Archives of Nethys

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Daemon

Source Bestiary 2 pg. 62
Harbingers of ruin and embodiments of the worst ways to die, daemons epitomize painful death, the all-consuming hunger of evil, and the utter annihilation of life. While demons seek to pervert and destroy in endless unholy rampages, and devils vex and enslave in hopes of corrupting mortals, daemons seek only to consume mortal life itself. While some use brute force to despoil life or prey upon vulnerable souls, others wage campaigns of deceit to draw whole realms into ruin. With each life claimed and each atrocity meted out, daemons spread fear, mistrust, and despair, tarnishing the luster of existence and drawing the planes ever closer to their final, ultimate ruin.

Notorious for their hatred of the living, daemons are the things of dark dreams and fearful tales, as their ultimate ambitions include extinguishing every individual mortal life—and the more violent or terrible the end, the better. Their methods vary wildly, typically differentiated by daemonic breed. Many seek to infiltrate the mortal plane and sow death by their own taloned hands, while others manipulate agents (both mortal and immortal) as malevolent puppet masters, instigating calamities on massive scales from their grim realms. Such diversity of methods causes many planar scholars to misattribute the machinations of daemons to other types of fiends. These often deadly mistakes are further propagated by daemons' frequent dealings with and manipulation of other outsiders. Yet in all cases, despair, ruin, and death, spreading like contagion, typify the touch of daemonkind, though such symptoms often prove recognizable only after the hour is far too late.

Daemons flourish upon the plane of Abaddon, a bleak expanse of cold mists, fearful shapes, and hunted souls. Upon these wastes, the souls of evil mortals flee predation by the native fiends, and terror and the powers of the evil plane eventually transform the most ruthless into daemons themselves. Amid these scarred wastelands, poison swamps, and realms of endless night rise the foul domains of the tyrants of daemonkind, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Lords of devastation, these powerful and unique daemons desire slaughter, ruin, and death on a cosmic scale, and drive hordes of their lesser kin to spread terror and sorrow across the planes. Although the Horsemen share a singular goal, their tactics and ambitions vary widely.

Along with mastery over vast realms, the Horsemen are served by unimaginably enormous armies of their lesser brethren, but are obeyed most closely by retinues of daemons enslaved to their titles. These specific strains of daemonic servitors, known among daemonkind as deacons, serve whoever holds the title of Horseman. Although these instruments of the archdaemons differ in strength and ability, their numbers provide their lords with legions capable of near-equal terrorization.

More so than among any other fiendish race, several breeds of daemons lust after souls. While other foul inhabitants of the planes seek the corruption and destruction of living essences, many daemons value possession and control over mortal animas, entrapping and hoarding souls—and in so doing disrupting the natural progression of life and perverting the quintessence of creation to serve their own terrible whims. While not all daemons possess the ability to steal a mortal being's soul and turn it to their use, the lowliest of daemonkind, the maniacal cacodaemons, endlessly seek life essences to consume and imprison. These base daemons enthusiastically serve their more powerful kin, eager for increased opportunities to doom mortal spirits. While cacodaemons place little value upon the souls they imprison, greater daemons eagerly gather them as trophies, fuel for terrible rites, or offerings to curry the favor of their lords. Several breeds of daemons also posses their own notorious abilities to capture mortal spirits or draw upon the power of souls, turning the forces of utter annihilation to their own sinister ends.

The Four Horsemen

Four dread lords, infamous across all the planes, rule the disparate hordes of daemonkind. Risen from among the ranks of their terrible brethren to displace those fiendish tyrants before them, they are the archdaemons, the End Bringers, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In the blasphemous annals of fiendish lore, they are the prophesied architects of multiversal ruin, destined to stand triumphant over cadaverous cosmoses and infinities of silence before also giving way to absolute oblivion. Undisputed in his power among their kind, each Horseman rules a vast realm upon the bleak plains of Abaddon and a distinctive method of mortal ruin: pestilence, famine, war, or death from old age. Yet while each archdaemon commands measureless influence, daemons know nothing of loyalty and serve only those they cannot overcome. Thus, though the Horsemen stand peerless in their power and manipulations among daemonkind, they must ever defend their thrones from the machinations of ambitious underlings and the plots of other archdaemons.

Upon the poisonous expanses of Abaddon, lesser daemonic peers carve petty fiefdoms and posture as lords, but despite their world-spanning intrigues, all bow before the Horsemen—though most do so only grudgingly. Ancient myths also tell of a mysterious fifth Horseman, the Oinodaemon, though nearly all mention of such a creature has been scoured from the multiverse.

Creatures in "Daemon" Category

NameCR
Acrididaemon14
Astradaemon16
Cacodaemon2
Ceustodaemon6
Crucidaemon15
Derghodaemon12
Erodaemon11
Genthodaemon5
Hydrodaemon8
Lacridaemon3
Lapsudaemon14
Leukodaemon9
Meladaemon11
Nixudaemon7
Obcisidaemon19
Olethrodaemon20
Phasmadaemon17
Piscodaemon10
Purrodaemon18
Sangudaemon9
Sepsidaemon7
Suspiridaemon7
Temerdaemon14
Thanadaemon13
Venedaemon5
Vulnudaemon4

Daemon, Phasmadaemon

Little can be seen of this fiend, its body cloaked in a shroud of perpetually shifting, ghastly illusions and phantasms. Beneath its shimmering veil, it has glossy black flesh, a bleached white face, and twisted horns. Its long caiman muzzle perpetually gapes, but other than that, its face is void of sensory organs, save for two orbs that move below the surface of its flesh. This creature flows rather than moves, and its flexible body lacks a definite skeletal structure except for a long, bony tail.

Phasmadaemon CR 17

Source Book of the Damned - Volume 3: Horsemen of the Apocalypse pg. 52
XP 102,400
NE Large outsider (daemon, evil, extraplanar)
Init +11; Senses darkvision 60 ft., true seeing; Perception +30
Aura frightful presence (60 ft., DC 27)

Defense

AC 32, touch 17, flat-footed 24 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +15 natural, –1 size)
hp 264 (23d10+138)
Fort +19, Ref +14, Will +19
DR 10/good and silver; Immune acid, death effects, disease, poison; Resist cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10; SR 28

Offense

Speed 30 ft., fly 40 ft. (good)
Melee bite +27 (2d6+5/19–20 plus grab), 2 claws +27 (1d8+5)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks consume fear, constrict (2d6+5), rend (2d6+7)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th; concentration +26)
Constant—deathwatch, true seeing
At will—greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), persistent image (DC 21)
3/day—quickened greater shadow conjuration (DC 23), greater shadow evocation (DC 24), mirage arcana, nightmare (DC 21), permanent image (DC 22), phantasmal killer (DC 20)
1/day—mislead, summon (level 8, 1 temerdaemon or 1d3 suspiridaemons, 50%), symbol of fear (DC 21), weird (DC 25)

Statistics

Str 20, Dex 25, Con 23, Int 19, Wis 18, Cha 22
Base Atk +23; CMB +29 (+33 grapple); CMD 47
Feats Combat Casting, Deceitful, Dodge, Greater Spell Penetration, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Intimidating Prowess, Iron Will, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (greater shadow conjuration), Spell Penetration, Vital Strike
Skills Bluff +36, Disguise +36, Escape Artist +30, Fly +35, Intimidate +37, Knowledge (planes) +30, Perception +30, Sense Motive +30, Spellcraft +30, Stealth +29
Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ compression, tangible horror

Ecology

Environment any (Abaddon)
Organization solitary, pair, or cabal (3–4)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Consume Fear (Su) As a standard action, a phasmadaemon that begins its turn with a grappled opponent can attempt to feed on the creature’s mortality and innate terror. Any creature that does not succeed at a DC 27 Will save takes 1d6 points of Charisma drain and becomes shaken for 2d4 rounds; in addition, the phasmadaemon gains 5 temporary hit points for every point of Charisma drain dealt this way. If the creature being grappled is already panicked at the beginning of the phasmadaemon’s turn, it must save instead on a DC 27 Fortitude save or be slain instantly by the phasmadaemon, which gains a +1 profane bonus on attack rolls, saving throws, and checks for every 2 points of Charisma its victim had before dying; the profane bonuses last for 24 hours. The save DCs are Charisma-based.

Tangible Horror (Su) A phasmadaemon’s illusion abilities are partially real at a level above and beyond those normally conjured forth by similar illusion spells. If a creature succeeds at its Will save to disbelieve either a phasmadaemon’s greater shadow conjuration or greater shadow evocation spell-like ability, the conjured or evoked spell has 80% the normal effect or is 80% likely to occur, rather than 60%.

Description

Among the most powerful members of daemonkind, the phasmadaemons personify death by fright, and conjure powers of illusion so terrifying that they steal the life from their victims. A freakish creature of rubbery flesh, the phasmadaemon is capable of twisting its body like a hellish contortionist, and its ivory face is often the last thing its victim sees. Though capable of savaging foes with its fangs and claws, it prefers to torment them first with illusory enemies, unreal terrors, and false terrain before finally closing in as the victims’ hearts race and finally fail. When a phasmadaemon does confront its prey physically, it prefers to grapple and constrict it to death, looking the victim directly in the face and watching the fear fill its eyes as the blood drains from its cheeks. A phasmadaemon rarely shows its true form all at once, masking itself in illusions or eerie porcelain masks, and it delights in unnerving even its own daemonic allies.

A phasmadaemon is 25 feet long from muzzle to tail— though if it desires, it can stretch almost half again that length thanks to its flexible, elastic anatomy—and weighs 1,000 pounds.

Ecology

Phasmadaemons sometimes form from the type of soul that exemplifies extreme evil, namely those who inf lict or suffer from extreme fear, such as deranged illusionists, schizophrenic serial killers, and corrupt mortals who died at the hands of other creatures that excel at captivating victims’ dreams and fears. In other instances, phasmadaemons are merely among the most fearful of the hunted souls of Abaddon, souls who eventually learn to exult in the terror they feel as a soul-devouring daemon stalks them; eventually, these vile souls may transform from the hunted into the hunters—daemons seeking the thrill of the hunt for the horror-stricken faces of their prey.

Whether in the chasms of Abaddon or on other planes, phasmadaemons hunt for souls via stealth, following from a distance to study their prey for prolonged periods. They create elaborate illusions, leading their targets into believing in entire fictional environments and creatures, all dependent on the victims’ most feared imaginings. They extract each soul’s intrinsic, underlying fears, using the figments as weapons against their owners. Phasmadaemons do not seek souls that are merely easy prey—they adhere strictly to their own method of destroying souls, reveling in the grotesque pleasure of striking mortal souls dead with fear-induced heart attacks and other physical maladies. The connection between fear and mortality is something that continually fascinates the morbid curiosities of phasmadaemons, who mix fears like alchemists, conducting experiments and concocting ever more terrifying combinations of horrific imaginings.

Habitat and Society

Phasmadaemons tend to hunt alone, preferring to develop their own unique styles of torment and horror to unleash upon their victims. While some would suggest that the freakishly complex traps of crucidaemons or the cocooned feeding of sangudaemons rank as the most dreadful and frightening killing tactics among daemonkind, the terrors manifested by phasmadaemons exceed them both. A phasmadaemon extracts a mortal’s own fears and turns the figments against their creator, not enjoying the torment the horrors induce so much as appreciating the effects of fear within its victim before the thing’s last fatal gasp—the tiny hairs standing upright, the racing heart, jerking muscles, paralysis. Such reactions spawn immense pleasure within a phasmadaemon, which continually seeks ways to fill its victims with dread. Among phasmadaemons, the buying and selling of fears is in itself something of a market, much like the economy of souls within the rest of Abaddon. The fiends exchange their own horrific new imaginings with one another, creating a collection of terrors unfathomable by mortals.

Phasmadaemons do not often serve a single Horseman exclusively, their skills not necessarily a boon to any particular facet of death. They tend to traverse the outskirts of societies both within Abaddon and outside of it, preying on travelers in the dead of winter nights or seeking out hermits in order to haunt their isolated homes. The tension before the kill is almost as thrilling to a phasmadaemon as the kill itself, and the foul beings wallow in the fear they create before swooping in for the final blow. When they travel in groups, phasmadaemons use their powers to create great multitudes of illusionary images in order to terrorize entire groups or crowds of closely situated people, such as causing heart-stopping incidents in the middle of a playhouse’s performance, situating horrific conjurations in the middle of packed bazaars, and positioning frightful images at the gallows at a crowded execution.