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Herald, Mother's Maw

This skull is as large as an ogre and surrounded by buzzing flies. Its bat wings are too small to actually carry it, yet it moves through the air as easily as a bird. It is surrounded by the stink of rotting meat, spice, and perfume.

Mother's Maw CR 15

Source Pathfinder #47: Ashes at Dawn pg. 82
XP 51,200
NE Large undead (evil, extraplanar)
Init +11; Senses darkvision 60 ft., lifesense, scent; Perception +28
Aura desecrate


AC 30, touch 16, flat-footed 23 (+7 Dex, +14 natural, -1 size)
hp 230 (20d8+140); fast healing 5 or 20 (see Devour Soul)
Fort +13, Ref +16, Will +18
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4; DR 15/bludgeoning and good; Immune cold, electricity, undead traits; Resist fire 30; SR 26


Speed 10 ft., fly 40 ft. (average)
Melee bite +26 (5d6+17/19-20 plus 1d10 bleed, 1d6 Con drain, grab, and mummy rot [DC 26])
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (60-ft. cone, 15d6 negative energy, Reflex DC 26 half, usable every 1d4 rounds), channel negative energy 9/day (DC 19, 6d6), devour soul, swallow whole (special acid damage, AC 17, 20 hp)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +18)
Constant - desecrate
At will - contagion (DC 19), dimension door, ghoul hunger (DC 18), inflict critical wounds (DC 20)
1/day - animate dead, create undead, eyebite (DC 22), plane shift


Str 33, Dex 25, Con —, Int 21, Wis 20, Cha 22
Base Atk +15; CMB +27 (+31 grapple); CMD 44 (can't be tripped)
Feats Cleave, Command UndeadB, Critical Focus, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Improved Iron Will, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Staggering Critical, Stunning CriticalB, Toughness
Skills Acrobatics +27 (+19 jump), Fly +28, Intimidate +29, Knowledge (planes) +25, Knowledge (religion) +28, Perception +28, Profession (cook) +25, Sense Motive +28, Stealth +26
SQ deathless, true herald

Special Abilities

Constitution Drain (Su) Creatures that are hit by the Maw’s bite must succeed at a DC 26 Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of Constitution drain. On each successful attack, the herald gains 5 temporary hit points. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Create Spawn (Su) Any creature slain by the Maw (including those that die from any of its special attacks or disease) rises 1 round later as a bloody skeleton loyal to the herald.

Deathless (Su) The Maw is destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points, but it returns to unlife 1 hour later at 1 hit point, allowing its fast healing to resume healing it thereafter. The Maw can be permanently destroyed if it is destroyed by positive energy, if it is reduced to 0 hit points in the area of a bless or hallow spell, or if its remains are sprinkled with 20 vials of holy water.

Desecrate (Sp) The bonuses from the Maw’s constant desecrate spell-like ability (always centered on it) are calculated into the stats above.

Devour Soul (Su) By using its swallow whole ability, the herald can deal 12d6+18 points of damage to a swallowed creature as if using a slay living spell. A DC 21 Fortitude save reduces this damage to 3d6+18. A swallowed creature must make this save every round on the herald’s turn. The soul of a creature slain by this attack becomes trapped within the herald’s skull (the creature’s body is regurgitated immediately as a mangled wreck of shattered bone and chewed meat). The creature cannot be brought back to life until the herald’s destruction (or a spell deflection—see below) releases its soul. The Maw can hold only one soul at a time. The trapped essence provides the Maw with fast healing 20, lasting 1 round for every Hit Die of the devoured soul. The trapped soul gains one permanent negative level for every round it spends within the Maw—these negative levels remain if the creature is brought back to life (but they do not stack with any negative levels imparted by being brought back to life). A soul that is completely consumed may only be restored to life by a miracle or wish spell. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Spell Deflection (Su) If any of the following spells is cast at the Maw and overcomes its spell resistance, it instead affects the devoured soul: banishment, chaos hammer, confusion, crushing despair, detect thoughts, dispel evil, dominate person, fear, geas/quest, holy word, hypnotism, imprisonment, magic jar, maze, suggestion, trap the soul, or any form of charm or compulsion. While none of these effects harms the soul, the caster makes a DC 25 caster level check when a spell is deflected—success indicates that the trapped soul is released from its prison and the creature whose body it belonged to can now be restored to life as normal.

Swallow Whole (Ex) If a creature cuts its way out of the Maw after being swallowed, the Maw can use swallow whole once its fast healing repairs the damage caused by its prey cutting itself free.

True Herald Despite its type and Hit Dice, Mother’s Maw is the herald of Urgathoa. Despite its type and Hit Dice, it can be conjured using the spell greater planar binding.

Vomit Swarm (Su) Once per round as a free action, the Maw can vomit forth a swarm of maggots (use the statistics for army ants on page 16 of the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary) into a square adjacent to it, after which the swarm moves in a direction of the Maw’s choosing. These swarms persist for 10 rounds.


The Mother’s Maw is the herald of Urgathoa. A disgusting undead creature that comes to the mortal realm at the command of the Pallid Princess, it is an unsubtle thing of ravenous hunger, with little purpose but to kill, eat, and animate corpses as undead. Though it is as brilliant as a lich, its only interests are in satisfy its cravings for sensation.

The Maw has little interest in the desires of mortals (or of undead in the mortal world) except for how they intersect with Urgathoa’s orders. If it is necessary to eat a hundred members of her cult, or to drive an entire city of ghouls into a lava pit, the Maw does it. It can speak but finds little worth talking about, so many assume it is as mindless as an animated skeleton. However, when not on a mission of death, disease, or gluttony, it is a font of knowledge about food, wine, exotic scents, and other strange experiences only an undead creature can understand, and is quite willing to speak on these matters to an interested party—assuming the sight of the enormous talking, winged skull isn’t a distraction to listeners.

Although the Maw normally appears as a bare skull, it sometimes covers itself with its swarms. Whether this is out of a morbid sense of humor or an attempt to remember an old sensation from its life is unknown. It has confirmed that it was once a devourer, and before that a living creature, but it does not give further details.

Creatures in "Herald" Category

End's Voice15
Great Elder Iuu15
Hand of the Inheritor15
Latten Mechanism15
Mother’s Maw15
Mother's Maw15
Night Monarch15
Personification of Fury15
Steward of the Skein15
Sunlord Thalachos15
The First Blade15
The Grand Defender15
The Grim White Stag15
The Menotherian15
The Old Man15
The Prince in Chains15
The Spirit of Adoration15
The Stabbing Beast15


Source Inner Sea Gods pg. 274
Heralds are a special class of unique, godly servants. With few exceptions, each of Golarion’s deities has its own herald, a favored minion that serves as a messenger and emissary throughout the planes. Creatures of myth, the heralds’ interventions on the Material Plane mark lives and are events of legend.

Heralds are unique outsiders of approximately CR 15 with 18 or fewer Hit Dice, making them available for summons via greater planar ally. Only a deity’s worshipers can summon its herald; thus, even the most powerful worshiper of Sarenrae can never summon the herald of Iomedae. In addition, only divine spellcasters can summon heralds, preventing arcane casters and spells like planar binding from effectively calling upon such beings. Even if a character proves powerful enough to call out to a herald, a deity has the final say in whether or not its emissary answers a worshiper’s summons, granting its herald’s service only to followers in the most extreme need or whose acts directly further its will.

Herald Subtype: Heralds are unique representatives of their respective gods and sometimes have a specific outsider subtype such as “devil” or “psychopomp” that grants it additional abilities. A herald has the following traits.
  • Always Armed (Su) Heralds can summon their signature weapon as a standard action. If its herald doesn’t have a signature weapon, it can summon any nonmagical weapon as a standard action (including adamantine, etc.); the weapon disappears if it leaves the herald’s grasp.
  • Emissary (Ex) Heralds can always be summoned by the faithful using greater planar ally or gate, regardless of limitations of that spell, even if it’s not an outsider.