Dispater (Dungeons & Dragons)

Dispater (Dungeons & Dragons)

In many campaign settings for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Dispater is an Arch-Devil of Hell (Baator in later editions of the game), and the Lord of the Iron City of Dis.

Dispater was one of the few arch-devils that retained his position after the Reckoning of Hell. Dispater is lord of Dis, the Second Plane of Hell.

His symbol is a fortress embossed on a reinforced metal shield.

Creative origins

Dispater was inspired by the Dis Pater of Roman myth.

Publishing history

Being based on a pagan Roman god rather than a Christian demon, Dispater was one of the few archfiends not suppressed during TSR's crackdown on demons and devils. He was the only Lord of Baator mentioned in the Planescape Campaign Setting boxed set, and the only one of the Lords of the Nine not to undergo a change in name, appearance, or station in second edition AD&D. As a result, he survived the Reckoning, which was how the various second edition changes were eventually explained in-game, more or less unscathed. In the Book of Vile Darkness, Monte Cook described him having iron skin, a feature he had not possessed in previous sources.

4th edition

The 4th edition Monster Manual mentions that Dispater is still the lord of Dis.

Description

Dispater stands at seven feet tall, is evilly handsome and looks human except for his small horns, tail, and cloven left hoof. He has a rod which acts as both a rod of rulership and a staff of striking that deals double normal damage.

Dispater is incredibly cautious to the point of paranoia. He always has at least nine different back up plans for any situation. He is also always polite and calm even in very troubling and stressful situations. Dispater's iron tower is itself a powerful magic item which makes Dispater almost impossible to kill as long as he remains inside it. Dispater never leaves his tower unless forced, most notably for the yearly council with Asmodeus which all the Archdevils are required to attend.

Relationships

Dispater is the sworn enemy of Baalzebul and is allied with Mephistopheles and as such most of his plans focus on the destruction of Baalzebul. His consort is Lilis.

Vassals

The following beings are among the most notable subjects of Dispater. The forces at their disposal are listed, where appropriate:

  • Alocer - 36 companies of erinyes (DR75).
  • Arioch - Avenger (DR75).
  • Biffant - Provost (DR75).
  • Lilis - Consort to Dispater (DR75).
  • Merodach - 21 companies of hamatula (DR75).
  • Talos the Triple Iron Golem - Ancient iron golem who serves Lord Dispater.
  • Titivilus - Messenger of Dispater, Nuncio (MM2).
  • Ustyhrin-Ja - Pleasure Devil Desciple who serves her master with frevor and leads his warrior harem.

Dogma

Dispater is extremely conservative, representing evil in its most stagnant form.

Worshippers

Dispater's cult appeals to those who value stability as much as cruelty. They tend to build impregnable fortresses, carefully reviewing defensive protocol and possible escape plans.

Clergy

Clerics of Dispater wear gray clothing and conceal their faces behind iron masks. They wield heavy maces.

History

According to Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells, when Asmodeus created Baator, he, Mephistopheles, and Dispater were the first of the baatezu to set foot on the plane. Dispater has controlled Dis ever since.

In the Reckoning, Dispater's legendary tower was the first to be attacked and was laid siege to by Zariel. However, Mammon managed to help Dispater beat the sieging army back and then they both invaded Maladomini to attack Baalzebul.

After the Reckoning, Dispater retained his position as ruler of Dis. He is still an ally of Mephistopheles and he, Mephistopheles, Baalzebul, and Belial form the only two real alliances in Hell.

Recently, in the adventure Fires of Dis, Dispater was behind a plot to ruin a noble crusading paladin and prevent the ascension of the gate-town of Fortitude.

References

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