Baalzebul

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Greyhawk Deity
Baalzebul
Baalzebul01.jpg
Baalzebul, the Slug Archduke.
Title(s) Archduke of Maladomini, Lord of the Seventh, Lord of the Flies, Lord of Lies, the Fallen One, the Slug Archduke
Home Plane Nine Hells
Power Level Archdevil
Gender Male
Class(es) Wizard 19, bard 12 (avatar)
Alignment Lawful evil
Portfolio Flies, lies
Domains Diabolic, Strength, Trickery
Alias(es) Triel, Balim
Superior Asmodeus

Baalzebul is one of the Lords of the Nine Hells, ruler of Maladomini, the Seventh Layer of Hell. His symbols include a fly's head, a web with flies dangling from it, and an enthroned slug.

Description

Prior to the Reckoning of Hell, Baalzebul took on the appearance of a tall, dark-skinned humanoid with compound eyes resembling a fly. However, as a result of his role in the Reckoning, Asmodeus transformed Baalzebul into a giant slug-like creature which trails feces and garbage wherever he goes. Flies crawl over his body at all times, and his arms are tiny and malformed.

Relationships

Baalzebul is the sworn enemy of both Mephistopheles and Dispater and would do anything to oppose them. He also has a tentative alliance with Belial, whose aid he would probably come to if he could discover some advantage in doing so. It is worth noting that although he openly plots against Mephistopheles he also secretly nurses a hate for Asmodeus for cursing him with his current appearance. Baalzebul's consorts are Baftis and Lilith.

Vassals

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

  • Abigor - 60 companies of cornugons (DR76).
  • Baftis - First Consort to Baalzebul (DR76).
  • Barbatos - Marshall (DR76).
  • Erac's Cousin
  • Lilith - Second Consort to Baalzebul, former consort to Moloch (DR76).
  • Neabaz - Herald (DR76).
  • The Nyashk Cadre - A powerful unit of 16 half-devil female bugbear fighter/ sorceresses, who are Lord Baalzebul's most formidable warriors.
  • Tartach - Former Legate (DR 76), left Baalzebul's court to serve Glasya.
  • Vashaak Ratoth Bruu - Male medusa monk preseted to Lord Baalzebul as a gift from Malagarde. He serves as his master's personal servant and entertains him with his wit and charisma.
  • Zepar - 28 companies of cornugons (DR76).

Dogma

Baalzebul teaches the use of lies and charm backed with deadly force to achieve one's desire. He wishes to regain his original form, but even more than that he desires to avenge himself against Asmodeus.

Scriptures

Baalzebul played a part in writing the Book of Vile Darkness.

Worshipers

Baalzebul03.jpg

Baalzebul attracts to his service nonconformists, revolutionaries, and plotters of coups. His cults are as much conspiracies as religious orders, much better at bringing down governments than ruling them. They typically undermine good or neutral governments with a combination of charm, lies, and the judicious use of assassinations.

Many of Baalzebul's worshipers are bugbears, who appreciate the combination of guile and violence that Baalzebul espouses.

In the kingdom of Mur, Baalzebul is known as Balim, and counted among the 3,000 obahs venerated by that culture. As Balim, Baalzebul is depicted in his older form, as a man with the face of a fly.

Clergy

Clerics of Baalzebul customarily shave their heads and wear robes of blue and black, along with gold jewelry and piercings. Their favored weapon is the morningstar. Disciples of Baalzebul are liars, cheats, and thieves.

Temples

After Baalzebul's cultists successfully undermine a government, priests of Asmodeus will sometimes assume command of their temple to oversee the "establishment" phase of diabolism in the land, while Baalzebul's faithful will occupy a hidden shrine of Asmodeus in another land to begin the process again.

Baalzebul's shrines are usually filled with an overabundance of statuary and feature a heavy insect motif. Incense made from unpleasant and unsanitary materials (sometimes just offal) is burnt in their lord's honor.

History

Baalzebul02.jpg

Baalzebul was originally an archon named Triel who succumbed to the temptation of power and ambition, and consequentially fell into Hell. He was recruited into the ranks of the devils by Asmodeus and quickly climbed through their ranks, assuming control of the seventh layer to become one of the most powerful devils in Baator.

Before the Reckoning of Hell, Baalzebul and Mephistopheles both had three archdevils under their influence. Baalzebul was allied with Zariel, former Lord of the First, Belial, Lord of the Fourth and Moloch, Baalzebul's former viceroy of the sixth plane. Baalzebul attacked Mephistopheles's forces and gained a quick advantage which was lost once Mephistopheles's armies regained footing. Soon Baalzebul's armies were pushed back to Maladomini, the home city of the Lord of the Flies. There, Asmodeus convinced the armies to turn on their masters. In the aftermath, Baalzebul lost the honor of having a viceroy when Moloch was replaced by the Hag Countess (who has since been replaced by Glasya).

Creative origins

Baalzebul is based on the Beelzebub of mythology and demonology.

Apocrypha

In Dragon # 28, the article "The Politics of Hell" by Alexander von Thorn gives a different history to that detailed above, and includes statistics for Satan, Belial and Astaroth. Satan is more powerful than any other Devil, but lacks support, having been exiled from hell by Beelzebub following a revolution. Beelzebub ("Lord of the Archdevils") was himself overthrown by Asmodeus and is forever after known as Baalzebul ("Lord of the Flies," with "flies" meaning "little devils" in this context).

In Legions of Hell by Chris Pramas, Beelzebub (as he's called in that source) is described as a fallen throne archon. His servants in that book include Amitiel, the Archon of Truth; Flauros, who is consulted in divinations; Meresin, who controls lightning storms; Moloch, a former angelic patron of children who now welcomes child sacrifice; Murmur, who questions souls arriving in the Seventh Circle; Nergal, the Fetid Prince; Rahbad, Lord of the Lightless Seas; and Tamiel, Angel of the Deep.

See also

Bibliography

  • Cook, Monte. Book of Vile Darkness. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2002.
  • Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1977.
  • Laws, Robin D., and Robert J. Schwalb. Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2006.
  • McComb, Colin. Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1997.
  • -----. McComb, Colin. "The Lords of the Nine." Dragon #223. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR 1995.
  • Pramas, Chris. Guide to Hell. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1999.
  • -----. Legions of Hell: Book of Fiends, Volume One. Renton, WA: Green Ronin Publishing, 2001.
  • Von Thorn, Alexander. "The Politics of Hell." Dragon #28. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1979.