The main race that inhabits the Abyss are the demons, chaotic evil beings. There are four kinds of demon: the classical, religion-inspired demons of evil and sin the Tanar'ri; the ancient, Lovecraftian Obyriths; the recently appeared Loumaras; and the other demons, which are simply demons that are not specified as belonging to any of the other three categories. Each of these categories contains numerous different species of demon. Of the four categories, the Tanar'ri are the most numerous and most influential and the true rulers of the plane.
The petitioners (souls of the dead who have been sent to the layer for the afterlife) of the Abyss are called manes, and they are the lowest caste of the Tanar'ri. They have pale white skin, sharp teeth and claws, and maggots are reported to crawl through their flesh. Manes that survive for many years may be promoted to greater forms of demon. Extremely clever, lucky ones that survive for millennia may even eventually become Demon Lords. The Demon Lord Orcus is one such demon lord who began as a mane.
The Demon Lords, also known as demon princes, are extremely powerful demons, mostly of the Tanar'ri category though a few Obyrith lords exist as well, who through sheer power and influence have come to rule over one of the layers of the Abyss. They are near god-like in power, each have unique forms, many have cult-followings upon the material plane, and they command scores of lesser demons. Known demon lords include Orcus, as well as Demogorgon, Graz'zt, Fraz-Urb'luu, Baphomet, Yeenoghu, Juiblex, Malcanthet, Pazuzu, Kostchtchie, Dagon, Pale Night, Obox-ob, Zuggtmoy, Sess'Innek, and numerous others.
Chaotic evil deities also inhabit the Abyss, including Vaprak, the god of ogres and trolls; Lolth, the demon queen of spiders and drow; and Great Mother, the goddess of beholders. These deities could also be considered demon lords however. The term "Demon Lord" is really more of a title than a category of beings, and deities such as those mentioned meet the criteria for bearing such a title of ruling over one of the Abyss' layers. Many of the formerly mentioned demon lords themselves have god-like traits; they sway the worship of entire races, have cult-followings, and sometimes even have portfolios attributed to them. Therefore they might be gods. The exact distinction between "demon lord" and "deity" is rather unclear.
Read more about this topic: Abyss (Dungeons & Dragons)
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