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Ixion Worm

A cyclopean face stretches grotesquely across the hub of a tall, knobby wheel of bone.

Ixion Worm CR 13

Source Pathfinder #106: For Queen and Empire pg. 90
XP 25,600
LE Large outsider (evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, true seeing; Perception +23


AC 27, touch 14, flat-footed 22 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +13 natural, –1 size)
hp 187 (15d10+105)
Fort +16, Ref +9, Will +14
Resist fire 10, sonic 10; SR 24


Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +20 (2d6+6 plus energy drain and grab), slam +20 (1d8+6)
Space 10 ft., Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (2d6+9; serpentine form only), energy drain (2 levels, DC 22), euphoric gaze (3/day; wheel form only), hypnotic wheel (DC 22; wheel form only), powerful charge (slam, 2d8+9; wheel form only)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th; concentration +19)
Constant—true seeing
At will—castigateAPG (DC 17), enthrall (DC 17), hypnotism (DC 17), lock gazeUC (DC 16), mage hand
3/day—mass suggestion (DC 20), miserable pityUM (DC 18), persistent image (DC 19), telekinesis (DC 20)
1/day—synapse overload (DC 21; Occult Adventures)


Str 22, Dex 19, Con 24, Int 15, Wis 20, Cha 21
Base Atk +15; CMB +22 (+26 bull rush, +26 grapple, +26 overrun); CMD 37 (39 vs. bull rush, 39 vs. overrun)
Feats Dodge, Greater Bull Rush, Greater Overrun, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack
Skills Bluff +23, Diplomacy +23, Intimidate +23, Knowledge (planes) +20, Perception +23, Sense Motive +23, Spellcraft +20, Stealth +18
Languages Celestial, Common, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ dual form


Environment any (Hell)
Organization solitary, pair, or caravan (4–6)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Dual Form (Ex) An ixion worm can take one of two forms: a serpentine skin-sack of clattering bones, and a taut, self-ambulatory wheel. An ixion worm in its wheel form possesses the euphoric gaze, hypnotic wheel, and powerful charge special abilities. When in serpentine form, the ixion worm gains a 10-foot bonus to its speed, a climb speed of 10 feet, a +2 dodge bonus to its Armor Class, and the constrict special attack. Changing between its forms is a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, though an ixion worm in its wheel form that becomes prone may take on its serpentine form as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Energy Drain (Su) This ability functions as the universal monster rule of the same name, but rather than granting the ixion worm temporary hit points, it instead grants 1 additional use of its 3/day spell-like abilities per level drained. This additional use is available for 1 hour and is consumed only after the ixion worm’s normal daily uses of its spell-like abilities have been expended.

Euphoric Gaze (Su) Three times a day as a move action, when in its wheel form, an ixion worm can unfocus its eye and spin it in a mesmerizing whirl to gain a gaze attack that affects all creatures within 30 feet as per euphoric tranquilityAPG (CL 14th, Will DC 22 partial). The effect is persistent but immediately ends if the ixion worm threatens or is threatened by a creature, uses any other special abilities, or moves in any way but a straight line. The effect also ends for creatures that move beyond the range of the gaze attack. While sustaining this effect, the ixion worm also takes a –8 penalty on visual Perception checks.

Hypnotic Wheel (Su) A rolling ixion worm’s face is hypnotically grotesque. An ixion worm in wheel form can take a full-round action to move up to twice its speed. If it moves at least 20 feet as part of such an action, it can target a creature within 30 feet that is visible from any square in its path with a 14th-level mesmerist’s hypnotic stare (Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures 39) that has the allure, susceptibility, and timidity bold stare improvements (Occult Adventures 42). The stare’s effects last until the start of the ixion worm’s next turn, regardless of the ixion worm’s location. The save DC is Charisma-based.


Ixion worms are both literal and figurative cogs in Phlegethon’s workings. Each is forged of flesh stretched over massive bones, and each bears the identical face of a hypnotically entrancing male cyclops. Its bones can slither as a crooked serpent or join at the ends to form a wheel, with its face freely sliding around the structure to spin on one side of the hub as it rolls itself around. The rotation amplifies the ixion worm’s hypnotic abilities, which it uses to motivate Phlegethon’s petitioners into working harder in the layer’s mines and forges.

The ixion worm’s mouth dribbles with a prismatic oily residue that corrodes and absorbs the souls of whatever creatures with which it mingles. The worm’s size and mass—5 feet wide, 9 feet in radius in wheel form, nearly 30 feet long unrolled, and 600 pounds in weight— also make the creature a terrifying physical force as it careens down the narrow paths of Phlegethon’s crags. The ixion worm’s entrancing gaze and mental powers, however, are what make it an effective and intimidating enforcer; few of Phlegethon’s lesser inhabitants consider challenging what they quickly believe is their only friend in Hell.


When petitioners slack in their work, an ixion worm snakes into place, forms a wheel, and lulls them into a trance by rolling in hypnotic patterns until the rocky layer of Hell seems to become a twisted fantasy: a rolling field of rotting food to the gluttonous, for instance, or an endless sea of writhing, formless flesh to the lustful. The few who dare to disobey are either smashed under the wheel’s rim or suckled in its warped mouth, where its soul-draining spit strips away what little individuality and vitality a creature retains.

Belial smiles upon ixion worms that excel at their tasks and promotes them to serve as pulley wheels in his forges’ machinery. The most prized are sent to Dispater to become gears in Dis’s gates and wheels in the groaning carts that carry piles of petitioners through the layers of Hell. These elevated ixion worms endlessly plead for devils and broken souls alike to show gratitude to their diabolic benefactors, lest they too become little more than implements of Hell.

In ancient tales passed down by the duergar of Nar-Voth, a handful of elevated ixion worms escaped Hell and taught the duergar the secrets of Phlegethon’s forges in a daring doublecrossing of the lord of betrayal himself. The duergar venerate the ixion worms in these stories with the hope that they’ll one day return to the Darklands bearing new infernal secrets of binding souls to stone and metal.

Habitat and Society

Crafted from the souls of those who betray their relatives, ixion worms are all built from a singular namesake template—the ancient cyclops mesmerist Ixion, who psychically cowed a tribe of cyclopes under his rule during the nascent days of the kingdom of Ghol-Gan.

In his covetous lust for his mother-in-law, the self-styled King Ixion lured his own father to death in a spiked pit trap. His flagrant betrayal garnered the attention of Belial, archdevil of Phlegethon and master of betrayers, and the archdevil dispatched an agent to Ixion’s wife and mother-in-law to expose the king’s plot and tempt them into killing him for vengeance. Belial’s ploy worked; the women stabbed Ixion into submission, strapped his body to an oxcart’s wheel, and then plowed him through his kingdom’s mud until he died.

When the cyclops’s soul reached Belial’s pleasure palace of Idolisque, the archdevil presented Ixion with a choice: to serve in the forges or join his twisted harem. Ixion spitefully responded by expressing his distaste for Belial’s palace and declaring the archdevil’s finest souls far too ugly. In a fit of mirthful wrath, the archdevil ripped the former king’s soul apart and had him reforged into a worm of bones. Devils stretched Ixion’s comely face across its length, then rolled his new form into the shape of a wheel.

The ever-defiant mesmerist king nonetheless tried to hypnotize Belial into admitting his poor taste, and the archdevil rewarded his persistence by tossing him from Idolisque and into the jagged rocks below. To further mock Ixion, who still searches Phlegethon in anonymous bitterness for the souls of his wife and mother-in-law, Belial commanded his forges to craft the souls of every familial betrayer sent to Phlegethon into the cyclops king’s likeness.