- 1 Zariel, Archduke of Avernus, Lord of the First
- 2 Playing Zariel
- 3 Dispater, Archduke of Dis, Lord of the Second
- 4 Playing Dispater
- 5 Mammon, Archduke of Minauros, Lord of the Third
- 6 Playing Mammon
- 7 Similar Guides
Devils have always fascinated me; rather than wanton chaos and destruction, they’re embodiments of humanity giving in to the worst of their impulses and destroying themselves of their own volition. The Archdukes of the Nine Hells are the biggest players, offering a unique opportunity to DMs and players–an archdevil can serve as a patron for warlocks and other pact-makers, each embodying their own sinful theme.
So when looking for unique patron ideas to match a Warlock or an Infernal cult, look no further–below are profiles of Zariel, Dispater, and Mammon, the archdevils of the first three Circles of Hell. Zariel rules Avernus, a scorched battlefield at the center of the Blood War between devils and demons (mapping to Wrath). Dispater rules Dis, a endless city of pain and constant production (mapping to Gluttony). Mammon rules Minauros, a city of cheapskates crumbling into a swamp (mapping to Greed). Each offers role-playing opportunities, an expanded spell list, and a brief history to help bring your Nine Hells to life.
These profiles are excerpts from The Codex Infernal, a collection of worldbuilding and gameplay options to bring the Nine Hells into your game. You can read more about the project on my blog, where you can also find statblocks and art for the archdevils released so far.
Zariel, Archduke of Avernus, Lord of the First
Philosophers and poets argue about the definition of charisma: whether it means someone is beautiful or well-spoken, refined or relatable. The Archduke of Avernus would put that debate to rest by slaughtering every fool involved.
When Zariel speaks, you listen. When she gives an order, you comply. What happens if you don't? Honestly, I'm not sure. The thought never even crossed my mind.
The Lady of Wrath
Zariel was an angel of Celestia, assigned to watch and report on the Blood War’s developments for the gods. But as the centuries wore on, she grew tired of the stalled fighting and repeated stalemates; it was bloodshed without purpose, war without end. So she took matters in her own hands: flying at the head of her Hellriders, Zariel charged into the Lower Planes to cleanse the world of all fiends–devil and demon alike–permanently.
Ultimately the mission failed, with the Hellriders slaughtered and Zariel grievously wounded. She was captured and brought to Nessus, the Ninth Circle; the domain of Asmodeus himself. When she awoke, Zariel expected to be tortured. To her surprise, the Lord of the Nine offered her a job.
She Who Destroys
As overseer of the Infernal Legion, Zariel commands thousands of devils across the vast plains Avernus and the River Styx. She feels no guilt for throwing away the lives of these soldiers–they, too, are fiends and sinners born to die for her cause. Through sheer force, she has managed to push the demonic forces away from the Hells, ravaging the once-functioning cities of Avernus in the process. Now Zariel finds herself at a standstill, unable to permanently destroy the endless hordes of the Abyss.
Appearance. Zariel's form is that of a fallen angel; pale, glowing skin with black wings and hollow eyes; her hair burned away by the halo of flame wreathed about her head. She wears the armor of a general, carrying a dark blade on her hip and wrath in her eyes.
Personality. Zariel is, above all, a brilliant soldier who leads from the front. As commander of the Infernal Legion, she has mastery of battlefield tactics, wartime logistics, and rallying troops to battle.
Beneath the surface of her military demeanor is a seething rage: a bottomless hatred for demonkind that colors her every decision. Zariel makes no secret of her wrathful nature, which makes many hesitate to associate with her. On the other hand, her goals and expectations are clear: those who fight well will be rewarded. Those who fail will be destroyed.
As Patron. Zariel is the patron of warriors and those who bear a violent vendetta. By grooming mortal champions in life, she can recruit them for her armies in death. Warlocks who serve Zariel well are practically guaranteed high positions in the Blood War–where the true battle begins.
Zariel Expanded Spell List
|1st||inflict wounds, searing smite|
|2nd||branding smite, flame blade|
|3rd||blinding smite, fireball|
|4th||staggering smite, wall of fire|
|5th||banishing smite, destructive wave|
Dispater, Archduke of Dis, Lord of the Second
"The others call me paranoid. Is it paranoid to bind oneself within a suit of indestructible armor? Is it folly to protect one's tower with every defense known? Is it insane to pursue every last secret of this cruel universe so as to overcome the fickle twists of fate and fortune?"
"Uh…" I hesitated. "…No?"
"Of course," Dispater murmured. "That's precisely what an assassin would say…"
The Iron Administrator
Dispater was one of the angels who stood by Asmodeus' side when the devils first fell from grace. While Asmodeus acted recklessly, Dispater urged caution; while Asmodeus made bold military maneuvers, Dispater provided the supplies to keep the armies from crumbling.
As Lord of Dis, Dispater has continued to prove his competence one thousandfold. Ruling from his Iron Tower, Dispater's careful, clever leadership has allowed Dis to flourish into the most stable location in the Nine Hells. As the Blood War progressed, Dispater realized the importance of arms and armor production, and has since turned Dis into a weapons manufactury to supply the Blood War and battles across the multiverse.
But over the years, Dispater has lost his sense of perspective. His caution has given way to paranoia; he obsesses over maximizing productivity, and protecting himself from harm, desperately seeking to uncover every secret of the universe so that he can never be surprised.
Appearance. Despite his internal turmoil, Dispater appears as a handsome, dark-haired devil in finely-woven robes. Recently, he has built himself a suit of adamantine armor, enchanted with powerful defenses that leave him practically untouchable. He wears this armor at all times as he rules from his Iron Tower, perpetually wary of incoming attacks.
Personality. Though he coats his scheming under the guise of a competent, benevolent ruler, the reality is that Dispater trusts nothing and nobody. His remarkable intelligence allows him to quickly understand how to take advantage of any situation–but he quickly grows obsessed, hoping to maximize his benefit and minimize the cost. This combination of erratic paranoia and raw intellect makes Dispater a deadly figure to anybody he sees as a threat.
As Patron. Dispater seeks out warlocks with obsessions as severe as his own–whether for food, safety, information, or something else he can provide. His limitless ability to produce things means that he can stoke and feed these obsessions, all the while using his minions to gather information and feed his numerous plots and schemes.
Dispater keeps all servants at an arm's length, terrified of betrayal and pretending to keep out of his warlocks' affairs. In truth, he carefully monitors their work, taking great pains to ensure that his minions follow his commands.
Dispater Expanded Spell List
|1st||absorb elements, shield|
|2nd||detect thoughts, see invisibility|
|4th||arcane eye, death ward|
Mammon, Archduke of Minauros, Lord of the Third
"Make yourself indispensable," he said, "and it won't matter one bit whether you are loved or feared." Mammon leaned forward, his eyes suddenly serpentine slits. "Now, boy, time is money. So I suggest that we come to a deal that makes me money–or you'll learn what happens to those who waste my time.”
Mammon, the Miser
Mammon is the two-faced, sharp-minded ruler of Minauros, infamous for his boundless greed. Some mistrust his avarice, believing it to be an affront to the noble cause of devilkind. Others respect his bare-faced desire for money, since it makes Mammon’s motivations clear as day. Everyone despises him for his unpleasant demeanor and sense of relentless entitlement.
Mammon was one of Asmodeus' original angels in the founding days of the Hells; a quartermaster in the celestial armies, he was swayed by Asmodeus' promise of wealth and prosperity as a result of endless war. Asmodeus fed into Mammon's desires with gold, turning his once-ally into a hoarder and miser obsessed with flooding his own coffers.
The Impossible Empire
Mammon is, quite literally, irreplaceable. Although Minauros is collapsing because of his obsessive need to cut corners, the archdevil is a financial genius and an expert at keeping the Blood War funded. It's only through Mammon's machinations that Asmodeus can afford to pay for Zariel’s war strategy while still funding his own schemes across the planes. Mammon uses a combination of honeyed words, underhanded tactics, and overt threats to stockpile more wealth than any creature alive, manipulating investors by appealing to their hunger for profit.
With so much money, many have wondered whether Mammon will one day grow bold enough to challenge Asmodeus himself. So far, he has expressed no desire to challenge his old friend for the throne–it's just not profitable enough.
Appearance. When trying to appear respectable, Mammon prefers the form of a large pit fiend, sharply dressed in a bespoke suit. When alone or among fiends, Mammon's true form takes the form of a large, gold-scaled snake that coils around his riches, hungering for wealth.
Personality. To Mammon, all things can be measured by their value in coin; each plan, soul, and action is weighed in terms of its overall monetary benefit. When acting against his enemies, Mammon rarely makes things personal–to him, it's all business. But beneath the refined facade lies a dangerous temper: the archdevil can't stand when circumstances don't go his way.
As Patron. Mammon is the patron of those who seek wealth, fame, and monetary success. He can make his servants rich by offering business tips, valuable powers, and the threat of force when necessary. The relationship is emotionless and transactional–unless the mortal does something to personally insult the archdevil himself.
In return, Mammon gets a high rate of return on his investments, manipulating the world so that his coffers grow fuller. The actions of his subordinates tend to benefit him both directly and indirectly–and on his best days, he can even snag a few souls along the way.
Mammon Expanded Spell List
|1st||detect magic, floating disk|
|2nd||arcane lock, locate object|
|3rd||clairvoyance, glyph of warding|
|4th||secret chest, private sanctum|
|5th||animate objects, passwall|
Thanks for reading, and I hope this is helpful for your games! You can read more about the Codex Infernal on my blog,, or follow along at aravar27 .
If you’re looking for more patrons, check out The Good, the Bad, and the Eldritch.
- Multiclassing for Paladin
- How my warlock won at mental chess with his patron
- The Nine Hells As Just A Boring Corporation
More about Dungeons & Dragons OnlinePost: "Archukes of the Hells: Zariel, Dispater, and Mammon" specifically for the game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Other useful information about this game:
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