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Yugoloths (pronounced: /ˈjuːgoʊloʊθ/ YOO-go-loth), which were also often called daemons (pronounced: /ˈdeɪmʌnz/ DAY-munz) or nicknamed loths,) were neutral evil fiends native to the Blood Rift. They were neutral in the affairs of the other fiendish races, interfering only when they saw a situation that might be profitable or a potential for the advancement of their own schemes. The yugoloths were manipulative, secretive, and mercenary by nature, often acting as soldiers for deities in their own private wars, or even at times aiding both sides of the Blood War.
|“||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|
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. 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. Another shared trait was that the daemons combined some physical features of both demons and devils.
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. 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 and perfectly willing to rip each other to pieces and sell one another out. They gleefully caused pain and misery to those around them, often taking the opportunity to indulge in their violent instincts but always acting in their own best interests.
|“||What's in it for me?||”|
|— What a yugoloth often said upon being asked to do something|
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.
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.
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.
|“||Move along. We're not the fiends you're looking for.||”|
|— An arcanaloth playing mind games with a mortal|
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. They kept to their word only when it benefited them to do so 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.
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. 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. Always keeping their true feelings and thoughts shrouded, daemons were, perhaps more than any other fiend the most difficult to understand.
|“||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|
— Mowatt Ke'Mahn
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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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, the tyrannical piscoloths for example being stained by the impurity of law. 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, although it was likely a safe decision to assume that no yugoloth ever would.
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.
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.
The yugoloths presented themselves as simply greedy mercenaries, willing to sell their services to both sides, while behind that public face, the members of their highest castes viewed the entire course of the conflict as their own thing to control and manipulate until they decided to end it, unify the Fiendish Planes, and turn their attention to the planes of Good.
Like the tanar'ri and baatezu, the yugoloths had their rulers: the baernaloths, who were believed to be their progenitors. Below the baernaloths was the ruler of Khin-Oin, who is given the title of Oinoloth.
Yugoloths craving more power sometimes made a pact with night hags who would transform them into unique and powerful creatures, the altraloths. The most prominent altraloths were the former Oinoloth Anthraxus, and Charon, the boatman of the River of Blood, who ferries souls down the river for a steep price.
- Mezzoloth: Mezzoloths were the most common kind of yugoloth. They resembled bipedal insects with chitinous armor and four arms tipped with razor-sharp claws.
- Dhergoloth: Large, strong fiends that had a bizarre appearance featuring five arms and three legs, dhergoloths (also known as Dergholoths) were stupid, but also capable of confusing opponents with the strange clacking of their insectile jaws.
- Piscoloth: Intelligent yugoloths that often acted as sergeants in mercenary companies, yugoloths greatly resembled chuuls, with lobster-like bodies, a fish tail, birdlike talons, and tentacles that carried a paralytic poison.
- Hydroloth: Hydroloths inhabited the River Styx, and looked like large frog-like creatures (sometimes compared to slaadi or hezrous in appearance) but had wing-like flaps connecting their arms to their legs. Hydroloths could swim in lava, as well as in the River Styx without losing their memories.
- Yagnoloth: Yagnoloths were large, misshapen fiends that could exhale acidic gas. They had one oversized, muscular arm and one smaller arm capable of wielding a weapon.
- Merrenoloth: The boatmen of the River Styx, merrenoloths (also called marraenoloths or charonaloths) were considered followers of the altraloth Charon, but were actually free agents.
- Nycaloth: These green-skinned, bat-winged yugoloths acted as the highly-mobile, elite 'cavalry' of the yugoloth troops. They were typically arrogant, sometimes wielding large axes but just as often relying on their own claws. Like the mezzoloths, nycaloths had four arms that ended with claws.
- Arcanaloth: These jackal or dog-headed fiends were the intelligent, civilized record keepers of the yugoloths. Powerful wielders of arcane magic, they also crafted contracts with mortals and other fiends alike, and endlessly studied the intricacies of abstract evil.
- Ultroloth: Powerful, enigmatic yugoloths that appeared as faceless, gray-skinned humanoids with enlarged eyes. They had a reputation for cruelty but rarely entered combat.
- Altraloth: A yugoloth of any type that was transformed into a powerful, unique yugoloth by night hags.
- A subgroup of yugoloths known as battleloths, they were creatures that took the shapes of various weapons.
- Arrow Battleloth: The weakest of the battleloths, they often served as spies.
- Axe Battleloth: Recklessly brave combatants.
- Crossbow Battleloth: The most sought-after battleloths due to their versatility.
- Pick Battleloth: Vicious, predatory yugoloths that fed on the blood of living creatures.
- Spiked Chain Battleloth: Aggressive hunters that hunted down other battleloths for sport.
- Sword Battleloth: Independent, wily, and hard bargainers, they demanded conquests, glory, and loot.
Altraloths and Other Yugoloth LordsEdit
- Anthraxus. The Oinoloth, briefly usurped by Mydianchlarus.
- Charon. The ruler of the marraenoloths, ferryman of the River of Blood.
- Bubonix. A former arcanaloth, later the master of the Tower of Incarnate Pain.
- Inthracis. An ultroloth necromancer master of Corpsehaven.
- Kexxon. The Oinoloth, the Archgeneral of the Blood Rift.
- Malkizid: Formerly a solar serving the Seldarine, Malkizid was later both an exiled archdevil and a lord of yugoloths.
- Mydianchlarus was briefly the Oinoloth, ruler of the Wasting Tower of Khin-Oin.
- 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.
- Typhus. Resembling a hunch-backed mezzoloth, Typhus was a powerful general who commanded an army known as the Infernal Front.
- Tyranthraxus: This bodiless spirit of possession and flame was called a daemon in Curse of the Azure Bonds. This was also the 1st edition name for yugoloths.
- Xengahra: An outcast yugoloth who became a living personification of hopelessness. He superficially resembleed a solar.
- Baernoloth: Sometimes classified as greater yugoloths, baernoloths were actually the primal champions of evil who created the yugoloth and demodand races
- Canoloth: When a yugoloth angered its superiors, whether through acts of betrayal or desertion, it was punished in a way so terrifying that prospect of such a fate kept most yugoloths in line. Criminals were transformed into canoloths, the blind war hounds of the yugoloth armies. Forever wracked with pain, the canoloths sensed their surroundings by means of a long, thorny tongue. They hated all things and relished the chance to maim and destroy.
- Echinoloth: Rear echelons of the yugoloth armies, these fiends combined features of a starfish and squid into an unlovely whole.
- Gacholoth: Ebony-skinned, four-legged infiltrators and saboteurs.
- Skeroloth: Skeroloths are formed from demoted mezzoloths, who make up the chaff and fodder for yugoloth armies, acting as spies, thieves, and interlopers. They serve because they must, fawning over the nearest powerful yugoloth and betraying former masters whenever given a glimpse of richer rewards.
- Corruptor of Fate: Stealthy and cunning manipulators of luck, they often became assassins.
- Guardian daemons: These creatures were created by the yugoloths as lesser servants for their mortal allies, and to serve in their stead when powerful wizards call upon them for favors. They were found in least, lesser, and greater varieties.
- Raavasta: Fox-headed planar humanoids descended from arcanaloths, now scattered throughout the planes.
- Voor: Tentacled, hulking brutes used as guardians, protectors, bodyguards, and enforcers. Greater versions are known as dreadful lashers.
|“||The Blood War is but a game, its armies merely our pieces.||”|
|— Ailanreanter the Arcanaloth|
The Weeping WarEditIn −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.
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.
War of the Spider QueenEdit
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.
- Computer Games
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 311–314. ISBN 978-0786965614.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 247–252. ISBN 978-0786966240.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 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.
- ↑ Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (August 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 200–204. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- ↑ J. Paul LaFountain (1991). Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix. Edited by Timothy B. Brown. (TSR, Inc.), p. 5. ISBN 1-56076-055-9.
- ↑ Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 26.
- ↑ 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21 7.22 7.23 7.24 7.25 7.26 7.27 7.28 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.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 27–31. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Allen Varney, ed. (June 1994). Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 26, 118–127. ISBN 978-1560768623.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Colin McComb and Monte Cook (July 1996). Hellbound: The Blood War. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. Cannot cite page numbers from this product. ISBN 0-7869-0407-0.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Colin McComb (December 1995). “Liber Malevolentiae”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Conflict (TSR, Inc.), pp. 4.24–32. ISBN 0-7869-0309-0.
- ↑ Carceri map included in Robert Lazzaretti (December 1995). Planes of Conflict. Edited by Michele Carter. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 0-7869-0309-0.
- ↑ Template:Cite dragon/351/The Gatetown of Ecstasy
- ↑ Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (August 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 201. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- ↑ Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (August 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 202–203. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- ↑ Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (August 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 204. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- ↑ Ed Bonny (1997). “Pox of the Planes”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon Annual #2 (TSR, Inc.), p. 104.
- ↑ Mike Mearls (April 2003). “By Evil Bound”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #306 (Paizo Publishing), pp. 38–42.
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 Ed Bonny (1997). “Pox of the Planes”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon Annual #2 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 100–111.
- ↑ Jeff Crook, Wil Upchurch, Eric L. Boyd (May 2005). Champions of Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 155. ISBN 0-7869-3692-4.
- ↑ Mike Mearls, Brian R. James, Steve Townshend (July 2010). Demonomicon. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 135. ISBN 978-0786954926.
- ↑ Jeff Grubb and George MacDonald. (April 1989). Curse of the Azure Bonds. p. 3. TSR, Inc. ISBN 0-88038-606-1
- ↑ Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (August 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 200. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- ↑ Richard Baker, Joseph D. Carriker, Jr., Jennifer Clarke Wilkes. (August 2005). Stormwrack. p. 164. Wizards of the Coast ISBN 0-7869-3689-4
- ↑ Pickens, Jon, ed. Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Four. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1998. Page 93
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel (July 2006). Monster Manual IV. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 190–192. ISBN 0-7869-3920-6.
- ↑ Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 371. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
- ↑ Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel (July 2006). Monster Manual IV. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 193–194. ISBN 0-7869-3920-6.
- ↑ Colin McComb and Monte Cook (July 1996). Hellbound: The Blood War. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. Cannot cite page numbers from this product. ISBN 0-7869-0407-0.
- ↑ Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 126. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
- ↑ Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
- ↑ Paul S. Kemp (February 2006). Resurrection. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3981-8.
- ↑ Colin McComb (September 1997). Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Edited by Ray Vallese. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
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