“Have no pity for this damnable wretch. Bloody thing could grow up to be a demon lord one day”

  — Emirikol the Chaotic

A mane (or manes singular and plural[1]) was a demon formed when a chaotic evil soul died and was sent to the Abyss.[6][1] Manes were considered the "fodder" of the Abyss and below all other tanar'ri.[7]


Manes were approximately three feet (.9 meter) tall humanoids that were surprisingly light for their build, only weighing 15 lbs (6.8 kg).[6] Their bodies were pale and bloated, were nearly hairless, and crawling with maggots that actually fed on them. White eyes constantly dripped disgusting liquids, and showed no signs of sentience. Their jagged teeth and cruel claws went to further exemplify their feral minds.[3]


Manes would normally make a decent rank in file combat force as their pure hatefulness drove them to attack any non-demonic entities they encountered. Unfortunately for other tanar'ri, manes were also incredibly stupid and difficult to control, although not due to rebelliousness.[6] For example, manes armed with maces would soon after being instructed on what to do with them, forget their purpose and fight like wild animals. Objects carried no value to the manes as they only cared to fight and fought with what they already had. They also had no sense of self preservation and would continue to attack in a way detrimental to their own survival and those of their armies. Although they could not speak they were able to understand simple concepts as a side effect of their limited tanar'ri telepathy, and could understand more complex commands made in abyssal.[3] When not actively being told what to do they traveled in packs wandering the abyss or acted simperingly towards higher demons. A rare few manes retained fragmented memories of their mortal lives, but in most cases they were mere beasts.[6]


Because manes would quickly forget why they held weaponry it was easier for higher ranking demons to simply let them fight with their natural weaponry. Because they lacked proper sentience, manes could not be magically mind controlled. Manes would be ineffective combatants akin to sluggish dogs if not for their innumerable quantities.[3] Manes could not be truly killed except in very specific circumstances. Normally when slain their bodies would disperse into a noxious vapor before reforming a day later.[1] Since manes were the former souls of the dead who found themselves in the abyss, the number of manes was almost always growing, so much so that non-tanari feared them in general.[5] Unlike most demons who rose in power based on how many they killed, manes could be transformed by the forces of the Abyss into more powerful tanar'ri at random.[6]


Swarms of manes that wandered the Abyss usually were made up of groups of about a dozen or so. However, wild manes could also travel in massive hordes of up to 100 at a time creating devastating demonic forces.[3] Manes were viewed by other tanar'ri as an expendable fighting force similar to a dretch, but not truly as soldiers as they could not be outfitted or given complex orders.[3] Rather manes functioned as controlled fires, grouped into legions of thousands or more and set to march in specific directions or placed in certain areas to overwhelm selective targets.[6] The station of manes was so low that to most tanar'ri, manes were not true truly one of them. They were thought of as sub-tanar'ric monsters, and worthy of nothing but scorn by all others in the Abyss.[3] A majority of demon lords and princes used the manes as a food source, and devouring them would permanently erase them from existence.[5] Many were traded within abyssal citadels as slaves and used as currencies between evil spellcasters and outsiders.[6] Those who resided within Gehenna were often the most evil among them and sent to the mortal realm for 24 hours to sow chaos and destruction.[5] Otherwise manes who showed a glimmer of intellect or a particular cruelty might be promoted by more powerful tanar'ri and transformed into higher ranked demons. These transformations were largely unpredictable ranging from as simple as a rutterkin to as strong as a vrock. Manes with memories left were more likely to advance like this and the most despicable of them could transform into balor or even molydeus.[6] Orcus himself could transform the corpse-like manes into more conventional undead like ghouls and shadows depending on their wickedness in life.[1] Manes were just as likely however to have their numbers culled out of a pragmatic fear of their spontaneous transformations, as so many existed that the probability of one rising to demon lord status was an unsettling possibility.[8]

Mane, Rutterkin, Bar-Lgura

Mane (lower left) and other minor demons.


Along with other demons, manes roamed the streets of Menzoberranzan in 14851486 DR.[9] 

Ships of chaos were tied together with strands of the spirits of manes.[10] Such ships could also be powered by eating manes.[11]

It was rumored that the mortals who were the most cruel in life before being turned into manes were imprisoned in a place called the Pits of Despair, purported to exist hidden underneath the Mountain of Woe. No sage or wizard had truly seen the Pits however, and it's existence was not truly confirmed .[3]






Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.