We’ve got Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes–you can expect a full review soon, but for now, check out Zariel, Archdevil, and ruler of Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells. She is one of the many powerful foes you’ll find within.
One of the big centerpieces of Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes is the Blood War–which if you haven’t been playing D&D forever, is the cosmic battle between Demons and Devils or Tanar’ri vs. Baatezu. These two evil forces battle it out for dominion of the lower planes, claiming evil souls as their own. And amidst this cosmic conflict, mercenary demons, devils, cambions, tieflings, and many a hapless adventurer find profit, destiny, and doom.
Zariel represents the upper tier of the beings you’ll find involved with it. She’s the ruler of Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells. She is charged with protecting the planes where the river Styx runs through it and is in command of the armies of the Blood War. Zariel is also a fallen angel who became corrupted by the hellish influences of the lower planes.
But more than that, Zariel represents the maneuvering and political scheming of the Blood War as well. Demons and Devils play for keeps, manipulating and scheming to take power for themselves. And Zariel recently ousted Bel to gain control of Avernus. Now she schemes against Asmodeus, though none know of her secret plans (except I bet Asmodeus totally does). At any rate, as you’ll see, Zariel packs a powerful punch.
This is how you do a final boss–she’s incredibly powerful and has the resources to hold her own against a party of adventurers. Her attacks are damaging enough to matter, which is good, because sometimes monsters have nothing once their spells have been spent, which is hardly where you’d want to find a being in charge of one of the layers of the Nine Hells. Her innate powers are incredible as well–Fireball, Wall of Fire and a 3/day each of Finger of Death and Blade Barrier means she can throw a party for a loop.
That’s before we get to her special actions, which are interchangeably useful. She’s an excellent skirmisher, and with an AC of 21 and 580 hit points, she can brawl very well–of course if you want to make the fight deadly, you’ll give her a few other devilish bodyguards.
And that’s just one of the many high-level monsters you’ll find waiting for you in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, available May 18th in select stores, and May 29th everywhere else.
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