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Lamashtu

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Lamashtu
Lamashtu's Holy Symbol
(Deity)
Titles The Demon Queen
Mother of Monsters
Demon Mother
Mother of Beasts
Mother of Demons
Mother of Perversion
Mistress of Insanity
Grandmother Nightmare
Adjective Lamashtan
Home Kurnugia, Abyss
Alignment Chaotic evil
Areas of Concern Madness
Monsters
Nightmares
Worshipers Gnolls, medusas, harpies, goblins, minotaurs, hidden human cults, the insane, bugbears, deros, lamias, morlocks, ogres
Cleric Alignments
Domains Chaos, Evil, Madness, Strength, Trickery
Subdomains Deception, Demon, Ferocity, Insanity, Nightmare, Riot, Thievery
Favored Weapon Falchion (kukri)
Symbol Three-eyed jackal
Sacred Animal Jackal
Sacred Colors Red, yellow
Images of Lamashtu

Source: The Inner Sea World Guide, pg(s). 223
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Lamashtu (pronounced lah-MAHSH-too)[1] is the mother and patroness of many misshapen and malformed creatures that crawl, slither, or flap on, above, or below the surface of Golarion.[2][3] Her unholy symbol is a three-eyed jackal head, which may be represented in many ways, and her sacred animal is the jackal.[4]

History

The demonic rune of Lamashtu

Lamashtu was once a mighty demon lord who became the first such entity to achieve true godhood. In ages past, she was the lover of Pazuzu. What is known for certain is that she lured the god Curchanus into her territory and beset him with swarms of demons and other monsters until he was weak enough for her to attack. By defeating him, she ripped his godly domain over beasts from him, beginning an ancient vendetta with Curchanus' protégée, Desna. This imbued the demoness with a small amount of his divine power.[5]

Pazuzu was enraged by this shift in power, and as Lamashtu returned from that battle he betrayed and attacked her. He wounded her terribly, but her new-found divinity allowed her to survive; they have been dire enemies ever since. Lamashtu's vendetta against him is only equaled by Desna's own vendetta against her.[5]

When she learnt that demons were the result of experimentation by a Horseman of the Apocalypse, Lamashtu invaded Abaddon and killed the Horsemen Drulaema and Roshmolem. From torturing Roshmolem, Lamashtu learned the "art" of creating demons.[6] Once she coupled that knowledge with the use of her own body to gestate the demons, she birthed the vavakia, a true masterpiece of the art of creating demons.[7]

It is claimed by many monstrous humanoid races that she was their first progenitor and creator.[5]

Home

Lamashtu's realm is Kurnugia, the largest layer of the Abyss.[8]

Appearance

Pictures of Lamashtu portray her as a jackal-headed woman, with a third vertical eye in the center of her forehead, heavily pregnant, with feathered wings (like a raven's), a snake's tail, and taloned feet like a vulture's). She is often depicted carrying her two deadly blades, Redlust and Chillheart: the former is of fire, the latter of ice. The blades may grow and shrink from the size of a falchion to that of a kukri. Her head may vary depending on the nature of her worshipers: gnolls preferring the jackal head, medusas a snake's, harpies a hawk's, and so on.[8] She is often depicted surrounded by countless adherents, with a single individual rising above the rest.[9]

Relationships

Lamashtu, in a stance befitting her demonic origins, considers all other gods her enemies. She is aware of Desna's hatred of her due to the murder of Curchanus, but treats her as beneath notice.[8] Despite this widespread animosity, she focuses her attentions on growing her cults and expanding their reach, as well as the birthing of new and hideous monstrosities. She has an odd view of Shelyn, whom Lamashtu would love to capture and twist into her own monstrous vision of beauty. Needless to say, the faithful of Shelyn find this an abhorrent and terrifying concept.[10]

Aroden and his clergy viewed Lamashtu as a dire symbol of the wilderness and dangers lying beyond the boundaries of civilization.[11]

Urgathoa and Rovagug are, with Pazuzu, her greatest enemies. The Lamashtan–Pazuzu war is old and bitter: Lamashtu is the more powerful, Pazuzu the more focused on the campaign. The war is often fought by minions of the two demon lords but can escalate, causing much collateral damage, but neither side has gained a significant advantage yet over the other.[8] Lamashtu believes that her status as a full deity means that she has little to fear from Pazuzu, but she would do well to remember her own murder of Curchanus when she was still a demigoddess.[12] Pazuzu's name is believed to disperse Lamashtu's influence, and amulets with his name or image are worn by pregnant women and newborns to ward her corruption away.[13]

Before they became bitter enemies, Pazuzu and Lamashtu were lovers during the Age of Creation. One of their trysts in what would become the Lost Coast region of Varisia gave birth to a son named Uvaglor, among other spawn. Their cults rebuff this story out of a terrible shame, and have been playing out their patrons' battle in a small way.[14][15][16]

Lamashtu is not actively at war with other demon lords, and does not seek to conquer the Abyss. She does have rivalries with some of them, and is said to have others as her lovers. The latter group includes Socothbenoth, who claims to have sired children with her.[9] Nocticula makes her opposition to Lamashtu clear and, in return, Lamashtu is well aware of Nocticula's murderous ascent to power.[8]

The goblin hero-gods used to be servants of Asmodeus until Lamashtu stole them from Hell and adopted them as her own children. When she brought them to the Abyss, she carved out their new realm of Basalfeyst by drawing a corner of Hell across the Maelstrom. The four hero-gods are now free to act but remain loyal to Lamashtu.[17][18][19][20]

Baphomet, the first minotaur, began his fiendish life as a consort hand-crafted by Lamashtu until his foolhardy attempt to curry favour with her by stealing Asmodeus' sceptre ended up with his capture. After Baphomet escaped from Asmodeus' clutches and established himself as a demon lord of his own right, he reconciled with Lamashtu, and the two are allies and occasionally consorts, though he is no longer her servant.[10][21]

Lamashtu once had a tryst with the archdevil Typhon. This may have led to Typhon's destruction, as it displeased Asmodeus.[22]

Lamashtu bears a grudge against Szuriel for turning back her invasion of Abaddon, and wishes to use Szuriel's body to birth hideous offspring.[23] Szuriel herself is grateful that Lamashtu's murder of Roshmolem set in motion her own rise to power as Horseman of War.[24]

Providence

Lamashtu's favor manifests as violent dreams, the appearance of sudden deformities, or unexplained pregnancies that often result in the painful (and sometimes fatal) birth of a deformed child. Worshipers who displease her may give birth to a "perfect" child, such as a human or halfling, nightmares, or welts. They may also find themselves infertile or unable to achieve sexual satisfaction.[25][9]

Servants

Lamashtu and her deranged faithful hold creatures of deformity, monstrosity, and virility in high regard. Thaumaturges and clerics in her service often call shemhazian demons and other Abyssal creatures into their service.[26] Her divine servitor race are the swaithe demons, foul creatures that incite animals to attack civilized society.[27]

Unique servants

Bloodmaw
This hideous yet powerful and cunning yeth hound has one green eye and one red. He relishes the promise of carnage and a good hunt.[26]
Yaenit
These slavering, monstrous hyena-demons resemble corrupted hound archons with gangly limbs and deformed hyena heads. They love maiming and killing in Lamashtu's name.[26]
The Yethazmari
Appearing as an enormous jackal, standing 14 foot tall at the shoulder with smoking eye sockets, black leathery wings and a snake for a tail, the herald of Lamashtu brings terror and bloodshed. In its wake, the spawn of horrific and brutal trysts rise up to cause madness anew.[26][8]
Seven Witches
The Seven Witches serve Lamashtu in the Abyss. They are her favourite daughters: powerful demonic sorceresses.[8]

Church of Lamashtu

A Lamashtan unholy symbol

Lamashtu's church is scattered and lacks an overall hierarchy, yet it is rare for two priest's to come into direct conflict, as they recognize each other's shared devotion and the hostility visited by those outside the religion. Many demoniacs pay obeisances to Lamashtu as she is a demon lord as well as a goddess.[28] Her followers can most frequently be found in the Hold of Belkzen, Irrisen, Katapesh, the Mwangi Expanse, Nex, Osirion, the River Kingdoms, Varisia, and the Worldwound,[9][29] and among Ulfen[30] and half-orcs throughout the Inner Sea region.[31]

Lamashtu is also worshiped on the continent of Tian Xia were she is known as Grandmother Nightmare. Although her devotees can be found in most major cities there, she is most commonly (and openly) venerated in the wilder parts of the Darklands, Goka, Nagajor, Shaguang, the Valashmai Jungle, the Wall of Heaven mountains, and Wanshou.[4]

Worshipers

Lamashtu's followers seek out deformity in themselves and in others, and perform scarring and mutilation on themselves and others. They detest traditional forms of beauty and seek to destroy or kill it whenever possible. Some intentionally make themselves more beast-like, with her non-human followers do the opposite to better blend in with the more civilized races.[9] She is typically worshiped by races such as gnolls (who claim they were created when Lamashtu took a hyena as her consort),[8] goblins, and medusae.[25] Lamashtu is considered the creator goddess of many monster races who worship her accordingly, including lamias and morlocks.[8]

Some sects, including the one in the city of Katapesh, have developed the means to supernaturally impregnate humanoids, both men and women, with children of Lamashtu. Such births cause severe damage to the host. The monstrous babies may require care in a specialized nursery. This includes submergence in a mixture of blood, afterbirth, and the waters of Lamashtu.[32]

Clergy

Her human priests generally wear a jackal mask (of leather or metal), a pair of swords or knives made to resemble Lamashtu's personal weapons, and a cloak of black feathers. Monstrous races wear much the same but typically forgo the mask.[25]

Temples & shrines

A devotee of the Mother of Beasts

Lamashtu is not usually worshiped in a constructed building, but rather a ring of stones, pillars, trees, wooden blocks, a pit in the ground, or a flat rock. Entrances into underground places of worship represent the entrance to the goddess' underworld domain. They typically are found on the outskirts of civilization, or in the true wilderness, and many are stained with blood and littered with the remains of failed births, and the victims of the successful ones.[33][8]

Unholy Texts

Lamashtu's cults rarely place much interest or emphasis on texts, preferring to rely on divine revelation and madness. Nonetheless, the more coherent of her followers have jotted down some horrendous writings over the eons.[citation needed]

The Skull of Mashaag
The yellowed skull of a yaenit who died in the service of Lamashtu, this object has the ability to speak the goddess' will in several languages. Every few years, her worshipers meet to hear its teachings, and heroes from each tribe undergo a series of contests to determine which group is to keep it next.[26]
The Four Hides of Lawm
This is a collection of three leather straps, each made from the skin of a humanoid. The fourth was lost long ago and is said to contain monstrous rites of power and fertility in Lamashtu's name.[26]

Holidays

The cults of Lamashtu celebrate no known regular holidays; though births, deformities, and demonic visitations are often the cause of hedonistic and debauched celebrations among them.[citation needed] Strangely, the autumnal month of Lamashan is named after the Mother of Monsters.[34]

Favored animals

Gods are often associated with certain animals, either because they possess a quality favored by the god, or because the god's faithful feel a special kinship to them. Lamashtu's favored animals include jackals, hyenas, wolves, and deformed or hybrid animals.[35]

References

For additional resources, see the Meta page.

  1. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 247. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  2. Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Gods and Magic, p. 24. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-139-8
  3. Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Lamashtu. Sins of the Saviors, p. 66. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-040-7
  4. 4.0 4.1 James Jacobs, Dave Gross, Rob McCreary. (2011). Dragon Empires Gazetteer, p. 61. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-379-8
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Lamashtu. Sins of the Saviors, p. 69. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-040-7
  6. John Compton, Adam Daigle, Amanda Hamon Kunz, et al. (2017). Book of the Damned, p. 282. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-970-7
  7. James Jacobs. (2010). Lords of Chaos, p. 61. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-250-0
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 James Jacobs. (2010). Lords of Chaos, p. 6. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-250-0
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 223. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  10. 10.0 10.1 Stephen S. Greer. (2008). Sins of the Saviors. Sins of the Saviors, p. 69-70. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-040-7
  11. Erik Mona. (2015). Aroden, the Last Azlanti. A Song of Silver, p. 73. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-795-6
  12. John Compton, Adam Daigle, Amanda Hamon Kunz, et al. (2017). Book of the Damned, p. 87. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-970-7
  13. Sean K Reynolds et al. (2014). Inner Sea Gods, p. 98. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-597-6
  14. James Jacobs. (2013). Pathfinder Chronicles. Pathfinder, Volume 1 #6, p. 23. Dynamite Entertainment.
  15. James Jacobs. (2018). Sandpoint, Light of the Lost Coast, p. 88. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-080-4
  16. James Jacobs. (2013). Demons Revisited, p. 63. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-552-5
  17. James Jacobs. (2010). Lords of Chaos, p. 7. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-250-0
  18. Robert Brookes et al. (2018). Planar Adventures, p. 204. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-044-6
  19. Jason Keeley. (2017). Hadregash, Greatest Supreme Chieftain Boss. Assault on Longshadow, p. 73. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-935-6
  20. John Compton, Adam Daigle, Amanda Hamon Kunz, et al. (2017). Book of the Damned, p. 158. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-970-7
  21. Sean K. Reynolds. (2013). Baphomet. Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth, p. 71. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-586-0
  22. F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Lords of Hell: Barbatos. Kobold Quarterly 22, p. 10. Open Design, LLC.
  23. Sean K Reynolds. (2013). Szuriel. Rasputin Must Die!, p. 74. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-496-2
  24. John Compton, Adam Daigle, Amanda Hamon Kunz, et al. (2017). Book of the Damned, p. 97. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-970-7
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 165. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 26.5 Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Lamashtu. Sins of the Saviors, p. 73. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-040-7
  27. Sean K Reynolds et al. (2014). Inner Sea Gods, p. 297. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-597-6
  28. Stephen S. Greer. (2008). Sins of the Saviors. Sins of the Saviors, p. 67-69. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-040-7
  29. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 126. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  30. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 21. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  31. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 29. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  32. Tim Hitchcock. (2013). Broken Chains, p. 23-24. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-461-0
  33. Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Lamashtu. Sins of the Saviors, p. 67. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-040-7
  34. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 248. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  35. Amanda Hamon, Philip Minchin, Jason Nelson, et al. (2013). Animal Archive, p. inside back cover. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-487-7

External links