- If looking for the fiends of Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000, see Daemon
- If looking for the Neutral Evil fiends of Dungeons & Dragons, see Yugoloth
Although not bound to the Great Wheel as Dungeons & Dragons is, Pathfinder still figured it should have an iconic race of Neutral Evil fiends, and they hadn't thought up divs yet. Going back to the oldest forms of D&D lore, as they tend to do, they drew upon both the original (stupid) name of the Yugoloths and the early definitions of Neutral Evil. They also just outright stole the dergho and the hydro.
The Daemons of Pathfinder, therefore, represent nihilism: daemons despise life itself, and everything that lives. Born from the energies of death, with each different form of death creating a different kind of daemon, they are in many ways the most evil of the three major fiends (Devils/Daemons/Demons), to the point that Devils and Demons have been known to team up against them, even to the point of joining Celestials - they have their differences, but both races agree that they like living and they like having mortals to torment, so the Daemonic plan of annihilating all life throughout the multiverse, then committing mass suicide in order to extinguish life forever, and in the meantime destroying and devouring as many souls as possible from the river of souls, leaving nothing left to even reincarnate or form a new planar being... well, they're not exactly on board with that. Pretty much all the planar exemplars, or at least those who have any interest in mortals, will team up to fight the Daemons and guard the River of Souls, regardless of alignment or other hatreds between them.
On top of that, Daemons were the ones responsible for the creation of Demons in their attempts to find new ways to cause mass death across the universe. They tried merging an evil soul with an abyssal larva and created the first demon, and in the process taught the Abyss how to make more. They regard this as a mistake due to the Demon's desires to corrupt and turn souls into more demons rather than extinguishing and obliterating them as Daemons will, but this doesn't make the rest of the planes any happier about it.
The god-like rulers of the daemons are the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse; Famine, War, Pestilence and Death. There used to be a single leader above all, the Oinodaemon, the First Daemon, but the original Four betrayed, bound, and devoured its power, and they're still known to feed on it occasionally.
As nihilists these daemons overlap the
obyrithqlippoth. As emissaries of Sheol they encroach upon (what Mystarans call) the sphere of Death and its apostles, especially the Nightshades. Well at least Paizo tried.
Examples of Daemons
Astradaemons are shadowy tentacled predators which hunt and devour souls in the Astral Plane. They represent death caused by negative energy.
Cacodaemons look exactly like Doom's cacodemons, but they're the size of a cat and can eat souls and spit out black soul gems. They represent death by the hands of a daemon.
Cuestodaemons are hulking apes with hooves and curved ram-like horns. They get summoned by mortals more than any other kind of daemon, and spend their brief time in the mortal world wishing they could murder the person who summoned them. They represent death by suicide.
Derghodaemons look like insectoid nightmares of Ginsu blades which would vivisect you before you could even scream. They represent death at the hands of someone who is insane.
Hydrodaemons are huge frog-like monsters that swim under the foul waters of the River Styx. When they leap, they can use flabs of their skin to glide like a flying squirrel. They represent death by drowning.
Leukodaemons serve the Horseman of Pestilence directly. They are emaciated humanoids with rotted wings and pale skin infested with maggots. In place of a head, they have a stump where they usually mount a horse skull. Leukodaemons have a breath weapon in the form of clouds of biting flies, and they exude an aura that makes creatures more susceptible to disease. They represent death from illness.
Meladaemons are made in the image of the Horseman of Famine, who they serve. They resemble starved humanoids with the head of a jackal. They represent death by starvation.
Olethrodaemons are among the strongest daemons, they are massive engines of annihilation that serve all of the Four Horsemen. They're the closest daemons have to pit fiends and balors. They represent death from natural disasters.
|The Fiends of Pathfinder|
|Lawful:||Asuras - Devils - Rakshasas - Velstracs|
|Neutral:||Daemons - Divs - Sahkils|
|Chaotic:||Demodands - Demons - Qlippoth|
|Lords:||Ahriman - Archdevils |
Demon Lords - Four Horsemen