Yugoloths (pronounced: /ˈjglθYOO-go-loth[7]), also known as daemons (pronounced: /ˈdmʌnzDAY-munz[8]) or nicknamed loths,[9] were neutral evil fiends of malevolent intent and mercenary mindset. The conspiratorial string-pullers interfered in the affairs of the other fiendish races only when they saw situations that could prove profitable or that they could potentially twist to advance their own agendas, such as by aiding both sides of the neverending Blood War between the baatezu and tanar'ri.

Spawned on the Gray Waste (the very heart of evil) and nourished on Gehenna (the very forge of unforgiving brutality), the yugoloth race is notorious for the ill ends to which it applies its manipulative genius. Pray that their plans - whatever they may be - never come to fruition.
— The Unnamed[9]

Description[edit | edit source]

Many mortals suspected that the yugoloth race as a whole had undergone some form of cross-breeding or otherworldly mutation simply because of the utterly bizarre nature of their appearances at times. The variation between castes was unpredictable; the form above and below a yugoloth could be completely alien to their present form and possibly not even seem alive.[9] One common factor between the different types was that they usually smelt of brimstone and, in their natural forms, left faint ash trails unless making a conscious effort not to.[3] Another shared trait was that the daemons combined some physical features of both demons and devils.[6]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Yugoloths were possibly the most selfish beings in the multiverse, entities of such bottomless greed that the possibility of unimaginable torture wasn't enough to stem their unending cupidity.[3][5] Said to be the personifications of avarice, the yugoloths were infamous for backstabbing when presented with greater payment than was given by their previous patrons. Naturally, such self-serving beings were also quarrelsome, regularly bickering[1][3] and perfectly willing to rip each other to pieces and sell one another out.[9] They gleefully caused pain and misery to those around them,[3] often taking the opportunity to indulge in their violent instincts but always acting in their own best interests.[1]

What's in it for me?
— What a yugoloth often said upon being asked to do something[1]

Deception[edit | edit source]

Yugoloths manipulating devils and demons

Perhaps more than their rapacity, the yugoloths were known for being perhaps the greatest deceivers in reality, ruling through trickery, bluffs and misdirection with such masterfully refined skills of manipulation that even devils could be made to seem like foolish mortal children. The webs of intrigues the daemons crafted were so vast that few could escape, with even powerful immortals sometimes being ensnared and with many not even being aware they were part of the scheme. Conversely, just as the machinations of yugoloths could be immeasurably wide they could also seem unfathomably deep.[9][10]

The yugoloths were experts in the art of creating wheels within wheels, weaving multilayered plans and, just when they seemed to be defeated, turning the tables and revealing that everything was going according to plan. Their instincts regarding reading expressions and deciphering intentions meant that even when one believed that they had procured their secrets, there was a fair likelihood that, whether true or false, the daemons wanted them to believe that. With plots so complex and yet utterly simple, the daemons actually getting caught was a rare occurrence, although it nonetheless happened and when it did the yugoloths brushed it off as a fluke.[9][10]

But just as speculation ran wild in regards to the yugoloths, they themselves downplayed their involvement in most events, able to raise enough reasonable doubt that an accuser would end up doubting themselves. Only the most paranoid and cynical beings in existence with the time, which would normally require one to be immortal, and resources to delve into their motives would be capable of finding of figuring the various master schemes of the yugoloth race. The yugoloths were fully aware of their reputation for dishonesty, which, when combined with their intuitive sense of what their opposition could be thinking, could easily result in their opponent becoming plagued by indecision and uncertainty. No matter how many levels down into deception one was, even if it might seem absurd in most situations, there was still the possibility that the yugoloths might have placed them there on purpose.[9][10]

Move along. We're not the fiends you're looking for.
— An arcanaloth playing mind games with a mortal[9]

The simplest possible approach to dealing with yugoloths, aside from driving oneself insane from the multilevel conspiracies, was simply not to trust a word they said. Carefully watching every syllable they uttered from a distance, so as to avoid getting personally wrapped up in the schemes, was the safest way to deal with them, hoping that a certain line could give away the truth, that they would make a mistake and contradict each other, or that their pride wouldn't allow them to keep the secret.[9][10] They kept to their word only when it benefited them to do so[11] and constantly defied their superiors for extra power, superiors who themselves had several cons in motion to better themselves at the expense of their kin.[10]

Contributing to the deceptive nature of the yugoloths was their individualistic nature and unpredictable behavioral patterns. Most of the time they simply manipulated their foes, but their levels of civility towards a random stranger could range from wanton murder to unbridled praise. They held demonic levels of spiteful wrath and devilish degrees of calculated cruelty.[11] Their evil was the opposite of other fiends and yet paradoxically included both methods of their more ethically extreme counterparts. They were both devious and direct, intelligent and impetuous, acting with civility when others showed savagery and, sometimes, offered a gentle hand where others employed an iron fist.[12] Always keeping their true feelings and thoughts shrouded, daemons were, perhaps more than any other fiend the most difficult to understand.[10][12]

Perfection[edit | edit source]

Do you honestly think we believe ourselves evil? My friend, we seek only good. It's just that our definitions don't quite match.
— Ailanreanter the arcanaloth[12]

The core driving principle behind the yugoloths, possibly the best way to understand them, was their relationship towards the concept of evil. In the minds of the yugoloths, evil was perfection, although obviously to them, what was considered evil by ordinary standards wasn't actually wrong. Though many claimed to desire perfection, the yugoloths believed that their weak philosophies and permission of mistakes tainted their view, and that only they pursued true perfection.[10][9] The petty considerations of law and chaos were meaningless to them, distractions that prevented consideration of the possibilities of pure evil.[11]

How do they become so devious, so callous? Imagine, dear Reader, that your closest friend, the being you trust most in the entire world, is suddenly revealed to have been molding you to his needs and goals all along. How do you react? With shock and dismay, certainly, with self-loathing for letting yourself be fooled. And you resolve not to make the same mistake with the next being you choose to befriend ... but it happens again. And again. Over and over, until you become untrusting, using others to see if they have the integrity to treat you as you deserve. By then, of course, you can clearly see how much smarter you are than everyone else, how you can manipulate others to your ends - and then you discover, once again, that you’ve been molded. The evolution continues. Though you see the pattern - indeed, though you set the pattern all around you - you come to realize that there’s something greater. You feel no passion for your inferiors; they can be - should be - nothing but your unwitting pawns. Now you look to control the thing that controls you. So it is with the yugoloths.
— Mowatt Ke'Mahn[9]

Accordingly, the daemons perceived themselves as above the demons and devils that were corrupted by such a dichotomy to ridiculous extremes, and vainly thought of themselves as the only "true" fiends. Supposedly, according to themselves anyway, the daemons were beings of unmitigated evil, so filled with its essence that they were hopelessly beyond redemption.[9] Just as they praised the virtues of evil, yugoloths unabashedly despised the "virtues" of good, and went out of their way to quash and crush even the smallest sparks of it whenever possible.[11] For some of the more educated yugoloths, torture was not only a pragmatic tool and form of entertainment but a philosophical interpretation of their existence.[12] Befitting their philosophical outlook, yugoloths acted with sociopathic self-interest, viewing themselves as the chessmasters in a grand game and seeing all other beings as pieces to be moved where it best suited them. The multiverse was their board and even if other yugoloths could see the pieces, they were all pawns nonetheless.[9]

In their pursuit of perfect evil, yugoloths also drove themselves to be totally emotionless, seeking to exemplify the dispassionate evil best exemplified in the Gray Wastes. The lack of emotion, however wasn't to be mistaken for a lack of understanding of it, since emotion was a valuable tool that could be manipulated to their advantage. Instead, the yugoloths sought to reach a state of unfeeling, high-functioning psychopathy, with the ability to operate with cold logic and hard intuition to best bring about their desires. Pride and honor were liabilities and trust was unreliable, being abused was not to provoke anger and the primal emotions of greed and jealousy were to be replaced with unfeeling ambition for evermore power.[9]

Of course, those were just the virtues of the race, their view of what it meant to be strong, and like many idealists, the yugoloths themselves often couldn't live up to them. Yugoloths as high as arcanaloths had, according to certain celestials, had their deeply repressed emotions brought to surface, and presumably yugoloths of higher station manipulated the feelings of their lower brethren to comparatively lesser degrees of complexity. It was said that even a daemon of such high station as an oinoloth could "devolve" and be made to feel emotions once again, although in the one potential case the emotion was hatred towards a rival yugoloth for their treachery.[9]

Similarly, the yugoloth claim that they had rid themselves of law and chaos was, as one might expect, a lie, or at the very least a half-truth. Though it might once had been the case that the yugoloths had purged themselves of such things, modern yugoloths were nonetheless susceptible to the concepts,[9] the tyrannical piscoloths for example being stained by the impurity of law.[13] Even more surprisingly, despite flaunting the notion of being purely evil, it was possible for even an ultroloth to find redemption and seek to do good,[14] although it was likely a safe decision to assume that no yugoloth ever would.[9]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Spell-like abilities common to yugoloths, although not necessarily possessed by all members, included invisibility, darkness, detect magic and dispel magic, along with the less common powers of alter self and charm person or suggestion. Other supernatural abilities included telepathic communication several dozen feet away, the power to flawlessly teleport from place to place and the ability to summon others of their kind to varying degrees of success.[1][2][6][5]

Trying to use acid or poison, let alone fire against the Gehennan natives, did nothing to a yugoloth besides potentially amusing them. They were resistant to magic and unenchanted weapons were practically useless, but it was said that silvered weapons could harm them. Although reports varied on its actual effectiveness, ranging from heavy resistance to surprising vulnerability, electricity and gases were said to harm yugoloths more effectively than other methods and cold was particularly deadly.[2][6][5]

Combat[edit | edit source]

Yugoloths were as fierce[5] as they were focused, generally choosing one opponent to attack until they were defeated before moving on to their next enemy.[3] Raised in a culture of bluffs and uncertainty,[9] they normally used their most powerful spell-like abilities and attacks as soon as possible, even if it wasn't obvious what they were up against, rather than save their power for later.[3]

A nycaloth and mezzoloth both poised to fight

An important element to take note of when yugoloths were fighting was their fickle, selfish attitudes. Despite being predisposed to enjoy violence, yugoloths fought primarily for their own betterment and had a completely mercantile approach to combat, gladly turning on their allies for the right price.[1][3]

This lack of loyalty was also why gating in others of their kind was a risky tactic for them, since their kin likely wouldn't take well to such peremptory summons. Factoring in their level of strength relative to the one that summoned them, there was about a 25% chance that the summoned yugoloth would turn on their summoner to aid their enemy, with fairly good chances of a betrayal if the two were of similar strength. Afterwards, the traitor would attempt to glean some kind of reward for its assistance.[9][5]

A fearsome nycaloth prepared for battle

Warfare[edit | edit source]

Daemons were less efficient formation warriors than devils, capable of fighting as a team but doing so purely for their own personal advancement and with less regimentation than an infernal legion. At the same time, they were more organized than demons, kept in line by a strong leader that gave their units more cohesion than an abyssal horde. In a way, this could make them scarier fighting force than both, since unlike certain devils they were capable of acting independently in battle, but unlike demons they could also coordinate their actions, a major part of their success.[1][10]

Common mercenary company units included a few hundred mezzoloths, some scores of dhergoloths and a couple of piscoloths to keep them under control, although sometimes there were bands of a hundred or so hydroloths with the one closest to advancement placed as leader.[10]

Society[edit | edit source]

Yugoloths operated in an advanced, societal system focused on enhancing the evil of its members and that encouraged a direct line of progress towards their end goals.[9] Though many yugoloths had some form of personal lives, all of which they had to grudgingly put aside at the demands of their superiors,[10] there was speculation that the race was evolving into some singular organism, although others dismissed this as a childish notion and viewed them merely as a collection of "cooperating" individuals.[9]

In theoretical structure, yugoloth society was simplistic and feudal, a hierarchy of fiefdoms and outlined territories.[3] In practice however, it was nowhere near as stable as that arrangement might sound, filled with the byzantine schemes one might expect from a race of disloyal deceivers. Despite technically having a leader and sharing the goal of bringing perfection to reality, there was no unified idea on what that perfection actually was. As such, yugoloths were fiercely divided and constantly took part in factional warfare, each fighting to bring their idea of the perfect evil to dominion. If this degenerated into a physical matter, a simple duel could turn into an all-out faction war where multiple cabals, along with subordinates and allies, fought in a chaotic brawl until afterwards the remaining fiends realigned, with most of them unaware of who was really on who's side.[9]

True to its feudal form, daemon society was based on a caste system, although one based on unorthodox principles. A yugoloth's rank wasn't based purely on their physical strength, with several yugoloths of higher station being easily defeated by those several leagues lower, but neither was it based on raw intellectual greatness. Instead, the center of yugoloth culture was based on a yugoloth's ability to bluff, to be cunning and manipulative rather than domineering and heavy-handed. The hierarchy taught those within it to achieve their goals by ruling from the shadows, using those of greater strength, whether physical or mental, to obtain and maintain more influence for themselves.[12][9]

The bluff was how weaker yugoloths of higher station compelled those of lower status to fall in line, and by convincing their lessers of their greater power, as well as that of the hierarchy, yugoloths of greater rank quashed descent and reinforced the fearsome nature of the hierarchy in a feedback loop of fear. That in mind, their societal structure wasn't completely based on lies, otherwise it would completely collapse the moment that it was tested, and ruling yugoloths typically possessed some way of backing up their word if their bluffs were called. At the same time, the method of doing this was often just another bluff, as the dominant daemon used increasingly greater threats until the servitor either relented or fully rebelled, prompting their superior to use everything at their disposal to force them back into line.[9]

Castes[edit | edit source]

Yugoloths were typically split into two categories: greater and lesser, based on the prior principles. Greater yugoloths were ruling officers and policy-makers responsible for guiding the race's decision while maintaining their reign through intimidating presence and lethal power, magical or mundane.[10][9] Lesser yugoloths were rank-in-file servitors, tools to bring the visions of the elite to reality and that served for the faint promise that with power, cunning, intelligence and diligence, they too could ascend to greatness.[10][9][5] Such yugoloths had little free will and rarely knew the schemes of the greater yugoloths, simply moving like pawns where they were ordered to. This distinction, between free-willed chooser and unwilling tool, was the crucial difference between the greater and lesser caste.[10][9]

However, it was also argued that there was a third caste of yugoloth, least yugoloths, entities that were typically classified as being creations designed to serve a specific purpose. Such daemons weren't considered true yugoloths, but former yugoloths could potentially be demoted into them as a form of punishment and would lose all perceived status as members of the yugoloth race. A common factor between those proposed to fit in this caste, namely guardian yugoloths and canoloths, was that they were incapable of rebellion. In the formers' case this was due to essentially being living constructs incapable of independent, albeit intelligent, thought, and in the latter's a result of being too stupid.[10][9]

On the opposite side of the spectrum were the yugoloth lords, the unique masters of the race that didn't belong to any caste. Some held official positions in the hierarchy like the Oinoloth, while others rose to prominence some other way like the altraloths. Being a yugoloth lord didn't necessarily have a transformation attached to it[9][15] and some of them were just powerful entities that otherwise had little to do with yugoloths, such as fallen solars or otherwise displaced archfiends.[16]

Least Yugoloths[edit | edit source]

  • Battleloth: Created for war, battleloths were yugoloths that served as literal tools which could take on the forms of various weapons.[17]

A canoloth and ultroloth.

  • Canoloth: The "dogs" of the yugoloth race,[9] canoloths existed as a punishment caste[18] and served as guard dogs, retrievers, hunting hounds and pets.[2][10][19]
  • Guardian daemon: Guardian daemons were created by real yugoloths to act as lesser servants for their mortal allies, and to serve in their stead when powerful wizards tried to summon them.[9][20]
  • Skeroloth: Like canoloths, the pathetic skeroloths were a punishment caste, the simpering, unintelligent insectoids being unwillingly charged with spying, thieving and infiltration.[21][18]
  • Voor: Hulking brutes sometimes specifically bred for certain tasks, voors were unerringly loyal monstrosities used as guardians, protectors, bodyguards, and enforcers for powerful fiends.[22]

Lesser Yugoloths[edit | edit source]

  • Mezzoloth: The most common kind of yugoloths, mezzoloths resembled four-armed, bipedal insects and served as rank-and-file grunts in yugoloth mercenary companies.[4][9]
  • Dhergoloth: Larger insectoid warriors of only slightly higher rank than mezzoloths, dhergoloths essentially served the same role as brutish foot soldiers.[2][9]
  • Piscoloth: Piscine, sergeant yugoloths of domineering demeanor, piscoloths often worked together in small groups, tasked with trying to maintain order in yugoloth mercenary companies.[9][5]
  • Hydroloth: Amphibious assault troops that inhabited the River Styx unharmed, hydroloths were elite fighters that specialized in ambush strikes and underwater missions, as well as retrieving things lost underwater.[2][9][5]
  • Yagnoloth: The misshapen minor lords of the yugoloth race and most hated of their kind, yagnoloths were responsible for maintaining yugoloth provinces and lorded over all lesser yugoloths as well as some greater yugoloths.[2][9][5]
  • Merrenoloth: Skeletal boatmen of the River Styx, merrenoloths were the most specialized yugoloths and those closest to becoming greater yugoloths, acting as free agents that ferried passengers throughout the lower planes via the River of Blood.[3][2][9]

Greater Yugoloths[edit | edit source]

  • Nycaloth: Least of the greater yugoloths, nycaloths served as both combatants and observers, fighting on the battlefield as an elite flying force and watching the war efforts before reporting their findings to those above them.[4][9][10]
  • Arcanaloth: The civilized record-keepers of the yugoloths, arcanaloths masterfully crafted contracts with mortals and other fiends alike, deciding which forces to delegate where and when and how much to charge for their services in order to ensure the success of yugoloth goals.[3][9][10]
  • Ultroloth: Enigmatic visionaries and masterminds of the yugoloth race, ultroloths determined the course their kind would take to achieve their despicable ends, ruling over the mercenary companies and others through fear and shadowy manipulation.[4][9][5]

Yugoloth Lords[edit | edit source]

  • Altraloth: Made from yugoloths of any type, altraloths were fiends who, either for their needs or those of the witches, entered a deal with night hags that would enhance them, some using their newfound powers to master over other yugoloths and others doing as they pleased independent of their kin.[15]
  • Baernoloth: Sometimes classified as greater yugoloths,[12] baernoloths were supposedly the primal champions of evil who created the yugoloths, although in recent times they scoffed at their schemes and had little to do with their society besides allegedly giving advice to certain ultroloths.[9][23]
  • Oinoloth: Despite being the ruler of Khin-Oin and nominal leader of the yugoloth race, responsible for uniting the fractured cultural elements of their society, the Oinoloth spent most of their time simply playing factions off each other trying to prevent them from turning to him.[9]

Miscellaneous Yugoloths[edit | edit source]

A corruptor of fate.

  • Corruptor of fate: Stealthy and cunning manipulators of luck, corruptors of fate were philosophical bringers of misfortune and murder that often worked under yugoloth patrons as assassins.[24]
  • Echinoloth: Rear echelons of the yugoloth armies, echinoloths were bizarre yugoloth amalgamations of squids and starfish that mopped up, or in other words, devoured, remaining soldiers on the battlefield.[25]
  • Gacholoth: Infiltrators and saboteurs, gacholoths were four-legged horrors that waited to betray their supposed masters and reveal their true loyalties, their terrorist tactics and deceit sometimes granting them minor positions of power among daemons.[26]
  • Raavasta: Expert deal-makers that caused chaos to divert from their schemes, raavastas were sly, fox-headed humanoids thought to be descended from arcanaloths.[27]

Promotion[edit | edit source]

Like that of the devils, a comparison neither appreciated, the yugoloth way of life was defined by their caste, and most of their kind spent their lives learning the skills and information needed to progress to the next stage. The scheming was even more subtle than baatezu conspiracies since their politics were normally kept mental and verbal, and there was no way to tell when a particularly brutal leader was placed in charge to test the loyalty of those below.[9] Those that did have the willpower, as well as skill, to best their superiors could be promoted, so in a sense, the entire life of a yugoloth could be regarded as one massive test.[9][10]

However, unlike that of the devils, the yugoloth hierarchy wasn't a complicated web in and of itself, filled with lateral promotions and multiple points of progressions. Comparing it to the demonic system would also be flawed since there was still a structure for the daemons to follow. Instead, yugoloths had to walk a straightforward line of advancement with no shortcuts or alternate paths, with the exception of demotions. Neither good record nor burning ambition could allow them to skip stages and every rank had to do their time, a time which could last centuries if not millennia. Not every yugoloth had the patience or will to go through the process and some were content to stay at their current level.[9]

Power. We all crave it, but only a select few of us deserve it.
— Shemeska the Marauder, an arcanaloth of Sigil[1]

Despite the caste system placing different yugoloth types in a direct chain-of-command, yugoloths of the same caste were relatively equivalent. By proving their merit, yugoloths could receive special notice, and members of each type struggling to prove themselves worthy of such attention, certain that rising in the ranks would problems would be solved.[9] However, each yugoloth class was dominated and controlled to some extent by the strongest and smartest members of their type[6] and ascending to the next caste only made a noteworthy yugoloth of lower caste an ordinary member of a higher caste, so the cycle of distinguishment before homogenization repeated itself over and over with greater complexity each time.[9]

The actual process of promotion was a perilous affair and whether or not promotion was received on a few factors, all based on if the daemon in question was mastering the art of "yugolothness". The candidate had to possess a record indicating an excellent streak of service in their current rank, as well as truly believe in the necessity of pure evil ruling reality. Finally, each yugoloth caste had a special lesson inherent to it that members had to learn in order to advance to the next stage, each of which were designed to teach the members about, in the yugoloth view, what it truly meant to have power.[9]

When a yugoloth believed that it was ready to ascend, it petitioned its immediate superiors for a review so that it could demonstrate its knowledge and skill, although it could take somewhere between years and centuries for the request to be heard depending on the wishes of the higher ranking daemon. The superior daemon would determine if their inferiors had properly met the outlined steps, and, if impressed by their wickedness and cunning would, suggest that the promotion go through to their own superiors, the area where many promotions stopped. The yugoloth "eligible" for promotion was put before a circle of judges comprised of daemons two castes higher than themselves that would proceed to mercilessly hound the candidate for personal observations and insights, ruthlessly badgering them with questions and challenges to see if they were really worthy.[9][12]

If unimpressed by its performance, the judges would either demote the promotion candidate at best or kill them and leave them for the scavengers at worst. The one who recommended them meanwhile would have their skin flayed and be exiled, forced to wander Gehenna for some unspecified period of time, meaning that all yugoloths were extremely careful about recommending themselves or others. If they did meet the requirements, then they were congratulated and underwent a ritual, typically at the Gehennan volcano of Mungoth, meant to wipe away the faults that they accrued in their current lives, wiping the slate clean for the fiend to come while ensuring they retained the lessons of their past stage.[9][12]

Slower. Deeper. A little to the left. Aah. The exquisite pain!
— A nycaloth being promoted into an arcanaloth[12]

The process was called Purification, a horrific, painful procedure said to make some want to gouge out their eyes and give balors nightmares, in which the yugoloth bathed in the rain, snow and acid of Mungoth to cleanse them of external impurities. Then they were slain with a blade of magma, obsidian and captured souls and had their bodies thrown in the volcano. Though their outer forms were killed, having sloughed off the previous body, inside would be a newborn but nonetheless capable and intelligent yugoloth of the higher caste, ready to rejoin society again. The exact process of the ritual varied in specifics depending on the type of yugoloth in question but always involved a cleansing and rebirth, whereupon the new yugoloth would have to prove themselves all over again.[9][12]

Of course, all of that said, the entire process of service, lessons, distinguishment, purification and rebirth was far easier said than done, given the existence of several other hundreds of yugoloths all striving to do the same. Like with most fiends, yugoloths had to look out for danger in all directions, from their superiors trying to withhold their own positions from greedy upstarts, from their inferiors trying to best their betters and take their place, and from equals trying to prove themselves at the expense of their fellows. Part of the basis of yugoloth advancement was effectively determining rival schemes, whether from superiors, inferiors or in between.[9]

Rogues[edit | edit source]

Not worth a yugoloth.
— An insult to shrewd oath-breakers and lovable rogues[5]

Among fiends there were rogues that ignored the teachings of their own race in favor of others, whether it meant embracing a new form of evil or rising to take on more noble traits. For yugoloths, betraying their kin, whether through straightforward rebellion or subtle plots, was not going rogue, but actually embracing the tenants of their race. Even yugoloths that disagreed with the majority political opinion of their kind weren't rogues, although voicing their opinions could get them tortured until they either proved their "dangerous ideas" worthy of merit or recanted them. Yugoloths that did such things were still "welcomed" back, afterwards and even mutinies were tolerated, albeit moreso at the lower ends of the hierarchy since those of greater status should have known better.[9]

Instead, yugoloths were considered true race traitors when they truly tried to leave their kind, abandoning the cause of raising evil to prominence, and such traitors were ruthlessly prosecuted and killed. Even if being actively hunted down by righteous celestials they would practically ignore the invading force and focus on one killing one minor daemon. Some claimed this was because even the lesser yugoloths held secrets important enough that they had to be silenced while others speculated that the yugoloths were simply vindictive. Regardless, becoming a true rogue among yugoloths was an extremely dangerous move, and some chose to obliterate themselves as opposed to deserting.[9]

Magic[edit | edit source]

Compared to the demons and devils, daemons didn't often learn spellcasting, preferring to leave such tasks to enslaved mortals. Most didn't have the patience or wish to study learned magic with a few exceptions. Yagnoloths normally used learned magic to either cast destructive spells like cone of cold or lightning bolt, which they enjoyed, or as a method of protecting their hated selves from other yugoloths. Arcanaloths were natural mages, all capable of learning powerful magic with ease and balancing offensive and defensive spells with those used to retreat. Ironically, ultroloths on the other hand were unlikely to become wizards despite their cerebral motif since they preferred to let others work for them, only occasionally studying magic but typically forcing slave mages to do their bidding to reinforce their egos.[10]

Language[edit | edit source]

Yugoloths had a complex language reminiscent of the odor of rotting roses and whispering wind blowing across sand. Despite most being telepathic, they could also choose to speak, a common choice when talking to non-yugoloths to make their messages properly conveyed and something relied upon by ones like the arcanaloths. True to their backwards nature however, while most would speak to convey simple ideas and use telepathy for the important or complicated messages, yugoloths did the opposite.[9]

With the right magic, telepathic conversations could be intercepted, but coded messages and thieves' cants could not be so easily deciphered. Almost every yugoloth word had two or more definitions, meaning that yugoloths could be saying at least two things based on their phrasing, word choice, inflection. Less intelligent yugoloths, such as mezzoloths or dhergoloths, have little to no practice in their native tongue and so when trying to convey meaning beyond the surface sounds normally, and amusingly, ended up misunderstanding each other.[9]

Uh... the phoenix crows at midnight. The well is dry, sixteen.
— A mezzoloth trying to deliver its secret meaning[9]

However, this didn't mean that yugoloths of different ranks spoke separate languages, simply that the tongue could be more skillfully used by those of higher station, making it appear like a different language. No mortal had ever mastered the language beyond the skill of a nycaloth and it was said that not even balors or pit fiends could truly understand the conversations of the ultroloths, the subtleties and secret synonyms becoming too unfathomable. It was said that doing so would turn one into a yugoloth, as by that point the corruption would take root in the soul.[9]

Religion[edit | edit source]

The yugoloths seemed to lack any real association with deities, and in fact didn't seem to worship any, evil or otherwise. It was thought that yugoloth priests, if they even existed, would be outcasts among their kind.[10] Most of the deities that took up residence in Gehenna seemed to have come after them and daemon history put them as being possibly younger than the fiends themselves. The daemons generally treated deities as they did all other beings, as things to be manipulated and eliminated as needed.[10][28]

The machinations of the yugoloths were so elaborate that sometimes even gods could be taken into them,[10] some were known to take jobs from divine beings,[19] and it was rumored that the yugoloths had even managed to kill gods in the past. The tower of Khin-Oin was said to be the flayed spine of the first deity that tried to cross the yugoloths,[28] and an ancient legend told a particularly frightening tale for the gods. The yugoloths, although possibly the baatezu, spent millennia destroying the faith of a deity that had been bothering them, luring some with riches and power and killing others with wars and pestilence, making sure they lost their faith before death, until the interloping god withered away and its husk was left to drift throughout the Astral Plane.[29]

General of Gehenna[edit | edit source]

If the yugoloths could be said to have a god, it would have been the General of Gehenna, an enigmatic being whose power was said to approach that of a demideity.[28] He was said to be many other things, some of them being contradictory; the first, strongest ultroloth or a returned baernaloth, a symbol to be revered but the most fearsome being in reality, the leader of yugoloths and the knower of all things fiendish,[9] and one able to convene with and kill gods.[9]

He roamed between the layers of Gehenna in his Crawling City[28] unable to be found unless he deign himself to be and many ultroloths set out to find the General. Some wished to serve him and obtain power and prestige while others wanted to gain his advice and secrets, although only a rare few returned invigorated and more powerful while most either came back with nothing or were found dead and charred.[1][12]

Whatever he knew, the word of the General of Gehenna was perhaps the one thing held by the yugoloths to be sacrosanct, his myths being strong enough to band all the race's factions together and his decrees believed to be something that not even the Oinoloth would dare lie about, a reputation considered true power by daemons.[9] There was no form of widespread opposition to his rule or organized front against the General, but outside his immediate influence no yugoloth hesitated to act independently and given their nature, their loyalty to him was divided.[28]

Baernaloths and Evil[edit | edit source]

However, the General himself was known to rely heavily on the advice of the primordial evils known as baernaloths, the supposed creators of the daemon race. The moral detachment, the mechanical, merciless pursuit of evil that the yugoloths sought to exemplify was demonstrated in the baernaloths.[9][23] The baernaloths were even harder to find then the General so most ultroloths made do with trying to find him, their secrets being prized by all ultroloths.[12] According to legend, the baernaloths were the direct spawn of purest evil, creatures that, in their prime,[10] could corrupt celestials with their very words, whose utterances held such power that when formed into dark secrets, could turn even a beautiful creature into a twisted amalgamation of flesh and loathing.[30]

Yugoloths are the worst kind of fanatics, the sort who tenaciously do whatever it takes to realize their goals. They’ve spent countless eons scheming to drag the multiverse toward the pole of Evil, and they’ve laid their webs in every corner of the planes. They love nothing more than a challenge, and they seek out - and annihilate - any and all challenges to the supremacy of their guiding force.
— The Unnamed[9]

But more than the General of Gehenna, and more than the ancient baernaloths, the yugoloths revered only one thing, pure evil. Not simply evil, but Evil, the cosmic force which they believed the baernaloths, and thus, they themselves, were spawned from. The disloyal daemons were dedicated to furthering what they believed to be their patron force, sought to drive all beings towards it and it was possibly the one thing that the greediest beings in the multiverse would sacrifice for. Even as they sought individual dominion over the multiverse, they were ironically sworn to treachery and bound by self-interest, and no matter how high they rose they would view themselves as servitors of darkness.[9][10] The rare few that did become clerics were faithful not to deities but to their philosophies,[3] and the race as a whole would always fight for what they saw as the greater good, or rather, the greater evil.[9]

Relations[edit | edit source]

Yugoloths offered their services to the highest bidder, regardless of their background or other characteristics, even if their employer was a celestial such as an angel.[9][10][31] Often times this meant acting as mercenaries for various planar powers, but jobs as bodyguards and torturers weren't out of the question.[3] Generally speaking, yugoloths would do take any job regardless of its moral or ethical nature, but this willingness to work was countered by their willingness to exploit every possible loophole in their contracts[2] and still betray even if they couldn't find any to obtain greater rewards. Their notoriously mercantile reputation was actually something the yugoloths cultivated themselves, and while confusing on the surface, the reasoning was devious.[1][10]

Fiends[edit | edit source]

Yugoloths were undoubtedly effective and the fact that their services were for everyone made them of invaluable usefulness.[1][9] This also meant that their primary customers, the demons and devils, couldn't fully trust them because at any time, even during a battle, they could turn to the other side. For this reason, unless able to force their hand somehow, both sides had to compete to keep their mercenaries satisfied.[1][10]

The Blood War is but a game, its armies merely our pieces.
— Ailanreanter the Arcanaloth[32]

In fact, despite their usefulness, neither the baatezu nor the tanar'ri particularly wanted to make use of the daemonic forces as a result of their treacherous habits. The mercenaries never agreed to any deal that forbade them from switching sides, and yet both sides had to use them since either side ignoring them would cause the daemons to gravitate to the other, giving their rivals an exclusive advantage.[2][5] Because of this, both demonic and devilish armies were often given war chests of some kind to try and incite betrayal from opposing yugoloth forces, leading to a complicated back and forth where the war chests were fought over, disguised, trapped or replaced with decoys.[2]

The yugoloth influence in the Blood War however was more than just random, opportunistic greed, but part of their nefarious plan. Ironically, despite both sides viewing their services as necessary, the yugoloths timed their betrayals strategically to ensure that the Blood War never ended, watching its progress and tipping the scales back and forth when one side got an advantage. This kept the yugoloths raking in neverending profits from the neverending conflict, with the demons and devils being either none the wiser or unable to change the situation. There were even rumors that the yugoloths started the Blood War in the first place, perhaps in some grand, evil experiment to strengthen the cause of evil,[10][12] although the yugoloths being themselves, there was little actual evidence to support this.[9]

Tanar'ri. Baatezu. The only difference between ’em is you collect before the job from the first, and after the job from the last.
— Overheard at a yugoloth training camp[5]

In regards to the specific types of fiends, yugoloths seemed to cooperate more easily with the lawful ones. Aside from the Gray Wastes, the areas of yugoloth dominion were lawful, consisting of Gehenna, where they utterly dominated, and Acheron, under at least partial control.[1] They traded nupperibos with devils in lieu of payment for their mercenary services, nupperibos who would suffer horribly and be eaten regardless.[5]

On the other hand, their associations with chaos were considerably worse, as they had no dominion in Acheron's chaotic counterpart Pandemonium.[1] Meanwhile, in contrast to their complete control over Gehenna, the yugoloths were fighting a three-way war to control Carceri. The daemons competed over Carceri with the demons, pitting their relatively superior organization against the effectively infinite forces of the Abyss, although few demon or daemon lords cared enough to try and interfere with the situation. In truth, the war was more or less an endless insurgency against whichever side came to power in a certain region and, provided that they could control them, powerful arcanaloths and cambions often had both demons and daemons in their retinues.[33]

Even worse, especially for the yugoloths, were the demodands, the native inhabitants of Carceri. Combining the worst qualities of daemons and demons,[33] the demodands were the natural enemies of the yugoloths and all things related to them. While they generally hated everyone, demodands had a special loathing reserved for the daemons, a primal, everlasting grudge that compelled them to destroy everything they sought to accomplish. They ruined the plans of the yugoloths in Tarterus, attacked them on sight and went out of their way to form raiding parties to attack Gehenna, stopping at nothing to bring down their archenemies.[12][34]

It is indeed a great deal I have accomplished so far and will accomplish before my task is through. I am as anxious to turn the page as you are.
— Shatoran author Xideous in the foreword to his revised Book of Keeping[35]

One shator, the highest form of gehreleth, had conspired to collect the names of hundreds of yugoloths into a new Book of Keeping, an ancient, obscure book listing the true names of the original yugoloth race.[35] In general however, the shators ventured throughout the multiverse tricking mortal poets and philosophers into focusing the multiverse's hatred on the yugoloths. Their creator, supposedly an exiled baernaloth deity known as Apomps, knew that if there was one thing yugoloths feared, it was the light of truth, and despite him and his creations being as unspeakably despicable as the daemons, they were a constant disruption for their sinister schemes.[34]

Mortals[edit | edit source]

Yugoloths didn't have as much use for mortal souls as the baatezu or tanar'ri, and viewed going out of there way to kill them as a waste of resources. Mortals did have uses, such as unknowingly carrying out their plans, so that they would take the blame if the plan was discovered. Some mortals sought to hire, or at least deal with daemons, and given that the yugoloths regularly manipulated both demons and devils, possibly the most conniving, destructive and dangerous entities in the multiverse, this was normally a horrible idea.[9]

Fame. Recognition. Admiration. The usual.
— An arcanaloth relaying a client's desires[31]

While it was possible that a mortal had seen through a yugoloth's scheme, even those aware of their wily natures still fell for their tricks, with some celestials attributing such belief that they found the truth to mortal ego. Though they somewhat lacked use for mortals, that wasn't to say that they didn't want to corrupt them. Drawing others towards evil was incredibly important to yugoloths, and they would use any means at their disposal to do so. They would intimidate the fearful, bribe the greedy, flatter the insecure, tempt tyrants and appeal to the self-centered, taking advantage of every flaw and always striving to drag more mortals down into darkness.[9]

Powerful yugoloths, such as yugoloth lords, could also act as patrons, granting those that formally supplicated and showed unmitigated obedience to them a small fraction of their power, supplicants known as scions of sorrow. These counterparts to demonic thralls and hellish disciples of darkness could go a step beyond and become tormented knights, counterparts to demonsworn and hellbound knight respectively, that brought woe and suffering to the foes of the daemons. Such knights could drain the personality of lawful and chaotic outsiders, like demons and devils, and had their flesh turn pale and unnaturally cold.[36]

Summoning[edit | edit source]

Generally, yugoloths didn't want to work for entities weaker than themselves, only entering alliances in such circumstances if a strong, evil leader and proper reward was given, and even then establishing themselves as the superior in the partnership.[6] In some ways, they were easier to deal with than demons and devils since they actually made deals and weren't as strict about the letter of the laws, but on the other hand this simply meant that trapping a yugoloth in its words wouldn't work since they could either invoke loopholes against their employers or just decide to ignore their promises. Regardless, trying to actually deal with the demanding daemons could be more trouble than they were worth, because of their insanely high prices. Most warlords of the Material Plane couldn't afford to maintain a daemon mercenary company for any significant length of time, much less keep their loyalty.[1][2]

As for the actual process of summoning, the nature of yugoloths as servitors and workers for hire made them naturally vulnerable to summoning spells. Trying to conjure a being of the lower planes randomly, without a name or idea in mind, was 40% likely to summon a yugoloth and the rest of the time summoned a gehreleth.[5] Calling a yugoloth in such a way could only bring daemons like canoloths or guardian yugoloths, beings specifically designed to answer such calls so that the real daemons wouldn't have to bother.[9] All yugoloths had true names that one could use to summon and dominate them, although lesser daemons only had one, while the greater daemons normally had several to keep hidden. Of course, a yugoloth summoned but not controlled by the being that used its true name would immediately try to cover up knowledge of it by killing the summoner, so it was wise to have some form of protection, such as pentagrams which were said to ward off daemonkind.[6]

When dealing with a yugoloth, expect the unexpected —and then hide.
— Planar common sense[9]

Even if correctly summoned and controlled, a yugoloth would publicly make clear their dissatisfaction with the situation and like a stubborn child, would intentionally find ways to misinterpret orders.[1] But even if the difficult binding of a greater yugoloth went as planned for the entire length of the process, the creature still had to be generously rewarded for service afterwards. Otherwise the summoner would have to deal with a vengeful, immoral immortal that was at best irritated and at worst, especially if they were summoned twice within the short period of time that was a mortal lifespan, furiously outraged.[5][9] As for how to obtain the true name of a yugoloth, it was possible to steal or buy the name from some demon or devil that managed to discover it or find another entity, presuming they hadn't been killed and had all possessed evidence of the name destroyed, that summoned a yugoloth before.[9]

However, the most reliable text on summoning yugoloths had to be the Book of Keeping, an ancient tome penned by some unknown entity containing details on how to summon and control yugoloths and the true names of several of them, including greater varieties. Originally there were said to be four Books of Keeping, but later counts reported there to be six and later ten, indicating that the first few counts were wrong or that someone succeeded in making more copies. The death of a yugoloth caused its name to disappear from the books, likely making older copies less useful, and the actual locations of the Books of Keeping were unknown since they drifted across the planes until randomly stumbled upon. However, it was said that the names of other types of fiends were in the tome as well, purportedly the names of a few demon lords and archdevils.[1][5][9]

Ecology[edit | edit source]

Although there was contention on whether or not it was true, it was reported that yugoloths were planar beings of flesh and blood that had the physiological requirements of eating and sleeping.[9]

Diet[edit | edit source]

Yugoloths generally consumed meat, and could do so even if it had been rotting in poor conditions over long periods of time, but normally they preferred living beings. Supposedly they could taste the negative emotions of the subject when they consumed them, each type producing a different flavor and each yugoloth having their unique tastes. Most lesser yugoloths enjoyed the taste of fear, the alleged reason being that it gave the flesh the right amount of angst and despair. Greater yugoloths rarely cared about the quality or emotion of their prey, consuming more and more of the corpse despite its condition the higher they were.[9]

Regardless of whether they needed to, eating was done less for survival and more for symbolism. Considering themselves to be at the top of all food chains, yugoloths happily took life and ate their victims to convey their contempt and arrogance to all of existence.[9]

Sleep[edit | edit source]

The lower-level, military yugoloths, (mezzoloths, dhergoloths, piscoloths, and hydroloths), had to sleep every day, albeit shorter than most at three hours. They were also light sleepers given that they often had to immediately leap into action at the demands of their superiors. Yagnoloths and merrenoloths on the other hand slept for five hours every three days, but rather than laying down on the nearest surface they buried themselves in the materials of the plane. This was suspected to be a form of imitation of the greater yugoloths, specifically the nycaloths and arcanaloths, that literally merged with the plane they were sleeping on for nine hours every nine days. Supposedly this also let them merge with the chosen element, (water, wood, soil, or otherwise) and draw energy directly from the plane as well as see where its power was growing and fading. It was unknown if ultroloths had to replenish in any capacity, only that once every decade, they left for a day and returned the next.[9]

Gender and Birth[edit | edit source]

Yugoloths were a race of hermaphrodites able to switch sexes at a whim and only identifying as male, female, or neuter based on the situation, although technically speaking they could be considered both male and female at the same time.[9] Apparently yugoloths were also fully capable of producing half-fiends, and their blood could be distilled to the point where there were tieflings with yugoloth heritage.[16][37] All types could breed and all could either sire or host young, although the actual results were as physiologically baffling as they were.[9]

A yugoloth tiefling

No matter the combination, any union between two lesser yugoloths produced a mezzoloth, one that had to be raised to adulthood, but greater yugoloths had to breed within their own type. Arcanaloths and ultroloths, the ultroloths doing so asexually, always spawned young arcanaloths, each raised with care and taught how to negotiate, although most of which ended up as scribes in the Tower Arcane. Nycaloths were the only yugoloths that were the exclusive producers of their own kind.[9]

A burning star falling from the void or a petitioner on fire? It makes no difference; both are equally beautiful to me.
— Helekanalaith, keeper of the Tower Arcane[12]

However, procreation was actually discouraged by the yugoloths despite them lacking as many avenues for reproduction.[9][12] Unlike tanar'ri or baatezu, that could turn mortal petitioners into more of themselves, or even the gehreleths, that used the corpses on Carceri and the essence of Apomps to maintain their immortal population, yugoloths had no way to create more of themselves from the dead. It was part of why they considered themselves the only true fiends, since they derived their numbers from their native planes.[9] As for why mating was looked down upon, it was so not to fill the ranks of their race with inexperienced fodder and to ensure that only the best of their race made it into positions of power through merit rather than birth.[9][12]

Death[edit | edit source]

Countering this however, was the claim that the amount of yugoloths in the multiverse never decreased, as the daemons received new members of their kind directly from the planes themselves. According to the rumors, the yugoloths reinforced their numbers by harnessing the essences of the lower planes themselves, that the towers of the yugoloths, the Wasting Tower in Hades, the Tower Arcane in Gehenna and, if finished, the Tower of Incarnate Pain in Carceri, attracted evil energy to form a new yugoloth every time another one died. This could simply be propaganda spread by the yugoloths themselves to incite apathy and discourage resistance against their plans, but the yugoloths did indeed have certain resistances to being killed.[9]

It was said that under ordinary circumstances, lesser yugoloths almost certainly died when killed, no matter the plane they were on, although this was of suspect accuracy. However, killing a greater yugoloth on any plane besides Gehenna, Hades or Carceri, although there were reports that this only applied to Gehenna, would cause them to melt into a pool of ichor and reform ten to thirteen years later.[1][9][6] It was unknown if they were dangerous or sentient while the process was underway, but by the end they would be reshaped by the energies of the plane and spawned there with full strength, complete memory of what killed them and a strong desire to avenge their deaths. The exceptions to these rules were said to be the dhergoloths, which reformed so long as they were killed anywhere except other planes, and arcanaloths, which were believed to be so strongly tied to Gehenna that they could only truly be killed there.[9]

Under ordinary circumstances, yugoloths would fight to the death anywhere they couldn't permanently be killed, particularly Hell and the Abyss, knowing that they would eventually come back, but on their native plane would beg and flee if death seemed imminent. However, despite not arising from petitioners, yugoloths could in fact be resurrected after true death using a powerful, unholy ritual involving the expenditure of souls, one of such an exceptional nature that compelling a yugoloth to fight on its home plane required astronomical sums that always attracted an ultroloth's attentions.[1][2]

Uses[edit | edit source]

Using the dried and powdered brain of a powerful yugoloth as a component in a spell, although those of other neutral evil fiends worked equally well, created a minor chance that the spell would be irresistible.[38]

History[edit | edit source]

The history of the yugoloths was a long one that, given their propensity for lying, was all of suspect nature. Despite the arcanaloths claiming to have the only honest records since they all double-checked each other's work, the fact that no one else was allowed to actually see their records made that claim unverifiable. According to a forbidden daemon text known as The Book of Derelict Magicks however, their history, as they believed it to go, went accordingly.[10]

In the beginning of Being, primal forces battled across reality to become the guiding force of all existence, those forces being Good and Evil along with Law and Chaos over the field of Neutrality. At one point, each being too evenly balanced to gain any ground, the ethical forces of Law and Chaos each combined with the moral forces of Good and Evil, although no resolution came from that either. Eventually, the various forces realized the futility of their situation and so created minions to serve as their agents, the force of Evil creating the beings that eventually became known as the baernaloths,[10] although in a tome called the Book of Inverted Darkness they were referred to simply as the Baern.[30] The Baern were sagacious and cunning and so spent millennia devising a method for Evil to triumph, eventually deciding to make the yugoloth race,[10] supposedly in a pit under what would later become Khin-Oin.[28]

An ultroloth and arcanaloth looking over the Gray Wastes

The Book of Derelict Magicks, then digressed for several hundred pages to detail the merits of the yugoloth race before continuing its narrative, which relatively matched other yugoloth texts. The perfection of the yugoloths was then threatened by Law and Chaos, which split the yugoloths ideologically by introducing meaningless ethical dilemmas until one of the first yugoloths to become ultroloths devised a solution. After thorough experimentation, it created a gem called the Heart of Darkness with which to purge the Law and Chaos from its brethren, for which it was hailed as a hero, although some rejected its cure and fled into the Gray Wastes to meet an unmentioned fate. Meanwhile, the strands of Law and Chaos went into the soul larva of Hades, which were then herded off into Hell and the Abyss and that would then mutate into the baatezu and tanar'ri races respectively, alternate histories positing that the ultroloth herders would become the original archdevils and demon lords by harnessing the larva's awe.[10]

After using the Heart of Darkness the ultroloth share some knowledge with the arcanaloths before vanishing into Gehenna, thus receiving his title as its General. After the tanar'ri and baatezu began rising to prominence, the baernaloths suddenly left, leaving in ones and threes into the corners of Hades allowing the ultroloths to take up the mantle of leadership. As the demons and devils began fighting each other some time later, the daemons emerged from centuries of isolationism to offer their services to one side, a side which they would betray in the very first battle. Thus this cycle continued until the Blood War reached its modern state.[10]

Accuracy[edit | edit source]

Given that yugoloth history was lost so far back in time that their own texts could hardly be considered authorities on the matter, and the fact that the main source, the Book of Derelict Magicks, was written by a potentially insane yugoloth, the entire creation myth of the race given by them was of highly suspect veracity.[10][9] Mortals claiming to have spoken to the baernaloths before, the very notion poking holes in ultroloth claims that only they had a chance to locate them, reported that the Baern had admitted to giving the ultroloths advice and information about various fiends, but denied having created the yugoloths. Given that the baernaloths enjoyed spreading harm in its many forms whenever possible, trickery included, and that the ultroloths often used the legend to reinforce their rule, either or both could be partaking in some form of grand deception.[23][9] Besides themselves, most beings viewed the stories of the yugoloths as fabrications and fables written by hopeless liars, and that their creation myth was just a way of making the yugoloths feel important. Given the fiendish tendency to rewrite history to fit the prevailing political atmosphere, the infernal and abyssal iterations of history weren't exactly more reliable.[10][9]

Certain texts of inestimable age however, claimed that the yugoloths had some influence in the creation of other fiendish races, specifically the baernaloths creating the obyrith demons and a proto-race of ancient Baatorian devils. An obyrith lord known as Bechard within Yeenoghu's realm, formerly with perfect control of the weather and more recently akin to a beached whale that often hurt itself with acid storms, stated to trusted visitors that the obyriths had originally migrated to the Abyss after fleeing a race of creators, although given the slowly dying obyrith only retained a fraction of his sentience he was not the most reliable source.[39] Some legends regarding the obyrith Pale Night, often referred to as the Mother of Demons, claimed that she mated with a baernaloth to produce some vile, Abyssal creatures, but such tales were likely born more out of prejudice than evidence.[40]

Another obyrith lord, a many-eyed prophet known as Cabiri, who had abandoned the Queen of Chaos after foreseeing her failure, had apparently discovered some truth behind the creation of the obyriths during his disappearance which prompted him to search out the baernaloths. The information they were confronted with was apparently enough for them to arrange for him to be imprisoned in The Wells of Darkness.[41] More than any singular source, the Baern knew most about all fiends and lower-planar creatures, and if they didn't create them, they most certainly possessed secret knowledge regarding their existence.[41][23]

As for why the yugoloths migrated to Gehenna, the reasoning was unknown even to scholars, possibly to escape the constant violence of the Blood War but perhaps for more nefarious reasons.[12] Less yugoloth-centric versions of their history painted them not as the spawn of ultimate evil but as the creations of a coven of Gehennan night hags. As the widely believed story went, the yugoloths were commissions by Asmodeus himself, who desired warriors not bound to Hell, and so the night hags created all the original daemons and wrote their true names down in the Books of Keeping, the exception being the mysterious General of Gehenna. Eventually the bickering that befell most hag sisterhoods caused them to lose the book, freeing the yugoloths and allowing them to carve out their future elsewhere.[1] This tale certainly explained the night hag ability to create altraloths given the apathy both the night hag deity Cegilune and the baernaloths showed to their respective followers.[15]

Maeldur[edit | edit source]

Regardless, the yugoloths did have a plan to bring the impure yugoloth mockeries that were the baatezu and tanar'ri under their heel, an eon spanning master scheme involving a corrupted celestial known as the Maeldur. In short, the Maeldur was used as a teleportation matrix to give all demons, daemons and devils their ability to teleport before the yugoloths had it temporarily decommissioned. After a winding series of events it ended up dumped in the River Styx and then collected out and encouraged to take up its former job, once again with its memories erased, leaving yugoloths the only fiends capable of still using it, unless of course the others swore loyalty to them. The extent to which this worked was unclear but whether it went perfectly or atrociously, the yugoloth master plan was ultimately unchanged; to manipulate the Blood War until they could unite the fiendish planes under the banner of perfection and subjugate the multiverse to ultimate Evil, and they were perfectly willing to wait.[10][30]

The Weeping War[edit | edit source]

Captain Fflar Starbrow Melruth slays Aulmpiter at Myth Drannor in 714 DR

In −1200 DR, a group of Netherese arcanists summoned a trio of nycaloths (Aulmpiter, Gaulguth, and Malimshaer) to test the defenses of the elven realm of Cormanthyr. The nycaloths, who served Malkizid and became known as the Khovanilessa (which meant the "Trio Nefarious"), caused a great deal of damage before Cormanthyr's high mages succeeded in imprisoning them with epic magic.[42]

Unfortunately for Cormanthyr, the prison did not hold forever. In 708 DR, the flight of the elven-raised red dragon Garnetallisar over the realm inadvertently fulfilled one of the conditions of their release, weakening the magical barrier enough that a gnoll shaman could summon them. The Trio quickly moved to exact vengeance on the elves, raising the Army of Darkness and invading northern Cormanthyr in 711 DR, sparking the Weeping War. The next year, the Army of Darkness crushed a force of Harpers at Twilight. Garnetallisar struck back, causing some damage but vanishing in the midst of the fight.

The war raged on. In 713 DR, Cormanthyran forces killed Gaulguth and Malimshaer, but the Army continued to advance on Myth Drannor; its citizens began to evacuate. Taking advantage of the war, drow forces attacked and recaptured the Twisted Tower.

The war ended in disaster for the elves in 714 DR, when Myth Drannor fell. The only good that came out of this came when Captain Fflar Starbrow Melruth slew Aulmpiter, the final member of the Trio Nefarious. The seat of power in Cormanthyr returned to the Elven Court, and the nation was barred to non-elves.[43]

War of the Spider Queen[edit | edit source]

The ultroloth Inthracis mustered the majority of his army at the behest of Vhaeraun to kill Lolth's Yor'thae, thus preventing her elevation to greater power. He and his army failed in their task, and Inthracis himself was killed by Pharaun Mizzrym but was resurrected using one of his Stasis clones that he kept on the Blood Rift.[44]

Rumors and Legends[edit | edit source]

Fear the baatezu: They are cold and cunning disciplinarians.
Fear the tanar’ri: They are brutal, bloodthirsty killers.
But most of all, fear the yugoloths: They are masks of mystery, and no matter how many layers of skin you peel away, you will never know how many still lie between you and the true, face.
— The Unnamed[9]

The conspiracies and speculation regarding the yugoloths was far too numerous, deep and spanning to review in any form of detail, and since several rumors were propagated by the yugoloths themselves, much of it was untrustworthy. From the completion of the Tower of Pain Incarnate resulting in the triumph of evil, to the irreducibility of their numbers, nothing about the yugoloths was as it seemed.[9]

One legend of note however involved the General of Gehenna, a fearsome, apocalyptic portent of the end times. It was said that if the Crawling City of the General of Gehenna was ever to enter the Blood War, the conflict would finally reach a decisive end. The General's presence would herald the final battle and the hidden lore he brought would allow him to dominate all the entire multiverse.[10][28]

Notable Yugoloths[edit | edit source]

  • Anthraxus The Oinoloth, briefly usurped by Mydianchlarus.[15]
  • Bubonix. A former arcanaloth, later the master of the Tower of Incarnate Pain.[15]
  • Charon. The ruler of the marraenoloths, ferryman of the River of Blood.[6][15]
  • Inthracis. An ultroloth necromancer master of Corpsehaven..[44]
  • Kexxon. An Oinoloth, that acted as the Archgeneral of the Blood Rift..[44]
  • Malkizid: Formerly a solar serving the Seldarine, Malkizid was later both an exiled archdevil and a lord of yugoloths.[16]
  • Mydianchlarus was briefly the Oinoloth, ruler of the Wasting Tower of Khin-Oin.[45]
  • Taba. One of the greatest spies and thieves in the Fiendish Planes, Taba could appear as any sort of fiend. She used her abilities primarily to acquire wealth.[15]
  • Typhus. Resembling a hunch-backed mezzoloth, Typhus was a powerful general who commanded an army known as the Infernal Front.[15]
  • Tyranthraxus: A bodiless spirit of possession and flame.[46]
  • Xengahra: An outcast yugoloth who became a living personification of hopelessness. He superficially resembleed a solar.[15]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Adventures
Novels
Computer Games

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 311–314. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 8, 247–252. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 Ed Bonny, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter (September 2002). Monster Manual II 3rd edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 202–204. ISBN 07-8692-873-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (August 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 200–204. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 Allen Varney, ed. (June 1994). Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 26, 118–127. ISBN 978-1560768623.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 27–31. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  7. J. Paul LaFountain (1991). Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix. Edited by Timothy B. Brown. (TSR, Inc.), p. 5. ISBN 1-56076-055-9.
  8. Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 26.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 9.16 9.17 9.18 9.19 9.20 9.21 9.22 9.23 9.24 9.25 9.26 9.27 9.28 9.29 9.30 9.31 9.32 9.33 9.34 9.35 9.36 9.37 9.38 9.39 9.40 9.41 9.42 9.43 9.44 9.45 9.46 9.47 9.48 9.49 9.50 9.51 9.52 9.53 9.54 9.55 9.56 9.57 9.58 9.59 9.60 9.61 9.62 9.63 9.64 9.65 9.66 9.67 9.68 9.69 9.70 9.71 9.72 9.73 9.74 9.75 9.76 9.77 9.78 9.79 9.80 9.81 9.82 9.83 9.84 9.85 9.86 9.87 9.88 9.89 9.90 9.91 9.92 Colin McComb (September 1997). Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Edited by Ray Vallese. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 66–81. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 10.15 10.16 10.17 10.18 10.19 10.20 10.21 10.22 10.23 10.24 10.25 10.26 10.27 10.28 10.29 10.30 10.31 10.32 10.33 10.34 10.35 10.36 Colin McComb and Monte Cook (July 1996). “The Dark of the War”. Hellbound: The Blood War (TSR, Inc), pp. 8–13, 26–29, 48–51. ISBN 0-7869-0407-0.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Colin McComb, Dale Donovan (December 1995). “A Player's Guide to Conflict”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Conflict (TSR, Inc.), pp. 2–4, 26. ISBN 0-7869-0309-0.
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 12.16 12.17 Colin McComb (December 1995). “Liber Malevolentiae”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Conflict (TSR, Inc.), pp. 4.24–36. ISBN 0-7869-0309-0.
  13. Carceri map included in Robert Lazzaretti (December 1995). Planes of Conflict. Edited by Michele Carter. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 0-7869-0309-0.
  14. Template:Cite dragon/351/The Gatetown of Ecstasy
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 15.8 Ed Bonny (1997). “Pox of the Planes”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon Annual #2 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 104–110.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Jeff Crook, Wil Upchurch, Eric L. Boyd (May 2005). Champions of Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 155–157. ISBN 0-7869-3692-4.
  17. Mike Mearls (April 2003). “By Evil Bound”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #306 (Paizo Publishing), pp. 38–42.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Todd Stewart (September 2007). “Campaign Workbook: Wandering Monster - Dhergoloth”. In James Jacobs ed. Dungeon #150 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 124–125.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Paul S. Kemp (February 2006). Resurrection (Kindle ed.). (Wizards of the Coast), locs. 210–241. ASIN B0036S49H8.
  20. Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 371. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  21. Eric Cagle, Jesse Decker, James Jacobs, Erik Mona, Matthew Sernett, Chris Thomasson, and James Wyatt (April 2003). Fiend Folio. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 197–198. ISBN 0-7869-2780-1.
  22. Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel (July 2006). Monster Manual IV. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 193–194. ISBN 0-7869-3920-6.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Monte Cook (December 1995). “Monstrous Supplement”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Conflict (TSR, Inc), pp. 30–31. ISBN 0-7869-0309-0.
  24. Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel (July 2006). Monster Manual IV. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 190–192. ISBN 0-7869-3920-6.
  25. Richard Baker, Joseph D. Carriker, Jr., Jennifer Clarke Wilkes (August 2005). Stormwrack. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 164–165. ISBN 07-8692-873-5.
  26.  (1998). Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Four. (TSR, Inc), p. 93. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
  27. Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 136–137. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 28.6 Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 108–114, 185–188. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
  29. Colin McComb and Monte Cook (July 1996). “The Dark of the War”. Hellbound: The Blood War (TSR, Inc), p. 68. ISBN 0-7869-0407-0.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Colin McComb and Monte Cook (July 1996). “War Games”. Hellbound: The Blood War (TSR, Inc), pp. 38–94. ISBN 0-7869-0407-0.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Colin McComb and Monte Cook (1996). “The Bargain”. In Ray Vallese ed. Hellbound: The Blood War (TSR, Inc), pp. 1–16. ISBN 0786904070.
  32. Colin McComb and Monte Cook (July 1996). “The Dark of the War”. Hellbound: The Blood War (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-0407-0.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 104. ISBN 0880383992.
  34. 34.0 34.1 Colin McComb and Monte Cook (July 1996). “The Dark of the War”. Hellbound: The Blood War (TSR, Inc), p. 32.71. ISBN 0-7869-0407-0.
  35. 35.0 35.1 Ray Vallese (1996). Uncaged: Faces of Sigil. Edited by Michele Carter. (TSR, Inc), pp. 114–115. ISBN 0786903856.
  36. Jeff Crook, Wil Upchurch, Eric L. Boyd (May 2005). Champions of Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 22–23. ISBN 0-7869-3692-4.
  37. Colin McComb, Dale Donovan (December 1995). “A Player's Guide to Conflict”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Conflict (TSR, Inc.), pp. 29–32. ISBN 0-7869-0309-0.
  38. Monte Cook (Oct 2002). Book of Vile Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 46, 120. ISBN 0-7869-0672-3.
  39. Ed Stark, James Jacobs, Erik Mona (June 13, 2006). Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 107, 147. ISBN 0-7869-3919-2.
  40. James Jacobs (October 2007). “The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Graz'zt, the Dark Prince”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #360 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. Archived from the original on 2009-06-03. Retrieved on 2019-08-27.
  41. 41.0 41.1 Eric L. Boyd (July 2007). “Savage Tidings: Gazing into the Abyss”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #357 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 68–69.
  42. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 126. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  43. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 Paul S. Kemp (February 2006). Resurrection. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3981-8.
  45. Mike Mearls, Brian R. James, Steve Townshend (July 2010). Demonomicon. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 135. ISBN 978-0786954926.
  46. Jeff Grubb and George MacDonald (April 1989). Curse of the Azure Bonds. (TSR, Inc.), p. 3. ISBN 978-0880386067.

Connections[edit | edit source]

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