Accurate reports on the nature of the horrors that lie below the church come to light more rarely than survivors. I have attempted to provide a base knowledge of what awaits you by searching through our vast libraries for historical and scientific tomes recounting the Horadrim's epic war against the Three.
I have summarized the information that I discovered. Due to the length of time that has passed since most of the original accounts were written, and the uncertainty surrounding the present evil that plagues this land, I cannot guarantee the veracity of this information. I do, however, believe that this information is as accurate as possible under these trying circumstances.
It is known that the Three Brothers often acted through personal servants. While I would not classify all of these servants as Demons, they do represent the most horrible aspects of their Masters. What follows is what has been documented concerning the creatures that were known to serve the Brothers during their reign of evil. It should be noted that in their battle against the Seraphim, the Brothers would constantly twist and change their servants to best resist the powers that they were facing. Two demons of the same physical shape may have dramatically different weaknesses, depending upon the whims of their Master. The specific species described herein were those most commonly encountered by the Horadrim.f
Take the greatest of care when journeying through the cursed lands. It is well known that the creatures of Darkness are a cowardly lot, and will attack using strength of numbers to their advantage whenever possible. I fear the knowledge contained herein is incomplete, at best, for there were no living witnesses of the most powerful horrors. If one of the Three has truly come free of his binding, he will call as many of these infernal servants to him as possible, as well as creating new and more powerful minions to command.
Brotherhood of the Vizjerei
The Minions of Darkness fall into three categories, and are divided according to their masters. Study these words well, for this knowledge may be all that keeps your immortal soul from being devoured by the denizens of the underworld.
All things roll here: horrors of midnights, campaigns of a lost year Dungeons disturbed, and groves of lights; Echoing on these shores, still clear, Dead ecstasies of questing knights- yet how the wind revives us here!
- Arthur Rimbaud
The legions of Mephisto are driven by a hatred of all living things - especially those who are pure of heart. He counts as minions both the walking dead, who forever seek vengeance upon the living, as well as a host of demonically corrupted creatures whose twisted limbs and misshapen bodies leave them in eternal agony and rage.
"I am Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, and I have the power to be born a second time. I am the divine hidden Soul who created the gods and gives sepulchral meals to the denizens of the deep, the place of the dead, and heaven... Hail, lord of the shrine that stands in the center of the earth. He is I, and I am he!"
- Egyptian Book of the Dead
These are the skeletal remains of warriors who either died as soldiers in some dark campaign, or were betrayed by those they most trusted. Now animated by unnatural forces, these troops of the Damned forever seek new recruits to join their ranks. If our greatest fears do prove to be true, the skeletal warriors that are rumored to haunt the town of Tristram might well be the corrupted remains of the valiant Horadrim monks laid to rest in the catacombs beneath the church. Only an incredibly potent evil could have disturbed the peaceful slumber of these eremites.
Skeletons are usually found in places where the dead are laid to rest or at the sites of great battles. While physically fragile, they are never lacking in numbers, for those that fall to them in combat are damned to an eternal lust for living blood. Coupled with their unthinking rage, this makes them a dangerous opponent.
Worm-ridden and reeking of foul decay, Zombies are formed from the corpses of men executed for committing the most depraved and degenerate crimes against the innocent. They are driven by both the hatred that consumed them in life and an insatiable hunger for the flesh of the living.
Tenacious and possessing stamina of infernal origin, Zombies and their ilk make for a difficult encounter. Fortunately, these undead minions are lacking in both wit and mobility which can be used to great affect against them.
Even the Seraphim are not immune to the corruption of the Dark Lords. One such angel, Inarius, was proud of his beauty and boasted loudly of his purity and worth. His thoughts became so clouded that he believed himself to be above both Angel and Demon, and he left the High Heavens to form his own dominion. He constructed a great cathedral of mirrored glass and crystal, and followers flocked to him, drawn by his numinous charm and wealth. Once Inarius had gathered a sizable army, he decided to prove his power.
Inarius first laid siege to an infernal temple devoted to the worship of Mephisto, but made the foolish mistake of overestimating his prowess. The armies of Inarius laid waste to the temple and killed the dark monks that dwelled within. The Three Evils had considered the vain warrior a mere nuisance and amusement until this time, but this was an insult that they could not bear.
Mephisto himself is said to have appeared at the cathedral of Inarius. He laid waste to the church and the surrounding countryside. The Lord of Hatred took the proud archangel and his followers captive. He bound Inarius with tremendous chains and slowly tore the wings from the back of the angel. Great barbed hooks were then used to stretch out the once glowing skin and his features were distorted by vile powers. Many of the followers of Inarius were given as gifts to Baal and Diablo, but the rest were molded to match the bloated image of the now crippled angel. To this day, Inarius is said to be trapped in Hell within a chamber of mirrors, his eyelids torn from his face as he is forced to gaze upon his misshapen form for all eternity. His misguided followers now serve as Hell’s taskmasters, taking the anguish of their lost glory out upon the bodies of others.
These grotesque demons have considerable brawn hidden beneath their layers of greasy flab. Do not underestimate their strength or their intelligence for crossing swords with them is ill advised. You will be far better served to combat them with ranged weapons or magic.
During the Great Conflict tremendous battles were fought in both the High Heavens and the Burning Hells. Both sides often carried the conflict deep within the realms of their enemies. During one epic battle into the very heart of Mephisto's fiery lair, a group of brave Seraphim warriors fronted an assault against the Lord of Hatred himself. One of these angelic soldiers made a bold attack and struck a fierce blow that caused the foul blood of Mephisto to rain upon the ground. Each drop that fell seared through the crust of Hell itself and formed powerful demons shaped from molten rock. These demons quickly rose to the aid of their master, and drove back the forces of Light by striking them with thrown masses of lava that seared both flesh and bone with the intensity of the Burning Hells. The losses dealt by these Magma Demons were tremendous.
The soldiers of Baal seek the undoing of the universe. They strive for ultimate disorder and destruction, and to this end covet the destruction of all they behold. Order is an abhorrence to them and these creatures are the manifestation of the forces of chaos.
O Rose thou art sick the invisible worm that flies in the night in the howling storm: has found out thy bed of crimson joy: and his dark secret love does thy life destroy.
- William Blake
GSwarms of these impish terrors have been known to come out of the night and tear apart a sleeping village in minutes. Small of stature and simian in appearance, these creatures possess surprising strength and unnatural agility. Other than killing, the only act which gives them pleasure is breeding, so expect to encounter them in large packs.
The small size of these devils does fill them with cowardice, however, and this fear can be used against them. They prefer to attack under the guise of darkness and in large numbers whenever possible. If they are shown great strength, preferably by killing one of their kind, they will retreat and regroup. Do not turn your back on them, though, for their appetite for destruction will eventually overcome their caution and they will attempt to strike again.
The lieutenants of Baal are bred for strength, endurance, and cunning. These demons constantly train themselves in the art of war, for battle is their bread and the blood of innocents, their water. There are several known "clans" of Goat Men, each given a different gift from their Dark Master. It is believed that to earn their powers they once held mock wars in Hell for the entertainment of the Three Brothers. Do not expect them to fight amongst themselves on the mortal realm, however, for they much prefer to slaughter the innocent.
Like most of Baal's spawn, the bestial Aries are incredibly strong and agile. Be especially wary of their archers, for they are renowned for the accuracy and power of their great bows. Fleet of foot, they may try to evade an unwary foe and then attack from a different angle.
After an especially violent battle, Baal enjoyed celebrating with his Brothers by holding a disgusting feast of blood, human flesh, and other Hellish delights. The Bestia Acerbus are the descendants of doglike creatures that lived by feeding upon the remains of Baal's nightmarish feasts. The variety of vile substances that the creatures consumed, along with their close proximity to the Lord of Destruction, twisted and warped the viscera of these Hounds of Hell. This diabolic species is capable of spitting up a variety of caustic fluids and projecting them a considerable distance. Packs of these terrors are especially devastating, as their bile has been known to eat through the strongest of armor and poison the most hearty men.
Great care must be taken when within the lair of these Bestia. Their venom retains its potency for a considerable amount of time and puddles of it may be found everywhere. When killed, the beast's inner toxins eat through the now-dead flesh, leaving a dangerous trap for those foolish enough to tread upon the corpse.
Used as living siege engines, there are numerous accounts of these juggernauts smashing into the lines of the Seraphim and leaving only death and ruin in their wake. The skull and the single large horn in the snout of the demon are unnaturally durable. The Horned Demons prefer to wait until a clear path is available and then they charge towards their victims at incredible speeds. Be wary of this initial charge! It is far better to deal with these creatures in close quarters or with magic.
Using illusion and fear as their greatest weapons, the attendants to Diablo are formidable adversaries. They prefer to wait for their opponent to display a moment of weakness before they attack. Equally dangerous in the dark or in your dreams, they are the fears of man made flesh by Diablo's will. These nightmares lurk at the edges of mortal perception from the moment that you take your first breath - and they long to be with you when your take your last.
Strange and strident. It shrilled terror to the ears that heard it through the hall’s side wall, the grisly plaint of God’s enemy, his song of ill success, the sobs of the damned one bewailing his pain.
Some people are so hungry for power and knowledge that they are willing to sacrifice their humanity to the Lords of Hell in exchange for gifts that inevitably turn against them. One such group, a dark cabal of wizards, decided to take the power of creation into their own hands and magically created a race of creatures to act as servants and messengers. Using infernal abilities granted to them through their arcane pact, they formed small bat-winged imps that they believed would prove useful in carrying out deeds that were too trivial for their own efforts. Each of the sorcerers created an entity that reflected his magical specialization. The creatures thus created were small, nimble and possessed an unnatural cunning.
At first the corrupt sorcerers were overjoyed at the success of their experiment, but they soon began to notice that the Alae did not serve them as loyally as they had hoped. The creatures had taken to secretly feeding from the very essence of their masters, weakening them and eventually killing them. The sorcerers tried to destroy their creations, but the fiends banded together to combat them. The Winged Fiends had been secretly breeding outside of the sorcerer's domains, and swarms of them attacked, killing their former masters. To this day, the descendants of these creations terrorize the countryside.
Do not underestimate these foul demons. They are physically weak, but posses great speed. Many of them possess unearthly abilities reflecting the powers of their creators and they also enjoy using their razor sharp claws and hooked wings to tear the flesh from the faces of their victims.
MMaleficus Vorax are the smallest of a related group of demonic creatures that feed upon carrion, mostly the remains of victims killed by their larger cousins. Unlike most scavengers, however, they are extremely aggressive and will not hesitate to attack anyone hapless enough to encounter them. They have powerful legs which they use for swift springing attacks, striking at vulnerable faces and throats. Their primary weakness is their voracious appetite; the smell of death may drive them into a feeding frenzy where they will stop their attacks to feast upon remains that are nearby.
The Hidden are the bogeymen that haunt our dreams and live in the nightmares of children. Although they dwell at the edge of the Physical and Ethereal Realms where they remain unseen by mortal sight, they can quickly manifest and strike those that appear vulnerable. Metus Occultus and others of their ilk feed on the essence of fear. When wounded, they will seek to retreat back into the Ether to heal themselves. It is important to note that even while invisible the creature exists partially on the Physical Realm, and can be affected by spells and weapons.
In ages past, it was customary to decorate buildings with stone statues of demons that were enchanted to serve as guardians and protectors of those within. The misshapen figures of the statues were designed to taunt and anger any demons that attempted to gain entrance. [Diabl]o worked to unlock the wards that protected these granite images, and eventually was able to gift them with a Hadean life. The Gargoyles arose from their captive sleep and swooped down to prey upon those whom they were created to protect. Naturally, the remaining statues were immediately destroyed, but there are Signum that escaped and continue to terrorize the innocent to this day.
The act of transforming from flesh to stone allows the creature to heal any wounds that it has suffered, so it is best to either avoid these demons entirely or to hunt them down until they are dead. Do not allow them to flee, for they will soon return in full force.