|Images of mariliths
Source: Bestiary, pg(s). 81–82
Mariliths are associated with the sin of pride.2
A marilith has the lower body of a snake, the upper body of a humanoid woman, and six arms. A typical specimen is six to nine feet tall, 20 feet from head to tail, and weighs 4,000 pounds. They have pointed ears and glittering eyes.1
Mariliths are formed in the Outer Rifts from the souls of evil, arrogant, and cruel rulers and warlords.13 When a marilith obtains command of cults or minions, it treats its servants with the same callousness and contemptuousness that they detest from their own superiors. This breeds the same sense of frustrated pride in a marilith's servants that spawned their lady, so that when they eventually die, their Outer Rifts-bound souls seed the creation of new mariliths.3
A marilith periodically sheds its skin like snakes do, including the skin of its humanoid torso along with that of its serpentine tail. Mariliths, like other demons, are created at their full adult size and do not appear to do this to accommodate growth like snakes do. A shedding marilith can—and commonly does—alter her scales' patterns and coloration, her hair color, her eye color, and even the presence, extent, or designs of tattoos, however, which leads some demonologists to suspect that this behavior is tied to their sin of pride, driving them to constantly improve their physical appearance.3
Habitat and society
Most mariliths serve the demon lords as generals and advisors, and are particularly common in the service of Abraxas4 and Andirifkhu.53 The snake god Ydersius was also served by serpent demons before his defeat.6 Because mariliths are powerful demons in their own right, however, some carve out their own territories to rule.1
A marilith can wield a weapon in each of their six arms as easily as if they were using only one. It also has several spell-like abilities, and can catch and crush foes using its powerful tail.1
- See also: Category:Marilith/Inhabitants
A powerful spellcaster can summon a marilith to Golarion and attempt to compel it into service, but such is the creature's pride that it is much harder to successfully bind it to a task that it finds unworthy of its talents.2
Mariliths ruled a number of the petty fiefdoms that comprised the Worldwound in northern Avistan. The marilith Zuhra Aponavicius, ruler of Drezen, might have been the most powerful of the Worldwound's demonic warlords, although the balor Korramzadeh (also known as the Storm King) had possibly surpassed her.7
Numerous other mariliths are active on Golarion. Among them are:
- Lixiriltha, the Jade Coil, a former servant of Ydersius with a mane of snakes reminiscent of a medusa and a set of jaws at the end of her tail; she leads a cult of lizardfolk in the Garundi nation of Yoon.6
- Varmirhias, a daughter of the demon lord Shax, serves as a high-ranking adviser for the drow of House Vexidyre in Zirnakaynin.89
On other celestial bodies
In the Great Beyond
- The mighty marilith Alistraxia leads Abraxas' marilith servants.11
- Ylleshka, a twin-bodied marilith formed from the souls of twin sisters, serves Baphomet as the warden of the Ineluctable Prison. She has also served many demon lords whom she later betrayed.12
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary, 63. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- “Demonkind” in Lords of Chaos, Book of the Damned Volume 2, 36. Paizo Inc., 2010 .
- Demons Revisited, 35. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- “Lords of the Abyss” in Lords of Chaos, Book of the Damned Volume 2, 9. Paizo Inc., 2010 .
- “Lords of the Abyss” in Lords of Chaos, Book of the Damned Volume 2, 10. Paizo Inc., 2010 .
- Demons Revisited, 37. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 149. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- Demons Revisited, 38. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- Paizo retroactively removed drow from the Pathfinder campaign setting as part of the Pathfinder Second Edition Remaster Project. A canon replacement for drow in this context might not exist. See Meta:Drow.
- The publication of the Return of the Runelords Pathfinder Adventure Path canonized the redemption of the demon lord Nocticula and her ascension into a chaotic neutral deity of artists, exiles, and night. Not all ramifications of this change are reflected in PathfinderWiki, and might remain unresolved until a canon work addresses them.
- Demons Revisited, 36. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- “NPC Gallery” in Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth, 60–61. Paizo Inc., 2014 .