lamashtu

“Her hands are stained with flesh and blood.” (TCL 6 49 r.13-29)

This incantation includes a common magical element: a deity showing how to solve a problem, so the petitioner can follow their example.  In this case, the demoness Lamashtu is diverted from her bloodlust by equipping her to be an ordinary woman rather than a monster.


<incantation>

She is furious, she is fierce, she is divine, she is dazzling —
        and she is a she-wolf, the daughter of Anu!
Her feet are talons [1]; her hands are unclean;
        her face looks like the face of a savage lion.
She rose up from a reed-thicket,
        her hair hanging loose, her panties cut away.
She travels the tracks of cattle; she follows the tracks of sheep.
        Her hands are stained with flesh and blood.
She enters through the window;
        she slithers in like a snake.
She moves in and out of houses.

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Amulet depicting Lamashtu

Assyrian, Mesopotamia, 883–612 B.C. (Neo-Assyrian Period)

Polished black stone medicinal amulet incised with an image of the lion-headed, bird-clawed demon Lamashtu, filled with reddish-white paste. Such amulets were worn by pregnant women to protect them from the demon Lamashtu, who was believed to kill newborn infants and take them for herself. Expectant mothers bribed her away with small offerings of combs and fibulae (brooches shaped like safety pins). These gifts and a clay image of Lamashtu were ritually set adrift in a model boat that, it was hoped, would take her back to the Netherworld. This amulet shows Lamashtu, pregnant herself and suckling a dog and a pig, sailing away on her boat and holding her new comb and fibula. 

Source: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Neo-Assyrian Lamashtu Amulet, c. 8th-7th Century BC

One side of the carnelian stone has an image of the demon Lamashtu, with a human body and a feline head, standing to the right in a boat, her arms outstretched, holding a spindle in her left hand and a comb in her right, her mouth open. The other side has a cuneiform inscription on the face and continuing up over the flange, reading “Lamashtu, daughter of An, chosen by the gods, lady, most noble of ladies.”

In Mesopotamian mythology Lamashtu was a female demon, monster, malevolent goddess or demigoddess who menaced women during childbirth and, if possible, kidnapped children while they were breastfeeding. She would gnaw on their bones and suck their blood, as well as being charged with a number of other evil deeds. She was a daughter of the Sky God Anu. Lamashtu is depicted as a hybrid, with a hairy body, a lioness’ head with donkey’s teeth and ears, long fingers and fingernails, and the feet of a bird with sharp talons. She is often shown standing or kneeling on a donkey, nursing a pig and a dog, and holding snakes. She thus bears some functions and resemblance to the Mesopotamian demon Lilith. Amulets of this sort were worn by mothers to protect them and their babies.

MYTHOLOGY MEME || Demi-Gods (¾) Lamashtu

In Mesopotamian mythology, Lamashtu (known to the Sumerians as “Dimme”) was the daughter of Anu, the sky god, and a demon who sought to harm pregnant women, babies, and children. She was also said to bring nightmares, kill plants, and spread pestilence.

She had the head of a lion, the ears and teeth of a donkey, long fingernails, and the feet of a bird. Pregnant Mesopotamian women often wore amulets of Pazuzu, Lamashtu’s rival (though he was sometimes depicted as her husband) for protection.

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Assyrian Dark Brown Diorite Lamashtu Plaque.
Assyria; 8th-7th Century BC; Height 1.6 inches; Width 2.1 inches.

This dark brown diorite magical plaque is finely carved in high raised relief on both sides with protective scenes concerning disease and healing. It contains the upper half of the original plaque with a drilled suspension hole.

Front: the female bringer of disease, Lamashtu, is shown standing in the nude with the head of a roaring lion and donkey ears. She is preserved from the stomach up. She holds two double-headed snakes in each of her raised hands as she suckles dogs at her naked breasts. Above her are images of a sick bedridden man and a bowl. A lit lamp and a tall vase are on her right and left sides.

Back: a procession of seven demons with human bodies and animal heads moves to the right. At the head of the line, a lion-headed demon holds a knife in his raised right hand, approaching an altar with a bird. He grasps the bird’s feet in its left hand, and is about to sacrifice it. In the sky are symbols of four Assyrian astral divinities including (from left to right): Sin (crescent moon), Pleiades (seven dots), Ishtar (eight-pointed star on disc) and Ashur (winged sun disc), the state god of Assyria.

This rare magical plaque was used to ward off Lamashtu and the diseases she brought. Similar examples can be found in the collection of the British Museum in London.

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Assyrian Magic Lamashtu Plaque, 8th-7th Century BC

This dark brown diorite magical plaque is finely carved in high raised relief on both sides with protective scenes concerning disease and healing. It contains the upper half of the original plaque with a drilled suspension hole.

Front: the female bringer of disease, Lamashtu, is shown standing in the nude with the head of a roaring lion and donkey ears. She is preserved from the stomach up. She holds two double-headed snakes in each of her raised hands as she suckles dogs at her naked breasts. Above her are images of a sick bedridden man and a bowl. A lit lamp and a tall vase are on her right and left sides.

Back: a procession of seven demons with human bodies and animal heads moves to the right. At the head of the line, a lion-headed demon holds a knife in his raised right hand, approaching an altar with a bird. He grasps the bird’s feet in its left hand, and is about to sacrifice it. In the sky are symbols of four Assyrian astral divinities including (from left to right): Sin (crescent moon), Pleiades (seven dots), Ishtar (eight-pointed star on disc) and Ashur (winged sun disc), the state god of Assyria.

This rare magical plaque was used to ward off Lamashtu and the diseases she brought. A similar example can be found in the collection of the Louvre Museum.

Lamashtu was a Mesopotamian demon who terrorized pregnant women and kidnapped children (and helped catalyze modern vampire mythology).

From the TED-Ed Lesson Vampires: Folklore, fantasy and fact - Michael Molina

Animation by The Moving Company Animation Studio

In Mesopotamian mythology, Lamashtu was a female demon, monster, malevolent goddess or demigoddess who menaced women during childbirth and, if possible, kidnapped children while they were breastfeeding. She would gnaw on their bones and suck their blood, as well as being charged with a number of other evil deeds. She was a daughter of the Sky God Anu.

Lamashtu is depicted as a mythological hybrid, with a hairy body, a lioness’ head with donkey’s teeth and ears, long fingers and fingernails, and the feet of a bird with sharp talons. She is often shown standing or kneeling on a donkey, nursing a pig and a dog, and holding snakes. She thus bears some functions and resemblance to the Mesopotamian demon Lilith.

Happy Muurvaerid, Old Son of Flood & Fallow, Lamashtu’s Wet & Grinning Bastard

Happy Muurvaerid, Old Son of Flood & Fallow, Lamashtu’s Wet & Grinning Bastard – CR 9; Chaotic Evil Large unique aberration; amalgam creature: ankheg / annis hag hydrokineticist 6; Burn 3 or higher

Init: +1; Senses: Perception +21, darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; tremorsense 60 ft.; Blind-Fight

AC: 21 [29/26/34]; touch 12, flat-footed 20 [28/25/33] (+2 deflection, +1 Dexterity, +9 natural, -1 size); additional +8 armor bonus / +5 shield bonus / or both from Shroud of Water [noted above].

Happy Muurvaerid may change the type of his Shroud of Water armor class bonus as a standard action. Whenever Happy Muurvaerid accepts Burn while using a water wild talent, his Shroud grants both the armor bonus and the shield bonus above for 1 round. Happy Muurvaerid can dismiss or restore this effect as an immediate action.

Hit Points: 178 (13d8+104); 18+ points of nonlethal damage (gains 6 points of nonlethal damage per point of Burn accepted; can accept a max of 11 Burn)

Fort +17, Ref +8, Will +8

Damage Reduction 5/bashing; Spell Resistance 17; Fortification 15% or higher; +5% Fortification per point of Burn over 3 (55% max)

Speed: 40 ft. (+10 ft. across level ground; +20 ft. downhill); Burrow 20 ft.; Swim 20 ft.

Melee: Bite +16 (2d6+8 +1d4 acid plus grab) and two claws +16/+16 (1d6+8 plus grab; Rend (2d6+12), see below

– or Power Attack bite +13 (2d6+14 +1d4 acid plus grab) and two claws +13/+13 (1d6+14) plus grab; Rend (2d6+12)

If using his Kinetic Fist form infusion (base Burn cost 1; may be reduced to 0 by Infusion Specialization, see below), each natural attack of Happy Muurvaerid – including his Rend – deals +1d6 blast damage and may demoralize or render the opponent flat-footed to him.

10 ft. space; 10 ft. reach

Ranged: Water Blast +11 (3d6+15); 0 base Burn cost, 30 ft. range

– or Torrent Form Infusion (30 ft. line, base Burn cost 2); deals ½ normal Water Blast damage to all creatures in the area, Reflex save DC 14 for half

Metakinesis: by accepting 1 additional point of Burn as a free action while using any blast, Happy Muurvaerid can empower his kinetic blast as if using the Empower Spell feat.

Mask of Raw Divinity: Whenever Happy Muurvaerid damages an opponent with a kinetic blast – including Kinetic Fist – he may make an immediate Intimidate check as a swift action to attempt to demoralize his opponent. Any shaken, frightened, or panicked opponent hit by the kinetic blast of Happy Muurvaerid is flat-footed to his attacks until the end of his next turn.

Happy Muurvaerid may choose to take a –5 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks (not included above) to daze opponents hit with his kinetic blast for 1 round, in addition to the normal damage dealt by the attack. A successful Fortitude save (DC 24) negates this daze effect; Happy Muurvaerid must choose to use this ability before making his attack roll, and its effects last until the beginning of his next turn.

BURN SPECIAL: Whenever Happy Muurvaerid accepts a point of Burn – including by use of the Internal Buffer class feature – or negates a point of Burn via the Gather Power class ability, he automatically attempts a bull rush combat maneuver check against all creatures within 30 ft. He adds his current Burn total to this roll.

This effect can only push a creature back by a maximum of 10 feet. Neither hags nor changelings can be pushed in this way.

Happy Muurvaerid then automatically attempts a trip combat maneuver check against any creature successfully pushed back 10 feet by this effect, again adding his current Burn total to the roll.

A creature knocked prone by this effect must succeed at a DC 24 Reflex save or suffer ¼ of 3d6 + 15 damage. Movement due to these effects does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +7)

TACTICS

Before Combat: Happy Muurvaerid begins each morning with zero Burn, but he is most effective – in his own estimation – with 3 or more points of Burn in his system. For this reason, upon waking each morning he immediately accepts 3 points of Burn to enhance his Shroud of Water ability to its absolute maximum power-level, as included above.

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The Vampire King is Lamashtu

Y’all I think the Vampire King from Adventure Time’s Staked miniseries is a reference to one of the oldest vampire(ish) myths of a creature called Lamashtu. I thought it was super weird that the VK had a lion’s head, but I was watching a Ted-Ed video and noticed that this early stage on the evolutionary chain of the vampire mythos bore a striking resemblance to the character design. 

Sources: 

http://adventuretime.wikia.com/wiki/Vampire_King

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamashtu

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0ThKRmySoU