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Abishai are a lesser baatezu. The baatezu are the primary inhabitants of the Nine Hells. They are a strong, evil tempered race held together by an equally strong organization. The baatezu live in a rigid caste system where authority is derived from power and station.

The baatezu wish to fulfill their ancient quest to destroy the tanar'ri, their blood enemies. The baatezu also know that by infiltrating humans and entering their world they will gain power over the tanar'ri. Toward this end they constantly strive to dominate the Prime Material plane and its natives.

Abishai are common on the first and second layers of the Nine Hells, appearing much like gothic gargoyles. They are thin and reptilian with long, prehensile tails and great wings. There are three varieties of abishai. They are, in ascending order of station, black, green, and red. Abishai communicate with telepathy.


All baatezu except for lemures, nupperibo, and spinagon are able to perform the following magical abilities, once per round, at will: advanced illusion, animate dead, charm person, infravision, know alignment (always active), suggestion, and teleport without error.

Baatezu are affected by the following attack forms:

Attack Damage Attack Damage
acid full cold half*
electricity (lightning) full fire (dragon, magical) none*
gas half iron weapon none**
magic missile full poison none
silver weapon full***
* the gelugon suffers half damage from fire and none from cold.
** unless affected by normal weapons.
*** greater baatezu suffer half damage from silver weapons.

In battle, the abishai strikes with formidable claws, inflicting 1-4 points of damage per successful hit. It can also lash out with its flexible tail for 2-5 points of damage. Hidden in the end of an abishai's tail is a small stinger that injects poison on a successful hit, requiring a saving throw vs. poison (failure results in death).

Abishai can fly into the air and dive at enemies, striking with both claws. Their attack roll is made with a +2 bonus. A successful hit inflicts double damage.

In addition to the powers possessed by all baatezu, an abishai can perform the following magical powers, one at a time, once per round: change self, command, produce flame, pyrotechnics, and scare. They can also attempt to gate 2-12 lemures (60% chance of success, once per day) or 1-3 abishai (30% chance of success, once per day).

All abishai are susceptible to damage from holy water. If a vial is splashed on it, an abishai suffers 2-8 points of damage. All abishai regenerate 1 hit point per melee round unless the damage was done by holy water or a holy magical weapon.


Abishai are voracious and evil. They delight in tormenting those few natives of the Nine Hells that are lower in power. Abishai are fond of using change self and charm person to tempt mortals bold enough to travel to the Nine Hells.


The abishai comprise the main body of many large, evil armies battling against the tanar'ri and intruders against the Nine Hells. In some cases, a red abishai may have proven himself worthy enough to command a force of lemures. If it is successful in this endeavor, the red abishai may be promoted to a higher form of baatezu.