Ghargatulas were massive, ferocious baatezu devils sometimes used to guard important locations. Despite being extremely powerful, these fiends were considered to be among the lower caste of lesser devils.
Ghargatulas towered at 25 feet (7.6 meters) tall, and could easily be mistaken for dragons or fiendish dinosaurs at first by their sheer size alone. However, their actual shape revealed that they were no such thing; no hint of a drake's grace or structure could be found in the bipedal mound of a ghargatula's form, their dark, jagged, almost craggy flesh mirroring the hellish wastelands in which they dwelt. Dozens of mismatched, many-jointed arms covered their bodies, each sporting one or more claws, and each had a prehensile, 15‑foot-long (4.6‑meter) tail ending in a stinger coal-black with venom. Most striking of all was the massive maw that took up most of a ghargatula's head, housing its dagger-sized teeth, short-sword length tusks, and fetid breath.
Ghargatulas were deadly but dim creatures which, unless put to work, would kill anything they came across, including other devils.
A ghargatla could engulf an entire human in their maws with one bite, swallowing them whole, and keep larger creatures pinned in their mighty jaws. They also had the common devilish resistances, as well as regenerative powers stopped only by holy or blessed, enchanted weapons. If one managed to cut their way out of their innards, muscular action would close the hole, forcing a newly trapped individual to carve out a new one. Their tails whipped around their massive bodies and delivered a poison that impaired one's ability to move.
Like other devils, ghargatulas had telepathic abilities and the ability to summon other baatezu. However, unlike their kin, they were generally lacking in magic powers, and their attempt to summon was weak, with only a one-in-four chance of calling a cornugon once per day.
Lacking the magic of other baatezu, ghargatula were straightforward yet incredibly savage combatants, relying on their sheer physical power in combat. They compressed their ungainly form to better attack smaller prey, squatting low to snap at them with their jaws.
If not wandering the warmer layers of Hell causing carnage, ghargatulas were employed to protect the significant places of Baator, such as palaces and cathedrals, a large number for example roaming Baalzebul's residence and acting as his personal guards.
Ghargatulas, like other baatezu, had darkvision able to penetrate deeper darkness. Their keen sense of smell allowed them to locate hidden foes (including invisible ones) immediately and track by smell, though not differentiate between copies in the same relative area, such as those made through illusion magic.
- Realms of the Elves: Traitors
- Monte Cook (October 2002). Book of Vile Darkness. Edited by David Noonan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 175–177. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
- Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. Edited by Chris Thomasson, Gary Sarli, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 158. ISBN 978-0-7869-3940-4.
- Richard Lee Byers (February 2006). “Traitors”. Realms of the Elves (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3980-X.
- Monte Cook (October 2002). Book of Vile Darkness. Edited by David Noonan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 160. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
Least: Lemure • Nupperibo • Spinagon
Lesser: Abishai (Black • Blue • Green • Red • White) • Barbazu • Erinyes • Excruciarch • Ghargatula • Hamatula (Stony devil) • Kocrachon • Merregon • Osyluth • War devil • Xerfilstyx
Greater: Amnizu • Cornugon • Gelugon • Logokron • Narzugon • Orthon • Paeliryon • Pit fiend
Baatezu of unknown rank: Advespa • Dogai • Gulthir • Jerul
Araton • Burning devil • Fimbrul devil • Hellcat • Hellwasp • Imp (Bloodbag • Euphoric • Filth) • Kalabon • Kyton • Misfortune devil • Shocktroop devil • Seared devil • Soulrider devil • Stitched devil • Succubus • Tar devil • Vizier devil