands of nascent demon lords in existence at any one time in the Abyss, the number of fullf ledged demon lords is more limited—known examples of demon lords number in the dozens.

The phrase “demon lord” is gender neutral—there are male, female, and genderless demon lords, as well as demon lords with multiple genders.

A demon lord may be contacted via commune, and can be conjured via a gate spell, but when so called, a demon lord is under no compulsion to come through the gate. Typically, a demon lord requires an enormous and significant offering or sacrifice before it deigns to answer a gate spell.

Abyssal Realms

Demon lords’ realms range in size, but even the smallest are as large as a continent, and the greatest are larger than some planets. The realms’ environments, themes, and traits are as unique as the demon lords themselves, presenting unusual challenges and dangers to creatures trying to explore them. Yet despite the close connection a demon lord has to its realm, it does not exert total control over the realm, and powerful adventurers can infiltrate such realms and accomplish goals without arousing the lord’s anger—if they’re careful.

A demon lord gains the following additional powers while in its realm (the statistics presented on the following pages do not include these abilities):
  • Mythic: A demon lord functions as a 10th mythic rank creature, including the mythic power ability (10/day, surge +1d12). It may expend uses of mythic power to use the mythic versions of any spell-like ability denoted with an asterisk (*) just as if the ability were a mythic spell.
  • Use of the following spell-like abilities at will—demand, discern location, fabricate, major creation, and polymorph any object (when used on objects or creatures that are native to the realm, the polymorph duration factor increases by 6).
  • Use of the following spell-like abilities once per day—binding, miracle (limited to physical effects that manipulate the realm or to effects that are relevant to the demon lord’s areas of concern)
  • Heightened Awareness (Ex): A demon lord gains a +10 insight bonus on Perception checks and Initiative checks.

Demon Lords in a Campaign

Each demon lord is a unique creature ranging in power from CR 26 to CR 30. Demon lords are generally beyond the reach of most mortal heroes, and should not be placed in an adventure without careful consideration. In most cases, they are best used as the final enemies of long campaigns—especially campaigns in which the PCs themselves are mythic characters—and even getting an audience with one should be a memorable event.

Yet even if demon lords are far outside the abilities of most heroes to combat directly, they can still be used as foes in campaigns of all levels, inspiring or directing monsters, mortals, and entire cults. Opposing and defeating a cult is a time-honored plotline for a campaign, and a climactic encounter where the PCs must close a portal before the cult’s demon lord manifests in the flesh can make an exciting capstone to a longrunning campaign, especially if the demon lord in question appears for a round or 2 to fight the PCs before the closing of the portal forces it back to the Abyss. Alternatively, rather than having the PCs face the demon lord at full power, you can build a campaign where the PCs systematically undermine and destroy a demon lord’s resources, imposing increasing penalties on it and gathering potent weapons so that when the time comes for the final confrontation, the PCs are powerful and the demon lord is weakened to a state below its normal CR. An easy way to model weakening a demon in this manner is to assign negative levels to the demon—normally, a demon lord is immune to level drain, but in this case, the reduction of its resources and sources of power can bypass that immunity for a time... at least, until the demon lord can rebuild and recover.

Creatures in "Demon Lord" Category

NameCR
Baphomet27
Dagon28
Deskari29
Kostchtchie26
Nocticula30
Pazuzu30
Shax28
Sifkesh28
Xoveron27

Demon Lord, Deskari

Larger than an elephant, this towering insectile nightmare wields a scythe made of bone. Its wings are swarms of biting flies, and its inhuman eyes glitter with cruel intelligence.

Deskari CR 29

Source Pathfinder #78: City of Locusts pg. 88
XP 6,553,600
CE Gargantuan outsider (chaotic, demon, earth, evil, extraplanar)
Init +14; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect good, detect law, swarmsight, true seeing; Perception +54
Aura frightful presence (180 ft., DC 36), unholy aura (DC 28)

Defense

AC 47, touch 32, flat-footed 37 (+4 deflection, +10 Dex, +15 natural, +12 profane, –4 size)
hp 742 (33d10+561); regeneration 30 (epic and good or deific)
Fort +31, Ref +32, Will +32
Defensive Abilities Abyssal resurrection, all-around vision, freedom of movement, rasping armor; DR 20/cold iron, epic, and good; Immune ability damage and drain, charm and compulsion effects, death effects, electricity, energy drain, petrification, poison; Resist acid 30, cold 30, fire 30; SR 40

Offense

Speed 60 ft., climb 60 ft., fly 90 ft. (good)
Melee Riftcarver +51/+46/+41/+36 (4d6+30/19–20/×4 plus poison), bite +41 (2d8+8 plus poison), sting +41 (2d6+8 plus poison)
Space 20 ft., Reach 20 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon, enhanced venom, infestation, poison, swarm master
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 29th; concentration +39)
Constant—detect good, detect law, freedom of movement, true seeing, unholy aura (DC 28)
At will—astral projection, blasphemy (DC 27), control winds, desecrate, greater dispel magic, greater teleport, hungry pitAPG (DC 25), insect plague, shapechange, telekinesis (DC 25), unhallow, unholy blight (DC 24)
3/day—control weather, creeping doom, reverse gravity, summon demons, symbol of weakness (DC 27)
1/day—imprisonment (DC 29), earthquake, time stop

Statistics

Str 44, Dex 30, Con 42, Int 29, Wis 31, Cha 31
Base Atk +33; CMB +54 (+56 bull rush, +58 sunder); CMD 92 (94 vs. bull rush, 94 vs. sunder, 100 vs. trip)
Feats Awesome Blow, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Craft Construct, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wondrous Item, Critical Focus, Flyby Attack, Greater Sunder, Hover, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (scythe), Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Staggering Critical, Toughness
Skills Acrobatics +46 (+58 when jumping), Bluff +46, Climb +74, Disable Device +46, Fly +44, Intimidate +43, Knowledge (arcana, dungeoneering, engineering, planes) +42, Perception +54, Sense Motive +46, Spellcraft +45, Stealth +34, Use Magic Device +46; Racial Modifiers +16 Climb, +8 Perception
Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Terran, Undercommon; telepathy 300 ft.
SQ wall crawler

Ecology

Environment any (Abyss)
Organization solitary (unique)
Treasure triple (Riftcarver, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Breath Weapon (Su) Once every 1d4 rounds as a swift action, Deskari can spit out a line of noxious black slime in a 120- foot line that creates a 20-foot-radius-spread puddle of the stuff on the ground where the line terminates. Any creature caught in this area of effect takes 20d10 points of acid damage and is subject to the effects of Deskari’s poison. A successful DC 42 Reflex save halves the damage, but does not mitigate the poison’s effects. The line and puddle created by this attack remain as active acid on the ground for 1d4 rounds, affecting any creatures that move through an affected area. Damage caused by this breath weapon does not persist into additional rounds, but on the round a creature takes this damage, it is considered to be taking continuous damage for the purposes of spellcasting and concentration checks. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Enhanced Venom (Su) Any poisons created by Deskari (or even those used by him) become enhanced, and can affect creatures normally immune to poison. If an affected creature is mythic and is normally immune to poison, it instead receives a +4 bonus on its saving throw against Deskari’s poison effects.

Infestation (Su) Whenever a creature becomes poisoned by Deskari, it also becomes infested with thousands of microscopic demonic eggs that quickly multiply and spread throughout the victim’s bloodstream and flesh alike. Once infested, a creature remains infested even after the poison’s effects end or are cured. A creature that has been infested by Deskari is recognized by all mindless swarms as a host, and such swarms never deal damage to the creature unless influenced and compelled to do so by an outside influence. An infested creature takes a –4 penalty on all saving throws made against Deskari’s attacks or spells cast by his clerics. As a swift action, Deskari may command a creature’s infestation to accelerate; this deals 20d6 points of damage and stuns the target for 1 round (a successful DC 42 Fortitude save halves the damage and negates the stun effect) as the eggs hatch and a fiendish locust swarm (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 4 183) bursts out of the creature’s body (ending the infestation). Infestation is a disease effect, and the save DC is Constitution-based.

Poison (Ex) Bite, breath weapon, sting, or Riftcarver—injury; save Fort DC 42; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d4 Constitution drain plus infestation; cure 3 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Rasping Armor (Su) The armor plates that protect Deskari’s body rasp together whenever he is damaged by a physical attack, creating a discordant shrieking and grinding sound. Every time a creature strikes Deskari with an attack that deals bludgeoning, force, piercing, or slashing damage, all creatures within 10 feet of Deskari must succeed at a DC 42 Fortitude save or be sickened for 1d6 rounds. A sickened creature that fails this save becomes staggered for 1 round. A staggered creature that fails this save becomes nauseated for 1 round. Finally, a nauseated creature that fails this save becomes stunned for 1d6 rounds. This is a mind-affecting sonic effect that does not affect demons. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Swarm Master (Su) Deskari is immune to swarm damage and other swarm effects (such as distraction). As a swift action, he can direct the movement of any swarm within 30 feet. An intelligent swarm can resist this compulsion by succeeding at a DC 36 Will save. Any swarm created by or conjured by Deskari deals +3d6 points of swarm damage, and the damage caused by such a swarm is treated as chaotic, epic, and evil for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Swarmsight (Su) Deskari can see through the eyes of any swarm he commands or controls, including the swarm of biting flies that makes up his wings (this swarm, incidentally, grants him all-around vision).

Wall Crawler (Su) Deskari can climb any vertical surface with ease and never has to attempt Climb checks to avoid falling as a result of taking damage. This grants him a +16 racial bonus on Climb checks.

Description

Known as the Lord of the Locust Host and the Usher of the Apocalypse, Deskari has long plagued the region of Sarkoris, ever since he discovered a strange thinness between that nation and his own Abyssal realm. His first attempt to capitalize upon this strange feature ended with his defeat at Aroden’s hands, but after the god’s death at the outset of the Age of Lost Omens, Deskari and his cult wasted no time in opening the Worldwound to allow the demon lord’s plans for Golarion to continue.

Deskari carved his realm from the raw matter of the Abyss using a great scythe called Riftcarver (see page 63), a weapon he crafted from the remains of the strange creature his father, Pazuzu, mated with tens of thousands of years ago. Today, Pazuzu and Deskari have what passes as a cordial relationship—the two demon lords do not work together, but neither do they oppose each other’s goals on the Material Plane and beyond.

Deskari’s Cult

Deskari is worshiped primarily by the denizens of the Worldwound on Golarion—by tief lings, fallen crusaders, demons, half-fiends, and all manner of other vile creatures that dwell within that devastated land.

Deskari’s symbol is a pair of crossed locust wings dripping with blood. His favored weapon is the scythe, in honor of his devastating weapon of choice, Riftcarver, but his worshipers sometimes prefer to use smaller weapons, especially when they must move unnoticed among enemies. Deskari grants access to the domains of Chaos, Destruction, Evil, and War, and to the subdomains of Blood, Catastrophe, Demons, and Tactics.