|Species Type||Winged Fiend|
|Environment||Tristram catacombs, Aranoch tombs|
|Reproduction||Sexual; gives live birth|
|Prey||Lifeforce of intelligent species|
|Distinctive Features||Demonic appearance|
|Skin Color||Crimson red|
|Related Species||Blood Diver, Dark Familiar, Desert Wing, Familiar, Gloom Bat|
|Language(s)||Can understand Human speech|
|Capital City||Lut Gholein|
(Megabats and their relatives)
(Freewings; Megabats with wings, arms, and feet) (Somarinoa, 2019)
|Family||Alae (Bat Demons)|
|Genus||Nefastus (Winged Fiends) (Somarinoa, 2019)|
|Species||aranoch (Somarinoa, 2019)|
|Creator||Dark Cabal of Sorcerers (unnamed)|
|First Sighting||1263 (likely existed well before this, but this is their first recorded sighting)|
Fiends (Nefastus aranoch) are a species of Winged Fiend indigenous to Sanctuary. Though indigenous, they are not natural creatures; it is this that segregate them from the very closely related Bat Demons. Whereas Bat Demons are created via mutation from close proximity to demonic energies, Winged Fiends were purposely created on purpose using the same energies.
While they were fairly common in the catacombs beneath Tristram during the Darkening of Tristram and the awakening of Diablo, Fiends are the only species of Winged Fiend encountered in Tristram that is known to have survived into the greater expanse of the kingdom of Khanduras and into the deserts of the neighboring Aranoch, where it would come to be mistaken for a species of Bat Demon, or at least classified alongside their ilk.
Fiends are very similar to other Winged Fiends in that they are small, flying creatures that superficially have a humanoid body plan. Similar to most other Freewings, Fiends have grown a third set of limbs, allowing their wings to remain "free" while a secondary set of arms allow manipulation of objects. They are hairless with crimson red leathery skin, and possess a pair of long horns extending from their skull.
They can understand Human languages but can only reply with screeching. Due to their magical creation, they are capable of casting charged bolts as an offensive maneuver. Stronger members have gained an immunity to electrical injury.
Though they can be considered semi-sapient, and while they do possess hands to carry items, it is exceedingly rare that any will. Those that do appear to have a higher brain functionality than their kin, and these are usually given unique names to differentiate them. Those seeking gold or items should avoid these creatures, as they carry neither.
Some people are so hungry for power and knowledge that they are willing to sacrifice their humanity to the Lords of Hell in exchange for gifts that inevitably turn against them. One such group, a dark cabal of wizards, decided to take the power of creation into their own hands and magically created a race of creatures to act as servants and messengers. Using infernal abilities granted to them through their arcane pact, they formed small bat winged imps that they believed would prove useful in carrying out deeds that were too trivial for their own efforts. Each of the sorcerers created an entity that reflected his magical specialization. The creatures thus created were small, nimble and possessed an unnatural cunning.
At first the corrupt sorcerers were overjoyed at the success of their experiment, but they soon began to notice that the Alae did not serve them as loyally as they had hoped. The creatures had taken to secretly feeding from the very essence of their masters, weakening them and eventually killing them. The sorcerers tried to destroy their creations, but the fiends banded together to combat them. The Winged Fiends had been secretly breeding outside of the sorcerer's domains, and swarms of them attacked, killing their former masters. To this day, the descendants of these creations terrorize the countryside.
Do not underestimate these foul demons. They are physically weak, but possess great speed. Many of them possess unearthly abilities reflecting the powers of their creators and they also enjoy using their razor sharp claws and hooked wings to tear the flesh from the faces of their victims.