The Shoth

Be at peace, lose your bones, be one with the shoth.

The shoth are an aberrant race of oozing humanoids from outside the known planes. Their leader, and namesake, is a creature with god-like powers whose gelatinous body floats like a star in a distant galaxy. The shoth have no home world; instead, they wander the universe inside massive oozing vessels capable of interplanar travel. The largest of these vessels, the Dripping Palace, contains an avatar of Shoth itself.

The singular purpose of Shoth, and therefore all the shoth, is to dissolve willing, sentient life in great bubbling pools called zolvs. Far from being war-like and dominating, the shoth instead form close relationships with creatures, assisting those creatures in whatever way they can. The shoth provide assistance, wisdom, riches, and guidance until the object of their attention accepts the greatest offer the shoth can make—absolute co-mingling. In this way, the shoth increase both their knowledge and their numbers. They have been known to work for a millennia or more before making the offer of the zolv.

The process of dissolving oneself in a zolv is not painful or unpleasant. The creature wades into the thick protein bath and is flooded with calm and peaceful emotions. Slowly, the creature submerges itself, and its body is dissolved, rising again as a vaguely-humanoid ooze.

The shoth follow a strict code of laws recorded in magical spheres called zoms. Each shoth carries its own zom, to which it telepathically refers often. Only the shoth can fully understand the zom’s sigils and sounds, though magic such as the comprehend languages spell gives the caster some measure of understanding. The laws of Shoth are actually the collected wisdom of all the disparate sentient species who have been dissolved over the aeons.

The shoth divide themselves into different castes according to their age. Newly dissolved shoth are called soozes, while shoth who have persisted a century or more earn the title oth. These elders serve as generals in the shoth armies or as scholarly wizards who pursue magical knowledge to add to the collective. The few who live for 500 years or more become droths. These massive piles of ooze no longer appear humanoid, instead looking like smaller versions of Shoth itself. Droths are required for the creation of zolvs and, therefore, are usually the last to arrive to a world.

Trustworthy. The shoth are true to their word. They are interested in gaining the trust of others and do not employ trickery, deception, or intimidation to obtain it. Once the shoth have targeted a creature or group for dissolution, they are true friends and allies.

Never by Force. Though the shoth have many laws recorded in the zoms, the overarching law states that creatures must agree to be dissolved without force or coercion. The zolv is the last step in the relationship, and it is never offered before the shoth are confident the creature will accept.

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