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In all honesty, though, the Marilith is probably so famous amongst fa/tg/uys because they are one of the hottest demons in all of D&D. Appearing as sexy, six-armed warrior-women with the lower bodies of giant snakes (Amazonian, multi-armed lamia, who may or may not be musclegirls, and who were topless in older editions; need more be said?), the Marilith has long competed with the Succubus in the eyes of many fans for the title of "sexiest she-demon". The game's producers even take note, admitting that mariliths are common courtesans or harem-mates for Demon Princes and other Abyssal nobles.
Mariliths in general were introduced in the original Dungeons & Dragons and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, where they were known as type V demons, with the marilith being a sample name. They were listed under their current name from AD&D 2nd Edition onward.
Though usually placed lower down on the totem pole, mariliths actually have their own Demon Princess; Shaktari, the Queen of Mariliths, an admittedly obscure figure who only appeared appeared in Dragon Magazine #351 and Dungeon Magazine #60.
Ironically, despite being iconic D&D monsters, the mariliths are actually Open Game License, which means they appear in Pathfinder as well. Created from the souls of the most arrogant of evil rulers and warlords, mariliths in Pathfinder embody the sins of Pride and/or Envy; cursed to forever be the penultimate demons, no matter what they have, it's never good enough. They even have the ability to shed their skin, completely reinventing their appearance on a whim, to exemplify this constant need to be better. This sometimes leads to strange mutations; for example, Lixiriltha, the Jade Coil, has the serpent-nest hair and petrifying gaze of a medusa (she turns her victims into jade statues) and a secondary serpentine maw at the tip of her tail.
Stats and Templates
For those Pathfinder fans who want to really indulge their perverse lust for mariliths, the "Demons Revisited" sourcebook contains rules for specifying the Half-Fiend template into a Half-Marilith:
- Type: Outsider (Native)
- +6 Str, +4 Dex, +6 Con, +2 Int, +2 Wis, +4 Cha
- +2 Natural Armor
- Darkvision 60 feet
- Immunity to Poison
- Acid Resistance 10
- Cold Resistance 10
- Electricity Resistance 10
- Fire Resistance 10
- Damage Reduction 5/Magic (if HD 11 or less) or 10/Magic (if HD 12 or more)
- Spell Resistance: Creature’s CR + 11 (maximum 35).
- Gain 2 Claw Attacks and 1 Bite Attack, inflicting the standard damage for the creature's size.
- Gain a Tail Slap attack with the Grab & Constrict properties.
- Gain 2 extra arms.
- Smite Good (Su): 1/day, as a Paladin of level equivalent to the half-marilith's hit dice
- Multiweapon Mastery (Ex): No penalties to attack rolls when fighting with multiple weapons.
- Spell-Like Abilities: A half-marilith with Intelligence 8+ or Wisdom 8+ gains cumulative spell-like abilities determined by its hit-dice. Unless specified otherwise, all are usable once per day.
- Hit Dice 1-2: Darkness 3/day
- Hit Dice 3-4: Fly
- Hit Dice 5-6: Unholy Blight
- Hit Dice 7-8: Greater Magic Weapon 3/day
- Hit Dice 9-10: True Seeing
- Hit Dice 11-12: Blasphemy
- Hit Dice 12-14: Unholy 3/day, Greater Teleport
- Hit Dice 15-16: Blade Barrier
- Hit Dice 17-18: Summon Monster IX
- Hit Dice 19-20: Destruction
- Challenge Rating: HD 4 or less, as base creature +2; HD 5 to 10, as base creature +3; HD 11 or more, as base creature +4.
How Marilith appeared in 2e's Monstrous Manual. Prior to Planescape they were one of the few demons defined like this.
The Tony DiTerlizzi rendition of the Marilith.
Marilith are fearsome combatants, even for the most stalward of knights.
|The inhabitants of the Planes of Planescape|
|Upper Planes:||Aasimon - Angels - Animal Lords - Archons - Asuras - Eladrin - Guardinals - Lillend|
|Middle Planes:||Formians - Githzerai - Inevitables - Marut - Modrons - Rilmani - Slaadi|
|Lower Planes:|| Alu-Fiends - Baatezu - Bladelings - Cambions - Demodands - Erinyes - Hags |
Hordlings - Imps - Kytons - Marilith - Obyrith - Succubi - Tanar'ri - Yugoloth
|Transitive Planes:||Astral Dreadnought - Githyanki|
|Inner Planes:||Azers - Elementals - Genies - Grues - Mephit - Salamanders - Sylphs|
|Sigil:||Dabus - Cranium Rats|
|High-ups:||Archangels - Archdevils - Archfey - Archomentals - Demon Princes|