Armanites were a form of tanar'ri demon that raced across the blasted fields of the Abyss in disorganized mercenary companies. They served as the heavy cavalry of demonic armies, charging into battle with savage bloodlust.
Description[edit | edit source]
Armanites looked like undead centaurs with ram or bull horns sticking out from their their brows, standing 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall at their haunches and 10 feet (3 meters) tall overall. Their hauntingly pale complexions were made more eerie by the way their stomach flesh sagged behind them, with older armanites looking practically gutted. Their upper halves seemed sickly, with festering sores covering them, while their lower halves were more muscular contributing to their astonishing weight of 2,600 pounds (1,200 kilograms). Their tails were long, serrated, and covered in the same stiff bristles and spines that constituted their manes, which protruded out from the gaps in their armor. Curved claws and spiked hooves made them all the more terrifying.
All wore full-plate armor that was constructed of demonic chitin and heavier than it might first appear. The black, fluted barding they wore seemed to be more ornamental than utilitarian in purpose.
Some armanite breeds had kangaroo-like lower halves with hands as opposed to front legs, capable of manipulating small items, and weaponry.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Armanites were clannish and territorial demons that forbade any trespassers within their lands. They fully understood their role on the battlefield and savored it, acting with bravery that bordered on foolishness. However, their preferred jobs were ones that offered them the greatest amount of bloodshed with the least personal risk. Despite their excellent service they were also arrogant and fickle beings that were not shy about leaving a battle even at its cusp. If not rewarded the plunder they expected for their services or given orders they didn't like they would desert or even rebel against their employers.
Although they exercised coordination and discipline admirable by even their hated baatezu foes, they were in no sense creatures of order. Armanites were disorganized and quarrelsome, fighting amongst each other when no other enemy was available and enjoying the chaotic nature of group combat. The chaotic nature of group combat was far preferable to them as opposed to individual duels or competitions of skill, and upsetting one was likely to provoke an entire troop. They were most dangerous when not actively engaged in plotting or conflict, as they were not currently expressing their bloodlust yet and were eager for targets. They loathed their goodly counterparts the bariaur and immediately attacked them.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Armanites were practically living weapons with their sharp hooves, talons, and tails allowing them to rip their foes to pieces with ease. Outside of their natural weaponry more powerful armanites could let loose lances of lightning against their enemies. Armanites could also fly by galloping into the air for a maximum of one hour a day. They began flying slowly into the air, seemingly running up an invisible hill, and could not stop or quickly change directions while they did so. If the need arose, armanites could summon a small crowd of dretches or another armanite to their aid.
Combat[edit | edit source]
In addition to their natural weapons many armanites were walking armories, wielding many different weapons kept immaculately clean and covered in Abyssal runes, ranging from crossbows, composite bows, shortbows, lances, halberds, sabres, flails, longspears, flanged maces, and flamberge swords. Although tactically efficient and able to cooperate they depended on the speed of their stampedes rather than timing or planning. They were efficient as mobile shock troops, striking with stunning speed before retreating and striking again. Their aerial charges especially were effective against foot soldiers. After wading into combat they normally switched from their spears or lances to other melee weapons, wildly kicking and rending their opponents throughout the battle. If pressed by sturdier oppositions they attempted to use their lightning abilities to blast their foes apart.
Society[edit | edit source]
The 377th layer of the Abyss was the dwelling place of most armanites, composed of massive plains where huge herds constantly traveled throughout. The layer was run primarily by the armanites with most worshiping and serving under their respective warlords. Warlords often encouraged the formation of these cults, and those that rebelled were normally buried underneath a leafless tree. Sycophants who took the proper initiative had the near suicidal honor of carrying a herd's standard into battle. Every herd of armanites possessed a troupe banner and a banner of their current warlord, such as a diagonal black-and-white slash for Graz'zt or a golden talon with a dark red background for Pazrael. A troupe banner was a unifying symbol amongst armanites and losing it in battle prompted most troupes to feud and disband, joining forces with one of the lords from the Plain of Infinite Portals, or simply align with another troupe.
Throughout the Plains of Gallenshu were independent companies of armanites willing to work as guards, scouts, and messengers or otherwise spread mayhem and acquire loot. They might also equip others for warfare but they never conducted sieges. They had high costs for their services, starting at 100 gold a day and only going up from there. Most herds of armanites were specialized in specific tasks like recruiting archery, skirmishing and other war related skills. Crippled or weak armanites were put down like horses, or enslaved and forced to work as slaves. Those slaves that worked as smiths sometimes earned a reputation great enough to earn the attention of significant Abyssal figures, and were taken by these beings for work. This was known as a Bitter Emancipation by both the slaves and slavemasters, as not only did their herd lose a capable craftsman, but the slave themselves might see themselves be turned to manes if they failed to produce amazing works. Outside of weapons they were also known for being excellent farriers, making outstanding and sometimes magical horseshoes, and some of the best yokes and harnesses in all the planes, Puffed and slashed cloaks, colorful flags and battle standards were also well-made pieces.
All armanite packs were disorderly, but commanded by a charismatic leader who controlled the group through threats and promises. These singular leaders were known as Pathwardens or Knechts, and often provided ranged support to their packs. The loss of a pack's Knecht had a similar result to the loss of a standard, with the armanites rampaging until they were stopped or a new Knecht arose. Armanite towns were run by beings known as Konsuls, masters of up to 100 packs. Some Konsuls were capable spellcasters, and rumors had it that priests were also within their midst. Twenty-four towns of the armanites were known including Amber, Basalt, Bloodstone, Bone, Clay, Cold Iron, Dark Spring, Gray Glass, Jade, Mageblood, Maroon, Obsidian, Ochre, Oxblood, Purpure, Silver Spike, and Steelshank. The other seven were run by female armanites, and were small camps of tents, carts, and large, wheeled towers. Mobile towns frequently changed their names while the named ones were stationary. Armanite towns were essentially stables used to regroup, and rearm before engaging in the next big battle.
Armanites often worked as special operatives for demon lords due to their excellence when working in independent packs. Territory and soul larvae were also acceptable methods of payment from their Abyssal masters. The denizens of the Upper Planes referred to them as Dark Horsemen or Darkriders, and feared their presence, and they were also hired to serve as bodyguards within Sigil. Armanites loathed and often abused least tanar'ri, although rutterkin were infrequently taken into armanite herds to serve as grooms, smithies, riders, and servants.
Ecology[edit | edit source]
Armanites came into existence either from being born from male and female armanites or ascending from weaker tanar'ri. Female armanites made up a third of the population and the two sexes were segregated as fighting was almost inevitable if they were allowed to mingle amongst themselves. Herds of different genders joined together after a victorious battle against the baatezu, whereupon mating occurred. Young armanites were simply herded along with a camps servants and other followers until they seized a weapon from a deceased troupe member and vanquished their first opponent although many were abandoned and they received no special care. They reached maturity after approximately a year.  Both the body and spirit was consumed by armanites, a substance legends purported they enjoyed above all others. This process could leave someone unressurectable. Their favorite foods consisted of Abyssal bats, baatezu, and yugoloths, in that order.
History[edit | edit source]
The first armanites were from six clans of Feywild centaurs that had been enslaved and twisted by fomorians before escaping and stumbling upon a portal to Pazunia. After time spent in the realm of demons, some abandoned their proud heritage, taking up lives as abyssal mercenaries and being transformed into demons. During one of the hotter points of the Blood War, many armanites worked with the similarly blood crazed bulezaus of Baphomet, and their combined assaults were core to the defeat of Hell's legions. When the equally violent demons attempted to claim the spoils of war, conflict broke out on who would take what. The grudges from these battles are still seen in the inability of both demons to cooperate. Although some armanites within Gallenshu still worshiped Baphomet, many switched to serve under demons like Demogorgon or Kostchtchie.
Known Armanites[edit | edit source]
The demon lord Graz'zt was known to employ a group of eight armanites—four white and four black ones—to draw his carriage.
The Amber Stallion was an armanite whose true name was unknown even to those closest to him for fear of magical manipulation. He led some of the most prosperous and numerous armanite herds.
Appendix[edit | edit source]
See Also[edit | edit source]
Appearances[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 130–132. ISBN 978-0786966240.
- Mike Mearls, Brian R. James, Steve Townshend (July 2010). Demonomicon. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 105. ISBN 978-0786954926.
- Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 164–166. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
- Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “Monstrous Supplement”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), pp. 24–25. ISBN 1560768746.
- Ed Stark, James Jacobs, Erik Mona (June 13, 2006). Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 28–29. ISBN 0-7869-3919-2.
- Colin McComb (September 1997). Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Edited by Ray Vallese. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 46. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). Planes of Chaos. Edited by Michele Carter. (TSR, Inc), p. Cannot cite page numbers from this product. ISBN 1560768746.
- Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 100. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- Dale Donovan (May 1998). For Duty & Deity. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 59. ISBN 0-7869-1234-0.
Connections[edit | edit source]
Caligrosto • Dybbuk • Guecubu • Manitou
Adaru • Alkilith • Armanite • Arrow demon • Babau • Balor • Bar-lgura • Bulezau • Cerebrilith • Chasme • Dretch • Gadacro • Glabrezu • Goristro • Hezrou • Jovoc • Kastighur • Klurichir • Lilitu • Mane • Marilith • Maurezhi • Mavawhan • Molydeus • Myrmyxicus • Nabassu • Nalfeshnee • Palrethee • Rutterkin • Solamith • Sorrowsworn • Spyder-fiend • Succubus • Uridezu • Vrock • Yochlol
Draudnu • Ekolid • Golothoma • Laghathti • Sibriex • Uzollru • Verakia • Wastrilith
Abyssal chicken • Abyssal scavenger • Abyssal wretch • Abyssal wurm • Bebilith • Bonegouge assassin • Deathdrinker • Demon spawn • Ferrolith • Ghour • Haures • Immolith • Jarrlak • Kazrith • Mahataa • Maw demon • Nashrou • Quarrak • Quasit • Rageborn • Retriever • Shadow demon • Shoosuva • Skulvyn • Tomb demon • Voracalith • Whisper demon