We're well used to the mustache-twirling villains through fiction. It's a staple feature of detective stories and other tales of the dastardly and conniving. In fantasy, however, you're likelier to see the dashing hero or courageous king sporting a complete beard than the villain. Indeed, while there are exceptions like the dark wizard Saruman, evil seems to have a penchant for the fresh-faced: think vampires, ghouls, and evil knights.
That's definitely true of the evil beards of Dungeons and Dragons (DnD). As you battle through ancient wizards, terrifying monsters, and malevolent lords, you'll find a few bearded baddies for your party of adventurers to defeat.
However, there are some notable exceptions. Below we're covering the handful of bearded Dungeons and Dragons villains.
Delve too deep or too greedily beneath the city of Waterdeep, and you'll find the Undermountain: a vast dungeon created by the mad mage Halaster Blackcloak. His origins are unknown; his history is mere legend. Some say he's lived a thousand years and has the beard to prove it.
All anyone does know is that Halaster has lost his mind. He mutters to himself, ever distracted by strange visions and conjurings known only to himself. Yet, despite his mental frailty, Halaster is a formidable opponent. Beware of the beard!
As one of the leaders of the black network, the Zhentarim, Fzoul is a high priest of Bane – the cruel god of Tyranny. He schemes and plans to attract evermore followers under Bane's dominion. Fzoul is, therefore, considered among the most powerful men in all of Faerun. His access to magical items and artifacts means he's never scared to get his hands dirty.
In appearance, this religious fanatic looks something like an old German warrior. He has flowing blonde hair, often braided, and a long spindly mustache that looks irresistible to twirling.
Known as "The Old One," Iuz is the demigod of Deceit, Pain, Wickedness, Oppression, and Evil. Born a half-demon, Iuz rules the Empire of Iuz on Oerth – a large realm in the northern part of Flanaess. While once he was described as very handsome, his form was split: one part as a bearded old man, the other a seven-foot tall red-skinned demon.
Iuz is perhaps the most powerful bearded villain in the game. His titles include Old Wicked, The Old One, His Most Profane Eminence, Lord of Pain, Fiend of the North, Child of the Evil One, Master of the Dread and Awful Presences, and Iuz the Old.
For all those who tread the skull-lined road towards his capital, only death awaits.
Far from the hairless, flap-headed monster familiar to fans of Stranger Things, Demogorgon is depicted as hairy in most DnD incarnations. We should not confuse the Demogorgon with Demogorgon. The latter being the self-titled Prince of Demons: a pure embodiment of chaos, madness, and destruction. Others call him Sibilant Beast and Master of the Spiraling Depths.
While we can debate if Demogorgon has donned a beard or a mane, the result is the same. Like all great monarchs, this two-headed leviathan has a little bit of beard fluff tucked under his chin.
In The Apocalypse Stone, among the final adventures for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Prince Garloth Pescheour betrays his family, bringing about the end of the world with an item called the Stone of Corbinet.
However, Garloth is doomed to pass away with the rest of the world and fights amid the Black Keep to find the spell that'll allow him to escape his fate. As a level twenty mage, Garloth is a fearsome opponent. But, unless he is defeated, doom is foretold.
Hidden in the frozen reaches of the north, Frost Giants possess some of the biggest beards in all of DnD. Primarily used to protect them from the cold, they're vulnerable to fire. Frost Giants are known to shrink back from flames, and their beards are a prime target for attacks.
If you cross a Frost Giant, there's no way to talk your way out of the situation. You must fight to win. So, keep some fire handy in the frozen lands, or else you may find yourself turned into supper.
Known also as the Lord of Lies and Prince of Evil, Asmodeus is a devilish-looking creature. Hooved and imposing, a cackling laugh often shrieks from above his pointed beard. Of all the evils in the Nine Hells, Asmodeus is the pinnacle of tyranny, reigning in the 9th layer, Nessus. Not content with the souls of mere mortals, he seeks to contract heroes and gods into becoming his new servants. His goal is nothing less than to become ruler of the entire multiverse.