Merregons, also known as a legion devils, were minor baatezu that were used as the foot soldiers in the legions of the Nine Hells. They were the most common soldiers in the armies of most devils, serving with a complete adherence to infernal laws and a distinct lack of ulterior motives.
Legion devils were numbered among the least baatezu by some scholars, but the wizard Mordenkainen and others considered them lesser devils. Mordenkainen gave them the same rank as bearded devils, though others placed merregons higher in the rankings still.
Legion devils were 6 ft (1.8 m) tall, 170 lb (77 kg) humanoids that sported deep red skin, and sharp teeth, although more recent reports claimed they had no facial features at all. They were usually outfitted with some combination of plate mail, longsword, shield, studded leather armor, chain mail coif, and longbow. While their right arms normally wielded a weapon their left forearms were bloated and studded with iron, with a small vestigial hand limply hanging from the limb. All merregons were identical, and the only way to tell them apart was to check the metal masks bolted to their faces which indicated their commander and the layer of the Nine Hells they were assigned to.
As with most devils, merregons were cruel, pitiless and harshly disciplined by their masters. Legion devils were exemplars of order, totally loyal to their masters without regard for their own existence and completely lacking in individuality and initiative. They lived to serve their masters and unquestioningly followed the infernal hierarchy, acting without fear and never retreating unless ordered to. On the flipside their unfettered dedication came with several flaws, such as their completely literal interpretation of commands, dull-minded brutishness, and complete predictability without outside interference.
The connection between merregons reached far beyond simple coordination, and was in truth an odd magical link between each other. A group of legion devils shared each other's vitality allowing an individual to keep fighting far after it would have been defeated. At the same time, harming one legion devil debilitated the whole group and a truly devastating blow to one could be enough to cause a whole legion to fall. This weakness could also be exploited by forcefully separating a legionnaire from its squadron. Those separated by about 100 ft (30 m) took a small portion of their shared power back, but if not enough remained then the removed soldier would likely perish.
They also formed a kind of hivemind when grouped together which like their shared vitality could be a blessing and a curse. Attempts to use mental magic would affect all in a squadron and not just the targeted individual, meaning that if any managed to overcome the effect then all of them shared in its success. The unfortunate byproduct of the ability was that if no member was capable of resisting the effect then all would succumb to it, meaning a single overpowering spell was enough to fall the legion. They could also teleport to any other legion devil within 100 feet and they themselves could attempt to call in an additional legion devil for aid.
Despite their lack individual prowess, legion devils worked in foot soldier regiments to overwhelm their opponents. A lone merregon was near always separated from its legion and attempted to find their fellow legionaries before trying to engage enemies, retreating and seeking help if met with violence. Together however, they could use their abilities as a strange group mind and training in team combat to surpasses their usual mental and physical limitations and fight with a previously unseen tactical adaptability and cunning. They tried to move in tight clusters to enhance their group combat skill and teleported short distances to flank or reposition themselves. Any causalities within their ranks were ignored despite the hopelessness of a given situation. As beings that lacked nuance and specialized in following orders it was often best for them to have a leader to guide their activities, otherwise they could be easily confused.
Legion devils themselves had different statuses within their battalions. The weakest of them were known as grunts, followed by hellguards, veterans, and finally legionnaires, the strongest of legion devils. The higher-ranking merregons were more perceptive, better armored, smarter and quicker, than their comrades, with only the most exceptional of them able to become officers in the armies of the Nine Hells. Such legion devil officers typically trained as warriors, but clerics, wizards, and sorcerers were also common.
Hundreds of merregons guarded the citadels, fortresses, and private domains of several devils, serving as the loyal foundation for many protective units. Countless regiments patrolled the Nine Hells, whether occupying their endless barracks in the ashen wastelands of Avernus or marching through the deep chasms of Nessus. Whether attacking or defending they could spend several days getting to the battlefield from their encampments. They could be found in smaller numbers on the Material Plane, protecting temples of evil or raiding the lands of the weak. Groups of two to four were known to serve as the bodyguards and soldiers of wicked wizards or dark clerics while troops of eight could mow down mortal battalions. Exceptionally evil overlords and vicious tyrants could receive one or more legions of sixty-four merregons to serve them as small personal armies.
Like mortals, legion devils required barracks, training grounds, and other provisions to do battle properly. Every day for them was the same regimented routine of guard duty, weapon practice, tactical study, camp maintenance, patrols, and other various tasks. Their strict schedules would be followed to the letter and without fault unless an outside circumstance changed the nature of their duties. Although they often carried coins they had no use for them due to their lack of individual motivation. This payment was a result of Hell's elaborate and seemingly impractical rules, forcing their masters to pay them wages they couldn't use and ensuring no individual duke of Hell could afford a legion of merregons strong enough to overwhelm their personal rivals.
Merregons came from the souls of soldiers, mercenaries and bodyguards that served evil masters unscrupulously. Most found their merciless loyalty rewarded with the eternal status of a legion devil.
Merregon masks were impossible to remove without first killing the legion devil wearing them.
- Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 166. ISBN 978-0786966240.
- Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 64–65. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
- 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), pp. 122–123. ISBN 978-0-7869-3940-4.
- 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.
- 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.
- Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 212. ISBN 0786966769.
- Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 238. ISBN 0786966769.
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