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Abyssal scavengers or abyssal skulkers were demons viewed as vermin on their native plane, classified as a form of demonic wildlife in the Demonomicon of Iggwilv. The abyssal natives, if allowed to infest the Material Plane, would create an opening for other demons to appear, turning a relatively weak invasive species into the catalyst for a full-scale demon invasion.
Abyssal scavengers resembled hairless apes, habitually creeping quadrupedally and keeping their bodies close to the ground but capable of walking upright if desired. They had large hands and feet and knobs of horn running along the crown of their heads and then down the spine.
Abyssal scavengers primarily fought with their claws, scuttling about the battlefield with great speed. Though not particularly strong on their own, they created strength in numbers, with packs of the creatures able to destroy entire settlements. The stealthy skulkers loved sneaking up on their targets and then charging as a group, often ripping apart their prey in a frenzy before they had a chance to sound an alarm. Upon being killed, they emitted a dying shriek, with every loss causing the pack as a whole to become more animated and savage.
Skulkers were known to gather in gangs of 3-5, and gangs were usually sent ahead of evil armies or raiding parties to seek out, stalk, and scouts and pickets. Few sane spellcasters tried to summon them for fear of their numbers growing out of control, though they were a favorite summon of apocalyptic cults, such as those of Demogorgon or Oublivae.
In contrast to many demons, abyssal scavengers consumed their kills in order to spawn hatchlings. Normally the appetites of more powerful demons were enough to keep their numbers under control, but their reputation as pests inspired them to look for easier hunting grounds in the world of mortals, their kind being found more often there than in their native realm.
Each scavenger carried a mote of raw Abyssal essence within it, and when significant numbers gathered in a tight enough concentration, that essence consume them, leaving behind a demongate. Though the gate lasted only briefly, the portal could touch any layer of the Abyss and allowed other, potentially stronger demons, to take advantage and come into the world.
Abyssal skulkers were the most common inhabitants of Shadowsky, the 46th layer of the Abyss and part of Graz'zt's Azzagrat. The scavengers there had adapted to the dry conditions and strange lighting, tracking their prey primarily by means of blindsight or tremorsense.
- Mike Mearls, Brian R. James, Steve Townshend (July 2010). Demonomicon. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 102. ISBN 978-0786954926.
- Ed Bonny, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter (September 2002). Monster Manual II 3rd edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 56–57. ISBN 07-8692-873-5.
- James Jacobs (September 2007). “The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Apocrypha”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #359 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 45.
- Mike Mearls, Brian R. James, Steve Townshend (July 2010). Demonomicon. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 100. ISBN 978-0786954926.
- Ed Stark, James Jacobs, Erik Mona (2006-06-20). Fiendish Codex I, Part 2: The Lost Annals: Additional Layers. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved on 2017-09-15.
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