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Dybbuks were a type of loumara, disembodied, demonic spirits, that could possess and control dead bodies. Utterly depraved and completely immoral, they parasitically inhabited mortal corpses in order to partake in their vices and would murder others to steal their forms.
Translucent and undefined, a dybbuk's true form was rarely seen as they floated silently through the air. Even when unseen, their presence was followed by brief sensations, the reek of rotting lilies, a chilling breeze and sudden feelings of loss. Even when noticed, most could only make out a faint flicker of light trailed by tendrils of faded haze.
When properly seen, dybbuks appeared as see-through jellyfish with the nebulous features of a humanoid face drifting across their bodies' surface. They wriggled through the air with smoky scores 5 ft (1.5 m) long tendrils on their undersides that could intertwine to form a pair of arms if needed.
Dybbuks were possessed by an driving compulsion to indulge in material pleasures, but lacked the corporeality to do so in their normal forms. To achieve their wicked ends, they used the bodies of the first suitable, dead mortal they could find, judging the quality of a corpse by its physical condition, attractiveness, social ties to its society and whether or not their death was known about. It was disputed how many memories of the deceased that they inherited, if any, but their natural deceptiveness and acting ability helped them to pass as their host regardless, normally keeping the victim's possessions and imitating their lifestyle.
Despite their expertise in impersonation, dybbuks struggled to keep their gluttonous nature under control for long, quickly descending into uncharacteristic debauchery. They delighted in their sordid behavior as much as they derived glee from horrifying those nearby by making their bodies move in unholy ways, such as puking blood, excreting vermin or contorting limbs.
Dybbuks spent most of their time looking for a "perfect" host body to animate—an ideal paragon of the race's society in both appearance and standing and that died without major injury, preferably before its death was discovered. Other bodies were merely tools used to insinuate the dybbuk closer to its preselected target before masterminding their death. If all went according to plan, they'd use their new form as they'd used any other, quickly defiling it in a of unrestrained thrill and decadence unless forced to move on.
Dybbuks could possess most corpses, whether they be of humanoids or beasts, so long as it still had a head or was otherwise not ruined beyond recognition. A sufficiently intact body was immediately reinvigorated the dybbuk's fiendish energies removing all visible wounds, health conditions and traces that the creature was once dead. If too heavily beaten however the dybbuk would be expelled from the former undead victim, causing the body to fall to the floor. However, bodies they had been expelled from but were still in usable condition could be repossessed seconds after the dybbuk left, restoring them once again to their peak condition. A more effective means to ward a corpse from a dybbuk was to create magic circles against chaos or evil or similar dispelling magic, which would not only drive the dybbuk off if they were already possessing the body but also daze them for a short time upon doing so.
Even without a host, dybbuks were incredibly dangerous creatures that sapped the very vitality out of those they fought through their touch, causing flesh and bone alike to wither and crumble. Once per day the could focus their necrotic power to create a truly chilling effect, potentially killing those that couldn't resist with their touch alone, even when inhabiting another form. They could inspire terror similar to fear and phantasmal killer spells, when not simply twisting their hosts to frighten onlookers and could create mind-rending mists. Their incorporeality made them difficult to pin down, especially when combined with their power to create dimension doors or simple, obscuring mists.
Dybbuks could also impart a kind of unnatural gift, filling the target with anger and causing their eyes to glimmer white. The profane link between the two allowed it to monitor the recipients condition, similar to a status spell, and possess them upon death when on the same plane, no matter the distance between the two. Willfully accepting a dybbuk's gift, while not necessarily evil, was a chaotic action that caused even the most lawful individuals to radiate an aura of chaos. The gift faded after a day's time and could be prematurely ended through a dispel chaos spell.
Dybbuks were elusive and predatory but avoided combat when in their true forms as they knew that it was then that they could be truly killed. Only when trapped, a difficult situation to put them in due to their incorporeality, would they be forced to fight. Skilled in going unseen, they tried to escape through a combination of mist and teleportation or terrify their enemies into scattering. If able to focus on a single enemy they tried to kill them from afar, and failing that, quickly moving in to deliver a death blow.
Although they could easily blend into the societies of others, relishing opportunities to possess those with jobs related to the dead, dybbuks were solitary and selfish beings that lacked their own cultures. Even when surrounded by acceptable corpses they denied other members of their kind access to certain bodies as fervently as they sought them out. Within the Abyss they could be found in the lecherous realms of Graz'zt and Malcanthet.
Although dybbuks commonly ate and slept, they didn't need to do so to sustain their hosts since the bodies under their power didn't rot or worsen in condition except when misused by the dybbuk. They were drawn to large cemeteries, massive battle sites and other places rife with cadavers to control, although doing so might cause competition between them. Unable to possess the already animated dead, they avoided regions with dense, undead populations.
Like all loumaras, they were born from the dying thoughts of the gods from the Dreaming Gulf. The Demonomicon of Iggwilv speculated that each breed of loumara evolved from the dreams of a specific member of the pantheon, with dybbuks thought to have been spawned by a goddess of love and art.
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 132. ISBN 978-0786966240.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 Ed Stark, James Jacobs, Erik Mona (June 13, 2006). Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 36–37. ISBN 0-7869-3919-2.
- ↑ Ed Stark, James Jacobs, Erik Mona (June 13, 2006). Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 107. ISBN 0-7869-3919-2.
- ↑ James Jacobs (September 2007). “The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Apocrypha”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #359 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 43.
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