Lamashtu

Religion
Demon Lords

Lamashtu

The Demon Queen
CE female demon lord of madness, monsters, and nightmares

Cult

Unholy Symbol: three-eyed jackal head
Domains: Chaos, Evil, Madness, Animal
Favored Weapon: Butterfly swords
Temple: caves, dungeons, natural rock platforms, standing stones
Worshipers: the insane, bugbears, derros, gnolls, lamias, morlocks, ogres
Minions: all demons and monsters (particularly yeth hounds), hyenas, jackals
Obedience: Engage in a tryst with the sincere intention of being impregnated or impregnating your partner, or sacrifice a creature that has been alive for no more than a week. Gain a +4 profane bonus on saves against insanity, confusion, and polymorph effects. May cast lesser confusion 3/day, touch of idiocy 2/day, or summon monster III 1/day as a cleric of your character level.

Lamashtu appears as a heavily pregnant human woman with the head of a three-eyed jackal, a raven’s wings, a snake’s tail, and a vulture’s feet. Her distended belly is crisscrossed with ragged scars, and she wields twin blades—*Redlust* (a blade made of sentient fire) and Chillheart (a blade made of sentient ice). The length of these blades varies from that of a kukri to that of a falchion—in art, she is often depicted with kukris, but in battle, she prefers to wield both as falchions with horrific skill.

Gnolls claim that when Lamashtu first saw a hyena, she took it as her consort, and thus the original gnoll was born. Other races tell similar stories, citing the Mother of Monsters as their race’s progenitor, in carnal conjunction with some beast. Lamashtu revels in destroying the most innocent, whether by defiling their flesh or tainting their minds. To her, a nursery is a banquet. She is a fertility goddess, but while those who pray to her are more likely to survive childbirth, their offspring are inevitably tainted. She is called the Demon Queen, the Mother of Beasts, and the Demon Mother. Despite her titles, she is not the creator of the demon race as a whole, merely the first of their kind to achieve true godhood. While many of the demon lords loathe her or envy her power, only a few (notably the demon lords Nocticula and Pazuzu) openly oppose or threaten her.

Indeed, the battles between Lamashtu and Pazuzu are the stuff of legend. While Lamashtu has greater power on her side, Pazuzu has fewer responsibilities and can thus devote more of his time to his pursuit of toppling his ancient enemy from her throne. Countless worlds bear the scars of their conflicts—conflicts that invariably rise from the slightest of imbalances, when a priest of one or the other secures an advantage over the enemy cult. Over time—be it days, years, or centuries—such conflicts escalate until finally the two demons send their direct agents (or, rarely, appear themselves) to do battle again. That Pazuzu has not yet been killed by his more powerful enemy speaks greatly to the demon lord’s tenacity—yet he has also failed so far to strike a decisive blow against the Queen of Demons. Priests of both faiths know that it has been some time since the last confrontation between these two enemies, and that the time is nigh for another. Cultists on both sides are desperate to determine the site where this conflict is to take place, so as to be there to lend what support they can.

Lamashtu is served by countless species of monsters. She is said to have created the lamia race, and her worship may have had something to do with the transformation of exiled humans into the morlocks. In her Abyssal realm, she is further served by her favored daughters, seven powerful demonic sorceresses called the Seven Witches. Her herald is the Yethazmari, a winged jackal with a snake’s tail and empty eye sockets that emit smoke. She considers all other gods enemies, although she focuses on nurturing her children and expanding the lands for them to inhabit. Her greatest foes are Azumartuk and Cereth, and the demon lord Pazuzu, although Nocticula’s swift rise in power (along a trajectory of divine murder that bears more than a passing resemblance to Lamashtu’s) has recently caught the Demon Queen’s attention as well.

The Demon Queen’s church operates on the outskirts of civilization. Her worship typically occurs atop flat, bloodstained rocks or within rings of stones, trees, or logs carved with the goddess’s image. Some use a deep hole in the ground or some sort of chasm representing an entrance to the goddess’s underworld realm. Hidden cathedrals and temples to Lamashtu are unsettlingly common, both in the wilds and below the streets of urban centers.

Lamashtu

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