Lamashtu

Lamashtu

Mother of Monsters

“Great is the daughter of Heaven who tortures infants”

Goddess of madness, monsters, and nightmares

Alignment CE
Domains Chaos, Evil, Madness, Strength, Trickery
Favoured Weapon Falchion
Centers of Worship Belkzen, Irrisen, Nex, Osirion, River Kingdoms, Varisia, Worldwound
Nationality Demon

Gnolls claim that when Lamashtu first saw the hyena, she took it as her consort and the original gnoll was born. Each kind of creature that serves her has a similar story citing the Mother of Monsters as the race’s progenitor with some beast. Those who worship the Mother of Monsters seek out deformity both in themselves and others. Scarring rituals and mutilation are common among the faithful.

Although typically venerated by monstrous races such as Gnolls, medusas, and goblins, some human cults practice her dark litanies in secret, promoting tainted births and destroying works of beauty. Some use magic to become more hideous or beastlike in appearance, while her monstrous followers do the opposite to spy on city-dwellers. Lamashtu’s crude depictions usually paint her as a jackal-headed woman with long, feathered wings, taloned feet, and a great swollen belly. Such images frequently include a multitude of monsters gathering to her call, with the favored rising above the rest.

A monstrous and terrifying deity born from the depths of madness, she is both fiendish queen and revered mother to the horrors that stalk the night. From her womb sprang many of Golarion’s monstrous races. Her dominion over beasts (stolen from her murdered god-foe, Curchanus) makes the wilderness a fearsome place, while her nightmares invade the peace of sleep. She tore out her own womb and feasted upon it to gain power over the unborn, then regenerated her flesh by consuming a thousand stolen infants. Her milk can sustain, poison, or even transform those who drink it. She steals seed from men while they sleep and uses it to create half-breed monsters she later sends to shame and wound their fathers. Her touch and breath cause stillbirths and infant deformities, and those who suffer it are usually plagued by nightmares.

Her goal is to create evil and chaos by twisting the flesh and spirit of all creatures into misshapen things until the entire world is her altered brood, an enormous, monstrous family devoted to her. 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. Offering someone else’s newborn as a sacrifice to protect your own is a viable practice for the desperate, and many stories of “changelings” (infants stolen and replaced with wicked faeriekind) are actually Lamashtu-altered infants who appear normal and then transform overnight into monsters.

Lamashtu’s true form is a pregnant woman with a three-eyed jackal head, taloned bird legs, and black hawk wings. The state of her pregnancy varies, but she is always visibly pregnant — often hugely so—though this never affects her mobility. She carries two blades: one shrouded in fire called Redlust; and the other in frost called Chillheart. The length of each blade varies from that of a standard kukri to that of a falchion. When the Mother of Beasts is angry, her victims suffer painful joints, infections, or nightmares. For her worshipers, giving birth to an untainted child or one of a “prettier” race (such as a gnoll giving birth to a human or elf ) is a sign of great disfavor and shame.

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, though many such fiends serve her and she herself sprung from the depths of the Abyss. Seven powerful demonic sorceresses called the Seven Witches serve her and may be her most powerful daughters. Her herald is the Yethazamari, a winged jackal with a snake’s tail and empty eye sockets that emit smoke. Other demon types born of her madness include the yaenit (humanoid hyenas resembling corrupted hound archons) and the shemhazian (Gargantuan, multi-eyed, beast-insect brutes). Notable demons who serve her are Bloodmaw (a vicious and intelligent yeth hound) and the Prince of Madness (a yaenit blackguard).

Lamashtu considers all other gods enemies, although she focuses her energy on nurturing her children and expanding the lands for them to inhabit. She knows Desna hates her for killing the god Curchanus and stealing his beast portfolio as well as for her nightmarish aspect, but Lamashtu treats Desna as beneath her notice. Her greatest foes are Urgathoa, Rovagug, and the demon lord Pazuzu.

Lamashtu

Pathfinder - Legacy of Fire AdamHauldren