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Monday, November 14, 2016

Dungeons & Dragons - A Guide to Graz'zt, The Dark Prince

In this guide I am going to try to collect all the official lore on Graz'zt so that you can use it as a springboard for ideas on how to use him in your campaign. Graz'zt is one of the most powerful demon lords and has been featured in a number of D&D products in various editions.
This guide completes a "set" of linked concepts. Here are the other ones:
If you just want to use one source for Graz'zt information, I'd suggest getting Dragon Magazine #360. It is massive and full of cool stuff.

For 5e stats, you'll want to get Out of the Abyss. Graz'zt is barely in the adventure, but he is fully statted out in the back of the book. Other useful sources:
The Essential Information

  • He has a love/hate relationship with Iggwilv.
  • He might have been a devil who served Asmodeus the Archdevil.
  • He might be the offspring of Pale Night, an ancient demonic entity.
  • He wants to become the Prince of Demons.
  • He wields Wave of Sorrow, a rippling blade that drips acid.
  • He rules three layers of the Abyss, the Triple Layer of Azzagrat.
  • He has a sidekick named Verin who is also a demon lord.
  • He has a number of siblings who are also demon lords.
Minions and Allies:
  • Verin/Ztefano: Pale skin, chief diplomat.
  • Unhath and Reluhantis: His personal marilith guards.
  • Rhyxali: His demon lord sister
  • Zuggtmoy: Demon lord of Fungi, they have a weird, secret relationship.
  • Pale Night: She might be Graz'zt's mother.
  • Ebulon: He once served Graz'zt as a general/ Is trapped in the Wells of Darkness.
  • Orwantz: A goristro in charge of Azzagrat border control.
  • Dark Myrakul: A lich-thing that guards an asylum in Carceri.
  • Arzial: The ruler of the barony of Vulderpayne in Azzagrat.
  • Saretta: She runs the Counting House in Azzagrat.
  • Lavendeth: A lillitu high priestess in the Grand Shrine of Zelatar.
  • Jenmissa, Katriksy and Ulanda: Succubus guards.
  • Anastasia: Human cultist who rules a town
  • Iha-Denarthun: A lamia cult leader who commands about 60 more lamias
  • Audry Lilybrook: A human cultist of Saltmarsh who runs an orphanage!
  • Tyralandi: A half-fiend thrall of Graz'zt who runs the Porphyry House in the Savage Tide adventure path.
Enemies:
  • Lupercio & Vucarik: His demon lord brothers.
  • Raxivort, lord of the xvarts: Hiding from Graz'zt in Azzagrat.
  • Malcanthet: Demon Lord of Succubi, who rejected him
  • Orcus: Demon Lord of Undead
  • Demogorgon: Prince of Demons
  • Baphomet: Demon Lord of Minotaurs
  • Yeenoghu: Demon Lord of Gnolls
  • Lolth: Demon Queen of Spiders, she refused to team up with Graz'zt.
  • Adimarchus: Fallen Angel/Demon Lord of Madness, imprisoned in Carceri.
  • Zivorgian, the Lady of Ripe Carrion: His demon lord sister.
Children of Graz'zt:
  • Athux: His mother is the drow Eclavdra, he leads Graz'zt's army.
  • Thraxxia: His daughter, an assassin.
  • Arzial the Blooded Baron: Half-fiend wizard who lacks ambition. He is supposed to take control of Vulderpayne, a barony on the Plain of Infinite Portals.
  • Belyara: A lamia who was imprisoned by an eladrin. She wants revenge on Graz'zt for not trying to save her.
  • Rule-of-Three: A major Planescape NPC trying to unite the fiends.
  • Iuz: An evil god from Greyhawk. 
  • Liska: Daughter of Graz'zt a skulk assassin who has drow underlings.
Contradictory Origin: In 3e, it was said that Graz'zt's mother was Pale Night and that Graz'zt was a devil. In 4e, it says he was actually a devil who went to the Abyss and assimilated. I think the best solution to this is to say that his mother is Pale Night and his father is Asmodeus.

AD&D 1st Edition

The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth


This adventure deals with the witch queen Iggwilv. She had bound Graz'zt and accidentally freed him. They had an epic battle and he escaped into the Abyss.

He has a -9 AC! In 1e, low is good. Plate mail is AC 2. -9 is about as epic as it gets. Here is what we learn:
  • He is a dedicated for of Demogorgon and Orcus.
  • He was in a battle against harpies, troglodytes and bar-lgura when he was summoned by Iggwilv. He escaped eventually and was confined to his own plane for a century.
  • He has black skin, green glowing eyes and six fingers on each hand.
  • He is served by lamias.
  • In his lair are succubi and/or balors.
  • When he rolls a 20, inanimate objects (like armor) are often destroyed via acid.
  • He's got a big of spell abilities including teleport, disintegrate and trap the soul.
  • He can summon 1-2 balors "without fail."
How do you get in a fight with harpies, troglodytes and bar-lgura at the same time? Where did this take place? Was he drunk?

Monster Manual II


Graz'zt appears in the MM2 with pretty much the same info. There's a new picture of him by Jim Holloway.

AD&D 2nd Edition

Iuz the Evil

This is a Greyhawk supplement about an evil demigod named Iuz. Iuz is the son of Iggwilv and Graz'zt. It says here the Graz'zt is the "...ruler of several abyssal planes." Iuz was originally a cambion.

At some point, Iggwilv offended Graz'zt and he imprisoned her in the Abyss. Iuz hates Graz'zt for imprisoning her, but he is careful not to anger him.

Eclavdra, a pretty major drow NPC, is a representative of Graz'zt. Lolth and Graz'zt have some kind of nebulous arrangement.

A balor who serves Graz'zt is in a farming village called Stahzer. He has an army that battles an army led by a marilith who serves "Pazrael" (Pazuzu).

They even have his 2e stats in here. They're very similar to his 1e stats. Factoids:
  • He rules three Abyssal planes.
  • He is unusually self-controlled for a demon.
  • H uses Iuz as a source of souls and magic items.
  • He likes to defeat mortal foes through subtlety and twisting words rather than brute force.
Planes of Chaos


This Planescape boxed set fleshes him out a bit
  • He is also known as the Lord of Shadows and the Lord of the Triple Realm.
  • He enjoys contrasts that others find disgusting, such as a flower in a room of skulls or a corpse on a gilded throne.
  • Entire rooms of his palace are devoted to single colors or single themes like blood, storms, or darkness.
  • He likes to wear white and wield silver.
  • He is constantly surrounded by guards - 13 babau.
  • He can transform any weapon he wields into an acid-dripping terror.
  • He likes to use these magic items: Sword of sharpness, wand of frost, chime of opening, robe of eyes, and a cloak of displacement.
  • He spends his wealth on the Blood War.
  • He has many children who are demigods.
  • His ultimate goal is to drag an entire crystal sphere of the Prime (that's a universe, like all the worlds in the Forgotten Realms settings) into the Abyss to create a fourth abyssal layer.
Faces of Evil: the Fiends

This book has all sorts of details on demons, devils and other creatures.

Graz'zt has taken over three adjacent layers (45th through 47th.). The fictional narrator says this: "I don't think he'll claim too many more. That kind of domination would surely cause the lesser tanar'ri to rise up and cast out the one who would crush their freedoms; the fiends are capable of concerted action, after all."

We learn about Graz'zt's brother, Lupercio:
  • He's a a demon lord, the "Baron of Sloth." 
  • He rules Slugbed, the 128th layer of the Abyss.
  • He has little lairs one other Abyssal layers that are cramped hovels, graceful castles and dung-filled riverbeds.
  • He is ebony-colored and has no distinct form. 
  • His sharpened teeth glitter in the blackness.
  • He has a "basso-tittering cackle" and incredible strength.
  • He might be the embodiment of the strength of darkness
  • He goes through periods of sloth and short bouts of manic activity.
Pale Night

We also get details on Pale Night:
  • She is one of the oldest Abyssal lords.
  • She is the mother of Graz'zt, Lupercio and Vucarik of Chains.
  • She lives in a bone castle in the Endless Maze of Baphomet.
  • She looks like a female wrapped in a single shroud. There is no physical form inside.
  • She hardly ever speaks and nobody knows much about her.
We even get info on Verin:
  • He serves Graz'zt and may be an Abyssal lord.
  • He finds out the weaknesses of other abyssal lords.
  • He knows secrets and uses them to turn abyssal lords against each other.
  • Verin is pale, and he can shift to a dark form named Ztefano.
  • Ztefano can travel undetected.
For Duty and Deity


This is a really unique adventure. It combines Planescape stuff (the Infinite Staircase) and the Forgotten Realms.

The overall story is that Graz'zt has given asylum to a Forgotten Realms goddess named Waukeen, who had lost much of her power. She had wanted to pass through his realm to get to The Outlands.

She agreed to tell Graz'zt which Abyssal lords were blackmailing other lords, which were paying lords to fight or avoid the Blood Wat

She is his "guest" until they "renegotiate" their deal. She's his prisoner. This adventure introduces a lot of new ideas:
  • His plan is to steal Greyspace (the universe of the Greyhawk setting) but that scheme has "...centuries or millenia yet..." to come to fruition.
  • Graz'zt wants to place the psyche of Thraxxia, one of his children, in Waukeen's body.
  • Thraxxia is an alu-fiend and a personal assassin for her father.
  • Thraxxia can fire off multiple rainbow beams?! All within 60 feet of her take damage and must make a save or "be stricken dumb and wander in a trance for 1d10 rounds."
  • Rumor has it that Graz'zt swindled the devas of Mount Celestia into mining stone for his evil palace.
  • His towers are made from ivory stolen from huge, whalelike creatures from the astral plane.
  • Graz'zt created his city Zelatar entirely from the souls of mortals gained from his dealings on the prime.
D&D 3rd Edition

Book of Vile Darkness


This book is more "adult" than regular d&d books. That was sort of the gimmick with this and it is pretty funny. We learn some new stuff:
  • Graz'zt does "sexual favors" for witches and sorcerers.
  • He always travels with a retinue of female monsters - lamias, succubi or marilith.
  • At some point, he was summoned to the material plane by Zagyg. Huh.. that's weird. Iggwilv was an apprentice to Zagyg.
  • He wants to overthrow Demogorgon and become the Prince of Demons.
We get details on The Chosen, the cult of Graz'zt:
  • They are female priests of Graz'zt.
  • They make blood sacrifices in his name.
  • There are "sexual rites."
  • Here's a neat little quote for you: "His temples are dark, secluded places where orgies are common."

Example Cults: Anastasia runs a cult in the cellar of a tower. Isha-Denarthun has a large temple in the desert flanked by huge statues of Graz'zt. There's over 60 lamias there. They kill victims in an acid vat.

Servants of Graz'zt: We learn about some of Graz'zt's minions:
  • Unhath & Reluhantis: When Graz'zt leaves the palace, these two mariliths rule it with an iron hand.
  • Yattara: She is in charge of a squad of succubi who are spies and infiltrators.
Dungeon 98-116 The Shackled City Adventure Path


Shackled City was the first big paizo adventure path. I actually ran this in 4e and it's not perfect, but there's a lot of awesome stuff in it. Here's the Graz'zt related content:

  • A portion of Celestia ended up in the Abyss and became Occipitus, the 507th layer.
  • It was ruled by a demon warlord/fallen angel named Adimarchus.
  • Adimarchus did battle with Graz'zt and ended up imprisoned on the plane of Carceri.
  • Because the realm is from Celestia, demons avoid this place.
  • In "Test of the Smoking Eye," The 5th adventure in the path, the group goes to Occipitus and one of the heroes can become the new ruler. They gain new powers and a smoking eye.
Graz'zt has servants:

Dark Myrakul: He's a lichfiend who guards the cell Adimarchus is in. He was a half-demodand who underwent a painful and torturous process to become a lich with the aid of Graz'zt. If he dies, his lifeforce returns to Graz'zt's side.

Soulcage: Graz'zt made the prison Adimarchus is in. It is called a soulcage. It does a lot of things:
  •  It prevents you from using spells or abilities. 
  • It drops your strength to 3.
  • While in the cage, the prisoner is immune to all damage and magic effects.
  • The cage is impervious to magic.
  • Each soulcage has an "escape clause." 
Athux: He is Graz'zt's son and he is linked to Adimarchus. This is one of the most prominent gay relationships in D&D. Athux was disguised as a paladin who went on a quest to redeem the soul of Adimarchus. They fought, but then sparks flew. Athux was his prisoner. They actually became allies.

Graz'zt abducted Athux and imprisoned him in Carceri. Adimarchus tried to go there and made a deal to trade places. It was then that Athux revealed that he was a double agent the whole time. This drove Adimarchus completely insane.

Dungeon 95 + 146 Porphyry House



Porphyry house is a brothel that appeared in two James Jacobs adventures. They both feature Tyralandi, who lives in an evil pirate city called Scuttlecove.
  • Her human mother died in childbirth when Tyralandi clawed out of her womb.
  • She fended for herself and eventually became a thrall of Graz'zt.
  • Her specialty is assassinating followers of Demogorgon.
  • She is a "gothic haunting beauty" with raven wings, red horns and talons.
  • She is a "sado masochist" and when the group meets her, she has lost up to 30% of her hit points from self-inflicted wounds. Hey, that's what it said.
  • Tyralandi will probably betray the party once the adventure is over.
  • She uses the bordello as her eyes and ears.
  • She plots to turn Scuttlecove into a personal paradise.
Fiendish Codex I


This book reprints old stuff and adds in a few new factoids:
  • Graz'zt is the patron of corrupt rulers and decadence.
  • He grants audiences to those who can provide him with aid or intelligence concerning this war.
  • Graz'zt was unable to take over Occipitus, the realm that once belonged to Adimarchus.
  • He is in a cold war with Malcanthet.
  • Iggwilv was able to summon Graz'zt by stealing lore from Zagyg. The two became lovers and had kids.
Expedition to the Demonweb Pits


Weirdly enough, Graz'zt plays a big role in this mega-adventure.
  • Graz'zt wants to team up with Lolth to fight Orcus but she refuses.
  • As revenge, Graz'zt starts stirring up trouble among the drow.
  • He wants to unite the demon lords in a Demon Council which he will run.
  • Graz'zt uses the heroes to cause problems so that the demon lords will think the council is necessary.
  • At the end, the group ends up busting in on the council meeting for an insane encounter with demon lords and their proxies.
  • Graz'zt is magically disguised as Malcanthet.
The group will likely fight an aspect of Graz'zt in there. He has three succubi who try to protect him: Jenmissa, Katriksy and Ulanda.

Dungeon 121 Fiend's Embrace


This adventure is about a cloak that Graz'zt made for Iggwilv. It is called Fiend's Embrace, and it was made from the skin of a pit fiend.

Iggwilv gave it to one of her mortal lovers just to screw with Graz'zt's head. Since that time, the cloak has changed hands many times. In this adventure, it's in a dungeon.

Dragon Magazine 359

Graz'zt is listed as the 12th greatest villain in D&D history. There is a special background...

Spawn of the Dark Prince: You have the power to get a huge bonus to certain charisma-based checks. Because you are self-absorbed, you are less aware of your surroundings and take a -2 penalty to perception.

Dragon Magazine 360 - Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Graz'zt


In my opinion, this is one of the greatest dragon magazine articles of all time. We learn about Graz'zt's parents:
  • It is noted that Pale Night has an "alien mind"
  • Pale Night is an obyrith.
  • Pale Night "beckoned something to her realm to impregnate her, so she could sire her own brood of children to vie for the crown."
  • The entity is rumored to be Asmodeus, Loki, Set or a baernaloth. Some think it was the Abyss itself. 
  • She gave birth to countless monsters. A few survived to become demon lords.
We get some more details on Graz'zt's siblings:
  • Vucarik is humanoid in shape but he is completely covered in chains.
  • Zivorgian, the Lady of Ripe Carrion (!) is a bloated three-headed abomination, not quite vulture and not quite angel.
  • Rhyxali has no body at all.


Verin: We learn that he has pale skin, no body hair, and his flesh oozes "spiritual slime." Ztefano is a mirror of Verin who specializes in fueling wars and promoting schisms.

Ebulon: He is a demo lord general who failed Graz'zt. Ebulon was defeated by Demogorgon and imprisoned in the Wells of Darkness. Graz'zt sends armies and champions to try to free him but has had no success.

Factoids:
  • Graz'zt wants to absorb a world and trap it in the Nerebdian Vast the 48th layer of the Abyss - a desert)
  • Graz'zt wants to unite demons, devils and yugoloths together to go to the Upper Planes and destroy them.
Thrall of Graz'zt

Cults of Graz'zt: Cultists do some weird things:
  • Once a year, they befriend and corrupt a lawful good cleric or paladin.
  • The Hollow Feast: A naked cultist is chained to a frame and left to starve for a few days. The cultist offers prayers and, ideally, Graz'zt ends a minion to bless the cultist. The minion drinks acid and kisses the cultist, which obviously does damage.
Minions: Demons that serve Graz'zt include: Lamias, sucubi, harpies, lillitus, tieflings, cambions, half-fiends, rutterkins, carnevus demons, hezrous, vrocks, chasmes, and bulezaus.

Caligrosto

The Razor Legion: Cambion rangers that serve Graz'zt. They ally with caligrostos. These creatures are one of the newer fiend types known as loumara. Loumaras are demon spirits who possess things.
  • They can possess unattended blades.
  • As long as it wields a weapon, it creates a phantom image of the last creature it damaged.
  • Caligrostos are invisible when not wielding a blade.
D&D 4th Edition

Manual of the Planes


GRaz'zt has a giant entry in this book. New stuff:
  • He was once a devil, an advisor to Asmodeus.
  • His job was to invade the abyss and seize the seed of evil that created it.
  • During that invasion, Graz'zt took over three Abyssal layers.
  • It is possible that he is secretly colluding with Asmodus and the devils!
  • Aspect: Graz'zt has no connection to his aspects except that he knows if one has been summoned.
Wave of Sorrow: This is his massive, black greatsword that drips acid and can teleport those that it hits. The blade ripples and moves like a wave when he wields it.

Chosen of Graz'zt: They are mostly lamias. In 4e, lamias were different. They were people that could turn into a swarm. They have a bunch of powers:
  • They can speak the Word of Graz'zt and dominate enemies within 25 feet.
  • They can change shape.
  • Because they are technically a swarm, they can squeeze through the tiniest openings.
  • Their job is to spy and assassinate.
Six-Fingered Slayers: Usually some of the members are Six-fingered slayers, human assassins with six fingers on each hand. They have a power called Dark Veil, which lets them become harder to detect and they are insubstantial.

Dark Acolytes: Dark Acolytes make up most of the cult.
  • They're immune to being charmed
  • They are minions (1 hit point mooks)
  • When they die, they let out dying whispers that give their allies bonuses to hit whoever slew them.
Graz'zt sends certain type of demons to help his cults: Immoliths, Nabassu and hezrou.

Demonomicon


Faithful of Graz'zt: They can dominate foes, redirect attacks against them, and they can create an illusory duplicate while turning invisible. It's a way for them to escape.

Evanissu/City Corruptor: This is a new type of demon. They go to a mortal city, corrupt it and eventually the city slides into the abyss. They go to places in moral decay.

Ferrolith: These were succubi who went with Graz'zt when he first traveled to the Abyss:
  • They tried to betray Graz'zt, but he cast them into a pool of molten iron.
  • The metal merged with their flesh and they became the ferroliths.
  • Since that time, more ferroliths have crawled from pools of molten abyssal iron.
  • Their hair is made of razor sharp wire.
  • The Iron Maiden: She is a ferrolith who seized a fortress on the Plain of 1,000 Portals. She is trying to form an alliance with Asmodeus against Graz'zt.
  • They hate Graz'zt but are bound to serve him.
Incubus: Male succubi, "handsome vagabonds." They are Graz'zt's main scouts in mortal worlds. When Graz'zt first invaded the abyss, some of his Succubi turned into incubi and gained the ability to transform into any medium or large beasts.

Book of Vile Darkness


Graz'zt Storyline: There is a campaign outline in here that involves a cult of Graz'zt committing murders and trying to clear the land of the influence of Asmodeus. Graz'zt is mustering his army in the Abyss. Graz'zt and lesser demon lords kill the Dark Eight, the pit fiend generals who control the blood war devil armies.

Graz'zt Quote: “I live for the moment when I can to turn something pure into something perverse.

Dungeon Magazine 212 - Court of the Dark Prince



In this high level adventure, the heroes break into Graz'zt's palace to try to free an angel trapped in the Whispering Library.

Graz'zt's throne room has a choir of succubi who are partially encased in amber, suffering.

What Happens if Graz'zt is Slain: If the group kills Graz'zt, potent rituals bound in the walls preserve his essence. The towers of the Argent Palace collapse! Hi body will reform, it is up to the DM how long that takes.

It says this: "These rituals leave him greatly diminished in power, even as they place Rauwend and Voorz'zt out of his control. Demons previously held in check by the Dark Prince embark on a riot of ruin, looting, and settling scores with rivals."

So it looks like Graz'zt loses control of two out of his three layers.

Dragon Magazine 414 - The Iggwilv/Grazzt Affair


They Keep Capturing Each Other: While imprisoned by Iggwilv, the information Graz'zt gave her was put into the first Demonomicon of Iggwilv When Graz'zt escaped, he eventually imprisoned her in his realm. They had a lot of "monstrous offspring."

Jealousy: Graz'zt jealously set out to destroy any fiend that had trafficked with Iggwilv in the past. Graz'zt would have Iggwilv seduce his enemies to learn their secrets

D&D 5th Edition

Monster Manual

We get a couple of paragraphs on Graz'zt on page 52. Nothing really new. He likes: "...sating his decadent desires with subjects and consorts alike, among whom incubi and succubi are often his favorites."

Out of the Abyss


Graz'zt has an entry in this adventure but he doesn't really appear in it. He apparently lurks in the drow city of Menzoberranzan.
  • He considers restriction the only sin.
  • His cultists wear alabaster masks with ecstatic expressions.
  • He wields Angdrelve, the Wave of Sorrow.
The area near his lairs have effects:
  • Flat surfaces become highly reflective.
  • Wild beasts break into "frequent conflicts and wild coupling." You might get madness of Graz'zt.
Madness of Graz'zt: All of the demon lords in this book have an aura that will give you a specific madness/insanity trait. Some of Graz'zt's madnesses are:
  • "There is nothing in this world more important then me."
  • "I will not rest until I have made someone else mine."
  • "Anything that can bring me happiness should be enjoyed immediately."
He's a pretty tough guy. He's got an AC of 20 and 378 hit points.

Links

9 comments:

grodog said...

Will read this soon.

Allan.

Armitage said...

Personally, I liked the other possible father mentioned in Dragon #360. A few half-mad wizards and sages speak of rare and maddening tomes suggesting that his father was "one of the old gods, a being of crawling chaos with a thousand faces."
i.e. Nyarlathotep.

Nykademos said...

While Out of the Abyss was going on around the Sword Coast, Graz'zt was lurking in the Underdark beneath the city of Hillsfar. He was the main villain of the season 3 Expeditions adventures, using fiends to manipulate the xenophobic rulers of Hillsfar while mustering an army of half-fiend fire giants below. Graz'zt even figured out Vizeran's plan to dispatch the demon lords at the end of Out of the Abyss, and created a ritual that protected him from the effects of being forcibly summoned.
Of course, all that planning went to waste as the Heroes of Hillsfar and Cyric's daughter sent him back to the abyss anyway lol

pbmday said...

I'm a little confused by your referring to Crystal Spheres as "universes." I thought they were much more equivalent to a single solar system.

Sean said...

Grodog: Awesome! Thanks, Allan.

Armitage: Ha.. that's crazy. I didn't think of that. Thanks!

Nykademos: I did not know that.. I'll have to look into this, that information should be included in this guide. Thank you! Does anyone know if there is one adventure in particular that features Graz'zt?

pbmday: I always get galaxies and universes mixed up. Crystal spheres are a single solar system. I'll fix it! Thanks!

Nykademos said...

His hand can be seen in most of the adventures, but he does not appear himself until the last adventure, DDEX03-16 Assault on Maerimydra.

Sean said...

Nykademos: Awesome! Hopefully that is for sale. If it is, I'll buy it and go through it. Thanks so much for your help!

Nykademos said...

http://www.dmsguild.com/product/177572/DDEX0316-Assault-on-Maerimydra-5e?hot60=0&src=hnum&filters=45473

Always glad to help Sean. It's the least I can do to thank you for all the wonderful articles you write for us to enjoy!

Sean said...

Nykademos: Thanks! I am going to buy it today. Hopefully I can dig through it tomorrow. I am quite curious to see what is in there.