Tieflings Species in Erisdaire | World Anvil


The ancient black sands of Moloch hold many secrets, and we keep watch over them. What was done in that dark year was an atrocity which shall not be repated by any other. We are stewards of the dark flame, bearing the cursed lineage forward as a warning to those who would seek power at any cost. So heed the lesson of Moloch! Some costs are not paid by you, but by those who come after.
— Loremaster Khylin Bloodbriar


Long ago, there were those who succumbed to the temptation of power at any cost, and tainted their bloodlines with extra-planar influences of Evil-aligned outsiders. That is the tale which is told about the origins of tieflings, and whether there is truth in this has been lost to time. It also is quite irrelevant, as tieflings carry with them an aura of menace and an unsettling presence which puts most others ill at ease. They tend to be more solitary when not in a gathering of their own kind, but they sometimes find their own kind even more troublesome to get along with.
For the most part, tieflings are outcasts and exiles who don't fit in the world most mortals would like to see happen. To be a "fiend-blooded" means having to work harder to show your intentions are not selfish or evil, and to retain trust once earned. This isn't helped by an outward appearance reminiscent of devils. Small curved horns, whiplike tails, dusky-red skin tones - in any combination of the three. No two tieflings ever look quite exactly the same, though some of these details are passed down through bloodlines.


Unlike celestials, tieflings do have a homeland they call their own. They call the ruined nation of Moloch their ancestral home, a place some in the modern days would call a myth or legend. It really did exist, and it really did fall into ruin leaving a great concentration of tieflings behind in its wake. The reasons for this are different depending on which recounting is reviewed, but the tieflings refuse to admit to any particular reason. For them, all that matters is they had a home once and now no longer do - until they build it again. For that, a group has founded the city of 'Akara Moloch' in the southern reaches of Rhyliss, and keep its location secret so it cannot be destroyed by those who fear and loathe tieflings.  

Favored Deities

Again unlike celestials, tieflings do not show reverence to particular deities as a whole, and perhaps even show some resentment towards the Evil or Chaotic aligned deities who some might expect tieflings to follow. Like celestials, tieflings may track down whatever source lays claim to their blood heritage and devote themselves to that deity. This choice is something neither race would truly admit to having a similarity with (as a matter of principle).

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Generally, the given names of tieflings are harsh to the tongue and guttural expressions similar to the infernal language. However, most tieflings who travel among the other races adopt a "spoken name" which is more along the lines of common human names. Inevitably, though, a spark of pride drives them to add an epitaph of some sort to their name to distinguish them. Usually referencing their infernally-tainted heritage or chosen walk of life.

Hence their given name might be "Brykyn" but they go by "Bryan the Witchfire" when among others.

Beauty Ideals

Being descended from humans, they tend to follow similar ideas of beauty and appearances - with a few exceptions and changes. The infernal taint on tieflings has rendered their skin a variety of colors which range from outlandish to more similar to established human skintones. Popular opinion is to consider the decidedly non-human skin tones to be more desirable to have, with a slight bias towards those which tend towards red. As body types go, tieflings already tend towards the slender and thus trend to value the wiry appearance over thick and stocky.

Horns or temple-ridges are almost always decorated somehow, sometimes with tattoos of metallic ink and sometimes by affixing metal bands with intricate runic carvings in place (depending on the physical form, of course). Unadorned horns are considered a sign of poverty at worst and humility at best; it is a rare few who can hold high esteem and not indulge in this practice at all. Similarly, earrings are worn in the form of silver or golden loops with gemstones or jewels on display, up to and including cuff-style fixtures.

When it comes to care of their hair, both male and female tieflings will wear it long and usually braid or otherwise gather it so it does not inhibit their activities. If they cut it shorter, it is usually a matter of pride or of necessity - and almost never shorter than chin-length. Close-shaven heads are popular among youth who feel the need to challenge this ideal, but almost all of them grow out of this concept.

Gender Ideals

While there are some cultures with strict gender roles, tieflings do not seem to care whether an individual is male or female. What matters is talent, personality, influence, and affluence. Thus you will often find a task done by those who have trained for it, rather than those who are expected to take those roles due to gender.

Courtship Ideals

When it comes to courting a potential mate, there is a decided difference in approach depending on the age and position of the individuals. Younger pairings tend to seek the approval of the parents through impressive pedigrees and deeds before pursuing a serious courtship, while older pairings will instead try to impress the opposite member in the same manner. This is not strictly regimented, nor are marriages arranged as a rule, but it is considered a major cultural misstep to forego this process. It is not exactly considered taboo to seek intimate relations with someone not your mate, but there is a minor social stigma to being born to those who had not become a married pair.

One of the more notable aspects which is misunderstood by outsiders is the need to show significant devotion to one's mate by defeating one of their parents in some fashion. This is incredibly ritualized, not necessarily resulting in serious injury or death; however, it is not unheard of for a father to be killed by his daughter's suitor. This has inevitably become the ideal most outsiders think of, when instead it is usually akin to a formal duel which ends at the first blood or for one party to yield.

Relationship Ideals

A marriage is generally considered a partnership rather than one individual being subservient to the other; that is not unusual, though it is not expected of any tiefling. What is expected is loyalty to one's mate; to defy them, or undermine them, is considered a strong taboo and an object of scorn from one's fellows.


In the distant past, there was a great kingdom which was known as "Moloch" to later generations. While it is still hotly debated by scholars what exactly happened, a few things are agreed upon to have taken place in the last years of the kingdom. A great war had been waged against an aggressive magical invader, and after continually losing territory King Dormandred the Second turned to relics of his ancestor's to seek help which would overpower the invaders and allow the people to fight back. The influence of what is popularly called "demons" or "devils" these days, but in the ancient years their nature was a little less objectionable.

Although the gods had rendered most of the relics useless, there was enough craftiness in the mystics serving the king to figure a way around the effort by binding the essence of those infernal beings into the bodies of willing vessels. The repeated use of these rituals caused a weakening in the veils which protected the world, threatening to tear a hole and allow darker powers to seep into Erisdaire against the will of the gods. As such, the deities took action as one unified force and smote the capitol city with divine fire so strong it scorched the land and rendered it into an inhospitable desert.

Those who had embraced the infernal taint on their bodies were the only survivors, but the experience had left them wary of repeating the same procedures. Their descendants proved this taint would weaken in successive generations, but small aspects would remain which would forever show the result of such bargains.
60 years


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