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Alignment: Evil

Building destroyer: Level 2

· Flying · Trapavoid · No Exert · Fire immune · Learns · Fanciful · Humanoid

Cannot be tamed

Adult at: Birth
Max age: Immortal
Rotting leaves

(Value multiplier x50)

Bones 16
Skulls 1

Wikipedia article

Here, demons appear as red and green ampersands.

A Demon is an evil fast moving creature that will either severely wound or kill your dwarves and animals. Their attacks include projectile fireballs and hand-to-hand combat. Most are living and as such are especially vulnerable to weapons with high critical boost such as spears and crossbow bolts.

Demons are immune to stone-fall traps, weapon traps, cage traps and will destroy your doors and floodgates. At least some of them are able to fly and survive under water and magma.

Defenses against Demons[edit]

  • Demons, as large, living enemies, are somewhat susceptible to piercing damage - spear and arrows work well. A well trained, well equipped speardwarf can mix it up with frog and tentacle demons, however will likely not get the chance to close with a Spirit of Fire before being immolated by the Spirit's ranged fire attack. Spirits also lack most vital organs that spears target in any case. Spirits can be reliably brought down by marksdwarves, but expect losses on both sides of that matchup. You can significantly improve your survival rate by placing the marksdwaves behind fortifications - the incoming fireballs have a chance to not penetrate the fortifications, which is higher the farther away the demon fired from.
  • Siege weapons can be useful against demons. A ballista bolt will kill a demon, and a ballista fired down a narrow hallway channelling the demons into your field of fire will kill several. Use walls and fortifications to give your siege crew some protection from fireballs, and remember your crew will panic and run once the demons get too close, which will happen quickly as the demons are quite fast.
  • One effective anti-demon tactic is to equip your entire fortress with crossbows, quivers and bolts and order them all into 1-dwarf squads. Station every one dwarf squad on the same tile. The result should be a single tile capable of launching 60+bolts in seconds. Set a space 4-6 tiles closer to the demons as a meeting zone; spare animals will pile up there. In this method, any approaching demons will 'bump' into the horses and cats, and then be obliterated by incredible crossbow fire. Although eventually your defending creatures may be slaughtered, this tactic can allow you to survive demon pits with ease.
  • One thing you shouldn't bother trying is crushing the demons under a drawbridge. This used to be a highly effective (so much so that it was considered an exploit by some players) tactic, but in recent version the demon will break your bridge rather than vice-versa. You can, however, use drawbridges to block the passage of demons, since unlike doors and floodgates, demons will not demolish a drawbridge that blocks their path.
  • Demons will prevent a retracting bridge from operating whilst they stand on it, so you can't use one to drop them into a chasm. You may, however, be able to use a support and constructed floors to achieve the same effect.
  • Demons aren't susceptible to standard traps, but they will trigger them if you can find some technique to knock them unconscious first. Upright steel spikes linked to a lever (on repeat) works on everything - demons, refugees, migrants, pets - if they hold still long enough to be hit, or if you spike a large enough area. Also, cave-ins are lethal to all creatures, including demons.
  • Under no circumstances should you send an unarmed dwarf against demons, champion or otherwise. While this might seem like a good idea for an early encounter with demons, you're better off sealing the pit back up and going at it later.


Demon: The end boss. Only one of these will be released, leading a large number of "soldier" demons of the other three types (one type per pit). Larger and generally tougher than the other types of demons, they can also breath fire. The same type of demon that rules the goblin civilizations.

Frog demon: Arguably the easiest demon. Powerful combatant and can swim. The upper levels of their pits are muddy and contain pools of water surrounded by various vermin such as turtles, moghoppers, lungfish, and blood gnats.

Tentacle demon: Corrupt intentions. The upper levels of their pits are covered in filth, are decorated with engravings of depraved acts, and are populated with many additional prisoners which will quickly attempt to escape into your fortress.

Spirit of fire: Arguably the hardest demon. Cannot swim, launches fireballs, is surrounded by fire, a powerful combatant, and can fly. Limbs sever when broken. The upper levels of their pits contain additional pools of magma and are littered with ashes and charcoal (which are likely to be set on fire as the demons move past them).