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The Dark of Fiends
...an introduction for the clueless written by Icewind

Want to know about the Blood War, eh, Clueless? Tanar'ri and baatezu killing each other for control of the Lower Planes. Well, I'll let me tell you something: don't mess with the fiends! What are fiends, eh? Fine then...

Fiends are the denizens of the Lower Planes. There are a lot of different races, each with its own hierarchy of subspecies. Wait, I'll explain it to you in greater detail.

First off, there's the baatezu, called devils by some who don't know any better. They live in Baator, the Outer Plane of ordered Evil. All of their society is a strict hierarchy, though the main way to get higher on the ladder is to crush those beneath you underfoot. These sods are law-abiding, but Evil to the core. Watch out for their contracts. Those things are so full of double meanings and hidden clauses that only a sage blood can even *hope* to understand 'em. My advice: don't even talk to these fiends unless you have to. There are many different kinds of baatezu, and what I'm telling you about now is only the tip of the iceberg. Lemures are some of the lowliest of the baatezu. They're really fat sods who aren't very good at doing anything except dying. Not very dangerous, except there's so piking many of them around Baator! Abishai are more powerful baatezu. They come in different colors, like black or red, that denote their rank. Though definitely not the smartest of the baatezu, these winged lizards have a lot of physical power and can only be harmed by magical weaponry. Some of the more high-up baatezu are cornugons. These creatures look a lot like the abishai, but are even bigger. Plus, they've got intelligence and magical aptitude that the abishai lack. Stay away from these sods if you care about your soul, cutter. Now, there is one other type I wish to speak of: the Erinye. They're the elite corrupters of mortal souls, and only 500 exist in all of Baator. An erinyes can take any form, and uses her powers like a succubus, save that she tries to destroy freedom in a society. These are the ones that corrupt the greatest of heroes, cutter. But you don't need to worry about crossing paths with and Erinyes, berk, because they've got bigger fish to fry. There are other kinds, too, like spinagons or barbazu, But I figure you know enough about the "devils" for now, let's move on to another race: the "demons"...

... or tanar'ri, as they are REALLY called. They are creatures full of Chaos and Evil, the denizens of the Abyss. They're probably worse than the baatezu, since most act on a whim, but at least they'll kill you outright without forcing you to sign away your soul. Most of them, that is. Manes are some of the lowliest. Pretty easy to kill, except they come at you in hordes and blow up when you hit 'em. My advice: use spells and arrows to kill them from afar. Rutterkin are these hideous, deformed creatures, that look like bloated corpses. They've got a good deal of power, and they can summon the little exploding manes to help them out. But there's more. The succubi, probably the greatest temptresses in the Multiverse (though the Erinye are better, if you ask me). These alluring "women" go about, causing society to fall apart into cruel Chaos. And their numbers aren't as small as the Erinyes, so expect to see these more often. Whatever you do, cutter, don't kiss one or couple with it.

If you do, it'll steal your soul. Like succubi tempt mortals with the promise of pleasure, glabrezu tempt them with the promise of power. These huge, four-armed, dog-headed monstrosities are the ones who will offer you a magic tome, a legendary weapon, or a crown in exchange for your soul. And they can assume any shape like succubi and Erinye.

Well, those two are the Blood Warriors, the ones trying to take over, but there are many more fiends. The gethreleths are denizens of Carceri, mindless berserkers who fight as mercenaries in the Blood War. Then there are the yugoloths, fiends of pure Evil from the Grey Waste. They plot and scheme like baatezu, but don't obey laws unless they want to. Good thing these sods tend to stay out of the Blood War. They're the ones that look like skeletal beings dressed in robes. The yugoloths maintain a citadel on the Grey Waste, too. Looks like the spinal column of an enormous creature. 20 miles high and 20 miles underground it is. Just stay clear of them like you would of ANY fiend, berk.

Tieflings? No, they're not fiends. They're like half-fiends. Just like elves and humans make half-elves, fiends and humans make, well, these sods. Six fingers... tails... horns... pointed ears... acidic blood... they're perhaps the most diverse "race" on the Planes, though I really wouldn't call them all one race. There's a lot of difference between being part baatezu and part tanar'ri, berk.

There's a lot more to say on the subject, but I'd rather not... can't teach you all the darks of the Multiverse, can I? Ask me about something more pleasant next time.