One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Baftis was originally referenced in Gary Gygax's preview of the devil section of the Monster Manual II in Dragon #75. However, when MM2 was published, she was not included on the list of the hierarchy of the Nine Hells. I regard that as an editing error, as it doesn't make a lot of sense for Baazebul to share a consort with Asmodeus (Bensozia is listed as both of their consorts in MM2). One might say that Baftis is the 'forgotten consort.'
Baftis is described as being proud, quiet and subservient, more than a little afraid of Baazebul, and rarely acts without his specific permission. This...doesn't give us a lot to work with.
Mechanically speaking, her notable powers are that she can use a finger of death once per day and she can heal herself or others by touch three times per day. She has genius intelligence, which makes her Baazebul's equal in intelligence and cunning. She also has treasure type D, G, a fact that will be important below.
Also, in an early indication of Ed Greenwood being Ed Greenwood, she is noted to be sensitive about the lighter shade of skin down her back and that someone mentioning "the pearly spine of Baftis" acted as a summons and she attacked the man.
From the comment about summons, it is clear that she can travel to the Prime Material Plane easier than most devils. Using her limited wish and heal ability, she can reasonably impersonate a cleric, attributing her actions to a non-existent deity. Referencing the Riches of Hell section in Dragon 91, both of Baazebul's planes produce a huge number of gems that make their way to Baazebul's fortress. Baftis' personal treasure gives her somewhere between 11-46 thousand GP, 1-20 thousand PP, 6-30 gems, 2-16 pieces of jewelry, a potion, a scroll, and 6 other magical items.
Why am I fixated on her money and possessions? In Fate of Istus, there is a false god of wealth and prosperity in the Great Kingdom named Baalzy that is actually the archdevil Baael. Well, there is no archdevil named Baael, but there is BAAzEbuL. With Baftis able to more easily travel to Oerth and provide the seeming clerical "proof" of Baalzy, it is clear that she is supporting her lord Baazebul in his aims on Oerth. When needed, she calls upon her lord to use his wish power, such as for the deal with Karoolck.
The politics of Ivid V's court may be twisted and convoluted, but they are child's play to the immortal Baftis. Her time on Oerth has also allowed her to point Baazebul towards corrupting others, such as Erac's Cousin/the nameless Hierarch.
This is the continuation of my series of Consorts of Hell where I am looking primarily at the 1st edition sources. I am not a fan of what 2nd edition did to the Nine Hells, and I don't recall if any of the consorts were mentioned outside of Glaysa and Cozbi showing up in a Paladin in Hell. I'm not even sure that Baalzephon holds up as a choice for Baalzy, since they reintroduced the archdevils under the "Lords of the Nine" title and Baalzephon's power doesn't seem sufficient to me.
I'll be honest, there was not a lot to work with for Baftis. I am going to have more than a few problems when I get to Glasya, as she has the most abbreviated writeup of them all, barring Tiamat's consorts who are mostly unnamed (I know Dragotha was later revealed to have been one).
This is the continuation of my series of Consorts of Hell where I am looking primarily at the 1st edition sources.
I understand that; l didn't intend "if you ignore Ivid the Undying" as a criticism. I'm just saying that within the boundaries you've drawn for this project, this seems like a solid theory. I've often thought it would be cleaner to use an archdevil than one of the Dark Eight, though Baalzephon's job title of Minister of Supply means there's a certain logic to her posing as a god of wealth.
I am going to have more than a few problems when I get to Glasya, as she has the most abbreviated writeup of them all, barring Tiamat's consorts who are mostly unnamed (I know Dragotha was later revealed to have been one).
Are you considering A Rose For Talakara in Dungeon #25 as a Glasya source?
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