The tanar'ri (pronounced: /tɑːˈnɑːrritah-NAHR-ree[2] or: /tɛˈnɑːriteh-NAH-ree[3] or: /təˈnɑːrituh-NAHR-ee[4]) were the dominant subcategory of demons. Originally created by the obyriths as slaves, they eventually revolted against their masters, killing most of them and taking over as the dominant race of demons in the Abyss.[citation needed]

Most known demon lords were tanar'ri. The tanar'ri were essentially classic demons—those that arose as a result of faith and humanity and were reflections of cruelty, evil, and sin. They usually had a basic humanoid shape, although there were several exceptions. There were many known species of tanar'ri.[citation needed]

A balor and marilith, two types of tanar'ri.

Types of Tanar'ri[edit | edit source]

Cunning, millipede-like demons that emitted poisonous mist.
Alkiliths were disgusting masses of phosphorescent green ooze, essentially pollution and corruption made hatefully alive. They were often sent by demon lords into places even other demons hesitated to go, for they were capable of surviving in even the most inhospitable environs of the Abyss.
Monstrous demons that resembled centaurs. They normally acted as heavy cavalry in demonic armies, when they weren't running wild across the Abyss.
Arrow demon 
Arrow demons were wiry, four-armed humanoid demons that could wield two longbows at once. They were created as soldiers for the Abyssal armies.
These sneaky, sadistic demons had black skin stretched over a skeletal humanoid frame and a single curved horn on their head. Babau were around 6 ft (1.8 m) tall and had clawed hands. They often served as assassins for more powerful demons.
Balors were 12 ft (3.7 m) tall, bat-winged, red-skinned monstrosities that were among the most powerful kinds of tanar'ri. They often commanded other demons, either on their own or as officers for demon lords.
Sometimes called bar-lguras or leaping demons, barlgura were large, ape-like demons that acted as foot soldiers and preferred to travel and fight in packs.
Gaunt, minotaur-like demons that were among the creations of Baphomet.
Cerebriliths looked like large, ogre-like humanoids that walked on their knuckles and had somewhat skeletal bodies. However, they were more dangerous for their intellect and psionic powers.
Chasme, or fly demons, were large, numerous, blood-sucking demons that attacked in swarms and enjoyed torturing victims. They resembled horrific crosses between a fly and a human (with some mosquito thrown in for good measure).
These 4 ft (1.2 m) tall, ape-like demons were the least powerful kind of tanar'ri. They were cowardly and stupid, attacking in mobs in order to overwhelm opponents.
Glabrezu were large, powerful, intelligent demons that had four arms. Dispite their imposing physical appearance, glabrezu tended to be subtle and deceptive.
Goristros were huge, ferocious demons that resembled fiendish minotaurs.
Stinky, slimy, and violent, hezrous resembled bipedal toads with spikes on their back and a mouth full of teeth.
Kastighurs were massive, sadistic demons that often served as prison guards and hunters for more powerful demons. They were hideous, humanoid demons, with cloven hooves, horns, and claws, and often nailed armor directly onto their bodies.
Klurichirs were very rare and powerful tanar'ri. They had four arms, bat-like wings, and a second mouth on their abdomen.
Lilitus were former succubi that delighted in corrupting priests and religious orders and congregations.
Manes were 3 ft (0.9 m) tall, bloated humanoid demons that were among the weakest and most common demons.
Mariliths were very intelligent demons that had six arms, the torso of a human woman, and the lower body of a great serpent. They typically fought with weapons such as swords and rarely wore clothing.
Horrific, humanoid demons that could take on the forms of mortals that they consumed, maurezhi demons naturally had clawed hands, serrated teeth, and a pale, hunched body.
Rare cold-dwelling demons that were native to the Iron Wastes but were slowly being hunted to extinction by that layer's lord.
These vaguely humanoid demons had the head and tail of a jackal, along with paws in place of feet and red-orange skin. Molydeus also possessed a second, serpentine head and neck that sprouted from the back of the first neck. They were violent demons that normally roamed the Abyss.
Myrmyxicus were massive aquatic demons that had two mouths and four arms, among other features. They were arrogant and powerful, and preferred melee attacks to use of magic.
Also called death stealers, nabassu were demons that lived on the Material Plane as juveniles.
Nalfeshnee were absolutely hideous: grossly fat, humanoid, boar-like demons with vestigial feathered wings and tusks. They were disdainful of combat, but would fight anyway due to bloodlust.
Arrogant, flame-covered demons with vestigial wings.
Sorrowsworn demon 
Sorrowsworn demons could both cause and prey upon feelings of grief and despair. They resembled gaunt humanoids with dusky gray skin, clawed hands, horns, bat-like wings and fanged jaws set into skeletal heads.
Succubi were manipulative demons that looked like very beautiful human women with bat-like wings, small horns, and a barbed tail. The similarly attractive male form was called an incubus (plural incubi), and were rarer than succubi. Both varieties were skilled shapechangers and enjoyed sexual activities.
Uridezus were cowardly demons with a rat-like appearance. They walked upright and were hairless, but had clawed hands.
Vrocks were common demons that looked like a humanoid vulture, with gray skin and large feathered wings, as well as the head and beak of a vulture. Vrocks were vicious fighters and preferred to eat their victims alive.

Appendix[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 40–48. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  2. Dungeons & Dragons FAQ (HTML). Wizards of the Coast. (2003). Archived from the original on 2017-07-09. Retrieved on 2018-05-22.
  3. J. Paul LaFountain (1991). Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix. Edited by Timothy B. Brown. (TSR, Inc.), p. 5. ISBN 1-56076-055-9.
  4. Colin McComb (July 1996). “The Chant of the War”. In Ray Vallese ed. Hellbound: The Blood War (TSR, Inc), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-0407-0.

Connections[edit | edit source]

AdaruAlkilithArmaniteArrow demonBabauBalorBar-lguraBulezauCerebrilithChasmeDretchGlabrezuGoristroHezrouKastighurKlurichirManeMarilithMaurezhiMavawhanMolydeusNabassuNalfeshneeRutterkinSorrowswornSuccubusUridezuVrockYochlol
Miscellaneous Demons
Alu-fiendBebilithCambionDraudnuEkolidGhourImmolithKazrithMaw demonQuasitRetrieverShadow demonShoosuvaSibriexWastrilith
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.