Barlguras (pronounced: /bɑːrlʌˈgɔːrɑː/ bar-lu-GOR-a listen or: /ˌbɑːrɛlˈguːrəz/ BAR-el-GOO-ruhz) or bar-lguras, also known as leaping demons, were bestial tanar'ri demons that resembled orangutans. Their ape-like qualities reflected their savage nature, fearsome power, and tribal mentality.
Barlguras normally stood 5‒6 ft (1.5‒1.8 m) tall, although some were known to reach just under 8 ft (2.4 m) and weighed 650 lb (290 kg). They were visually similar to orangutans, possessing broad shoulders, long forelimbs, and short legs. While capable of standing upright they normally shambled across the ground on all fours like apes. Where their skin was exposed was bluish-gray, and most of their bodies were covered in matted reddish-brown fur, but they were capable of changing its color reflexively.
A pair of tusks jutted out from their jaws and they leered at their enemies with rheumy, red eyes furthering their terrifying and drooping visage. The key feature that distinguished them from orangutans was that their hands and feet each had six digits with noticeably lengthy claws. Despite being capable of fighting without them, some wielded weaponry and wore clothing or armor.
Barlguras were the most animalistic of the tanar'ri, but were neither true beasts nor very intelligent. While still evil, they were somewhat indifferent to the general dealings of the Blood War, and would rather be left alone by those not of their kind. Whereas most demons despised the lawful baatezu, barlguras weren't as hateful, lacking the same fiery animosity. They did not take as much pleasure in bullying weaker demons like dretches and manes, but viewed them as obstacles and annoyances. They only begrudgingly dealt with demons of a higher status than their own, and only when they were clearly more powerful.
Their territories were decorated with grisly trophies taken from their prey, as well as with totems and fetishes. Although they were telepaths, they also expressed themselves vocally and using body language by changing their fur color, such as brilliant orange when enraged and a dull grey when calm.
Barlguras could both turn invisible and had the power to see invisibility themselves. A small array of magical abilities was also available to barlgura, such as the spells entangle and disguise self. Teleportation was a common demonic ability, but the barlguras' was unique in that they could take other beings along with them. They could summon another barlgura for assistance, with a one-third chance of success if pressed.
Ambush predators at heart, barlguras preferred to jump their enemies while they had the element of surprise, using guerilla tactics to win. They used their camouflage or invisibility powers to hide from prey before jumping out at them. Despite their seemingly clumsy legs, barlguras were excellent pouncers, making massive running leaps. They could rip their prey apart with tooth and claw or pummel them into a bloody pulp with their bare fists, although some used weapons and armor. Barlguras preferred to travel through the tops of trees where they had more mobility and their camouflage was more easily usable. Hunting in small packs was their favored method and, when outnumbering a foe, some would hold the target down while the others viciously savaged them. They used their teleportation power to capture victims and leave them trapped in isolated or sealed locations.
Barlguras normally formed packs led by dominant males within the ancient forests and cliff-ridden mountains of the Abyss, far from any other demonic forces. In some parts of the Abyss, barlguras formed tribes of 300 or more of their kin and separated themselves from the normal politics of the plane. They formed crude governments, some of the few that existed among demon-kin, and did not serve other tanar'ri, allowing them to operate by themselves and enjoy their lifestyle. Although their numbers protected them from being attacked by other demons, there were tales of balors that laid waste to such rebel factions. When two tribes met, it always resulted in a bloodbath with only one tribe surviving.
When forced to fight on behalf of more powerful demons, barlguras served as scouts. Barulguras preferred to hunt alongside their own kind in packs when they could, but if forced to work with other demons they tried to dominate and manipulate less-intelligent types and contradict the desires of their superiors whenever they could. Greater tanar'ri treated them with shocking cruelty when they misbehaved.
Barlguras dominated the Guttering Grove, the 90th layer of the Abyss, along with other fiendish simians and dire primates. They also inhabited the Screaming Jungle in the Gaping Maw, the 88th layer, fighting gigantic dinosaurs for territory. Their patron, Ilsidahur the Howling King, dwelt within the leafy canopies of the Grove.
In 1377 DR a group of vrocks sent by General Raachaak brought a horde of manes and barlguras to Sargauth Level of Undermountain where they used a magical mirror to multiply their numbers in an attempt to take over a portal to Utter East.
- The Dungeon of Death • Out of the Abyss • Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage • Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus
- Referenced only
- Hellgate Keep
- Tymora's Luck • The Paladins • Archmage
- Video Games
- Neverwinter • Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms
- Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
- Kill the Wizard • The Occupation of Szith Morcane • The Quest for Sporedome • Assault on Maerimydra • Faces of Fortune
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