Geryon (Dungeons & Dragons)

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For the mythological Greek titan, see Geryon.
Game background
Title(s) The Wild Beast, (Former) Lord of the Fifth
Home plane Nine Hells
Power level Archdevil
Alignment Lawful Evil
Superior Asmodeus
Design details

In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Geryon was an Arch-Devil of Hell (Baator in later editions of the game), also known as the "Wild Beast."

Creative origins[edit]

Geryon was the fearsome, triple-bodied ruler of Erytheia in Greek mythology, but the D&D Geryon is based on the Geryon from Dante's Inferno.[1]

Publication history[edit]

Geryon first appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977).[2] Geryon's realm was further detailed in Ed Greenwood's "The Nine Hells Part I" in Dragon #75 (1983).[3]

Geryon did not initially appear in 2nd edition, and in the Planescape line the lord of Stygia was instead a trapped archfiend named Levistus. Eventually, Geryon's fate as a deposed Lord of Hell was revealed in the adventure A Paladin in Hell (1998),[4] and Guide to Hell (1999).[5]

In third edition, Geryon was given statistics in an online web enhancement for the Book of Vile Darkness (2002) titled "Yet More Archfiends".[6] Geryon appeared as a vestige in Tome of Magic (2006).[7] Geryon received a brief description in Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells (2006).[8]


Geryon's only human feature is his handsome head. His body is snake-like with no legs, and he has huge bat wings, and a barbed tail that drips a deadly poison. His arms are strong and hairy and end in paw-like hands, and allow him to use his horn that summons minotaurs. As a vestige, he is instead described as a bizarre creature of tripartite symmetry, resembling three ogre mages fused back-to-back, with three glowing green eyes and a triple set of wings.


Geryon was once the lord of Stygia, the Fifth Layer of Hell, a position he gained right after the demotion of Levistus.

Known for his staunch loyalty to Asmodeus, Geryon was the only one to support the Lord of Nessus upon the Hell-wide revolution known as the Reckoning of Hell. Yet, in the aftermath, his faithfulness was apparently useless, as Geryon was demoted and banished to Avernus with his court by Asmodeus himself.

He was at one time a commander of a Stygian fortress known as Coldsteel, only to later lose that position as well. His physical form has ultimately been destroyed and his life-essence was given to power up Glasya, Asmodeus's daughter who recently gained the rulership of Malbolge, the Sixth Layer of Baator. Geryon now exists as a vestige. Binders who summon Geryon can gain some of his powers, such as his extra eyes, his baleful gaze and his power of flight, in return risking being influenced by his personality and acquiring his weakness of irrational loyalty.

4th edition[edit]

In 4th edition, his backstory is revealed. Geryon was once an angel in the service of He Who Was, and together with six other angels was a mighty force for good. In a terrible battle with a monstrous foe (unidentified but believed to be a primordial), they ultimately won victory, but four of his brother angels were killed, and Geryon and the other two were badly wounded. Realizing that he could not save them all, He Who Was used the other two angels to save Geryon. Originally grateful, Geryon soon realized that he held the memories and thoughts of his brothers within him, and as a result his agony over losing them was constant and eternal. He joined with Asmodeus after being promised that he would be cured of his pain, and although he was never fully healed Asmodeus was able to dull the agony to a minor irritant. His role in the reckoning and the aftermath is unchanged.

Geryon still lives. After he was exiled by Asmodeus, he went to Tytherion and retreated to a cave. He now occasionally serves as a mercenary for powerful mortals and holds infernal pacts with certain warlocks. Lately, he has been haunted with the question of why Asmodeus exiled him after he proved his loyalty. He believes now that Asmodeus wants him to complete a task so terrible, the Lord of Hell did not dare even speak of it and is afraid of being associated with it even by proxy. He thinks that Asmodeus expects him to figure out what to do and handle it, and spends much of his time trying to determine what task would be so terrible that Asmodeus himself was afraid of it. Even if he figures out what he is supposed to do, he is divided as to whether or not to actually do it.


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

Many in Geryon's court were destroyed in a battle with the followers of Levistus.

Other publishers[edit]

Geryon appeared under the "devil" heading in the Tome of Horrors (2002) from Necromancer Games.[12]

Geryon appeared in Paizo Publishing's book Book of the Damned, Vol. 1: Princes of Darkness (2009), on page 15.[13]

Other media[edit]

Geryon also appears as a minor character in Ed Greenwood's novel Elminster in Hell, where he commands an army of devils in Avernus.


  1. ^ DeVarque, Aardy. "Literary Sources of D&D". Archived from the original on 2007-07-21. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  3. ^ Greenwood, Ed. "The Nine Hells Part I." Dragon #75 (TSR, 1983)
  4. ^ Cook, Monte. A Paladin in Hell. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1998. ISBN 0-7869-1210-3
  5. ^ Pramas, Chris. Guide to Hell (TSR, 1999)
  6. ^ Cook, Monte. "Yet More Archfiends: A Book of Vile Darkness Web Enhancement" (Wizards of the Coast, 2002). Available online: [1]
  7. ^ Sernett, Matthew, Dave Noonan, Ari Marmell, and Robert J. Schwalb. Tome of Magic: Pact, Shadow, and Truename Magic (Wizards of the Coast, 2006)
  8. ^ Laws, Robin D., and Robert J. Schwalb. Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells (Wizards of the Coast, 2006)
  9. ^ Greenwood, Ed. "The Nine Hells Part I." Dragon #75 (TSR, 1983)
  10. ^ Laws, Robin D, and Robert J. Schwalb. Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells (Wizards of the Coast, 2006)
  11. ^ Green, Scott; Peterson, Clark (2002). Tome of Horrors. Necromancer Games. pp. 99–100. ISBN 1-58846-112-2. 
  12. ^ Green, Scott; Peterson, Clark (2002). Tome of Horrors. Necromancer Games. pp. 97–98. ISBN 1-58846-112-2. 
  13. ^ Schneider, F. Wesley. Book of the Damned, Vol. 1: Princes of Darkness (Paizo, 2009)