Lamashtu worship, gender and sexuality


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


First up, a disclaimer: I do not think that homosexuality and transsexuality are the same thing. Nor do I, or would I ever, advocate the forcible gender reassignment of homosexuals.

The reason I wanted to get that out of the way is because I've been thinking about Lamashtu, the Chaotic Evil goddess of fertility and miscegenation, and it seems uncomfortably likely that she does not approve of worshippers coupling with the same sex, or with attempting to play the role of the opposite sex whilst lacking the equipment to successfully breed in that role.

Does anyone else get the feeling that this would be the case?

After all, Lamashtu's worship, at its core, is all about producing an endless array of new spawn to fight, bleed, breed and die in turn. It is nature at its most perverse and rampant, essentially. Thusly, as much as I find the idea abhorrent - but then, this *is* a Religion of Evil - it seems logical that Lamashtu would abhor those whose sexuality or gender dysphoria leads to them not doing their part and breeding. Especially since infertility is seen as a sign of severe disfavor from Lamashtu.

Similarly, it makes unpleasant sense that Lamashtan priests would be quick to use various torments to "enlighten" the faithful as to their proper place. Additionally, or alternatively, the more merciful-feeling priests - or those confronted when otherwise highly valuable servants of the cult have improper attitudes - might use magic to "correct" the problem. Forcibly gender-shifting the homosexual, for example.

On a divergent strain of thought...

* Does anyone else think that a functional hermaphrodite gender, capable of simultaneously bearing and fathering offspring, would be the equivalent of the holy grail to a Lamashtan cult?

* In the Mythic Realms splat, mention is made of male pregnancy, as part of Multh's attempt to breed a new Spawn of Rovagug. Given Lamashtu's interests can be summed up as madness, mutation and corrupt fertility, does anyone think it likely that spells, artefacts or whatever allowing men to be impregnated would be something Lamashtu's faithful would either seek or possess?

* Finally, would a Lamashtu cult make use of gender modifying and/or male impregnation spells/effects/etc as a way of striking against the cult's enemies? I don't know, something like luring the city's gender dysphorics into their arms by promising to remake them into what they should have been, or striking chaos into the heart of the city's defenders when the Lord Mayor suddenly and dramatically balloons with child in the middle of a meeting and messily (if not fatally) gives birth to a monstrous child, seems weirdly appropriate to a demonic fertility/pleasure cult.


On the one hand, yes, it would stand to reason that Lamashtu would not be a fan of homosexuality. Of course, Lamashtu worship, to put it delicately, isn't really about everyone involved having a good time, so, it really would only come up as an issue if one were, for some reason, inclined to become a cleric of Lamashtu while also being unwilling to engage in the necessary steps to get those monster babies out there. Really though, I doubt most worshippers of Lamashtu are particularly attracted to yeth hounds, or goblins with vestigial arms, or blind tumor-covered boggards, or whatever else happens to wander by. Everyone's just expected to take one for the team now and then.

Really though, being as Lamashtu is chaotic evil, and she's also the goddess of madness, trying to "convert" people really doesn't seem like something her faithful would do, both from lack of inclination, and frankly just not having their acts together enough to set up any sort of brainwashing system. So... if the hypothetical would-be cleric here really wasn't into the be fruitful and multiply side of things, nobody's going to get on their case about it beyond any signs sent from Lamashtu herself that they aren't representing things properly.

Magical means of sex-swappery meanwhile seem like something the average worshipper would appreciate having access to if they were to come across them though, yeah.


Of course, even homosexuals can have hetero sex. It's just not their preference. You do your duty, lie back and think of Lamashtu, and the rest of the time you can have fun your preferred way.


Lamashtu isn't going to be a big fan of non-procreative sex. But she's the mother of monsters, I'd think she would work around that - maybe a female Lamshtite priestess might spontaneously grow male genitalia in order to impregnate a female consort/victim, the kind of thing that happens in Japanese hentai. Likewise a male victim/consort might find himself impregnated, with something nasty growing in his bowels/stomach.


S'mon wrote:
Lamashtu isn't going to be a big fan of non-procreative sex. But she's the mother of monsters, I'd think she would work around that - maybe a female Lamshtite priestess might spontaneously grow male genitalia in order to impregnate a female consort/victim, the kind of thing that happens in Japanese hentai. Likewise a male victim/consort might find himself impregnated, with something nasty growing in his bowels/stomach.

IIRC, the second thing is canon.


Generally speaking I would assume it would btech the norm for a primary fertility diety to btech antihomosexuality. It is counter productive gp th primary goal PFS a fertility diety. However that statement is too simplistic in rl and moreso when dealing with th mother of monsters.

Given there are multiple game exsmples of her worshippers impregnating men I can't see why shed oppose homosexuality. As for hermaphtoditism? in fantasy literature that tends to approach slaanesh territory which is probsbly an area paizo is unlikely to explore.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

We've had at least one hermaphrodite character in print so far that I know of... I know, cause I put that character there.


Mojorat wrote:


Given there are multiple game examples of her worshippers impregnating men I can't see why she'd oppose homosexuality.

"Multiple examples of Lamashtu worshippers impregnating men"? Really? Where are they? As I mentioned in my opening post, the only case of this in Golarion that I'm aware of is the story of Multh's attempt to create a new Spawn of Rovagug, from Mythic Realms.


Off the top of my head there is a module under katapesh with gnolls on the cover. I believe it has this. I'm afraid I cannot remember the name I cam check the info when I am home later. But I'm positive I have at least 1 example.

Although I don't think there is anything homosexual in it they ate just using vile magic.


Play Broken Chains and most of this will answer itself


Yeah that's the one. I couldn't remember the name this morning.


About hermaphrodites, if we're speaking canon, there are also the Asura-spawn (Faultspawn) tieflings. In Blood of Fiends it's said:"Physically, asura-spawn tend to have both masculine
and feminine traits, their relative androgyny proving that
havoc and deceit are not limited by one’s sex. A considerable
number of asura-spawn are even born hermaphrodites."

Better not tell this to those crazy Lamashtian, or we'll give them ideas D:


Googleshng wrote:
Really though, being as Lamashtu is chaotic evil, and she's also the goddess of madness, trying to "convert" people really doesn't seem like something her faithful would do, both from lack of inclination, and frankly just not having their acts together enough to set up any sort of brainwashing system. So... if the hypothetical would-be cleric here really wasn't into the be fruitful and multiply side of things, nobody's going to get on their case about it beyond any signs sent from Lamashtu herself that they aren't representing things properly.

I'd disagree. If I remember correctly the obedience for Lamashtu requires you to have sex with the sincere intention of causing pregnancy. If you're not trying to create spawn, I hesitate to call some of the results children, you're doing it wrong, and that means change your ways or we'll change them for you. Chaotic doesn't mean they don't have strong principles or directives that they try to force on the world. Brainwashing isn't required, just rape.


^ What he said, sadly.


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One should probably take the EVIL half of Laashtu's alignment seriously.

Evil: it's not just fun and games without consequences...

Shadow Lodge

I get the idea that "coupling" when you are a cultist of Lamashtu is not getting a room and having sex with one person that strikes your fancy.
More like... you are in a cave partecipating in an orgy that includes males, females, hermaphrodites, beasts, monstuous humanoids, aberration and other weird stuff.
Sounds more something like: every hole available gets randomly stuffed with something and whatever manages to get pregnant gets pregnant.


Lloyd Jackson wrote:
Googleshng wrote:
Really though, being as Lamashtu is chaotic evil, and she's also the goddess of madness, trying to "convert" people really doesn't seem like something her faithful would do, both from lack of inclination, and frankly just not having their acts together enough to set up any sort of brainwashing system. So... if the hypothetical would-be cleric here really wasn't into the be fruitful and multiply side of things, nobody's going to get on their case about it beyond any signs sent from Lamashtu herself that they aren't representing things properly.
I'd disagree. If I remember correctly the obedience for Lamashtu requires you to have sex with the sincere intention of causing pregnancy. If you're not trying to create spawn, I hesitate to call some of the results children, you're doing it wrong, and that means change your ways or we'll change them for you. Chaotic doesn't mean they don't have strong principles or directives that they try to force on the world. Brainwashing isn't required, just rape.

The last sentence there is kind of the crux of the issue here. There is a basic respect for personal freedom involved in being chaotic that generally goes against making sure people think the way you think or act the way you act, so I don't see brainwashing as on the table.

Now, the other side of that coin is that being chaotic means nobody's gonna tell you what you can and cannot do, and being evil means you don't really care how your actions affect other people, so the reluctant Lamashtan here is totally going to get dragged into things if there's any other clergy about, but it's not about trying to get them to come around on their adherence to the tenets of the religion, that's just them practicing and grabbing whatever partner may be in sight. Which I already covered in the paragraph above what you quoted, I'm just trying to be tactful in how I'm phrasing these things.


Googleshng wrote:
There is a basic respect for personal freedom involved in being chaotic

Wow, is this some kind of Chaoticist propaganda? >:D "We'll rape you to death, but at least we have a basic respect for your personal freedom!"

CE IMO is Crowleyan "Do What Thou Wilt" - there isn't really any 'respect' involved; if 'wilt' includes mind-controlling unwilling victims, sucks to be them.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would think "basic respect for personal freedom" is more a chaotic good and some chaotic neutral opinion. Chaotic evil doesn't care about other people's freedom, and is a selfish "I can do what I want" attitude.


Lamashtu is about perversion and the unnatural. If you're sleeping with someone of the same species and opposite sex, you're doing it wrong. Anything else is probably somewhere on the okay list. Emphasis would be on breaking and mocking societal, cultural and species norms: human and elf - too acceptable; human and boggard, now we're talking. There are a lot of ways to make a monster or be monstrous. The Lamashtu version of 50 Shades of Grey is not something we should think about :)


"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, love is the law, love under will." That's the law of Thelema. Definitely more Chaotic Good than CE or CN.


Googleshng wrote:
Lloyd Jackson wrote:
Googleshng wrote:
Really though, being as Lamashtu is chaotic evil, and she's also the goddess of madness, trying to "convert" people really doesn't seem like something her faithful would do, both from lack of inclination, and frankly just not having their acts together enough to set up any sort of brainwashing system. So... if the hypothetical would-be cleric here really wasn't into the be fruitful and multiply side of things, nobody's going to get on their case about it beyond any signs sent from Lamashtu herself that they aren't representing things properly.
I'd disagree. If I remember correctly the obedience for Lamashtu requires you to have sex with the sincere intention of causing pregnancy. If you're not trying to create spawn, I hesitate to call some of the results children, you're doing it wrong, and that means change your ways or we'll change them for you. Chaotic doesn't mean they don't have strong principles or directives that they try to force on the world. Brainwashing isn't required, just rape.

The last sentence there is kind of the crux of the issue here. There is a basic respect for personal freedom involved in being chaotic that generally goes against making sure people think the way you think or act the way you act, so I don't see brainwashing as on the table.

Now, the other side of that coin is that being chaotic means nobody's gonna tell you what you can and cannot do, and being evil means you don't really care how your actions affect other people, so the reluctant Lamashtan here is totally going to get dragged into things if there's any other clergy about, but it's not about trying to get them to come around on their adherence to the tenets of the religion, that's just them practicing and grabbing whatever partner may be in sight. Which I already covered in the paragraph above what you quoted, I'm just trying to be tactful in how I'm phrasing these things.

Agreeing with Jawa here. Respect for personal freedom is a good characteristic, rather than a chaotic one. The articles on the demon lords, Kostchtchie being a particularly good example, show they are all usually actively involved in recruiting people into their cult, and, to the extent their power allows, forcing their way of thinking on others.


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QuietBrowser wrote:

First up, a disclaimer: I do not think that homosexuality and transsexuality are the same thing. Nor do I, or would I ever, advocate the forcible gender reassignment of homosexuals.

The reason I wanted to get that out of the way is because I've been thinking about Lamashtu, the Chaotic Evil goddess of fertility and miscegenation, and it seems uncomfortably likely that she does not approve of worshippers coupling with the same sex, or with attempting to play the role of the opposite sex whilst lacking the equipment to successfully breed in that role.

You've got to ask yourself if you're thinking Eldritch Abomination enough. Lamashtu's attitude towards sex is "Yes, and I don't care if you want to or not". And she'll make it work. And that's horrifying. You know why there are all those weird chimeras and half-this and half-that's out there? Lamashtu makes it work. You know why you can stick a template on anything and turn it into a variant monster? That's Lamashtu. You know where dire critters come from? Lamashtu out cruising for booty on a saturday night.

Lamashtu is *horrifying*. It is a monster in every sense of the word. It exists to create and foster abominations in violation of what would otherwise be the laws of nature and reality.

Basically - When Lamashtu is involved there is no such thing as non-procreative sex. It'll work, even when it shouldn't. Even when it physically can't. The words "Midwife to the Apocalypse" spring to mind.

So yeah, in my game world? There's always a chance, maybe not a good chance, but a chance, that anything can produce fertile offspring with anything else. And, you know, most of the time that just results in weird chimeras and hybrids - cat-people, half-elves, ligers, centaurs. Sort of weird, and it'd probably be impolite to ask "So how did your parents meet?" at dinner, but nothing to really worry about. Unless Lamashtu actively takes notice. Because the passive "surprise fertility" thing, you know, it's strange, but it's not really insidious. But when Lamashtu takes an interest, that's when things get proper horrorshow. That's where dire creatures come from, and why they never seem to die out despite having tiny populations. It's why most breeds of monsters never die out even though they don't have enough numbers to maintain population and they're so psychotically violent they rarely live long enough to meet a possible mate. Lamashtu is out there, somewhere, making more of them. Personally. Squick.

Speaking of "50 shades of Grey" there's actually a holy book kicking around my version of Golarion called "The Three Hundred and Nine Children of Lamashtu". It's... well... 309 religious stories or parables about the origins of different kinds of monsters. And it's illustrated. And if you try to read it you're going to be making a lot of will saves to avoid the "Sickened" condition. There are only a few copies and due to the book's value as a treatise for monster hunters they tend to change hands between Lamashtu cultists, Hellknight monster hunters, and various other monster-killing orders on a fairly regular basis. Rumors that the book is cursed and can engender horrific mutations in those that read it are just probably just rumors, but it's still recommended that pregnant women stay away.


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Latrecis wrote:
The Lamashtu version of 50 Shades of Grey is not something we should think about :)

Look, let's be honest. It's Lamashtu.

There's way more than fifty...


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Darkainia

I'm going to leave this here, just in case you wanted to see what Lamashtu's crunch might look like.

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