The creatures known as qlippoth (the singular and plural forms are the same) are as mysterious as they are horrifying, as one might expect of the first form of life imagined by reality. These monsters hail from a time when morality did not exist, when gods and mortals were unknown, when, perhaps, time itself had not yet begun to unfurl.
Certainly, the qlippoth were old when the first proteans brought order to chaos and discovered the endless tunnels of the Abyss running through the underworld of the Outer Planes. What the race’s goals and desires may have been in that unimaginably distant past is unknown, and more to the point, cannot be known to minds that have the current reality as their only point of reference. Just as reality changes what it touches, so did the introduction of the qlippoth to the reality of the Outer Planes change them. Enemies of all they encounter, they warred on any who would dare encroach upon their domains. And when no enemies dared approach, the qlippoth took their wars to others instead, boiling up out of the Abyss in seemingly endless armies.
But as vast and potent as the qlippoth may be, there are those among them that eclipse the power of them all—unique and powerful qlippoth lords that rule the deepest and darkest Abyssal depths. The number of qlippoth lords active today represents only a small fraction of those that existed at the dawn of creation. As the eons wore on, the qlippoth lords were opposed by nearly all who learned of their existence. Demon lords, archdevils, empyreal lords, and the deities themselves have taken offense at the blasphemy of the qlippoth lords, and have destroyed many of the more powerful among them. Those who remain are either shadows of the qlippoth lords’ one-time glory or are so adept at hiding their true natures that none have yet glimpsed even hints of their forms.
The bulk of qlippoth lords range in strength from CR 21 to 25. More powerful creatures akin to the Horsemen or archdevils in stature may still exist in the deepest parts of the Abyss, but for now, these theoretical qlippoth demigods remain mysteries. Certainly, any active qlippoth lords are potent enough to threaten and endanger the bulk of mortal life when they choose to turn their attention to the Material Plane.
Some qlippoth have chosen to abandon their roots and accept the demonic as the new order of the Abyss.
Qlippoth lords who accept sin and allow themselves to be transformed often gain a significant boost in power that catapults them out of this lower tier directly into the ranks of demon lords, but only at the cost of forever losing any tenuous alliances they may have had with the first lords of the Abyss. These former qlippoth lords are seen as the worst kind of traitors by the qlippoth and their masters, but for these qlippoth, the trade-off is more than worth it, as the power they now wield as demon lords is formidable.
The four qlippoth lords presented on the following pages have interests in multiple Material Plane worlds. Others, such as the Polymorph Plague Yamasoth, the Warmonger Queen Shiggarreb, and the Enigma Clot Aonaurious, have focused their wrath on specific worlds or have yet to fully emerge from the deepest recesses of the Abyss to turn their attentions to the worlds beyond, and are not detailed in this book.
Qlippoth Lord Sanctums
Although the qlippoth lords are powerful, their strength does not equal that of their most hated enemies, the demon lords. But in their deepest, hidden lairs in the most remote corners of the Abyss, qlippoth lords are much more potent threats. As long as they remain in these domains (or can at least retreat there in times of need), they are well protected from retribution. These lairs are known as sanctums, and while methods of reaching and entering them are occult and obscure, a sanctum can be vast in size.
Within its sanctum, a qlippoth lord gains the following additional powers (with the exception of the mythic ability, the statistics presented on the following pages do not include these abilities).
- Mythic: A qlippoth lord functions as a 10th-rank mythic creature, including having the mythic power ability (10/day, surge +1d12). It can expend uses of mythic power to use the mythic version of any spell-like ability denoted with a superscript “M,” just as if the ability were a mythic spell.
- Rejuvenation: The mind of a qlippoth lord that is slain in its sanctum merges with a qlippoth of the lord’s choosing, selected from any living qlippoth within the lord’s sanctum. This functions as per major mind swap, except there is no save to avoid its effect and the typical qlippoth immunity to mind-affecting effects offers no protection. After 1d100 years, the qlippoth transforms into a new incarnation of its previous body as a qlippoth lord, but if slain before this transformation, the qlippoth lord is forever dead.
- A qlippoth lord can use the following spell-like abilities once per day: astral projection, binding, demand, discern location, fabricate, major creation, miracle (limited to physical effects that manipulate the sanctum or to effects that are relevant to the qlippoth lord’s interests), and polymorph any object (when used on objects or creatures that are native to the sanctum, the polymorph duration factor increases by 6).
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 6 © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Robert Brookes, Benjamin Bruck, John Compton, Paris Crenshaw, Adam Daigle, Crystal Frasier, James Jacobs, Thurston Hillman, Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, Jason Keeley, Isabelle Lee, Jason Nelson, Tim Nightengale, F. Wesley Schneider, David Schwartz, Mark Seifter, Todd Stewart, Josh Vogt, and Linda Zayas-Palmer.