Baatezu are a strong, evil-tempered, well-organized race of fiends. In their rigid caste system, authority derives not only from power but from station. Changes in station come from participation in the Blood War or (as is more often the case) from the high attrition rate in the upper ranks. If a baatezu performs a great feat that cripples the enemy, it is rewarded by promotion - actually a physical transformation - to a higher station.
The baatezu pursue two obsessive goals. First and foremost, they wish to destroy their ancient blood enemies, the tanar'ri. Both races treat the conflict not only as a war of annihilation, but as a definition of existence.
Second, the baatezu have recently (by immortal standards) noticed a small but interesting group of beings: humanity. By infiltrating humankind's world and gaining followers there, the baatezu gain magical energy and, thus, power over the tanar'ri. Toward this end they strive to dominate humanity by convincing victims they have godlike powers.
In contrast to the chaotic evil tanar'ri, baatezu pursue a long-range goal of dominion by their whole race throughout the planes. They prefer to encourage humanity's intellectual evils, such as pride and ambition, rather than the immediate sensual appetites tanar'ri exploit.
In appearance the baatezu are diverse, though a Gothic gargoyle look, grotesque and unsightly by human standards, is common. Baatezu types fall into three divisions:
The lemures (a fourth variety) rank so low that they don't even qualify as �least� in the baatezu scheme. Baatezu consider them the very bottom in station. However, scholars customarily number them among the types for the sake of completeness.
Combat: All baatezu except for lemures, nupperibo, and spinagons have the spell-like abilities advanced illusion, animate dead, charm person, infravision, know alignment (always active], suggestion, and teleport without error.
The baatezu can summon their fellows, as detailed in their individual descriptions. Because they have a special form of telepathy, baatezu can understand and converse with any intelligent creature.
Only least and lesser baatezu take damage from ordinary nonmagical weapons. The other varieties of baatezu are harmed only by magical weapons or weapons of silver. Baatezu are affected by the following attack forms:
|Fire (dragon, magical)
|Gas (poisonous, etc.)
* The gelugon takes half damage from fire and none from cold
† Unless affected by normal weapons, in which case damage is according to weapon type.
� Greater baatezu take only half damage from silver weapons.
Planar Travel: Baatezu can travel to Baator, any lower plane, the Outlands, and the Astral Plane. However, they cannot enter the Prime Material Plane or Upper Planes unless properly summoned. Least and lesser baatezu are subject to a combination of magical signs that, when inscribed and a gate spell cast, bind them to service for nine days, keeping them, from harming the caster. The greater baatezu can likewise be commanded or kept at bay for nine hours.
Accession: The baatezu, with their evil, twisted honor, have a definite path of progress. By performing deeds that further the cause of evil, one gains honors, station, and power. For instance, an enterprising spinagon might advance and, in a long and torturous process, transform into an abishai.
Often, too, a baatezu simply
disappears, whereupon its immediate subordinate takes its place in the chain of command. Covert assassination is common among the baatezu.
The Dark Eight: The Dark Eight: In the fortress of Malsheem on the layer of Nessus there meet eight of the most powerful pit fiends in Baator: Furcas, Baalzephon, Zimimar, Zapan, Zaebos, Corin, Dagos, and Pearza. These ominous lords meet four times per year to determine policy, including strategy against the tanar'ri and promotions of lower baatezu. To draw the attention of these eight powerful beings is to invite destruction.
Strangely, these eight rulers have reigned for many years, seemingly immune to the assassinations so common in the upper ranks