The Obyrith are pre-primordial demons in Dungeons and Dragons. They are all unfathomably chaotic and evil extradimensional horrors that existed long before the tanar'ri came into being and very likely existed before the universe itself. They take heavy inspiration from the cosmic horrors found in Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.
Obyrith first appeared in 2006's Fiendish Codex I sourcebook for D&D 3.5, which dealt with the Abyss and all its horrific denizens. Here they were introduced as one of the three types of demons alongside the tanar'ri and loumara. Two types of obyrith were detailed, the ekolid and sibriex, as well as the obyrith Demon Princes Dagon, Obox-ob, Pale Night, and Pazuzu. Over the next year a few more types of obyrith would be trickled out in supplemental online postings, magazines and Monster Manual V, while Dagon himself would get a much more posh write-up in Dragon #349.
But it was 4th Edition that really shoved obyrith more into the spotlight. Confirming their identity as having come from a universe before the current one, the Obyrith actually won the war of Order versus Chaos! The absolute mad
menthings! They devoured and twisted reality so badly that their own universe was finally unmade, collapsing into a singularity of pure spite and hatred for existence. But this Shard of Pure Evil™ somehow managed to pierce the veil into a different universe that was just beginning to take form, and inside of it about a dozen Obyrith managed to survive making the leap.
And they were pissed! Here they were, just getting done finally destroying existence, and now there's another one being created! Luckily for them, their shard was found by one of the new neutral gods who was starting to tidy up the chaotic elemental afterbirth, Tharizdun, and they were able to instantly and so thoroughly corrupt him that he created the Abyss at their behest. Now free to exact their hate on a new universe, they began to battle other primordial entities for control of the newly minted Abyss.
Meanwhile, all the other gods stopped doing whatever it was that they were doing and placed Tharizdun in the D&D equivalent of gay baby jail for all of eternity.
The Queen of Chaos would be the main leader of the forces of chaos as they attacked the forces of law and order; however, infighting would eventually lead to a fracturing between the obyrith and the tanar'ri they created to be their footsoldiers. Chaos gonna chaos. This opening allowed the Upper Planes to invade the Abyss and righteously buttfuck the obyrith to the brink of extinction.
Obyriths have slightly different traits than Tanar'ri. They are only resistant to electric damage instead of being immune, and they don't have the Tanar'ri ability to summon other demons, but instead, most Obyrith have an ability called Form of Madness that causes permanent insanity in anyone except other chaotic evil outsiders that encounters that Obyrith and fails their save. The mental effect of the insanity is different depending on the type of Obyrith, and Obyrith lords have a unique insanity effect. And being blind doesn't protect you from this. Pazuzu has lost this abilitiy due to evolving into a more Tanar'ri like demon and replaced it with an aura that lets him control evil flying creatures, and Pale Night's form is so horrifying that it causes instant death on a failed save, but she is unable to reveal for longer than a few seconds because the universe itself forces her to hide it under a veil. Obyriths additionally all have true seeing, immunity to mind-affecting effects, and fast healing.
A few obyrith demons return in 5e, but the word is no longer used because all demons are now just categorized as "demons".
Types of Obyrith
- Draudnu: Strange round demons with three long spider-like legs at the top of their body. Their body tapers towards the bottom, ending in a red eye surrounded by three wicked clawed arms. They can extend these clawed arms up to 15 feet and use them to immobilize enemies by embedding them in a victim and then breaking them off and growing a new one. A Draudnu's form of madness causes victims to become sickened and believe there is something growing inside them.
- Ekolid: Vile insectoid horrors, combining all the worst aspects of ants, scorpions, spiders and anything else you wouldn't want to get bitten or stung by. They typically exist in swarms, but on the 663rd layer of the Abyss they construct massive hives as complex as cities. They reproducing by planting their eggs in victims. An Ekolid's form of madness causes you to hallucinate biting insects crawling all over your skin.
- Golothoma: Long and wormlike with a single red eye at their anterior end surrounded by three scything claw-like appendages. These claws can reach through dimensions to attack other creatures. They don't have a mouth, so they feed through their own shadow. A Golothoma's form of madness causes you to become sickened while in darkness or bright light and makes you weaker against shadow magic and attacks from shadowy creatures.
- Laghathti: Like a disgusting slimy, black octopus, laghathti lurk within the River Styx and steal memories from souls that pass by.
- Sibriex: These resemble enormous and grotesque floating humanoid heads that are shackled to the ground by hooks and chains. Said to have a knack for flesh-crafting, the creation of the tanar'ri is likely their doing. A Sibriex's form of madness causes you to believe that the sibriex is the most perfect physical form, which makes you less resistant to the sibriex's enchantment abilities and damages your charisma.
- Uzollru: Similar to colossal aquatic centipedes, but with flippers instead of legs. Their head has a single red eye surrounded by feeder tentacles. They mostly serve Dagon in the 89th layer of the Abyss, Shadowsea.
- Verakia: XBAWKSHUEG dragon-esque obyriths which exist in the 88th layer of the Abyss, which is Demogorgon's pad. They are mindless marauding abominations; anyone who would even look upon one is driven to homicidal fury.
- Areex, The Forgotten Prince (imprisoned)
- Asima, The Unanticipated (dead)
- Bechard, The Rotting Husk (alive but dying extremely slowly in Yeenoghu's realm)
- Cabiri, The Watching Master (imprisoned, but strangely can be summoned as a Vestige)
- Dagon, Prince of the Depths
- Obox-ob, Prince of Vermin
- Pale Night, The Mother of Demons
- Pazuzu, Prince of the Lower Aerial Kingdoms
- The Queen of Chaos, the one who Invented the tanari.
- Sertrous, Prince of Heretics (dead but trying to come back)
- Ugudenk, The Squirming King
|The inhabitants of the Planes of Planescape|
|Upper Planes:||Aasimon - Angel - Animal Lord - Archon |
Asura - Eladrin - Guardinals - Lillend
|Middle Planes:||Formians - Githzerai - Inevitable - Marut |
Modron - Rilmani - Slaadi - Kamerel
|Lower Planes:||Alu-Fiend - Baatezu - Bladeling - Cambion |
Demodand - Erinyes - Hag - Hordling
Imp - Kyton - Loumara - Marilith - Obyrith
Succubus - Tanar'ri - Yugoloth
|Transitive Planes:||Astral Dreadnought - Githyanki|
|Inner Planes:||Azer - Elemental - Genie - Grue - Mephit |
Salamander - Sylph
|Sigil:||Dabus - Cranium Rat|
|High-ups:||Archangel - Archdevil - Archfey |
Archomental - Demon Prince