Cover of Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss, featuring a marilith demon.

Demons, also called tanar'ri (although these terms are no longer synonymous in recent editions), are one of the most widespread races of fiends in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. The demons are chaotic evil by nature, and are native to the Abyss. Demons have no true rulers, though powerful demon lords are able to gain enough power and influence to gain control over sizable armies of demonic creatures.

Demons are enemies of the other main race of fiends, the devils, with whom they are often at war.

Types of demon in Dungeons & Dragons[edit | edit source]

Demons are categorised in several different ways. One such way is by Type, with Type I (or Type 1) demons being the weakest and Type VI (or Type 6) being the strongest. Minor demons and demon lords tend not to be classified by Type, however. Another approach is to categorise demons according to their sub-races (Obyriths, Tanar'ri, or Loumara), but again not all demons fit neatly into one of these boxes.

Tanar'ri[edit | edit source]

The tanar'ri are a race of numerous demons originally created by the obyriths as slaves. The tanar'ri eventually revolted against the obyriths, killing most of them, and taking over as the dominant race of demons in the Abyss. Most known demon lords are tanar'ri.

The tanar'ri are essentially "classic" demons; reflections of cruelty, evil and sin. Although there are several exceptions, they usually have a basic humanoid form.

Image Name First appearance Description
Adaru Dungeons & Dragons version 3.5: Monster Manual V (2007) Cunning, millipede-like demons that emitted poisonous mist.
Alkilith Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition: Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix II (1995) Alkiliths were disgusting masses of phosphorescent green ooze, essentially pollution and corruption made hatefully alive. They were often sent by demon lords into places even other demons hesitated to go, for they were capable of surviving in even the most inhospitable environs of the Abyss. Many alkiliths serve the demon lord Juiblex.
Alu-fiend Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1982) Alu-fiends or alu-demons are demi-fiends or half-fiends, the offspring of demons (generally succubi) and mortal men.
Armanite Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition: Planes of Chaos (1994) Monstrous demons that resembled fiendish centaurs covered by a full plate armor. They normally acted as heavy cavalry in demonic armies, when they weren't running wild across the Abyss. On the layers of the Abyss they usually wander in groups guided by a chief called knecht or pathwarden. Because of their unusual discipline, they are often employed by powerful abyssal lords as mercenaries. Most armanites come from the Plains of Gallenshu (377th layer of the Abyss); on this layer there are 24 cities of armanites, each ruled by an armanite called konsul.
Arrow demon Dungeons & Dragons version 3.5: Monster Manual III (2004) Arrow demons were wiry, four-armed humanoid demons that could wield two longbows at once. They were created as soldiers for the Abyssal armies.
Babau Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition: Monster Manual II (1983) These sneaky, sadistic demons had black skin stretched over a skeletal humanoid frame and a single curved horn on their head. Babau were around 6 ft (1.8 m) tall and had clawed hands. They often served as assassins for more powerful demons.
Balor roar.jpg Balor Original Dungeons & Dragons: Eldritch Wizardry (1976) Balors were 12 ft (3.7 m) tall, bat-winged, red-skinned monstrosities that were among the most powerful kinds of tanar'ri. They often commanded other demons, either on their own or as officers for demon lords. They answer only to creature with tremendous power and only ally themselves with creatures equal to their own power, meaning they rarely team up with other demons, even other balors.

Balors are also known as Type VI demons (in original D&D) and roaring demons (in classic D&D). They were inspired by the Balrog from The Lord of the Rings.

Barlgura Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1982) Sometimes called bar-lguras or leaping demons, barlgura were large, ape-like demons that acted as foot soldiers and preferred to travel and fight in packs. The are also favored by the Demon Prince, Demogorgon.
Bulezau Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition: Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix II (1995) Gaunt, minotaur-like demons that were among the creations of Baphomet.
Cambion Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition: Monster Manual II (1983) Cambions are demi-fiends or half-fiends, the offspring of planetouched women and demon fathers. A subclass of cambion called the marquis or baron cambion are the offspring of demon lord fathers and part-fiend mothers.
Cerebrilith Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition: Psionics Handbook (2001) Cerebriliths looked like large, ogre-like humanoids that walked on their knuckles and had somewhat skeletal bodies. However, they were more dangerous for their intellect and psionic powers.
Chasme Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1982) Chasme, or fly demons, were large, numerous, blood-sucking demons that attacked in swarms and enjoyed torturing victims. They resembled horrific crosses between a fly and a human (with some mosquito thrown in for good measure).
Dretch Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1982) These 4 ft (1.2 m) tall, ape-like demons were the least powerful kind of tanar'ri. They were cowardly and stupid, attacking in mobs in order to overwhelm opponents.
Evistro Evistros, or carnage demons, band together in hordes and rampage across worlds leaving nothing but devastation.
Type III Demon.JPG Glabrezu Original Dungeons & Dragons: Eldritch Wizardry (1976) Glabrezu were large, powerful, intelligent demons that had four arms. Dispite their imposing physical appearance, glabrezu tended to be subtle and deceptive. If a Glabrezu lingers in the world too long, it will begin to disease and corrupt the land around it.

Glabrezu are also called Type III demons in original D&D and howling demons in classic D&D.

Goristro Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition: Dragon #91 (November 1984) Goristros were huge, ferocious demons that resembled fiendish minotaurs. They are described as "living siege engines". They are also the favored servitors of the Demon Lord Baphomet, The Horned Lord.
DemonHezrou.jpg Hezrou Original Dungeons & Dragons: Eldritch Wizardry (1976) Stinky, slimy, and violent, hezrous resembled bipedal toads with spikes on their back and a mouth full of teeth. They are obedient demons who are eager to serve more powerful demons and summoners.

Hezrou are called Type II demons in original D&D and croaking demons in classic D&D.

Incubus A male form of succubus.
Kastighur Kastighurs were massive, sadistic demons that often served as prison guards and hunters for more powerful demons. They were hideous, humanoid demons, with cloven hooves, horns, and claws, and often nailed armor directly onto their bodies.
Klurichir Klurichirs were very rare and powerful tanar'ri. They had four arms, bat-like wings, and a second mouth on their abdomen.
200px-D&DManes.JPG Mane Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition: Monster Manual (1977) Manes, or sub-demons, were 3 ft (0.9 m) tall, bloated humanoid demons that were among the weakest and most common demons.
Marilith - Sam Wood.jpg Marilith Original Dungeons & Dragons: Eldritch Wizardry (1976) Mariliths are very intelligent demons with six arms, the torso of a human woman, and the lower body of a great serpent. They typically fight with weapons such as swords and rarely wear clothing.

Mariliths are known as Type V demons in original D&D and hissing demons in classic D&D.

Maurezhi Horrific, humanoid demons that could take on the forms of mortals that they consumed, maurezhi demons naturally had clawed hands, serrated teeth, and a pale, hunched body.
Molydeus Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition: Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix (1991) These vaguely humanoid demons had the head and tail of a jackal, along with paws in place of feet and red-orange skin. Molydeus also possessed a second, serpentine head and neck that sprouted from the back of the first neck. They were violent demons that normally roamed the Abyss.
Myrmyxicus Massive, eel-like, aquatic demons with two mouths and four arms, myrmyxicuses are among the most powerful of the tanar'ri. They rule vast regions of the Abyssal oceans from floating citadels made of millions of tons of fish skeletons and razor-sharp shells and coral. Many myrmyxicuses spend ages looking for ways to transport their floating citadels into the seas of other Abyssal layers or even other planes to expand their enslaved empires. They are arrogant and powerful, preferring melee attacks to use of magic.
Nabassu Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition: Monster Manual II (1983) Also called death stealers, nabassu demons that lived on the Material Plane as juveniles.
Nalfeshnee Original Dungeons & Dragons: Eldritch Wizardry (1976) Nalfeshnee were absolutely hideous: grossly fat, humanoid, boar-like demons with vestigial feathered wings and tusks. They were disdainful of combat, but would fight anyway due to blood lust.

Nalfeshnee were known as Type IV demons in original D&D and as groaning demons in classic D&D.

Palrethee Arrogant, flame-covered demons with vestigial wings.
Rutterkin Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1982) Rutterkin are deformed demons created by the union of manes. Disdained by other demons, they serve as infantry in the armies of the Abyss. When not on active service, they usually wander in groups on the infinite layers of the Abyss, bullying any weaker creatures they encounter.
Sorrowsworn demon Sorrowsworn demons could both cause and prey upon feelings of grief and despair. They resembled gaunt humanoids with dusky gray skin, clawed hands, horns, bat-like wings and fanged jaws set into skeletal heads.
Succubus Original Dungeons & Dragons: Eldritch Wizardry (1976) Succubi were manipulative demons that looked like very beautiful human women with bat-like wings, small horns, and a barbed tail. The similarly attractive male form was called an incubus (plural incubi), and were rarer than succubi. Both varieties were skilled shapechangers and enjoyed sexual activities.

In Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition, succubi were reclassified as devils, and in Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition they were reclassified again as neutral fiends. In classic D&D they were known as whispering demons.

Uridezu Uridezus were cowardly demons with a rat-like appearance. They walked upright and were hairless, but had clawed hands.
200px-Type I Demon.JPG Vrock Original Dungeons & Dragons: Eldritch Wizardry (1976) Vrocks were common demons that looked like a humanoid vulture, with gray skin and large feathered wings, as well as the head and beak of a vulture. Vrocks were vicious fighters and preferred to eat their victims alive.

Vrocks are also known as Type I demons (in original D&D) and screaming demons (in classic D&D).

Obyrith[edit | edit source]

Obyriths are the race of demon that preceded the tanar'ri. The obyriths are so ancient that they predate mortal life, and even the gods. They rarely have a humanoid shape, and some say that just looking at an obyrith can drive a mortal insane. They were inspired by the Great Old Ones from the Cthulhu Mythos of H. P. Lovecraft.

Some obyrith lords have evolved over time to take on more recognizable shapes, such as Pazuzu or Pale Night. Asima and numerous other obyrith lords whose names were lost to time have been destroyed, either slain by each other, or slaughtered by the tanar'ri. Several others were slain by the Queen of Chaos for refusing to join her army when she attempted genocide against the Wind Dukes of Aaqa.

In Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition, the history and role of the obyriths was changed. According to the Demonomicon, the obyriths lived in a different reality, one destroyed by their evil. With their realm in ruins, the surviving obyriths created a shard of pure evil and pushed it through the fabric of reality, where it was ultimately found by the god Tharizdun. He plunged it into the Elemental Chaos, creating the Abyss, and a great war erupted between the primordials, Tharizdun, and the obyriths. Many of the obyriths died in the ensuing war, and after Tharizdun's imprisonment and the assumption of the title Prince of Demons by Demogorgon, the obyriths went into the Abyss and hid their true natures. There are 12 obyriths remaining in existence, each one a demon lord ruling their own layer. They are secretly allied with each other, but they continue to war with each other constantly to disguise their true natures and their alliance. Of the 12, there are only a few known obyriths, although only the most ancient, powerful, and knowledgeable demon lords truly understand what the title actually means. The only demon lord openly acknowledged as an obyrith is Dagon, the abyssal lord allied with Demogorgon. Their leader is the Queen of Chaos, who led them eons ago before being defeated and retreating to her realm, the Steaming Fens, 14th layer of the Abyss. She has not been seen since by any other demon lord, although the obyriths are said to meet secretly at the start of each millennial cycle with her in the Great Ziggurat of Oth-Magurloth on the Plane of a Thousand Portals, the first layer of the Abyss. Their choice of a meeting location lead many to suspect (correctly) that Pazuzu, who rules that layer, is also an Obyrith. It is said that the tower holds within it the Well of Entropy, the only portal to the ruins of the former realm of the obyriths.

Deep within the Abyss lies the Tumulus of Abhorrence, burial mound of the dead demon lord known as Asima the Unanticipated. The mound is protected by powerful demons and nothing has ever breached the outer walls. It is said that if anybody is able to fight their way into the burial chamber, they will find not only great treasure, but a mosaic revealing the identities of the 12 obyriths.

Varieties of obyrith include:

  • Draudnu
  • Ekolid: At first, ekolids resemble the union of an ant, a scorpion and a spider, but their real fiendish shape cannot be compared to any other creature. Ekolids are driven by the need to reproduce. During any battle, using their supernatural speed, they constantly try to implant eggs in their enemies. Ekolids are rarely found in groups, except on Zionyn (663rd layer of the Abyss), where they live at the service of Obox-ob.
  • Golothoma
  • Laghathti: Laghathti resemble oily black octopi.[1]
  • Sibriex
  • Uzollru: Uzollru resemble massive aquatic centipedes, with fins rather than legs, and a head sporting a single red eye ringed by feeding tentacles. They primarily serve the demon prince Dagon in his realm of Shadowsea.[2][3]
  • Verakia
  • Wastrilith (introduced as a tanar'ri in the Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix (1994))

Known obyrith lords include:

  • Asima
  • Bechard
  • Cabiri (imprisoned in the Wells of Darkness)
  • Dagon
  • The Malgoth
  • Obox-ob
  • Pale Night
  • Pazuzu
  • The Queen of Chaos
  • Ubothar
  • Ugudenk
  • Vroth-Khun
  • Sertrous

Loumara[edit | edit source]

The loumara are a relatively new demonic race, much younger than the tanar'ri. They are still centuries old, but this is still recent in a place like the Abyss, where time doesn't mean the same thing it does on the Material Plane. As a result, no loumara has become powerful enough to be recognized as a demon lord.

Loumara are usually immaterial or invisible demons that are more like ghosts or undead than demons. All loumara can possess living creatures.

Known types of loumara include:

  • Dybbuk: A dybbuk resembles a jellyfish with a simply sketched human face. Dybbuks are incorporeal creatures and so they do not have a specific physical form. Dybbuks can possess and control dead bodies, so they spend a lot of time looking for a "perfect" host body to animate – one that died without violence or major injury, and preferably one that is handsome or beautiful. After taking control of a perfect body, dybbuks try to insert themselves into the society of the victim, plunging into depravity and hedonism until their possessed body is broken down and ruined. When a perfect body is not available, a dybbuk will take a less desirable body and continue to search for a better host. Dybbuks are lonely creatures, and can be found in groups only where there are many corpses to possess, such as on a recent battlefield. They tend to avoid undead, because already-animated bodies are of no use to them.[4]
  • Guecubu: A guecubu resembles a mass of vapor, and is born from dreamstuff tainted by evil. Guecubus can possess and control the body of sleeping humanoids. Once they are in control, they 'ride' silently, letting their victim go about his or her business. At some point they take control and lash out, trying to spread death and murder – particularly on the victim's family and friends. Sometimes the guecubu will conceal its actions even from the victim, letting them believe that they are cursed or jinxed. Guecubus believe that killings form some sort of pattern, and enough spilled blood will eventually reveal the meaning of creation in this pattern. They rarely form groups with other guecubus, preferring to remain hidden and anonymous. However, many of them can be found in the Dreaming Gulf (230th layer of the Abyss), where they are created spontaneously from the raw, churning chaos of dreams.[5]
  • Caligrosto: Caligrostos are considered the most sadistic of the loumara demons, capable of possessing weapons (particularly slashing weapons) and even enhancing such weapons with magic. Once the weapon has caused damage, though, the caligrosto could manifest, though still immaterial, and wield the still-physical weapon on its own.[6]
  • Manitou: Manitou naturally appeared as a tangle of vines, each one tipped with a fanged maw. They could possess any plant, animal, or fey, but in their incorporeal form could literally tear the natural world apart.[7]

Other demons[edit | edit source]

A quasit from Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition.

Not all known demons fit into one of the above races. Such non-typed demons include:

  • Abyssal eviscerator
  • Abyssal ravager
  • Abyssal skulker
  • Ankashar
  • Artaaglith
  • Bebelith: massive, highly aggressive spider-like demons.
  • Blood fiend: huge, four-armed abominations that fed on the blood of other fiends.
  • Deathdrinkers: egocentric demons that collect dead souls.
  • Ghazneth: humanoid, winged demons with differing magical abilities.
  • Ghour: demons that resemble monstrous minotaurs, ghour demons serve (and were likely created by) the demon prince Baphomet.
  • Kazrith: aquatic demons that poisoned their prey.
  • Lilitu
  • Maw demons: also called abyssal maws, they are horrible-looking, constantly hungry demons.
  • Nashrou: animalistic predators that hunted in packs.
  • Ostego: also called death demons
  • Quasit: the demonic equivalent of the imp, were small, insidious winged demons with paralyzing claws.
  • Retriever: mindless, spider-like constructs that were created to serve stronger demons of the Abyss.
  • Shadow demon: mysterious demons with a wraith-like appearance.
  • Shoosuva: large, hyena-like demons that were created by and served the demon lord Yeenoghu.
  • Skulvyn: bestial aquatic demons with a slowing aura.
  • Soul demon
  • Whisper demon: incorporeal demons of insanity that drove mortals to suicide.
  • Yochlol: shapechanging demons that were created by and served Lolth.
  • Zovvut

Elemental demons also exist, beings spawned from the broken souls of Blood War casualties and resembling the elemental material that spawned them. Known types include: air, ash, earth, fire, ice, and water.

Publication history[edit | edit source]

Demons were among the earliest creatures introduced in the D&D game.

The inclusion of demons and devils proved controversial among critics of Dungeons & Dragons.[8] TSR eliminated most references to occult symbols, demons, and devils from the second edition of the game. When the creatures were reintroduced in the Monstrous Compendium supplement MC8: The Outer Planes, the terms "baatezu", "tanar'ri", "yugoloth", and "gehreleth" were introduced and were used exclusively in place of the terms "devil", "demon", "daemon", and "demodand", respectively.[9]

Dungeons & Dragons (1974–1976)[edit | edit source]

Demons (and their lords Orcus and Demogorgon) first appeared in original edition of Dungeons & Dragons, in the game's Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry in 1976.

In this edition, most types of demons were not given species names, but were rather referred to as "Type I" through "Type VI" demons, although the succubus was named. (The demons introduced by Type in this edition were later renamed the vrock, hezrou, glabrezu, nalfeshnee, marilith, and balor.)

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition (1977–1988)[edit | edit source]

In 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, the naming convention of "Type I" through "Type VI" was retained, although in the First Edition Monster Manual example names of specific demons of that type were given, being Vrock, Hezrou, Glabrezu, Nalfeshnee, Marilith, and Balor. (These suggested names of individual demons were later reinterpreted as the species names of their relevant types, beginning in 2nd Edition.)

Other demons included in the Monster Manual include the succubus (from original D&D) and the mane (a new introduction). Similarly, the demon lords Demogorgon (Prince of Demons) and Orcus (Prince of the Undead) return, alongside new demon lords Juiblex (The Faceless Lord), Orcus (Prince of the Undead) and Yeenoghu (Demon Lord of Gnolls). The quasit, a frequent servant of demons, also first appeared in the original Monster Manual, but was not included in the demon section.

Lolth, the Demon Queen of Spiders is described under the demon entry in the Fiend Folio (1981), and there is also a new entry for shadow demons.[10]

Several new demons debuted in the module Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1982), including the alu-demon (demi-demon), the bar-lgura (minor demon), the chasme, the dretch, and the rutterkin (minor demon), and new demon lords Baphomet, Fraz-Urb'luu (Prince of Deception), Graz'zt (demon prince), and Kostchtchie (demon lord).[11] The alu-demon (semi-demon), babau (minor demon), bar-lgura (minor demon), cambion baron/marquis and cambion major (semi-demon), chasme (minor demon), dretch (minor demon), nabassu (major demon), and rutterkin (minor demon) appeared in the first edition Monster Manual II (1983), along with demon lords Baphomet (demon lord), Fraz-Urb'luu (Prince of Deception), Graz'zt (demon prince), Kostchtchie (demon lord), and Pazuzu (Prince of the Lower Aerial Kingdoms).[12]

The goristro (major demon) first appeared in Dragon #91 (November 1984); the article's author, Gary Gygax, explained that he had intended to put the creature into Monster Manual II along with the other demons.

The demoness Zuggtmoy first appeared and played a major role in the Temple of Elemental Evil module (1985).[13] Orcus was a central antagonist for The Throne of Bloodstone series of adventures, appearing in The Throne of Bloodstone (1988), along with Baphomet, the Dire Whiner, Klavikus the type IV demon guardian, and Glyphimor, Lord of Orcusgate.[14]

Dungeons & Dragons (1977–1999)[edit | edit source]

This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the demons. The croaking demon (hezrou), the groaning demon (nalfeshnee), the hissing demon (marilith), the howling demon (glabrezu), the roaring demon (balor), the screaming demon (vrock), and the whispering demon (succubus), as well as two unique demons, Orcus and Demogorgon, appeared in the Immortal Rules set, in the DM's Guide to Immortals (1986).[15] The croaking lesser fiend, the groaning lesser fiend, the hissing lesser fiend, the howling lesser fiend, the roaring lesser fiend, the screaming lesser fiend, and the whispering lesser fiend appeared in the Wrath of the Immortals set, in "Book One: Codex of the Immortals" (1992).[16]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)[edit | edit source]

The term "tanar'ri" (pronounced tah-NAHR-ree[17]) originated with the 2nd Edition AD&D rules, when the words "devil" and "demon" were dropped by TSR from all the rulebooks. The names previously given as suggestions in the previous edition's Monster Manual now became each type of demon's official name.

The babau (greater tanar'ri), the chasme (greater tanar'ri), the nabassu (greater tanar'ri), the molydeus (guardian tanar'ri), the dretch (least tanar'ri), the manes (least tanar'ri), the rutterkin (least tanar'ri), the alu-fiend (lesser tanar'ri), the bar-lgura (lesser tanar'ri), the cambion baron/marquis and cambion major (lesser tanar'ri), the succubus (lesser tanar'ri), the balor (true tanar'ri), the glabrezu (true tanar'ri), the hezrou (true tanar'ri), the marilith (true tanar'ri), the nalfeshnee (true tanar'ri), and the vrock (true tanar'ri) appear in the Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix (1991).[18] The balor (tanar'ri) and the marilith (tanar'ri) next appear in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[19]

The Planescape campaign setting utilized demons, known exclusively as tanar'ri under 2nd edition rules, extensively. The alu-fiend (lesser tanar'ri), the babau (greater tanar'ri), the balor (true tanar'ri), the bar-lgura (lesser tanar'ri), the cambion (lesser tanar'ri), the chasme (greater tanar'ri), the dretch (least tanar'ri), the glabrezu (true tanar'ri), the hezrou (true tanar'ri), the manes (least tanar'ri), the marilith (true tanar'ri), the molydeus (guardian tanar'ri), the nabassu (greater tanar'ri), the nalfeshnee (true tanar'ri), the rutterkin (least tanar'ri), the succubus (lesser tanar'ri), the vrock (true tanar'ri), and the wastrilith greater tanar'ri are detailed in the first Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix (1994).[20] The armanite (lesser tanar'ri), the goristro (greater tanar'ri), and the Abyssal lords Graz'zt and Pazrael appear in the Planes of Chaos boxed set (1994).[21] The alkilith (true tanar'ri), the bulezau (lesser tanar'ri), the maurezhi (lesser tanar'ri), and the yochlol (lesser tanar'ri) appeared in Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix II (1995).[22] In a review of Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix II for Arcane magazine, the reviewer cites the culture of the tanar'ri as helping "give the Planes a solid base of peoples".[23] Monstrous Compendium Annual Three (1996) featured the armanite and the goristro again.[24]

The Rod of Seven Parts boxed set (1996), in "Book IV: Monsters", featured statistics for Miska the Wolf-Spider and the Queen of Chaos, along with the spyder-fiends: the kakkuu, the lycosidilith, the phisarazu, the raklupis, and the spithriku.[25] The spyder-fiends later appeared in Monstrous Compendium Annual Four (1998), along with the uridezu (rat-fiend) lesser tanar'ri.

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000–2002)[edit | edit source]

The terms "devil" and "demon" were restored with the release of Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition ruleset. The term "tanar'ri" was also retained, but applied specifically to the predominant subset of demons.

Third edition introduced three known subtypes of demon: tanar'ri, obyriths, and loumara.

Demons appear in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000),[26] including the balor (tanar'ri), the bebilith, the dretch (tanar'ri), the glabrezu (tanar'ri), the hezrou (tanar'ri), the marilith (tanar'ri), the nalfeshnee (tanar'ri), the quasit, the retriever, the succubus (tanar'ri), and the vrock (tanar'ri).

The ghour demon and the yochlol demon for the Forgotten Realms setting appear in Monsters of Faerûn (2000).[27]

The cerebrilith appeared in the Psionics Handbook (2001). The uridezu (tanar'ri), the armanite (tanar'ri), and the goristro (tanar'ri) appear in this edition's Manual of the Planes (2001).[28] The mane (tanar'ri), the rutterkin (tanar'ri), the bar-lgura (tanar'ri), the babau (tanar'ri), the shadow demon, and the chasme (tanar'ri), as well as the demon lords Demogorgon, Prince of Demons; Graz'zt, the Dark Prince; Juiblex, the Faceless Lord; Orcus, Demon Prince of the Undead; and Yeenoghu, Demon Prince of Gnolls appear in the Book of Vile Darkness (2002).[29] The abyssal maw, the abyssal skulker, the abyssal ravager, the jovoc (tanar'ri), the palrethee (tanar'ri), the zovvut, the jariltih (tanar'ri), and the kelvezu (tanar'ri) appear in this edition's Monster Manual II (2002).[30] The alkilith (tanar'ri), the blood fiend, the klurichir (tanar'ri), the maurezhi (tanar'ri), the myrmyxicus (tanar'ri), the skulvyn, and the wastrilith appear in this edition's Fiend Folio (2003).[31]

Savage Species (2003) presented the succubus/incubus and the vrock both as races and as playable classes.[32]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003–2007)[edit | edit source]

Demons appear in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003), including the babau, the balor, the bebelith, the dretch, the glabrezu, the hezrou, the marilith, the nalfeshnee, the quasit, the retriever, the succubus, and the vrock.

The celebrilith appeared in the Expanded Psionics Handbook (2004).[33] The arrow demon and the sorrowsworn demon appeared in Monster Manual III (2004).[34]

The "Demonomicon of Iggwilv" features in Dragon each presented a highly detailed description of a single demon lord, as well as at least one new type of demon associated with that demon lord. Pazuzu, Prince of the Lower Aerial Kingdoms and the anzu appear in Dragon #329 (March 2005).[35] Fraz-Urb’luu, Prince of Deception and the skurchur appear in Dragon #333 (July 2005).[36] Zuggtmoy, Queen of Fungi and the vathugu appear in Dragon #337 (November 2005).[37] Baphomet, Prince of Beasts and the ankshar and the bulezau appear in Dragon #341 (March 2006).[38] Kostchtchie, Prince of Wrath and the mavawhan appear in Dragon #345 (July 2006).[39] Dagon, Prince of the Darkened Depths and the uzollru appear in Dragon #349 (November 2006).[40] Malcanthet, Queen of the Succubi and the incubus appear in Dragon #353 (March 2007).[41] Demogorgon, Prince of Demons and the verakia appear in Dragon #357 (July 2007).[42] The demon lords Ardat, the Unavowed, Dwiergus, the Chrysalis Prince, Lascer, Lord of the Shadow Shoal, Shaktari, Queen of the Mariliths, and Ugudenk the Squirming King, and the manitou appear in Dragon #359 (September 2007).[43] Graz'zt and the caligrosto appeared in Dragon #360 (October 2007), in the magazine's first online edition.[44]

Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006) includes new content for demons and inhabitants of the Abyss, including the armanite, the bar-lgura, the broodswarm, the bulezau, the chasme, the dybbuk, the ekolid, the goristro, the guecubu, the lilitu, the mane, the molydeus, the juvenile nabassu and the mature nabassu, the rutterkin, the sibriex, and the yochlol. The book also contains statistics for 14 demon lords, including Baphomet, Dagon, Demogorgon, Fraz-Urb'luu, Graz'zt, Juiblex, Kostchtchie, Malcanthet, Obox-ob, Orcus, Pale Night, Pazuzu, Yeenoghu, and Zuggtmoy.[45]

The Lolth-touched bebilith, the deathdrinker demon, the nashrou demon, the kastighur, and the whisper demon appeared in Monster Manual IV (2006).[46] The carnage demon, the dradnu, the adaru, the gadacro, and the solamith appeared in Monster Manual V (2007).

The oculus demon, the cambion and the baron or marquis cambion appeared in Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (2007).[47] The cambion was also presented as a player character race in this book.

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–2014)[edit | edit source]

In Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition, the Monster Manual describes demons as completely chaotic forces bent on destruction. They are described as "living engines of destruction" and said to have no desire for structure or order (unlike Devils who live a very ordered, though evil, existence). Demons harbor no secret goals and have no need for subterfuge. They live for the express purpose of destroying everything, until they die and are reborn once again in the Abyss, a maelstrom of elemental evil harbored deep within the Elemental Chaos.[48]

Demons seem to be the evil antithesis of devils. Where devils are endlessly ambitious, sneaky, and set in a highly structured hierarchy of the Nine Hells, demons care for nothing but destruction of the entire universe and live in a chaotic realm known as the Abyss. All demons are classified as elementals, albeit ones corrupted by the Abyss. Many of the demon lords were formerly god-like elementals known as primordials.

The Abyss was created by the god Tharizdun[49] as he sought a source of great power. What he found was a small shard of pure evil. Touching the shard drove him mad and he planted it in the deepest reaches of the Elemental Chaos where it warped into a realm of malevolence, the Abyss.

Demons appear in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008),[50] including the balor, the barlgura, the evistro (carnage demon), the glabrezu, the goristro, the hezrou, the immolith, the marilith, the mezzodemon, and the vrock. Orcus is the only demon lord detailed in the Monster Manual. A thematic change to demons in this edition is that many demons were originally elementals of some sort, warped and corrupted by the Abyss. All demons have the "elemental" creature origin, as the Abyss is located within the Elemental Chaos.

Yeenoghu is fully detailed in the online version of Dragon, in issue #364 (June 2008) in the "Demonomicon of Iggwilv" feature,[51] which includes his exarch Nezrebe, gnoll pack leader Zaiden, and the crocotta.

Baphomet and Graz'zt appear in the 4th edition Manual of the Planes (2009).

The dretch and several other demons appeared in the fourth edition Monster Manual 2 (2009), which also featured Demogorgon and Dagon.

The Demonomicon supplement, released in 2010, includes the armanite, bulezau, ferrolith, incubus (succubi are devils in this edition), nabassu, piscodemon, sibiriex, and many others. The demon lords Kostchtchie, Oublivae, Pazuzu, Phraxas and Zuggtmoy are also covered in detail. The obyriths were introduced into Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition in the Demonomicon supplement as refugees from a reality that they themselves brought to an end. They are twelve in number, and only the demon lords Obox-Ob, Dagon, and the Queen of Chaos are explicitly stated as being obyriths. Other demon lords are mentioned as possibly being among their number, including Pazuzu.

Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (2014–present)[edit | edit source]

Demons appear in this edition's Monster Manual (2014),[52] including the balor, the barlgura, the chasme, the dretch, the glabrezu, the goristro, the hezrou, the mane, the marilith, the nalfeshnee, the quasit, the shadow demon, the vrock and the yochlol. The demon lords Baphomet, Demogorgon, Fraz-Urb'luu, Graz'zt, Juiblex, Orcus, Yeenoghu and Zuggtmoy appear in the Out of the Abyss adventure module.[53] Volo's Guide to Monsters (2014) includes the babau, the maw demon, the shoosuva, the half-drow draegloth and the half-orc tanarukk.[54] Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes introduced the abyssal wretch, the alkilith, the armanite, the bulezau, the dybbuk, the morezhi, the molydeus, the nabassu, the rutterkin, the sibriex and the wastrilith. Additionally, the demon lords from Out of the Abyss are reprinted in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes with minor modifications.[55]

Reception[edit | edit source]

Demons were considered among the "standard repertoire of "Monsters"" in Dungeons & Dragons by Fabian Perlini-Pfister.[56]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Fiendish Codex I: The Lost Entries". Retrieved on 18 April 2018
  2. James Jacobs (2006). "The Demonimicon of Iggwilv: Dagon". Dragon (349). Paizo Publishing
  3. James Jacobs (2006). Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss. Wizards of the Coast
  4. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss, pp.36-37
  5. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss, pp.41-43
  6. Dragon #360, "Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Graz'zt, the Dark Prince".
  7. Dragon #359
  8. Shannon Appelcline (September 4, 2015). "Orcus: Demon Prince of Undeath". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on April 3, 2018
  9. Shannon Appelcline (November 17, 2014). "Monster Mythology". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on April 3, 2018
  10. Don Turnbull, ed. Fiend Folio (TSR, 1981)
  11. Gary Gygax. The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (TSR, 1982)
  12. Gary Gygax. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983)
  13. Gary Gygax and Frank Mentzer. The Temple of Elemental Evil (TSR, 1985)
  14. Michael Dobson and Douglas Niles. The Throne of Bloodstone (TSR, 1988)
  15. Frank Mentzer. Dungeons & Dragons Set 5: Immortal Rules (TSR, 1986)
  16. Aaron Allston. Wrath of the Immortals (TSR, 1992)
  17. "Dungeons & Dragons FAQ". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2008-10-02. Retrieved on 2008-10-03
  18. J. Paul LaFountain. Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix. (TSR, 1991)
  19. Doug Stewart, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  20. Allen Varney, ed. Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix (TSR, 1994)
  21. Lester W. Smith, and Wolfgang Baur. Planes of Chaos (TSR, 1994)
  22. Rich Baker, Tim Beach, Wolfgang Baur, Michele Carter, and Colin McComb. Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix II (TSR, 1995)
  23. Trenton Webb (January 1996). "Games Reviews". Arcane (2): 71. Future Publishing
  24. Jon Pickens, ed. Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Three (TSR, 1996)
  25. Skip Williams. The Rod of Seven Parts. (TSR, 1996)
  26. Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  27. James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo. Monstrous Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
  28. Jeff Grubb, David Noonan, and Bruce Cordell. Manual of the Planes (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
  29. Monte Cook. Book of Vile Darkness (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  30. Ed Bonny, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter. Monster Manual II (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  31. Eric Cagle, Jesse Decker, James Jacobs, Erik Mona, Matt Sernett, Chris Thomasson, and James Wyatt. Fiend Folio (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  32. David Eckelberry, Rich Redman, and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes. Savage Species (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  33. Bruce Cordell Expanded Psionics Handbook (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
  34. Rich Burlew et al. Monster Manual III (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
  35. James Jacobs. "The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Pazuzu." Dragon #329 (Paizo Publishing, 2005)
  36. James Jacobs. "The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Fraz-Urb’luu." Dragon #333 (Paizo Publishing, 2005)
  37. James Jacobs. "The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Zuggtmoy." Dragon #337 (Paizo Publishing, 2005)
  38. James Jacobs. "The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Baphomet." Dragon #341 (Paizo Publishing, 2006)
  39. James Jacobs. "The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Kostchtchie." Dragon #345 (Paizo Publishing, 2006)
  40. James Jacobs. "The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Dagon." Dragon #349 (Paizo Publishing, 2006)
  41. James Jacobs. "The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Malcanthet." Dragon #353 (Paizo Publishing, 2007)
  42. James Jacobs. "The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Demogorgon." Dragon #357 (Paizo Publishing, 2007)
  43. Jacobs, James. "The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Apocrypha." Dragon #359 (Paizo Publishing, 2007)
  44. Jacobs, James. "The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Graz'zt" Dragon #360 (Paizo Publishing, 2007)
  45. James Jacobs, Erik Mona, and Ed Stark. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (Wizards of the Coast, 2006)
  46. Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel Monster Manual IV (Wizards of the Coast, 2006)
  47. Wolfgang Baur, and Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel. Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (Wizards of the Coast, 2007)
  48. Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, Inc., 2008).
  49. James Wyatt. Dungeon Master's Guide (Wizards of the Coast, 2008).
  50. Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  51. Robert J. Schwalb. "Demonomicon of Iggwilv", Dragon #364, June 2008. Available online: [1]
  52. Mearls, Mike (2014). Monster manual. Wizards Of The Coast. ISBN 9780786965618
  53. (2014). Out of the Abyss. Wizards of the Coast
  54. Mearls, Mike (2016). Volo's guide to monsters. ISBN 9780786966011
  55. (2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Wizards of the Coast
  56. Philippe Bornet (2011). Religions in play: games, rituals, and virtual worlds: 282. Theologischer Verlag Zürich. ISBN 978-3-290-22010-5. Retrieved on 19 December 2019

Further reading[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Demon at the Forgotten Realms Wiki
  • Demon at the Eberron Wiki
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