|“||And lo! I beheld a light in the depths of the lake below that pulsed to the very beat of my heart, and I knew that this was the selfsame flare in the firmament I beheld in my dreams. I felt the pulsing within my very soul, echoing back through my memories, and perceived this light had come to the world eons ago, when the stars themselves first took umbrage against those pathetic and unworthy creatures who dwelt below, scouring away the most unworthy. And I knew that what pulsed within me was growing, and that it was not my heart that was pumping within my breast, for I had long been a dead thing, and this instead was the pulse of the seed of God. “Iä! Iä Xhamen-Dor!”||„|
|~ Il-Asziph Mavmameniris, Ninshaburian apostle of the Star Seed|
Xhamen-Dor is an Great Old One created by James Jacobs for the supplement "What Grows Within" of the Pathfinder role-playing game in 2011.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
It is a living pest capable of appearing in different forms. Its favorite forms are those of a serpentine creature, a trembling mass of dirt and, especially, that of a huge tangle of fibrous tendrils and twisted like hair. Out of this tangle arise poisonous mushroom-shaped tumors that emerge from a mass of bones of what must have been some kind of large or defeated reptilian life form on a battlefield. In Golarion, the god has started from the corpse of a huge serpentine dragon, but on other worlds he started from scorpions, cephalopods, cobwebs...
In reality, its existence is not exactly physical, but mental: the knowledge of its name or its true parasitic nature infects living beings, whom it transforms into undead servants from within their beings and in dreams. However, this only has a remote chance of happening (on strong personality targets), and can be canceled if the target somehow forgets the information.
Conceptual information and role[edit | edit source]
It originated countless eons ago in the polluted deposits in the Carcosa sewers. After passing through the place, Hastur left a residue that, when Carcosa consumed the city of Alar, fused with the remains of the minds and souls of the inhabitants of that place, giving rise to Xhamen-Dor.
It has visited and infected countless worlds, turning their inhabitants into the undead and turning them into a single mass of intelligent mushrooms trapped in a comet to return to Carcosa and expel their remains to its sewers under the command of the King in Yellow. While this is happening, it lives in damp and dark places, like caves. Once it consumes a world, it returns to outer space as a tiny part of its essence until it is called out by the gravity of a given world or the stellar trails. Generally, those who know of its presence on the planet tend to forget it unconsciously, but this does not stop corruption.
He has visited and infected countless worlds, turning their inhabitants into the undead and turning them into a single mass of intelligent mushrooms trapped in a comet as food to grow Carcosa little by little under the command of the King in Yellow, where he returned regularly. While this is happening, it lives in damp and dark places, like caves. Once it consumes a world, it returns to outer space as a tiny part of its essence until it is called out by the gravity of a given world or the stellar trails. Generally, those who know of its presence on the planet tend to forget it unconsciously, but this does not stop corruption.
At one point, a group of Hastur-worshiping Flying Polyps came to Golarion and pointed out the place to attract the god. While these worshipers were killed, the sign remained. During the fall of Alghollthus, his essence also made it into a comet. The impact to the northwest of an unnamed city created a crater and, later, a lifeless lake as the rain concentrated there (reflected by Carcosa). From there, and due to the desolation of the place, its development was slow.
Later, the nameless city was colonized and named Neruzavin or "cradle of heaven". The god infected the inhabitants, who, after offering their minds to the being in the lake, set off to civilization for more victims. The Ninshabur authorities, alerted, sent a group of heroes to eliminate the cult. They discovered that the only form of contention was to remove the god's name from all texts.
When Earl Haserton Lowls IV later discovered various unremoved references, the god revived again. The count, armed with the Necronomicon to activate the ancient signal and open a portal to Carcosa "so that our two worlds may be one under the Yellow Sign" and offer himself to the King in Yellow for his promotion to Outer God, has become one of his pawns, who believes that he will gain knowledge of the lost city if he sends sacrifices. Neruzavin begins to be covered in jungles of tendril mushrooms as he has assimilated the sacrifices (including humans and lamias) and activated the ancient signals. As if that were not enough, a couple of gigantic beings covered with mushrooms have also appeared. If, by chance, he was defeated, life will return to Neruzavin, as well as the pure rains.
Xhamen-Dor views other cults as food, particularly with animosity towards Desna and Cyth-V'sug. For his part, Hastur sees the god as an ally, but if the cults of both collide on the same planet, the followers of Hastur often seek a way to return Xhamen-Dor to Carcosa, since the world has more value if it is consumed directly by Carcosa than by the god.
As for its powers, it uses a type of putrefaction that occurs when biting a target. Although it is possible to save an affected person, they will experience dreams of an alien city, a plague and a strange figure dressed in yellow rags the same dreams that those with too much knowledge about the god can have and turn them into the undead. As someone dreams of him, his dreams become infected in what is called the "star disease". Since then, they will seek to extend the influence of the god and hasten the end of their worlds. He can also use an infection to gain more undead, the "germ eating". The "sprouts" initially feel a psychological horror. Before dying of infection by fungal filaments inside the body, they go to a solitary place and fall into a coma. There, his body grows purple roots with veins and returns as an undead, capable of infecting others with the tendrils that move the body. Despite remembering their previous life, their priority is to obey the god and find new victims.
This is coupled with his unspeakable presence, which causes nausea and a generally sick feeling. He can also use commonly shaped tentacles, as well as the filaments of his mushrooms, which he uses to trap potential enemies.
If, by chance, he was defeated, his body would crumble into a stinking heap of mushrooms, hair, and eggs. Its core would be reduced to a flaw thrown into outer space. When this occurs, those close to the god have to be careful, as their souls and sanity can be swept away. A day later, his remains will come to life as a simile of what the god was.
Husk of Xhamen-Dor[edit | edit source]
Until the core of Xhamen-Dor develops, a great deal of time may elapse. Meanwhile, a carcass forms around it. It can feel and manipulate latent corruption. It has a natural camouflage. Its tentacles can also cause putrefaction and it possesses an unspeakable presence that makes victims accept germination. Its destruction frees the world from Xhamen-Dor and heals those afflicted by germ consumption.
Cult[edit | edit source]
Its emblem is a sphere of tendrils with two tails pointing downwards. His generally reduced cult is unusual due to certain factors. One is that, beyond the ruins, cemeteries, and sewers where rites are performed, it has no temples (counting the body of its deity as one). On the other hand, when a branch is created, it grows slowly until reaching a peak until it drowns the general population.
The cult sees glory in the deterioration of the world, because it makes it more like its god. However, they do not pressure people to join the cult, knowing that the mere mention of their name will be enough to initiate change. For sprouts, any dreamer is a potential addition to the cult.
Xhamen-Dor has several groups of acolytes:
- Nomads: aliens such as Mi-go and Flying Polyps who select worlds for the interests of their god. To do this, they create the so-called "star trails", whose magic can be noticed by the god. When the god arrives in the world, the nomads set out to search for another world, leaving several guardians behind.
- Seeded: undead minions tasked with taking entire populations. They are native to the planet the god is on at the time. When you spend enough time on a planet, the god begins to create them. Some of them still relate to the society they live in, spreading rumors about the god in order to hasten the end of their worlds, as they see being consumed and expelled into the sewers of Carcosa as achieving immortality.
- Sentinels: heretics who worship out of fear and try to make him sleep so as not to feed on their worlds and attack others. From time to time, they erase their memories to become sprouts, keeping only what is necessary to keep their secret (to the point that some do not even know the name of the deity). If this fails, they are euthanized. There are not many clerics or divine spellcasters among them.
The city of Neruzavin has a small cult that meets next to a stellar stele under the command of a chuul who claims to speak for the god (which is not true) and who is served by two sirens created from the body of the god. Other leaders of his cult are clerics, druids, sorcerers, and witches. As a reward, they are able to summon various creatures, including Mi-go. They can also cast spells to affect the minds of their opponents or protect themselves from them.
The faithful can practice a ritual of obedience by ingesting toxic mushrooms, rotten meat with parasites, or meat taken from a being of the same species as the cultist taken while the cultist dreams.
Curiosities[edit | edit source]
- The sword known as the "Teralindar’s Honor" is effective against all creatures related to Xhamen-Dor.
- Its creation and purpose appears in the Necronomicon (as input from Pathfinder) with the following quote:
|“||There, in the deepest vaults of Carcosa, did the spores of the Star Seed first quicken. There, in the lightless seeps of Carcosa were the first of its children seeded. And there, in the inky depths of Carcosa did the end of countless worlds begin.||„|
|~ The Necronomicon|