Also known as daemons (no, not those Daemons), Yugoloths are the neutral evil equivalent of the devils and demons in Dungeons & Dragons. Just like the Baatezu and Tanar'ri, they had their name changed to its current form in 2e, because the ancient Greek word for “spirit” is FAR too satanic to put in an RPG. Yugoloths aren't nearly as popular as the two other major fiendish races, nor are they as well known. Yugoloths are originally from the Gray Waste of Hades, though nowadays most of them live in Gehenna because Hades really sucks.
Yugoloths embody the platonic idea of Evil itself. Not “evil”, mind you, but captial-e Evil. They lie, cheat, and betray for its own sake, and generally seek to cause as much suffering and hate as possible to everyone. They're kind of dicks like that. They act as mercenaries (primarily in the Blood War, but they'll work for anyone who can meet their price, even their polar opposites the Guardinals), constantly switching sides between the factions involved in whatever conflict they were paid to fight in (this can happen multiple time in a single battle). In fact, as regards the blood war there're conspiracy theories that they are the original fiends and/or that they're the ones who started the Blood War and are playing it to their own end.
Despite intentionally vague references to a greater purpose, the Yugoloths are consistently overshadowed by both demons and devils. A philosophical reason for this might be that "pure" evil without a desire to destroy or dominate doesn't actually seem to be likely to do much of anything with real consequences. A narrative-based reason might be that demons and devils are more easily contrasted with eachother. A more realistic reason for their low profile is that they're just really boring. The Archdemons are some of the biggest, baddest, and most horrifying creatures in the entire setting, while the ruler of the Nine Hells is a strategic mastermind who pretends to be The God-Fiend of the Pit, Master of Slavery and Tyranny because that is less threatening than what he really is. Not to mention a wide variety of lesser demons who are iconic, terrifying, and awesome. Meanwhile, the Yugoloth have no gods or even any interesting leaders (aside from one about which very little is known), just a city that moves around or some shit. Forget these assholes and get back to headbutting pit fiends in Baator.
Because of this, Yugoloths haven't fared too well in the post AD&D editions. With Planescape not getting an official 3.x release, and the Blood War thusly getting a lot less shilling, they were mostly forgotten aside from the occational update in a Monster Manual. In 4e they lost their whole reason to exist with the almost non-existant Blood War and were instead made a subtype of Demon. The jackal-like Arcanoloths were even divorced entirely from the Daemon family tree and made an entirely new species of scheming, manipulative evil immortals called Raavasta.
In 5e, Yugoloths were created by the Baatezu in order to combat the Tanar'ri. However, the Baatezu lost control of them, and now they're a mercenary fiend race giving their help wherever the most profit is to be made.
Pathfinder avoided the Yugoloth name for copyright reasons, with their daemons becoming an omnicidal race lead by (a version of) the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
The Truest Fiends
The Yugoloth maintain a number of strongholds on the Lower Planes. Their biggest one is the Crawling City making its way on the slopes of Gehenna. Here the General of Gehenna, the leader of the Yugoloth, holds his court and plots against the Multiverse itself. Also on Gehenna is the Tower Arcane, where the Arcanoloth record all the deals made with mortals and Outsiders alike. Hades houses Khin-Oin, a massive tower allegendly made from the spine of a deity the Yugoloth killed. Here many of the soldiers of the Yugoloth armies live and train. Finally there is the Tower of Incarnate Pain, which is still under construction in Carceri. Made from the screaming bodies of petitioners and the skin of a dead god, the Yugoloth intend to use the tower to link their two other towers and obtain considerable power that way. The native inhabitants of Carceri, the Gehreleth do not agree with this and frequently attack the tower to tear it down. Without their attacks the Yugoloth would have been done centuries ago, but because of the actions of the Gehreleth they are far behind on schedule. While the fiends are very limited in number and the Yugoloth could easily crush them with a superior force, they do not do this because it would draw too much attention to their secret project.
The Shapes of Evil
- Guardian Yugoloths: Least, Lesser, Greater.
- Battleloths: Arrow, Axe, Crosbow, Pick, Spiked Chain, Sword.
- Arcanaloth: Probably the most famous of the Yugoloth species, Arcanloths look like anthropomorphic jackals and are known for managing the mercenary contracts that are the lifeblood of the Yugolothic personal involvement in the Blood War. In essence, all contracts to hire Yugoloths ultimately get approved by these guys. These guys are perhaps best known because they have two representative characters living in Sigil; A'kin the Friendly Fiend, a seemingly benevolent (not that anyone buys it) merchant, and Shemeshka the Marauder, aspiring to be the biggest wheeler-dealer in the Cage, who calls herself "King of the Crosstrade" and is famous as one of the first canonical non-cisgendered NPCs -- she calls herself female, but her profile in the Sigil bigwig NPC splat "Uncaged: Faces of Sigil" depicts her with a male symbol, implying she's trans. Of course, according to Faces of Evil, all Yugoloths are hermaphrodites (not that the hypothetical sex of a fiend even matters, since fiends of all varieties "reproduce" by uplifting Maggots, which are the forms evil mortals take upon dying and arriving at any of the lower planes). Survived the shift to the World Axis by becoming the Raavasta race.
If they are willing to serve the Night Hags for a specific purpose, a Yugoloth can choose to undergo a ritual to become a powerful new being: an Altraloth. In a long and painful ritual any Yugoloth from Mezzoloth to Ultraloth can be turned into a new creature of superior power, but to do this they will have to enter a contract with the Night Hags and complete its terms before being freed. Most Yugoloth chafe at this because they are not able to betray their new mistresses: hurting them will result in unspeakable pain for the Altraloth, and if one of them were to die for any reason the Altraloth perishes as well. As such, they are invested to the wellbeing of their masters and will do anything to protect them.
Apomps the Three-Sided
Anthraxus the Decayed
The General of Gehenna
|The inhabitants of the Planes of Planescape|
|Upper Planes:||Aasimon - Angels - Animal Lords - Archons - Asuras - Eladrin - Guardinals - Lillend|
|Middle Planes:||Formians - Githzerai - Inevitables - Marut - Modrons - Rilmani - Slaadi|
|Lower Planes:|| Alu-Fiends - Baatezu - Bladelings - Cambions - Demodands - Erinyes - Hags |
Hordlings - Imps - Kytons - Marilith - Obyrith - Succubi - Tanar'ri - Yugoloth
|Transitive Planes:||Astral Dreadnought - Githyanki|
|Inner Planes:||Azers - Elementals - Genies - Grues - Mephit - Salamanders - Sylphs|
|Sigil:||Dabus - Cranium Rats|
|High-ups:||Archangels - Archdevils - Archfey - Archomentals - Demon Princes|