Devil

"Devils pay in gold." - common expression

Devils are lawful evil outsiders that hail from the plane of Carcereth.

Queens of the Night

Masters of corruption and despoilers of purity, devils seek to destroy all things good and drag mortal souls back with them to the depths of Carcereth.

As the most numerous fiendish occupants of Carcereth, the various forms of devils are well catalogued by diabolists. Most are known by two names: an evocative title given to the fiends by commoners and folklore, and an obscure, ancient designation spoken by the servants of Carcereth and those who would seek to deal with the damned.

Born from the foulest of mortal souls—their personalities and memories long since scoured by millennia of torment—would-be devils rise from the masses of suffering souls as lemures, revolting beings of mindless evil potentiality. Only through continued centuries of torture or by the edicts of more powerful devils do these least of devilkind rise to become deadlier fiends, graduating through a pain-wracked metamorphosis dictated by their masters or the infernal whims of Carcereth's semi-sentient layers. While fiendish lords wield transformation into greater or lesser forms as both prize and punishment, some devils spontaneously rise from particularly evil souls long trapped upon an infernal layer. Thus, although the various diabolical breeds possess recognizable abilities and hold generalized rankings in the great infernal hierarchy, a devil's type alone does not always correspond to a specific tenure of torment or place in the infernal chain of command.

Devils fill the nine layers of Carcereth, though certain fiends are more common on specific layers than others, their specialized duties or fealty to individual archdevils drawing them to one torturous domain more than others. Although the various types of devils tend to specialize in unique forms of depravity or temptation, the hierarchies of Carcereth are not without flexibility for uncommon individual talents. Thus, particularly watchful hamatulas might join the ranks of Phlegethon's bone devil inquisitors, while veteran barbazus might serve among the pit fiends of Nessus.

Beyond the pits of Carcereth, devils often travel to the Material Plane at the summons of evil spellcasters. Quick to bargain and willing to serve mortals to assure their damnation, devils ever obey the letter of their agreements, but serve the whims of Carcereth foremost. Thus, even the least of devilkind might come to the Material Plane intent on further corrupting souls, cleverly escaping the bonds of their contracts to indulge their own plots, or to further the unspeakable goals of the archdevils of Carcereth.

DEVIL TRAITS

Common traits among devils include the following:

  • Charm. Devils are consummate charmers. Like humans, some are better at it than others. The good ones savor the exchange of pleasantries, speaking in measured sentences or noticing pleasant details about the environment or a character's clothing.
  • Patience. Devils are rarely in a rush to make a deal or sign a contract. As masters of the long con. devils make genuinely good deals with mortals to buy appreciation and trust that can be leveraged during more consequential dealings later on.
  • Civility. Devils like to pretend that they run by the same rules and obey the same social conventions as mortals. Devils have no problem appearing and acting in whatever manner they need to achieve their end goal - usually a contract for services or a soul. They've learned that more can be gained from behaving in a civilized manner than reacting angrily or violently.
  • Deviousness. Devils don't age, so there's rarely a sense of urgency with a devil as it plots its conquest or corruption of a soul. This allows for winding schemes that are rarely what they seem on the surface. For minor devils, a simple acceptance of an evil gift is enough, while greater devils enjoy tangling up characters in choices that compromise their values.
  • Unscrupulousness. Being evil and soulless, a devil cannot be embarrassed or shamed, doesn't feel guilt or remorse, and is prepared to do the most heinous acts to get what it wants.
  • Fear of Demotion. A devil that disappoints a superior can be demoted, whereupon it's instantly transformed into a lesser form of devil. The greater the devil, the more it fears demotion and the loss of its power. Thus, a devil takes great pains to hide its failures or pin them on someone else.

Binding


Ranks


Diabolists speak often of the rankings of Hell, the distinctions made between devils that distinguish the foot soldiers from the commanders of Hell's armies. While such divisions mean little to most mortals—a devil being a deadly foe in any incarnation—the hierarchies and nuances of Hell's society carry distinctions vital to the survival of any who would commune with devils. What distinguishes a breed of devils above or below others is more than a matter of brawn, with several cunning types of fiend holding priority over their fundamentally stronger brethren. While a devil's station does not mean it can instantly command every other devil of inferior standing, it does imply which fiends might serve their brethren or hold influence over others.

Below these are the devil races themselves, from the lordly and malevolent pit fiends all the way down to the lowly, malformed lemure.

The Infernal Hierarchy

Listed here, from the absolute weakest devils to the lords of Hell, is the most basic hierarchy of the infernal realm's best-known denizens.

  • Least Devils: imps, lemures
  • Lesser Devils: bearded devils (barbazus), erinyes, barbed devils (hamatulas), bone devils (osyluths)
  • Greater Devils: horned devils (cornugons), ice devils (gelugons), pit fiends

Fallen Angels


Even a place as rigidly ordered as the Nine Hells is rife with exceptions and special cases. At the top of the list are the erinyes, a cadre of hideously beautiful, winged, elite devils that flutter slightly apart from their infernal brethren.

Erinyes are the descendants of fallen angels that became corrupt and plummeted into Baator. Some of them feel with Asmodeus, others were corrupted in later eons. A few of these former angels still survive today as pleasure devils.

While devils can mate with and impregnate mortals, only erinyes, pleasure devils and unique female devils are capable of becoming pregnant. (Whether they possessed this ability in the Upper Planes or gained it during their descent remains an unanswered question.) Because they retain this capacity only in these forms, they often resist promotion into other forms.

These female devils standoffishly view themselves superior to those formed from the souls of the damned. The animosity they feel towards full blood baatezu is reciprocal. Despite the others of their superiors, this enmity occasionally breaks out into outright violence. At the same time, though, other devils envy, lust after and idolize the erinyes and their ilk.

Young erinyes are the only true offspring raised in Baator. Their parents are fiercely protective of them and keep their colonies well hidden from interlopers.

Pacts


see Infernal pact

The Pact Certain

Swear allegiance to an archdevil and promise to follow the path of evil in exchange for benefits detailed within.

The Pact Insidious

The devil provides benefits in exchange for certain favors.

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