NOTE: This creature used to be named Melekhaunthet, but then I read that the Queen of the Succubi in the Abyss is named Malacanthet. Whether this was a coincidence or I had read it somewhere once and it subconsciously came back when I was naming the creature, I decided it would be best to rename it Mherephess. Hopefully that's not too close to anything else's name.
I can remember, toward the end of my days as an adventurer, encountering a man by the name of Charidin who hailed from a war-torn country on a remote world of the Prime Material Plane. I met him in the library of an arcane college, in the lower levels filled with archived tomes of indecipherable or dubious content. He poured over these tomes obsessively, searching for something, though looking through the pile of discarded books on the floor around his desk, I could not determine what.
When I spoke up to question him, careful to use a soft and soothing tone so as not to startle him in the musty silence of the archives, he slowly looked up and regarded me with a smile that never touched his eyes. I had seen those eyes before. His was the gaze of a man whose entire identity had been lost to a quest, and the end of that quest was hidden somewhere in these expansive volumes of forgotten lore. After exchanging clipped pleasantries, he gave a paranoid glance around the subterranean vault of arcane knowledge, then gestured for me to sit. When I complied, he leaned in conspiratorially and asked me if I’d like to know how the world would end.
Evidently, the moment of silence that followed was enough of an affirmation for him, and he began a rambling discourse on a topic I had only heard mentioned a mere handful of times in my centuries of walking the planes: the Far Realms. His dissertation was difficult to follow, most especially since he made the presumption that I would be unable to follow and repeatedly went off on tangential footnotes in his tale before returning to topics he had mentioned ten or fifteen minutes prior. Much of the information was already known to me – likely because the unfathomable nature of the Far Realms makes understanding impossible beyond certain superficial details. But then his speech brought us to the reason he had come to the library…
Through a lifetime of studying these forbidden mysteries, he somehow acquired texts from the civilizations that defy ‘sensible’ – the tone of disgusted irony when he said the word was almost palpable - scholarly pursuit. He had deciphered and transcribed texts from illithid archives, murals in aboleth cities, kuo-toan oral traditions, and various lore from other unpleasant races, only some of whom were familiar to me. By comparing and combining these fragments, he said, he had gained knowledge of one of the “Lords” of the Far Realms, a creature whose name he translated as Mherephess.
Mherephess, he said, was an entity as far removed from the Gods as they are from mere mortals. It was beyond the reach of time, a being so great that we could only comprehend a small portion of its majesty with our meager senses and pitiful understanding of planar geometry, and even that portion could destroy the Gods themselves. Our entire multiverse was beneath the notice of such a being, a single grain of sand in the vast desert of the Far Realms. A tremendous feat of summoning would be required for Mherephess to deign to take notice of our insignificant reality. And he claimed he was only a hair’s breadth from discovering just how this could be done. He would be granted a great honor in return for his devotion to this eldritch being. Then, Mherephess would devour the world, leaving it as nothing but a blasted shell before returning to the Far Realms to bathe once again in its unfathomable glory. At this, he settled back into his seat, a disturbing smile beneath his madness-rimmed eyes.
Unsure if I would be able to disguise how disturbed I was by his tale, I turned my thoughts to a more academic and detached mode, inquiring as to the nature of the ‘honor’ bestowed upon him, and what possible good it would be in a world that had been so plunged into ruin. In all my travels across the infinite planes of the multiverse, I would be hard-pressed to recall an experience that chilled me to the bone the way his calm, straightforward response did. The summoner would not be spared Mherephess’s wrath. The gift, he said, was being permitted to observe the end of the world. The gift was being the last to die.
Greatly unsettled by my discussion with Charadin, but fearing the madness in the man’s eyes, I thanked him for his fascinating tale and excused myself. I didn’t spend another night in that world, quickly locating a gate to Sigil and retiring to my estate in the Lady’s Ward. Now, in my twilight years, I’ve made a few half-hearted attempts to locate Charadin’s world again, but even my most powerful scrying spells have not been able to find a gate that will take me there. I suspect I’m better off for it.
Memoirs of a Planeswalker: Volume XIV
Huge Aberration (Extraplanar)
Hit Dice: 70d8+1460 (1,775 hp)
Speed: Fly 40 ft (perfect)
Armor Class: 50 (-2 size, +12 dex, +15 natural, +15 deflection), 35 touch, 38 flat-footed
Base Attack/Grapple: +52/+78
Attack: Throne: 1 talon +69 melee (2d6+18, 19-20/x2); Sign: 1 tentacle +68 melee (1d8+18); Maw 1 stinger +68 melee (1d8+18 plus poison)
Full attack: Throne: 2 talons +69 melee (2d6+18, 19-20/x2) and 1 spell-like ability; Sign: 9 tentacles +68 melee (1d8+18); Maw: 1 stinger +68 melee (1d8+18 plus poison)
Space/Reach: 15 ft/15 ft or 25 ft with stinger
Special Attacks: Constrict, elder sign, gaze from beyond, impale, improved grab, multitasking, poison, rend, spell-like abilities, swallow whole
Special Qualities: Alien spectrum, bizarre anatomy, blindsight 120 ft, damage reduction 25/epic, darkvision 60 ft, energy resistance 25, multidimensional, otherworldly geometry, regeneration 60, spell resistance 57
Saves: Fort +44, Ref +37, Will +55
Abilities: Str 47, Dex 35, Con 48, Int 46, Wis 42, Cha 55
Skills: Bluff +95, Concentration +92, Decipher Script +91, Escape Artist +85, Intimidate +95, Listen +89, Move Silently +85, Knowledge (arcana) +91, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) +91, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +91, Knowledge (geography) +91, Knowledge (local) +91, Knowledge (nature) +91, Knowledge (the planes) +91, Knowledge (religion) +91, Search +91, Sense Motive +89, Spellcraft +91, Spot +89, Use Magic Device +95
Feats: Ability Focus (Elder Sign), Awesome Blow, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Fling Enemies*, Gape of the Serpent*, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (talon), Improved Initiative, Improved Toughness, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus (talon)
Epic Feats: Epic Toughness x3, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Spell Resistance, Spell Stowaway ([i]time stop[i]), Superior Initiative, Uncanny Accuracy
Organization: Solitary (Unique)
Challenge Rating: 45
Alignment: Chaotic neutral
Level Adjustment: -
* denotes a feat from the Savage Species sourcebook.
Without warning, there is a trembling in the air, and a bizarre shape materializes seemingly from nowhere. In the center of this pale, undulating mass of flesh, like the figurehead of some otherworldly galleon, is the form of a humanoid woman who appears to be wearing an elaborate headdress and costume that fuses to the rest of the entity . Two spiderlike limbs reach over her shoulders and twitch eagerly, each one tipped with a 10-foot long, impossibly keen talon that gleams like polished obsidian, and a pair of gill-like openings wheeze on each flank of the horrible, hovering mass.
Simultaneously, two more blobs of pale, quivering flesh emerge seemingly from nothingness, one on each side of the woman’s grotesque throne. One has a ring of nine long, thrashing tentacles arranged around a horrible, eldritch rune. Where the suckers would be on a cephalopod’s tentacles there are instead rows of howling, fanged mouths, each twisted into a disturbingly human expression of rage. The third mass is little more than a hovering pair of jaws, yawning wide to reveal an unfathomable, darkened depth that is clearly too deep for its physical size. From between these gaping jaws stretches a long tongue that resembles nothing so much as a gigantic centipede. Where the centipede’s head should be there is instead a needlelike stinger, flanked by a pair of serrated pincers.
Though all three masses of hideous flesh and contorted limbs are clearly separate in form, they move in tandem in a way that makes it abundantly clear that they are all the part of the same entity and all directed by the same inscrutably alien intelligence. After hovering ominously for a few moments, a small seam appears on the jaw of the womanlike form. Her entire face peels up into a wrinkle over her forehead, revealing a humongous, glowing red eye, and it is immediately clear that diplomacy is no longer an option.
Mherephess is a being of the Far Realms, the reality that exists beyond the cosmology of our multiverse. Possessing a completely alien mind, its goals and desires, if any, can only be guessed at. One thing, however, is certain – these goals and desires are certainly at odds with the continued survival of intelligent life in our reality.
Mherephess exists in a dimension beyond our own which defies all rational understanding of planar geometry. The pieces of Mherephess that interact with the three-dimensional multiverse are merely parts of a much larger whole, like fingers of the same hand dipping beneath the surface of a pool of water. In the instance of Mherephess, the fingers are the various parts of its body, the pool is our entire multiverse, and above the surface is another reality that defies description or comprehension.
Fortunately, the remoteness of Mherephess’s dimension makes it very difficult for the creature to cross over into ours. Coupled with the fact that our reality is beneath the notice of such a tremendous, alien being, there should be very little to fear. However, there are always individuals who are blinded by their thirst for power or those a perverse desire for destruction who could find a way to bridge the gap between the Far Realms and our multiverse.
Though Mherephess has no divine rank, its devotees do receive spells, and can choose from the chaos, force, madness, and summoning domains. It is likely that this is a result of the strength of their madness rather than Mherephess’s direct involvement, similar to the way clerics of a cause or ideal are able to receive spells without the intervention of a specific deity. In addition, while it is technically summoned to our reality via arcane ritual, Mherephess's quasi-divine status prevents it from being banished back to its home dimension in an antimagic field.
Mherephess does not communicate with other beings, and does not display any reaction other than violence when faced with others’ attempts to communicate with it. Unlike most aberrations, Mherephess does not need to eat, sleep, or breathe.
Mherephess seems to act only to cause destruction. It will attack anything that moves, destroying life and property wherever it can. Its tactics can range from the fiendishly cunning to the brutally simple. While it certainly has the physical might to make short work of all but the most epic of opponents, it also has an array of special abilities that it will use creatively to deal with more crafty opponents.
The only exception to Mherephess’s indiscriminate destructive urges is toward the summoner. Mherephess seems to actively avoid harming the being who summoned it to this reality, provided the summoner does not try to harm it or directly interfere with its orgy of devastation. Attempts to use the summoner as a hostage or a shield against the horrible being’s rage seem to be looked upon as interference on the summoner’s part.
Multidimensional (Ex) – Mherephess’s strange, multidimensional form lends it a variety of unusual abilities. It enables Mherephess to operate in most respects as three separate entities: the Throne, the Sign, and the Maw. Each body section can move independently of the others, each with its own set of actions each round, though each must always remain within 50 feet of at least one other body section. If one is somehow moved more than 50 feet from the others, it vanishes and instantly reappears within 50 feet of the nearest body section. This is an effect similar to the dimensional phasing special ability (described below), but takes place as an immediate action.
Although the body sections are separate, they are ultimately all part of a single being. All three body sections share the same initiative roll, and any damage dealt to one of Mherephess’s body sections is deducted from the same hit point total as the rest. If more than one body section is caught in the same area-of-effect attack, the damage is only applied to the hit point total once, in much the same way that a humanoid only takes damage from a fireball once, even though it has two arms and two legs in the same area-of-effect as its torso.
Specific information on the attack modes of each section of the body are described in their own, individual sections. Other abilities and special qualities common to all three sections of Mherephess’s body are described below.
Bizarre Anatomy (Ex) – While Mherephess is most certainly a living creature, its anatomy does not conform to anything from our dimension. As a result, it is extremely difficult to determine particularly vulnerable points on any of Mherephess’s sections. When struck by a critical hit or sneak attack, there is a 75% chance that the critical hit or sneak attack is cancelled and damage is rolled normally.
Dimensional Phasing (Ex) – As a standard action, a section of Mherephess’s body is able to phase into its home dimension for an indefinite amount of time. Effectively, the section using the dimensional phasing ability ceases to exist and may not be attacked, affected by spells or abilities, or even located via sense, scrying, or similar magic. When Mherephess chooses to end a section’s dimensional phasing effect – a free action - it can choose to manifest that section anywhere within 50 feet of another section.
Mherephess will never phase all three of its body sections at the same time. To do so would cause it to lose its foothold in this dimension, preventing it from ever returning until summoned again.
Otherworldly Geometry (Ex) – The seemingly impossible geometrics of Mherephess’s body grant all three sections a +15 deflection bonus to AC.
Regeneration (Ex) – Mherephess can only be permanently injured by weapons forged of materials from the Far Realms (even more difficult to come by than one might think). If part of Mherephess’s body is severed, the lost limb regrows in 2d4 rounds. The severed body part almost immediately rots away to nothingness, most likely returning to the reality in which it originated.
Alien Spectrum (Ex) – When the Throne uses the prismatic spray or prismatic wall spell-like abilities, they manifest as alternate colors that have no analog in our reality. Merely observing one of these two spell-like abilities forces the viewer to make a DC 54 Will save or be sickened for 4d6 rounds. The DC is Charisma-based. Success means the viewer is immune to this effect for the duration of the encounter. Otherwise it must roll the save every time it views one of these two abilities until it succeeds.
Gaze from Beyond (Su) – Mherephess’s single eye, hidden behind a face-like lid on the feminine form on the front of the Throne, emits invisible waves of otherworldly energy that fills inhabitants of our dimension with feelings of insurmountable unease and revulsion. These waves extend in a 100 ft cone, and cause anyone caught within them to make a DC 54 Will save or be nauseated as long as they are within the cone, plus 1 additional round afterwards. The DC is Charisma based. Each round, Mherephess can decide whether to leave this special attack active (by opening or closing the eye), though it rarely has reason not to.
Impale (Ex) – The powerful, cable-like muscles of the Throne’s two spidery limbs can propel the creature’s absurdly long, keen talons at frightening speeds. On a successful critical hit, the talon pierces clear through the opponent before quickly being snapped back into a ready position. The opponent must make a DC 50 Fort save or lose half its current hit point total. After the save is rolled, whether successful or not, the opponent still takes the normal critical damage. The save DC is Strength-based.
Multitasking (Ex) – The feminine shape on the Throne is able to use spell-like abilities independently of the talons’ physical attacks. The Throne is able to cast one spell-like ability that normally has a casting time of one standard action or less as part of a full attack action.
Spell-like Abilities (Su) – at will – ethereal jaunt, greater dispel magic (DC 38), greater shout (DC 40), plane shift (DC 39), prismatic spray (DC 39), protection from arrows, scintillating pattern, slow (DC 35), waves of exhaustion (DC 39); 5/day – banishment (DC 39), imprisonment (DC 41), prismatic wall (DC 40), reverse gravity (DC 39), spell turning; 3/day – time stop; 1/day – implosion (DC 41). Caster level 35th, save DCs are Charisma-based.
Constrict (Ex) – The Sign deals automatic tentacle damage with a successful grapple check.
Elder Sign (Su) – A large, alien symbol for which the Sign gains its name is prominently inscribed in the undulating flesh between the nine tentacles. Anyone gazing upon this symbol must make a DC 56 Will save or be affected by a symbol of insanity. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Improved Grab (Ex) – To use this ability, the Sign must hit with one of its tentacle attacks. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can constrict.
Rend (Ex) – If the Sign hits a single opponent with two or more tentacle attacks, it latches onto the body and attempts to pull it apart. This attack automatically deals an extra 2d8+36 points of damage.
Improved Grab (Ex) – To use this ability, the Maw must hit a creature with its stinger. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check with its stinger, the pincers around the stinger clamp down on the target and establish a hold, dealing automatic stinger damage each round the hold is maintained. In addition, the Maw can opt to swallow the opponent in the following round.
Poison (Ex) – Injury, Fortitude DC 51, initial damage 1d6 Con, secondary damage instant death. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Swallow Whole (Ex) – When the Maw begins its turn with a grappled opponent of Huge size or smaller in the stinger’s pincers, it can reel in the stinger and swallow the opponent with a successful grapple check. Normally a creature can only swallow an opponent at least one size category smaller, but the Gape of the Serpent feat allows the Maw to swallow creatures its own size or smaller. Once inside, the opponent is affected as though by a disintegrate spell cast at 35th level (Fortitude save DC 51, save DC is Constitution-based) each round until it escapes. This effect is the product of Mherephess’s alien biology and is not magical in nature. It is unclear how, or even if, Mherephess receives nourishment from this pseudo-digestion.
A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 50 points of damage to the gullet’s inner walls (AC 35). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole, so another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out. The Maw’s interior exists in another dimension, and can hold an unlimited number of opponents, but creatures who cut their way out always emerge in a square adjacent to the Maw.