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, Venedaemon

Silken robes drape this androgynous fiend’s form, providing only an outline of the body beneath. Claw-tipped tentacles emerge from the cuffs, clutching wands and soul gems, while below its robe’s margins, its multiple-jointed legs—almost like a reptilian insect’s—end in clawed, three-toed chitinous feet. Its face remains perpetually covered by a dark veil, and a trio of long, forked tongues periodically emerges from its rounded mouth and tastes the air around its thin lips.

Venedaemon CR 5

Source Book of the Damned - Volume 3: Horsemen of the Apocalypse pg. 60
XP 1,600
NE Medium outsider (daemon, evil, extraplanar)
Init +6; Senses arcane sight, darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +12

Defense

AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (+2 Dex, +6 natural)
hp 51 (6d10+18)
Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +8
DR 5/good or silver; Immune acid, death effects, disease, poison; Resist cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10; SR 16

Offense

Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (average)
Melee 2 tentacles +6 (1d6)
Special Attacks arcane soul-crush
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +11)
Constant—arcane sight
3/day—dimension door, dispel magic, slow
1/day—summon (level 3, 1 cacodaemon, 75%)
Spells Known (CL 6th; concentration +11)
3rd (4/day)—hold person (DC 18)
2nd (6/day)—invisibility, scorching ray (DC 17)
1st (8/day)—charm person (DC 16), mage armor, magic missile, shield
0 (at will)—acid splash, arcane mark, bleed (DC 15), mage hand, prestidigitation, ray of frost (DC 15), read magic

Statistics

Str 11, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 22, Wis 16, Cha 21
Base Atk +6; CMB +6; CMD 18
Feats Combat Casting, Eschew MaterialsB, Improved Initiative, Magical Aptitude
Skills Bluff +14, Disguise +11, Fly +11, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (arcana) +15, Knowledge (planes) +15, Knowledge (religion) +12, Perception +12, Sense Motive +12, Spellcraft +17, Stealth +11, Use Magic Device +16
Languages Abyssal, Aquan, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Ignan, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.

Ecology

Environment any (Abaddon)
Organization solitary, pair, or cabal (3–6)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Arcane Soul-Crush (Su) A venedaemon may consume a held soul gem as a swift action, allowing it to cast any of its spells known without using a spell slot. For the daemon to use this ability, the consumed gem must contain the soul of a creature with Hit Dice equal to or greater than the spell level of the desired spell.

Description

The venedaemon personifies death by magic, and so possesses an inborn talent for all manner of sorcery. As hungry for souls as any other member of its daemonic brethren, the venedaemon thirsts equally for intangible wealth through the acquisition of knowledge, so that it can best utilize the arcane magic lurking within its blood. In particular, venedaemons yearn for the secrets and magical lore held within the bindings of wizards’ tomes, knowing that these arcane formulae are the key to unlocking their mysterious powers. In the process of acquiring such tomes of knowledge, venedaemons invariably come across other forms of information— whether it be info regarding a rival daemon’s weaknesses, lore that hints at a wealth of unclaimed souls hidden in one of Abaddon’s vast caverns, or a rumor of some hidden and terrible source of daemonic power—that they can make use of in trading with other daemons. These rumors and smatterings of advice can be sold to other daemons for captured souls, and the trade often goes both ways, as venedaemons are also inclined to trade their hard-earned soul gems for tomes of magic other fiends may have chanced upon.

In addition to its myriad magical abilities as a daemon, a venedaemon casts spells like a sorcerer with a caster level equal to its Hit Dice. A venedaemon can gain additional levels as a sorcerer in order to bolster its arcane powers, in which case it gains a bloodline (usually Abyssal or Infernal) as well as a sorcerer’s other class features and special abilities.

Venedaemons are gaunt, and despite standing close to 7 feet tall, they rarely weigh more than 150 pounds.

Ecology

Like all mundane daemons, venedaemons most often form from the hunted, specifically from those evil souls who died as a result of the abuse of magic—whether by their own greedy hands, at the whim of powerful rivals, through the inadvisable pursuit of knowledge too terrible for them to safely handle, or by other spellcasters who slew them for their crimes. While these hunted were often spellcasters themselves, some venedaemons develop from nonmagical souls that were simply casualties to arcane violence. These individuals are often so tainted with the magical disturbances that killed them that they nonetheless develop arcane powers in an ironic twist of daemonic evolution. Other times still, venedaemons formulate from much odder means.

Occasionally, mortal wizards seek to control the awe-inspiring forces of Abaddon and its daemons by using cacodaemon as familiars. The cacodaemon, for its part, is usually willing to serve a mortal master for a time in this regard, though it usually has ulterior motives for its servitude. When a cacodaemon familiar’s master dies, the daemon is often prompt in devouring the mage’s soul and turning the soul into a soul gem. Instead of the soul gem returning to Abaddon and being consumed by a more powerful daemon, sometimes the deceased mage’s power triggers a reaction within the cacodaemon, fusing with it and transforming the familiar over several weeks or months into a new creature, typically a venedaemon with no memories of its mortal or previous daemonic existence. Far from being a hazard, this possibility of transformation is in fact one of the primary reasons why cacodaemons are sometimes eager to serve as familiars, as it represents one of the only ways for a cacodaemon to advance its station.

Habitat & Society

Most venedaemons are relatively weak compared to the towering daemonic brethren that inhabit Abaddon, and knowing this, they often work together as best they can, collaborating in groups with other venedaemons, or in conjunction with other fiends willing to accept their services. Hurled into Abaddon with an innate talent for magic but only scraps of its mortal knowledge remaining, the average venedaemon ultimately flocks to the service of a more powerful daemon willing to act as a patron that lets the venedaemon pursue its studies. In such arrangements, the venedaemon slowly gains power and inf luence within the confines of its daemonic partnership, which often consists of itself, its daemonic master, and many other daemons acting as a team built on the shared goal of total mortal annihilation. This daemonic horde traverses planes searching for opportunities to create mass destruction, the master simply using the venedaemon for its magical qualities to slaughter mortal souls. As the venedaemon gleans what it can from the charred remains of dead mortal spellcasters’ volumes of scribbled formulae, it gradually strengthens its unspeakable powers, and in time, the tables are turned, and when the venedaemon slays its patron, it gains dominion over dark magic as well as its brethren. Those venedaemons who do not wish to submit to the will of a more powerful daemon in order to pursue knowledge often simply prefer to be left alone to their research, experimenting on mortals with their dark arts and occasionally selling their findings to other daemons for souls and magical artifacts.

Venedaemons find themselves aligned with the lesser fiends of Abaddon, particularly the equally lowly ceustodaemons, whose deathly association with the energies and particularly subservient standing among daemons makes the two obvious allies. Cacodaemons also make for suitable alliances, as a venedaemon may help guide its smaller brethren to capture the soul of an opposing spellcaster, allowing the cacodaemon to mature with the soul and in time develop into a fellow venedaemon. Within the realm of Abaddon, venedaemons gravitate toward the River Styx for its mysterious, memory-wiping properties, for many venedaemons themselves find a peculiar yearning for their memories, if only to regain even more of the power they once possessed, somewhere in the dark recesses of their mind.