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Lamashtu

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Lamashtu
Lamashtu's Holy Symbol

The demonic rune of Lamashtu
(Deity)
Titles The Demon Queen
Mother of Monsters
Demon Mother
Mother of Beasts
Mother of Perversion
Mistress of Insanity
Grandmother Nightmare
Adjective Lamashtan
Home Kurnugia, the Abyss
Alignment Chaotic evil
Portfolio Madness
Monsters
Nightmares
Worshipers Gnolls, medusas, harpies, goblins, minotaurs, hidden human cults, the insane, bugbears, derros, lamias, morlocks, ogres
Cleric Alignments
Domains Chaos, Evil, Madness, Strength, Trickery
Subdomains Deception, Demon, Ferocity, Insanity, Nightmare, Thievery
Favored Weapon Falchion (kukri)

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]

Contents

History

Lamashtu was once a mighty demon lord who became the first such entity to achieve true godhood and is now classed as a major deity. In ages past she was allied with Pazuzu, though the exact nature of their alliance is often disputed by scholars of demon lore. Some say they were lovers, others say siblings, or simply convenient allies. 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 him. By defeating him, she ripped his godly domain over beasts from him, beginning an ancient vendetta with Curchanus' protégé Desna. This imbued the demoness with a small amount of his divine power.[5]

Pazuzu was enraged by this shift in power, and as she 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 mortal enemies since. Lamashtu's vendetta against him is only equaled by Desna's own vendetta against her.[5]

Lamashtu learned the 'art' of creating demons from the torture of a Horseman of the Apocalypse, whom she had taken during her wars against Abaddon. 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.[6]

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.[7]

Relationships

Lamashtu, in a stance befitting her demonic origins, considers all other gods enemies. She is aware of Desna's hatred of her due to the murder of Curchanus, but treats her as beneath her notice.[7] 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.[8]

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.[7] In a small way, this battle between Lamashtu and Pazuzu has been played out by the respective cults of the two powers in the Lost Coast region of Varisia. Yet, there are also rare sources of demonology that claim a tryst between Lamashtu and Pazuzu occurred in this region during the Age of Creation giving birth to numerous spawn; this history is strongly rebuffed by their worshippers.[9]

Lamashtu is not actively at war with other demon lords, though she does have rivalries with some of them, and is said to have others as her lovers (such as Baphomet).[8] As well as Pazuzu, Nocticula makes her opposition to Lamashtu clear and, in return, Lamashtu is well aware of Nocticula's murderous ascent of power.[7]

She is allied with the Goblin Hero-Gods of Basalfeyst.[10]

Lamashtu once had a tryst with the archdevil Typhon. This may have led to Typhon's destruction, as it displeased Asmodeus.[11]

Appearance and Emissaries

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 a falchion to 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.[7]

Servants

Yaenit

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.[12]

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.[12]
Yaenit
These slavering, monstrous hyena-demons resemble corrupted hound archons with gangly limbs and deformed hyenas heads. They love maiming and killing in Lamashtu's name.[12]
Seven Witches
The Seven Witches serve Lamashtu in the Abyss. They are her favourite daughters: powerful demonic sorceresses.[7]

Lamashtu's Herald

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, spawn of horrific and brutal trysts rise up to cause madness anew.[12][7]

Church of Lamashtu

A Lamashtan holy 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.[13]

Worshipers and Clergy

Lamashtu's followers seek out deformity in themselves and in others. She is typically worshiped by races such as gnolls (who claim they were created when Lamashtu took a hyena as her consort[7]), goblins, and medusae.[14] Lamashtu is considered the creator goddess of many monster races who worship her accordingly, for instance, lamias and morlocks.[7]

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, 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]

The usual clothing of her human followers is that of 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.[14]

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. They may also find themselves infertile or unable to achieve sexual satisfaction.[14]

Some sects, including the one in 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.[15]

Temples and Shrines

A devotee of the Mother of Beasts

Lamashtu is not usually worshiped in a man-made 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.[16][7]

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.

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.[12]
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.[12]

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]

External Links

References

  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. James Jacobs. (2010). Lords of Chaos, p. 61. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-250-0
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 James Jacobs. (2010). Lords of Chaos, p. 6. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-250-0
  8. 8.0 8.1 Stephen S. Greer. (2008). Sins of the Saviors. Sins of the Saviors, p. 69-70. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-040-7
  9. James Jacobs. (2013). Pathfinder Chronicles. Pathfinder, Volume 1 #6, p. 23. Dynamite Entertainment.
  10. James Jacobs. (2010). Lords of Chaos, p. 7. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-250-0
  11. F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Lords of Hell: Barbatos. Kobold Quarterly 22, p. 10. Open Design, LLC.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Lamashtu. Sins of the Saviors, p. 73. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-040-7
  13. Stephen S. Greer. (2008). Sins of the Saviors. Sins of the Saviors, p. 67-69. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-040-7
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 165. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  15. Tim Hitchcock. (2013). Broken Chains, p. 23-24. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-461-0
  16. Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Lamashtu. Sins of the Saviors, p. 67. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-040-7


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