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Alignment Chaotic Evil
Type Outsider (Chaotic, Extraplanar, Evil)
Image Wizards.com image
Stats Open Game License stats
Publication history
First appearance Monster Manual, 1st Edition (1977)

A Marilith, in the Dungeons and Dragons fantasy role playing game, is depicted as a powerful, six-armed female demon with the lower body of a snake.

In first edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, mariliths were known as type V demons. From second edition AD&D, the name "type V demon" was revised to "marilith", taking the name of the greatest individual of their rank as the name for the entire breed. The original four type V demons were named Aishapra, Kevokulli, Marilith, and Rehnaremme.


Mariliths are native to the Abyss.

Mariliths have humanoid female upper bodies with six arms. Depending on the particular edition and illustrator, their head and torso may look almost human or be covered in reptilian scales. Their lower bodies are those of giant snakes, typically green or brown.

Mariliths are typically barely clothed, with little if any torso covering, though they may wear jewellery. They are almost always shown with a variety of swords and other melee weapons held in their six arms.


Although they are strategists, mariliths eagerly join any melee combat given the chance. They attack with six weapons, a snapping tail which grabs, can cast illusionary and charm magics, and can gate in other tanar'ri.

Mariliths are the generals and coordinators of the Blood War (though given the chaotic nature of tanar'ri, it is not usually possible to coordinate their activities, mariliths are charged with it, nonetheless). In the hierarchy of tanar'ri, mariliths rank only below balors.

Cover art from the R. A. Salvatore novel Passage to Dawn (art by Todd Lockwood), featuring Drizzt duelling with a marilith

Known Mariliths

  • Alamanda[1]
  • Aishapra, the Marilith Dervish [2]
  • Baltoi: The Sleeping Beast from Van Richten's Guide to Fiends [3]
  • Byakala: an advanced marilith with the Smoking Eye template, found in The Shackled City[4].
  • The Cathezar:Half-Chain Devil/Half-Marilith, originally a servant of Demogorgon/Aameul; depending on events, she may be either dead or serve Ammet the balor now[5].
  • Gorzaug: Minion of Takhisis, treated "as a Type V demon for combat purposes", but without gating-in ability.[6]
  • Kaliva: a vassal of the marilith demon lord Shaktari, born as a human and raised by an evil duke. She spurned the advances of a wizard, who shapechanged her into a rutterkin and banished her to the Abyss. Eventually her intelligence and fighting skills enabled her to become a marilith[8].
  • Kalistes: One of Bane's underling in the computer game Pools of Darkness. In the game she commands a large army consisting of drow and spiders, and possesses the Ring of Reversal which steals the sun. She hides in an infernal demiplane called Kalistes's Palace. She does not cast spells, but attacks six times in a round with all hands, each wielding a +4 weapon.
  • Morag: A non-evil marilith who was bound to serve Lolth, she now travels with the Justicar and his friends.[10]
  • Shaktari: known as the Queen of Poison, Shaktari is a giant marilith who rules Vudra, the 531st layer of the Abyss. She has flaming eyes and black skin. She was once banished to the Wells of Darkness, but escaped. As of third edition, Shaktari claims rulership of all mariliths.
  • Shesinellek
  • Stentka Taran: Beshaba's general.[12].
  • Unhath and Reluhantis: servants of Graz'zt who rule his realm in his absence, listed in Book of Vile Darkness. Unhath and Reluhantis are 6th level sorcerers.
  • Viractuth: the demon lord Rhyxali's second in command, Viractuth is a 5th level marilith sorcerer. She organizes the knowledge gathered by Rhyxali's shadow demons and lives in a huge library filled with tomes only she can read[13].
  • Yxunomei: middle boss - Found in the game Icewind Dale in the deep bowels of Dragon's Eye.


Name Marilith
Alignment Always Chaotic Evil
Type Outsider
Sub-Type Chaotic, Extraplanar, Evil
First Appearence Monster Manual, 1st Edition (1977)
Size/Type Large Outsider (Chaotic, Extraplanar, Evil)
Hit Dice 16d8+144 (216 hp)
Initiative +4
Speed 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class 29 (-1 size, +4 Dex, +16 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 25
Base Attack/Grapple +16/+29
Attack Longsword +25 melee (2d6+9/19-20)
or slam +24 melee (1d8+9)
or tail slap +24 melee (4d6+9)
Full Attack Primary longsword +25/+20/+15/+10 melee (2d6+9/19-20)
and 5 longswords +25 melee (2d6+4/19-20)
and tail slap +22 melee (4d6+4)
or 6 slams +24 melee (1d8+9)
and tail slap +22 melee (4d6+4)
Space/Reach 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks Constrict 4d6+13, improved grab, spell-like abilities, summon demon
Special Qualities Damage reduction 10/good and cold iron, darkvision 60 ft.,
immunity to electricity and poison, resistance to acid 10, cold 10, and fire 10,
spell resistance 25, telepathy 100 ft.
Saves Fort +19, Ref +14, Will +14
Abilities Str 29, Dex 19, Con 29, Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 24
Skills Bluff +26, Concentration +28, Diplomacy +30, Disguise +7 (+9 acting), Hide +19,
Intimidate +28, Listen +31, Move Silently +23, Search +23, Sense Motive +23,
Spellcraft +23 (+25 scrolls), Spot +31, Survival +4 (+6 following tracks),
Use Magic Device +26 (+28 scrolls)
Feats Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Multiattack, Multiweapon Fighting,
Power Attack, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Environment A chaotic evil-aligned plane
Organization Solitary or pair
Challenge Rating 17
Treasure Standard coins; double goods; standard items, plus 1d4 magic weapons
Alignment Always chaotic evil
Advancement 17-20 HD (Large); 21-48 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment
Note A marilith usually holds a longsword in each of its six hands and wears
many bangles and jewels.
Note A marilith stands about 9 feet tall and measures about 20 feet from head
to tip of tail. It weighs about 4,000 pounds.

Publication History

Mariliths are based on Hindu mythology, where gods and demons frequently have multiple heads and arms.[14] The name appears to be a portmanteau of Mara and Lilith.

Dungeons and Dragons (1974-1976)

The type V demon appeared under the demon entry in the Eldritch Wizardry supplement (1976).[15]

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1st Edition (1977-1988)

The type V demon (marilith) appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977).[16]

Dungeons and Dragons (1977-1999)

This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the type V demon, which is known as the hissing demon, first appearing in the Immortal Rules set, in the DM's Guide to Immortals (1986).[17] The hissing lesser fiend appeared in the Wrath of the Immortals set, in "Book One: Codex of the Immortals" (1992).[18]

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition (1989-1999)

In this edition, demons became known as tanar'ri, and this creature officially became known as the marilith, a "true tanar'ri", appearing first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Outer Planes Appendix (1991), and then reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[19]

The marilith true tanar'ri also appeared for the Planescape campaign setting in the first Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1994).[20]

Dungeons and Dragons 3.0 Edition (2000-2002)

The marilith (tanar'ri) appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000);[21] in this edition, the name demon is resumed, and tanar'ri are now considered a sub-type of demon.

Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Edition (2003-2007)

The marilith appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003).

Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition (2008-)

The marilith appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008), again under the demon entry.[22]

Other Publishers

The marilith appeared under the "demon" heading in Paizo Publishing's book Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary (2009), on page 63.[23]

D&D Mariliths in Other Media

  • The marilith appears in the D&D Miniatures: Blood War set #55 (2006). Its stats correspond fully to the creature since the stat card features the Marilith being able to attack 6 times in a round.
  • In 2010, a depiction of a Marilith won second place in Something Awful's "Erotic Monster Manual Contest".[24]
  • Kalistes: One of Bane's underling in the computer game Pools of Darkness. In the game she commands a large army consisting of drow and spiders, and possesses the Ring of Reversal which steals the sun. She hides in an infernal demiplane called Kalistes's Palace. She does not cast spells, but attacks six times in a round with all hands, each wielding a +4 weapon.
  • Y'tossi: A tough Marilith that spawn together with a group of evil companions at the 5th level of Watcher's Keep in the game Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, as well as the sequel Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal.
  • Yxunomei: middle boss - Found in the game Icewind Dale in the deep bowels of Dragon's Eye.

In Other Games

  • Marilith appears (as the "Fiend of Fire") under the same name and form, in Final Fantasy I.[25]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Hellbound: The Blood War Boxed Set AD&D TSR 2621 Planescape
  2. http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fc/20050921a
  3. Teeuwynn Woodruff, Van Richten's Guide to Fiends (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons : Ravenloft, No 9477), 1995, Wizards of the Coast, ISBN 0-7869-0122-5
  4. Jesse Decker et al., The Shackled City Adventure Path, 1995, Wizards of the Coast, ISBN 0-9770071-0-3
  5. Bruce R. Cordell, Bastion of Broken Souls, 2002, Wizards of the Coast, ISBN 0-7869-2656-2
  6. Douglas Niles, DL14 Dragons of Triumph (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons : Dragonlance, No 9180), 1986, Wizards of the Coast, ISBN 0-88038-096-9 }}
  7. Bruce R. Cordell, Module Nemsis, Book of Chaos, guide for DMs from Planes of Chaos boxset, 2001, Wizards of the Coast
  8. AD&D Dungeon Magazine Issue 60, Wizard of the Coast.
  9. Carl Sargent, Night Below: An Underdark Campaign, 1995, TSR, ISBN 0-7869-0179-9
  10. Paul Kidd, Queen of the Demonweb Pits, 2001, Wizards of the Coast, ISBN 0-7869-1903-1
  11. Colin McComb, Well of Worlds, 1995, TSR, ISBN 1-56076-893-2
  12. Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb, Tymora's Luck, 1997, Wizards of the Coast, ISBN 0-7869-0726-6
  13. Book of Vile Darkness http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20030117a
  14. http://www.geocities.com/rgfdfaq/sources.html
  15. Gygax, Gary and Blume, Brian, Eldritch Wizardry (TSR) 1976
  16. Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  17. Mentzer, Frank. Dungeons & Dragons Set 5: Immortal Rules (TSR, 1986)
  18. Allston, Aaron. Wrath of the Immortals (TSR, 1992)
  19. Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  20. Varney, Allen, ed. Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix (TSR, 1994)
  21. Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  22. Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  23. Bulmahn, Jason (lead designer). Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary (Paizo Publishing, 2009)
  24. Parsons, Zack; Steve "Malak" Sumner (September 16, 2010). "The Erotic Monster Manual Contest Winners". http://www.somethingawful.com/d/dungeons-and-dragons/fantasy-art-2010.php?page=12. Retrieved August 24, 2012. 
  25. Massimilla, Bethany (December 1, 2004). "Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls (Game Boy Advance)". http://reviews.cnet.com/game-boy-advance-games/final-fantasy-i-ii/4524-9975_7-31163777.html. Retrieved August 24, 2012. 

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