Archives of Nethys

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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, Gorgoros

Numerous writhing, coiling tails support this serpent-headed beast. Its three eyes glow a sickly yellow.

Gorgoros CR 9

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 228
XP 6,400
CE Large outsider (chaotic, evil, extraplanar, qlippoth)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +20

Defense

AC 23, touch 13, flat-footed 19 (+4 Dex, +10 natural, –1 size)
hp 114 (12d10+48)
Fort +12, Ref +12, Will +11
Defensive Abilities freedom of movement; DR 10/cold iron or lawful; Immune cold, mind-affecting effects, poison; Resist acid 10, electricity 10, fire 10; SR 20

Offense

Speed 40 ft., burrow 40 ft., earth glide
Melee bite +21 (4d6+15)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks feast of stone, gaze, horrific appearance (DC 22), writhing tails
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +13)
Constant—freedom of movement
At will—soften earth and stone, stone shape
1/day—transmute rock to mud, wall of stone

Statistics

Str 30, Dex 19, Con 18, Int 15, Wis 20, Cha 19
Base Atk +12; CMB +23; CMD 37 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Ability Focus (horrific appearance), Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Power Attack, Vital Strike
Skills Acrobatics +19, Bluff +19, Climb +19, Knowledge (dungeoneering, planes) +17, Perception +20, Sense Motive +20, Stealth +15, Swim +19
Languages Abyssal, Aklo; telepathy 100 ft.

Ecology

Environment any (Abyss)
Organization solitary, pair, or circle (3–7)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Feast of Stone (Su) As a standard action, a gorgoros can devour a Large or smaller petrified creature. When it consumes a creature this way, it regains 4d8+8 hit points and it gains hardness 8 for 1 minute. A petrified creature is slain by this effect.
Gaze (Su) A gorgoros’s gaze turns creatures to stone permanently (Fortitude DC 20 negates) and has a range of 30 feet. The gorgoros can make a gaze attack against a grappled creature as a swift action. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Horrific Appearance (Su) Creatures that succumb to a gorgoros’s horrific appearance find their eyes drawn to the creature’s gaze and must immediately attempt a saving throw against its gaze attack. Affected creatures can’t avert or close their eyes, and treat creatures other than the gorgoros as having concealment.
Writhing Tails (Ex) A gorgoros’s tails coil around any creature that draws near. All squares adjacent to a gorgoros are considered difficult terrain. At the beginning of its turn, the gorgoros’s tails can attempt a grapple combat maneuver check against each adjacent creature as a free action. On a successful check, its tails deal 1d6+6 points of damage and the foe is grappled, but the gorgoros is not considered grappled. The tails gain a +5 bonus on grapple combat maneuver checks against foes they’re already grappling. Each time the tails succeed at such a check, they deal 1d6+6 points of damage but can’t pin foes. If the gorgoros moves, all grappled creatures automatically move with it, but it can’t take creatures along when earth gliding.

Description

The gorgoros delights in petrifying living creatures to serve as material for twisted artistic endeavors. These fiends emerge from walls to petrify and devour, and use their stone-altering magic to reshape battlefields—or petrified foes. Their grotesque art, made from resculpted victims, is short-lived; while gorgoroses don’t require sustenance, they enjoy feeding on the statues they create. Even those who avoid petrification may not escape unscathed; it is rumored that the daughters of survivors are born with petrifying gazes and serpents for hair. Blasphemous whispers hint that this is how medusas originated.

A gorgoros measures a full 15 feet in length and weighs 6,000 pounds.