Shators (pronounced: /ˈʃeɪtɔːrz/ SHAY-torz) also known as shaggy demodands or shaggy leths were the highest-ranking of the demodands. They were the most powerful of the gehreleths and seemingly covered in loosely hanging skins.
Description[edit | edit source]
Shators were the heaviest and widest of the demodands, standing between 6‒10 ft (1.8‒3 m) tall and weighing somewhere between 560 to 700 pounds (250 to 320 kilograms). They were squat, obese humanoids with large heads, huge bat-like wings, and a pale ooze dripping from their disgusting forms. Their massive maws resembled those of a bulldog or a fanged frog, and drooled a similar slime to that exuded by their bodies from the corners. Their common name was actually a misnomer rooted in the fact that the hairless shaggy demodands were draped in overlapping hides.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Shators were fearsome entities with great intellects that projected an almost palpable air of self-confidence. They possessed shocking levels of cruelty and were incredibly suspicious of each other, only working together against a dangerous, common enemy. Like the farastu, they were slow to react and secretly desired escape attempts by Carcerian petitioners, but they wanted potential escapees to succeed so that they could send bounty hunters to bring them back. Bizarrely, shators on other planes treated the three-headed chimerae like most humans would treat kittens, reserving their ordinary sadism and occasionally showing concern for them. While capable of sending themselves and others to various planes, summoning was actually considered fortuitous to the shators as it gave them an opportunity to engage in their favorite activity, writing.
Shators were morbid beings that took comfort in malaise and delighted in spreading angst, corrupting the cultures of others rather than developing their own. Often times, they found mortal poets and philosophers to use as unwitting mouthpieces for their ideas, inducing visions of poetic despair and granting them texts about cosmicism, futility, and the bleak senselessness of the multiverse. Shators preferred their victims to be compelling enough to present their miserable ideas favorably and made sure that their summoner would not try to banish them, leaving only on their own terms and slaying their unsuspecting servitors when they did. Their other works were guides on summoning various fiends aside from demodands, normally named beings, particularly yugoloths, that had drawn the ire of the shator.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Shators were the strongest of the demodands but at the same time the slowest and clumsiest. Their slime could serve as a nerve toxin that induced paralysis for anywhere between a few seconds to a minute or so. The ooze could be transferred through the shator's claws and fangs or be spit in globules up to 30 ft (9.1 m) away. Nonmagical weapons were useless against the shators and, because of their many folds of skin, even the impact of enchanted weapons was absorbed. Large, edged weapons such as broadswords and longswords in particular were less useful against shaggy demodands. Heat and cold energy was less effective, if not completely useless against them and they were completely immune to mind-affecting magic. Shators possessed incredible olfactory and auditory senses, as well as the natural ability to see the invisible.
In addition to the spell-like abilities present in all gehreleths and those unique to them such as cloudkill, stinking cloud, and mass charm, shators were adept sorcerers. They often learnt the spells bull's strength, confusion, dancing lights, daze, detect thoughts, enlarge person, flare, ghost sound, mage armor, mage hand, magic missile, obscuring mist, open/close, ray of frost, read magic, Tasha's hideous laughter, and true strike. They also possessed the innate ability to plane shift, although they were fated to return to Carceri.
Combat[edit | edit source]
Shators preferred to fight from a distance using their magical abilities and paralyzing spit rather than engage enemies in melee, although their vast intellects allowed them to choose the best tactic for a given situation. They often surrounded themselves with farastu and kelubar servants and kept bottles of their lesser demodand kin in their lairs to open or break when threatened, allowing them to refrain from combat if they so chose. A shator would not hesitate to retreat if it felt its opposition was too powerful. While they could always use their natural armaments when forced into close combat, shators possessed the dexterity and power needed to wield oversized weapons and used enchanted weapons nearly half of the time. They were known to use the reach of guisarme to trip opponents from a distance and attack them while they were down, a technique their excellent reflexes allowed them to utilize.
Society[edit | edit source]
As the nobility and commanders of their kind, shators were responsible for making the important decisions for the demodand race. Much of their time was spent scheming against the other factions of Carceri and deciding whether or not to send gehreleth bounty hunters after escaped petitioners. Although normally found with their lackeys nearby, their capricious nature led them to organize their troops only when pressed.
Rumors and Legends[edit | edit source]
Apomps was thought to have given the shators a compulsion to write and influence mortal poets. The intention was to focus hatred onto the yugoloths and draw attention to their sinister plots.
Notable Shators[edit | edit source]
- Xideous was a shator that had decided to compile the true and public names of as many yugoloths as possible into his own rendition of the Book of Keeping. He worked from an asylum in Sigil through various contacts and planned to obtain all four of the original copies.
Appendix[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Eric Cagle, Jesse Decker, James Jacobs, Erik Mona, Matthew Sernett, Chris Thomasson, and James Wyatt (April 2003). Fiend Folio. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 42–45. ISBN 0-7869-2780-1.
- Allen Varney, ed. (June 1994). Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 42–45. ISBN 978-1560768623.
- Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
- Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 28.
- Colin McComb (September 1997). Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Edited by Ray Vallese. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 82–87. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- Ray Vallese (1996). Uncaged: Faces of Sigil. Edited by Michele Carter. (TSR, Inc), pp. 114–115. ISBN 0786903856.
- Colin McComb (December 1995). “Liber Malevolentiae”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Conflict (TSR, Inc.), p. 21. ISBN 0-7869-0309-0.
- Colin McComb and Monte Cook (July 1996). Hellbound: The Blood War. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7869-0407-0.