Kocrachons, or kochracons, were insectoid baatezu devils, the diabolical elite torturers of the Nine Hells. The beetle-like fiends were truly horrid creatures, sadistic tormentors as passionate about their heinous duties as they were skilled in them. Kocrachons were the second-lowest in the hierarchy of lesser devils, sharing the same rank as barbazus.
Kocrachons were 5 ft (1.5 m) tall devils with exoskeletons like those of beetles, enameled, dark blue-purple carapaces that could open from the back and reveal wings with which they could fly. They had six thin, long limbs, each tipped with claws, two legs and two pairs of arms. Each of their arms ended in opposable pincer-claws capable of fine manipulation, one pair being large enough to do serious harm and the other being too small and weak to cause injury by themselves. Their small heads were equipped with three waving antenna and long, serrated proboscises that jutted out from their foreheads, just above the beady eyes that stared out from under their chitin.
Kocrachons were both intelligent and utterly sadistic, the great pleasure they took in inflicting pain making them natural torturers. Their cruelty was subtle and slow, utilizing the skillfully precise methodology of a true expert when it came to the arts of pain.
By piercing into their victims with their proboscises for an extended period of time, kocrachons could inject them with a lethal disease that would kill over the course of several weeks, containing enough fluid to deliver three doses each day. Befitting their torturous duties, they were also capable of healing through the same method, transmitting a restorative fluid through injection and containing the same amount of fluid as for their other substance.
Physically speaking, kocrachons were rather weak, at least as far as devils were concerned. Besides the disease, which would take too long to have any immediate effect, they could only hurt their foes by stinging them and clamping down on them with their more powerful set of claws. Unlike other devils, they were particularly resistant to the cold, but they were more vulnerable when attacked from behind, and ultimately were most physically skilled at either scuttling or flying away.
Kocrachon's had the ordinary spell-like abilities of baatezu, as well as desecrate, detect magic, dispel magic, liquid pain, magic circle against good, sorrow, wave of grief, wither limb, wrack and, once per day, blasphemy. They could also occasionally summon other kocrachons to aid them.
Though they were quite capable of defending themselves, kocrachons loathed straightforward combat or indeed any altercations, preferring to take flight as opposed to fight. They had no combat obligations, favoring the patient torture of helpless victims to actual fighting, and were never sent to battle, their talents being too useful behind enemy lines to waste in battlefield confrontations. If battle became necessary, kocrachons preferred relying on their innate magic when fighting for as long as possible, but were capable of some melee damage.
Kocrachons were so adept with torture implements, and strong enough in the set of arms that housed their smaller claws, that by wielding cutting tools they could do more damage with them than they could with their larger pincers. This was partially because of the sheer skill with which they could wield their weapons, and much of the damage was only a temporary problem, the target recovering after a few hours. If a kocrachon was given at least a few minutes to study their opponents as well, they could become even more harrowing foes. Using their knowledge of anatomy, it took them only a short amount of time to pinpoint an area of incision where they could cut through to the bone or a sensitive area of exoskeleton to slash, severely debilitating their victims for several minutes as they recovered. Their psychological understanding also had some combat application, such as pretending to suffer from a blow to lure in their foes, a tactic they gleefully utilized.
The primary task of any kocrachon was to inflict pain, their secondary one being to extract information. Facts a kocrachon might inquire their captives about included battle plans and secrets regarding spies and they were able to choke confessions out from the most unwilling mouths. They were known to work alone or in teams, typically between 3 to 18, to obtain such crucial knowledge or to deal with groups of prisoners. Typically they worked in great citadels of Hell under the orders of some greater devil, free to move between layers but sometimes ordered to go to specific locations, although generally they preferred to concentrate on one group of victims in a certain place and being constantly moved could bend their typically unquestioning obedience.
But though kocrachon's were designed to bring pain, and even though they were devils, they were not immediately aware of their mission nor how best to perform it. Rather than being born experts, devils that became kocrachons had to study at the School of Pain, a learning institution of Hell underneath the Knoll of Blades in Dis which taught them the physiology and psychology of mortals and immortals alike, as well as how to torment and break them. Pearza, pit fiend researcher of the Dark Eight, commanded the torturers of the Knoll of Blades, their prestigious efficiency in information extraction making joining their ranks a deeply desired goal for those wishing to make names for themselves. The archdevil Dispater himself was known to employ over a thousand of them in his Iron City, such was the legendary prowess of the kocrachons.
The key aspect of kocrachon promotion actually laid in gaining respect. Despite technically being equal in rank to barbazus, kocrachons received far different treatment compared to the brutish warrior baatezu. Masters in the trade of suffering, kocrachons received respect for their skills, and those that captured and broke tanar'ri were admired less only than those who did so to celestials like archons and angels. Fiends finding goodness insufferable, those who managed to shatter celestials into screaming, quivering wrecks through unending experimentation, given their ability to withstand such great amounts of abuse, were worthy of high praise and equal esteem.
1) Suffer much and scream little.
2) Suffer much and scream more.
Those that demonstrated the greatest amount of skill were even able to develop a sense of kinship with their captives; despite still hating their torturers, even the victims would begin respecting them for their talent. Some would even feel the loathing recede in favor of pleasure, the poor souls feeling a need for more suffering and horrifyingly equating the exquisite pain with love. This could become a sick form of devotion, and the captives might start willingly following the kocrachon's suggestions, mortals and celestials released in this state being exceptionally dangerous. It was this level of skill that, after 223 years of excellent and faithful service, would see a kocrachon go up to the only place in the hierarchy it could ascend to, the status of erinyes, which most kocrachons eagerly anticipated and served well to achieve.
Becoming an erinyes was an important stepping stone for any ambitious baatezu, and thus others saw the rank of kocrachon as simply the step before that. Typically kocrachons were made from abishai that showed enough talent that their skills would be wasted as expendable barbazu soldiers, but those who showed even greater amounts of talent could skip the kocrachon stage and skip immediately to becoming erinyes. Ironically, the ones responsible for promoting such an abishai were kocrachons of the Knoll of Blades, which not only performed cosmetic surgery to make the draconic devil's features more appealing, but actually added an extra syllable to the creature's true name to make it more complicated, cunning and difficult to summon. It was suggested by some that kocrachons were sent to mold certain petitioners and prisoners to prepare them for being turned into certain types of baatezu, instilling in them the knowledge that only powerful beings had the privilege of inflicting pain and inspiring them strive for high status themselves.
Kocrachons were particularly notable among the baatezu for selling parts of their victims to obtain lost souls, allowing them to procure more interesting subjects. They were known to make such exchanges with night hags so the crones could create stitched devils.
When kocrachons learnt magic, they selectively focused on spells that would refine their torturing skills.
The antenna of a kocrachon allowed them to smell, hear, and discern subtle atmospheric differences.
- Video Games
- Neverwinter Nights: Darkness over Daggerford
- Monte Cook (Oct 2002). Book of Vile Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 175–176. ISBN 0-7869-0672-3.
- Colin McComb, Dori Hein (February 1995). “Monstrous Supplement”. In Dori Hein ed. Planes of Law (TSR, Inc), pp. 10–11. ISBN 0786900938.
- Colin McComb (September 1997). Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Edited by Ray Vallese. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 14–15. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- "The Hierarchy of Baator" poster included in Colin McComb and Wolfgang Baur (February 1995). Planes of Law. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 0-7869-0093-8.
- Colin McComb, Monte Cook (July 1996). “War Games”. In Ray Vallese ed. Hellbound: The Blood War (TSR, Inc.), p. 89. ISBN 0-7869-0407-0.
- Colin McComb, Monte Cook (July 1996). “The Dark of the War”. In Ray Vallese ed. Hellbound: The Blood War (TSR, Inc.), p. 21. ISBN 0-7869-0407-0.
- Colin McComb, Monte Cook (July 1996). “The Dark of the War”. In Ray Vallese ed. Hellbound: The Blood War (TSR, Inc.), pp. 20, 49. ISBN 0-7869-0407-0.
- (July 2007). Monster Manual V. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 37. ISBN 0-7869-4115-4.
- Ossian Studios (June 2018). Neverwinter Nights: Darkness over Daggerford. Beamdog.
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 • Seared devil • Stitched devil • Succubus • Tar devil