Mammon (Dungeons & Dragons)

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For the New Testament term, see Mammon.
Mammon
D&DMammon.JPG
Game background
Title(s)

Lord of the Third

Lord of Avarice
Home plane Nine Hells
Power level Archdevil
Alignment Lawful Evil
Domains Avarice, greed
Superior Asmodeus
Design details

In the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, Mammon is an Arch-Devil of Hell (Baator in later editions of the game), also known as the "Lord of Avarice." His symbol is a pair of red scaled hands open and looming over a black gemstone, or gold medallions emblazoned with the image of a snake-bodied devil.

Mammon is the lord of Minauros, the Third Plane of Hell, and he was able to retain this position after the Reckoning of Hell. In keeping with the traditional use of the name in literature, he is portrayed as a personification of greed and lust. He also has a well-earned reputation for duplicity.[1] His followers can be found among both humanoid and monstrous species.

Creative origins[edit]

Mammon is named after the Biblical Mammon.

Publishing history[edit]

Mammon was first detailed in Gary Gygax's article "From the Sorcerer's Scroll: New Denizens of Devildom," in Dragon #75 (TSR, 1983).[2] He also appeared in the original Monster Manual II (1983).[3] Mammon's realm was further detailed in Ed Greenwood's article "The Nine Hells Part I" in Dragon #75 (1983).[4]

In the 2nd edition of the game, during a period when TSR's management didn't allow their authors to use the names of historical demons, he was replaced by "Viscount Minauros," a man-snake hybrid with powers over disease. In A Paladin in Hell by Monte Cook, it was explained that "Viscount Minauros" and Mammon were one and the same,[5] and it was revealed that he had changed his shape to show he had become a "new devil" after the failed rebellion in Hell that Chris Pramas dubbed "the Reckoning" in Guide to Hell.[6]

In third edition, Mammon appeared along with the other lords of the Nine Hells in the Book of Vile Darkness (2002).[7] Mammon was further detailed in the Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells (2006).[1]

The 4th edition Monster Manual mentions that Mammon is still the lord of Minauros.[8]

Description[edit]

Mammon was described in the first edition AD&D sourcebook Monster Manual II as a 12-foot-tall (3.7 m) devil with red-gold scaled skin, and wings that "gleam like rubies". Though his form was bloated and soft-looking, he is very strong. Following the Reckoning of Hell, Asmodeus transformed Mammon into a massive serpent with a humanoid upper body and two arms, and a monstrous head with a fanged mouth. It is not known whether the transformation was a reward or a punishment. He retains this appearance in the third edition sourcebooks Book of Vile Darkness and Fiendish Codex II.

Mammon occasionally takes on his earlier form when out hunting.

Relationships[edit]

Before the Reckoning, Mammon was allied with Mephistopheles and Dispater. As soon as the rebellion was over, however, he was quick to betray his erstwhile allies in order to save his own skin, and no archdevil trusts him now.

Some rumors have it that since her ascension to greater power, Glasya has rekindled her affair with her former lover Mammon. Others say that Glasya despises Mammon for failing to fight for her; both rumors could easily be true.

The Plane Above, a Fourth Edition supplement, states that Mammon has sired a daughter named Baelzra by Sagirsa, a corpulent assassin devil that serves as the Queen of Jangling Hiter.

Vassals[edit]

The following beings are among the most notable subjects of Mammon. The forces at their disposal are listed, where appropriate:

Mammon's army, known as the Gleaming Guard, is made up mostly of bone devils and barbed devils, commanded by the insectoid ice devils. Much of their armor has been stolen from angels and corrupted to diabolic purposes.

Former vassals[edit]

The following beings once served in Mammon's court:

  • Glasya - Daughter of Asmodeus. Glasya was formerly Mammon's chief consort, but she left this position after the Reckoning of Hell.
  • Zimmimar - This pit fiend commanded six companies of bone devils before joining the Dark Eight.

Realm[edit]

Viscount Mammon rules Minauros, the third layer of Hell. His golden, jewel-encrusted palace in Minauros the Sinking City looks more like a tomb than a residence of the living. The city itself descends slowly into the muck of the realm, and perhaps will be gone in a few eons despite the devils' attempts at shoring it up; it is in turn based on the ruins of its predecessor.

Dogma[edit]

Mammon represents greed, lust, and ambition. He is two-faced, vindictive, and arrogant, always looking for imagined insults. Mammon's servants wage economic warfare on good, prosperous nations in an attempt to collapse their economies, hoping that in their desperation the newly impoverished souls will turn to Mammon for salvation.

Mammon is indirect and venomous. Mammon is known for speaking in riddles, never coming straight to the point even when giving orders. His servants emulate this behavior.

Worshipers[edit]

Mammon's followers can be found among both humanoid and monstrous species including beholders, illithids, and dragons.

Clergy[edit]

Mammon's clerics are known as covetors. They wear copious amounts of gold jewelry and red robes trimmed with gold. Most have grown very wealthy through their evil schemes. They favor the short spear.

Temples[edit]

Temples to Mammon display vast wealth and audacious treasures, although they have similarly audacious traps and guards with which to defend them. Most of them tower over the landscape. Dripping with gold and jewels, his temples are themselves treasures that function as fortresses. Even the altars and sacrificial knives are encrusted with gold and gems.

Other publishers[edit]

Mammon appeared in Paizo Publishing's book Book of the Damned, Vol. 1: Princes of Darkness (2009), on page 11.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Robin D. Laws and Robert J. Schwalb. 'Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells' Wizards of the Coast, Inc., 2006
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary. "From the Sorcerer's Scroll: New Denizens of Devildom" Dragon #75 (TSR, July 1983)
  3. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983)
  4. ^ Greenwood, Ed. "The Nine Hells Part I." Dragon #75 (TSR, 1983)
  5. ^ Cook, Monte. A Paladin in Hell. (Wizards of the Coast, 1998)
  6. ^ Pramas, Chris. Guide to Hell (TSR, 1999)
  7. ^ Cook, Monte. Book of Vile Darkness (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  8. ^ Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  9. ^ McComb, Colin. Faces of Evil: The Fiends. (TSR, 1997)
  10. ^ Schneider, F. Wesley. Book of the Damned, Vol. 1: Princes of Darkness (Paizo, 2009)

Additional reading[edit]

  • Richard Baker, Rob Heinsoo, and James Wyatt. Manual of the Planes. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2008.
  • Larme, John. Dangerous Games? Censorship and "Child Protection" [1] (2000).
  • McComb, Colin. Faces of Evil: The Fiends (Wizards of the Coast, 1997)
    • McComb, Colin. "The Lords of the Nine." Dragon #223 (TSR 1995)