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Juiblex

Juiblex rising upon fetid rocks.

Juiblex (pronounced: /ˈblɛksJOO-bleks[12] or: /ˈʒblɛksZHOO-bleks[12]) was a demon lord of oozes and shapeless things,[6] a being that exemplified the corruptive nature of the Abyss and that was almost glorious in its unrivaled obscenity. Ridiculed by its peers as "Lord of Nothing", the Faceless Lord was, even to the them, a demon as revoltingly vile in body as it was inscrutably aberrant in mind.[4]

Juiblex is deemed a lesser figure in abyssal hierarchy, judged Lord of Nothing by his peers. However, in my research, I have plumbed the foul mire to examine the full darkness that is this disturbing fiend.
  — Demonomicon of Iggwilv[4]

DescriptionEdit

Juiblex was, in short, disgusting, undoubtedly hideous to demons of all kinds and perhaps the most foul of all demon lords and deities.[4][8][10] Its abhorrent aura was as foul as its sickening, shapeless form,[4] a primordial soup of bubbling bile[1][5] and nauseating fluid bound by a thin epidermis bathed in oil and thick mucus.[1][8]

The amorphous mass was swirled and striated with a hideous mixture of hues, primarily streaks of black and green combined with bilious browns and yellows as well as translucent grays and ambers.[1][10] Caustic slime of the same coloration was constantly secreted from the sludge-spewing horror[8][7] and it was known to weep tears of encrusting black grime[4] from the glaring red eyes that pulsated and shifted across it, peering in all directions.[1][3]

The Faceless Lord was an appropriate name for the gelatinous monster since it lacked any kind of set form, adopting various sizes and shapes with ease.[4][6] At rest, it was nothing more than a spread-out volume of reeking filth[13] but at any point it could form a simple blob or gather together into a 18‒20 ft (5.5‒6.1 m)[1][8] pillar of unsteady ordure before collapsing into a rancid wave and stretching out into a voluminous pool of animated ooze.[4][3][8]

Most commonly however, when confronted by others, it gathered itself into a hideous heap, a 9 ft (2.7 m) cone[13][10] of glistening jelly and shuddering slime.[6] No matter the form,[1][13] it could manifest dripping, trembling pseudopods in all directions to lash out and hungrily scoop up any creature that caught its attention.[6]

BehaviorEdit

Juiblex's mind was beyond the comprehension of mortals and alien by the standards of demons; conforming to no standards, it acted with unknowable purpose.[4][8] Contrary to what one might assume of the Father of Slime based on the mindlessness of his spawn, he was an incredibly knowledgeable being of frighteningly vast intellect that moved with caution and subtly while manipulating his minions with chess master prowess. The eldritch entity also knew the true names of each obyrith, coupled with an intuitive sense of their goals, and was one of the few beings that understood the true purpose of the Abyss.[4]

The most fearsome monster I ever saw had two arms, two legs, and one head, and on its head was a face with two eyes, two ears, one nose, and one mouth, and above this face grew a mop of hair. Everywhere else, the creature’s flesh was mostly pink and bare. Mostly. Makes my slime crawl thinking about it.
— Juiblex[14]

Ironically, regarding Juiblex's own goals, he was possibly the easiest of the demon lords to understand purely because his desires were so simple and uncomplicated. Rarely did he need to bother plotting and planning because he was normally content just to continue existing, his only active goal being the corrosion of anything he could reach.[6][3] The malevolent monstrosity cared little for intrigue and hated practically everything, perhaps enjoying only the act of destruction, and occasionally rumbling with some approximation of amused laughter with his more sadistic moves.[6][4]

If Juiblex could be said to have a grander, more philosophical mission, then it would be his ordinary goal on a greater scale, to dissolve all living things, flooding all of existence in his pestilent putrescence[4][7][15] and leaving his shapeless reflections as the only remaining lifeforms.[13] Relatedly, Juiblex was something of a recluse, rarely leaving his lair and reacting with violent anger at any intrusion.[10][16] The oozes and slimes he surrounded himself with were the only beings that interested him outside of the context of consumption and corruption, and his viscous subjects quivered with something akin to pleasure. when their Faceless Lord was near.[4]

PowersEdit

Simply getting near Juiblex could be a serious ordeal; aside from the fact that he always attacked intruders to his domain, regardless of what they offered, his foul smell and loathsome look made him almost impossible to tolerate.[4][1][16] Even by accident, his shuddering mass could expel toxic materials around his space, endangering most life nearby.[4] Organic and inorganic materials alike quickly dissolved at his touch, particularly metal and wood, but while stone could also be melted it eroded at half the rate. Extreme agility was required by one wielding weapons or wearing armor composed of corrodible materials to prevent them from being ruined after making contact.[3][6] His touch was not only caustic but also corruptive, and if one wasn't crushed or liquefied by his lashing pseudopods there was a fair chance that they'd be covered in a sheet of poisonous ooze.[3][6][1]

Juiblex's favored tactic was to make full use of his ooze-like qualities, closing the distance between him and his enemies by whatever means necessary.[6] His gelatinous form allowed him to swiftly squeeze through spaces smaller than an inch with ease, crawl across vertical inclines and ceilings, and maneuver unhampered underwater.[1][4] He attacked as many foes as possible, snatching them from the surrounding area and altering his form to engulf them with intent to watch them painfully melt.[4][6] His ability to build himself up before crashing down as an avalanche of ooze was particularly useful for catching multiple targets.[1][4]

Juiblex's amorphous body was part of what made him especially dangerous since he lacked any kind of targetable anatomy and was just generally difficult to injure.[3][6] Trying to harm him with acid, diseases and poisons was obviously useless, as was using blunt weapons and impact force, lightning, water, cold or deadly gases.[4][8][3] Radiant energy and fire were some of the few things that could prevent him from regenerating, although given his adaptable nature, fire could be an unreliable weapon,[1][4] and cold iron or good-aligned weapons could overcome his resilience.[6]

While clever enemies might attempt to exhaust Juiblex's ability to move towards them and then attack him from a distance, the Slick of Foulest Humors would find it all too humorous to send airborne foes hurtling towards the ground.[4] Every now and then, Juiblex could vomit a particularly vile excretion, 3 ft³ (0.085 m³) cubic feet of a toxic substance that combined the effects of ochre jelly and green slime that he spewed several feet into the air.[1][8][10] For similar reasons, he could also spew out patches of green slime, as well as to delay his enemy's approach, or break off bits of his own body to create lesser versions of himself to assist him.[4][6]

SupernaturalEdit

Many of Juiblex's spell-like abilities were related to blighting and befouling areas or desecrating and despoiling specific targets. Often times his first move was to hide, possibly by turning invisible, before engulfing multiple foes and unleashing a contagion on the first. Other powers allowed him to dominate and restrain powerful beings, such as using hold monster to augment his attacks, or advance on far away foes, like greater teleport, fly or phase door.[3][6] Also among his supernatural powers was his ability to shed a circle of darkness, which he could see through and that no light could dispel, as well as an circle of frigid cold in a radius around himself, which both followed him wherever he went and which he could activate and deactivate at a whim.[3][10]

If seriously injured, Juiblex could be made to retreat, probably through teleportation,[16] although such an escape was likely temporary.[6] In such a situation he would attempt to summon oozes or tanar'ri to keep his enemies busy during his recovery period, but fitting his lack of association with most of demonkind he had few options. Once per day, he could call upon a mob of stinking dretches, a few fetid hezrous or an acidic alkilith to aid him, and either a couple of gray oozes, ochre jellies, or black puddings.[8][6]

Lord of OozeEdit

Juiblex was often regarded as one of the weaker demon lords, and the way he normally was, this was accurate.[3] However, all of Juiblex's powers seemed minuscule in the face of his most threatening ability; the power to control any ooze from anywhere. Oozes were inherently tenacious creatures, able to exist in some of the most hostile corners of the multiverse, and all Juiblex had to do was focus his power to control them. In a sense, Juiblex's true form was not the one that dwelt in his abyssal layer but the combined volume of every brainless slime, pudding, and jelly in existence. The omnipresence of oozes throughout reality raised the question of why he didn't simply takeover the multiverse at his whim. In truth, despite his great intellect, the vastness of Juiblex's true body far outmatched the capacity of his comparatively small mind, and he was incapable of dividing his attention and ordering all of his servants at once.[4]

Juiblex's mere presence in an area could make the oozes of the region more aggressive and intelligent, although not necessarily both. Some oozes were no more capable than before but showed signs of malevolent intent rather than mere, mindless hunger, while others gained human levels of intelligence and telepathy without a hint of ill will towards sentient beings.[13][17]

PossessionsEdit

Juiblex's underground sanctum contained many useful treasures, some of which he was known to wear and use, ranging in usefulness to rings of plant control to a talisman of ultimate evil.[16] Certain items were inexorably tied to the Faceless Lord or could be things he would consider useful to his plans.[5]

RealmEdit

Juiblex's principal realm in the Abyss was its 222nd layer known as Shedaklah, a truly putrid realm of living rot, visible fumes and bubbling ooze.[6][16] Upon arrival, visitors were exposed to one of the most sickening swamps in the multiverse, where even those who weren't horribly nauseated struggled to eat or keep down what they had already consumed, and where food and water could quickly putrefy, even in bags or backpacks, and potentially transform into hostile oozes.[16] The vast expanse of caustic, inanimate sludge[9][1] was broken up by two sluggish branches of the River Styx, as well as the occasional hillock, fungus forest or foggy moor, but sometimes the marshes of mold and slime (there were no true oceans, only deeper marshlands),[18][6] rose up at Juiblex's whims.[9] Various areas were deadly stews of slimes, molds, jellies and puddings all feeding off each other and the surrounding matter, meaning that straying from solid ground and making contact with the fetid water could have all manner of unpredictable effects.[16]

Despite the horrid conditions, Shedaklah's otherworldly nature wasn't always immediately apparent to those of the Material Plane, although eventually the truth would become evident. For one, the sky held no celestial bodies, just a permanent overcast of clouds colored a hideous motley of foul green, bruise purple and mud brown, casting the landscape's unnatural colors in pallid gloom. Torrents were frequent, every few hours or so, as downpours and thunderstorms flooded the land with polluted water, yet it was always uncomfortably humid, with an average temperature of 90  and a thin film of moisture clinging to all the surfaces. If harmed, travelers would find one of its rare positive traits; the riotous abundance of life in Shekdalah infused it with positive energy, quickly undoing ordinary injuries.[18][6]

It was incredibly difficult to tell areas in Shedaklah apart, but there were some distinctive regions, such as a floating, 30 foot wide gelatinous orb in its center that served as a portal to the Swamp of Oblivion.[19] There was also Juiblex's Grasp, a shallow bay of ooze overlaying a hidden mushroom forest where travelers could trip, accidentally fall into a vicious undertow or riptide, and be transported to some unknowable location hundreds of feet away in just a few seconds, possibly to never be seen again.[20]

The sewer of the Abyss, Shedaklah, offers little to the abyssal traveler. It is a place slick with rot, its undulating hills speckled with all manner of deadly smuts and rusts, puffballs and fungal forests, and pools of poisonous slime. Its sky shudders and rumbles, full of brown clouds swollen with corruption. Deadly horrors wait here, to be sure, but what I have revealed is only the surface, a colorful mold growing on the back of a rancid pile. It is within the stinking caverns underneath this decay that one can find Juiblex and his slimy seas.
— Demonomicon of Iggwilv[4]

Many of Shekdalah's denizens were, predictably, demons, vrocks that plagued the skies and hezrous which stalked the bogs, although chasmes and rutterkin were also present and various ooze para-elementals, slaadi, swamp monsters, plant creatures and fungal entities also lurked within it. Surprisingly, some of the less common monsters in the swamp were actually oozes, a result of Juiblex's archrival, Zuggtmoy.[20][18]

Slime PitsEdit

To understand Shekdalah, one had to go underneath it and realize it was not just a singular domain but a dual realm, the latter half of which Juiblex ruled over.[18] The subterranean network of caves and sinkholes beneath Shekdalah dwarfed any of the Material Plane, supposedly stretching down into the lower layer of the Abyss.[4][18] Though the entire realm of Shekdalah was often referred to as such, the area that Juiblex called his own was often referred to specifically as the Slime Pits, a fitting title since oozes of uncountable varieties and numbers all lurked within its depths. Juiblex and his children had dissolved several areas to create passages between the chambers, many of which served as slime breeding grounds.[4]

Many of the creatures were bloated with demonic power and many times larger and fiercer than their ordinary counterparts, and there was perhaps no place where Juiblex's children were greater in number. Though relatively safe on the upper layers, the lesser oozes only being threats when in great quantities, the deeper one delved into the tunnels the more terrifying, cunning, relentless, rare and innumerable they would be,[4] until one got so far that they had to swim through them.[6] The spawning pools in particular were filled with various breeds of horrible oozes in such vast quantities that they formed underground lakes, the oldest one known as Suppurus being over 100 mi (160 km) across, all of which Juiblex occasionally overlooked by overtaking one of the oozes nearby.[4]

Undoubtedly, few denizens in the Abyss equal, in the horror they evoke or in the hideousness of their forms, the corrupt majesty of the Faceless Lord. In the gloom that enshrouds his realm, he holds court over the glistening masses, the twitching oozes he sires.
  — Demonomicon of Iggwilv[4]

Though most of the residents were slimes and Juiblex drove other monsters away from his acrid realm,[3] a few demons that wished to remain hidden and appreciated anarchy saw Juiblex's generally inattentive reign as advantageous. Croaking hezrous were known to inhabit the upper chambers and chasmes sometimes fed on the pooling waste of the corridors.[4] Manes, bar-lguras and nalfeshnees could also be found around the area, all, along with the hezrous, feasting on each other, but all willing to try and devour random passersby.[16]

The agents of Zuggtmoy, rightfully so, viewed slimes as the eyes and ears of Juiblex and so hunted them on the surface, faithfully attempting to either kill them or push them back down into the caverns below. For centuries the two demon lords fought for control of Shekdalah, and Zuggtmoy consistently held the upper hand,[18][6] keeping the Faceless Lord's minions confined to the realm's deepest corners, although tellingly she never tried to go down herself to permanently dispose of him.[4] Due to mishaps regarding Zuggtmoy's cult of Elemental Evil however, she was banished for some time, allowing Juiblex to take full control of the caverns and even spread his blight to certain areas of the surface, forcing her to spend a frustrating amount of time cleansing his putrescence from her domain.[18][6]

Juiblex's PalaceEdit

Upon nearing Juiblex's lair, the intelligence of the slime wasn't the only supernatural indication of his demonic presence, for the region around it was warped by his foul magic.[4][1] A thin coating of slick, sticky slime covered the surfaces of most areas within six miles and within one mile, where ponds, wells or other small sources of fresh water might have been, were bodies of highly acidic liquid that corroded all they touched. Simply being this close to the Faceless Lord's lair was unhealthy for the mind as well as the body, and visitors could find themselves displaying signs of madness brought on by Juiblex's presence such as consuming all they could, defining themselves by what they devoured and encouraging others to behave similarly or by refusing to part with any of their possessions.[1]

If one managed to get past his myriad defenses of the Slime Pits, they would find the vast cavern that was Juiblex's "throne room" at the center of his kingdom. The area looked like the largest garbage heap in the multiverse, composed of litter and rubbish resistant to the acidic properties of the slimes.[4][16] In the center of the room was a single, stone pedastal streaked and corroded by the Father of Slime's secretions and which he claimed as his own. Surrounded the stone was a churning soup of favored oozes and coating the walls was a layer of slimes, all spewing out rancid corruption to mix with the Slime Lord's own filth.[4]

MolorEdit

Despite being of roughly equivalent power as individuals, Juiblex remained at the losing end of his struggle with Zuggtmoy, and even with her temporary disappearance, that didn't end up changing. Juiblex's hideous kingdom, however, wasn't entirely based in the Slime Pits, for he held an Abyssal layer known as Molor under his undisputed dominion. The two realms were connected by various portals, although sewers in magically charged cities could have portals to it, and if Juiblex was ever forced out of Shekdalah he would likely retreat into Molor. Referred to both as the Stinking Realm and the Sinking Realm, Molor represented civilization at its lowest point, a ramshackle cesspool of of filth where society teetered on the brink of collapse. Many denizens, such as the demons, oozes or otyughs, had no form of civilization, and most travelers were mortified by the idea that any sentient being could dwell there.[7]

Nonetheless, some semblance of organization existed among the scavengers of the plane, even if it was merely the sense of common ground from mutual sufferers of disease and decay. Much of Molor was a maze of dripping tunnels with dripping ceilings of muck and where rotted food and toxic waste was embedded in the walls and flowed across the floor. The only town was known as Thullgrime, a rotting domain of shacks constructed from decomposing fungal fibers, ooze heaps and garbage inhabited by wererats, mad cultists and trapped explorers. Aside from the diseased denizens all of which feebly tried to stave off the seemingly inevitable collapse, the shantytown's streets were occupied by foul sludge and maggot-ridden bodies. The last remaining bastion of order was the insane leader known as Cullis Heartrend, under whose orders the citizens went on patrol with rusted weapons and shuffled soiled documents about under the pretense of "paperwork".[7]

Demiplane of FilthEdit

Juiblex was also the master of a dimension known as the Demiplane of Filth, formed when Juiblex's vile essence was banished by the inhabitants of the Elemental Plane of Water. A foul facsimile of a lush forest, the trees and ground of the plane were made of verdant slime, some of which was actual green slime, and the landscape as a whole was 25 mi (40 km) wide and 10 mi (16 km) long. The mire was dotted with fetid ponds and rivers of ooze, and was populated by insect clouds, otyughs, and various stinking monsters. By day the sky was yellow and the sun green but at night the sky was a black void.[5]

Plains of RustEdit

Though not a place he ruled, Juiblex, in one of his rare acts of participation in demonic affairs, had influenced a layer of the Abyss known as the Plains of Rust. Previously a toxic swamp, where devils held a foothold in the Abyss, both Orcus and Juiblex, the former using his mastery of necrotic energy and the latter his command over caustic ooze, supersaturated the realm so that iron fortifications of their adversaries quickly rusted away in a matter of days.[7]

ActivitiesEdit

It was rare for Juiblex to actually affect the world outside his Slime Pits in any significant way; he never ventured to the Material Plane, nor waged war against his Abyssal enemies,[4] and his surging presence in the upper realm of Shekdalah was more an act of opportunistic infection than a tactical choice.[6] If he decided to wander, he left slime trails that would grow into various oozes and he would influence the slimes around him, but these were also merely natural, or rather unnatural, processes caused by his presence.[1][17] Normally he just stewed in his domain, enjoying the presence of his amorphous kin, breeding new oozes and releasing plagues.[4][8]

Juiblex is a power defined by incremental advances, a being whose wickedness flows slowly but inexorably toward an unspeakable end, which troubles even this writer.
— Demonomicon of Iggwilv[4]

That wasn't to say that Juiblex had no plans or agendas, simply that he was patient and subtle enough that he didn't achieve them quickly or obviously. Though he did wish to defeat Zuggtmoy, he didn't feel that conscious effort was needed to do so or that he should feel incited by her taunts. Instead, Juiblex waited, slowly but steadily accumulating more and more power, sometimes taking small steps to further his master plan but never in such a way as to provoke too much attention. He believed that the multiverse was his to claim and he would do so when he decided he was ready.[4]

RelationshipsEdit

Juiblex's greatest strength was perhaps how easily he could be dismissed, both by scholars and his peers. He was shunned by most of demonkind, regarded with hateful ridicule and callous contempt mixed with genuine fear of the gelatinous abomination's greatest desire.[4][15] Few demons wished to deal with the disgusting monster and on his part,[4] Juiblex couldn't care less for the schemes of other demons,[1] almost never making alliances except in the direst situations and consuming all envoys that intruded on his home.[4][21] Though he claimed the title of "master of all slime and ooze" there was a fair chance that no one ever challenged him for that epithet.[19] Juiblex's lands were similarly undesirable; though some demon lords could crush him individually, invading his nauseating kingdom would not be worth the effort, for though he was a lord, his domain was something no one would ever want.[4]

It would be incorrect to view Juiblex's position as pitiable however, as in truth, the current situation was exactly as Juiblex desired. Despite being hated by almost everyone in the Abyss, the loathing he received was the disrespectful disdain held for a menace, with most viewing him as a useless hazard that was only a threat to those foolish enough to stand in his sight. With fear came hesitation, with scorn came ignorance and with disgust came avoidance. Juiblex desired to be hidden and overlooked because his rivals' indifference towards him meant that he could act without fear of reprisal, his unwanted status effectively granting him impunity in demonic politics.[4][6]

ZvsJ

Juiblex attempting to engulf his archnemesis Zuggtmoy.

Juiblex's most immediate and obvious opposition was Zuggtmoy, although even then both acted more as mutual nuisances to each other. Though Zuggtmoy often spat vile insults and foul curses at the Faceless Lord, he was either unaware of her remarks or too indifferent to respond knowing that she and everyone else would eventually be under his control. He didn't exactly protest her presence either, since Zuggtmoy's rule over Shekdalah's surface hid his own kingdom and created an extra obstacle for anyone who might care to claim it, protecting it from other demon lords. Zuggtmoy herself could barely be bothered to try and deal with the tenacious demon lord, either fearing him or being too apathetic to his presence to resolve the issue.[4] Nonetheless, both actively hated each other, the Faceless Lord being known to take an active role in sabotaging her plans at times and the Queen of Fungi sometimes concocting plots to permanently destroy him.[5][21]

Despite his antisocial behavior and being repulsive in every meaning of the word, there were some entities that could be tentatively categorized as Juiblex's "allies".[19] The demon lord Turaglas viewed him as the being with which he shared the most common ground, but even then he planned to devour him in the end.[22] His most powerful potential ally and an entity he shared a common goal with, the common goal being mass destruction and a world drowned in slime, was the Devourer in the Depths, Zargon. Possibly the former king of Hell, who oversaw a kingdom of rampant slime and terror, or perhaps a demon prince exiled from the Abyss, Zargon was one of the few beings Juiblex would go out of his way to work with.[23][24] There was also the ooze archomental Bwimb II, who recognized her own position as the weakest of the archomentals and had come to some manner of understanding with Juiblex in her search for allies, the exact relationship between the two as unknown as it was likely unpleasant.[19]

ServantsEdit

Rarely did Juiblex recruit demons to serve him, instead relying on his ooze servitors to do his bidding. Practically none of these beings were sapient enough to make an actual choice to serve him, but sometimes the Faceless Lord fused demons that his oozes had trapped or consumed to create intelligent demonic oozes.[4] Still, only one of these entities was intelligent enough that it willingly served Juiblex, that being the black pudding known as Darkness Given Hunger.[3][6][4]

Said by demonologists to had once been an unfortunate demon that lost its way in the Slime Pits and met the unholy attention of Juiblex, the demonic half of Darkness Given Hunger was that of a hezrou. The hezrou was forced to possess a black budding before Juiblex cast an imprison possessor spell to make the transformation permanent, and over the centuries the mind and body of the hezrou dissolved into the pudding until they became truly one, a creature of malevolent cunning more horrible than the sum of its parts. Darkness Given Hunger was the largest of all black puddings, a result of its insatiable appetite, and the most powerful and favored of Juiblex's servants. The abomination helped his master patrol the Slime Pits while looking for food, occasionally venturing to the surface or the Material Plane while chasing something particularly delicious.[3][6][4]

WorshipersEdit

All hail the dark, whispered master, patron of pestilence, and father of slime, Juiblex the unspeakable!
  — The gnome Duvamil honoring her lord Juiblex[3]
Juiblex cared little for followers and mortal cultists, rarely being aware of their existence and neither encouraging nor rewarding them when he did.[6] It was incredibly difficult to find any reason to worship the Father of Slime, and because Juiblex lacked any real use for worshipers, his response besides ignorance could be to give them some form of boon or to simply dissolve them.[17][4][25] Humanoid servitors in particular were pointless compared to his easily controlled children, too fearful and independent to effectively command.[4] In Juiblex's alien mind, and in those of some of his cultists, his victory was assured, so there was no reason to take active steps to grow the cult.[1][4] His presence in Faerun was further diminished by the fact that the god Ghaunadaur had stolen his aspect within Realmspace, with cults acting in the name of the He Who Slithers while in truth worshiping That Which Lurks.[26] Yet despite an absence of good reasons to do so, there were still mortals that chose to worship the Lord of Slime based on their own depraved logic.[6]
Pudding king-5e

The Pudding King, a cultist of Juiblex

The primary reason for the worship of Juiblex was that his few cultists were in some way insane, often dangerously so.[1][4] Such worshipers were loners, easily regarded as strange or creepy by those around them and often showing some obsession with ooze.[1][17][25] The signs could be relatively benign, such as a preoccupation with the capture and study of ooze, or perhaps more obviously disturbing, such as talking to rotting matter or even serial killing.[17][25] His worst worshipers tried desperately to earn his attention, spreading terror, despair and death in the hopes of appealing to Juiblex.[3][25] The madness of Juiblex's wretched supplicants was often rooted in desperation born from sickness, physical or otherwise, terrible afflictions that brought their victims such pain that they were willing to turn to the Demon Prince of Ooze.[4][25] After reaching the heights of depression, the deluded madmen, often humans, turned to the Glistener in the hopes that he could cure them or, failing that, ruin their minds so that the pain would be bearable.[4][8]

BoonsEdit

Sadly for such unfortunates, Juiblex's influence rarely granting anything approximating solace, sometimes driving mortals mad in their dreams with horrible visions.[4][25] In some way or another, Juiblex's followers were diseased, with the exact nature of the illness ranging from oozing slime, a horrible odor, rotted digits, hideous growths, blisters and pustules ready to pop or worse. Some were compelled by a sentient pestilence that drove them to horrible acts, while others had acid for blood, or gelatinous bones. At their most horrid, the body parts of these beings could fall off but continue to move, their organs would become malleable and burst without actually killing them.[1][4] Over time, their entire bodies became more and more oozing until they were nothing more than slimes that could take on humanoid form. Those that fully offered themselves to the Glistener were often reborn, turned into sentient oozes or hybrids as their former bodies and identities were obliterated and all that was left was madness and slime.[1][4][17]

Callooh! Callay!
Now you can join the party!
You can be one with the Faceless Lord.
Just let yourselves be eaten and disgorged!
  — The cackling of the Pudding King

Those truly in the thrall of Juiblex were among the most disgusting individuals in existence, sometimes dwelling in sewers or other nauseating locales, the deformed entities had to operate alone normally since only oozes or undead could tolerate their presence. The beings who would dare devote themselves to Juiblex were normally either his clerics, an already rare group since he didn't willfully grant spells and so their divine abilities would rely solely on their reverence, or fighters and barbarians, who benefited the most from his "boons".[3] The exact process for becoming one of Juiblex's devout was somewhat malleable, but generally involved sacrificing a sapient being in acid, either to an ooze or with some present.[3][25] They also had to possess some level of flexibility before hand, having had some manner of shapechanging experience. The more powerful they became the grosser and more malleable their features were, as they began leaking a gradually more acidic ooze, summoning oozes and alkiliths, spewing disease and corrosive fluid and eventually leaving behind any discernible anatomy while gaining the ability to polymorph.[3][27]

Other CultistsEdit

The Faceless Lord did have other worshipers besides the deranged, most notably a few of the god-hating aboleths, out of their belief that he maintained the moistness of their skin and environment and thus had to be propitiated, as well as the idea that he would eventually reveal lost arcane secrets to them. Similarly, some demons, particularly hezrou, swore him fealty and retrieved victims for him to feed on.[3][8] Some were known to seek out the Faceless Lord specifically for the purpose of magically channeling information from him, although it was possible this would get his attention.[4][28] Though his oozes could be said to show him fealty, their thoughtless pleasure could hardly be classified as worship,[4] and his overreliance on them in comparison to Zuggtmoy's active recruitment and growth of fungi had a tendency to limit his options.[7]

Juiblex-Cultists

Cultists of Juiblex performing a sacrifice.

Rarely was anyone who could be considered Juiblex's "cultists", in proximity to others like them, because of their rarity and individualistic nature, although there were some small, secret societies.[4][3] Followers dwelt underground, taking care of stables of oozes, awaiting and singing the praises of a doomsday when Juiblex would devour all, a fate they would be spared from.[1] Some made use of braziers of green flame and strange incenses in chambers where dark chants were recited, sacrifices made and where the walls were coated in slime as well patterns and runes sacred to Juiblex.[25] The greatest of worshipers made permanent portals to the Demiplane of Filth and conducted sacrifices their,[5] and some shrines were also present in Molor.[7]

AspectsEdit

Though his followers only received an aspect of his when they summoned one,[8] occasionally the Faceless Lord saw fit to communicate with one of his cults. For the Faceless Lord, creating an aspect wasn't worth the expenditure of effort, so instead he merely possessed an ooze kept by the sentient servitor he wished to communicate with, causing the ooze to take on his coloration.[4] If one did seek out the knowledge or favor of Juiblex, but didn't wish to confront the murderous slime, he did possess an avatar dwelling in a hut in the Demiplane of Filth.[5]

The hut sat upon a stone monolith 50 ft (15 m) on each side and 400 ft (120 m) tall, and within the hut was the figure of an elderly human male formed from a shard of Juiblex's essence. Possessing much of Juiblex's knowledge, The Hermit, as he was known, agreed to answer a single question in exchange for the completion of a task, only answering questions and assigning tasks to avenge his master and fight Juiblex's enemies, but sometimes for less obvious reasons. The avatar held its mouth and eyes shut, only opening them to assign a task and again when he answered the question, upon which green slime poured from both and devoured his body only for him to reappear the next time he was visited without any signs of harm.[5]

HistoryEdit

Juiblex's true origin was unknown, although there were many theories about where the Indescribable Darkness originally came from. At earliest, he was one of the original tanar'ri, somewhere around the age of Demogorgon, but many posited that he was far older than that.[22] The obyrith lords Dagon and Pazuzu suspected that Juiblex was himself an obyrith lord who was mostly destroyed by Tharzidun, gradually declining in importance until eventually becoming an ancient relic of the past.[4] Some cited the presence of certain obyriths on Juiblex's plane as a sign that he came before the tanar'ri, although this wasn't concrete evidence.[22]

According to the research of some, Juiblex was originally just part of the Elemental Chaos, part of its raw essence until the appearance of Tharzidun. When Tharzidun first planted the seed of evil, it wounded the Elemental Chaos, and at the direct site of the wound was the first mass of infection, a black, bilious collection of fluids and solids awakened to wicked self-awareness. Dark knowledge rushed into his newly formed mind as he welled up, but after the obyriths began to emerge from the Abyss, he fled deeper inside to escape the conflict, coming to grips with his new existence, reflecting upon his home and contemplating his purpose while creating new oozes wherever he went.[4] Still, some theories suggested that he could be even older than that, that he was a being from beyond any of the planes that found its way into the Abyss and settled there.[7]

Regardless of what was true, for as long as Juiblex had existed, he had stayed out of the conflicts by the rest of demonkind, presuming of course that he was present. He was said to have witnessed the Abyss's beginning, the emergence of obyriths and the final battle between them and Tharzidun, but he avoided the long conflict the entire time, secluding himself in Shekdalah shortly after the war ended to drink from the Abyss and bloat himself with its power and knowledge. He did not defend his home against the gods during the Dawn War or when Asmodeus supposedly fell and took a sliver of its original shard, nor did he fight for it alongside the Queen of Chaos during the Age of Ages or involve himself in the more recent Blood War against the devils. While others throughout the history of the Abyss and those surrounding it rose and fell, the Faceless Lord always remained in the background, preparing to consume all reality, knowing the true nature of the Abyss and fully intent on fulfilling his discovered purpose.[4]

Juiblex's only consistent opposition against this goal was Zuggtmoy, who for her faults had ways of keeping Juiblex in check. Once, centuries ago, the Queen of Decay used a series of potent divinations to determine Juiblex's exact location, erected a series of adamantine plinths throughout Shekdalah, and then triggered a ritual to banish Juiblex somewhere else in the multiverse. Fortunately for Juiblex, this plan only partially worked, but fortunately for everyone else, the partial success was enough to separate a portion of him from his whole, the unnecessary expenditure of power being something he tried to avoid. Part of his polluted essence was sent to the Elemental Plane of Water but was too toxic to be permanently stored there, so its inhabitants banished it once more to its own demiplane. That demiplane would become known as the Demiplane of Filth and a shard of his essence would become the Hermit, and despite the many failings of the project, it demonstrated Juiblex's seemingly inevitable descent was not as predestined as he would want.[5]

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

Novels
  • Archmage: A demon with a description matching Juiblex was present with the demon hordes attacking the dwarves at Gauntlgrym.

Further readingEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 29–30, 130, 150–151. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  2. Colin McComb (September 1997). Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Edited by Ray Vallese. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 46. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 Monte Cook (Oct 2002). Book of Vile Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 70, 107, 134–136. ISBN 0-7869-0672-3.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 4.32 4.33 4.34 4.35 4.36 4.37 4.38 4.39 4.40 4.41 4.42 4.43 4.44 4.45 4.46 4.47 4.48 4.49 4.50 4.51 4.52 4.53 4.54 4.55 4.56 4.57 4.58 4.59 4.60 4.61 4.62 4.63 4.64 4.65 4.66 4.67 4.68 4.69 4.70 4.71 Robert J. Schwalb (March 2011). “The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Juiblex”. In Steve Winter ed. Dungeon #188 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 1–8.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8  (July 2007). Monster Manual V. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 162–165. ISBN 0-7869-4115-4.
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  14. Template:Cite book/Book of Vile Darkness 4th edition
  15. 15.0 15.1 Mike Mearls, Brian R. James, Steve Townshend (July 2010). Demonomicon. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 78, 86, 148–149. ISBN 978-0786954926.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 16.8 Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson (1988). The Throne of Bloodstone. (TSR, Inc), pp. 37–38. ISBN 0-8803-8560-X.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Christopher Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 15, 35, 99, 111, 198. ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 James Jacobs (November 2005). “The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Zuggtmoy: Queen of Fungi”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #337 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 42.47.49.54.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Monte Cook and William W. Connors (December 7, 1998). The Inner Planes. Edited by Michele Carter and Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), p. 81.84. ISBN 0-7869-0736-3.
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  21. 21.0 21.1 Robert Wiese (2006-06-23). Fiendish Codex I Fiendish Aspects. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2020-08-03}.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Ari Marmell (June 2009). “The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Turaglas, the Ebon Maw”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #376 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 18.
  23. Schwalb, Robert J. (December 2007). Elder Evils. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 144–148. ISBN 978-0-7869-4733-1.
  24. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 139. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 25.6 25.7 Template:Cite dungeon/132/Caverns of the Ooze Lord
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  28. Monte Cook (December 2, 1997). Dead Gods. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17. ISBN 978-0786907113.
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