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“His demands are simple: kill. Follow his commands and you shall know blessings beyond your dreams.” —Zaiden


Demon Prince of Gnolls, The Destroyer, Beast of Butchery, Ruler of Ruin


Chaotic Evil


Gnoll, Butchery, Destruction, Savageness, Annihilation

Abyssal Level

422 - Nameless (Often called Yeenoghu's Realm)

Children and Worshipers

Gnoll, Hyena, Hyenadon, Demons, Crocatta


Demon Lord, Ex-Primordial

There is nothing unique about the wanton violence of the Destroyer. All demons hunger for slaughter, and they all seek the end of all things. They all want to tear down the works of the gods and reduce all things to ruin. Where Yeenoghu differs, however, is in his ability to turn the business of killing into a breathtaking spectacle. With him, it is a form of art—if you can stomach the screams and noxious odors issuing from the dead. Yeenoghu is special because he embodies killing. He has few ambitions beyond the visceral thrill of rending the soft flesh of his enemies and drinking deep the hot blood from their bodies. He craves nothing more than the utter defeat of all those who stand against him and is relentless in his pursuit of feeding the emptiness of his existence with the frantic screams of those he slays. Butchery is the provender of Yeenoghu, and his single-minded pursuit of annihilation makes him a dangerous force in the infinite layers of the Abyss. On a throne of bone, in the dim light of a smoke-filled hall, surrounded by the sounds of screams and the endless grinding of the wheels far below, sits the Beast of Butchery. Yeenoghu, by those with the courage to address him as such, is a demon lords of the Abyss. As patron of the gnolls, he is worshiped as a god. As kindred to other fiends who carve out their own kingdoms in the Abyss, he is a terrifying scourge, a force of destruction, and a liability to the designs and ambitions of his rivals. Few aside from other more powerful demon lords dare challenge him or the reckless legions clambering to his banners because his forces are nigh unstoppable, and if Yeenoghu’s forces could maintain coherency for more than a single campaign, he might have emerged long ago as the true master of the Abyss. As history has shown, though, Yeenoghu is his own worst enemy, and he is frequently the cause of his own undoing. ^1^


Yeenoghu combines the worst features of a gnoll and demon in one immense form. Standing 12 feet tall, his body is gaunt and lanky, and patches of yellow fur stained with brown spots cover him. Leprous gray skin and suppurating wounds mar his body, revealing the corruption of his flesh and spirit. His head is a large, anthropomorphic hyena’s, with glowing red eyes and a toothy maw from which spills strings of drool. Always suspicious of treachery, Yeenoghu wears armor assembled from the pieces he scavenges on the battlefield, with bits of mail and plate held together by strips of flesh collected from his victims. His pride is his Triple Flail, an evil weapon constructed from the bones of the god, Gorellik, who he slew during the ancient wars between the deities and the primordials. The handle is a thighbone wrapped in Gorellik’s torn flesh. Three chains extend from the top of the handle, each ending in a rusty, barbed head. When used in combat, the weapon bleeds divine ichors, splashing the field with the tears and blood of the fallen deity. ^1^

Origins and Exploits[]

As a demon lord , Yeenoghu is a vehicle of destruction. Like many demon lords, Yeenoghu was once a primordial, but was transformed and awakened by the mysterious Chained God during the Enders War. As with other demons, Yeenoghu hungers for carnage, but also craves power over his rivals and the gods themselves. To this end, he goads his mortal servants into performing appalling acts of evil in his name throughout the lands. He admonishes his servants to show no mercy in their perpetual war—they must kill all creatures they encounter and take prisoners when the beings can serve as useful thralls. In the centuries after the war with the gods, the Ruler of Ruin has amassed his armies. His people in the natural world feed his layer with a steady supply of slaves and victims, and his altars run red with the blood of fresh sacrifices. He hungers for vengeance against those who have defeated or thwarted him in the past, craving the chance to destroy his enemies, but the centuries of warfare taught him the value of cunning. Rather than spend his servants in a useless bid to seize the Abyss, Yeenoghu turns his attention to his servants in the natural world. There, he works to empower the gnoll, giving them the strength they need to conquer the whole of the civilized lands and make the world his own. Such a conquest would make him more powerful than any god and thus enable him to mount an unstoppable assault against his enemies, the whole of the Abyss, and, one day, the entire cosmos. ^1^


  • Kill

Exarchs Allies and Followers[]

By far, the most numerous of Yeenoghu’s minions are those gnolls who abandoned the middle world to find new lives serving Yeenoghu. The gnoll packs are ubiquitous throughout the Dun Savannah, thinning near the shores of the Curseswallow, though they dwell near any shrines or temples to their evil master. Demons, in all their forms and shapes, make up a close second to the gnoll, though the most monstrous and unpredictable of demonkind call this layer home. Hordes of evistros claw and fight with each other and anything else they encounter, while barlgura demons move across the plains, smashing and killing as they go. Vrocks roost in the mountain peaks or circle the twisted towers of the few permanent settlements on the layer. While most gnolls find their lives cut astonishingly short fighting for the Beast of Butchery, a few claw their way to the top of his armies. Just a handful of gnoll champions ever fight their way free from the sea of violence to gain positions as commanders and advisors. In addition, Yeenoghu keeps a number of courtesans to ravish, kill, and sometimes eat. His insatiable lover and stalwart servant, a filthy gnoll named Rekla, lords over the mix of races and creatures. Yeenoghu has few allies in the Abyss. None of his peers trusts him, and few respect him. Yeenoghu does have his uses, however, and Graz’zt has maneuvered the Beast of Butchery into terrible battles with surgical precision and great cost to Yeenoghu’s own forces. Whether Yeenoghu realizes he’s being used or not isn’t certain, but it doesn’t matter since the Prince of Gnolls needs little excuse to kill. Yeenoghu deals with lesser fiends, forming alliances when doing so suits his moods. Such arrangements last only as long as Yeenoghu can stomach them and end in a bloody murder, with his ally’s entrails spilling to the floor of the Destroyer’s palace. In spite of the risks, ambitious fiends seek out the Ruler of Ruin to enlist in his service, some in the hopes of gaining power and status, others plotting to overthrow the savage demon lord and claim his demesne for themselves. Such demons might be selected to serve as exarchs for a time, but rare is the demon that can escape the dark one’s wrath. ^1^


Like most demon princes, Yeenoghu has a stable of exarchs to support his efforts on his own layer and see to his interests beyond it. Few exarchs remain for long, since their carcasses are crushed beneath the rolling wheels of his fortress when they invariably fail him. ^1^

Nezrebe The White Knight[]

One exarch, though, is the exception to the rule of short-lived servants Nezrebe, the White Knight. Nezrebe stands 9 feet tall, and he has a straight back, muscled frame, and bright crimson eyes. This gnoll is an albino, with sickening white-yellow fur about his face and covering much of body. It darkens to a filthy brown a this armpits and groin. Nezrebe disdains most armor, relying on his thick hide and inability to feel pain of any kind to carry him through battle. He wears a few pieces, which he has claimed from creatures he has slain. He wields a mighty bastard sword named Winnower, a grotesque weapon sporting the nicks and dings of Nezrebe’s many battles, but somehow as razor sharp as a freshforged weapon. From Winnower’s hilt hang a series of rotating charms—trophies Nezrebe has claimed from those opponents he has vanquished recently who were the most difficult to slay. Although a powerful combatant, Nezrebe fights off a foul consumption that causes him to cough up bloody chunks of his lungs. His master’s will allows him to survive—a fact that drives the exarch to greater and more appalling acts of violence to ensure he keeps Yeenoghu’s favor. Nezrebe is Yeenoghu’s favored exarch.

Nezrebe The White Knight

He takes his name from his white fur and his decidedly uncouth nature. He has a special hatred for elves and spends his time hunting elves that have been dragged onto his master’s layer. Inside Yeenoghu’s fortress, Nezrebe has special chambers set aside for tormenting captive elves. When not attending his master, Nezrebe sees to extending Yeenoghu’s realm into the Seeping Wood, a vast forest of foul flora and toxic fauna the Destroyer once ruled. There, Nezrebe leads forays into the wilderness, ousting minor demon lords who would carve out their petty kingdoms while also dealing with spies and agents of his master’s rivals. To warn off trespassers, Nezrebe crucifies elf slaves to mark lands under his control and to warn what will happen if he is crossed. ^1^

Dorsain King of Ghouls (Ex-Exarch)[]

During the height of Yeenoghu's reign as a demon prince he even commanded the respect of the legendary Ghoul-king, Dorsain. Although Doresain is no longer subject to Yeenoghu’s rule, ghouls and abyssal ghouls still lurk in the defiles and slopes of the Screaming Peaks. The ghouls aren’t loyal to Yeenoghu, but they have severed themselves from the King of Ghouls, making them an unpredictable lot. From time to time, Yeenoghu has had success in rousing these undead servants, but more often than not, the demonic ghouls prey on the Destroyer’s other minions after descending from their mountain lairs in a white-painted tide to crash upon the gnoll tribes. ^1^


The greatest concentration of Yeenoghu’s mortal servants comes from the gnoll tribes in the world. To them, Yeenoghu is their god and master. The Beast of Butchery was not always worshiped by the gnolls, for long ago these disparate tribes paid homage to a now almost forgotten god named Gorellik, their maker and the patron of hunting, beasts, and the wild. After murdering Gorellik during the ancient wars between the primordials and the gods, Yeenoghu absorbed the fallen god’s essence, created the Triple Flail and laid claim to his children, forever after staining the race with his own foul corruption. Not all Yeenoghu’s worshipers are gnoll, however. Any creature capable of embracing the beast within and who exults in killing, butchery, and slaughter can find a common purpose with this terrifying patron. Most nongnoll servants operate alone, performing obscene rituals in the light of the moon and eating the flesh of their living victims raw. A group of likeminded lunatics might gather and establish a small cult, but they soon draw attention, since their violent crimes escalate when gathered in groups.Yeenoghu is never selective about those he accepts into his cult and has, at best, a mild interest in his servants’ affairs. Indeed, many of his servants do not even realize whom they worship. The ceremonies are the same, involving the slow torture of their victims culminating in devouring their living flesh, regular blood sacrifices in moonlight, and an unflinching commitment to slaughtering one’s enemies. Cultists of the Ruler of Ruin haven’t always been relegated to the fringes of civilization and the filthy reaches of Yeenoghu’s Realm, and once, not long ago, they united long enough to mount a credible threat to the established nations in the world. ^1^

Customs and Practices[]

Among the gnoll tribes, worship follows certain customs and practices that vary from tribe to tribe. As with the solitary servants, the cultists scour the lands for fresh victims, dragging them back to hidden altars where they are strapped down and mutilated with sharp knives. The blood is collected and distributed among Yeenoghu’s high priests, which they then mix with hallucinogenic herbs and consume with relish.

A sacrifice to the Ruler of Ruin

When the cult performs a sacrifice, they hold the victim down on the altar while the leader carves off bits of flesh to give to the gathered host of warriors, which produces an incredible frenzy as the gnoll fight and claw to receive the sacrament of their master. The cultists save the viscera for last. Within these dripping organs, they believe they can see visions of the future and commandments from Yeenoghu, so they are careful to inspect each glistening chunk for the secrets they contain. Another common element is the refusal of cleanliness. Any follower of the demon prince must never bathe and must bask in his own odors, rubbing excrement, blood, and filth into his hide and vestments until he becomes a reeking heap crawling with maggots and disease. The more pungent the stench, the greater the cultist’s influence. Yeenoghu’s cults are a chaotic mess. At their cores are cabals of vicious, treacherous leaders who gain their positions by murdering their predecessors in spectacular and gruesome ways. These leaders must contend with rising stars within their own ranks, butchering those showing too much promise and ambition. Thus, the actual number of leaders is small, with the rest of the cultists rounded out by the tribe, who are warriors for the most part. ^1^

Shrines and Temples[]

Yeenoghu has a presence in the world, but has few shrines and fewer temples. His “holy” sites are bloodstained rocks in dark corners of the wilderness. Some include a single, jagged chunk of rock thrusting from the ground and scrawled with crude paintings and blistering curses smeared in blood and feces. In Yeenoghu’s Realm, the Beast of Butchery enjoys a more formalized following, and each group works in one of the three fortified cities marking the boundaries of his layer. These groups center their activities around grand temples of crimson stone—massive, six-tiered, five-sided ziggurats, darkened by the profusion of flies hovering above the sites. On each side, a broad staircase climbs to the zenith, while the tiers themselves hold gardens of screaming and weeping victims, each tortured and left to die slow deaths. The wreckage of all races can be found here, from orcs nailed to X-shaped frames, to halflings dangling from hooked chains, to wicked cages fitted with long barbs facing inward to penetrate the flesh of the dwarves, humans, and gnoll who occupy them. Each day, sometime after dawn, Yeenoghu’s cultist leaders select a victim from those on display. They draw forth their prey from the contraptions, drag them up the stairs to the bloody altar at the top, and promptly butcher them, tossing the bits of meat to rain down on the victims waiting for their turn at the top. ^1^

Notable Followers[]


Zaiden exemplifies the sort of gnoll who seeks control over more than one gnoll pack. An individual with great ambition and capable of unspeakable evil, she cleaves to a simple reading of Yeenoghu’s doctrine and commits herself to tearing down the works of civilization and painting the world crimson with the blood of her enemies. Her success has established an unmatched bond with the Destroyer, enabling her to tap into the raw stuff of the Abyss and bend it to her will. A paragon of the Yeenoghu’s evil nature, she is a force of chaos and evil in the land, and many adventurers have met bloody ends at her hands. 1

As the leader of Yeenoghu’s largest gnoll pack, she is fast becoming the mortal face of all that Yeenoghu exemplifies. Her path was set soon after she was born into this world, which is when she murdered her siblings and devoured the soft flesh of their innards. When she came of age, she butchered her mother as a sacrifice and took her father as her mate until she tired of him, which was an occasion marked by his execution when she read his innards for the portents they contained. Thereafter, Zaiden eliminated any other cultist seeking to usurp her position until the only ones left were those she personally had instructed in the vile ceremonies and practices of Yeenoghu’s blasphemous church.

Zaiden - Reading Yeenoghu's will from the entrails of a sacrifice.

Zaiden is a large female gnoll who stands just less than 7 feet tall and is possessed of a frame that’s nearly all muscle. Stinking yellow fur covers her, except around her mouth and small blue eyes, where the fur darkens to black. She wears filthy brown robes trimmed in yellow fur on the sleeves and around the fringe of the hood covering her head. Cured leather padding covers the shoulders of her robes. All her clothing bears the tell-tale signs of her work—they are spotted with dark blood and reeking of decay, body odors, and excrement. 1

Zaiden has no better understandings of the intricacies of Yeenoghu’s cult than does any other follower in his service, but what she does have is an animal magnetism—a powerful presence that allows her to cow her lessers. When her charisma fails, she’s not above using her fanged flail to instruct her followers in the virtues of obedience—often a fatal lesson. Her greatest asset is her arsenal of terrifying magical powers. Calling upon the will of Yeenoghu, she can break demons she binds and rip apart her foes with terrible curses. 1

Born into madness and evil, Zaiden has known nothing other than the bloodlust and carnage her master demands. She sees herself as the mortal extension of Yeenoghu’s will and exults in her status, even if it is only imagined. She demands absolute obedience from her minions and is quick to kill any who disappoint her. 1

Zaiden has a detached manner and a measure of self-control not found in most gnoll. When she’s hard-pressed in combat, she reveals the beast within as she drools and barks with insane bloodlust. Ropes of her stinking spittle froth from her lips and broken teeth to spill onto her robes, darkening her already befouled vestments. 1

Zaiden could be responsible for any number of plots and developments related to the Destroyer. She craves attention from her master and so she embarks on all sorts of depraved missions to catch Yeenoghu’s eye. Although she doesn’t want for power or influence, she has yet to receive a visitation from the demon lord, and until she does, she hatches more and more disgusting acts of utter depravity. One day, she’s certain Yeenoghu will take her as his bride and she will rule by his side. 1

Rivals and Enemies[]

Yeenoghu has no known alliences with the other lords of the Abyss and shares no alligence for or with any exarchs or gods. Indeed the immortals of the cosmos in fact view him as a great disease in danger of mutilating the entirety of the multiverse. So, It is fair to say that all immortals are rivals or enemies to the Ruler of Ruin. Though some do stand out above the crowd: 1





  1. Dragon 364 (Wizards of The Coast - 2008) - Demonomicon of Iggwilv:Yeenoghu By Robert J. Schwalb