|Titles|| Lord of the Flies |
The White Son
The Black Son
Lord of the Seventh
The Lord of That Which Flies
|Home||Betzebbul, Cocytus, Hell|
|Areas of Concern|| Arrogance|
|Worshipers||Power-hungry spellcasters, seekers of revenge, self-serving lords|
|Domains||Air, Death, Evil, Law|
|Subdomains||Devil, Murder, Undead, Wind|
|Symbol||Iron crown and diamond|
|Sacred Colors||Black, white|
Source: The Inner Sea World Guide, pg(s). 231
(devil, evil, extraplanar, law)
Source: Bestiary 6, pg(s). 16–17
Prior to Asmodeus's Exodus from Heaven, Baalzebul had a beautiful, glowing form. Later, after demanding greater honors, Asmodeus stripped Baalzebul of his celestial form, turning him into an amalgamated swarm of countless biting flies. He now manifests as a fifteen foot tall armored angel, though his body and wings are composed of flies.
The archdevil was once a celestial serving in Heaven's legions, among the first beings created by the earliest gods, seen to be the son of Asmodeus and called Lord of That Which Flies, as scholars believe he may have been the first being to have angelic form. When war came to Heaven, Baalzebul's loyalty was unquestionable, leading Asmodeus's armies and training his new generals Belial, Dispater, Moloch, and Nybbas. Later, as the politics of Hell evolved, Baalzebul killed Nybbas in a rage and scattered the Laughing Duke's ashes across Cocytus, supposedly creating the gusts of snow that plague the seventh layer to this day.
The creation of Mephistopheles and the distribution of Hell's rule among the archdevils infuriated Baalzebul, who expected to rule at Asmodeus's side. When Baalzebul confronted the Lord of Hell and demanded a realm greater than those made after him, Asmodeus asked why he deserved greater, to which Baalzebul recounted the victories he had claimed for his lord. Asmodeus responded, "You are as I made you and have done only as I have willed. Yet, if you imagine yourself lord of the multitudes, so be it." With that, Baalzebul was stripped of his angelic form by his lord, and what remained was fused with swarms of flies. Fleeing to Cocytus, mourning the loss of his beauty, the archdevil took his throne as the Lord of Flies.
A frozen wasteland of absolute despair, Cocytus—the seventh layer of Hell—is in the constant grip of such absolute cold that flesh shatters and words freeze on being spoken. Glaciers of unimaginable depth entomb the souls of betrayers and the most cruel and ambitious. Mountains of ice and volcanoes erupt from the depths, the latter providing bands of heat to stave off the impossible cold, either with lava-filled calderas or rivers of molten rock. The Lord of the Seventh rules over his bitter domain from the floating citadel of Betzebbul which is shackled to the ice below with giant frozen chains, which must be scaled by those who seek an audience. The Lord of the Seventh rules his domain with pomp and circumstance, despite its brutal landscape, acting with all the formality he believes he deserves.
Baalzebul has a complicated relationship to his lord, Asmodeus, for whom he works unceasingly to prove his worth, yet hates for having stripped his beauty and slighted with insufficient honors. The Lord of Flies knows that overt plots against the other archdevils would anger Asmodeus, but he grants none of them favors. The other archdevils, in turn, rankle at Baalzebul's abrasive nature, but none would dare challenge one so powerful and favored by the Lord of Darkness, especially if he might have noticed a weakness during their training.
Baalzebul is served by elite cornugons (horned devils) who each seek to be transformed into a malebranche. He is also served by greater gaav (host devils), gelugons (ice devils), advodazas (nemesis devils), and pit fiends. Ultimately, Hell's greatest strategists and warriors train in the icy depths of Cocytus, each following the directives of its lord.
The Lord of the Flies attracts worshipers with deep ambition, an immense desire for revenge, or who seek arcane knowledge. Those who seek his favor must approach with great flattery and labyrinthine etiquette to convince him their adoration is both genuine and total, without triggering his envy or suspicion. When he acts on the Material Plane, he occasionally sends an ice devil, or a manifestation of himself in his true form, or a giant fiendish fly, though generally, he sends a single normal-seeming fly to whisper secrets or advice.
Some of Baalzebul's most devoted servants gain special boons by covering their hands with a paste of rotten or spoiled organic matter, waiting for flies to begin swarming, and feeding from it, then recounting the battles Baalzebul has won for Asmodeus.
For additional resources, see the Meta page.
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- Baalzebul (Dungeons & Dragons character) on Wikipedia
- Beelzebub (real-world deity/demon) on Wikipedia