Friday, January 10, 2014

The God of Total Party Kills

Here are some true things about Demogorgon:

Demogorgon received the lump of mold we call Earth, and having formed it as it now appears, thought he had created a masterpiece. 
--Voltaire, Plato's Dream

Demogorgon is responsible for everything anybody ever did. Except some NPCs, who serve other demons.

If you killed a gnome, that was Demogorgon, if your neighbor peeked at your mail, that was Demogorgon.

The name Demogorgon is introduced in a discussion of Thebaid 4.516, which mentions 'the supreme being of the threefold world' (triplicis mundi summum); in a mystical passage that seems to show Jewish influence, as it mentions Moses and Isaiah); the author says of Statius, Dicit deum Demogorgona summum ('He is speaking of the Demogorgon, the supreme god', or perhaps 'He is speaking of a god, the supreme Demogorgon'). Prior to Lactantius, there is no mention of the supposed "Demogorgon" anywhere by any writer, pagan or Christian.
     -some Wikipedia editor

If you get to the end of Rappan Athuk and kill Orcus--that was Demogorgon. Of course: he fucking hates that guy, it's in the Monster Manual. Demogorgon's all "Death to false metal".

If you defeated Demogorgon, that wasn't Demogorgon. He is manipulating you into defeating impostors.

Demogorgon loves Warhammer Earth--humans and dwarves and elves fighting agents of Khorne and Tzeentch and Nurgle and Slaanesh for 40,000 years. Only War? Fucking perfect. Fuck all those bush leaguers.

Demogorgon really loves Call of Cthulhu world--go ahead, keep defeating agents of Cthulhu over and over on every world. Do that. Guy's a nuisance across 899 realities. It is whispered that He himself sat by the shoulder of Chaosium, whispering that the Runequest rules could be repurposed to aid in crusades against the Old Ones.

If you had a campaign that ever ended prematurely, this was because Demogorgon abolished your reality. Things were getting out of control. You were getting too close to Him.

He is, therefore, much as Roland Barthes described the imperial palace in Japan: the unviewable center. All unfinished adventures point to Him. So who got close? Edgar Rice Burroughs with Skeleton Men of Jupiter, Byron's Don Juan, Poison Elves, Jane Austen with Sanditon and The Watsons, David Foster Wallace with The Pale King, Twin Peaks, Deadwood, Phillip Marlowe was on his trail in The Poodle Springs Story, and Phillip K Dick's protagonist in The Owl In Daylight, and Aeneas in The Aeneid.  Likewise: Sunset At Blandings, The Canterbury Tales, The Man With The Golden Gun, Game of Death, Edward Gorey's The Izzard Book, and, perhaps most promisingly, Steve Gerber's final Doctor Fate story.

And, for sure, Castle Greyhawk.

What do these adventures have in common? Cannily, the Bicephalic And Primordial One cut off these realities long before the common threads could be gathered.

Some have argued that the lost original proof (and only that proof) of Fermat's Last Theorem points to Him.

Also, dead adventurers point to him, since it is he who kills them, or allows them to die. Examine the differences between what the party did after Orangconan died and what the party would have done if he hadn't. These are his footprints.

There are no "meaningless TPKs". There were only "TPKs which, had they not occurred, brought adventurers too close to the truth about Demogorgon".

So, GMs, examine well your failures: his trail picks up just over the untaken hill.

It is said that there is one D&D campaign currently extant, that will one day lead to the defeat of the true Demogorgon.


Why he chose the ixixachitl
 to become his worshipers, and why that race of sentient rays has chosen to follow him, is very hard to determine.

--Monster Mythology (2e)

No it isn't, Carl Sargent, he obviously chose them because psychic vampire manta ray clerics are stupid and because they live in cities beneath the ocean which is:

A) full of water and
B) boring

...thus ensuring adventurers are profoundly unlikely to get anywhere near His Mysteries or His Offices.

Both Demogorgon and Orcus appeared in the D&D Immortals rules set for the Basic Game. In this incarnation, Demogorgon was referred to as "she", and went by such nicknames as The Child, Bane of Souls, The Lizard King (no offense, Jim Morrison), and The Dark Lady (really no offense, Shakespeare). A bizarre take, this version of Demogorgon "often polymorphs into the form of a human child, apparently the essence of youth and innocence. When she chooses to fight, however, she assumes her normal form."


This is, of course, all true. (The only really confusing part is the Lizard King bit. Unless you credit the bizarre theory that Demogorgon plans to wed Tiamat in a ceremony that will annihilate the universe but: seriously?)

Now, here's a question:

Why doesn't Demogorgon just go ahead and win? Why do good things ever happen to good people? Why isn't the universe aflame?


Demogorgon’s two heads are named Aameul and Hethradiah. Aameul prefers deception, and Hethradiah favors destruction. Originally, Demogorgon had one head and one mind. A mighty blow from the deity Amoth split him nearly in two before Demogorgon killed Amoth. After he healed, Demogorgon’s head remained split. The two heads often disagree with one another but turn disagreement to their mutual advantage. 

This shouldn't surprise anyone who has ever seen Demogorgon (that is: anyone) in action. Cross-purposes are their name, and their strategy is self-sabotage.


Twins born to cultists or kidnapped and indoctrinated at a young age lead Demogorgon’s mightiest cults. Each twin serves one of Demogorgon’s two personalities. Invariably, such a cult falls to infighting as one high priest turns against the other, hindering many a foul plot.

And that hindrance is called existence.

 Dagon, in turn, always whispers his secrets to one head at a time (never both at once), thus playing a major role in the tension between Demogorgon's heads.

In the World of Greyhawk campaign setting, Demogorgon sometimes goes by the ancient name "Ahmon-Ibor," or "the Sibilant Beast." 


The Codexes, Covens and Chapters

In a pathetic humanity
Behaving like disoriented worms

--Demogorgon (the Brazilian one)

Like all true demon lords, Demogorgon has recorded a number of heavy metal albums through various sublunary avatars. As a demon prince's strength is directly tied to the number of metal bands named after them, Demogorgon's number is 17. Or maybe 19. Anyway: together these mouthpieces have written over 150 hymns, which, properly interpreted, hold the keys to His powers.

His Wisdom is held in a dozen sacred texts, and many copies of each are spread out across the world. Whenever a PC dies, another Chapter is written in each book, and a Chapter is added to His legions.

Each Coven has a Codex, and a Chapter of Servants for each Chapter of their Codex. Reading a chapter of a Codex not only grants the reader access to the wisdom within, but inflicts a mutation (save allowed) upon the reader that can only be undone by reading the next chapter and receiving its associated mutation. The mutations, when known to the scholars of civilized lands, are listed below in parenthesis after the title of the Chapter.

Humanoid servants of a given Chapter have hit dice equal to that Chapter's number and the associated mutation. So, servants of the 4th Chapter of the First Coven have 4 hit dice and a Crown of Flesh.

Each Coven's clerics, wizards and witches can only cast spells written in their Codex. A list of spells in each Codex (with any known details) appears after the list of Chapters.

(Chapter orders are derived from the order in which the songs appear on albums by bands named Demogorgon and mutations are derived from the track length, in minutes and seconds, translated into results on the d1000 chaos mutation chart. Spell orders and details are likely derived from track orders and length numbers. Codex titles are derived from Demogorgon albums not named after tracks. And, yeah, I used every single name of every single song by anybody called Demogorgon because, hey, you don't mess around when the fate of reality is at stake.)

The archaic semitic word "Satan" in the tongue of the Quiet World has been translated below as "The Adversary" here, and the word "Christ" has been translated as "Amoth".

And Death Brought Them For His Kingdom
Codex of the First Coven
(This book is a history of the planet, from the first days of creation to the current era)

Chapter 1. Ancient Time of Ritual (Invisibility)

Chapter 2. Magog - The Final Battle of Angels (Puny)
Chapter 3. Trinity Denied (Irrational Fear)
Chapter 4. Black (Crown of Flesh)
Chapter 5. The Angel's Hope of Isolation (Blood Substitution)
Chapter 6. A Life of Dark Desires (Moronic)

1. Turn the Cross Upside Down
2. Feel What I Feel      Duration: 3 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 1 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 3
3. Blacken the World      Duration: 6 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 4 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 5
4. ??
5. Deformed Rituals      Duration: 2 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 3 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 7
6. ??

Codex of the Second Coven
(A description of the creation of the four primordial temples of Demogorgon--still extant--located in the northern kingdom once known as Selenpein. Contains useful information on the temples themselves.)

1. And Black Melted The Grove of Gold (Tentacles)

2. Lycaon Pictus (Flaming Skull Face)
3. Frozen Winterland (??)
4. The Slaughterhouse (Flaming Skull Face)

1. Unholy Black Devotion      Duration: 4 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 3 ft/Lvl, Spell Level No caster level required to cast
2. Turn to Dust      Duration: 4 Rnds/Lvl, Range: Touch, Spell Level No caster level required to cast
3. Illuminate    Duration: 6 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 3 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 6
4. ??

Beyond Doubt
Codex of the Third Coven
(A philosophical text explaining introducing the primary metaphysical concepts and imperatives of the church of Demogorgon)

Chapter 1. Intro: The period of struggle returns (??)
Chapter 2. Anthropologic Relationship of Evil (Feathered Hide)
Chapter 3. Lord of My Soul (??)
Chapter 4. Rape Him (Blood Substitution)
Chapter 5. Amoth is a Lie (Evil Eye)
Chapter 6. Your Days Are Counting (Lycanthropy)

1. Ridiculed Beliefs      Duration: 5 Rnds/Lvl, Range: Touch, Spell Level No caster level required to cast
2 Thoughts Of A Free Mind
3. Supreme Machiavellian Power     Duration: 4 Rnds/Lvl, Range: Touch, Spell Level 9
4. Diabolical Age      Duration: 3 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 5 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 6
5. Unlight
6. ??

Henen-A Em Amsu
Codex of the Fourth Coven
(An atlas, with maps, of the titular plane--Henen-A Em Amsu--where Demogorgon rules supreme. Each chapter refers to a different location.)

Chapter 1. An Universe Raped by Shadows (Limb Loss)
Chapter 2. The Horned Moon (Iron Hard Skin)
Chapter 3. ???
Chapter 4. Road to the Stars (Irrational Fear)
Chapter 5. Forces of Evil Under the Banner of The Adversary (??)
Chapter 6. Kingdom of The Adversary (Fire Breath)
Chapter 7. In Acie Cultri (Multiple Heads)
Chapter 8. ???
Chapter 9. ???
Chapter 10. ???
Chapter 11. ???
Chapter 12. It's such a lonely house (Fear of Blood)

1. Sign of the Beast      Duration: 3 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 5 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 5
2. Stab to Death      Duration: 1 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 5 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 7
3. Abandoned      Duration: 4 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 5 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 6
4. Broken Illusions      Duration: Permanent Rnds/Lvl, Range: 5 Spell Level: 8
5. More than Hell      Duration: 6 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 5 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 4
6. Don't Believe Their Lies      Duration: 4 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 2 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 5
7. Set on Fire      Duration: 2 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 5 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 9
8. Deny the Virus of Heavenly Whore      Duration: 2 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 4 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 9
9. Kill False God     Duration: 2 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 5 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 8
10. The Curse Of Loneliness      Duration: 6 Rnds/Lvl, Range: Touch, Spell Level 7
11. Eternal Hate to the False      Duration: 3 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 4 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 6
12. ??

Dawn of a New Age
Codex of the Fifth Coven
(A lyric hymn to His glory in 4 parts)

Chapter 1. Ex Carne et ex Spiritu (Turn to Abomination)
Chapter 2. Evil Rules Supreme (Turn to Abomination)
Chapter 3 My shadow (Limb Loss)
Chapter 4 Fuck Me Father (??)

1. ??
2. Wandering    Duration: 5 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 3 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 3
3. ??
4. ??

Adversarialize Rehearsal
Codex of the Sixth Coven
(A description of rituals designed to bring about the end of all creation)

Chapter 1. The Warning (Bulging Eyes)
Chapter 2. Summoning to The Adversary (Irrational Hatred)
Chapter 3. I Fell for All (Growth)
Chapter 4. ???

1. Voice of Ancient
2. Verge of doubt 5 Rnds/Lvl, Range: Touch, Spell Level 9
3. Wrath of Demogorgon      Duration: 3 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 2 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 5
4. ??

Codex of the Seventh Coven
(A keyed map of Tenebrae, the Palace Of Demogorgon on the plane of Henen-A Em Amsu. Each Chapter is a room/area.)

Chapter 1. Seal of the Dragon (Multiple Heads)
Chapter 2. Black Destination of Doom (Invisibility)
Chapter 3. Destination (??)
Chapter 4. The Ninth Gate (??) 
Chapter 5. Lake of Dreams (Irrational Hatred)
Chapter 6. Agony From The Warrior Woman's Heart (??)
Chapter 7. ...Just Shadows (Limb Loss)
Chapter 8. King (Burning Body)
Chapter 9. ???
Chapter 10. Buried Soul (Enormous Noise)
Chapter 11. Where Is He...? (Evil Eye)
Chapter 12. The Parable of the Dying Stars (And the One who Killed Them) (Invent Your Own)

1. Forever Burn
2. Crucify      Duration: 3 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 3 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 2
3. Hate      Duration: 3 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 2 ft/Lvl, Spell Level8
4. Six-Cut Sodomy      Duration: 4 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 3 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 4
5. Christpenetration      Duration: 5 Rnds/Lvl, Range: Touch, Spell Level 4
6. Day Of Darkness      Duration: 4 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 3 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 3
7. Into the Dungeon      Duration: 4 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 4 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 3
8. ??
9. Take My Life      Duration: 4 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 4 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 6
10. Bleeding      Duration: 2 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 3 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 1
11. Earth's Fate Foreseen      Duration: 6 Rnds/Lvl, Range: Touch, Spell Level 9
12. ??

Codex of the Eighth Coven
(Descriptions of creatures and servants of Demogorgon)

1. ???
2. Raven Dark (???)
3. Cuon Alpinus (Turn to Abomination)
4 Nänie (Hideous Appearance)
5. Preacher Teacher (Growth)
6. ???
7. A Nephilims Child (Limb Loss)
8. ???

1. Blood Ritual      Duration: 1 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 4 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 5
2. Devils Elixirs 1     Duration: 2 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 2 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 4
3. Devils Elixirs 2      Duration: 2 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 1 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 5
4. Sacrifice God in the Name of The Adversary
5. Kill for a Drop of Blood      Duration: 2 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 5 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 7
6. Bleeding Anus of Amoth (???)
7. Do not hold    Duration: 5 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 4 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 7
8. ??

Vile Demo (...gorgon? The only copy of this tome extant in the civilized lands was much abused in the Slow War)
Codex of the Ninth Coven
(A theography of Demogorgon)

Chapter 1. The Coronation of The Adversary (Crown of Flesh)
Chapter 2. Sadness gave birth death face (Evil Eye)
Chapter 3. History of Sin (??)
Chapter 4. Lost in Revenge for Harm (Limb Loss)
Chapter 5. My Dream of Life (??)
Chapter 6. He is a Black… (fragment) (??)
Chapter 7. Scorn for Amoth (??)
Chapter 8. My Black Innerself (Evil Eye)

1. Coronation
2. Evil/Desecrator      Duration: 3 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 2 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 1
3. Chaos in the Flesh      Duration: 3 Rnds/Lvl, Range: Touch, Spell Level 4
4. Enemy of Both Sides      Duration: 3 Rnds/Lvl, Range: Touch, Spell Level 8
5 Black Metal against "Black Metal" 4 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 4 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 5
6 ??
7 ??
8 ??

Gallows Twilight
Codex of the Tenth Coven
(Chapters unknown--it is known that this Coven is home to the three witches Thorn, Frost, and Dread, and is divided in 3 sub-books)

Wizard Spells:
1. Illusion      Duration: 4 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 5 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 2
2. Terror      Duration: 2 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 4 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 2
3. Desire
4. Fear the Arrival
5. Suicide
6. Yearning for Death
7. Scorn      Duration: 2 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 4 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 6
8. The First Blood Before Sunrise     Duration: 6 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 2 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 9
9. Hordes of the Black Circle     Duration: 3 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 1 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 7
10. ??

Witch Spells:
1. Lust Forever      Duration: 4 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 5 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 7
2. On Your Knees (God)      Duration: 4 Rnds/Lvl, Range: Touch, Spell Level 6
3. ...of Wolfscreams and Deathwishes
4. End:  The Flight of Light
5. Searching the Entrance     Duration: 4 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 3 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 3
6. Sanse Macabre
7. Give thy Blood for The Adversary
8. ??
9. The Fierce Unholy Masquerade      Duration: 6 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 5 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 4
10. ??

Cleric Spells:
1. Arrival of Mighty      Duration: 4 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 2 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 5
2. A Holiday In Black      Duration: 1 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 2 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 5
3. Fetal Frenzy      Duration: 3 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 4 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 3
4. Morbid Satisfaction      Duration: 2 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 4 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 3
5. Hopeful Victory     Duration: 3 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 4 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 2
6. Black Clouds of Death      Duration: 2 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 3 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 4
7. Putrifying Thoughts      Duration: 3 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 2 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 4
9. AA       Duration: 2 Rnds/Levl, Range: :2ft/Lvl, Spell Level 3
10. ??

Sen Hada (Nightmare Serpent)
Codex of the Eleventh Coven
(Contents unknown)

1. ??
2. The Adversary's Sun
3. Act      Duration: 5 Rnds/Lvl, Range: 4 ft/Lvl, Spell Level 1
4. ??

Codex of the Twelfth Coven
(Contents unknown)

1. ??
2. Godsfall
3. ??
4. ??
5. ??
6. ??
7. ??
8. ??
9. ??
10. ??
11. ??
12. ??

Known Servants of Demogorgon Include:

Aelfhild, pirate werecaptain of the Fenris.
The three witches Thorn, Frost and Dread.
Belphegor, a demon with three heads

To generate a coven of Demogorgon, roll one of each die (a lot easier with a pop-o-matic bubble):

d4=Light Rank-and-File
1. Humans
2. Elves
3. Halflings
4. As d6 roll

d6=Heavy Rank-and-File (Note: Gnolls and beastmen will not work together)
1. Beastmen
2. Gnolls
3. Humans
4. Centigors
5. Flagellants
6. Skaven/Wererats

1. Beastman 
2. Centigor
3. Gnoll
4. Werewolf
5. Marilith
6. Minotaur
7. Kenku (crow type)
8. Witch

d10=# of Each Kind of Rank-and-File

d12=Coven Number (see above)

1. Thogs (long) (6)
2. Thogs (tall) (4)
3. Evil treant
4. Troll
5. Manticore
6. Ettin
7. Abomination
8. Harpy
9. Man of Wounds
10. Peryton
11. Vomiter
12. Thornchild
13. Black Unicorn
14. Ringwolf
15. Gryph
16. Hag
17. Roll d12 on this table 2 times
18. Roll d12 on this table 3 times
19. Roll d12 on this table 4 times
20. Roll d12 on this table 5 times

…Once you know the Coven number, you can assign Chapter numbers to any rank-and-file creatures. At least one member of the coven will be carrying a copy of its Codex at all times.


Dungeon Smash said...

\m/, ,\m/

David Larkins said...

It was kinda funny scrolling through my feed and being like, "Hey, I know that miniature!" This is definitely the sort of coven she'd be affiliated with.

Zak Sabbath said...

The girls are big fans of Germanotta, whenever I'm like "And the witch looks like...this!" they go "cool!"

Anonymous said... To even be acknowledged by the visage of one of his primitively rendered avatars is sufficient to fuck you.

Unknown said...

thanks for all the gold, Smith.

one question: "Aelfhild, pirate werecaptain of the Fenris." so, Aelfhild has multiple personae and is only the captain of the Fenris during the full moon? I would like to see him as some other member of the crew on the other 13 nights, such as first mate, cabin boy or navigator. also I would like to see the captains door closed the other 13 nights and no one is ever allowed to talk about it.

if you want to steal this, I would be honored.

Mike Evans said...


Unknown said...

... I think in my games I am going to add in the spell "light" but rebranded as "sun of the adversary" ... also looking forward to offering the "blood substitution" spell: free today when you accept Demogorgon as your mystical patron (p.s. it's horrible)

Casmarius said...

Orcus:Metallica;Demogorgon:Cannibal Corpse

Casmarius said...

Like the Wand of Orcus, there is a Rod of Demogorgon. It acts as his holy symbol. It is a two foot double ended iron dildo with bayonets affixed to the phalluses. said...

I really liked your article and the photo is super. Thanks you.