Thoughtmaws are the rare xulgaths who did not lose the intellect and occult power that their ancestors once possessed long before the collapse of the ancient xulgath empire. They are the only xulgaths who have managed to remember the name for their own species.
Most thoughtmaws are nearly six feet tall and weigh 200 pounds. They have strongly reptilian features, including taloned feet and a spiked crest.
Instead of the foul stench of regular xulgaths, thoughtmaws exude an oily psychogenic secretion that is physically odorless but triggers memories of the foulest stench a creature has ever experienced. This substance also fuels a form of telepathic communication shared among thoughtmaws.
Thoughtmaws are often found leading large xulgath clutches in the Darklands. In these clutches, deepmouths usually serve thoughtmaws as advisors or tend to lay followers, although some thoughtmaws see no need for demonic assistance and ban deepmouths entirely.
A small population of thoughtmaws lives in Deep Tolguth. Less savage, but no less vile than their degenerate cousins, these xulgaths use their intelligence to enslave other races and tame beasts as mounts and guards. They view regular xulgaths as weak cast-offs without the blessing of Zevgavizeb and kill them on sight, though many of these xulgaths still hope for acceptance by their enlightened kin and effectively protect thoughtmaw settlements from invaders, notably orcs.†
A few powerful individuals survived the fall of the xulgath empire and sought refuge in magical stasis. Some have awakened and tried to re-elevate modern xulgaths to rebuild their lost empire, but most despise their savage kin. These so-called xulgath paragons have glowing, emerald eyes and gold-tinged scales, live for 400 years on average, and are extremely paranoid.
- In Pathfinder First Edition, the term xulgath was used exclusively to refer to members of their species who kept their intellect and capacity for occult magic. In Second Edition, these individuals are now called thoughtmaws, as xulgath becomes the primary term for the entire species.
- Josh Colon et al. (2015). Occult Bestiary, p. 61. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-767-3
- Thurston Hillman. (2016). Troglodyte. Darklands Revisited, p. 47–50. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-819-9
- Andrew Mullen. (2020). "Among the Xulgaths". Legacy of the Lost God, p. 62. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-209-9
- Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Logan Bonner, et al. (2014). Monster Codex, p. 212. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-686-7