Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I is for Iblis
And oddly enough I had never heard of him. Well. Let me rephrase that. Never heard of him as a devil mind you. There was this old Battlestar Galactica (1979 flavor) episode that dealt with a devil like creature. A Count (or was it duke?) Iblis. It became obvious he was a bad guy and Apollo associates him with other names like Satan, Lucifer and Mephistopheles. Now that is exactly the time I was reading a lot of D&D and lot of religious texts and I had never heard of Iblis before. So I had to go and find him. In 1979/1980 that meant going to the library. Of course I had no idea how Iblis was even spelled since it was pronounced "IB-blee". When I saw the name written I pronounced it "EH-bliss". Took me a bit.
Iblis interestingly enough is missing from the 1st Ed AD&D rules Monster Manuals. Satan is missing too, but that is another day. Iblis though could be something very special. He is described as a ruler of the Jinn, or least one that did not bow down to humans. D&D (and many other games) have D'jinn/Jinn in them, so adding him is not a big stretch. If Islam can have good, neutral and evil Jinn then so can I!
Shayṭān are corrupt, evil spirits of elemental forces. They are similar in many ways to the D'jinn/Jinn and Efreet/Ifrit. In fact most scholars believe they are the same as Jinn and Ifrit save that they follow Iblis. All are evil.
There are five basic types of Shayṭān; air, water, earth, fire and dust. Iblis rules them all.
Alignment: Chaotic (Evil)
Armor Class: -4
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 180 hp (22 HD)
Attacks: claws (2), or by sword or by spell
Damage: 1d10/1d10 or 2d10+5
Special: Fear gaze, spells, summon shayṭān, +3 or better weapon to hit, immunity to fire, electricity and poison, regeneration (4 hp/round), see in darkness, magic resistance (75%), telepathy 200 ft.
ʾIblīs (Iblis) appears as large man or Iftit as his mood takes him. His form changes and he never appears the same way twice. He is jovial, but quick to anger and prone to violence. For this reason he is often classified as part of the Rage Demons or even the Baalseraph or Eodemons. He claims no kinship to any group and maintains that he alone is the source of evil in the world (a dubious claim at best). Iblis can command 1-3 shayṭān at will and summon 2-12 elementals to do his will. He can also command any Djinn or Ifrit in the area, but he can't summon them to him.
Iblis is very knowledgeable about magic and there is no wizard spell that he does not know or have access to. He does not learn clerical magic and loathes witches. Wizards often seek him out to learn secret lore, but the summoning of Iblis is a secret itself and to do so incorrectly invites his wrath.
White Dwarf Wednesday will be posted later today.