Lamashtu

Titles: The Demon Queen, Mother of Monsters, Demon Mother, Mother of Beasts, Mother of Perversion, Mistress of Insanity, Grandmother Nightmare
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Madness, Monsters, Nightmares
Worshipers: Gnolls, Medusas, Harpies, Goblins, Minotaurs, hidden human cults, the insane, Bugbears, Derros, Lamiaa, Morlocks, and Ogres.
Cleric Alignments: CN, NE, CE
Domains: Chaos, Evil, Madness, Strength, Trickery
Subdomains: Deception, Demon, Ferocity, Insanity, Nightmare, Thievery
Favored Weapon: Falchion (Kukri)

Biography

Lamashtu (pronounced lah-MAHSH-too) is the mother and patroness of many misshapen and malformed creatures that crawl, slither, or flap on, above, or below the surface of Golarion. Her unholy symbol is a three-eyed jackal head, which may be represented in many ways, and her sacred animal is the jackal.

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.

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.

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.

It is claimed by many monstrous humanoid races that she was their first progenitor and creator.

Lamashtu’s realm is Kurnugia, the largest layer of the Abyss.

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. 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.

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.

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). 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.

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

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.

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.

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), goblins, and medusae. Lamashtu is considered the creator goddess of many monster races who worship her accordingly, for instance, lamias and morlocks.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lamashtu

Kingmaker Bors