Demodand

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Greyhawk creature
Demodand
Alignment Neutral evil or chaotic evil
Type Outsider
Subtype
First appearance Monster Manual II (1983)


Demodands, also known as gehreleths (in the 2nd edition era), are a race of fiends found primarily on the plane of Carceri.

Ecology

Demodands are sexless and sterile among their own kind, though some may identify as one gender or the other. New demodands are created from corpses; whenever one of their race dies, a new farastu rises from a corpse somewhere on Carceri's orbs. New kelubars and shators are promoted from lower-ranking demodands as needed. They are living fiends, not undead, although some have described their loose flesh and foul odor as vaguely corpselike.

Although it is impossible to conduct an accurate census of the thousands of demodands that exist, it is said that only 9,999 exist at any time, or 10,000 if their ruler Apomps is counted as one of their number. Each of the three types of demodand numbers 3,333. During periods when the Blood War armies rage through their plane, the number of demodands somehow doubles, swelling to 19,998. Perhaps there are always more demodands hiding in the plane than commonly thought, or perhaps these extra fiends are temporarily created by Apomps and reabsorbed into his being when their purpose is complete.

Demodands are carnivores, constantly searching for more meat to devour. There seems to be no limit to how much they can consume. However, they do not really require food; it is impossible to starve one to death.

Typical physical characteristics

Demodands do not need to sleep as such, though farastu and kelubar are capable of assuming liquid form, and may gain some sort of repose in that state. Shators are always awake, though they do not typically move around much.

Hierarchy

  • Farastu, or tarry demodands, are the lowliest of their kind. They continuously secrete black tar from their pores that clings to their foes and weapons. They are tall and slender.
  • Kelubar, or slimy demodands, secrete pale green acidic ooze instead of tar. They have wide, ebon-skinned bodies, much broader than the farastu.
  • Shators, or shaggy demodands, are the princes of their society. They are actually hairless, but their flesh hangs so loose it seems as if they might be draped in skins. They are more obese than the other demodand castes, and said to be stronger than any fiend other than the ultroloth and yagnoloth.

Other races of demodands are rumored to exist, but none have been identified.

Society

The demodands have appointed themselves the jailers and wardens of Carceri, working diligently to make certain that none can escape the plane. They themselves are prisoners of the plane, unable to escape since they were banished there many millennia ago. They do not distinguish between the damned souls who inhabit the plane after their mortal deaths and mortal visitors; if the demodands feel that those they encounter belong on the plane, they will do everything in their power to keep them there. Occasionally they can be found on other planes, acting as bounty hunters seeking to bring escapees back to their prison-plane, though the demodands know they themselves are tied to the plane and fated to always return to it.

All demodands are filled with an instinctive hatred for yugoloths, the creations of their creator's rivals. They attack them on sight, and inspire mortal sages and poets to speak out against the other fiends.

  • Farastu are forced to do the most menial tasks in demodand society, under orders from kelubar and shator superiors. When around weaker creatures they are great bullies. On other planes they may set themselves up as petty lords or kings.
  • Kelubars are the bureaucrats of the demodands. They act as intermediaries between the lowly farastu and their shator overlords, and revel in the subservience of all who have the misfortune to encounter them. They prefer exchanging words to fighting, but won't hesitate to kill if they deem it necessary.
  • Shators rule the other demodand castes, the prison wardens to their prison guards. They make decisions on whether or not to pursue fugitives. They seldom work together, except against common adversaries. They are most commonly found with farastu and kelubar toadies. Shators have the innate ability to send other demodands to other planes, and they themselves often travel to other planes, often hiding behind mortal philosophers and poets and inspiring them to create tomes filled with the secrets of summoning other races of fiends, or philosophical texts that promote ideals of futility and angst. While on other planes, the favorite pets of shators are chimerae.

Much to their dismay, demodands are often treated as the summoning stock of the Lower Planes, and spells for binding them to the service of mortal spellcasters are common.

Religion

Demodands serve their creator, Apomps.

Another god of Carceri, Nerull, has the power to summon three demodands of greatest strength, who obey his commands out of fear of his power.

The shators who dwell near Grolantor's realm likewise serve the hill giant deity out of fear.

Language

Demodands speak their own language, known as Gehreleth. Farastu also speak Abyssal, kelubar speak Abyssal and Common, and shators speak Abyssal, Common, and Infernal.

History

The demodands are said to have been created by a baernaloth named Apomps, either before the creation of the yugoloths or in imitation of them. The kelubars and shators both agree that it was the fault of the farastu that they were exiled, though legends claim the other baernaloths rejected Apomps's creation because the entire race was afflicted with a chaotic taint. After a long, perilous journey, they and their creator ended up in Carceri, where they remain.

Once in Carceri, the demodands took it upon themselves to set up a gross parody of order, enforcing the inescapable nature of their new plane as their highest law.

More than 500 years ago (before 94 CY), demodands disguised as humans mated with humans and other inhabitants of Oerth. While most of the resulting offspring were stillborn, a few survived. Over the ensuing generations, most obvious signs of demodand ancestry vanished except for the invisible sign of Carceri on their foreheads. These scions of demodand crossbreeding became known as the Shackleborn.

Demodands were among the minions of Iuz during his first wars of conquest prior to his imprisonment beneath Castle Greyhawk. After Iuz's disappearance, the demodands came into conflict with Iuz's tanar'ri minions and decided to leave the lands to their own fate. In 579 CY, demodands serving the Horned Society helped invade the Shield Lands. After the Greyhawk Wars, some demodands were spotted near Bloodcrystal in the service of Szeffrin.

During the The Shackled City adventure path, a demodand-led organization known as the Cagewrights attempted to turn the town of Cauldron into a permanent portal to Carceri, setting the imprisoned fiends free to lay waste to the world.

Apocrypha

A philosopher called Verticulous Vibratiuncle is encountered within the demiplane of Eternal Autumn in the parody adventure Castle Greyhawk. When encountered, he asks the player characters very seriously, "What is up?" He is nonhostile unless insulted, ignored, or attacked, in which case he polymorphs into a farastu and punishes those who slighted him.

Related Creatures

Shrieking Terror: Vargouille/hydra crossbreeds created for war and destruction, sometimes used as advance troops by demondands.

Tarterian Creature: Via ancient magical rituals, a creature may gain some of a demodand's power in exchange for surrendering its soul to Carceri upon death. The demodand is destroyed in the process, but gains freedom from the eternal prison plane.

Notable Appearances of Demodands

The shator Drigor is trapped within the demiplane of Ravenloft, and the shator Xideous is lurking in the criminally and irreversibly insane ward of the Gatehouse in Sigil, working on a revision to the Book of Keeping. The latter one has a price on his head by the yugoloths.

In other media

The player can visit Carceri (when the city of Curst is shifted into the plane) in the game Planescape: Torment, encountering many hostile farastu. One farastu does communicate with the player, but only to discuss how he wants to eat him...

Bibliography

  • Cagle, Eric, and Jesse Decker, James Jacobs, Erik Mona, Matt Sernett, Chris Thomasson, James Wyatt. Fiend Folio. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2003.
  • Grubb, Jeff. Manual of the Planes. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1987.
  • LaFountain, J. Paul. Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1991.
  • McComb, Colin. Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1997.
  • McComb, Colin, Dale Donovan, and Monte Cook. Planes of Conflict. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1995.
  • Perkins, Christopher. "Asylum." Dungeon #116. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2004.
  • -----. "Lords of Oblivion." Dungeon #111. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2004.
  • -----. "Strike on Shatterhorn." Dungeon #115. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2004.
  • Thomasson, Chris. "Foundation of Flame." Dungeon #113. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2004.
  • -----. "Thirteen Cages." Dungeon #114. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2004.
  • Varney, Allen, ed. Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1994.