Archives of Nethys

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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


Qlippoth, Gongorinan

This human-sized crablike creature scuttles on six stumpy legs, and each of its four arms sports a different method of inflicting pain.

Gongorinan CR 11

Source Pathfinder #64: Beyond the Doomsday Door pg. 90
XP 12,800
CE Medium outsider (chaotic, qlippoth, evil, extraplanar)
Init +10; Senses all-around vision, darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +18
Aura horrific appearance (30 ft., DC 20)


AC 27, touch 17, flat-footed 20 (+6 Dex, +1 dodge, +10 natural)
hp 137 (11d10+77)
Fort +14, Ref +13, Will +7
DR 10/lawful; Immune cold, acid, mind affecting effects, polymorph effects; Resist acid 10, electricity 10, fire 10; SR 22


Speed 40 ft., climb 40 ft.
Melee +1 scimitar +19/+14/+9 (1d6+7/15–20), claw +17 (1d8+6 plus bleed), sting +15 (1d4+3 plus poison), pincer +15 (1d6+3 plus grab)
Special Attacks bleed (1d6), constrict (1d6+7), oviposition, web (+17 ranged, DC 22, 11 hp)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 11th; concentration +16)
Constant—air walk, freedom of movement
At will—statue
3/day—baleful polymorph (DC 20), protection from law
1/day—dimension door, mass reduce person (DC 19), polymorph any object (DC 23)


Str 23, Dex 23, Con 24, Int 13, Wis 18, Cha 20
Base Atk +11; CMB +17 (+21 grapple); CMD 34 (42 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Critical (scimitar), Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (scimitar)
Skills Acrobatics +20 (+24 when jumping), Climb +28, Disguise +16 (+24 as a boulder while in statue form), Knowledge (arcana) +15, Perception +18, Stealth +20 (+28 among rocks), Swim +17; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics when jumping, +8 Disguise as a boulder while in statue form, +8 Stealth among rocks
Languages Abyssal; telepathy 100 ft.


Environment any underground (the Abyss)
Organization solitary, pair, or cast (3–10)
Treasure standard (+1 scimitar plus other treasure)

Special Abilities

Horrific Appearance (Su) Creatures that succumb to a gongorinan’s horrific appearance become confused for 1d4 rounds.

Oviposition (Su) A gongorinan can implant a stony egg the size of a human heart in the body of any Small or larger pinned, helpless, or willing creature as a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity. This action deals 1d4 points of Constitution damage to the victim. If the victim survives this damage, the egg takes root deep in the victim’s body, links to his mind, and begins gestating. The egg grows rapidly, dealing 1 point of Intelligence drain every day to a minimum score of 1. Once this Intelligence drain affects a creature that already has an effective Intelligence score of 1, the egg “hatches” inside of the victim. This causes the victim to immediately transform into a horrid animal, aberration, magical beast, or vermin (the exact choice is made by the gongorinan according to its strange goals and unknowable desires), whereupon it begins living out its new life via pure instinct—this effect otherwise functions as if it were baleful polymorph to which the creature had failed its secondary Will save to retain its personality. A gongorinan can command the actions of a creature that has undergone this transformation as if the victim had been affected by dominate monster (this works even on creatures that are normally immune to such effects as a result of being mindless) as long as the gongorinan is within 120 feet of the creature. The effect can be reversed by break enchantment (DC 22—treat the gongorinan’s Hit Dice as it caster level), but cannot be dispelled.

Poison (Ex) Sting—injury; save Fort DC 22; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d3 Strength damage and staggered for 1 round; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.


The gongorinans are the spawn of the nascent qlippoth lord Yamasoth, although one could be forgiven for thinking them of them less as offspring and more as parasites. A gongorinan’s basic shape resembles that of an immense, stocky crab, save that they lack all of the features crabs have adapted for an aquatic life—gongorinans are terrestrial creatures. A typical gongorinan possesses no fewer than a dozen stalked eyes, and is capable of extending these eyes from the upper edges of its body just above its mouth to a length of nearly 3 feet, giving it extraordinary vision in all directions. A gongorinan’s mouth is a complex tangle of sliding plates and toothy ridges that rasp and shriek against each other as it speaks and chews, but despite their frightening shapes, these mouthparts are ill-suited for making physical attacks; the gongorinan relies upon its arms for that. Each gongorinan has four of these, and each arm is a different, highly specialized appendage. The humanoid arm is used for fine manipulation or the wielding of weaponry, while the mantislike claw is used to shred flesh and create deep, bleeding wounds. The needle-covered tentacle is used to sting and inject a painful poison to stagger foes, while the pincer is used to snatch and hold victims close for oviposition.

A typical gongorinan stands about 6 feet tall and weighs 800 pounds. When at rest, a gongorinan retracts its limbs into its rock-encrusted body, allowing it to appear remarkably like nothing more than a large, misshapen boulder. Larger specimens known as elder gongorinans exist (and often possess additional and even more dangerous arms), but these are quite rare on the Material Plane save for in the depths of Hollow Mountain.


All gongorinans carry within their bodies a brood of horrific egg masses, yet these eggs are not used for the propagation of their kind (that process is governed by a more traditional and yet more nightmarish method best left unspoken). Instead, these eggs carry within their stony shells a raw quintessence of the Abyss, infused with the ichor-seed of the gongorinans’ lord, Yamasoth. Whereas most creatures are driven to breed and multiply, the gongorinans are instead driven to seek out humanoid hosts for their eggs. The implantation happens via the gongorinan’s mouth and a hideous ovipositor that’s not quite tongue and not quite toothed prolapsing throat, but something worse. Fortunately for most who might encounter a gongorinan, the process of oviposition leaves the horrid creature open to attack and cannot be performed quickly, yet to the lone adventurer caught and overwhelmed by a gongorinan, this is small comfort indeed.

Once an egg has been implanted, it takes many days to grow, and the gongorinan prefers to carry the unfortunate host off to restrain it in a hidden location. Victims are often cocooned in webs or left stranded in high cavern ledges far above the ground so that the egg can gestate. As it grows, the egg feeds on the victim’s mind, absorbing the victim’s intellect until it has reduced the host to a drooling wreck. At this point, the egg doesn’t hatch so much as it merely merges with the host, effecting a horrific and permanent transformation into a monstrous form. The gongorinan can inf luence this ultimate form as it lays its egg. It typically chooses powerful creatures that are already found in the region, for these “young” are loyal to their parent and serve as loyal guardians or playthings. Victims retain no true portion of their previous personality, but those who have been rescued from this horrific fate via powerful magic do retain memories of their time as a transformed monstrosity. Many never quite recover from these ordeals, and often develop a peculiar form of madness in which they regard their monstrous life as having been their true life, and their true life as the curse. The most despondent of these victims eventually seek the promise of peace through suicide rather than endure the dreams of their life as a monster—dreams that carry within them a most horrible longing.

Habitat & Society

Gongorinans are an industrious and intelligent breed of qlippoth, and where they find themselves, they invariably form hive-like complexes to live in. These gongorinan “cities” are labyrinthine affairs with plenty of chambers for their transformed children to live in. In the Abyss, gongorinan hives can grow truly immense, with populations in the thousands, but even the Material Plane is no stranger to gongorinan hive cities. The largest of these hives are thought to be located deep beneath Hollow Mountain, where Runelord Alaznist lured the Polymorph Plague himself, Yamasoth, into dwelling for a time. While Yamasoth has long vacated the Darklands caverns under Hollow Mountain, they bear the name of his spawn— Gongorina—and his spawn dwell there still.