Sources of art on this subject have been indexed.


From PathfinderWiki
A cythnigot, one of many species of qlippoth.

(chaotic, evil, extraplanar, qlippoth)
Source: Bestiary 2, pg(s). 218

Demons were not the first inhabitants of the Outer Rifts. In the earliest pre-history of the Great Beyond, before humanity rose from barbarism, before Asmodeus created Hell, before the deities began to pay attention to the world of Golarion, the Outer Rifts was populated by the primordial qlippoth.12 These beings were born from the essence of the Outer Rifts itself—inhuman monstrosities of pure chaos and malice.34


Origins of the qlippoth

According to the proteans, the first inhabitants of the Outer Sphere, the qlippoth already existed when the Outer Rifts first opened to the rest of the Great Beyond. Upon discovering them, the proteans became intensely interested in the qlippoth, eventually leading to a mighty war which would spread out of the Outer Rifts into the Maelstrom itself. This conflict distracted the chaotic proteans to such a degree, that order began to assert itself throughout the Great Beyond, leading to the formation of the other Outer Planes.564

Birth of demonkind

As the first sinful mortal souls were judged by Pharasma, some of them were sent into the Outer Rifts to become larvae, which accumulated in the Outer Rifts in vast numbers. An ancient, now-forgotten Apocalypse Rider, who was fascinated by the qlippoth and kept many in his realm, had the idea of combining larvae and qlippoth, which eventually culminated in the creation of the first demon. This first transformation from mortal soul to demon was felt and copied by the Outer Rifts: millions of larvae became demons in an instant and declared war against the qlippoth.178910

Although the qlippoth were more familiar with their realm and individually stronger than demons, the demons had the advantage of numbers. Eventually, the qlippoth were hunted nearly to extinction and were forced to retreat to the deepest Abyssal realms, where the demons fear to go.11[citation needed]

Qlippoth lords and demon lords

Qlippoth lords are particularly powerful and unique qlippoth that were once the rulers of the Outer Rifts but have degraded to a fraction of their power, which is now only comparable to a nascent demon lord. Beyond that, maybe in the very depths of the Outer Rifts, lie qlippoth that match the power of demigods.121314

The number of still living qlippoth lords is a small fraction of those that existed at the dawn of creation, as many of them have been destroyed by the gods, archdevils, demon lords, or empyreal lords, who all find the qlippoth repugnant.15

A few powerful qlippoth lords became jealous of the demons' power, and sought to also transform themselves. By fusing mortal souls to their antediluvian bodies, they became demon lords. They exist to this day, and are generally the least anthropomorphic of their brethren. They include the demon lords Cyth-V'sug, Dagon, Jubilex, Mazmezz, Yhidothrus, and Zevgavizeb.114


An attack of qlippoth.

The qlippoth are enemies of everyone else; wherever a portal was opened to the Outer Rifts, they used to swarm out in massive numbers to prey on anything nearby before the creation of the demons stopped them. While the forgotten Rider who made the first demon surely did not have the well-being of the Great Beyond in mind, the resulting demonic distraction certainly turned the qlippoth's attention away from the rest of reality.1516

The qlippoth today have several focused goals:

  • To regain the Outer Rifts from demonkind.
  • To take revenge on the daemons.
  • To annihilate all demons.
  • Most vitally, to wipe out every mortal who embodies sin, the foodstuff of demons, to starve every demon to death and retake the Outer Rifts, which they see as theirs.17

Qlippoth runestones

From the very point of creation, the changes wrought shattered parts of the old qlippoth-ruled Outer Rifts. Fragments from that plane are known as qlippoth runestones, which hurtled through the planes; most were destroyed by inimical environments or continued to drift forever in the vast emptiness of the Astral Plane or the Dark Tapestry, but a handful have crossed paths with planets on the Universe. Golarion is one such world where at least one qlippoth runestone has entered its atmosphere, breaking up and scattering across the globe to be buried deep underground or isolated in trackless wilderness through millions of years of plate tectonics.15

Qlippoth runestones are strange edifices ranging from small rocks only a few feet wide to towering megaliths, but all are marked by obscure runes connecting them to the proto-demons. They radiate an aura of antipathy that repels all thinking beings and poisons the land around it. Twisted mutant wildlife, hideous nightmare illusions, and even portals to the deepest of the Outer Rifts can be found in their proximity, and qlippoth can sometimes slip between dimensions onto the Material Plane near a runestone.15

On Golarion

One of the few recorded instances of mass qlippoth activity in the Universe is the existence of an Abyssal rift on Golarion in the continent of Tian Xia. A mighty host of angels, archons, azatas, and agathions fought a great war against the horrors and drove them back to the Outer Rifts. They were not, however, able to close the rift, so the celestials founded the land of Tianjing to guard against further qlippoth incursions. That realm is now ruled by their empyrean descendants, who continue their vigilance.

But all is not well in Tianjing. After centuries of coddling as a client state of Imperial Lung Wa, the empyreans grew lax in guarding the Abyssal rifts. The nation found itself adrift in the wake of Lung Wa's collapse and has only recently recovered, but qlippoth incursions have seen a dramatic resurgence, leading the empyreans to worry that another great invasion from the deepest Outer Rifts might be imminent.1819

An unusual number of qlippoth are also known to dwell in the depths of the Maharev Jungle of Qadira, at the furthest reaches of the Inner Sea region.20 Qlippoth incursions have been known to result in qlippoth-spawn cambions, also called "motherless" cambions.21


Paizo published a major article about qlippoth and qlippoth lords in Beyond the Doomsday Door, p. 62ff.

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

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 James Jacobs. Demon Lords of Golarion” in Descent into Midnight, 57. Paizo Inc., 2009
  2. The plural and singular of qlippoth are the same.
  3. Amber Stewart. “The Outer Sphere” in The Great Beyond, A Guide to the Multiverse, 27. Paizo Inc., 2009
  4. 4.0 4.1 James Jacobs. “The Demonic Horde” in Lords of Chaos, Book of the Damned Volume 2, 53. Paizo Inc., 2010
  5. Amber Stewart. “Keepers of Chaos” in The End of Eternity, 55. Paizo Inc., 2009
  6. James Jacobs. “Premortality” in Lords of Chaos, Book of the Damned Volume 2, 2–3. Paizo Inc., 2010
  7. Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary, 56. Paizo Inc., 2009
  8. James Jacobs. “Premortality” in Lords of Chaos, Book of the Damned Volume 2, 3. Paizo Inc., 2010
  9. James Jacobs. “Demonkind” in Lords of Chaos, Book of the Damned Volume 2, 33. Paizo Inc., 2010
  10. Paizo Inc., et al. “Chapter 4: Fiendish Bestiary” in Book of the Damned, 228. Paizo Inc., 2017
  11. Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary 2, 218. Paizo Inc., 2010
  12. James Jacobs. “The Qlippoth” in Lords of Chaos, Book of the Damned Volume 2, 51. Paizo Inc., 2010
  13. Robert Brookes, et al. “Chapter 3: The Great Beyond” in Planar Adventures, 205. Paizo Inc., 2018
  14. 14.0 14.1 James Jacobs. “Before Sin” in Beyond the Doomsday Door, 64–65. Paizo Inc., 2012
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 James Jacobs. “Before Sin” in Beyond the Doomsday Door, 63–64. Paizo Inc., 2012
  16. Paizo Inc., et al. “Appendix: Excerpts” in Book of the Damned, 266. Paizo Inc., 2017
  17. James Jacobs. “At Your Door” in Lords of Chaos, Book of the Damned Volume 2, 62. Paizo Inc., 2010
  18. James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 39. Paizo Inc., 2011
  19. Justin Juan. Shrine of the Sacred Tempest, 3. Paizo Inc., 2018
  20. Jessica Price. “Adventuring in Qadira” in Qadira, Jewel of the East, 38. Paizo Inc., 2017
  21. Colin McComb & Hal Maclean. “Tiefling Heritages” in Blood of Fiends, 23. Paizo Inc., 2012