|Size||7 ft. tall|
|Attack Forms||6: by weapon type|
|Special Attacks||avatar, charm person, darkness, possession,|
detect invisibility, gating, levitate, magic
resistance, magic to hit, natural immunities,
pyrotechnics, strength, teleport,
Marilith are sentinel demonesses that inhabit the upper levels of the Abyss, serving a dual role as jailers who confine the damned, and as guards who oppose intruders from other realms. If an outsider dares to venture into the Abyss for any reason, they're bound to encounter one or more mariliths before long.
Standing a towering height of 7 feet, the marilith's lower body is that of a colossal snake, measuring about 18 to 24 ft. in length, typically coiled beneath their form for stability. They have six arms and normally bear a weapon in each, typically a short sword, a rapier, three varieties of scimitar and an ankus — though this is by no means the rule.
Mythology & Origin
Many inaccurately portray mariliths as generals, advisors or tacticians, disregarding the true chaotic essence of the Abyss, a realm utterly devoid of hierarchy. Mariliths do possess an inherent compulsion for destruction, exhibiting cunning and deviousness in their actions. They meticulously plan their initial strikes to gain the utmost advantage. However, contrary to the beliefs of misguided scholars, they don't exert command over other demons.
Their existence extends far back in time, spanning tens of thousands of years, a history that predates recorded accounts. The earliest reference to mariliths can be found in the Ramayana, where they are depicted as servants of Ravana and his demoness sister, Shurpanakha. These mariliths participated in the conflict against Rama, which transpired around 2500 BC, ultimately resulting in their exile to the Abyss, where they have remained ever since, barred from free interaction with the Prime Material Plane.
Summoned mariliths are notoriously difficult to control, driven by an insatiable urge to ruthlessly slay both allies and adversaries alike. Despite this, they relish the opportunity to be unleashed on earthly battlefields and may willingly engage in combat against an unsuspecting enemy. The "contract" formed under these circumstances requires the marilith's allies refrain from inadvertently killing those the demoness has in her sights, which the demon would view as "stealing" the slaughter from its grasp. Therefore, intentionally or accidentally attacking any creature within three combat hexes of a marilith is perilous.
Aware that its demise on the Prime Material results only in a return to the Abyss, a marilith feels no hesitation in taking risks of any sort. Confronted by hordes of foes, the marilith gleefully succumbs to a blood rage that persists until the creature is defeated — or all opposition is eradicated. Its ability to teleport at will ensures that fleeing victims cannot escape the marilith's relentless pursuit.
Those mistakenly assuming it safe to summon a marilith to eliminate only a few enemies soon rue that decision. Unless at least five hundred adversaries are immediately visible to the demoness, it promptly resolves to eliminate everyone present, starting with the summoner if possible.
The marilith possesses a set of innate abilities that it can employ effortlessly, each requiring no more than 1 action point (AP) to activate. It can use these abilities as frequently as it desires. However, it can only employ one such ability per round, so it's judicious in selecting the most advantageous choice.
Magic. These creatures can invoke a range of effects resembling various spells, without the need for traditional spellcasting. These effects include avatar, charm person, darkness, detect invisibility, levitate and pyrotechnics, and the detailed abilities below.
- Darkness. Marilith can generate an encompassing darkness, which they like to create to conceal their position from round to round. Their exceptional ability to see perfectly in such darkness is granted by a continuous ultravision. This darkness is so powerful that it cannot be dispelled with light or continual light; rather, dispel magic is necessary.
- Teleport. They frequently exploit their teleportation capability, allowing them to traverse the battlefield with ease, often transitioning from place to place more swiftly than traversing a single hex. A favored tactic involves attacking a nearby adversary, teleporting, and then launching further attacks against other foes across the field with their remaining movement.
- Ultravision. Functions like the spell, but the marilith possesses this naturally and need not invoke it.
Gate. When faced with dire circumstances in combat, the marilith possesses the power to summon reinforcements through a mystical gate. If they desire, they have a 100% chance of gating in 2–7 manes. If they prefer more powerful allies, they have an 85% chance of success at summoning (roll d20) a vrock (1-8), a hezrou (9-15), a glabrezu (16-19) or a nalfeshnee (20). They may gate in manes every round if they so desire, but they can succeed at gating in a more powerful creature only once.
Demonic Possession. Like all demons, marilith are able to take over a host's body dictates its actions until the demon either leaves voluntarily or is evicted by spells such as "exorcise" or "abjure." The potential victim is entitled to a saving throw vs. paralysis.
Magic resistance. A marilith's magic resistance is 80%. This means that she's immune to any spell cast by a character of less than 7th level.
Magic to Hit. Marilith are only hit by +1 magical weapons or better.