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Going through the 5e Monster Manual I noted that the Erinyes had been added to the book again in their absence from the 4e MM. But they are described as being part of the regular infernal hierarchy, vying for promotion to higher forms. From what I can tell this clashes with what has been described in Fiendish Codex II back in 3.5e. So I did some research on what this was like in other editions.

In the AD&D Guide To Hell a mention is made of Asmodeus putting his daughter Glasya in charge of the Erinyes (p.46), but the entry of the Erinyes makes no mention of them being a group apart of the rest of Hell. In 4e there are a few sporadic mentions of the concept of promotion (The Plane Above, p.66) but the Erinyes themselves are rather different (MM II p.64-65) as more warlike beings with their seductive aspects being taken over somewhat by the Warder Devil (The Plane Above, p.139) and the Succubus (MM I, p.67). But then again, the Succubus swings all over the place over the course of editions from demon to devil to generic fiend (2nd/3rd, 4th and 5th edition respectively).

But what is the case for the Erinyes in 5e as of now? Looking closely at their rules (p.73) reveals that they lack the Devil's Sight ability that all other devils have and instead have Truesight, something that they share with the Planetar Angels, who are 1 Challenge Rating higher than the Erinyes. This is reinforced by their description (p.69) which says that according to legend they were once angels.

Are they for now regular devils and part of the hierarchy or are they still outside of the regular rank and file because of their status as former Celestials? I understand that a DM can invoke the Golden Rule and say whatever they want, but I'm curious as to what is the "normal" state of things.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I feel like this should only have the 5e tag. Yes, it references previous editions, but it's about the status of erinyes in 5e. \$\endgroup\$ – Oblivious Sage Feb 12 '17 at 1:14
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On page 67 they are listed at #9 on the infernal hierarchy in the ranks of the greater devils. This is part of the general section on the Infernal Hierarchy.

Along with this text also on page 67.

Greater Devils. The greater devils include the pit fiends, erinyes, horned devils, and ice devils that command lesser devils and attend the archdevils.

So regardless of their origins the designer's intent is that they are part of the Infernal Hierarchy.

And note the exact text on page 69 is

Legends tell that the first erinyes were angels that fell from the Upper Planes because of temptation or misdeed

So at first the erinyes were fallen angels and probably the oldest and most powerful still are. But this implies are also erinyes that were promoted through the ranks.

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This is expounded on in official novels. Namely, the Brimstone Angel series. As of 5e, Erinyes are half-devil, half-humanoid (usually human). They are ruled by Glaysia in the 6th layer, but cannot advance. Also, if true devils die on the material plane, they are just reformed in the Hells, but Erinyes are forever dead (unless Asmodeus picks them from the pit and resurrects them, which happens a lot). They also make up the Pradixikai, Glaysia's royal guard, headed by the most powerful Erinyes, Invadiah.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What you're describing sounds like how the Brimstone Angel series described Cambions, not Erinyes. Erinyes were part of the hierarchy in Brimstone Angels- one got demoted down to the ranks of succubi in the series. \$\endgroup\$ – CTWind Feb 12 '17 at 1:10

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