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This Edit

Is it just me or does it look like this page needs some cleaning? Just wanna ask before i try my hand at it! Terrorblades - This is recorded live at 19:18, April 5, 2012 (UTC)

In my opinion, most of the 'Lord of the...' sections could be condensed to a single paragraph, since the bulk of the information should be on the individual character articles. Also, since they use ===, there should be a == Lords == section that gives a brief overview of their responsibilities and how they came to rule the Nine Hells. Cronje (talkcontribs) 19:22, April 5, 2012 (UTC)
Hmm i agree... I tough it was very strange to have these long parts about characters that have there own pages filed with information. Terrorblades - This is recorded live at 19:26, April 5, 2012 (UTC)

The new monster manual says Zariel is the lord of the first..--76.11.147.48 18:19, September 30, 2014 (UTC)

That doesn't necessarily apply to the Forgotten Realms, though. -- Dark T Zeratul (talk) 21:38, September 30, 2014 (UTC)

That is true. They seem to be using it as the base this time around but that information could not apply. I do not know why i did not think about that. --76.11.147.48 06:12, October 1, 2014 (UTC)

Deities? Edit

Would the individual archdevils use the deity template? I know they aren't *technically* deities but they have symbols and cults and all that.Vegepygmy (talk) 01:24, December 24, 2019 (UTC)

The ones that grant powers and have followers can use the deity template, much like demon lords such as Demogorgon. --Ir'revrykal (talk) 09:10, May 20, 2020 (UTC)

Definition of archdevilEdit

The working definition of "archdevil" on this wiki appears to be too broad in relation to the source material. It currently appears to encompass any named, unique, and powerful devil. My hypothesis is that only the rulers of the Nine Hells qualify for the title. I will go through all the sources given in this article to find evidence for either definition.

  • Monster Manual 1st edition lists the following Arch-devils (p. 20–22): Asmodeus, Baalzebul, Dispater, Geryon. All of these are mentioned as ruling a layer of the Nine Hells.
  • Monster Manual II 1st edition provides more devils, but distinguishes between Arch-devils and Dukes of Hell (and Princesses of Hell) (p.45–49).
    • Belial, Mammon, Mephistopheles, Moloch are referred to as Arch-devils. All are referred to as ruling a layer.
    • Glasya is a "Princess of Hell" and a consort to Mammon.
    • The Dukes of Hell are all described as vassals or servants to arch-devils.
  • "New denizens of devildom" in Dragon #75 lists several dukes, all of whom serve an archdevil. The article distinguishes between archdevils and dukes: "[…] the dukes are about equivalent to a weaker Arch-Devil" (p. 8).
    • The term archdevil is reserved for the usual layer rulers.
  • The two-part article "The Nine Hells" in Dragon #75 and Dragon #76 distinguishes between archdevils and their vassals: "Some devils, even those of sufficient power to attain archdevil rank, see their safest position […] to be that of a lieutenant to an archdevil" (#75, p. 17). The article refers to several powerful, unique devils that roam Avernus but are not archdevils. The article also continues the distinction between archdevils and Dukes of Hell.
    • Explicitly referred to as archdevils: Asmodeus, Baalzebul, Geryon ("lesser" archdevil (p. 18)), Mephistopheles, Dispater, Belial, Moloch,
    • Astaroth is a "mysterious archdevil" (p. 19) that apparently does not rule a layer.
    • Dukes of Hell are consistently referred to as being servants of archdevils.
    • Powerful outcast devils are referred to as "greater devils"—indicating that Dukes are part of the hierarchy, while they are not.
  • The article "Nine Hells revisited" in Dragon #91 continues the archdevil/duke distinction.
    • Most unique greater devils are dukes (p. 32).
    • The usual rulers are referred to as archdevils.
    • Armaros is a greater devil "too powerful enough to be allowed the rank of archdevil" (p. 19).
    • Gargoth is an archdevil who does not reside in the Nine Hells (p. 30). He is mentioned as once being the second most powerful devil in Hell (after Asmodeus), before apparently being ousted. This indicates ousted rulers also qualify as archdevils.
    • Beherith is an archdevil (p. 32). He is mentioned as previously ruling Malbolge.
  • The book "Baator" in Planes of Law ditches the archdevil term in favor of "Lords of the Nine" and "archduke". These are, in order:
    • 1: Unknown (rules through Bel), 2: Dispater, 3: unknown, 4: unknown female, 5: Levistus, 6: unknown, 7: unknown, 8: Molikroth, 9: unknown.
    • Since the book is written from an in-universe perspective, this could indicate lack of knowledge on the author's part rather than an accurate description of the infernal hierarchy.
  • The article "The Lords of the Nine" in Dragon #223 builds on the information from Planes of Law.
    • Each Lord rules a layer of Baator.
    • The Lords are: 1: Bel, 2: Dispater, 3: "Minauros", 4: "Fierana", 5: Levistus, 6: the Hag Countess, 7: Triel (Baalzebul), 8: Molikroth, 9: the "Dark Lord of Nessus".
    • Again, this is all based on the in-universe perspective of one "Willgan the Dogged".
    • The Lords are all referred to as archdukes.
  • Guide to Hell returns to using the term "archdevil", but also uses "archduke". Both terms refer to Lords of the Nine.
    • The Lords: 1: Bel, 2: Dispater, 3: Mammon, 4: "Fierana"/Belial, 5: Levistus, 6: Hag Countess, 7: Baalzebul (Triel), 8: Mephistopheles, 9: Asmodeus.
    • All in all this seems like an attempt at bridging the Planescape lore with the older lore.
  • Fiendish Codex II refers to archdevils as "the most powerful devils of the Nine Hells. […] Such is their might that they function in many ways as deities. […] An archdevil is as close to a god as a creature can be without actually being one." (p. 141).
    • FCII lists the following under its section on archdevils: Bel, Dispater, Mammon, Belial/Fierna, Levistus, Glasya, Baalzebul, Mephistopheles, Asmodeus.
    • Other creatures specifically referred to as archdevils: Geryon (p. 58).
  • The article "The Dukes of Hell" in Dragon #360 distinguishes between dukes and archdevils: "These beings are the dukes of Hell, fiends that are more than the greater devils but less than the archdevils […]" (p. 41).
    • Again, only the Nine are referred to as archdevils. Moloch is referred to as a duke, but we know he is a (former) archdevil from other sources.
  • Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes uses "archdevil" with the following definition: "At the top of the hierarchy of the Nine Hells stand the archdevils […] They include the various lords, the nobles who owe them fealty, and some exiles and outcasts who have fallen out of favor."
    • In other words, ruling a layer is not a necessary component of being an archdevil in 5e.
    • The archdevils listed are: Bael (previously a Duke of Hell), Geryon (former ruler of Stygia), Hutijin (previously a Duke), Moloch (ousted ruler of Malbolge), Titivilus (possible new ruler of Dis, previously a Duke), Zariel (ruler of Avernus).

I'm sure there are more sources but I believe sufficient evidence has been presented. It's apparent that my hypothesis is wrong, and that the definition has indeed broadened over the years. Policy demands we defer to the latest edition's definition. The way I see it we have 2 options:

  1. Refer to all infernal "lords, the nobles who owe them fealty, and some exiles and outcasts who have fallen out of favor" as archdevils.
  2. Only use the term for devils explicitly referred to as archdevils.

I mildly favor option number 2, purely because it is slightly more edition-neutral and slightly cleaner (the cut-off is clearer). Any thoughts on this extremely minor and pedantic issue? --Ir'revrykal (talk) 09:10, May 20, 2020 (UTC)

Also, the "power level" infobox field (under edition statistics) should reflect the power levels given in each edition. For example, Titivilus should be a Duke in earlier editions, but an archdevil in 5e. --Ir'revrykal (talk) 09:25, May 20, 2020 (UTC)

As I see it, "archdevil" is used three different ways:

  1. As a title to indicate the ruler of a layer or a plane
  2. As an indication of power, as in "quasi-deity"
  3. As a group name for the upper echelons of the devilish hierarchy (dukes and above (?), where archduke equals archdevil)

I think a disambiguation page on this would be appropriate, once we come to a consensus.

My concern is which ones get to use the {{Deity}} template. The "power level" fields are for distinguishing between deity ranks (which actually have a number from 0 to 20 associated with them in 3rd edition) and page 8 of Deities and Demigods says that in core D&D archdevils and demon princes are not gods and do not go above 0 in the ranking. I believe the Forgotten Realms uses one of the alternate schemes described, where powerful demons, devils, and elementals can get as high as rank 5 (demigod), but I'm not 100% sure on this, and we know that Asmodeus made the leap to full deity status.

So, if possible, we should use the {{Person}} template for all except the ones that have a deity rank (or the equivalent in whatever edition the source material is from), and just use the title field for Duke, Lord, or whatever (with {{former}} as needed) for the vast majority of unique fiends. The Deity template should only be used for those that we find evidence of a divine rank in the source. —Moviesign (talk) 14:00, May 20, 2020 (UTC)

All good points. We know from several of these sourcebooks that most archdevils have cults and can grant powers, so {{Deity}} is appropriate. In fact, it seems the Lords of the Nine are a divine pantheon in 4e, subservient to Asmodeus (Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, p. 81). Since "archdevil" seems to, as you rightly pointed out, apply to three different things, it is perhaps best to treat it as a title, and as an indication of "power level" where appropriate.
With that in mind, I propose two quick fixes:
  • Find out which archdevils apply for {{Deity}}, and implement that infobox
  • For infoboxes, treat "archdevil" as a title or rank, not a race.
That leaves only the question of whether we should apply the "archdevil" tag to all named, unique devils, or just the ones explicitly referred to as archdevils. --Ir'revrykal (talk) 14:22, May 20, 2020 (UTC)
Currently, the only ones getting a deity template are the Lords of the Nine, who do have all the deity stuff spelled out for them in 3e. I'm still working on the 1e archdevils, so I am not entirely sure which other archdevils may qualify for the deity template- that is, which other archdevils were given the "deity stuff", so to speak.
I do hold to my opinion that all the unique devils are archdevils, be they exiles, dukes, or archdukes. This is in part because that is a canonical usage, and in part because it makes sense.
Good day to you all.--SilverTiger (talk) 15:00, May 20, 2020 (UTC)
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