Demon Bebilith (Tsuchigumo)

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"Appartion of the Spider Princess", an 1887 woodblock print by Yoshitoshi. It depicts Sakata Kintoki (left) sleeping in the chamber of his master Minamoto no Raiko, which is being secretly visited by a Tsuchigumo woman.

"Appartion of the Spider Princess", an 1887 woodblock print by Yoshitoshi. It depicts Sakata Kintoki (left) sleeping in the chamber of his master Minamoto no Raiko, which is being secretly visited by a Tsuchigumo woman.

The Tsuchigumo lives in the Japanese Alps. The name means "ground spider", likely due to perceived physical traits that were later exaggerated or embellished.

Bio

earth spider depiction by Kuniyoshi Ichiyusai

earth spider depiction by Kuniyoshi Ichiyusai

A spider-limbed monster of the same name appears in some Japanese folktales, which possibly were mythical retellings of battles against these peoples. According to Japanese History, Japanese people used "Tsuchigumo" as a derogatory term for bandits and thieves, akin to the Tsuchigumo that lived under the ground and in caves.

The most famous example is that of Minamoto no Raiko. In this story, Raiko investigates tales of a giant skull flying through the air. He and his retainers chase the skull, but it eludes them. It is during this chase that he finds a youth named Kintaro. Raiko, impressed by Kintaro's strength, initiated him as one of his retainers and continued on his venture. The search for the skull proves fruitless, and Raiko retires for the night. At the house where they stay, Raiko finds himself feeling ill, and a young servant boy brings him medicine daily, under the pretence of helping him to recover. Raiko continues to grow ill, and begins to suspect the boy of mischief. One day, he waits for the daily visit and then lashes out, striking the boy and causing him to run from the house. This breaks a powerful illusion, and Raiko finds himself covered in a spider's web. His retainers free him, and together they Track down the boy by his trail of blood. They follow it into the mountains, and there find a huge spider, dead from a wound.

There are many alternate tellings of this popular story. In another famous version, instead of being a small boy, the Tsuchigumo appears as a beautiful woman leading an army of Yokai. Raiko's retainers prepare to battle the Yokai, but Raiko avoids them and strikes the woman, causing the Yokai to disappear as if an illusion. He then follows the woman to a cave in the mountains where she transforms into a great spider. After a battle, Raiko splits her open. Even after the Tsuchigumo's death, several thousand spiders the size of human infants are said to have crawled from its belly. Raiko and his retainers claim total victory only after having made sure every last one is slain. Raiko was wielding a sword named "Kumokirimaru" meaning spider-cutter.

Another telling shows the Tsuchigumo in a positive light. In this tale the Tsuchigumo is captured by Raiko. He vows to save Raiko's life three times. In the end he keeps his word. The last time he rescues Raiko he is cast into the sea. some tales say he becomes a crab, another version tells of a rescue of the spider by another demon.

Roleplaying

Illustration of a tsuchigumo (earth spider) being attacked by four legendary warriors, including General Minamoto Raiko- and Sakata Kintoki (Kintaro-). From Japanese Fairy Tales, Second Series, by Lafcadio Hearn.

Illustration of a tsuchigumo (earth spider) being attacked by four legendary warriors, including General Minamoto Raiko- and Sakata Kintoki (Kintaro-). From Japanese Fairy Tales, Second Series, by Lafcadio Hearn.

Bebilith
Huge outsider (Chaotic, Extraplanar, Evil)
Hit Dice 12d8+96 (150 hp)
Initiative+5
Speed40 ft. (8 squares), Climb 20 ft.
Armor Class22 (-2 size, +1 Dexterity, +13 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 21
Base Attack/Grapple +12/+29
AttackBite +19 melee (2d6+9 plus poison) or web +11 ranged
Full AttackBite +19 melee (2d6+9 plus poison) and 2 claws +14 melee (2d4+4); or web +11 ranged
Space/Reach15 ft./10 ft.
Special AttacksPoison, rend armor, web
Special QualitiesDamage reduction 10/good, Darkvision 60 ft., plane shift, Scent, telepathy 100 ft.
SavesFort +16, Ref +9, Will +9
AbilitiesStrength 28, Dexterity 12, Constitution 26, Intelligence 11, Wisdom 13, Charisma 13
SkillsClimb +24, Diplomacy +3, Hide +16, Jump +28, Listen +16, Move Silently +16, Search +15, Sense Motive +16, Spot +16, Survival +1 (+3 following tracks)
Feats Cleave, Improved Initiative, Improved Grapple, Power Attack, Track
EnvironmentA chaotic evil-aligned plane
Organization Solitary
Challenge Rating 10
TreasureNone
Alignment Always chaotic evil
Advancement13-18 HD (Huge); 19-36 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment -

Bebiliths are enormous, predatory, arachnid demons that hunt other demons. A bebilith has a body the size of a plow horse, with legs spanning more than 14 feet. It weighs more than two tons.

Bebiliths understand but do not speak Abyssal. Their telepathy allows them to communicate silently with one another.

COMBAT

A bebilith attacks any creature it sees. It usually picks one target and concentrates its attacks on that opponent, using its webs to isolate the target from its comrades. Should the bebilith become overwhelmed by tougher opponents, it often attempts to bite one or more of its victims and retreats, allowing its poison to do its work.

A bebilith's natural weapons, as well as any weapons it wields, are treated as chaotic-aligned and evil-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 24, initial damage 1d6 Constitution, secondary damage 2d6 Constitution. Bebilith venom is highly perishable, losing its potency and becoming inert, foul-smelling goo almost as soon as it comes into contact with air. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Rend Armor (Ex): If a bebilith hits with both claw attacks, it pulls apart any armor worn by its foe. This attack deals 4d6+18 points of damage to the opponent's armor. Creatures not wearing armor are unaffected by this special attack. Armor reduced to 0 hit points is destroyed. Damaged armor may be repaired with a successful Craft (armorsmithing) check.

Web (Ex): A bebilith can throw a web up to four times per day. This is similar to an attack with a net but has a maximum range of 30 feet, with a range increment of 10 feet. This attack is effective against targets of up to Gargantuan size. The web anchors the target in place, allowing no movement.

An entangled creature can escape with a DC 24 Escape Artist check or burst the web with a DC 24 Strength check. The check DCs are Constitution-based. The web has 14 hit points and hardness 0. There is a 75% chance that the webbing will not burn if any sort of fire is applied to it (check each round).

plane shift (Su): This ability affects only the bebilith. It is otherwise similar to the spell (caster level 12th).

Skills: A bebilith has mottled coloration that gives it a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks.

BEBILITH LORE

Originally Posted by

Dracomortis of the Wizards Community forums.

On this thread

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (the Planes) can learn more about bebiliths. When a character makes a successful skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from the lower DCs. Those who recognize the creature’s ancestry can use Craft (poisonmaking) to learn more.

Knowledge (the Planes)
DC Result

15

This arachnoid creature is a bebilith, a type of demon. This result reveals all outsider and tanar’ri traits.

25

Bebiliths are highly predatory creatures that enjoy hunting other demons, but aren’t picky and won’t pass up the opportunity to hunt other creatures.

30

A bebilith tends to focus on one opponent at a time. If it cannot single out an enemy, it will use bite the creature and retreat, waiting while its poison weakens the victim. In addition to its poisonous bite, a bebilith possesses the ability to rend a foe’s armor, destroying it.

 

Craft (poisonmaking)
DC Result

15

A bebilith’s venom, while extremely potent, is also highly perishable and loses its potency upon contact with the air almost instantaneously.

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