From PathfinderWiki
Ophiope, Mistress of the Eternal Obelisk.

Medusas, or medusae, appear as beautiful human women with living serpents for hair. They have the ability to turn nearly anything to stone with their petrifying gaze.1


Philannia, medusa agent of the Whispering Way.

All known medusas are female, and occasionally take a male humanoid as a mate. These pairings are rarely voluntary, and are accomplished via magical compulsion, such as an elixir of love.1

Habitat and society

Medusas often live in wilderness locations, but can also be found in cities assisting thieves' guilds or other criminal enterprises. Their lairs are sometimes decorated with the petrified remains of their past victims, even though this tends to warn others of their presence.1

In urban environments, medusas tend to prefer stealth and disguise to hide their appearance, while in the wilds they often become bards, sorcerers, or oracles. Naturally charismatic, they excel in these spellcasting roles. Powerful spellcasters sometimes make their homes in places of power or other sites of renown, becoming potent, if quite dangerous, sources of knowledge. Susceptible to flattery, such powerful medusas can be tricked into sharing their knowledge or even providing magical assistance.1

Medusas often keep amphisbaenas as pets, due to the snakes' immunity to petrification. Medusas who keep amphisbaenas often treat them as treasured companions or even surrogate children.2


All medusas possess a powerful petrifying gaze that works only at close range. Their serpentine hair gives them all-around vision, making it quite difficult to sneak up on them. Finally, the bite of their serpent-hair delivers a powerful poison. Although not fatal, the venom is quite debilitating, leaving its victim vulnerable to a medusa's other attacks.1


Since their petrifying gaze only works at close range, medusas often conceal their monstrous features by covering their head or face. When thus disguised they appear human, even when seen up close, allowing them to lure unsuspecting victims into their kill zones. They are also fond of laying out intricate traps, using missile fire to guide intruders into them.1

On Golarion

Medusas live in the remote Qadiran reaches of the Meraz Desert, on the border of the continent of Casmaron.3

Notable medusas


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary, 201. Paizo Inc., 2009
  2. Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary 3, 15. Paizo Inc., 2021
  3. Jessica Price. “Adventuring in Qadira” in Qadira, Jewel of the East, 38. Paizo Inc., 2017
  4. Jason Nelson. Medusa” in Mythical Monsters Revisited, 44–45. Paizo Inc., 2012

External links

  • Medusa (real-world myth) on Wikipedia