Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Grognard's Grimoire: Furfur

Although they've not directly appeared in the Dwimmermount campaign, demons are something to which I've given a fair amount of thought. As I have presented them, they're weird, alien beings that exist outside the other supernatural hierarchies of the setting. I've implied that they're older than the gods and possibly in possession of knowledge that even deities lack.

That's where Furfur comes in. The Prince of Secrets is something I've had in my head for a while now, but two recent events pushed me to finally write him up. First, Zak noted the creepiness of stag-headed monsters (I agree). Second, Will posted a link to a PDF of the famed Infernal Dictionary, which, to my mind, contains some of the most disturbing images of demons I've ever come across. I've been looking for a reproduction of it online for a while now, so I'm very grateful to Will for finally bringing one to my attention.

The text in the quote box below is hereby designated Open Game Content via the Open Game License.

Furfur (Demon Lord)
No Enc.: Unique
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40'); Fly: 240' (80')
Armor Class: -6
Hit Dice: 120 hp (20 HD)
Attacks: 2 (claws)
Damage: 2d4/2d4
Save: F20
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: IV, V, VIII, IX

The demon lord Furfur (also known as Furcifer and the Prince of Secrets) is well known among sages and seekers after forbidden knowledge, for that is his area of influence. He appears as a creature with the hindquarters and head of a stag, but the breast and arms of a man, and bat-like wings that carry him through the air. His tail bursts into flames when Furfur is angry or displeased, something that does not occur very often, as Furfur is generally described as an eerily calm and rational demon lord, more interested in conversation than combat.

If pressed, however, this demon lord is more than capable of defending himself. His own physical attacks are somewhat weak but he commands a variety of magical abilities: astral projection, call lightning, charm person, clairvoyance, clairaudience, continual darkness, control weather (greater), control winds, detect invisibility, detect magic, ESP, legend lore, read languages, read magic, shape change, suggestion, unholy word, wind walk. These abilities are usable at will. Once per day, Furfur can use feeblemind, power word (any), and symbol (any). He is only affected by +2 or better weapons.

The demon lord may gate (80% probability of success) a glabrezu, hezrou, marilith, nalfeshnee, or vrock demon. Furfur may also summon other creatures as a monster summoning spell. He may bring forth 4d4 harpies, 3d4 perytons, or 2d4 gargoyles, or 1d4 succubi.

Furfur is reputed to know the answer to any question, including those even the gods have. In exchange for a promise of eternal servitude after death, the Prince of Secrets will answer any three questions posed to him with absolute and total truth -- although many come to regret Furfur's candor even before they must fulfill their end of the bargain.


  1. Thank goodness for PDFs; the one copy of this on Amazon is going for just under $400 - my library doesn't need it that badly. :)

  2. I never knew Furfur came from the Infernal Dictionary. I only knew him as the Demon Prince of Hardcore from In Nomine. The stag head is pretty creepy and cool.

  3. Wow. I never realized that my company logo (at perytonpublishing.com) was Furfur. I wonder if the artist had seen this image.

  4. Herne, as descibed in Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising turned me onto the whole antlered thing when I was a kid. I propose that they're weirder and more courant than mere horns because they recall the uncanny power of networks running beneath of our modern worldview. Or something.

    Antlered lizards - so much weirder and wiser than horned dragons.

  5. With DragonQuest's demonology-based magic in mind, I recently picked up a copy of the Lesser Key of Solomon with an eye toward creating some sort of demon-summoning system for Mongoose's RQII. Wish me luck.