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, Moloch

This immense figure appears to be a suit of blackened, diabolic armor filled with shrieking blasts of blistering fire.

Moloch CR 29

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 30
XP 6,553,600
LE Huge outsider (devil, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +11; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect chaos, detect good, mistsight, see in darkness, true seeing; Perception +49
Aura fiendish furnace (10 ft.), frightful presence (120 ft., DC 38), shield of law (DC 29)

Defense

AC 47, touch 34, flat-footed 40 (+4 deflection, +7 Dex, +13 natural, +15 profane, –2 size)
hp 731 (34d10+544); regeneration 30 (deific or mythic)
Fort +39, Ref +24, Will +35; +8 vs. mind-affecting effects
Defensive Abilities fortification (50%), infernal resurrection, mind blank; DR 20/epic, good, and silver; Immune ability damage, ability drain, charm, compulsion, death effects, energy drain, fire, petrification, poison; Resist acid 30, cold 30; SR 40

Offense

Speed 40 ft., air walk
Melee Goreletch +46/+41/+36/+31 (3d6+18/19–20/×4), Ramithaine +46/+41 (3d6+18/17–20/×3), bite +42 (2d6+7 plus grab and burn), gore +42 (2d6+7 plus burn
Space 15 ft., Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks barbed blademaster, burn (2d6 hellfire, DC 43), fast swallow, incinerate, spirit of hellfire, swallow whole (20d10 hellfire damage plus pain, AC 16, 73 hp)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 29th; concentration +40)
Constant—air walk, detect chaos, detect good, mind blank, shield of law (DC 29), true seeing
At will—astral projection, desecrateM, dictumM (DC 28), dominate personM (DC 26), fireballM (DC 24), greater dispel magic, greater teleport, order’s wrathM (DC 25), slowM (DC 24), unhallow, wall of fireM
3/day—quickened blade barrierM (DC 27), empowered fire storm (DC 29), mass charm monster (DC 29), mass hold person (DC 28), summon devils
1/day—meteor swarmM (DC 30), time stopM, wishM
M Moloch can use this ability’s mythic version in his realm

Statistics

Str 40, Dex 25, Con 42, Int 25, Wis 34, Cha 33
Base Atk +34; CMB +51 (+53 bull rush); CMD 87 (89 vs. bull rush)
Feats Combat Expertise, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Critical Focus, Double Slice, Empower Spell-Like Ability (fire storm), Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (battleaxe, longsword), Improved Initiative, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (blade barrier), Staggering Critical, Two-Weapon Fighting, Two- Weapon Rend)
Skills Bluff +48, Intimidate +48, Knowledge (arcana, history, religion) +41, Knowledge (nobility, planes) +44, Linguistics +44, Perception +49, Sense Motive +49, Spellcraft +44, Survival +46, Use Magic Device +45
Languages all (language mastery); telepathy 300 ft.
SQ call weaponry, infernal fortress

Ecology

Environment any (Hell)
Organization solitary (unique)
Treasure triple (Goreletch, Ramithaine, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Barbed Blademaster (Ex) Moloch is proficient with all weapons. In addition, any piercing or slashing weapon he wields sprouts cruel, wicked barbs that increase the weapon’s critical multiplier by 1 for as long as he wields it. Targets that have fortification gain only half their usual chance of ignoring Moloch’s critical hits.
Call Weaponry (Su) Moloch can call his weapons Goreletch (a +3 adamantine unholy vorpal battleaxe) and Ramithaine (a +3 axiomatic cruel unholy wounding longsword) to his hands at will as a free action from any distance (even across planar boundaries). If one of these weapons is destroyed, he can remake it and cause the rebuilt weapon to appear in his hand as a standard action; if needed, he can instead remake both weapons as a full-round action. Remaking a weapon in this way provokes attacks of opportunity, but calling a weapon does not.
Fiendish Furnace (Ex) Any creature that comes within 10 feet of Moloch or begins its turn within this area takes 2d8 points of hellfire damage (no save). In addition, creatures that strike Moloch in melee are affected by his burn ability unless they succeed at a DC 43 Reflex save. Whenever Moloch would take cold damage, he can choose to block all cold damage from that attack, but doing so causes his fiendish furnace ability to be negated until the start of his next turn. Choosing to do so is reflexive and does not require any action on Moloch’s part. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Incinerate (Su) When a creature is reduced to 0 hit points by an attack or effect used by Moloch that deals hellfire damage, it is instantly killed and its body reduced to ash (Fortitude DC 38 negates). Creatures destroyed in this way can be restored to life only through miracle, true resurrection, wish, or divine intervention. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Infernal Fortress (Su) Once per day as a full-round action, Moloch can cause a towering fortress to erupt from the ground at a point within 30 feet. Treat this ability as if Moloch used an instant fortress, save that the fortress is 60 feet square and 90 feet tall, and sized for a Huge inhabitant. Once created, this fortress is permanent until Moloch uses the ability again, whereupon the previous fortress vanishes; any objects and creatures within the fortress fall to the ground at this time.
Spirit of Hellfire (Su) Whenever Moloch creates an effect that would normally deal fire damage, it instead deals hellfire damage. Half of the damage dealt by hellfire is fire damage, with the other half being unholy damage that is not reduced by fire resistance or fire immunity.
Swallow Whole (Su) Whenever a creature takes hellfire damage as a result of being swallowed whole by Moloch, it must succeed at a DC 43 Will save or be so overwhelmed with pain that it can do nothing but shriek and wail in agony, and can take no other action; this is a pain effect. Each round that such a victim shrieks in pain, Moloch’s frightful presence is automatically activated and he gains a +4 profane bonus to the save DC to resist its effects. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Description

Moloch is the dread general of Hell’s armies, both his own hordes in the pits of Malebolge and the legions serving his lieutenants throughout the plane. He is fiercely loyal to Asmodeus and to Hell itself, and he marshals not only devils but also lost souls, other denizens of Hell, and interplanar mercenaries in brutal, endless campaigns. He can recount the dispositions and particulars of every military formation in Hell, and he brooks no insubordination or disobedience in martial matters, under threat of burning torments that are terrible even by Hell’s standards. Moloch is surprisingly responsive to his mortal worshipers, and he is quite willing to exchange his favor for gifts of provisions, supplies, and soldiers for the infernal armies. Those sacrificed to him in the fires of the mortal world or ritually cremated in his honor after death face an eternity of soldierly slavery in his legions.

Moloch is a hulking giant of fire and steel, standing 24 feet tall and weighing 5 tons. What appears to be his armor is in fact his flesh, inside which lies nothing but flames, ash, and bits of scorched bone from previous victims. Despite his fiery appearance, he is a cool and professional tactician who has studied war for eons and has put every known tactical theory into practice in the endless war against the celestial hosts and the fiendish rivals of Hell.

Moloch's Cult

Moloch is worshiped by warlords and tyrants alike. Unlike for many archdevils, his worship is often public, with monolithic temple complexes and pits of eternal flame where sacrifices to the Ashen Bull are made to pass through the fire, or their hearts are cut out and burned to sear their courage into the immortal armies that the Lord of the Sixth marshals at the behest of the high lords of Hell. His sacred places are altars of blackened stone and twisted iron, replete with massive gongs and braziers to sound the knell of death that war will bring to all.

Moloch’s unholy symbol is a shadowed red-and-black bull’s head with a sickly yellow flame within. Although he can use any weapon (and favors the battleaxe Goreletch and the longsword Ramithaine), his favored weapon is the whip, as he prefers his worshipers to drive armies by the lash. He grants access to the Evil, Fire, Law, and War domains, and to the Ash, Devil, Smoke, and Tactics subdomains.