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Excruciarchs, also called pain devils, were mercenary baatezu torturers.[2] Pain devils were lesser devils in the hierachy of the Nine Hells[3][4] and shared the same rank in that hierarchy as erinyes.[3]


Excruciarchs resembled bald, pale-skinned humanoids with red eyes that typically wore bloodstained leather aprons and masks. They stood just under 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall and weighed about 200 pounds (91 kilograms).[2]


Excruciarchs were orderly creatures, but were also extremely cruel. They greatly enjoyed torturing helpless beings. When fighting, pain devils liked to lure an almost-defeated opponent into a false sense of hope by seeming weaker than they were, just to be able to extinguish the hope of victory or escape when the cruel fiend won.[2]


Excruciarchs, like other fiends, possessed several spell-like abilities, including being able to mimic the effects of vampiric touch and greater teleport (itself only plus 50 lb (23,000 g) of objects) at will, and cure moderate wounds and wave of grief thrice per day. Additionally, once per day a pain devil could attempt to summon another pain devil.[2]

Pain devils radiated an aura of pain and misery, causing small but painful cuts to spontaneously appear on nearby creatures. Similarly, they could send arcane energy through their weapon to inflict almost-unimaginable pain on victims.[2]


Excruciarchs typically used scourges in combat, and preferred to fight in pairs. Their normal strategy involved luring a foe away from their group, and they made extensive use of the range their hell scourges gave them.[2]

Their natural sadism spurred them on in combat, and their skill at torturing creatures allowed them to be able to figure out a way past an opponent's defenses and resistances.[2]


Excruciarchs were the torturers of the baatezu, plying their trade on unfortunate souls, devils that displeased their master, and any other captives that were given to them or that they captured. Mercenaries at heart, they would work for any lord or lady in the Nine Hells that were their home, although they would eventually grow bored with a job and seek a new one. When not in the employ of a lord, they would dwell in isolated keeps with other pain devils, where they honed their skills. They were most commonly found on the layer of Cania, where they tortured the many captives held there.[2]

However, other devils feared and reviled excruciarchs for their positions as punishers, for a devil that displeased its master and was turned over to an excruciarch could be demoted. Thus, when other devils found a pain devil alone, they would attack and kill them.[2]

Excruciarchs often heard many secrets from their victims, which they normally passed on to their current lord or lady, but would also sell the information.[2]

Pain devils had an intense and deadly rivalry with the kytons, fellow torturers and interrogators. The two types of devil plotted against each other endlessly. Kytons, however, were more often assigned to "work on" soul shells, while excruciarchs were more often assigned to torture mortals or other devils.[2]

An evil spellcaster could alter the spell summon monster VI to be able to summon an excruciarch, but it would lose the ability to summon a kyton.[2]

In the hierarchy of the baatezu, excruciarchs were considered lesser baatezu.[5]


In the later years of the 15th century DR, the Ashmadai cells in Neverwinter were known to employ pain devils.[6]


See Also[]




Least: LemureNupperiboSpinagon
Lesser: Abishai (BlackBlueGreenRedWhite)BarbazuErinyesExcruciarchGhargatulaHamatula (Stony devil)KocrachonMerregonOsyluthWar devilXerfilstyx
Greater: AmnizuCornugonGelugonLogokronNarzugonOrthonPaeliryonPit fiend
Baatezu of unknown rank: AdvespaDogaiGulthirJerul

Miscellaneous Devils
AratonBurning devilFimbrul devilHellcatHellwaspImp (BloodbagEuphoricFilth)KalabonKytonMisfortune devilShocktroop devilSeared devilSoulrider devilStitched devilSuccubusTar devilVizier devil