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A Qliphoth is the ultimate failure of Awakened aspiration and one of the greatest threats to the Awakened regardless of power rank.
Each Qliphoth was once a mage that aspired to archmastery, but failed to pass the Threshold and fell into the Abyss instead. In contrast to Aswadim, who have sworn themselves to the Void after passing the Threshold, Qliphoth are mindless beings, resembling a Possessed more than a human. Their souls have been filled with the anti-reality of the Abyss, where once would have been their Road, and are breeding grounds of abyssal intruders. The remnant of the mage that became the Qliphoth is trapped in a world resembling his location but twisted by every intruder infecting him while he suffers endless Paradoxes, is warped beyond recognition by Branding, and is driven insane by Bedlam. Abyssal intruders can reach through him to affect the Fallen World as they please and can even use the Qliphoth to maneuver across the Tapestry as the original mage’s powers allowed it.
Qliphoths can infect mages that cause Paradox while near them. The soul of the mage is then brought into resonance with the Qliphoth, so that reality for him begins to be overlaid with the devastated world the Qliphoth experiences. Sleepers who invoke Disbelief within range are absorbed in the same way. Archmages can escape on their Golden Road, while normal mages and Sleepers remain trapped within the abyssal soulscape of the Qliphoth until it is destroyed. A Qliphoth can only be destroyed by finding the remnant of the mage who originally fell within the world simulated by the Abyss and kill it. To achieve this, one has to be infected oneself.