Uridezu, otherwise known as rat-fiends, were cowardly tanar'ri demons that normally performed errands for more powerful demonic beings. Although they originated from the Abyss, they were the demons most likely to be found on other planes.
Uridezu walked upright, standing 6 ft (1.8 m) on their short legs with a long, flexible tail at their back. They were rat-like creatures with hairless, leprous skin and a whiskered snout. Although the bodies of the rat-fiends were muscular, they were also hunched over. A pair of wild claws and sharp incisors furthered their animalistic appearance.
Rat-fiends possessed rudimentary intelligence, capable of dictating and following simple commands, as well as recognizing when a strategy had become non-viable. They were craven tanar'ri that fled if they felt truly threatened. Their complete gutlessness was contrasted by their love of praise, and they would do nearly anything to serve their master's will. Due to the regular abuse they suffered within the Abyss, uridezu preferred to travel to other locations, such as the Material Plane.
The bite of an uridezu was incredibly dangerous, capable of causing paralysis for minutes, if not hours at a time. Their whip-like tails could be used as weapons to trip up their targets or swiftly disarm them, although they weren't prehensile.
If outmatched or outnumbered uridezu could call upon their connection to rats in order to turn the tables. Through a strange, instinctual bond, normal rats saw uridezu as their masters, and willfully heeded their calls. Uridezu could convey simple messages to rats and naturally had an easier time receiving their assistance, although this connection did not let uridezu force them to obey their commands.
Uridezu were capable of summoning other members of their kind to aid them, and some could even call to their masters for assistance, although doing so often ended poorly for them. While capable of inter-planar travel, doing so required an uridezu to be undisturbed for a few dozen seconds, so they sought to do so when isolated. Their bodies were sustained by planes beyond the Abyss, and disintegrated five minutes after death.
Uridezu, being the spineless creatures they were, exercised ambushes to weaken their targets. They would send rats to harrass and harm their enemies before disarming them in the dark. Afterwards, they would utilize their paralysis before carrying them back to their lairs.
Uridezu were normally found under the command of more powerful forces of the Abyss, such as succubi, glabrezus, and even balors. They were regularly abused by demons of higher status and kept as slaves, servitors, messengers, and occasionally assassins. Their resistance to the effects of other planes made it easy to send them out of the Abyss. Rat-fiends attempted to endear themselves to their masters with excellent service, and accomplished uridezu were treated well. At the same time, uridezu that were no longer useful were quickly discarded or devoured.
Because of their poor treatment on their plane of origin, uridezu were often happy to serve non-abyssal masters. Powerful mortals sometimes used uridezu as minions and servants, a deal somewhat superior to their normal, miserable existence. Tanar'ri sometimes loaned particularly inept or argumentative uridezu to their mortal allies and servants rather than simply killing them.
As they were unsightly to most beings of the Material Plane, uridezu occupied isolated, underground locations when present there, such as ruins, slums, cellars, and other urban areas. On rare occasions uridezu found themselves trapped on the Material Plane for centuries, and at these times befriended the local rats while bothering other nearby residents. Normal and dire rats served uridezu as scouts, spies, and bodyguards, but hunted for their own food.
Rat-fiends with no master in the Abyss were annoyances with an ecological role similar to that of ordinary rats, scavenging scraps of food and attacking the few creatures weaker than them, such as rutterkin and dretches.
Uridezu demons were apparently created from rodent-like monsters of the Abyss, either through magical mutation or the prevalence of a particularly vicious variety.
- Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 164–165. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
- Anthony Pryor (1994). Marco Volo: Departure. (TSR, Inc.), p. 32. ISBN 1-5607-6848-7.
- (1998). Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Four. (TSR, Inc), p. 83. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
- Lisa Smedman (February 2005). Extinction. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 23. ISBN 0-7869-3596-0.
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