Archdevils in D&D 5e

Lords of the Nine Hells

Devils are evil creatures that live in the Nine Hells. Devils are much less chaotic than their abyssal cousins, the demons, and tend to be more crafty plotters than rage-filled destroyers. Their primary goals are to:

  • Entrap mortals into the layers of hell and take their souls
  • Defeat the demons in the Blood War, and
  • Defeat their other enemies that often include Celestials, but can include other creatures too.

Leading the devils in this effort are the Archdevils; extremely powerful and cunning devils that have risen to the very top of devil society. They are also known as the Lords of Nine after the Nine Hells that make up the realms of each of the Archdevils.

What are Archdevils?

Archdevils are the rulers of the Nine Hells and the inhabitants there. They are extremely powerful beings that have risen to the very top of devil society. This group of Archdevils is also known as the “Lords of Nine” and they themselves are ruled by the greatest of the Archdevils, Asmodeus himself. Asmodeus has granted the other 8 Archdevils, 1 of the 9 layers of Hell as their domain, reserving Nessus, the 9th layer, for himself.

The Lords of Nine are also known as archdukes but are not the only archdevils in Hell. Lesser archdevils are known as dukes and operate as generals and leaders beneath one of the 9 archdukes. The dukes rule portions of each layer, allowing the archdukes to concentrate on larger, more important matters.

Devils are generally cunning and ambitious beings meaning that there is much infighting between the Lords of Nine with some vying for the top spot while others vie for a better domain for themselves. Lesser devils may also seek a position as a Lord of Nine though it is rare for a devil to usurp an Archdevil as they are such powerful beings.

Where do Archdevils live?

The Archdevils live in one of the outer planes known as Hell. It is different from the Abyssal plane which is where demons live. Both Hell and the Abyss are places of great evil, inhabited by fiends, they are distinct planes of existence with the Abyss being taking a more chaotic form and a chaotically innumerable number of layers whereas Hell is far more organised.

Each Archdevil lives in one of the nine layers of Hell, having that domain granted to them by Asmodeus, the ruler of all Archdevils. Each layer of Hell increases in importance from the first layer, Avernus ruled over by Zariel, to the ninth layer, Nessus, ruled over by Asmodeus. Each Archdevil’s layer is shaped in their likeness and to their own specifications as a reflection of their personality. While ownership of these layers tends to remain steady, infighting is common amongst the Archdevils, each seeking subtly to best the others and demonstrate their worth as the ruler of a greater layer of Hell.

The nine layers of Hell (from least to greatest) are:

  1. Avernus
  2. Dis
  3. Minauros
  4. Phlegethos
  5. Stygia
  6. Malbolge
  7. Maladomini
  8. Cania
  9. Nessus

Some say that the Nine Hells were once a beautiful land known as Baator. But one day, influenced by the Demon Lord Pazuzu, Asmodeus (a highly influential angel back then) rebelled against He Who Was (the deity of Mount Celestia), encouraging others to join his cause. Asmodeus eventually killed He Who Was, but not before he could curse Asmodeus to be trapped in Baator forever, turning Baator into the Nine Hell.

List of the Lords of Nine

Each Archdevil rules over a layer of Hell with each Archdevil and their layer detailed below:


Zariel – Archdevil of Avernus

Zariel is a fallen angel and Lord of the First ruling over the Avernus. She was appointed by Asmodeus himself as commander of the devilish armies in the blood war when her predecessor, Bel, made little progress with his overly cautious approach. While she serves as an archdevil beneath Asmodeus, some whisper that she might instead seek vengeance upon him instead.

Dispater the archdevil

Dispater – Archdevil of Dis

Dispater is a paranoid despot that spends most of his time locked up in his iron tower. In his tower, he is immune to any sort of harm, though he does become vulnerable when he leaves. For this reason, he has left all handling of his rulership to Titivilus, a cunning Archdevil that has worked his way up through the ranks despite his relative weakness compared to other senior devils. Some even wonder if Titivilus has replaced Dispater altogether. Dispater is the Lord of the Second and the ruler of Dis.

Mammon the archdevil

Mammon – Archdevil of Minauros

The Lord of the Third is a creature of pure greed, inspiring this within his minions and those he holds influence over. He rules over Manauros, but from there, dreams and schemes of overthrowing Asmodeus, preferably, with Glasya at his side.

Belial and his daughter, Fierna, the archdevils

Fierna and Belial – Archdevils of Phlegethos

The only Archdevils allowed to hold joint rule, Fierna is the daughter of Belial; Fierna being the fiery, passionate leader with Belial offering experience and a steady hand in the shadows. They are the Lords of the Fourth, ruling over Phlegethos.

Levistus the archdevil

Levistus – Achdevil of Stygia

The Lord of the fifth was imprisoned in a block of ice by Asmodeus for past crimes he’d committed. This forces him to rule telepathically while holding at bay his predecessor, Geryon, who continuously seeks to reclaim his position. He has claimed upon himself the title of “Prince” but is generally regarded, even among the treacherous Archdevils, as untrustworthy and unlikeable. He currently rules Stygia, despite his icy prison.

Glasya the archdevil

Glasya – Archdevil of Malbolge

Glasya is the daughter of Asmodeus himself and had been granted the position of Lord of the Sixth. Prior to her ascension as an Archdevil, she had enjoyed playing political games, though to Asmodeus’ relief, she eventually matured, able to take on the responsibilities of one of the Lords of Nine. Glasya now rules Malbolge.

Baalzebul the archdevil

Baalzebul – Archdevil of Maladomini

As an angel, he was known as Triel, a being of great beauty and a perfectionist. It’s unknown whether Triel was corrupted by Asmodeus, or if he was exiled by the angels of Mount Celestia, either way, he ended up as the Lord of the Seventh, the Lord of lies, transformed into a revolting slug-like creature. He now rules from the seventh layer of Hell known as Maladomini.

Mephistopheles the archdevil

Mephistopheles – Archdevil of Cania

Mephistopheles is second in power only to Asmodeus himself in Hell and has aspirations to take Asmodeus’ place and is always plotting against him. He knows magic like no other and the political landscape of Hell but despite his cool, intellectual exterior, he can be equally unstable on the inside. He is the Lord of the Eighth and ruler of Cania.

Asmodeus the archdevil

Asmodeus – Archdevil of Nessus

The Lord of the Ninth is also the ruler of the Lords of the Nine and all of Hell. He is an extremely powerful being and a deity in his own right. Asmodeus rules from his layer known as Nessus, wielding the Ruby Rod, a magical rod entitling him to rule all of Hell. It is said that the rod itself was created from the blood of 1,000 mortal sacrifices. Asmodeus was once a trusted and influential angel until he rebelled against He Who Was and was cursed to live forever trapped in Hell.

Dukes of Hell

Beneath each of the Lords of Nine mentioned above operate dukes that see to various areas of each of the layers of Hell. These dukes include:

Dukes of Avernus

  • Bel – A general to Zariel and former archduke himself
  • Amduscias – A former general of Avernus from when Tiamat was the archdevil of the layer
  • Malphas – Also a former general under Tiamat’s rule

Dukes of Dis

  • Lilis – The consort of Dispater
  • Titivilus – Dispater’s closest adviser and the public facing ruler of Dis due to Dispater’s paranoia
  • Arioch – A loyal duke that would mete out vengeance on Dispater’s enemies
  • Bitru
  • Biffant
  • Merodach
  • Alocer

Dukes of Minauros

  • Glwa – The consort of Mammon once Glasya had left his side
  • Bael – One of the most powerful dukes and a general of Mammon’s armies
  • Focalor
  • Caarcrinolaas
  • Melchon

Dukes of Phlegethos

  • Chamo – A duke that served Belial during his rule though his loyalties to Fierna remain unknown
  • Balan – Another loyalist of Belial who remains loyal to him even since his retirement
  • Bathym – A duke under Belial who has since sworn fealty to Fierna upon her ascension
  • Gaziel – Another duke of Belial who remains loyal to him now

Dukes of Stygia

  • Geryon – The former lord of Stygia who seeks to reclaim his throne from Levistus
  • Agares – A duke under Geryon’s rule that has since become loyal to Levistus and serves him instead
  • Machalas – The weakest of the dukes to serve under Geryon who also switched sides to serve under Levistus

Dukes of Malbolge

  • Tartach – A duke that formerly served under Baalzebul who has since switched allegiances to serve under Glasya

Dukes of Maladomini

  • Baftis – The first consort of Baalzebul
  • Lilith – The second consort of Baalzebul and former consort of Moloch (the previous archduke of Maladomini)
  • Neabaz – Herald of Baalzebul who is also known as the herald of lies
  • Barbatos
  • Abigor
  • Zepar
  • Bileth

Dukes of Cania

  • Baalphegor – The consort of Mephistopheles and a very influential figure within devil politics
  • Hutijin – A general of Cania
  • Bele
  • Adonides
  • Barbas
  • Bifrons

Dukes of Nessus

  • Adramalech – The chancellor of Hell and also the keeper of records. Adramalech is a hugely influential figure who only answers to Asmodeus
  • Phongor – The inquisitor of Hell
  • Buer
  • Bune
  • Morax
  • Rimmon
  • Zagum

Former archdevils of Hell

Hell’s politics are an unforgiving proving ground, as has been demonstrated time and time again. Many do not survive, and even those that do, risk incurring the wrath of Asmodeus and others which can lead to being ousted or exiled from their positions. The lucky former archdevils simply retired or amicably vacate their seats of power.

Below we’ve listed out the former archdevils of Hell:

Former archdukes of Hell

  • Geryon – Former lord of Stygia who continues to fight Levistus to reclaim his throne
  • Moloch – Former lord of Malbolge but following a rebellion against Asmodeus, was exiled from Hell
  • Beherit – The original lord of Malbolge who was later killed
  • Tiamat – One of only two archdevils that were not actually devils. Tiamat is the dragon goddess who was lord of Avernus for a period but has since vacated this position
  • Malagard – The other archdevil to not be a devil, Malagard is an extremely powerful night hag countess who ruled Malbolge prier to Glasya’s ascension to the throne

Former dukes of Hell

  • Gargauth
  • Malkizid
  • Nergal
  • Herodias
  • Amon
  • Malachlabra
  • Armaros
  • Azazel
  • Bist
  • Cahor
  • Caim
  • Duskur
  • Jaqon
  • Kochbiel
  • Malarea
  • Nisroch
  • Rumjal
  • Bensozia
  • Naome
  • Batna
  • Cozbi
  • Gorson


Who is the strongest archdevil?

Asmodeus is the most powerful archdevil as he rules over all of Hell and over the other 8 archdukes. He is also a deity. Though others have plotted against him, he is the original ruler of Hell and is yet to be ousted from his position.

Who are the 9 archdevils?

The 9 archdevils are the Lords of Nine who rule over each of the 9 layers of Hell. They are; Asmodeus, Mephistopheles, Baalzebul, Glasya, Levistus, Fierna, Mammon, Dispater and Zariel.

Who is the leader of the Nine Hells

Asmodeus is the ruler of the Nine Hells as he rules over the other Lords of Nine and has the power of a deity.

Published by DM Ben

Ben is an experienced dungeon master and player who's been immersed in the D&D universe since he was a teenager over 20 years ago. When he's not writing for Dungeon Mister, Ben loves creating fiendish puzzles and devious dungeons for his players. He's an especially big fan of the Ravenloft and Dragonlance settings.