They are a strong, evil-tempered race held together by equally strong organization. The baatezu live in a ridge caste system where authority is derived not only from power, but from station. And changes in station come, most often, from participation in the Blood War.
If a baatezu performs a great feat that cripples the efforts of the tanar’ri, it is likely to be rewarded by being promoted t a higher station. But most often, promotion comes form the high attrition rate amonst the upper ranks.
In appearance, the baatezu are very diverse, though a gothic gargoyle-like look is somewhat common. They are grotesque and unsightly by human standards.
The goals of the baatezu – though seemingly one-tracked – run very deep. First and foremost, the baatezu wish to fulfill their ancient quest and destroy the tanar’ri, their blood enemies. But still, it should be noted, this is not merely a ware of annihilation, but rather a definition of existence. Also, the baatezu have recently (by mortal standards) noticed a small but interesting group of beings: mankind.
The baatezu know that by infiltrating men and entering their world they will gain power of the tanar’ri. Toward this end they constantly strive to dominate the Prime Material plane and its natives. By convincing the men and women of the Prime Material plane that the baatezu have godlike power, they hope to gain followers.
Although every baatezu possesses the ability to travel to any of the layer so the Nine Hells, they dare not do so without instructions from a superior. Only those individuals who are considered “commanders” can travel freely from layer to layer. The power pit fiend can, of course, go wherever they please.
The lowliest denizens of the Nine Hells, lemures are grotesque, disfigured creatures. Their bodies are disgusting blobs of molten flesh, with a vaguely humanoid torso and head. Their faces are equally unrecognizable, with twisted, melted features, molded into permanent expressions of horrid anguish. Sometimes, lemures will display some slight vestige of the mortal being they were in life, be it some facial feature, nervous twitch, a small shred of clothing, etc. However, these fragments of their former lives become less and less apparent as the lemure undergoes its tortured, wretched existence as the weakest baatezu in the Nine Hells.
Lemures have no means of communicating, since they have no minds.
Lemures will relentlessly attack anything they encounter in the Nine Hells that is not another baatezu unless ordered otherwise. They attack regardless of the danger to themselves, and thus need never check morale.
In combat, they claw for 1-3 points of damage. Their main strength is in their large numbers. Often dozens of these beasts are encountered, making combat with them long and drawn out as the lemures attack in wave after wave until they either wear down more powerful opponents or are themselves destroyed.
Lemures regenerate one hit point per melee round. Any piece of a lemure, even its burnt ashes, will regenerate until the creature is whole again. The only way to permanently destroy lemures is with holy items (holy water, holy sword, etc.).
Lemures have no minds of their own, so they are immune to any mind-affecting spells such as charm person or illusions. They do not, however, have the spell-like abilities common to all baatezu.
Lemures are wretched creatures, forever tormented by the other baatezu. Their existence is both dismal and insignificant.
They are found in the first two layers of the Nine Hells, where W’ they wander in large hordes, avoiding other baatezu and relentlessly attacking any intruders. On the rare occasions that the Nine Hells receives visitors, they are most often met by masses of roaming lemures. The lemures will mindlessly attack the intruders on sight. If alarmed, they will keep coming and coming, seemingly without end. Sages have no reason to believe that there is a finite number of lemures on the Nine Hells.
The amnizu dwell primarily on Stygia, the fifth plane of the Nine Hells. They are often found on the upper layers of the Nine Hells, however, there to accomplish some unearthly mission.
The amnizu are rather gruesome and unseemly. They are short (about 4 feet in height) with elongated, bald heads. They have stubby legs and arms and large, leathery wings protruding from their backs. Amnizu have pug noses and large eyes. Their snarling mouths are filled with jagged, razor-sharp teeth.
Amnizu use telepathic communication.
The amnizu are greater baatezu and as such, prefer not to enter combat, but rather to leave that sort of thing to underlings. But if pressed into battle, the amnizu will prove able foes. Their touch alone is enough to cause 2-8 points of damage to any creature. Because this channeling of harmful energy precludes armor, the amnizu need only attack versus armor class 10 to cause damage.
Any magical pluses of armor, shield, or protective device such as a ring of protection, will lower the “adjusted” armor class of the defender. Other magical items which give a base armor class are unaffected. For example, if an amnizu were attacking a foe wearing plate mail, it would only need to roll versus armor class 10 to hit. However, if the amnizu were attacking someone with chain mail + 1 and bracers of defense, AC 16, it would need to attack versus armor class 17.
Because of the amnizu’s close ties to the river Styx, their attacks also will have the effect of an extremely powerful forget spell, causing its opponent to forget one whole day’s memory unless he saves vs. spells.
In addition to those available to all baatezu, an amnizu can use the following spell-like abilities, one per round, at will:
• fireball, 3 times per day
• imprisonment, 1 time per day
A holy word is required to drive an amnizu back to its own plane.
Amnizu can attempt to gate in the following: 2-20 abishai (50% chance, once per day) or 1-8 erinyes (30% chance, per day).
Amnizu are extremely hateful of outsiders to the Nine Hells and even of those creatures native to that plane. They will follow orders not so much because of their nature, but because of their desire to advance and their fear of the pit fiends. It is a commonly known fact that the higher one advances in the Nine Hells, the more closely one is observed by the Dark Eight. Given the opportunity, however, amnizu will order their minions to attack anything that enters the domain that is under the control of the Dark Eight. It is possible that an amnizu would even attack a pit fiend given sufficient reason and if it thought it could do so without being suspected.
The amnizu serve many purposes. First and foremost, they are the guardians of the river Styx. The mighty river enters the Nine HelJs through Stygia as well as Avernus. This is rightly seen as a weak point of defense for the Nine Hells. The amnizu are entrusted with the important task of keeping foolish individuals out of the Nine Hells. Second, they are generals. A single amnizu will typically command a great army of thousands of abishai and erinyes. To their own perverse ends as well as the protection of Stygia, the amnizu deploy their massive armies.
The amnizu are given the important task of bringing new souls to the Nine Hells, and thus they are given their power of imprisonment. Mortal men and women traveling to the Nine Hells from the Prime Material plane for the purpose of combating evil are generally fodder for the amnizu.
Cornugon are very powerful amongst the greater baatezu. It is their lot to find service in the elite defense forces of the Nine Hells. In appearance they are frightening enough to fulfill that role. Fully 9 feet tall, these creatures are a only vaguely humanoid, covered with grotesque scales. Their huge wings and snaking, prehensile tail add to their frightening demeanor. In combat, they favor a large, barbed whip, but often carry other, more gruesome weapons.
Cornugon communicate telepathically.
Cornugons are fearless fighters, rarely retreating from combat even in the face of overwhelming odds. They have 18/00 strength (+6 damage adjustment). The cornugons will always attack with its tail, lashing out for 1-3 points of damage, creating a wound that will continue to bleed for 1 hit point of damage per round until treated. In addition, they will either attack with claws and bite or with a weapon. Their large, barbed whip deals out 1-6 points of damage on a successful hit and the victim must make a saving throw vs. paralyzation, or be stunned for 1-4 rounds. Even unarmed, the beast is capable devastating attacks. It can attack with two claw attacks for 1-4 points of damage per hit and a bite for 2-5 points of damage per hit (plus its tail attack).
In addition to those available to all baatezu, cornugons can use any one of the following spell-like powers at will, once per round, at will:
• detect magic
• lightning bolt, 3 times per day
• produce flame
• wall of fire, 1 time per day
Cornugons are the elite fighting force in the Nine Hells. They are often formed into terrifying armies up to 2,000 strong! Only the mighty pit fiends may lead these hideous fighting forces into battle. The cornugons are prized personal guardians. As such, all pit fiends and gelugons (Ice Devils) try to obtain one or more cornugons as personal retainers. The Dark Eight have 106 cornugons as retinue.
The cornugons armies are usually formed only in the lower few layers of the Nine Hells. In the upper layers, individuals serve as A generals to vast armies of lesser baatezu. This duty is the most desirable (and most subject to rapid advancement) second only to guardian duty among the Dark Eight.
The cornugons are greater baatezu, and as such enjoy a certain amount of prestige across the Nine Hells. Of all the baatezu, the cornugons have the most rapid advancement. With several successful campaigns to their credit, more heroic cornugons will receive promotions to the upper layers of the Nine Hells where they command vast, gruesome legions of baatezu. From there, great action leads to promotion to gelugon (Ice Devil), the ruthless baatezu inhabitants of the frigid layer of Caina. Although powerful and cunning, the cornugons are the baatezu least likely to display treachery amongst their ranks, due most likely to their militaristic nature. Their loyalty makes them something of an unusual asset in the Nine Hells. It is said that the 106 cornugons that guard the Dark Eight are completely loyal and would give their lives in defense of the council, behavior that is nearly unheard of in the Nine Hells. Whether this is due to genuine loyalty or fear of the almost limitless power of the pit fiends is unknown. What is known, however, is that never in the history of the Dark Eight has a cornugon guardian displayed traitorous behavior.
Gelugons are the ferocious baatezu that live in frigid Caina. In terms of appearance, gelugons are the most alien of the baatezu. They have extremely large, insect like bodies towering a full 12 feet tall They have great claws on their hands and feet and large, sharp pinchers at their mouth. Their heads bulge with great, multi-faceted eyes. As their most formidable weapon, gelugons have long, thick tails covered with razor-sharp spikes. They are indeed fearsome looking baatezu, commanding the respect of all their peers in the Nine Hells.
Gelugons communicate telepathically.
Gelugons are greater baatezu in every sense, favoring to attack and torment victims with their claws, pinchers and tail rather than use a weapon. They are extremely strong, with 18 strength (+4 damage adjustment). In combat, they can unleash four separate devastating attacks per round. Their two claws score 1-4 hit points of damage each upon a successful hit. The giant pinchers in their mouth do 2-8 points of damage per hit. But the most fearsome of their attacks is their large tail, which radiates cold like the wind of Caina itself. If the tail hits, it does 3-12 points of damage and the victim struck must make a saving throw vs. paralyzation or be paralyzed by numbing cold for 1-6 rounds. The gelugon can direct all four of its attacks against different opponents if it chooses.
About 25% carry great spears that inflict 2-12 points of damage. Those struck must make a saving throw vs. paralyzation or be numbed by cold (slowed for 2-8 rounds).
In addition to those available to all baatezu, the gelugon can use these spell-like powers at will, once per round, at will:
• detect invisibility, always active
• detect magic
• polymorph self
• wall of ice
In addition, they can attempt to gate in the following: 2-12 barbazu (50% chance, once per day), 2-8 osyluth (35% chance, once per day), or 1-2 gelugons (20% chance, once per day). Because the gelugons are the guardians of the front door of the Nine Hells’ lowest layer, there is a 25 % chance that a pit fiend will come and aid them if the gelugons are losing in combat.
Gelugons can see perfectly in total darkness, are able to regenerate 2 hit points per round.
They radiate fear in a 10′ radius (saving throw vs. rod, staff, wand or flee in panic for 1-6 melee rounds).
Gelugons hold an important position in the Nine Hells. Aside from being second in power and station only to the mighty pit fiends, gelugons are the guardians of Caina, the frigid eighth layer of the Nine Hells. Because Caina is but a single layer away from the heart of the Nine Hells, the pit fiends have placed great importance on the task entrusted to the gelugons.
Gelugons are the only baatezu native to Caina. Although other varieties of baatezu must occasionally come to this cold place, they do not like it. Most baatezu are more at home on the hotter layers of the Nine Hells. Gelugons are unique in baatezu society since they are both the leaders and rank and file of the armies of their layer. It is unknown how they decide amongst themselves who is a leader and who is not.
From Caina, there is but one way to reach the fortress of Malsheem on Nessus, the lowest layer of the Nine Hells. The portal is at the bottom of a great hole on Caina, surrounded by a group of 9,999 gelugons who guard this portal at all times.
Gelugons are the most unusual of all baatezu in appearance. They often use the shock value of their appearance to advantage when dealing with others. Wholly unnatural creatures, gelugons can only be created by promotion from lower stations. When a gelugon has performed well in its task, it may be promoted and become a pit fiend.
Such a promotion, however, is very difficult to obtain. First, the gelugon must have served flawlessly for 777 years. Any blemish on its record, even the slightest one, will eliminate it from the promotion list. But 777 years of perfect service is the easy part-if the gelugon is selected to become a pit fiend, it is thrown into the Pit of Flame where it is tormented for 1,001 days. After almost three years of hideous, painful torture, the creature that crawled into the pit a gelugon crawls out of it a pit fiend.