18 August 2010

Devils' Pageant: The Lesser Baatezu

Oi, cutter. Welcome back, and sit down. 'Ere is an important lesson, so pay attention. Moving on from the least Baatezu previously covered (nupperibo, lemure, spinagon), we come to the lesser ones. Well, these devils naturally employ more cunning, have more resilient bodies, but also need to try much harder to climb the ranks. Past the rank of spinagon, there are five higher ranks available. First off, we have the abishai. They themselves come in five various shapes and sizes (and colours): white, black, green, blue and red - each more powerful than the last (fig.1).
Fig. 1: Abishai*
Now, there's all sort of talk how the abishai came to be, and many planar scholars agree that they are results of magical experiments - devils infused with draconic heritage of Tiamat, or somesuch bollocks. Believe it if you will, but I urge you not to ask an abishai what he thinks on the matter (if you value your life, that is). These devils are easily angered, and best avoided. For the abishai, in order to rise in the ranks further, they must learn to be clever and determined, as well as act quickly and decisively. From there, they may rise to the position of either kocrachon or erinyes. Moving on. Second, we have the barbazu, or bearded devils (fig. 2). They are vicious fighters, but rather dull when compared to some other lesser devils. They join the battle gladly, and are eager and savage killers who rely upon their battle prowess to push through the enemy, as well as further up the baatorian hierarchy.
Fig. 2: Barbazu
Avoid them entirely; but should you have the misfortune of meeting them in battle, avoid their glaives and their beards. Many an adventurer celebrated a victory over a barbazu in battle, only to die of the devil's chills a week later. The barbazu may rise only one notch: to the rank of osyluth. Ah, the osyluth, you ask? But what about the aforementioned kocrachon and erinyes? Worry not; more about these in the next lesson. Go and take some rest now, and meditate upon what you have learned today. -- * The patron who commissioned the illustration was deeply dissatisfied with it, and had the artist sent to the Dungeons of Hathar'ach, where he is suffering still.


Mejo said...

Meni su najzakon đavli bezekire :)

Domigorgon said...

Nevidljivi lavovi? Pa, njih je barem lako nacrtati.

BB Shockwave said...

Finally, someone who still uses the classic names for baatezu. I find the new 3E/4E names ('Insertname' devil) so uninspired. I am well aware that it was Political Correctness campaigns that made them change the devils and demons to the new names, but I prefer them. The nether realms of the D&D universe are quite unique in this regard, namely that they are not fighting against the forces of Heaven but against each other (with the yugoloths helping out each side one day and backstabbing them the other, also filling their pockets). I wish we could have the old system back. 4E doesn't even has alignment. And heck, maybe there are now grey, purple and brown Abishais too? Considering they count as chromatic dragons... (I wonder if Tiamat got the memo to add 3 extra heads).