This skull is as large as an ogre and surrounded by buzzing flies. Its bat wings are too small to actually carry it, yet it moves through the air as easily as a bird. It is surrounded by the stink of rotting meat, spice, and perfume.
Mother’s Maw CR 15
AC 30, touch 16, flat-footed 23 (+7 Dex, +14 natural, –1 size)
hp 189 (18d8+108); fast healing 5 or 20 (see devour soul)
Fort +13, Ref +16, Will +19
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4; spell deflection; DR 15/bludgeoning and good; Immune cold, electricity, undead traits; Resist fire 30; SR 26
Speed 10 ft., fly 40 ft. (average)
Melee bite +24 (5d6+17/19–20 plus bleed, disease, drain, and grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (60-ft. cone, 15d6 negative energy, Reflex DC 25 for half, usable every 1d4 rounds), channel negative energy 9/day (DC 19, 6d6), devour soul, disease, swallow whole (special, AC 17, 20 hp)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 15th; concentration +21)
At will—contagion (DC 20), dimension door, ghoul hunger* (DC 18), inflict critical wounds (DC 20), quickened vomit swarm (maggots, use army ant swarm)
1/day—animate dead, create undead, eyebite (DC 22), plane shift (DC 22)
Str 33, Dex 25, Con —, Int 21, Wis 20, Cha 22
Base Atk +13; CMB +25; CMD 42 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Cleave, Command UndeadB, Critical Focus, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Improved Iron Will, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Staggering Critical, Stunning CriticalB
Skills Acrobatics +25, Fly +26, Intimidate +27, Knowledge (planes) +23, Knowledge (religion) +26, Perception +26, Profession (cook) +23, Sense Motive +26, Stealth +24
Languages Abyssal, Common, Infernal, Necril
If destroyed, the herald it returns to unlife 1 hour later at 1 hit point, allowing its fast healing to resume healing it. It can be permanently destroyed by positive energy, being reduced to 0 hit points in the area of a bless or hallow spell, or if 20 vials of holy water are sprinkled on its remains.
A creature swallowed by the herald must save every round against slay living (DC 25, caster level 15th). The soul of a creature slain by this attack becomes trapped within the herald’s skull, and the mangled corpse is immediately regurgitated. The creature cannot be brought back to life until the herald’s destruction (or a spell deflection—see below) releases its soul. The Maw can hold only one soul at a time. The trapped essence provides the Maw with fast healing 20, lasting 1 round for every Hit Die of the devoured soul. The trapped soul gains 1 permanent negative level for every round it spends within the Maw—these negative levels remain if the creature is brought back to life (but don’t stack with any negative levels imparted by being brought back to life). A soul that is completely consumed may be restored to life only by a miracle or wish spell. The save DC is Charisma-based.
If any of the following spells is cast at the Maw and overcomes its spell resistance, it instead affects the devoured soul: banishment, chaos hammer, confusion, crushing despair, detect thoughts, dispel evil, dominate person, fear, geas/quest, holy word, hypnotism, imprisonment, magic jar, maze, suggestion, trap the soul, or any form of charm or compulsion.
The Mother’s Maw is a disgusting undead creature of ravenous hunger, with little purpose but to kill, eat, and animate corpses as undead. Though it is as brilliant as a lich, its only interests are in satisfy its cravings for sensation.
The Maw has little interest in the desires of mortals (or of undead in the mortal world). It can speak but finds little worth talking about, so many assume it is as mindless as an animated skeleton. However, when not on a mission of death, disease, or gluttony, it is a font of knowledge about food, wine, exotic scents, and other strange experiences only an undead creature can understand, and is quite willing to speak on these matters to an interested party—assuming the sight of the enormous talking, winged skull isn’t a distraction to listeners.
Although the Maw normally appears as a bare skull, it sometimes covers itself with its swarms. Whether this is out of a morbid sense of humor or an attempt to remember an old sensation from its life is unknown. It has confirmed that it was once a devourer, and before that a living creature, but it does not give further details.
The Mother’s Maw is an immortal undead, able to recover from almost any attack and lacking the need to eat or drink. However, it still enjoys these things and is driven by a desire to experience sensation like the worst mortal hedonist. It has been known to eat and spit out entire herds of cattle (one steer at a time), to crash into winery casks to soak itself for hours in fine and mediocre vintages alike, to roll in exotic spices, or to wrap itself in fine cloth until it looks like a giant mummy skull.
Because of its innate ability to create undead, the herald is sometimes accompanied by skeletons, zombies, and ghouls, which caper about it, endlessly adoring the emissary of the goddess of undeath. It has been known to ferry allies into battle, or (rarely) to rescue a powerful undead creature, spiriting its passenger away to safety within its bony gullet, relying on its own defenses to keep its passenger safe. It is particularly fond of raveners and vampires, and has gone out of its way to aid them when given the choice of several allies.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Gods © 2014, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Sean K Reynolds, with Amanda Hamon, James Jacobs, John Ling, Mark Moreland, David N. Ross, F. Wesley Schneider, Amber E. Scott, Tork Shaw, James L. Sutter, Jerome Virnich.