The Ethereal Plane is pretty terrifying actually. The sheer number of creatures that exist to snatch beings from the Material Plane—night hags, phase spiders, and xills, just to name a few—is horrifying. At least xills don't want to eat you; they just want your body to incubate their young—oh wait, that's worse.
Xills are a martial people perennially at war with the phase spider race, and in 3.5 it was indicated that they are quite religious, too. So the raid that appears to be a simple abduction may actually be part of a far larger military or sectarian blueprint.
And if you want to change up your xills? The Dragon Empires Gazetteer authors (Jacobs/Gross/McCreary) flipped the standard race on its head to create green chaotic xills who prize sorcery and are native outsiders. That still leaves you with plenty of options…so what color are your xills going to be? Also, with four arms xills resemble some of the races from Golarion’s sister planet of Akiton—maybe your xills were once aliens before they became extraplanar beings…
After a schism and reformation, a cleric’s faith begins to worship a lawful evil aspect of their deity. With the change in liturgy comes a change in allies: xills. Soon the priesthood is restructured along regimental lines, and xill clerics begin ministering to the larger congregations beside their human counterparts. Defenders of the traditional faith begin to vanish, sent to the Ethereal Plane to serve as breeding stock.
Yellow-skinned mutant xills attack! Nomads, these xills chase at the rigid confines of red xill society but have strong tribal bonds. They specialize in polearms and train ethereal varieties of drakes to hunt with them.
A party of adventurers is about to be killed or abducted by a gang of xills, when they are saved by a man who speaks by means of a magical mask. He drives off the xills but clamps enchanted slave collars around the adventurers’ necks. Using the collars, he compels the adventurers to join him fighting xills on the Ethereal Plane. If any party member ever manages to peer behind the mask or under his clothes, they find he has no jaw (a xill ovipositor roughly shattered it) and his abdomen is scarred where the young xill burst forth.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 283
We’ve mentioned the old Dungeon adventure “Jacob’s Well” here before; xills could work for that adventure just as well as slaadi.
Several readers corroborated that xenopterids recall the Judas Breed from Mimic—thanks guys! And I knew there was a really creepy man-bug monster I was forgetting from 3.5, but I didn't have time to go hunting yesterday. Fortunately moebiusloop was on the case: Everyone should check out the roach thrall from Sharn: City of Towers.
If you’re wondering why yesterday’s post went up so early, this is why…