Archives of Nethys

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Archdevil

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 15
The greatest and most terrible of devils are the archdevils of Hell, powerful scions of law and evil, subtle and sophisticated demigods who each rule one of the eight vast planes of torment that form the layers of Hell. Each archdevil is a unique creature, and each fits into a specific role in the cosmic chain of corruption and oppression that devils use to bind the cosmos to their will. The first archdevils rose to power soon after their lord Asmodeus claimed Hell as his realm. Asmodeus has guided the rise of other archdevils, sometimes directly creating them as he did Belial and Mephistopheles. Others are older beings who pledged their allegiance to Asmodeus during heavenly rebellions, like Baalzebul and Dispater. Asmodeus has even been known, when in need of additional loyal viceroys, to grant archdevildom to creatures outside the diabolic race, as in the case of ascended mysteries like Barbatos and Geryon.

Below the ranks of true archdevils are Hell’s infernal dukes. These infernal nobles have the potential for power equal to some of the archdevils, but without a layer of Hell under their rule, they cannot truly be counted the equal of an archdevil. An infernal duke can rise in power by gaining class levels, advancing in Hit Dice, gaining mythic ranks, undertaking a vile ritual, amassing a sufficiently large and devoted following, or, rarely, at the leave of their blasphemous lords. However, until Asmodeus sees fit to award an infernal duke its own layer of Hell (to replace a fallen archdevil or one being punished via demotion to infernal duke), such a devil is not itself an archdevil. It should be noted that as scions of law, infernal dukes and archdevils remain loyal to Asmodeus and Hell, though they might resort to trickery and subterfuge to bolster their own resources and reputations. Those who are not loyal are quickly and inevitably revealed as traitors and punished accordingly by the Prince of Darkness. There can be any number of infernal dukes in Hell, but as Asmodeus himself rules the ninth layer of Hell, only eight archdevils can exist at any one time.

An archdevil can be contacted via commune or contact other plane, and can be conjured via a gate spell, but when so called, an archdevil is under no compulsion to come through the gate. Typically, an archdevil requires an enormous and significant offering or sacrifice before it deigns to answer a gate spell.

The Layers of Hell

Each archdevil rules one of the eight upper layers of Hell, with infernal dukes ruling fiefdoms within it. These layers are immense in size and composed of hundreds or even thousands of smaller subdomains, each of which may be the size of a continent or as small as a strange and secret city. The environments, themes, and traits of each layer are as unique as the archdevils themselves and can shift and change in response to the mood and intention of its archdevil master. An archdevil does not exert total control over its realm, though, and powerful adventurers can infiltrate a layer and accomplish various goals without arousing the anger of its archdevil overlord—if they are careful.

An archdevil gains the following additional powers while in its realm (the statistics presented on the following pages do not include these abilities):
  • Mythic: An archdevil functions as a 10th-rank mythic creature, including having the mythic power ability (10/day, surge +1d12). It can expend uses of mythic power to use the mythic versions of any spell-like ability denoted with a superscript “M,” as if the ability were a mythic spell.
  • Use of the following spell-like abilities at will—demand, discern location, fabricate, major creation, and polymorph any object (when used on objects or creatures that are native to the realm, the polymorph duration factor increases by 6).
  • Use of the following spell-like abilities once per day: binding and miracle (limited to physical effects that manipulate the realm or to effects that are relevant to the archdevil’s area of concern).
  • Heightened Awareness (Ex): An archdevil gains a +10 insight bonus on Sense Motive checks and Initiative checks.

Archdevils in a Campaign

Each archdevil is a unique creature ranging in power from CR 26 to CR 30. Their CRs have no impact on their standing or influence in Hell’s hierarchy. Between raw power, ingenious contingencies, and legions of servants, Asmodeus’s deputies share roughly similar potential for nefariousness and ruin. In any case, archdevils are generally beyond the reach of most mortal heroes, and should not be placed in an adventure without careful consideration. In most cases, they are best used as the final enemies of a long campaign—especially campaigns in which the PCs themselves are mythic characters—and even getting an audience with one should be a memorable event.

Yet while archdevils are beyond the abilities of most heroes to combat directly, they are perfect puppet masters and masterminds, inspiring and directing monsters, mortals, and entire cults at every level of a campaign. Halting a sinister ritual to unleash an archdevil on the world is a classic capstone, allowing a brief encounter with the archdevil and its minions before the ritual is halted and the archdevil forced back to Hell. Alternatively, the heroes can work to destroy an archdevil’s resources, imposing increasing penalties on it and gathering potent weapons to use against it, allowing PCs to face the archdevil at a diminished CR or with negative levels (even though they are normally immune to negative levels) to represent its reduced power... until the archdevil can rebuild and recover its strength.

Creatures in "Archdevil" Category

NameCR
Baalzebul30
Barbatos26
Belial28
Dispater27
Geryon29
Mammon28
Mephistopheles30
Moloch29

Archdevil, Belial

One half of this figure’s body is gleaming and beautiful with an angelic wing, while the other is scaled, scarred, and blackened.

Belial CR 28

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 20
XP 4,915,200
LE Medium outsider (devil, evil, extraplanar, lawful, shapechanger)
Init +12; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect chaos, detect good, see in darkness, true seeing; Perception +45
Aura baleful beauty (30 ft., DC 39), shield of law (DC 31)

Defense

AC 46, touch 35, flat-footed 37 (+4 deflection, +8 Dex, +1 dodge, +11 natural, +12 profane)
hp 676 (33d10+495); regeneration 30 (deific or mythic)
Fort +37, Ref +23, Will +31; +8 vs. mind-affecting effects
Defensive Abilities amorphous anatomy, infernal resurrection, mind blank, reflexive shapeshifter; DR 20/epic, good, and silver; Immune ability damage, ability drain, charm, compulsion, death effects, energy drain, fire, petrification, poison, polymorph effects; Resist acid 30, cold 30; SR 39

Offense

Speed 50 ft., fly 120 ft. (good)
Melee +4 speed unholy ranseur +51/+46/+41/+36 (2d4+26/19– 20/×3), caress +40 touch (special), 2 wings +40 (2d8+6), gore +40 (1d6+6)
Special Attacks fiendish fluttering, hedonistic hope, ranseur mastery
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 28th; concentration +41)
Constant—detect chaos, detect good, mind blank, shield of law (DC 31), true seeing
At will—astral projection, baleful polymorphM (DC 28), desecrateM, dictumM (DC 30), dominate personM (DC 28), greater dispel magic, greater teleport, matchmaker (DC 26), modify memoryM (DC 27), order’s wrathM (DC 27), unhallow
3/day—quickened mass suggestion (DC 29), prismatic sprayM (DC 30), summon devils, sympathy (DC 31), waves of ecstasy (DC 30)
1/day—overwhelming presence (DC 32), time stopM, wishM
M Belial can use this ability’s mythic version in their realm.

Statistics

Str 34, Dex 26, Con 41, Int 31, Wis 28, Cha 37
Base Atk +33; CMB +45 (+49 disarm); CMD 80 (82 vs. disarm)
Feats Combat Expertise, Craft Construct, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wondrous Item, Dodge, Flyby Attack, Greater Disarm, Greater Weapon Focus (ranseur), Greater Weapon Specialization (ranseur), Improved Critical (ranseur), Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (mass suggestion), Weapon Focus (ranseur), Weapon Specialization (ranseur)
Skills Acrobatics +41, Bluff +49, Craft (weapons) +46, Diplomacy +49, Disguise +49, Fly +48, Intimidate +46, Knowledge (arcana, local, religion) +43, Knowledge (planes) +46, Linguistics +46, Perception +45, Sense Motive +45, Spellcraft +46, Use Magic Device +49
Languages all (language mastery); telepathy 300 ft.
SQ change shape (see below)

Ecology

Environment any (Hell)
Organization solitary (unique)
Treasure triple (+4 speed unholy ranseur, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Amorphous Anatomy (Ex) Belial’s constant shapechanging occurs within their body as well as outwardly, causing their vital organs to rapidly shift configuration and location. This grants the archdevil a 50% chance to ignore additional damage from critical hits and sneak attacks, and renders them immune to polymorph effects. Belial recovers from physical effects that cause the blinded, deafened, or dazzled condition after 1 round by shifting their form to create new sensory organs to replace those that were compromised.
Baleful Beauty (Su) No matter what form Belial takes, the archdevil can adopt an aspect of unearthly beauty, causing either all humanoids (if in a humanoid form or the archdevil’s true form) or all creatures of the archdevil’s assumed type (if in another form) within 30 feet with line of sight to Belial to be filled with lust for them. Such a creature rushes toward the splendid figure to kiss the archdevil on its next turn, subjecting itself to the effects of Belial’s caress. Alternatively, the archdevil can adopt a guise of extreme and appalling horror, causing creatures of that type to become nauseated for 1d6 rounds and to take 1d6 points of Strength damage. A creature can resist either effect with a successful DC 39 Will save, and a creature that successfully saves against either effect is immune to that effect for 24 hours, though it must attempt a new save against the opposite effect. This is a mind-affecting emotion effect. The DC is Charisma-based.
Caress (Su) A creature caressed or kissed by Belial gains 2 negative levels, and must succeed at a DC 39 Fortitude save or also take 1d4 points of Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma damage. As a swift action when using a spell-like ability, Belial can force a single creature currently suffering from any of these effects from a caress to roll twice on any saving throws against that spell-like ability and to use the lower result. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Change Shape (Su) Belial can assume the form of any creature when changing shape, but the specific powers granted are limited to those available in the options for greater polymorph. Using change shape is a move action for Belial.
Fiendish Fluttering (Ex) If Belial strikes a creature with both wings in the same round, the target is staggered for 1 round and dazzled for 1d4 rounds by flying feathers and scabrous scales. With a successful DC 41 Fortitude save, the target negates the staggered condition and reduces the duration of the dazzled condition to 1 round. This is a vision-based effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Hedonistic Hope (Su) When any creatures (friend or foe) within 30 feet of Belial gain a morale bonus or a beneficial emotion effect, Belial can choose to gain the same benefit (including the highest bonus, if there are multiple morale bonuses of the same kind). In addition, when Belial confirms a critical hit, they suppress all morale bonuses affecting the target for 1 minute.
Ranseur Mastery (Ex) Belial can attack adjacent foes with a ranseur as if it were not a reach weapon, and counts as a 20th-level fighter for the purposes of fulfilling feat prerequisites for ranseur related feats.
Reflexive Shapeshifter (Su) Once per minute as an immediate action when Belial would be struck in melee by a non-reach weapon, the archdevil can use change shape to assume a different form of a smaller size, gaining a +10 dodge bonus to their AC against that attack; if this causes the attack to miss, they take no damage and can then move up to 30 feet in any direction before automatically reverting to their previous form. This ability and movement do not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Description

Belial, the Pale Kiss, was created by Asmodeus as an object of adoration, a being that would be perfect in form and face in the eyes of every creature. The Prince of Devils granted Belial virtually unlimited malleability of form, enabling them to become whatever and whomever might be most alluring to those the archdevil encountered, along with a boundless imagination to create inspirational art and implements of war. Belial finds equal bliss in pleasure and in pain and revels in the act of creation, whether of innovations in magical or martial fields. The Pale Kiss designs new weapons for the legions of Hell, shapes new manifestations of magic for the minions of devilry to unleash upon foes, and even spawns entirely new races of infernal servitors, though the fiend cares little for creations once birthed, swiftly moving on to new interests.

Belial’s true natural form is unknown to all but Asmodeus, who has not shared even with Belial the secret of the archdevil’s infernal genesis. The Pale Kiss changes shape almost constantly, at times seemingly without conscious thought. In council with the other lords of Hell, Belial typically appears as a delicately built humanoid between 5 and 6 feet tall with pale skin and hair but burning eyes, with one half of their body shining and angelic and the other as scarred, misshapen, and grotesque as the most hideous malebranche. Their weapons and gear are always finely crafted, though marred where they defaced them in their erratic rages. Belial’s carnal lust is both expansive and insatiable, and they freely shift form, species, and gender when engaging with mortal and immortal lovers across the universe, leaving innumerable halffiends of every description in their wake.

Belial's Cult

Belial is revered by those who crave wanton pleasures and forbidden desires but who hide beneath a mask of respectability and propriety. Adulterers celebrate the archdevil’s rites alongside sadists, torturers, and worse; all two-faced deceivers willing to plumb the depths of depravity to fulfill their desires seek Belial’s felicitations. The Pale Kiss’s sacred places are often in large cities or remote and beautiful natural settings that hide grisly boudoirs and orgiastic abattoirs.

Belial’s unholy symbol is a split-faced mask, one side of which is smiling and white and the other frowning and red. Their favored weapon is the ranseur. The Pale Kiss grants access to the domains of Charm, Destruction, Evil, and Law, and to the subdomains of Catastrophe, Devil, Lust, and Rage.