Iron Flask of Tuerny the Merciless

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Greyhawk magic item
Iron Flask of
Tuerny the Merciless
Type Artifact
Body slot N/A
Caster level
First appearance Eldritch Wizardry (1976)

The Iron Flask of Tuerny the Merciless is a powerful artifact used to bind demons.


The Iron Flask of Tuerny the Merciless is a heavy urn plugged with a turnip-shaped stopper. It is small enough to be easily carried in one's palm. The urn is relatively plain in design, but the stopper is covered with runes and sigils.


Demons imprisoned within the Flask can be temporarily released by the artifact's owner for up to eight hours to attack targets of the owner's choosing. The Flask can imprison demons of considerable power, including mighty aspects of demon lords.

There is a flaw in the artifact, however, or perhaps the chaos that demons represent cannot be fully bound. Each time the Flask is used, there is a cumulative 5% chance the demon will be able to turn on its user, dragging their hapless would-be master back to the Abyss to serve as a dretch.

Like other magic items of artifact-level power, the Iron Flask of Tuerny the Merciless cannot be destroyed by ordinary means. Suggested means of destroying it include imprisoning 100 greater demons at once, filling it with the tears of 1,000 orphaned children, or filling it with earth from every battlefield Tuerny ever fought on.


The Iron Flask was created by Tuerny, a powerful Oeridian wizard who lived over 900 years ago (as of 585 CY) in the region now known as Ahlissa. After slaying his own king and founding an expansionist tyranny, Tuerny created the artifact at around the age of fifty. He managed to capture Graz'zt in it, forcing the demon prince to fight for him against his enemies. During one battle, however, Graz'zt managed to overcome his captor, transforming Tuerny into a dretch and spiriting him away into the Abyss. The Iron Flask disappeared as well at that time.

In the Ravenloft supplement Champions of the Mists, the Iron Flask is discovered in the domain of Hazlik in the Demiplane of Dread by a cleric known as Brother Dominic. In the wilderness of the Southern Core, he founds a monastery dedicated to hiding away the artifact so that it cannot endanger the outside world.

However, the Iron Flask appears in the Abyss in the adventure "Enemies of My Enemy" in Dungeon #149, where the player characters have the opportunity to use it to bind an aspect of Obox-ob. Iggwilv desires the artifact for herself, and is willing to ally herself with the heroes in exchange for it.

The 4th edition supplement Demonomicon (2010) mentions (page 49) that Iggwilv still possesses the Iron Flask of Tuerny, with a portion of Demogorgon's spirit within it gained from the events of the Savage Tide adventure path. In this book, she speculates the artifact and the essence bound inside it will allow her to spy on a gathering of demon lords undetected.


  • Connors, William W. Champions of the Mists. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1998.
  • Cook, David. Book of Artifacts. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1993.
  • Cook, Monte. Book of Vile Darkness. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2002.
  • Gygax, Gary. Dungeon Master's Guide. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1979.
  • Mearls, Mike, Brian R. James, and Steve Townshend. Demonomicon. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2010.