The Demon Lord Zuggtmoy may be one of the weakest abyssal lords, but she is subtle and she is patient, which has worked out for her. The Cult of The Chained God, Kostchtchie and Juiblex have all tried to kill The Lady of Decay, and none of them have yet to succeed.
Zuggtmoy appears as a large humanoid female who has grasping strands of fungus instead of legs. Her head is crowned with four spiraling, flimsy horns which frame her long dark hair.
The Harbinger of Inevitable Doom is subtle and patient compared to her more powerful abyssal rivals. Zuggtmoy is smarter and weaker than almost all the other Demon Lords which causes her to be nonconfrontational and cowardly compared to the other demon lords. She likes that her enemies underestimate her though, because like the fungus that she is lord of, she is more powerful when her spores are in the wind.
Origins and Exploits
Zuggtmoy's true origins are unknown.
As her title would suggest, The Lady of Decay exults in destroying her enemies from the inside out. She targets cults, and other religious orders. Particularly those dedicated to her rivals or those belonging to good-aligned gods. She is one of the few Demon Lords who is able to usurp the worship of unknowing primal believers, do to her power over a natural force.
Zuggtmoy's love of subversion and treachery has almost proved her downfall on one occasion. She ordered her followers to support a cult dedicated to The Elder Elemental Eye, once she had infected the cult thoroughly she controlled vast power, growing fat off the souls of the elementals who believed that they were praying to the first primordial. Then The Chained God's followers infiltrated her own cult and seized the power she sought. The cultists then destroyed some of her largest temples and imprisoned the Demon Queen. Though she has since escaped and amassed followers yet again.
When she had escaped she retreated back to her abyssal layer, Shedaklah and started schemeing to regain the power she was losing. Then the frost giant, Kostchtchie ascended to a Demon Lord and started his campaign against the Abyss. Shedaklah was one of the first layers that The Prince of Wrath attacked and he almost destroyed the entirety of the domain, though Zuggtmoy managed to push him back, she was nearly slain in the ordeal.
Since Zuggtmoy's imprisonment, the Faceless Lord, Juiblex has opened a portal connecting his realm of Molor to Shedaklah and after Kostchtchie's attack, the oozes loyal to Juiblex sought to keep control of Shedaklah. After a long war Zuggtmoy has forced Juiblex's forces underground but she still shares her realm with The Faceless Lord.
Recently demons and powerful adventurers have been questing to Shedaklah in hopes of finding fallen artifacts abandoned by Kostchtchie when he retreated the rotting wastes that Zuggtmoy calls home.
Exarchs Allies and Followers
It is unknown whether Zuggtmoy currently has any exarchs which is how Zuggtmoy probably want it to be.
Zuggtmoy's strength lies in her ability to corrupt and pollute, though she does have allies, what makes them useful is how they can be tricked and subverted into acting for the Harbinger of Inevitable Doom.
Demonologists think that Zuggtmoy has an allience with Haagenti , if this is true, it makes one wonder what the Demon Lord of Alchemy and Artifice would have to do with the Demon Queen of Fungi.
Long ago while Zuggtmoy was trying to create a permanent link between her realm and the mold-infested corridors of the Underdark she had a tryst with Torog, The King That Crawls. Their union resulted in Ugudenk, The Demon Lord of Worms and Hungry Parasites. Many Demonologists believe that she still has a connection with these two beings.
Though the power and influence of The Lady of Decay has fallen after facing many setbacks, many creatures still swear loyalty to her and the lesser demons in her service. Her cult strongly flourishes in the world where primal tribes hold sway. She whispers dark promises to ambitious druids, barbarians and seekers all in the hope that they take her gift of decay and subvert the natural order. Her cult mostly consists of debased elves , bullywug and myconids as well as other intelligent fungi.
Creatures blessed by Zuggtmoy undergo a physical transformation. Fungi spreads across them, devouring their flesh and changing them into creatures of poison and decay. Many of her cultists look like zombies due to the mold that makes their skin as weak as papyrus, but this boon grants incredible durability and the fungi are adaptive, meaning that if a cultist had a blade slice through his wrist the attacking warrior could only watch on in horror as the grasping tendrils of fungi quickly grab the severed limb and weave it back into the larger organism.
Zuggmoy's cultists revel in their physical transformation, learning to use the fungus that permeates their body as a weapon. Her followers gain powers that lay waist to an enemies flesh and weaken the mind:
- Creeping Rot - This power grants a follower the ability to taint an area with rot and decay.
- Spore Burst - This power allows a cultist to coat a weapon with poisonous spores coming off of it's own body.
- Touch of Decay - A cultist's touch causes an enemies flesh to rot, slowly consuming it from the inside out.
- Strength from Death - The magical fungus that covers her cultists, feeds off death and gives her follower the same power.
- Strength from Decay - Physical damage means nothing to a cultist who has embraced his transformation, this power makes sure that the colony of fungi living in a cultist will always mend and replace parts of the body as-needed.
Rivals and Enemies
Zuggtmoy has always harbored a hatred for Lolth, The Demon Queen of Spiders and Goddess of the Drow. Back when Lolth was first exiled to the abyss her distance from the Astral Sea made her very weak and as she attempted to survive and carve out a niche in the Abyss, she on multiple occasions came into contest with The Queen of Fungi. Large portions of both of their followers also live primarily in the Underdark, which causes some to believe that this is why they are enemies. Lolth has been back to her original power for many millinia, so Zuggtmoy is now but a mere annoyance, or so the Lady of Lies believes.
Currently Zuggtmoy and Juiblex, The Demon Lord of Slimes and Oozes have been fighting for control of Shedaklah, making him one of her primary enemies. She has managed to push him off the surface of the plane, and now all of his forces stay underground.
- Demonomicon (Wizards of the Coast - 2010) by: Mike Mearls, Brian R. James, Steve Townshend