Zuggtmoy

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Zuggtmoy decided she needed a makeover for 5th edition. As always, Juiblex was there to muck it up for her.

Zuggtmoy, Demon Queen of Fungus, is a Demon Princess from the Dungeons & Dragons world. Although one of the oldest Demon Princes to get any major attention, having been the big boss behind the original Temple of Elemental Evil adventure module, her defining trait is that, basically, she doesn't get a lot of respect. After all, who seriously thinks all that highly of mushrooms, toadstools, lichen, mold and other fungi? You know, aside from the big guy. This irritates Zuggtmoy, especially since her former rival Lolth managed to make the jump from Demon Queen to goddess, and she desperately wants to follow in her footsteps.

As most of the Underdark races who might be tempted to worship her as the provider of their primary foodstuff tend to either be dominated by a god already (Drow under Lolth, Duergar under Laduguer) or just not the religious types (Aboleths and Illithids), and surfacers inclined to openly worship her tend to be crazy hillbillies or mad druids living in nasty forests or dense swamps, she does a lot of trying to use other cults as facades to make worshipping her seem more appealing.

This often doesn't work out the way it should; for example, her stint in the Temple of Elemental Evil essentially left her trapped in the mortal world for decades, and by the time she got back to the Abyss, Jubilex had conquered vast swathes of her home on Shedaklah, the 222nd Layer. She still hasn't managed to amass the power to kick his slimy ass out of her home.

When worshipped on her own, Zuggtmoy's symbol is a human skull with its bottom jaw missing and a hole in its skullcap, with a nasty-looking mushroom growing out through the hole. Most of her worship revolves around poisoning sacrifices with fungal-based toxins, with the most holy rite being "The Final Feast", in which a victim is made to consume first a stein of bitter striped toadstool ale, then a platter of boiled id moss, then a chilled soup of slime mold, rotting mushrooms and terinav root, then a violet fungus tentacle glazed with noxious molds & mildews, and finally a small stack of phycomid stalks served in a thick, bitter-tasting black syrup made from basidirond sap and sprinkled with yellow mold spores. Those who succumb to this poisonous feast without dying are selected for the rite of "Zuggtmoy's Cradle", where they are given a special breathing mask and then buried alive, periodically fed a spore-laden gruel that causes them to be eaten alive from the inside out by rapidly-growing fungus.

Zuggtmoy's appearance has changed surprisingly drastically over the editions of D&D, in comparison to most other Demon Princes getting slightly refined as the available artists improved. In 1e, she was described as a gigantic "puffball" mushroom on three stumpy legs and sporting three ropy pseudopod-arms, with a bloated-featured, beady-eyed head growing from the body on a short stalk. In 3e, this was changed to just being her Aspect (an avatar-like manifestation of her power she sends to do stuff elsewhere whilst she's busy); her true appearance became a surprisingly cute creature, a sort of purple slug-lamia creature with a scythe-like blade on her tail, which can separate into multiple ropy tentacles, unusually long and clawed fingers and four horns like a snail's eyestalks, but all comprised of fungus (all thanks to the videogame version of Temple of Elemental Evil where this incarnation appeared for the first time). In 5e, she changed again to a more humanoid form, a skeletal-yet-regal woman with an elaborate "headdress" of fungal growths.

Zuggtmoy is mostly served by fiendish plant-creatures and a small array of plant/fungus-like demons, such as Vathugus. She actively seeks to corrupt powerful creatures, especially fallen Rangers and Druids to her service; the most valued of her Thralls, according to 5e, receive an erotic dream in which she unbirths them and transmutes them in her womb, causing them to awaken as fiendish plant (fungus) versions of themselves.

Zuggtmoy had her own Demonomicon of Iggwilv article in Dragon Magazine #337, and was a major player in the 5e adventure Out of the Abyss

Gallery[edit]

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 - Turaglas - Yeenoghu - Zuggtmoy
Obyrith: Dagon - Obox-ob - Pale Night - Pazuzu - The Queen of Chaos - Sertrous