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, Pazuzu

Held aloft by four great feathered wings, this hawk-faced fiend has a scorpion’s tail and carries a black metal scepter.

Pazuzu CR 30

Source Bestiary 4 pg. 50
XP 9,830,400
CE Large outsider (air, chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar)
Init +13; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect good, detect law, true seeing; Perception +58
Aura frightful presence (180 ft., DC 40, 10 rounds), locusts (10 ft., distraction, DC 43), unholy aura (DC 31)

Defense

AC 48, touch 38, flat-footed 39 (+4 deflection, +9 Dex, +10 natural, +16 profane, –1 size)
hp 752 (35d10+560); regeneration (deific or mythic)
Fort +31, Ref +32, Will +35
Defensive Abilities Abyssal resurrection, avian mastery, freedom of movement; DR 20/cold iron, epic, and good; Immune ability damage, ability drain, charm effects, compulsion effects, cold, death effects, electricity, energy drain, petrification, and poison; Resist acid 30, cold 30, fire 30; SR 41

Offense

Speed 60 ft., fly 150 ft. (perfect)
Melee +5 anarchic keen unholy longsword +54/+49/+44/+39 (2d6+20/17–20), bite +49 (2d6+15), claw +49 (1d6+15), sting +49 (2d8+15 plus poison), 2 talons +49 1d6+15
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks hear name, poison, possession, profane
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 30th; concentration +43)
Constant—detect good, detect law, freedom of movement, speak with animals (winged animals only), true seeing, unholy aura (DC 31)
At will—astral projection, blasphemy* (DC 30), control winds, desecrate*, dominate person* (DC 28), greater dispel magic, greater teleport, shapechange, telekinesis* (DC 28), unhallow, unholy blight* (DC 27)
3/day—quickened dominate person* (DC 28), summon demons, symbol of persuasion (DC 29), sympathy (DC 31), whirlwind*
1/day—dominate monster (DC 32), time stop*, wish*
* Pazuzu can use the mythic version of this ability in his realm.

Statistics

Str 40, Dex 28, Con 42, Int 33, Wis 34, Cha 36
Base Atk +35; CMB +51 (+55 sunder); CMD 92 (94 vs. sunder)
Feats Bleeding Critical, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Craft Construct, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Rod, Craft Wondrous Item, Critical Focus, Flyby Attack, Greater Sunder, Greater Vital Strike, Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Improved Vital Strike, Multiattack, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (dominate person), Vital Strike
Skills Acrobatics +47 (+59 when jumping), Bluff +51, Diplomacy +51, Fly +53, Intimidate +48, Knowledge (arcana) +49, Knowledge (local) +46, Knowledge (nature) +46, Knowledge (nobility) +46, Knowledge (planes) +49, Knowledge (religion) +46, Perception +58, Sense Motive +50, Spellcraft +49, Stealth +43, Survival +47, Use Magic Device +48; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
Languages Abyssal, Auran, Celestial, Common, Draconic; telepathy 300 ft.
SQ demon lord traits

Ecology

Environment any (Abyss)
Organization solitary (unique)
Treasure triple (Scepter of Shibaxet, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Aura of Locusts (Su) Pazuzu exhales clouds of locusts. In any round in which he does not move more than 5 feet, he is surrounded by a 10-foot-radius spread of these creatures. Any creature that enters this area must succeed at a DC 43 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Avian Mastery (Su) Any creature flying under its own power (flight from a source other than a spell, spell-like ability, or magic item) that attempts to attack Pazuzu with a melee attack must attempt a DC 40 Will save. If it fails, the creature can’t follow through with the attack, that part of its action is lost, and it can’t directly attack Pazuzu for 1d4 rounds. Once a creature succeeds at this save, it is immune to this ability for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Hear Name (Su) Pazuzu hears his name whenever it is spoken, regardless of distance—this ability functions even across planar boundaries. If a creature speaks Pazuzu’s name aloud three times in the same breath, Pazuzu automatically knows that creature’s precise location and name. If Pazuzu is on the same plane as someone who speaks his name three times in a single breath, he can immediately attempt to possess that creature.

Poison (Ex) Sting—injury; save Fort DC 43; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d6 Wisdom drain and nauseated; cure 3 consecutive saves.

Possession (Su) Once per day as a swift action, Pazuzu can attempt to possess a single living creature within 1 mile, provided he knows the target’s name. The target can resist this possession attempt by succeeding at a DC 43 Will save. A lawful creature gains a +10 bonus on this saving throw, and a good creature gains a +20 bonus on the saving throw (these bonuses stack). If the creature successfully saves, it is immune to possession attempts by Pazuzu for the rest of its life. If the saving throw fails, Pazuzu can control the possessed creature from afar. While possessing a creature, Pazuzu automatically knows every thought that creature has. By concentrating, he can sense the creature’s surroundings using that creature’s senses. As a swift action, he can cause the creature to perform any ability it can perform on its own. Pazuzu can use any of his spell-like abilities through a possessed target, with the effects resolving as if the possessed creature had created the effect. Possession is permanent, but Pazuzu can only possess one creature at a time. When Pazuzu isn’t actively controlling the target, it can take its own actions. Dispel chaos or dispel evil ends this possession effect as if it were an enchantment spell, but unless the caster of the spell succeeds at a DC 30 caster level check, as a swift action Pazuzu can attempt to possess the caster as he is driven out of the target. A creature possessed by Pazuzu is immune to protection from evil, magic circle against evil, and any similar effects. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Profane Wishcraft (Su) A creature that accepts a wish from Pazuzu immediately becomes chaotic evil unless it succeeds at a DC 43 Will save. A creature that becomes chaotic evil in this way gains the benefits of a good hope spell for 1 week, followed by the effects of crushing despair for 1d6 months (CL 30th). The save DC is Charisma-based.

Swarm Master (Su) Pazuzu 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.

Description

Pazuzu is among the oldest and most powerful of all demon lords. His Abyssal realm is located in one of that plane’s greatest rifts. This vertical realm includes an immense city, at the heart of which can be found Shibaxet, Pazuzu’s personal rookery and palace. Pazuzu appears as a four-winged, 15-foot-tall fiend. He takes great delight in corrupting mortals, particularly those of a pure heart and soul, offering them any one wish in return for nothing but their innocence.

Pazuzu’s Cult

Pazuzu, King of the Wind Demons, is worshiped by harpies and other evil avians, and by a large number of antipaladins who were once honorable but were tempted to chaos and evil—often by Pazuzu himself. His sacred places and temples are cliffside cathedrals, desert ruins, and spires atop mountain peaks.

His unholy symbol is an image of himself with his right hand upraised. His favored weapon is the longsword. He grants access to the domains of Air, Chaos, Evil, and Trickery, and access to the subdomains of Cloud, Deception, Demon, and Wind.

Pazuzu’s Scepter of Shibaxet can be found here.