The insectile gelugons are the Hells’ master strategists. When serving others, they are the consiglieres, the evil Vulcan logicians. When acting on their own, they are the Professor Moriartys of the multiverse. In fact, they can be perfect masterminds behind an entire campaign (especially when beefed up with class levels). Parties will come to hate ice devils like no other fiend. Eventually, even the cagiest cornugon or pit fiend can be lured or shamed into a physical confrontation. Ice devils won’t until the logic demands no other course.
Oh, and don’t forget that “stolen, frozen mortal heart” that sits not beating in the chest of every gelugon. A grizzly origin like that is worth exploring, too…
Expecting to face roasting pits and magma pools, an adventuring party is stunned to discover Hell’s icy wastes. After a battle against the elements and fiendish assailants, they manage to reach an isolated fortress, wherein lies a portal to escape home. In the process, they disturb gelugons working to thaw out the body of a demigod frozen in ice (the devils’ distraction being the only thing that allowed the party to infiltrate so far). Now the chase is on—for whatever the ice devils are up to, they do not care to leave witnesses alive.
On the Fields of Remembered Pleasure, azatas route the demonic forces of the Fungal Duchess after learning of a weak point in her line. On the Chessboard, protean choirs are held at bay by inevitables that match them move for move, thanks to a newly published manual that provides counters to the proteans’ entropic rule-changing. And in Torn Hollow, pig farmers have just chased off a band of orcs, thanks to a handy warning tied to a crow’s leg. All of these victories for the forces of good, law, and civilization were engineered by an ice devil—the first feints in a battle for diabolic domination only he sees.
When the wish of his desperate monarch resurrects General Vintus d’Mantell (known to his soldiers as “The Manticore”) two weeks after his death, there is a problem—his heart was stolen from the battlefield by an imp servant of the gelugon metamorphosis authority. The rejuvenated Vintus returns as a half-fiend with strange ice powers and chitin slowly overtaking his chest. Meanwhile, the heart inside a the gelugon Ix’tichtl’akala has begun to beat, sending him into mad rages and a desperate urge to get to the Prime and lead “his” armies.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 77
I would have loved to be in on the 2e brainstorming session that renamed the fiends. “Gelugon” is definitely one of the better ones, along with “tanar’ri.”
I’ve mentioned this before, but Frostburn is definitely a 3.5 book worth checking out to get the most out of your icy villains. At the same time though, you can bet any gelugon worth its salt is going to stock up on poison and acid attacks and traps to best cold-resistant mortal foes (and likely electricity and sonic widgets to best its rivals as well).
So Saturday happened, as it does most weeks, and that means I put monsters aside to concentrate on music. This week’s installment of The New Indie Canon featured a look at Sebadoh, a twisted Tom Petty cover by Jahan Lennon (ha!), new Eternal Summers and MNDR, and some Professor Elemental just for the lulz. Oh right, and new Green Day and the first new No Doubt in 11(!) years. Download it.
(Music starts at just over three minutes into the file. The feed can skip, so for best results load in Firefox or Chrome, Save As an mp3, and enjoy in iTunes.)