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Dungeons & Dragons Deity
Demogorgon
The Prince of Demons, Demogorgon, as he appeared on the cover of Dungeon #120. Art by Steve Prescott.
Demogorgon
Title(s) Prince of Demons, Lord of All That Swims in Darkness
Home Plane Abyss
Power Level Demon lord
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio
Domains
Alias(es) Ahmon-Ibor
Superior None

In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Demogorgon is a powerful demon prince. He is known as the Prince of Demons, a self-proclaimed title he holds by virtue of his power and influence; which in turn, is a title acknowledged by both mortals and his fellow demons.

Physical Description Edit

Demogorgon appears as an eighteen-foot tall, reptilian (or amphibious) hermaphroditic tanar'ri with a somewhat humanoid form. Two baboon heads sprout from his twin snake-like necks, and his arms end in long tentacles. Demogorgon's two heads have individual personas, called Aameul and Hethradiah. They strive to dominate (and even kill) each other, but are unable to because they are aspects of one another. But despite that, many of Demogorgon's plots revolve around either permanently separating or uniting these two personas. According to kopru legends, Demogorgon has two mothers, which account for his twin personas.

In the 3E sourcebook Book of Vile Darkness, he is erroneously depicted as having hyena heads instead of baboon heads.[1] His title as Prince of Demons is contested and somewhat misleading in that in the chaos of the Abyss there are no official titles and positions. He holds this title through sheer power and the fact no other demon has been able to prove themselves his superior and wrest the name from him. Demogorgon is also known as Lord of All That Swims in Darkness.

Demogorgon can hypnotize with a gaze or drive enemies insane. His whip-like tail has the ability to drain the life energy right out of a living foe. His tentacles cause living creatures to rot away, as if by some sort of rapid leprosy.

Relationships Edit

The hatred between Orcus and Demogorgon is legendary. He is also a dedicated foe of both Graz'zt and Fraz-Urb'luu. Some of his allies include the Succubus Queen Malcanthet; the currently imprisoned Shami-Amourae was his former consort. In Gary Gygax's Gord the Rogue series, he is the brother of another demon lord called "Mandrillagon."

Realm Edit

Demogorgon lives on the 88th layer of the Abyss, known as Abysm, the Brine Flats, or Gaping Maw. This is a layer consisting of a great sea of briny water broken by tall, sharp, ugly, rocky prominences rising out of the endless murky water into a sky of yellow mist. Demogorgon's palace is two twin towers shaped very roughly like tightly coiled serpents that are covered with sharp, ugly fin-like features and spines, and crowned at the top with skull-shaped minarets. The two towers are linked by a bridge near the top. Beneath the fortress are reefs and caverns where aboleths, kraken and ixitxachitl dwell, constantly warring with each other and worshipping Demogorgon in his palace above. His towers are said to extend so far beneath the sea that it connects to the layer beneath him where he speaks with Dagon, an ancient, aquatic Obyrith.

Numerous isles dotted the layer, but they all resemble Demogorgon's palace: twin rookeries rising straight out of the sea and into the sky. The only significant landmass of the layer is a vast jungle-covered continent. Here, Demogorgon's capital city of Lemoriax is located.

Cult of DemogorgonEdit

Demogorgon's cult is relatively small compared to "true" deities, but much larger than those of most fiends. He is worshipped not only by evil humans, but also by the intelligent rays known as ixitxachitl.

Demogorgon in various campaign settingsEdit

Demogorgon in DragonlanceEdit

Demogorgon made an early appearance in the Dragonlance campaign setting in Dragon #85, in the short story "A Stone's Throw Away" by Roger E Moore. The story describes Tasselhoff Burrfoot foiling an evil wizard's attempt to summon the demon lord.

Demogorgon in GreyhawkEdit

In the World of Greyhawk campaign setting, Demogorgon sometimes goes by the ancient name "Ahmon-Ibor," or "the Sibilant Beast." He is responsible for corrupting the paladin Sir Kargoth and transforming him and thirteen of his fellow Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom into Oerth's first death knights.

Demogorgon in other mediaEdit

Baldur's GateEdit

In the computer role-playing game Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, it is possible to make a sacrifice to Demogorgon, thus summoning some demons with no wish to be friendly. In the expansion pack Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, an avatar of Demogorgon appears imprisoned in the dungeon known as Watcher's Keep. The player's standard quest is to seal the dungeon in order to keep Demogorgon imprisoned, but the player can also destroy Demogorgon's avatar, sending him back to the Abyss.

Standard players may find Demogorgon very difficult. Power gamers may find him varying from hard to disappointing, depending on whether they are playing using difficulty-enhancing mods, such as "Tactics" (these may make him stronger, but normally requires that the players be far more powerful just to reach him, making Demogorgon not quite as hard, but still more challenging than the original game), or 'Ascension', which restores Demogorgon to his 'original' difficulty, which was deemed too difficult for more casual players, resulting in his statistics and abilities being reduced.

The character has very little dialogue compared to most other bosses; his single spoken line is performed by Jim Cummings.

NetHackEdit

In the game NetHack, Demogorgon is probably the most difficult demon in the game, as he wields a fearsome combination of stunning, poisoning, and damage attacks not seen in other demons. However, he does not have a fixed place in the game, and is generally only seen when other major demons summon him (a small probability per turn). This means that he is relatively easy to avoid if the player is not deliberately baiting him.

Creative originsEdit

Demogorgon is based on the invented, supposedly pagan god or demon Demogorgon, which was first spoken of by Christian scholars as a being whose very name is taboo. A creature named Demogorgon is featured in John Milton's Paradise Lost, Lodovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, Spenser's Faerie Queene and Percy Bysshe Shelley's Prometheus Unbound, although the D&D Demogorgon, appearance and history-wise, is not based on any of those sources. Gary Gygax created Demogorgon for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual.[2]

FootnotesEdit

  1. Cook, Monte (2002-10-14). "Re: What's so sacred about baboon heads?". Okay... Your Turn. http://p222.ezboard.com/fokayyourturnfrm4.showMessage?topicID=209.topic&&index=10. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  2. DeVarque, Aardy. "Literary Sources of D&D". Archived from the original on 2005-02-19. http://web.archive.org/20050219020638/www.geocities.com/rgfdfaq/sources.html. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 

ReferencesEdit

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