Maurezhi were tanar'ri demons with many marked similarities to ghouls. What made them particularly more dangerous was that by consuming the flesh of the recently deceased, they could absorb the experience and memories of their victims.
Maurezhi were visibly similar to ordinary ghouls, with an emaciated form and pale, leathery, gray skin. They would stand at 6 ft (1.8 m) tall if not for their hunched posture. When they were enraged or excited maurezhi were incredibly erratic.
Their facial features were more bestial than those of regular ghouls, with maws that sloped into short muzzles filled with serrated fangs and long, pointed ears similar to those of a cat. Their ears were not their only cat-like structures, as their lengthy fingers ended in filth-ridden claws and their powerful legs allowed them to sprint and pounce like a big cat. Reports varied on whether or not they could truly speak when not communicating telepathically, or if they could only vocalize wild grunts, loud shrieks, and wicked howls.
The primary goal of a maurezhi was to kill and consume mortals of great physical prowess and intellect. In between their real targets, maurezhis snacked on the already deceased within graveyards in order to quench their need for flesh. They normally attempted to enter a Material Plane in order to begin their voracious work before returning to the Abyss far more powerful than they were before.
In their natural forms, maurezhis were dangerous predators that could make long leaps at their prey before ripping them to pieces. Their claws worked like those of a ghast, paralyzing any living creature they struck, while their fangs drained the personality from those they bit, which could potentially turn them into a ghoul if they were to die.
When maurezhis consumed the corpses of certain foes, they would absorb not only their appearance but also their memories, allowing them to serve as temporary doppelgangers. By doing so, they gained the victim's physical prowess and knowledge but not their magical powers and certain other supernatural abilities. While these forms were hard to detect as impostors, there were giveaways to their true nature. Some reports claimed that a form only lasted so long before decaying away and revealing a maurezhi's true identity, although the memories remained. True seeing and similar abilities also revealed a maurezhi's form, and they were also said to have a faint stench of death hanging off them.
The process of properly consuming a corpse to take its form had to take place within 10 minutes of its death, and took 10–30 more minutes to complete, with interruption canceling the process. This type of feeding involved completely devouring the body, and resulted in the inability to raise the victim from the dead, save for a properly worded wish, miracle, or true resurrection spell, and even those could fail. In order to advance in power, maurezhis had to consume corpses of beings significantly powerful in relation to themselves, and doing so granted them increased intellect, power, and toughness. Although they could still gain new forms and memories by eating any corpse, they would only grow in power by eating similarly powerful entities.
Maurezhis possessed the unique ability to resurrect the undead in their undead state, bringing nearby ghouls and ghasts back to unlife. Fully matured maurezhis gained the ability to summon least tanar'ri and undead to their aid in the form of small packs of manes, dretches, or ghouls to assist them.
Maurezhis tried to utilize ambush tactics as opposed to direct confrontation, although not out of fear of direct combat. Stalking and terrifying foes were among their favorite approaches to hunting. They often attempted to consume unwary and isolated targets before hiding the corpse and using their new position to find better victims. They only maintained a disguise when fighting if it provided some obvious benefit, and they savagely mauled their opponents when in their natural forms. Depending on how many people they had eaten, their intelligence ranged from that of a normal human to genius levels.
Unfortunately for them, only a small percentage of maurezhis managed to escape onto the Material Plane, with most being roped into the Blood War by babaus or hezrous. Maurezhi confined to the Abyss almost never got to consume mortal flesh and remained weak, serving as raiders, skirmishers, and assassins throughout the Lower Planes. They were useful spies and their superiors often used their memory-stealing powers during interrogation, having them consume baatezu in order to predict their next moves. This did not always work however, and was just as likely to fill a maurezhi's head with lawful ideas.
Maurezhi shared many notable qualities with the nabassus, another type of demon that fed on corpses to gain power and served a demon lord of undeath.
Born from a society of elves, the first maurezhis were the corrupted creations of the King of Ghouls, Doresain. He created the demons in order to provide leadership to the ghouls and ghasts of the Material Plane.
- Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 133. ISBN 978-0786966240.
- James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 117–118. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
- Richard Baker (October 1995). Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix II. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 110–111. ISBN 0-7869-0173-X.
- Colin McComb (September 1997). Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Edited by Ray Vallese. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
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