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insectile

Yugoloth


In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, yugoloths (formerly known as daemons) are neutral evil natives of the lower planes of the Bleak Eternity of Gehenna and the Gray Waste of Hades. In the third edition of the Forgotten Realms, they are native to the "Blood Rift" plane. There are several dozen sub-types of yugoloths of varying degrees of power. Their progenitors are the ancient, diseased baernaloths. The yugoloth leader holds the title of Oinoloth, and rules from the Wasting Tower of Khin-Oin. (But even this figure does not oppose the General of Gehenna, who has ruled since their race colonized that plane. On the other hand, yugoloths will act on their own without hesitation in the General's absence.)

They are neutral regarding the affairs of the other fiendish races, interfering only when they see a situation that may be profitable or has potential for the advancement of their own schemes. The yugoloths are manipulative, secretive, and mercenary by nature, often acting as soldiers for deities in their own private wars, or aiding one side or the other in the Blood War between the demons (tanar'ri) and devils (baatezu). Although yugoloths present themselves as simply greedy mercenaries, the members of the highest yugoloth castes view the entire course of the Blood War as their own to control and manipulate until they decide to end it, unify the Lower Planes, and turn their attention to the planes of Good.

Publication history

Yugoloths were originally called daemons in the first edition of Dungeons and Dragons, possibly linking to the daemon of Greek mythology. Descriptions for the Nycadaemon and Mezzodaemon appear in the Vault of the Drow module published in 1978. In that module, they are random encounter monsters in the city of Erelhei-Cinlu, the stronghold of the Drow. Along with other monsters, the Nycadaemon and Mezzodaemon were published in the Fiend Folio in 1981. They are able to move among all the lower planes at will. Along with demons and devils, their names were changed in the second edition of Dungeons and Dragons to avoid conflict with fundamentalist Christians who viewed the game as satanic. The Nycadaemon and Mezzodaemon thus became the Nycaloth and Mezzoloth respectively. While demons and devils had their original names restored in the third edition of Dungeons and Dragons, the yugoloths did not.

The canoloth, mezzoloth, nycaloth, and ultroloth appeared in Monster Manual III.

Types of Yugoloths

  • Altraloth: Yugoloths who have made pacts with night hags to become unique and powerful creatures, resented as traitors by the rest of their kind. An altraloth sometimes fits a given theme, such as Death, Pestilence, War, and Famine.
  • Arcanaloth: Jackal-headed scribes, record-keepers, negotiators, and deal-makers of the yugoloths.
  • Baernaloth: The ancient progenitors of all other yugoloths.
  • Canoloth: Doglike scouts and skirmishers.
  • Corruptor of Fate: Stealthy and cunning manipulators of luck, they often become assassins.
  • Dergholoth: Serve as infantry and rank-and-file mercenaries. Dergholoths have round bodies with five arms and three legs with insect-like heads.
  • Echinoloth: Rear echelons of the yugoloth armies, these fiends combine features of a starfish and squid into an unlovely whole.
  • Gacholoth: Ebony-skinned, four-legged infiltrators and saboteurs.
  • Hydroloth: Froglike elite forces used for amphibious attacks and ambushes.
  • Marraenoloth: Skeletal ferrymen on the River Styx.
  • Mezzoloth: Insectile footsoldiers of the yugoloth armies.
  • Piscoloth: Fishlike sergeants and overseers of the yugoloth armies.
  • Nycaloth: Green, gargoylelike elite cavalry of the yugoloth armies.
  • Skeroloth: Dregs of the yugoloth armies.
  • Ultroloth: Cruel officers of the yugoloth armies.
  • Voor: Tentacles, hulking brutes used as guardians, protectors, bodyguards, and enforcers. Greater versions are known as dreadful lashers.
  • Yagnoloth: Minor lords with one mighty arm.

Guardian Yugoloths

These creatures were created by the yugoloths as lesser servants for their mortal allies, and to serve in their stead when powerful wizards call upon them for favors. They are found in least, lesser, and greater varieties.

Battleloths

A subgroup of yugoloths are known as battleloths. These creatures take the shapes of various weapons:

  • Arrow Battleloth: The weakest of the battleloths; often serve as spies.
  • Axe Battleloth: Recklessly brave combatants.
  • Crossbow Battleloth: The most sought-after battleloths due to their versatility.
  • Pick Battleloth: Vicious, predatory yugoloths that feed on the blood of living creatures.
  • Spiked Chain Battleloth: Aggressive hunters that hunt down other battleloths for sport.
  • Sword Battleloth: Independent and wily, and hard bargainers, they demand conquests, glory, and loot.

Unique yugoloths

  • Anthraxus: An altraloth and the former Oinoloth.
  • Bubonix: The lord of the Tower of Incarnate Pain in Carceri.
  • Charon the boatman of the River Styx, by different sources a marraenaloth or an altraloth.
  • Cholerix: The second in command of Bubonix.
  • Daru Ib Shamiq: A baernaloth, responsible for granting the younger fiend races their innate teleportation abilities.
  • Diptherius: One time rival to Anthraxus for title of Oinoloth.
  • The General of Gehenna: The near-mythical ruler of the yugoloth race, rumored to be the first ultroloth.
  • Harishek Ap Thulkesh: "The Blind Clockmaker," a baernaloth and a member of The Demented.
  • Helekanalaith: Keeper of the Tower Arcane, an arcanoloth.
  • Inajira: An arcanoloth trapped in Ravenloft that played a major role in the Grand Conjunction.
  • Larsdana Ap Neut: the former Keeper of the Tower Arcane, an arcanoloth.
  • Mydianchlarus: The current Oinoloth, the so-called "Ultroloth Prince".
  • Taba
  • Typhus: Known as "The Idiot Savant."
  • Xenghara

Notes

References

  • Baker, Richard; Joseph D. Carriker; and Jennifer Clarke-Wilkes. Stormwrack (Wizards of the Coast, 2005).
  • Baker, Rich, Karen S. Boomgarden (Editor), Tony DiTerlizzi (Illustrator). Monstrous Compendium Appendix II (Planescape) (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd Edition). (TSR, 1995). ISBN 0-7869-0173-X
  • Bonny, Ed, Skip Williams, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Steve Winter. Monster Manual II (3e). (Wizards of the Coast, 2002). ISBN 0-7869-2873-5
  • Bonny, Ed. "Pox of the Planes" in Dragon Magazine Annual #2. 1997.
  • Grubb, Jeff. Manual of the Planes (TSR, 1987). ISBN 0-7869-1850-0
  • Grubb, Jeff, David Noonan, and Bruce Cordell. Manual of the Planes (Wizards of the Coast, 2001).
  • Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983). ISBN 0-7869-2873-5
  • Kestrel, Gwendolyn F.M. Monster Manual IV (Wizards of the Coast, 2006).
  • Larme, John. Dangerous Games? Censorship and "Child Protection" (2000).
  • McComb, Colin. Faces of Evil: The Fiends (TSR, 1997). ISBN 0-7869-0684-7
  • McComb, Colin, Dale Donovan, and Monte Cook. Planes of Conflict (TSR, 1995). ISBN 0-7869-0309-0
  • Stewart, Todd and Oliver Diaz. "Multiple Dementia" Dragon #253 (Paizo Publishing, 2007).
  • Varney, Allen (Editor), Jeff Easley (Illustrator), Tony DiTerlizzi (Illustrator). Monstrous Compendium Appendix (Planescape) (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd Edition). (Wizards of the Coast, 1994). ISBN 1-5607-6862-2
  • Wyatt, James, Eric Cagle, Jesse Decker, James Jacobs, Erik Mona, Matthew Sernett, Chris Thomassen. Fiend Folio. (Wizards of the Coast, 2003). ISBN 0-7869-2780-1

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