Fiendish Codex I released this past June; and so, the corresponding D&D Alumni article looked back at the game’s demons. Only fitting that with the release of Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells, we should do the same for the devils! After all, how many of us out there (and my hand is certainly raised) chose to play a paladin after ogling the 1st edition Player’s Handbook illustration: A Paladin in Hell?
So it’s only nature to start with this compelling scene, repeated through the game’s editions:
From there, we offer a sampling of the devils themselves. As mentioned in the previous D&D Alumni, 1st edition devils and arch-devils were largely introduced in the Monster Manual and Monster Manual II. Back then, Tiamat ruled the 1st layer of Hell, and Moloch ruled the 6th as the viceroy of Baalzebul (who looked much less slug-like and far more fly-eyed).
In 2nd edition, the term “devil” was dropped in favor of baatezu: “an extremely lawful, hierarchical order of creatures native to the Nine Hells. If a baatezu spends enough time in its current form and performs its tasks well, it will eventually be “promoted” to the next higher form of baatezu.”
With 3rd edition, the term devil returned, though returning the baatezu subtype. What other differences came about? 1st editions horned devils (malebranche) have since split into two distinct devils, the horned devils (cornugon) and malebranche. The Lords of the Nine have waged their own power struggles, with Bel now ruling the 1st layer, Levistus ruling the fifth, and Glasya the sixth (a far lovelier ruler than the former Hag Countess). And for a special look back at lemurs vs. lemurs (you didn’t know about that conflict?) we’d also point you to the magicthegathering.com article on the subject.
Click on any thumbnail below for a larger image.
Barbed Devil (Hamatula)
Bearded Devil (Barbazu)
Bone Devil (Osyluth)
Chain Devil (Kyton)
Horned Devil (Cornugon)
Ice Devil (Gelugon)
Spined Devil (Spinagon)
Lords of the Nine
4th: Belial and Fierna
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: email@example.com.
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