Cornugons (pronounced: /ˈkɔːrnjgɒnKORN-yoo-gon[5]), also known as horned devils[2][3] or malebranche[6][4]—not to be confused with another type of devil with the same name[note 1] (pronounced: /ˈmælʌbrɑːnɑːMÆL-u-bran-cha[7] or: /ˈmælɛbrɑːnɑːMÆL-eh-bran-cha[7])—were greater baatezu[8][3][4] that served as elite defense troops in the Nine Hells.[2][3]


Cornugons were about as tall as an ogre,[1][2] reaching nine feet (three meters) high[2][3][4] and weighing some 600 pounds (270 kilograms).[2] Their bodies were covered in iron-hard scales. They had massive wings, great horns, and powerful tails.[6] Even other devils considered them terrible to look at.[2]


Cornugons were exceptionally lazy creatures,[6] and they dreaded any being stronger than themselves.[6][4] To their fortune, they were one of the most powerful kinds of devil, and they were of exceptional intelligence.[3][4] Because of their militaristic nature, treachery did not often occur among their numbers, making them very loyal guardians.[3]

Cornugons had a rage that could inflict terror in their enemies.[6][2][3] They were bold in combat and would rarely retreat.[2][3]


Cornugons often fought with military forks[6][1][4] or spiked chains, with which they would stun their enemies.[2][3][4] In addition to biting and clawing,[3][4] they would also lash out with their tails, which would leave a piercing wound that would not heal naturally.[1][2][3][4] Cornugons also had the ability to hurl a flame of fire at their enemies.[1][2][3][4]

Tactically, they often sought to eliminate their most powerful opponents first.[2]


Like all baatezu,[9] cornugons could see in utter darkness and were telepathic.[1][2]

They could fly, had several inherent spell-like powers,[9][3] and could regenerate any damage they suffered[3] except from good-aligned or silver weapons or inherently good spells.[2] Like all baatezu,[9] they were immune to fire and poison and resistant to acid and cold.[1][2]


Baatezu - Sam Wood

From left to right, a barbazu, a cornugon, and an erinyes.

Cornugons formed elite strike forces for the Hells' armies, numbering as many as 2,000 devils, which were led by pit fiends. Gelugons and pit fiends often utilized them as personal body guards. The Dark Eight had control of 106 cornugon guards.[3]

Cornugons primarily lived on the sixth through ninth layers of the Hells,[10][3] with the greatest populations in Malbolge and Maladomini.[4] In the upper layers, promoted cornugons sometimes led their own armies of lesser baatezu.[3]

In the infernal hierarchy of the baatezu, cornugons were greater devils who were below erinyes and gelugons in rank.[8] Cornugons were some of the fastest progressing baatezu. After surviving a number of campaigns in elite combat forces, a cornugon would be promoted to lead armies in the upper layers. After displaying quality leadership, a cornugon would be promoted to a gelugon.[3][note 2]

Corugons often had names that translated into such things as "Bent Wing" or "Easy Tail".[4]

Notable CornugonsEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. In 1st edition D&D, horned devils were called "malebranche", an Italian word that can be translated as "evil horns" or "evil claws", and they were depicted as bearing either military forks or spiked chains. In 2nd edition, horned devils were now called "cornugons" and except for no longer being described with military forks, they were nearly identical in all other respects. With the coming of 3rd edition, however, cornugons and malebranche were two distinct creatures, the former a greater devil and the latter a lesser devil. The malebranche now appeared with military forks and were larger creatures, and they did not have the other powers and abilities described for the cornugons. 4th edition seems to have ignored cornugons and only has malebranche, which it calls "war devils" and never "horned devils". It used identical art as drawn for one of the 3rd-edition malebranche. These devils carry tridents but are no longer huge devils. Finally, 5th edition seems to have merged the two kinds of devils again, calling horned devils "malebranche".
  2. Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells, p. 10, places horned devils above both ice devils and erinyes in rank, but this conflicts with well-established lore prior to its publication. 5th edition returns to positioning horned devils as the lowest of the greater devils, below both erinyes and ice devils.



  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 74. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 55. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 Allen Varney, ed. (June 1994). Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix. (TSR, Inc.), p. 38. ISBN 978-1560768623.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 22. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
  5. J. Paul LaFountain (1991). Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix. Edited by Timothy B. Brown. (TSR, Inc.), p. 5. ISBN 1-56076-055-9.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 69. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 28.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 67. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 50–51. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  10. Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 68. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 William W. Connors (1992). Hordes of Dragonspear. (TSR, Inc.), p. 4. ISBN 1-5607-6333-7.


Least: AdvespaLemureNupperibo
Lesser: AbishaiBarbazuHamatulaSpinagon
Greater: AmnizuCornugonErinyesGelugonOsyluthPit fiendWar devil
Miscellaneous Devils
Alu-fiendArchdevilCambionDuergarFimbrul devilHellcatImpKytonLegion devilNarzugonSeared devilSuccubusTar devil
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