Father of Dis
King of Iron
Master of the Tower
Lord of the Second
The archdevil Dispater (pronounced DIHS-pay-tuhr)2 is Hell's greatest jailer and politician and rules its second layer, Dis.34 Also known as the Iron Lord, Father of Dis and First King, Dispater is one of the more active rulers of Hell and one of Asmodeus's closest and longest-standing allies.5 His unholy symbol is an iron spike driven into a golden ring with a red and purple crown.678 His symbol of office is an artefact known as The Eclipsing Eye.9
Dispater appears as a majestic, seven-foot-tall figure with rust-red skin, four horns, and a burning crown that hovers above his head. His skin bears dozens of scars and piercings, each of them a past wound turned into a mark of pride. He retains his angelic wings, though they are now black, and he keeps them retracted within his body at almost all times. The First King's staff of office is The Eclipsing Eye, a bladed staff with a great ruby through which Asmodeus constantly watches him.57
Dispater is a fallen angel, originally the lieutenant of Baalzebul, who in turn was the champion of Asmodeus. Following his war against Ihys, when Asmodeus led his host to Hell in the Exodus, Dispater fell with his commander and was rewarded for his loyalty with the status of Lord of the Second.7
Alone among the lords of Hell, Dispater believes in the virtues of courtly love, and has taken three wives over the course of his eons-long existence. The first is forgotten, even by the Iron Lord himself, the only token of her existence a shattered statue in Dispater's throne room. The second was Feronia, an elemental demigoddess with whom Dispater shared a brief, tempestuous relationship that led to the birth of his son, the empyreal lord Ragathiel. Dispater's third and current wife is Erecura, a once-mortal demigoddess who was condemned to Hell for stealing the secret of eternal life from Pharasma.7
Dispater rarely leaves the city of Dis. When he does, he orders the uprooting of whole gardens, menageries, markets, and theaters to go with him on his journey so that the denizens of Hell may see examples of Dis's greatest wonders. The most powerful of his armies travel with him and serve as his bodyguard, for Dispater knows that even an archdevil is not safe in Hell, surrounded by rivals and potential usurpers who are always looking for a moment of weakness. The Iron Lord never travels to the Material Plane, not even in aspect, finding the mortal realm beneath him. Instead, he sends an erinys servant or a member of his court to deal with matters there.5
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- “Chapter 1: Fiendish Divinities” in Book of the Damned, 44. Paizo Inc., This source includes only the Deception, Devil, Leadership, and Thievery subdomains. The Legislation subdomain is associated with Dispater in Heroes of the Streets p. 19. Deception, Devil, Leadership, and Tyranny are the domains listed in Bestiary 6 23, though this is not classed as a canon source for this type of material. .
- “Appendices” in Campaign Setting, 246. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Chapter 3: Religion” in Campaign Setting, 172. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 231. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Hell and the Archdevils” in Princes of Darkness, Book of the Damned Volume 1, 9. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- Princes of Darkness, Book of the Damned Volume 1, inside front cover. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- Kobold Quarterly 23, 9–10. Kobold Press, .
- “Chapter 1: Fiendish Divinities” in Book of the Damned, 44–45. Paizo Inc., .
- “Chapter 1: Fiendish Divinities” in Book of the Damned, 45. Paizo Inc., .
- Breaking the Bones of Hell, 75. Paizo Inc., 2016 .