Devils were a lawful evil race of fiends who hailed from the Nine Hells of Baator.[4]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Devils were vicious creatures who were capable of attacking and killing others for essentially no reason.[4] However, they hated being the target of misery themselves.[5] This led to another trait of devils, their extreme vindictiveness combined with a lack of ability to accept their mistakes. Devils had an instinct to look for others to blame when they suffered setbacks and had the drive to exact vengeance against whomever they held responsible, even when they were demoted to a weaker station. For example, the grandson or granddaughter of a dead being who was indirectly involved in the demotion of devil was an eligible target for the demoted devil, even after it managed to be re-promoted.[6]

Devils often delegated their work to others.[7] This did not mean that they were lazy, however, as the primary personality trait for any devil was ambition. They constantly looked for ways for promotion. The goal behind this behavior was the fulfillment of the devil's own desires. They tried to rise up the hierarchy to modify rules in ways that suited them. This was the root of their dedication to the cause of lawful evil.[5]

These fiends had some tendency to act on emotion, especially when faced with the prospect of vengeance, and with enough provocation, could be made to act in ways that were detrimental to their ultimate goal, up to death in pursuit of such vengeance.[5]

Combat[edit | edit source]

Devils often had magical abilities. A large number of devils had an aura of fear, which they used to split enemy groups apart. Most devils had some kind of illusion abilities, which were used to sow confusion among their foes. A common use of these powers was to create illusory support for themselves. They abused their enemies' inability to distinguish between illusory and real summoned support.[4] A devil with divine magic was usually not a priest of a god but one who received the necessary magic from Asmodeus or one of the other archdevils.[5]

A legion devil, an ice devil, and an imp.

Blood War[edit | edit source]

Devils were at a stark numerical disadvantage in the Blood War, where they fought demons. The devils, though, had many advantages against the chaotic demons, such as better equipment, morale, and the ability to employ tactics. All in all, the victory-defeat ratio of the devils was about 50:50.[8]

Tactics[edit | edit source]

Being at a severe numerical disadvantage against the demons, they developed a number of strategies to fight against them, which were also used against others. First, devils never fought on Baator when they could help it. The reason for this was that they would actually perish if they died on Baator. Secondly, a lot of devils had the ability to use greater teleport. They made frequent use of hit-and-run-tactics using this ability. In general, they attacked a group of enemies, teleported away, healed themselves, and started anew.[9]

When devils fought in a more long term way against their enemies, they attacked in ways that curtailed their enemies' combat abilities in a lasting manner. For example, it was common for them to sneak up and kill off animal companions and similar creatures.[10]

When fighting anything alive, the devils' combat philosophy was to securely kill their enemies. For example, when they knocked another being unconscious, they did not believe that their job was done. First, a devil killed the unconscious enemy and then took on the next enemy. This was done to kill any chance that the unconscious one could return to the fight, for example by receiving magical healing.[10]

Furthermore, when they fought on the Prime, they knew that dying would not kill them, but they also knew that dying there might cost them a lot including their rank. Therefore, they had no problems of running away, when a battle did not go their way.[11] A devil did not need a lot of time to find out, whether the battle was in its favor or not, because a devil always went all out in a fight. For example, they tried to use their summoning powers as early as possible to summon allies into strategically beneficial positions. They went as far as fighting in a noisy manner, for example by constantly screaming. This allowed their allies to notice them, and would thus potentially aid them in battle. When devils had the chance, they tried to deplete their enemies' resources by sending their underlings to engage the enemies. When they did this, they usually kept tabs on the importance of those they sent away. Those who were less important were sent first and those who were important were only sent, if the responsible devil thought that the enemy was beatable in one stroke.[10]

Against Demons
Devils were immune to fire. One common tactic that was developed against demons was heavy use of fire, so much that the battlefield was filled with it. Thus, devils could pass through the majority of the terrain without being hurt. This was done by any means available, be it through the use of innate abilities or learnt magical abilities of a sorcerer or wizard.[5]
Against Angels
When fighting angels or archons, devils with the ability to fly took the lead. An often used tactic was to use special tanglefoot bags on the good creatures to make them drop to the ground where earth-bound devils ganged up on them. They made use of fire against angels and archons in ways that were similar to the devils' anti-demon tactic, which was a very effective way to fight the good outsiders.[5]
Protecting Records
Devils, no matter the rank, were record-keepers. They wrote records to show their high-ups how good their qualities and results were. They did this even while being on the Prime. This meant that an outlining of whatever plan they were concocting on the Prime was on the Prime. Devils took some pains to protect this information from falling into the hands of opposing factions. This included ways to destroy the records to prevent leaking and a devil fought in particularly tenacious fashion to protect or retrieve the records.[12] In fact, one of the first things they did, when they were invaded and their minions could not handle the invaders was to prevent their documents to fall into the hands of the invaders, this included destroying them.[10]
Protecting Wealth
Material wealth was, compared to souls, of no meaning to devils if it did not further their goals. Therefore, devils were willing to give up on material wealth, even wealth they owned, when it allowed them to evade trouble. However, there was one exception to this rule, devils beholden to Mammon. These devils saw worth in material wealth and were willing to take risks to protect it, unlike their brethren.[13]
Lair Tactics
When devils fought, they fought to efficiently reach their objective, for example to kill their enemies, and did divert attention to other matters. Their lairs reflected this stance towards fighting. Namely, it was arranged in ways that maximized their strengths while minimizing their opponents' strengths. The outline of a lair could be different from species to species. For example, an erinyes would arrange it lair in a way that allowed it to engage in aerial ranged combat, while a hamatula would arrange its lair so it would become a cramped space to blast as many as possible away with its fireball-ability. Apart from modifications regarding space, devils were fond of looking at what kind of immunities they had and added additional conditions to their lairs or chose places that spread detrimental conditions to all but themselves. For example, a gelugon might create a frigid area, while devils with immunity against poison might choose locations that were naturally filled with poisonous substances as their lairs.[11]
However, there were a series of commonalities, every devil tried to organize, when it was arranging its lair. First, devils were fond of traps and riddled their lairs with them while educating their minions on their whereabouts, so they could be of effective help. Second, they were fond of limiting their enemies' movement. Part of the common skills of a devil who worked as a military engineer was to know how to construct obstacles in ways that would eventually lead enemies into one specific place where they could be taken out at once. Third, devils that worked in areas that were instilled with Baator's magic tried to duplicate one of Hell's fearsome sights. This was not done out of nostalgia, but because for non-Baator-natives, looking at a Baatorian sight was disturbing in ways that might affect their combat readiness and prowess up to the equivalent of a fear spell. What was also common was the setting of alarms, which were not necessarily of magical nature.[11]
As mentioned above, devils had no compunctions to run away, when they believed they could not securely win a battle. Therefore, a devil lair most certainly had at least two escape routes built in. First, an obvious one that the devil did not actually intend to use, but where its enemies would pay attention and energy to. Second, a secret heavily trapped escape route that was the actual one, which was dangerous for the devil's enemies to follow inside. Another construction that devils often used were those that prevented their enemies from running away. For example, hazards like artificial rock slides were often used to block potential escapes for the enemies.[11]

After a Battle[edit | edit source]

Provided a devil did not kill its enemies or was actually defeated, the future of the mortals involved was grim. The most common fates for a devil's enemies were:[10]

A captive enemy of a devil was often handed over to a kyton or excruciarch for torture. These devils' usual specialty was torturing souls, but they often learnt mundane torture skills to obtain additional marketable skills to use them to obtain additional credits. The knowledge to be obtained from the captive was at the very least how much he or she knew about the local devil's plans and who else knew about them. Other information that was extracted after that was about the local power structure, so it could be used for the purposes of infiltration and blackmail. This was a fairly broad field. For example, hard knowledge like the interior of a fortress, the arsenal, or chain of command was what they wanted. However, the most desirable pieces of knowledge were those about scandals of people deemed corruptible by a devil.[10]
A torture session often had an aftermath in the form of a devil proposing the captive to make a pact with the devil. The kind of pacts were Faustian pacts and the initial offer was to free the captive from continuing torture. Agreeing to this kind of offer did not offer up the captive's soul to the devil, because the decision to do so was not counted as being made out of one's free will but under duress and could be challenged by the captive's soul in Baator. A prisoner who did not accept the deal was confronted with ever increasing positive incentives to agree. The usual procedure was that another devil was sent off to meet up with the captives relatives or other people who might care for the captive's well-being to propose a ransom. This ransom was done in the following way, the contacted mortal's soul, or large amounts of material wealth in some rare cases, in exchange for the captive. Devils put efforts to get the following result, the captive giving up his or her souls for freedom and the contacted mortal giving up his or her soul for the captive's freedom. It was custom for the captive to be turned unable to ever cause troubles to devils. This took at the very least the form of a written contract where the captive's soul was shunted to Baator if he or she ever moved against devils and their allies, but could also take the form of maiming or being turned into a madman or madwoman.[10]
For all their vindictiveness, when a devil was actually defeated, retaliation did not always follow. Even when the devil in question returned to Baator on being defeated. Devils had an urge to exact vengeance after every setback, because such setbacks could result in demotion and because they wanted to deter people from sabotaging their plans. When the setback was something inconsequential in the grand scheme of matters, than the devil might choose not to act on its desire for vengeance, but the likelihood to do so increased with increased importance of the plan that was derailed. That said, when a devil came to the conclusion that starting a vengeance operation or increasing its size became detrimental to its plans, they cancelled their vengeance.[14]
As mentioned above, one of the objectives when taking vengeance was to deter other people from acting against devils. Therefore, devils sent their minions against their targets to kill them in open fashion, so other people could see it. This did not mean they saw value in a fair fight. Killing the targets while they were asleep in some attention-drawing fashion was the usual way to conduct vengeance, because that way the objective of killing the targets was made easier than in a frontal fight. To fulfill the deter-aspect of such attacks, devils indiscriminately killed any bystanders, regardless of age, profession, or health. Such attacks could also come more than once for from time to time, devils sent assault groups more as a means to test the targets and once the targets' strengths were properly assessed, sent the real assault group that did the killing.[14]
While the above method was the most typical method, killing the targets through assassination, the setting of lethal traps, or poisoning was all fair game for a devil.[14]
Whatever the method, the devil who wanted to take vengeance needed to know the whereabouts of the targets. In places where a devil's mortal minions could act in a more open fashion, these people were the ones who gathered intelligence about the targets. When this was not the case, the devil used more magical means to find the targets, this could lead to the targets becoming hounded by bezekiras. When the devil was simply unable to find the targets, it tried to get them into the open. The usual method was extortion, either somebody of importance, either to the community and/or to the targets, was kidnapped, or the devil and/or its minions acted like phantom killers until the targets came out into the open. It also happened that the citizenry pressured the targets out into the open, because they feared the devil's actions and harm it could cause.[14]

Society[edit | edit source]

A set of infernal manacles.

The vast majority of devils were baatezu. They lived in strict caste society. Devils continuously tried to improve their station in life. The measure by which promotion was granted was the number of mortals swayed to corruption.[4] The swayed mortals' souls were the source of energy on which the devils' society was built on.[15] The Pact Primeval, a contract between Asmodeus and gods, was the legal basis on which the devils' right to corrupt mortals was based on.[6]

Economy[edit | edit source]

The devils' economy primarily worked on souls that provided their world with energy. In order to change a soul's destination from the Fugue Plane to Baator, they corrupted mortals while they were still alive. Once they died, they were collected and tortured. This torture was done to wring out magical energy from the soul and once every single drop was wrung out, the soul was reborn as a lemure, a new member of infernal society.[15]
Other Currency
The devil's economy primarily ran on souls, but money, precious metals, other goods were not ignored and used for trade, but devils saw no intrinsic value in these goods. Their value lay in their use to gain souls. For example, devils required money to finance their actions on the Material Plane. Starting with financing cults, they needed currency to pay off officials, pay for services like assassinations, simply to pay for goods. Among the goods they bought were the souls of people who sold theirs for money, information, magic, or other goods. Among the offered goods to the mortals were the devils' service to the mortals. Devils funneled the money they obtained into Baator, so it could be distributed to others or used it for their own projects. The former methods garnered them credits that could eventually lead to promotion.[16]

Hierarchy[edit | edit source]

The devils had a number of castes. At the bottom of the hierarchy were the least devils. They were treated badly by all others and the numbers of advancement opportunities were very limited. Above the least were the lesser devils. Generally, they were employed in the soul trade, a field where advancement opportunities were numerous. Above the lesser were the greater devils headed by the pit fiends. They were the ones who held a high degree of authority in the infernal society. However, they were not the top. That position was held by the archdevils who were directly served by unique devils holding the title of duke.[17] Among the Lord of the Nine, Asmodeus, the top of that group, was a class onto himself.[18]

As a general rule, as higher a devil stood as more chances for further advancement existed. However, as higher a devil stood as more oversight a devil had to suffer at the hands of its superiors and with it were more exposed to the prospect of punishment and demotion. As a result, high-ranking devils were fearful of demotion and vented their fears on their subordinates in a violent manner. This made said subordinates act in a similar manner towards their subordinates and so on until the literal bottom of the hierarchy was met.[17]

When a devil managed to corrupt a mortal, his or her soul landed in Baator on death. Such souls had a unique mark that could be attributed to the devil that was then credited with the corruption of the mortal.[15] Accruing these credits was basis for a devil's promotion.[19] Another form of accruing credits was to provide Baator with material goods. This form of gaining credits was not held as high as providing Baator with souls but devils who were looking for ways to improve their résumé did this nonetheless.[15]

Promotion, meaning transformation from one devil form to a higher one, was done when a devil's superior thought that it merited promotion, the superior's superior could reverse the decision any time. However, the promotion within least devil-status was very rarely intervened for it was considered too low a station to be concerned with. Promotion to any of the lesser devil-status required the promoted devil's greater devil superior to agree with it, while promotion to greater devil-status required the archdevil the promoted devil served to agree. When the devil was somehow not sure which archdevil it was serving, Asmodeus was considered the default lord to report to. Rising to the status of a unique devil required the agreement of an archdevil, to become a normal duke being a pit fiend was enough. To become an archdevil, Asmodeus needed to agree to the promotion.[20]
The standards a devil needed to meet to be promoted was to show loyalty to its superior and its performance in its duties. The former was valued higher than the latter. The devils considered someone who was competent enough to do its job but who was at the same time not a danger to its superior's position an ideal subordinate. Due to this reason, high-ranking devils tried to maintain comparatively few subordinates, lest the number would exceed their ability to keep tabs on them to prevent treasonous activities. Combined with the fact that promotion was combined with spending a lot of power harvested from souls, the upper rung of infernal hierarchy was comparatively stable. Normally, promotion was done when there a position became free. This happened when a devil died or was demoted. Some devils tried to facilitate the former, which was punished with death, and therefore carried a lot of risks. Another valid method for devils was to wait until the latter happened. That said, successful devils promoted more frequently and to new positions they created to fill management positions.[21]
Every devil was entitled to demote a devil that was its subordinate. Asmodeus could demote any devil he wanted, an archdevil was allowed to demote an devil that could trace a line of authority back to the archdevil that wanted to demote somebody, and a greater or lesser devil was only allowed to demote those that were under its direct command.[22]
That said, demotions were generally not done out of a whim. They were usually a form of punishment. Demotion to nupperibo-status was the most dreaded one. However, there was one reason to demote somebody that was not a form of punishment. As mentioned above, promotion required the expenditure of a lot of energy, demotion freed energy to be used for something else. Devils whose operations did not work as intended, tried to collect additional energy for their work by demoting its subordinates. This prospect of demotion for energy-harvest purposes was a great motivator for devils to work hard.[6]
Lateral Demotion
A unique form of demotion that existed within infernal society was the one called lateral demotion. There were a few forms within the infernal hierarchy that were technically fairly high in the hierarchy but were not very popular among the devils. These forms came with immense physical but negligible mental capabilities making it difficult for them to advance further. As a general rule, devils wanted to gain positions that allowed them to have a keen mind over physical strength with a dull mind. Being advanced to such a form was called lateral demotion.[6]
The reason why lateral demotion was done for various reasons. First, from time to time, there was genuine need for physically strong servants. Second, lateral demotion allowed a superior to effectively put a problematic subordinate temporarily out of the game, as one might imagine, it was often a means used against subordinates who were suspected of treason. It allowed the superior to confirm its suspicions and kill the traitor or confirm that they held no water and revert the promotion, thus allowing the superior the excuse that it never treated its subordinates in any unfair manner. It was a generally accepted excuse, albeit grudgingly.[6]

Gaining Credits[edit | edit source]

As mentioned above, devils coveted mortal souls. They consistently tried to change a mortal's ethical and moral outlook into that of a lawful evil person. When the person died in that state, that mortal's soul went to Baator and the devil who had the biggest hand in the mortal's outlook's change got the credit for it. When a devil managed to change a mortal's outlook, it often tried to organize the death of that person. The reason for this were twofold. First, that way, the mortal died, his or her soul went to Baator and the devil got its credit without waiting the mortal's lifespan expired. Second, that way, the devil also killed the possibility of the mortal's outlook changing again into some other outlook, which would shunt his or her soul into some place that was not Baator, thus depriving the devil of its credit. However, on macro level devils needed mortals. They were useful to change the outlook of their fellows as well as to pursue other infernal agendas on the Prime for Baator. Therefore, devils needed to acquire permission to kill somebody to send his or her soul to Baator for each and every case.[19]

There were various methods to gain credits for a devil:

Hunting Grounds
The vast majority of souls that came to Baator did not go there, because a devil changed the mortals' outlook to that of a lawful evil person but because they had it to begin with. Devils organized Prime territories in so-called "hunting grounds". Every hunting ground had a devil who was assigned to it. These devils held the title undercontroller or factotum when the hunting ground teemed with lawful evil people, which was a coveted assignment only those favored by the archdevils received. Every soul that went to Baator without another devil swaying that mortal to lawful evil was accredited to the undercontroller. An undercontroller had two jobs.[23]
First, devils had a tendency for infighting when the prize was a particularly lawful evil people rich hunting ground. The undercontroller's job in that regard was to keep the place under the control of its direct superior. When mortals and lesser devils fought each other, the reason was usually two undercontrollers who were assigned the same hunting ground by different superiors over who the say over the turf. This happened when a high-standing devil wanted to relegate trouble-makers. The idea behind it was that when the trouble-maker died fighting over turf, the trouble-maker was dead, and when the trouble-maker was successful at nailing the hunting ground, then it was a win for the superior for the total number of souls its subordinates gained for Baator increased and with its own standing.[23]
The second job of an undercontroller was to secure that a lawful evil society stayed that way[7] or steered into lawful evil directions. They did this by modifying customs and rules of their hunting grounds. When a given society showed traits of one where authority was unconditionally respected, who then enforced a police state where laws were enforced with draconian punishment, where brutally honest records were the norm, while at the same time the ruler was not subject to the same rules was most likely a hunting ground where the responsible devil did an effective job. Other traits that led to the same conclusion were when the general population believed in a form of collective thinking that led to disadvantaging or hostilities to minorities and the idea that their system was not just superior, but also needed to be enforced on others. Devils had an infinite lifespan, which allowed them for plans to take a very long time until the modification of a society was complete.[24]
Undercontrollers were often absentee-lords and did not spend a lot of tim on the Prime. They split their assigned territory giving the richest parts to their own subordinates who showed particular loyalty. Territory handed over that way could be broken down into even more parts and given to eve lower ranking devils when it was big enough.[7]
Faustian Pacts
Faustian pacts were considered the most effective tool in the devils' arsenal to corrupt mortals. While copies for both parties existed, the devil gave the mortal's copy only when pressed on the issue. The mortal's blood was used for signature. There were two kinds of contracts that were made with mortals. The devils called them Pact Certain and Pact Insidious, but only among themselves for they were aware that the names sounded too ominous in mortal ears.[25]
The Pact Certain was a contract that the devils favored, because it was fast. The mortal immediately handed over his or her soul to Baator on death for some services. Barring proving that the pact was signed under some form of duress like threat of torture, these pacts' terms were impossible to adjudicate.[26]
The Pact Insidious was a bit different. Here, a mortal and a devil agreed upon exchanging services. Namely, the devil provided the mortal with something and the mortal had to act in some manner that the devil wanted to. It was possible to make multiple follow-up contracts that gave the receiving mortals more benefits in return of additonal behaviors it had to follow. Failing to act in such manner meant that the mortal lost the contract's benefits. Agreeing to such a Pact Insidious in itself was not an act that shackled one's soul to Baator, but acting in ways that were specified within the contract or contracts meant that one acted in ways that put him or her ever closer to reach Baator on death. Discussing the issue with others was impossible for mortals because a clause that was in every Pact Insidious was that forbade the option of discussing the contract's content with other people.[27]
The benefits a devil gave a mortal were calculated against the likelihood of the mortal reaching Baator on death. A person who was unlikely to do so could actually negotiate the best terms, while somebody who was likely to reach Baator without a deal with a devil was not really capable of negotiating good terms. This was because devils' resources were ultimately limited. Therefore, devils always calculated how much to give a mortal to gain his or her soul. Apart from unlikelihood to enter Baator, the power held by the mortal to be corrupted was also a measure that increased a mortal's soul's value in the eyes of a devil. This applied both to political power like that of a member of royalty or individual power like that of an experienced adventurer. Both could gain good terms, a weak beggar could never get.[27]
As mentioned above, the benefits a mortal could reap from a contract with a devil were those that the devil had to somehow provide. A devil might have a network of spies that allowed it to provide information to the mortal, raiders under contract to obtain the necessary wealth, or some infernal cultists who could provide the mortal who sold his or her soul with some insider trades to benefit from. Actual magical help from the devil was possible, but rare and only done when it could not provide the asked service in mundane ways. This could lead to an archdevil be petitioned to cast miracle for the mortal.[27]
Devils' claims on a soul could be successfully legally challenged by a mortal. This was possible when either of two conditions were met. These were when the mortal was somehow forced into a contract or when the devil's end of the bargain was not met. However, this was only possible after the mortal's death, meaning the mortal's soul reaching Baator, and the devils put no effort into clarifying the mortals on their right to challenge their fate. When this right was invoked, a fair trial was called in. The mortal obtained one advocate. This advocate was by default a falxugon or an erinyes, but the mortal had the right to appoint anybody for this role and the devils actually put effort into contacting that person. However, the potential advocate was left alone when it came to figuring out how to go to Baator to do his or her job. Naturally, the mortal's advocate was opposed by one on the devil's side who tried to make a case for the soul's damnation. A pit fiend usually served as a judge. In this role, the fiends actually acted in a fair manner. It was entirely possible that a mortal won his or her case, but had to enter Baator anyway, because of his or her moral and ethical outlook.[28]
Devil Worship
One way for a mortal soul to enter Baator was for the mortal to be a devil worshiper. Worshiping a devil was a secure way to enter Baator on death. Usually, devil worshipers dedicated themselves to a single archdevil or, less frequently, to a greater devil. These cults were a means for devils to further their agenda on the Material Plane. Such cults fell in to categories, the so-called revealed cults and hidden cults.[29]
A revealed cult was not necessarily a cult that acted in open public, but one whose members were fully aware that their object of worship was a devil, to be more precise and archdevil.[30]
A hidden cult was one where only a high-ranking inner circle knew that their object of worship was a devil. Recruited people were molded bit by bit as they rose through the hierarchy and once they reached membership in the inner circle themselves, saw little reason or some form of obligation to remain with the truth that was revealed to them. These cults were run by erinyes or falxugons when they were small and by greater devils when they were big.[31]
Fugue Plane Bargains
The usual destination for a dead person's soul was the Fugue Plane. Due to a deal with Kelemvor, devils were allowed to talk with the souls in the time between their arrival to the Fugue Plane and being picked up by their deities' servants to their final destination. The content of these talks was an offer to change the final destination to Baator. Some souls agreed to this because they feared the fate their gods would give them, went to Baator, got tortured and wrung out of energy, and started their new life as a lemure. It was also possible for such souls to work out additional goods for themselves. For example, a-not-so-egoistic deal was to secure that the bereaved family of the soul was provided for by the devil, while a more egoistic deal was to secure early promotion from lemure status or promotion right away into some other devil form.[17]

Blood War[edit | edit source]

The devils' society was built with two main activities in its mind: gaining souls to harvest energy and fighting the Blood War. On the infernal side, Avernus was the primary battle ground. Fighting the Blood War was the other occupation devils could pursue for their careers. Those who fought in the Blood War were exempt from meeting any quota of souls and could still receive promotions by virtue of their military deeds. There was something of a rivalry between soul harvesters and Blood War veterans. The former claimed superiority because it was the energy they harvested that allowed the latter to fight at all, while the latter claimed superiority because the leisure to harvest souls at all was guaranteed by the veterans. Among unique devils, only Bel was continuously engaged in the Blood War for fighting it was considered necessary but not interesting enough for them to do.[32]

The devils winning condition regarding defending Baator from the demons was to keep Avernus from falling into their hands. The reason for this was that the entire plane of Baator had a magical condition that made it impossible for demons to teleport from one layer to the next. So, the demons needed to take one layer at a time to win and reconsecrate the entire thing before moving on. Keeping Avernus from them, prevented this from happening.[24]

Hobbies[edit | edit source]

As mentioned above, devils picked up eating and drinking good food and drink or sexuality as some form of hobby. They could not get drunk or otherwise alter their minds with substances. It was also not well-seen. However, there were a number of magical substances that were imbibed as a substitute for drugs, gughalaki made in Maladomini from fiendish giant centipedes was basically drunk as a hallucinogen, infernal wine made in Phlegethos from grapes was drunken like wine, and Screecher some stuff that had a dulling effect on low-ranking devils were some examples.[33]

As mentioned above, getting drunk or otherwise taking mind-altering substances was not well-seen and often outright forbidden. The aforementioned substances were usually handed to devils as a form of rewards or in the context of rituals. The one group of devils that had the position to take these substances on any regular basis were high-ranking devils. However, this was acknowledged as hypocritical for they were the same ones who forbade it to their subordinates.[34]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Some deities lived on Baator. While fights between infernal forces and that of evil gods' happened from time to time, they generally were not on the level of the battles between Baator and the Abyss. The reason for this was that both Baator and the deities had an additional enemy in the form of the forces of good and resolving this conflict was a matter that was to be done after the forces of good were done away with.[21] Ultimately, devils considered gods, including lawful evil ones, not as something inherently worth showing deference to. In fact, for the devils gods were targets to be destroyed, just not high enough of a priority to do so immediately.[5]
Devils fought against the demons in the Blood War. Collectively, devils called the demons tanar'ri ignoring that the tanar'ri were but one of the demonic races.[24]
The devils' overlord Asmodeus understood that the devils were essentially only force that kept the multiverse from being overrun by demons and hated the beings of the Upper planes for leaving his people alone at fighting the demons. One of the few allies devils managed to get on their side were mortal members of infernal cults.[8]

Ecology[edit | edit source]

Devils had numerous forms but one organ called the ovatorium was shared by all of them. It was a mushy and white organ consisting of sacs, inside of which were miniature versions of devil-forms. On promotion, meaning changing into a specific form, the corresponding sac's content grew until it burst through the skin of the old form and the promotion was done.[5]

Senses[edit | edit source]

Quite a lot of devils could see in darkness. Being able to see while lacking light was normal for outsiders.[35] The devils' case was different, because their vision could also penetrate magical darkness like that of deeper darkness. However, their senses had some peculiarities. They sensed everything in a destructive and/or despairing light. For example, a flower looked wilted in some places no matter its health. They could well distinguish the smell differences between a cesspit and good perfume, but devils registered these differences not as one being more pleasant than the other but as one being less unpleasant than the other.[34]

Diet[edit | edit source]

Devils did not need to eat or drink. This did not mean they could not. To them eating and drinking were either a hobby, where fine food and drink was concerned, or a show of power and domination, when they were eating one of their enemies.[5]

Reproduction[edit | edit source]

The majority of devils started their life as dead mortals turned into lemures. Reproduction by sexual means was almost impossible for devils because female ones were not capable of becoming pregnant, with the exceptions being brachinas and erinyes. Male ones could father half-fiends. Other exceptions to this rule of female infertility were the unique devils. Among them, both male and female ones were fertile and a child between them was also a unique devil. However, this rarely happened for a child as powerful as a unique devil was a dangerous asset if it turned on its parents and infernal society did not create stable relationships of loyalty between parents and children. A third group of devils came spontaneously into being from the plane or part of Baator. A fourth category, that of erinyes, were fallen angels.[33]

In general, sexuality was enjoyed more like a hobby by devils and among them far more often by the powerful than the weak.[5]

Death[edit | edit source]

A devil that died on Baator was truly dead.[8] When a devil died outside of Baator, it turned over three to nine minutes into some slimy substance that was mildly poisonous but not lethally so, if somebody came up with the idea to eat it. On Baator, the killed devil came back. Fully recovered and in the form it was killed in. However, it took them ninety-nine years until they took their old form. Quite often, especially when the devil in question was of low rank, demotion awaited the slain devil.[34]

Devils had eternal life in eternal youth. A devil that did not look healthy was either under some curse, supernatural disease, or was somehow cut off from a sufficient supply of divine energy.[34]

One way to kill them was to somehow cause them to suffocate for devils needed, in very small amounts but still, oxygen to live on.[5]

History[edit | edit source]

There were various stories about the origins of the devils.

Origin Story - Pact Primeval[edit | edit source]

See also: Asmodeus#Origin Story-Pact Primeval

According to one origin story, the devils were originally angels that were created to fight for the cause of law against demons. The most effective at it was an angel called Asmodeus. Those angels who followed that one were the future devils.[36]

Types of devils[edit | edit source]

There were many different kinds of devils, including some subcategories.

The most common and numerous race of devils.[4]
Abishai were a subgroup of baatezu created by Tiamat.[37]

Other Devils[edit | edit source]

  • Imps, small, weak devils with bat-likes wings and a venomous, scorpion-like tail.[38]
  • Hellcats, also called bezekira, hellcats were massive, stealthy feline devils.[39]
  • Chain devils, cruel humanoid devils that wore and carried chains with them.[40]

Archdevils[edit | edit source]

Main article: Archdevil

Archdevils were powerful, unique devils. They were the rulers of the devils and of Baator (the Nine Hells). Archdevils were considered a form of archfiends.[41]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 66–78. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 60–67. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 50–58. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 50. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 14. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  9. Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 16–17. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 21. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 20. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  12. Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 19. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  13. Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 19–20. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 22. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 8–9. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  16. Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 9. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  18. Chris Pramas (1999). Guide to Hell. (TSR, Inc.), p. 49. ISBN 978-0786914319.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 13. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  20. Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  22. Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 11–12. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 13–14. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 15. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  25. Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 23. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  26. Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 23–24. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 24. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  28. Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 25. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  29. Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 25–26. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  30. Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 26. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  31. Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 28–29. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  32. Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 15–16. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 17–18. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 18. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  35. Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 313. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  36. Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 4–5. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  37. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 160–163. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  38. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 76. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  39. Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 54–55. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  40. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 68, 72. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  41. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17. ISBN 978-0786966240.

Connections[edit | edit source]

Tyrannical Fiends of Law and Evil
Least: AdvespaLemureMerregonNupperibo
Lesser: Abishai (BlackBlueGreenRedWhite)BarbazuHamatulaKocrachonNarzugonOsyluthSpinagon
Greater: AmnizuCornugonErinyesGelugonPaeliryonPit fiendWar devil
Miscellaneous Devils
Alu-fiendArchdevilCambionFimbrul devilHellcatImpKytonOrthonSeared devilSuccubusTar devil
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