Fiendish Codex 1: Hordes of the Abyss released this June, unleashing three subtypes of demons (you thought there were just the tanar’ri?) and over a dozen demon lords. This Alumni we wanted to offer a look back at the game’s demons, from 1st to the latest edition—and what better way than to showcase their evocative artwork, providing inspiration for innumerable fiendish encounters throughout the years, challenging (and often defeating) countless PCs?
Through the Editions
1st edition’s Monster Manual introduced the famed Type I through VI demons (that is, vrock through balor), as well as the demon lords Demogorgon, Juiblex, Orcus and Yeenoghu; a few books later, Monster Manual III added a host more demons (babau, bar-lgura, chasme, dretch, nabassu and rutterkin) and demon lords (including Baphomet; Fraz-Urb’luu, Prince of Deception; Pazuzu, Prince of the Lower Aerial Kingdoms, and Kostchtchie, wielding his favorite weapon, “a huge hammer of cold iron with inlays of nickel and silver”).
In 2nd edition, the term “demon” was largely dropped in favor of “tanar’ri,” the bulk of which appeared in the Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes, along with a few more (goristro and armanite) in Monstrous Compendium Annual: Volume 3. The tanar’ri were now organized into Least, Lesser, Greater, True (the 1st edition “Type” demons), and Guardian classifications. Plus, the Blood War—the tanar’ri’s eternal conflict against the baatezu (devils) of the Nine Hells—was crafted in great detail.
When 3rd edition released, it reintroduced the terms “demons” and “devils” (though also keeping their descriptive tanar’ri and baatezu subtypes), as well as the demon lords. In the following thumbnails, the 3rd and 3.5 edition sources featuring these demons are as follows: BoVD (Book of Vile Darkness), FC1 (Fiendish Codex 1), MH (Miniatures Handbook), MM (Monster Manual), and Mini—whenever a miniature of these creatures has been made available.
Click on any thumbnail below for a larger image (including the Fiendish Codex 1 cover above, for a larger image of the lovely marilith).
The Demon Lords
Have your own tales of adventure against the game’s demons? Either on sortie into the Abyss, or battling those crawling their way into the Prime Material Plane? Thoughts on the game’s demons, past or present? We'd love to hear, either on the message boards or sent directly to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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