It’s Monster Monday, where I highlight a creature from the upcoming Dragon Heresy RPG. Today we have a devilishly good time, and I’ll throw down a monster you’ve seen before – on the cover fo Dungeon Grappling! The Marilith demon. Demons are of the “burn it all down” school of evil, and while some of them are mighty and powerful, in the cosmology of Etera, they reside on the middle planes of Asgard, called The Realms of the Field.
One of the most feared combatants in stories filled with fierce fighters, the marilith is known by many descriptive names: deathsnake, lady of blades, and the elvish Cuisin Ar, this six-limbed demon is one of the most deadly sword-weilders ever encountered.
The marilith has the lower torso of a serpent, and can use the serpentine tail for both mobility and on the attack. The upper body is inevitably a beautiful female form, often appearing elvish or human, but with slightly off-color skin (reports always differ as to precisely what color it is) and six arms. Each arm carries a longsword (oversized for medium creatures), and each longsword is invariably magical.
The marilith is quite intelligent, and for a creature bent on the destruction and wonton torture of all life, engages in a remarkable amount of long-term thinking. Almost alone of demon-kind, she will ally with others to bring larger plans to fruition, and there is much subtlety in their conception. Mariliths are not shapechangers or spellcasters, however, so they must work through proxies and cultists if they wish to influence Etera without giving themselves away.
In combat they are direct and deadly, wielding their blades with blinding speed and deadly accuracy. The first attack is nearly always with her nearly prehensile tail, seeking to grapple and restrain a foe. This can vastly increase the effectiveness of the six blade attacks that follow. If hard pressed, the marilith will teleport out of danger, regain her bearings, and then teleport back into the fray. The marilith will often sport a contoured magical breastplate for protection.
Tentacled Marilith. Some rare marilith demons were formed with one or two pairs of their human-like arms replaced with a pair of (very) long tentacles. Such creatures still have six attacks, but may use their tentacles for either grappling or bludgeoning.
Large fiend (demon), chaotic evil
Speed 40 ft.
Saving Throws. Str +9, Con +10, Wis +8, Cha +10
Skills. Athletcis +14, Deception +7, Intimidation +10, Perception +8, Stealth +6
Damage Resistances. cold, fire, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities. poison
Condition Immunities. poisoned
Senses. truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages. Abyssal, telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 16 (15,000 XP)
Magic Armor. The marilith will typically wear a +1 breastplate.
Magic Resistance. The marilith has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Magic Weapons. The mariliths weapon attacks are magical.
Reactive. The marilith can take one reaction on every turn in a combat.
Multiattack. The marilith makes seven attacks: six with its longswords and one with its tail.
Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 2d8+4 slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature. Hit: 2d10+4 bludgeoning damage. If the target is Medium or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 19). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, the marilith can automatically hit the target with its tail, and the marilith can’t make tail attacks against other targets.
Grapple (arms). Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 2d8+4 control damage.
Grapple (tentacles). Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 1d12+4 control damage.
Teleport. The marilith magically teleports, along with any equipment it is wearing or carrying, up to 120 feet to an unoccupied space it can see.
Parry. The marilith adds 5 to its Threat DC against one melee attack that would hit it. To do so, the marilith must see the attacker and be wielding a melee weapon.