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Shaktari, the Queen of Mariliths, is an obscure Demon Princess from Dungeons & Dragons. She was first introduced in Dungeon Magazine #60, in which the adventure "Nemesis" involved the parties traveling to her home on Vudra, 531st Layer of the Abyss, but did not receive printed stats until Dragon Magazine #359, towards the end of 3rd edition.
Shaktari appears as a Gargantuan-sized marilith with jet-black skin and scales, a rattlesnake's tail, eight arms, blood red hair, long downwards-curving horns, and burning red eyes. Mechanically she's a 30HD Gargantuan Marilith with the Demon Lord template, plus the additions of the spell-like abilities Fly (at-will), Haste (3/day), Banishment (3/day), Freedom (1/day) and Imprisonment (1/day), two extra weapon attacks due to her extra arms, the Aquatic subtype with the Amphibious extraordinary ability, dishes out a 3d6/3d6 poison with her weapon and tail slap attacks, and has an Aura of Toxin that nullifies any poison resistance/immunity and spells that purify poison within 120 feet, unless she deigns to spare a victim from its effects.
That last trick comes in handy more than you might think; Vudra is a plane that manifests as a series of tropical forested islands amidst a roiling sea comprised of venom and blood. Everything is poisonous here; the water is poisonous, the plants are poisonous, you better fucking well believe that the creatures are poisonous, and even the air is toxic! Without protections against poison, most creatures die swiftly, and unpleasantly. The islands are predominantly ruled by mariliths who have attained a particularly high level of favor in their queen's eyes, but fiendish, undead or just sorcerously-talented serpentfolk, nagas and serpent-featured rakshasa also proliferate.
Incidentally, Vudra can be reached from the River Styx, but Charon and his goons rarely mention the whole "poisonous air" thing to unwitting travelers. They get a sick laugh from watching them die when the vessels slip into Vudra's noxious waters.
Shaktari was once one of the most formidable leaders of demonkind, and was feared for her influence on the Blood War. Eventually, however, she suffered the inevitable fate of all Demon Lords and was betrayed, with an unknown enemy manipulating her to see that she was entrapped in the Wells of Darkness. Exactly who pulled that of, nobody knows; the most common rumor is that it was an unholy alliance of no fewer than three Archdevils and several Demon Princes jealous of her power that finally managed to either outwit or outfight her and ensure she wound up being imprisoned.
How she got out of the Abyss' most infamous prison is just as big a mystery as to who put her in there; many suspect a "certain baernoloth" had a hand in it, hoping to see the Blood War escalate in the near future. For now, Shaktari is recovering from her long imprisonment, spending much of her time slumbering in the depths of the Bloodsea, but once she gets her strength back... the devils had better watch out. If there's anything that could get the mariliths of Vudra to stop their infighting, it's the return of their Queen.
Unlike some Demon Lords, Shaktari does not have a particularly aggressive cult. She mostly relies on the servitude of her people, the mariliths. Mortal worship, aside from those who value mariliths (for whatever reason), is predominantly concentrated amongst serpentine races and monsters, obviously; evil nagas and serpentfolk make up the bulk of her mortal worshippers, although the serpentine lamia nobles are also possible worshippers.
|The Demon Princes of Dungeons & Dragons|
|Tanar'ri:|| Baphomet - Demogorgon - Doresain - Fraz-Urb'luu - Graz'zt |
Juiblex - Kostchtchie - Lolth - Malcanthet - Miska the Wolf-Spider
Orcus - Sess'innek - Shaktari - Yeenoghu - Zuggtmoy
|Obyrith:||Dagon - Obox-ob - Pale Night - Pazuzu - The Queen of Chaos|