Given the late hour (nearly 11 PM), I’m not likely to do lamias justice by this post’s midnight deadline. Nevertheless, I’m a huge fan. Note that Wikipedia mostly sticks to the serpentine version of the lamia, as did “basic” D&D (called the lamara in the Creature Catalogue); most editions of (A)D&D/3.0/3.5 and Pathfinder call those lamia nobles or matriarchs. Why the factory-standard lamia model comes with a lion’s chassis I don’t know, but they’re still quite capable opponents.
Lamias will always be after fresh charmed victims—especially male PCs—for sport, breeding, and meals. To a lamia, they’re all the same thing. Typically, she will use disguise self, charm person, major image, and suggestion to weave a web of fabrications around her victims—and the more members a cult has, the more elaborate the fantasies they create can be. Once the Wisdom drain sets in, it’s only a matter of time before the hapless victims are in thrall, then in bed, then in bellies.
Malicen styles herself “the Queen Mother of Monsters” and in her lair (an isolated ruin of an oracle whose fumes once inspired sibyls) she has gathered around her a number of half-woman/half-beast creatures, including a clutch of harpies, an elderly and infirm sphinx, and an exiled centaur barbarian who spends most of her time blind drunk. They prey on the few travelers and small caravans that linger too near. Malicen is cautious of better-armed wagon trains, not wanting to bite off more than she can chew. She is also secretly terrified a lamia matriarch will come along and take possession of the little she has built.
The enchanter Blaze Thunderstroke considers himself quite a lady’s man—and he is, which is how has swindled so many rich women out of their fortunes. The surest sign of his arrogance is that he has recently taken not just one, but two lamias on as his apprentices. They will defend him to the death, but only because each lamia is determined to be the one who devours him. Blaze doesn’t realize it, but only their mutual jealousy and inability to comprehend the last half of his spellbook has kept him alive so far.
Lamias dwell in the ruined places of the world—perhaps for the solitude, perhaps to wallow in the schadenfreude of others’ misfortune…and perhaps as a vestige of the curse that created them. Recently, travelers have reported lamias actively seeking out new archeological sites, even going so far as to seduce male captives for digging rather than mating. Investigating, an adventuring party discovers the rumors are true. At one site, they find lamias trading with salamanders for weapons and rare starmetals. There and at another site, they also uncover evidence of lamias partnering with the dreaded seugathi. But what aim could be so dire as to unite the cursed beast-women and the Old One-worshipping worms?
—Pathfinder Bestiary 186
Welcome to the letter L!
I’ve mentioned Spike Y. Jones’s Dragon Magazine “The Ecology of…” articles before; issue #192 finds his bard Brendan Farwanderer relating “The Ecology (Love Life) of the Lamia. Look for it!
More lamias tomorrow…which is practically in five minutes. Oops.