|Asmodeus, Ruler of the Nine Hells|
This guide is an outline of the rulers and major players of Hell in Dungeons & Dragons. I did my best to compile information from all of the major sourcebooks from past editions to try to help you determine how best to use the archdevils in your campaign.
Good Resources: I found that the single best resource for this was Dragon Magazine #400. It contains both parts of the legendary article on the Nine Hells by Ed Greenwood. There is a ridiculous amount of information and this thing only costs five bucks.
Other useful products:
I always repeat this, because it took me years to understand the difference between devils and demons in D&D.
- Devils are lawful and they live in Hell.
- Demons are chaotic and they live in the Abyss.
There are 9 layers of Hell, each with its own ruler. Some rulers were replaced as the editions of D&D went on. This is the current 5th edition roster:
- Avernus, ruled by Zariel
- Dis, ruled by Dispater
- Minauros, ruled by Mammon
- Phlegethos, ruled by Belial and Fierna
- Stygia, ruled by Levistus
- Malbolge, ruled by Glasya
- Maladomini, ruled by Baalzebul
- Cania, ruled by Mephistopheles
- Nessus, ruled by Asmodeus
The Role of Archdevils in Hell
|Glasya as she appeared in 1st Edition|
Archdevils: An archdevil is a unique devil. Pit fiends are the top of the food chain among normal devils. Only archdevils are more powerful than them. All of the current and deposed rulers of the Nine Hells as well as dukes, duchesses and advisers are archdevils.
Things to know:
- Asmodeus can give archdevils power or take it away. He is a god as well as Hell's supreme ruler.
- Asmodeus chooses who rules each layer.
- Asmodeus invests some of his own essence in each ruler, giving them the power to control and manipulate their own layers.
- Each archdevil has a court of advisers and nobles.
- The rulers of Hell can form avatars of themselves to go into other realms.
- The rulers can shape their layer in their image.
- In some editions, they don't deal with the Blood War - that's the job of the pit fiend council known as the Dark Eight.
- Archdevils, even dukes, are above the Dark Eight in the hierarchy.
- A devil's name gets longer as it is promoted. Archdevils actually have it shortened.
The War of Rebellion
|Beleth and his imps during the War of Rebellion|
Each edition had a different take on how Hell came to be. In the 4e version, there was once a deity called He Who Was. His angelic servants included Asmodeus, Malcanthet, Mephistopheles, Geryon and many more major entities.
In this version of history, Baator was a verdant world of great beauty.
Asmodeus was an angel of virtue and chastity. His job was to guard the prison of the mad god, Tharizdub. Pazuzu the demon lord showed up and started corrupting Asmodeus, telling him he was too good for this job.
Asmodeus began hearing whispers from the seed of chaos in the Abyss. He abandoned his post, took a shard of it and placed it in hi scepter.
Fully corrupted, Asmodeus led a rebellion against He Who Was. The war ravaged Baator and turned it into a hellscape.
At the end of the Battle of Blood-Dimmed Stars, an angel named Alloces captured one of Asmodeus's officers. His lust for torturing the enemy repulsed his allies. Alloces realized that he had to defect and join Asmodeus. He did so soon after.
At the Battle for the Bridge of Storms, Geryon betrayed He Who Was and joined the rebels. Amon, who had been a staunch loyalist of He Who Was, swore an oath of fealty to Geryon right there on the battlefield.
Asmodeus convinced Bensozia, one of the wives of He Who Was, to betray her husband.
Beleth, lord of imps, secretly fed Asmodeus information from his network of imp messengers. Eventually he abandoned He Who Was and joined Asmodeus.
Asmodeus killed He Who Was. The god cursed Asmodeus with his dying breath, imprisoning him in Baator/Hell forever.
Many of the fallen angels began to regret what they'd done, but it was too late. They lived on, became devils and formed what is now known as the Nine Hells.
The Reckoning of Hell
Perhaps the most momentous event in the history of Hell is The Reckoning, a massive civil war between the archdevils. Belial had been trying to broker peace until Glasya murdered his wife, Naome. After that, everyone was ready to go to war.
Alliances shifted, but the sides of the war looked like this:
Mephistopheles with Dispater, Mammon and Geryon
Baalzebul with Moloch, Belial and Zariel.
Surprise Attack: The Reckoning began when Zariel took an army meant to be brought to the Blood War and sent it to Dis, instead. At the same time, Moloch and Belial sent armies into Stygia.
Retaliation: Mephistopheles and his allies withstood the assault and pushed back. It came down to a massive battle in Maladomini - millions of devils doing battle.
Armies Turn on Their Masters: Geryon was secretly loyal to Asmodeus and engineered a situation where all of the pit fiend generals on both sides turned against their lords at once. These pit fiends became The Dark Eight, a governing council of Hell.
Surprising Punishment: Asmodeus actually exiled Geryon as punishment, the only devil loyal to him. Levistus took over his layer of Stygia.
The pit fiend generals became the Dark Eight. There are also stories that a pit fiend named Cantrum was the founder.
|The Archdevils of 2nd Edition|
|Asmodeus, Lord of the Devils and a God.|
“I have heard it said evil is nothing more than good’s absence, as if evil was the darkness to good’s light. A comforting thought, I imagine, for those seeking redemption, but, I tell you, put such thoughts from your mind. You need only peer into a demon’s eyes to know evil is not some vacuum waiting for virtue to come and fill its emptiness. Evil is a force. It is an influence in the cosmos, an agency equal to or perhaps even greater than its antithesis. There are two sides in this eternal struggle, one light and the other dark. You might find evil’s works reprehensible, yet to those whose hearts belong to corruption, good deeds are equally deplorable. Understand, there is no redemption, only treason against the side you were born to serve.”
—Asmodeus, Lord of the Nine Hells (from the 4e Book of Vile Darkness)
Asmodeus, Prince of Evil, the Dark Lord, the Lord of Lies, Overlord of Hell, the Lord Below: He is as strong as a storm giant and his palace is on the floor of the lowest rift in Hell. Once per year he can command the archdevils to attend his court and pay homage.
The Ruby Rod: Asmodeus wields an extremely powerful magic item. It is a magic ruby rod worth one million gold. In 4th edition, it is aid that a shard of the seed of evil is embedded in it. It has many properties:
- Whoever wields it rules Hell.
- Making it involved the blood of 1,000 mortal sacrifices, quenching it in Tiamat's acid and polishing it with the tears of 777 angels.
- It is 4 feet long and the tip is a clawed fist clutching a skull.
- It has the names of good gods written on it backwards.
- It can strike an enemy and fire off two spells all at the same time.
- It has an aura of might - those close to it must save or bow down for 1 round.
- Reverie of Nessus: It has an incredible power that allows the wielder to encase themselves in a wall of force, protected by a 50 foot radius antimagic field. Spending three rounds in this bubble means you are at full hit points, all conditions are removed and your limbs have regenerated, if any had been cut off.
Soon, Asmodeus wanted to overthrow He Who Was. He recruited one of the wives of He Who Was, Bensozia, for aid. Asmodeus was joined by his most loyal allies along with angels and knights:
- Amon, Geryon's loyal ally
- Graz'zt (!)
Outcome of the Rebellion: They failed and fled to Baator, now known as Hell. The angels became warder devils or erinyes, and the knights became hell knights.
Bensozia became his wife, bitter and resentful.
|2e Asmodeus couldn't be called by name|
Baator Was a Paradise? 4th edition contends that Baator was a lush, wonderful world that turned into Hell during the massive battle against He Who Was. This contradicts the 3e story that Hell was home to the mysterious, evil Ancient Baatorians before devils existed.
Over time, Asmodeus became an actual god as well as an archdevil.
Asmodeus is a Cosmic Snake? The Guide to Hell has a completely different origin story for Asmodeus. Ready? At the beginning of time, there were two cosmic serpents that expressed the duality of law:
- Jazirian: Winged and feathered, good.
- Ahriman: Had scales and a forked tongue, evil.
Ahriman changed his name to Asmodeus. In this scenario, Asmodeus is an uber-god who is trying to collect souls to gain the power to escape Hell. Jazirian is the god of couatls, quietly watching and waiting.
Avatars of Asmodeus: He can maintain up to ten avatars at once, allowing him to have a piece of himself on every layer. He can only have one on the prime material plane and he can't maintain any other when doing so.
The Angels are Warder Devils: The bloodthirsty angels of protection that fought alongside Asmodeus in the rebellion have become warder devils, bodyguards and protectors.
The Pact Primeval: An agreement signed by lawful deities that established the system of punishing the damned. There are three copies of the Pact. Asmodeus has his in a heavily-guarded vault deep in Nessus.
Graz'zt the Demon Lord was a Devil: According to some 4e sourcebooks, Graz'zt was once a devil and a trusted adviser of Asmodeus. Asmodeus sent Graz'zt to invade the Abyss to seize the seed of evil. Graz'zt took three layers of the Abyss, but Orcus and Demogorgon were able to halt his rampage. Graz'zt ended up staying in the Abyss and became corrupted. Graz'zt went from devil to a demon lord who rules the three realms that he took.
Glasya Almost Killed Graz'zt: This did not go over well with Glasya, daughter of Asmodeus. When Graz'zt first betrayed the devils, Glasya attacked him. He was on the verge of defeat, when his spilled blood formed into a type of demon now known as babaus. Glasya was swarmed and had to flee.
How Asmodeus Became a God: In the 5e Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide it is said that Asmodeus consumed the divine spark of Azuth (the forgotten realms god of wizards) and through it he achieved godhood.
Asmodeus and Pazuzu: In the 4e Demonomicon, it mentions that the demon lord Pazuzu tricked Asmodeus some way long ago.
Asmodeus, Enemy of Fire Genies: Some believe that fire genies once served Asmodeus but rebelled against him long ago.
Malcanthet Still Wants Approval: Malcanthet led an army of devils into the Abyss at the very beginning of the Blood War. She conquered the abyssal layer of Shendilavri and turned it into a paradise. The Abyss eventually corrupted her and she became a demon lord. Despite this, Malcanthet still wants the esteem of Asmodeus. She hates Graz'zt and sees him as a rival for the attention of Asmodeus.
|Nyxthseht, aspect of Asmodeus|
Nyxthseht, Aspect of Asmodeus: An aspect of Asmodeus named Nyxthseht is trapped in an iron flask. Nyxthseht personifies the persuasive voice and fearful countenance of Asmodeus. He has a lesser ruby rod and can cast spells of up to 8th level. This is a really cool thing to drop into a campaign (It's from Dungeon Magazine #111).
Nyxthseht commanded a host of bearded devils in the blood war. Nyx carries a lesser version of the ruby rod and can cast 8th level spells
The Vallis Crystal: It is said that Asmodeus is very intent on obtaining the Vallis Crystal, a magic gem that contains an entire world in it. Asmodeus believes he can use the world as a new source of souls or to develop an entire planet full of worshipers.
Asmodeus and Baalphegor, the Consort of Mephistopheles: It is said that Asmodeus puts up with Mephistopheles because he has great respect for the intellect of Baalphegor. With Bensozia, the consort of Asmodeus dead, you get the feeling that Asmodeus might eventually try to have Baalphegor betray Mephistopheles and join him as the new Queen of Hell.
The Pact With the Gods: There is an angelic city in the astral plane called Hestavar. Asmodeus struck a deal with the three gods who lived there (Pelor, Erathis and Ioun). He handed over an artifact known as the Arrow of Fate and in return devils could have access to Hestavar. As long as the Arrow of Fate is sealed away on Hestavar and no deviltry is committed, the angels and devils are free to co-mingle.
Asmodeus Killed a God: Apparently, Asmodeus killed a god in Phlegethos. The god's grave is underneath the city of Abryomach, and the angels of the god burn in the lake of fire.
Reignited the Blood War: In 4th edition, there was a ceasefire in the Blood War. It was believed that Asmodeus was planning an attack very carefully that would reignite the war. In 5th edition, the Blood War is back on, possibly thanks to Asmodeus.
The names of the hellships are named after the form of torture that powers them. Here's three:
- Chew Your Own Heart Out
- Fourfold Impaler
- Dire Command: Grant an ally an attack
- Clever Switch: Cause two people to switch places as one is about to be hit.
Nobles and Allies
The Malsheem Guard: 1,001 brazen devils who protect the palace of Asmodeus.
(Dead) Bensozia, Queen of Hell: Cold and haughty, she was dominated by Asmodeus. She had long white hair, black eyes, red skin and a ruby-studded diadem worth 26,000 gold. Bensozia was actually a bride of He Who Was. She turned against him to be part of Asmodeus's rebellion. She regretted it immediately.
Eventually, Bensozia began secretly meeting with Levistus, lord of Stygia. Together they were plotting ways to kill Asmodeus. Levistus began a relationship with her daughter, Glasya. When Glasya walked in on Levistus and Bensozia together, she killed her mother.
Adramalech is utterly disloyal, spying on and hiding things from Asmodeus. None are sure why Asmodeus tolerates it.
He has two extremely potent items
- The Book of Fire: It contains the truenames of thousands of devils, possibly more than what are in the infernal records.
- Adramalech's Staff: If a creature is hit by it, they must make a save or be disintegrated.
Phongor, Inquisitor of Hell: His job is to keep up with the news of Hell. He forces Adramalech's spies to report to him first and he also has his own agents, the indwelling devils. He is perhaps the most skilled torturer in the multiverse and he literally can feel no pain. He has white skin, pink eyes and he always has his whip with him.
Alloces, the Butcher of Nessus, the Prince of Beasts, the Father of Monsters: Alloces was a torture enthusiast even when he was an angel serving He Who Was. In Hell, Alloces is an interrogator and mad surgeon working under Asmodeus.
He also works as an animal breeder and kennel master. Alloces claims to have created some legendary creatures:
- He infected the first lycanthropes.
- He created the first flesh golem.
Machalos, the Sutured Fiend: Machalos was a pit fiend underling of Geryon. When Geryon fell, Levistus came in and killed most of Geryon's devils, grievously wounding Machalos and Cozbinaer, Geryon's consort.
Cozbinaer used a magical gas to keep herself alive. Alloces saved Machalos by stitching troll parts to his body, along with the parts of angels.
Machalos now serves Alloces, but he is starting to resent Alloces for not making him a better body.
Buer: He commands 15 companies of pit fiends. Buer pretends to be depressed or a practical joker to keeps those close to him on their toes. He is a devil centaur with silver skin and white hair. Six massive tentacles grow out of his back.
Bune: He commands 30 companies of war devils. Greedy and manipulative, Bune treats those he fears poorly. He looks like a war devil with green scales
Morax: Leads 9 companies of pit fiends and he despises weakness. He has a bull-like head, bat wings, dark skin and red eyes. Spines grow from his chest.
Rimmon: Leads 5 companies of ice devils. He is nasty and sarcastic, but loyal to Asmodeus. Rimmon looks like an ice devil with a human head.
Zagum: Commands 30 companies of barbed devils. Zagum is ambitious and he prefers humor to cruelty. He has red skin, yellow eyes and a 15 foot long tail.
Baalzebul, Lord of Maladomini, the 7th Layer of Hell
Duke Baalzebul: Baalzebul thrived and became an archdevil who ruled two layers. He eventually lost control of one. At that time, Baalzebul was a devil with red-orange skin and a six-tailed lightning whip.
Mortal Followers: Baalzebul is worshiped by Bugbears.
Abilities: He can spew a cloud of flesh-eating flies and his touch wastes away blood, muscle, and sinew
The Reckoning of Hell: Asmodeus repelled the attempts and punished Baalzebul by turning him into a hideous slug-devil. Baalzebul's lair reflects his current state - it is full of garbage, flies and filth.
Redemption: Baalzebul is trying to win Asmodeus over by proving that Mephistopheles and Dispater are plotting against him.
Revenge: Baalzebul hates Mephistopheles and routinely ends armies into his layer of Cania. Baalzebul thinks that if he can defeat Mephistopheles and take his layer, it will reverse the effects of The Reckoning.
Pit Fiend Ban: All pit fiends are banned from Malbolge, as Baalzebul thinks they are spies and puppets of Asmodeus.
Meazels: The meazels, a race of monsters similar to goblins, were tricked by Baalzebul. He offered to save them from a plague. He did, but they found that food did not nourish them anymore. Only the flesh of sentient humanoids sate their hunger.
Baalzebul Despises Glasya: He sends assassin devils to try to kill her routinely. He rightly blames Glasya for The Reckoning.
Servants: He is served by swarm devils, flies who form humanoid-shaped masses.
Brand of Maladomini: This magical boon offered by Baalzebul gives a bonus to stealth. It also gives powers:
- Corrosive Grab: You secrete a slime through your pores that burns those who touch it.
- Foul Excretions: You leave a slime trail that can cause people to fall prone.
- Lilith's Caress: A magical whip that drains strength. She likes to use it to whip foes until nothing but quivering flesh remains.
Malcanthet eventually became a demon lord. Lilith settled for being a consort to the hideous archdevil, Baalzebul.
Baalzebul Used Her: As a gift, Baalzebul gave Lilith to Moloch back when he ruled Malbolge. When Moloch was ousted by the Hag Countess, Lilith became consort to Baalzebul once more.
In the court of Moloch, she feuded with the Hag Countess. She hates Baalzebul and schemes to overthrow him.
She Wants Equality: What Lilith really wants is true equality with the archdevils and gods. As an angel of love, she was created to serve He Who Was. She wants her kind to rise up to their level.
Lilith Tortures Paladins: Lilith loves to torture paladins and then demand that they renounce their faith and embrace her as their mistress. When they do so, she kills them and they are reborn in hell as larvae right before her eyes.
She Created Lillitus: It is said that Lilith created the elite succubi known as the lillitus through a ritual involving the burning of a holy place.
Witches Revere Lilith: Witches and others from many mortal realms revere Lilith. She is somewhat indifferent to them, despite the fact that this could aid her in many ways. They actually summon her sometimes.
Lilith Grants Wishes: She has the power to grant limited wishes to others.
Baftis, Consort of Baalzebul: Bileth was the first consort of Baalzebul. Lilith is the second, as she was taken from Moloch. Bileth has red skin, bat wings and eyes of lavender hue. She is self-conscious about the skin on her back - it looks like the skin of a caucasian human.
Neabaz, Herald of Baalzebul: Physically weak, Neabaz uses magic items to compensate. He can unleash a foot-long probiscus from his mouth to suck blood with. He spreads the word of the great slug far and wide, using the flies of Phlegethos are his eyes and ears. He wears a red cape that can emit an aura of flame. He also wields a flame tongue sword.
Barbatos, Marshal of Maladomini: He controls Baalzebul's armies. Barbatos is very reserved and seemingly loyal. He has red skin, green eyes and a rich, persuasive voice.
Abigor: He commands 60 companies of war devils. Abigor is black-skinned, hairless and has large red bat wings.
Zebar: Zebar commands 28 companies of war devils and he likes to take his problems out on lemures. He wears red armor, has one hoof and one human-like foot that has retractable claws.
Bodyguards: Baalzebul has three pit fiend bodyguards named Teurn, Wysturak and Yaghiq.
Vashaak Ratoh Bruu: This is Baalzebul's favorite servant. He is the offspring of one of the Hag Countess's powerful medusa servants. He was a gift from the Hag and wears an iron mask to protect others from his medusa gaze.
Belial and Fierna, Rulers of Phlegethos, the 4th Layer of Hell
|Belial and Fierna|
Belial and Fierna: A father-daughter team with a perverse relationship, together they rule the fourth layer of Hell. As time went on, Belial became increasingly wary of Fierna's close relationship with Glasya, daughter of Asmodeus. Belial spent a lot of time spying on his daughter and believed she was being manipulated.
In 5th edition, it is said that Belial and his daughter have an unbreakable alliance. They believe that their mutual survival hinges on it.
Master of Loving: Belial revels in the pleasures and pains of the flesh.
Fierna and Fire: Fierna is called "Fierana" in Dragon Magazine 223. She likes to bathe in boiling magma and allows the pit fiend Gazra to govern. She has absolute control over all flame in her layer. Cold and water do not harm her. Fierna fights with a blade of fire that she can summon at will.
Former Consort Of Belial: Belial's late consort was named Naome. She was murdered by Glasya, daughter of Asmodeus. Fierna actually replaced her mother as Belial's consort.
Fierna and Glasya: Fierna and Glasya are actually friends. They've grown closer over time and many believe that Glasya is up to something. The thinking was that Belial would be banished relatively soon.
Belial Was Out: In 4th edition, it was said that Belial had handed the realm over to Fierna. In 5th edition, he is listed as co-ruler again.
Servants: Fierna is served by passion devils, shapechanging infiltrators. She is also served by pleasure devils, seducers that are promoted from erinyes.
|Fierna aka "Fierana"|
Brand of Phlegethos: This magical boon offered by the rulers of Phlegethos gives a bonus to diplomacy. It also offers magical powers:
- Wicked Fantasy: You can touch someone and fill them with unspeakable desire or horror.
- Pleasure from Pain: You enjoy pain and actually get bonuses to rolls when you take damage.
(Dead) Naome: She was Belial's consort with a reputation for her skill in resolving disputes and bargaining. She was short, burly and middle aged. She was killed by Glasya when Naome started speaking out against her schemes prior to The Reckoning.
Chamo, Legate of Belial: Chamo has a staff that holds the skulls of sixteen paladins. He is a red-skinned, white-haired, middle-aged devil with horns and hooves
Balan: A loyal supporter of Belial, Balan is violent and unliked. He is a giant yellow-skinned devil with a beard, flaming eyes and a forked tail. Balan despises Bathym for supporting Fierna.
Bathym: A black-armored humanoid who rides Foul Wind, a half-devil cauchemar nightmare. Bathym's skin is a dead fishbelly-white color. He owns two legendary weapons:
- Bleakness: An enchanted spiked mace that bleeds darkness and can shut down any light spell.
- Incisor: A magic short sword that channel Batym's poisonous hate, doing actual poison damage.
Bathym and Balan led Belial's armies during the Reckoning. When it was over, Belial put forward his daughter to distract attention from himself - an act of cowardice that divided the court.
Tymphal: A mechanical genius and master smith. He works and resides in a volcano called Tymphalos, the Mouth of Iron. He has hundreds of devils and duergar that work for him. He distrusts Fierna and tries to ignore events outside his workshop,
Gaziel: Leads 11 companies of bone devils.
Gazra: Gazra is a pit fiend lives in a crystal castle on Phlegethos who is always guarded by 20 hamatula. He oversees the first 4 layers of Hell using his army of 5,000 hamatula to enforce his will. Fierna gives him a lot of power in Phlegethos. Gazra is Fierna's consort and is secretly jealous of Belial. If Fierna were to ever leave him, he would join Levistus in Stygia.
Dispater, Ruler of Dis, the 2nd Layer of Hell
Dispater, the Iron Duke, the Father of Strife: He is handsome, influential and he runs the Iron City of Dis. The city is filled with zombies, erinyes and "a sprinkling of barbed devils and malebranche."
The Rod of Dispater: A symbol of Dispater’s authority, this adamantine rod is shaped like two serpents entwined together. It grants the power to scour foes with acid. It acts as a staff of striking and a rod of rulership.
Dispater favors the erinyes, because they are competent and unswervngly loyal.
Hiding in the Tower: After The Reckoning, Dispater stayed in his Iron Tower, fearful of retribution or betrayal. He developed a paranoid mindset.
Dispater is Invulnerable: It is said that Dispater cannot be harmed when he is inside the Iron Tower of Dis. That is why he stays there as much as possible. Weapons pass through him and spells melt harmlessly on his person.
Unique Powers: Dispater has the ability to trigger memories and make people relive their lowest moment. The touch of Dispater can rust metal or turn beings of flesh into immobile iron statues.
Dispater Dislikes Fallen Angels: This contradicts other editions, but you could do some cool stuff with it. According to the 2e Guide to Hell, Dispater likes true devils and hates fallen angels like Baalzebul. In 4th edition, it is said that all of the original archdevils, including Dispater, were servants of He Who Was.
Raging Paranoia: In 3rd edition, Dispater was extremely paranoid and tried to make friends with all of the archdevils, which was impossible. He became wary of his own servants and had them spy on each other.
Bodyguards: At one time, the warder devils served Asmodeus. Now, most of the warder devils of the Nine Hells serve Dispater as bodyguards. Dispater also has constructs known as Infernal Ironguards who specialize in blocking attacks and pushing enemies back.
Hell's Furies: He has five Erinyes consorts who protect him, all are pale, beautiful women with black-feathered angelic wings and red eyes. They have the power to light their arrows on fire with a glance before letting them loose. They hate each other and often hurl insults back and forth when bored.
Ustyhrin-ja: Ustyhrin-ja is a heavily scarred and extremely paranoid erinyes who is closest to Dispater. Dispater is the only person she trusts. She is famous for rooting out spies among the erinyes in Dis.
Isaldurax the Fallen Dragon: Isaldurax was an agent and ally of Bahamut, the good god of dragons. Dispater attacked his earthmote in the astral plane and stole a mortal who had a shard of Bahamut's essence inside of them. Isaldurax was overcome with self-loathing and has become sullen and sinister. Dispater thinks Isaldurax is being corrupted, but nobody is sure.
The Soul of Gith: Dispater's prize possession was the soul of Gith, the woman who led the rebellion against the mind flayers that freed the githyanki and the githzerai from slavery. Her soul actually broke out and escaped the Iron Tower of Dis and she fled to Tu'Narath.
Dispater killed Bahamut's Advisers: In 4th edition, Bahamut (the god of good dragons) was slain by Tiamat. Dispater took the opportunity to corrupt Dakranad, a good dragon. Dakranad let Dispater into Bahamut's temple in Celestia, where Dispater and his devils killed all seven of Bahamut's golden dragon advisers.
Dispater wanted to obtain a shard of Bahamut's soul, but he failed and Bahamut ended up being resurrected. The golden dragons may have been raised as well.
Brand of Dis: This magical boon lets you grow eyes all around your body so that you can see everywhere at all times
Nobles and Allies
Lilis, Consort of Dispater: She has orange skin and looks like a short, plump "well-preserved" female of human middle-age with horns and wings. She can cause insanity by touch and she is a clever strategist.
Arioch: He is in charge of avenging slights to Dispater's honor and rooting out treachery in Dis. He has a flat, reptilian head with a lion's mane. His skin is dark red and he has great black wings.
Biffant: He is a portly, blood-red devil who always smiles. He's an administrator-type.
Merodach: A winged wolf who leads 21 companies of barbed devils.
Alocer: He is a lion-headed humanoid who can blind you just by looking at you. He leads 36 companies of Erinyes.
Bitru: Commands 70 companies of erinyes.
Furcas: Commands 12 companies of bearded devils.
Titivilus: Nuncio is the messenger and representative of Dispater. Notorious for his ability to twist words, Titivilus looks like a satyr with bat wings.
He has a power called corrupting whispers. With it, he can spew a blasphemous torrent of damning words that cause one person to turn lawful evil for d8+1 hours if they fail a saving throw.
Some people think that Titivilus is actually Dispater in disguise. Most devils fear him because of his tremendous clout in Dis. Only Arioch the Iron Avenger, Dispater's enforcer, does not.
Glasya, Ruler of Malbolge, the 6th Layer of Hell
Glasya, Princess of Hell, Queen of the Erinyes, the Dark Prodigy: She is the daughter of Asmodeus. For a long time, she was a flighty socialite uninterested in the schemes of the Nine Hells. She eventually matured, to the relief of Asmodeus.
The ruler of the 6th layer, the Hag Countess, suddenly grew into a helpless mass of flesh that covered the layer. Glasya took over Malbolge, turning the Hag Countess into terrain. Glasya currently resides in the Hag Countess's giant deformed skull.
Variety of Servants: Her court is full of erinyes and paeliryons. She is served by hellwasps, who live in the Garden of Delights. They are her loving and grateful shock troops and bodyguards.
Glasya vs. Graz'zt: She once tried to kill Graz'zt when he defected to the Abyss, but his bulezau demons drove her off.
Glasya Loved Levistus: All of this ended up leading to The Reckoning:
- Glasya was in love with Levistus, lord of Stygia.
- She caught Levistus with her mother, Bensozia.
- Glasya slit her mother's throat, killing her.
- Asmodeus and his aide Martinet made up a false story about how it was Levistus that killed Bensozia.
- Levistus was encased in ice and his layer, Stygia, was given to Geryon.
- Asmodeus forced Glasya to be Mammon's concubine.
- Glasya resented this and wanted revenge against her father.
- Glasya manipulated the archdevils into civil war.
- The spark of war occurred when Glasya assassinated Belial's consort, Naome.
After The Reckoning: Asmodeus made Glasya the Queen of the Erinyes. This made her subject to the Dark Eight, who could watch her and report on her intrigues to Asmodeus. They also commanded the massive blood war army, and could protect her.
|2nd Edition Glasya|
Everyone Wants Glasya Dead: After The Reckoning, almost every archdevil blames Glasya and wants her dead. The Dark Eight protects her, and the archdevils are afraid of what Asmodeus would do if they actually killed his daughter.
Glasya Took Over Malbolge: There are a few different version of how this happened. The main idea in all of them is that that Asmodeus basically took out the Hag Countess and installed his daughter as new ruler. The body of The Hag Countess expanded and became a hideous semi-living thing that covered the entire layer of Malbolge. It is interesting that prior to this, the Hag Countess was having an affair with Geryon.
Glasya Still Loves Levistus: She is obsessed with Levistus. She pines for him one minute and hates him the next. She says she wants to carve out his heart and devour it, but Asmodeus has forbidden it.
Fierna a Pawn? It is possible that Glasya is befriending Fierna so that she can convince Fierna to attack (or free?) Levistus. It's an interesting scenario, because Glasya killed Fierna's mother. Fierna will be in a position to get revenge by purposely crewing up this mission.
Glasya is a Long-term Torturer: Glasya's imps have been eating the guts of the Hag Countess's corruption devil chancellor, Axacrusis, for years. He's still alive!
Glasya is Scheming Against Mammon: Glasya has manipulated to duke servants of Mammon, Caarcrinolas and Melchon, into trying to overthrow him. She wants Mammon's realm of Phlegethos for her own.
Glasya Wants to be Queen of Hell: The general feeling is that once Glasya has dealt with Levistus, she will be ready to try to kill her father and take his place.
Glasya Killed a Demon Lord: In 4e, it is said that Glasya actually killed an unnamed demon lord. The demons of that realm immediately swore fealty to her and moved to Malbolge. They are the hellwasps.
Glasya is Wooing Amon: Glasya is the only ruler to openly support Amon's passionate quest to avenge the ousting of Geryon. She wants Amon as her personal minion and plaything. She tries to drive a wedge between him and Geryon, but that has proven nearly impossible thus far.
Glasya's Rival: Assailra is a warder devil who rose to prominence and then had a falling-out with Glasya over a shared lover and was exiled. She lurks on an island known as Malharak, Hell's Bastion. She hates Glasya and wants revenge.
Mephistopheles is an Ally: In the 5th edition DMG, it says that Mephistopheles has taken on the role of a godfather to Glasya.
Brand of Malbolge: This magical boon gives a bonus to thievery and offers abilities:
- Brimstone Escape: You can teleport, but it causes intense pain. This is because Glasya cares nothing for her servants - she only wants their souls.
- Stolen Power: You can steal spells from the minds of wizards.
Glasya has few dukes that serve her, though she is able to convince Amon to stay in Malbolge for short periods of time. She surrounds herself with devils willing to sacrifice themselves for her.
|Beleth and Olqas|
Beleth, the Witch's Viscount, the Prince of Imps, Spymaster of Glasya: He has served almost every archduke at one time or another. Back when he served He Who Was, he commanded little messenger creatures.
In the Nine Hells, Beleth primarily served Moloch. He helped the Hag Countess set up Moloch to be exiled. Then he served the Hag Countess, and now he serves Glasya.
Beleth has quietly created a vast information network. His imps get information from devils as well as the mortals that they serve on the prime material plane. Beleth knows many of the secrets of Hell and hopes to use them to become a shadow ruler of Hell.
He looks like a tall, lean imp. He frequently assumes the guise of a middle-aged human wearing a wide-brimmed hat and holding a walking stick topped with a gold sphere.
General Baraddal: A war devil commander.
Alzach: This devil shapechanger has three forms. Few people are aware that they are all the same individual:
- Alzach: Imp with mottled skin.
- Olqas: White warhorse with green glowing eyes.
- A great worm with a lamprey-like maw.
Tartach, Former Legate to Moloch and Baalzebul: Tartach has a cruel sense of humor and he enjoys tormenting the weak. He thinks Glasya really could overthrow Asmodeus.
Long ago, Tartach served Baalzebul. Tartach quickly grew to loathe Baalzebul and was sent to serve Moloch as a sort of emissary. There, he helped Geryon and the Hag Countess depose Moloch.
Disappointed that the Hag Countess snatched the realm, he returned to Baalzebul. There, he ended up being seduced by Glasya. Tartach left Baalzebul to join Glasya in Malbolge, putting himself at great risk.
Currently, Tartach enjoys the affection of Glasya and he is considered one of the most powerful spellcasters in the Hell. Tartach is looking to jump to the court of another ruler so that he can sabotage them so that Glasya can swoop in and steal the layer.
Devils and Others: She is served by brazen devils and war devils, who guard her. Erinyes, succubi, mortal thralls, barbed devils, bone devils, chain devils and other fiends live in Malbolge, too.
Levistus, Lord of Stygia, the 5th Layer of Hell
Levistus: At one time, Prince Levistus was a great duelist and archdevil who lived in a keep of ice and seaweed. Then, as the official story goes, he tried to seduce Bensozia, wife of Asmodeus. Bensozia refused him and he killed her. As punishment, Amodeus encased Levistus in a glacier. He still rules the layer, issuing telepathic commands to his loyal followers.
Former Ruler: Geryon once ruled this layer, but Asmodeus booted him and put Levistus in charge of Stygia.
Amnizu Allies: Levistus has the Styx Devils on his side, partly because his layer is tightly associated with the River Styx. He hopes that conquering another layer will allow him to be freed.
He has an Avatar Running Loose: In 3e, it is said that Levistus has one "aspect" of himself (an avatar) out in the planes, setting plots into motion. It has made deals with yugoloths and pit fiends so far.
Side Scheme: Levistus is now is trying to turn the court of Asmodeus against him and Glasya as well.
|Levistus in Ice|
Soul-Starving Scheme: Levistus has all of the devils in Stygia on strict soul-rations. They are all quite hungry all the time. Levistus is stockpiling souls in his icy prison.
Levistus has a massive scheme planned. His allies:
- Moloch, the exiled archdevil
- Members of the Dark Eight
His idea is that he can get whatever he wants in exchange for souls - freedom from the ice, more layers, anything. His allies in this scheme are the many fallen, forgotten dukes of days gone past.
Stealing Souls From the River Styx: I like the idea but I don't understand how it works. Souls are brought in by boat? What about the soul larvae?
I think if you go by the 3rd edition setup where souls appear on the shelves of despond in the River Styx, that's only a half-mile area to cover. Levistus could have a massive force take that area and steal all of the souls that arrive, using them to gain more power and more allies.
Soul larvae would still appear in the Nine Hells, but I'd imagine that the flow of pure souls being cut off would still cause something of a "soul shortage," especially if Levistus had night hags out there gathering up herds of soul larvae and whisking them away to his layer.
Audience with Levistus: If you were to meet with Levistus, who is frozen in an iceberg, this is how it works:
- You stand on a landing and see Levistus across a 60 foot gulf.
- An ancient white dragon and flying devils swoop about, watching you carefully.
- Levistus communicates using telepathy.
- Levistus cannot be harmed by anyone save Asmodeus. He's effectively invulnerable, but he can't do much, either.
Glasya Possibilities: I think there's a lot of cool things you could do with the soul-starving scenario. Maybe during the famine, Levistus supplies Glasya and her court with souls to try to butter her up. She still has a thing for him. If he could get her on his side, he'd also have access to Beleth's network of imps. Levistus would have a lot of information flowing in, and he could know well in advance how the devils were going to try to shatter his blockade.
The Hands of Levistus: Eridon Alaka is a gelugon sorcerer who acts as the hands and voice of Levistus. They are linked telepathically at all times. Eridon is assisted by a child-eating half-fiend named Zanth and a hellcat named Trinity.
Brand of Stygia: This magical boon gives you a bonus to acrobatics and offers powers:
- Stygian Prison: You can encase your foes in ice.
- Icy Panoply: You can summon armor of ice (resistance to damage).
Cozbi (her full name is Cozbinaer) Consort of Geryon: Cozbinaer is a quiet, unnaturally tall woman with chalk-white skin and long pale green hair. She survived Geryon's fall from rulership, but just barely. She is 9 feet tall, has white skin and is covered in scars.
In 2e, she spent her time in a 20 x 40 glass cube full of colored gas. Gravely wounded, she needed the gas to stay alive. She had a suit of armor made from crystal, glassteel and tubes full of yellow gas. When she wore the armor, she could move about. The gas in it runs out in one hour.
To most, the gas is a deadly poison. Without it, Cozbinaer would die in 10 rounds. The suit has retractable claws and if it were to be destroyed, the gas would leak out and likely kill anyone within 10 feet.
Cozbinaer spent her days looking into her crystal ball, observing Hell.
In 3e, it is said that Cozbinaer died battling for influence.
Gorson, Bailiff of Levistus: A quiet schemer.
Herodias, Magitrate of Levistus: He thinks he will one day rule the Nine Hells. He is portly and has tiny, useless wings.
When Geryon was ousted from Stygia, Agares stayed to serve Levitus. Agares now is actually colluding with the god Set, who has a domain in the layer of Stygia.
Agares has a pet:
- Harbinger: A devil eagle that weeps ochre pus and has iron-feathered wings.
Accompanied by his pack of 13 Stygian winter wolves and his horse-sized wolf, Soulfang, Amon stalks Avernus and hunts for agents of Geryon's enemies. Ultimately he wants to kill Levistus, Baalzebul, Belial and Mammon, in that order.
Soulfang: Amon's loyal wolf is as big as a horse. It won't betray Amon, even if magically compelled to do so.
Mammon, Ruler of Minauros, the 3rd Layer of Hell
Mammon, Lord of Avarice: Mammon rules Minauros, a boundless series of rifts and slime streams. Mammon at one time liked to ride a nightmare through his realm with a pack of hellhounds at his heels, hunting devils who deserted their army. He is red-gold, and has gleaming wings.
Mammon is overwhelmingly greedy, two-faced, insecure and vindictive. He promotes and demotes devils constantly.
Coward: Mammon's reputation took a huge hit during The Reckoning. He was the first to flee the battlefield.
Mammon's Power: Mammon's touch invokes feelings of greed.
Riddles of Mammon: In Dragon Magazine #223, it says that Mammon speaks in riddles and that he spends a lot of time in waters under the city. I like both of those concepts, especially the idea that he swims down deep and runs into Ancient Baatorian artifacts or corpses. As an entity loathed by his contemporaries, I think it would be cool for him to come upon something that would empower him to get revenge on everyone.
|Mammon's Pit Fiend Form|
Mammon Has Two Forms: Long ago, Mammon had a body quite like that of a pit fiend. After The Reckoning, he transformed into an enormous snake with a human torso and head. Mammon has the ability to revert to his old pit fiend form.
Currency Wars: In 3e, Mammon has a scheme to wage economic warfare on citadels of good on the material plane. He wants to collapse the economies of good-aligned nations. That process often leads to the acquisition of evil and corrupted souls that belong to him for all eternity.
Mammon's Court is in Disarray: Mammon's court is split into two factions:
- Focalur is working works with Mammon's consort Glwa to maneuver Bael into position to become the new ruler of Phlegethos.
- Caarcrinolas and Melchon. They don't realize that they are being manipulated by Glasya, who wants his layer for her own.
Mammon Had a Daughter with Sagirsa: Mammon and the ruler of Jangling Hiter, Sagirsa, had a chain devil daughter named Baelzra. Baelzra became an archdevil who was banished to Avernus for doing the unthinkable - she was unbinding souls from archdevils to use as she pleased.
Brand of Minauros: This offers special powers:
- Cringing Presence: You appear weak and pathetic, and then deliver a powerful strike when the guard of the enemy is down.
- Mammon's Cunning: You have the ability to learn everything about enemies and can use it to defeat them.
Former Consort: Glasya, daughter of Asmodeus. She was forced to be his concubine, and she hated every second of it. She moved on when her father gave her the 6th layer.
New Consort: Her name is Glwa. Virtually nothing is known about her.
|Bael, Duke of Hell|
He has a power called perceive corruption. With it, Bael can look at a creature and see just how corrupt, treacherous and tainted they are
Bael is one of the greatest generals in Hell. Many believe that if he wasn't so politically inept, he would rule his own layer of Hell.
Focalor: Mammon's bailiff is thin, silent and a master strategist. He looks like a human with feathered wings and cloven hooves. Focalor was not loyal to anyone until he met Glasya, who he feels has a real chance of overthrowing her father.
Caarcrinolaas: He is a dog-headed humanoid with red bat wings, hooves and a forked tail. He is in charge of 36 companies of barbed devils.
Melchon: Melchon is incredibly jealous of other dukes.
Sagirsa: She runs Jangling Hiter in 4e. She is said to be a "bloated archdevil" loyal to Mammon.
Mind Flayers: Mammon has a small unit of mind flayers that work as information gatherers for him.
Mephistopheles, Ruler of Cania, the 8th Layer of Hell
Mephistopheles, Lord of No Mercy, the Cold Lord: He rules Cania, the 8th layer of Hell. He wants to take the 7th layer from Baalzebul. Then he wants to challenge Asmodeus for rulership. He is blue-black, muscled and has deep blue wings. He is surrounded and immersed in a sheath of flames. According to 1st edition: "His normal speech is whispering wind."
Hellfire: In 3rd edition he was obsessed with developing a new kind of magic fire called hellfire, "the essence of Hell." He was spreading himself thin with the thought that expansion through hellfire will pay off in the end.This seemingly worked, as hellfire is all over 4th edition. It was Baalphegor, consort of Mephistopheles, who helped unlock the secrets of hellfire.
In the 2e Planes of Law boxed set, it says that he had no mercy and despised Asmodeus. Baron Molikroth lived in citadel Mephistar, overlooking the glacier Nargus.
In Dragon #223 it says that he had power over ice and cold. Molikroth was a huge foppish man, loved torture and rarely left the citadel Mephistar.
The 3e Manual of the Planes revealed that Baron Molikroth was really Mephistopheles in disguise. It was all a ruse to draw out the disloyal members of his court and kill them.
Mighty Wizard: Mephistopheles is a powerful spellcaster, able to cast spells of up to 8th level in 3e. He employs modified evocation spells to violate his foes.
Lofty Ambitions: Mephistopheles wants to be worshiped as a god. He hates Amodeus and desperately wants to usurp his position.
Jealousy: Mephistopheles has always been jealous of the other lords. He is desperate for more power and prestige.
War with Baalzebul: He is constantly warring with his hated enemy, Baalzebul. Many secretly think that both archdevils are more alike than they care to admit.
Godfather of Glasya: In the 5th edition DMG, it says that Mephistopheles has become a sort of godfather to Glasya.
He Has a Secret Daughter: Antilia is a half-fiend elf bard with red skin and red bat wings. Almost nobody knows she is his daughter. She is involved in a scheme where she is pretending to be a spy for Baalzebul, but really she's a double agent.
He Has Another Kid: This entity is known as The Burning Soul. It is a fire monolith, the product of an unholy union between Mephistopheles and a powerful denizen of the elemental plane of fire. he Burning Soul is immensely powerful (from Dungeon #240, a 20th level adventure!).
The Heart of Mephistopheles: This is a very powerful artifact that agents use in the material plane. It is a ruby one foot wide and is intelligent. It basically contains a copy of the personality of Mephistopheles. It can speak, uses telepathy, and is nearly impossible to damage. Other details:
- Once per day it can dominate a monster.
- Three times per day it can fire a corrupted lightning bolt of fire.
- It makes devils within one mile immune to banishment/dismissal.
- To destroy it: A cleric of good deity must cast resurrection on it.
Mephistopheles Created Ice Devils: In the 4e Manual of the Planes, it says that Mephistopheles actually transformed some Mezzoloths into the first Ice Devils millennia ago. All Ice Devils are bound to Mephistopheles and obey him, not Asmodeus.
Brand of Cania: This magical mark gives a bonus to arcana and offers special powers:
- Secret of Hellfire: You gain an aura of hellfire aura which harms everyone, even those who are immune to fire.
- Rising Anger: Each time you miss an attack you gain cumulative bonuses to rolls as your rage builds.
Hutijin: Hutijin, one of the most powerful dukes of Hell, worships Mephistopheles like he was a god. Hutijin commands the aristocracy of hell which consists of 2 companies of pit fiends, all of them sworn to serve Mephistopheles. Hutijin looks like a rust-red pit fiend with smaller wings and a larger head.
Hutijin has always despised and hunted mortals, even when he was an angel.
Baalphegor, Consort of Mephistopheles: Baalphegor's strategic mind is the reason that Asmodeus tolerates Mephistopheles. There are rumors that Asmodeus treats her with such respect because she is an Ancient Baatorian. She has cinnamon-brown skin and red eyes that flash with fire when she is angry.
There was a time when Baalphegor went to a mortal village called Caermor (In Dungeon Magazine #2) and pretended to be a 10 year old girl named Belle. She was observing a cult and trying to "enliven a short stretch of eternity."
In the 4e Manual of the Planes, it says that she is the warden of the hellfire fonts under the palace of Mephistopheles.
Bele, Justiciar of Cania: Rigid and inflexible, Bele dispenses justice, though he and Mephistopheles don't agree on what "justice" is. He has ivory skin, his lower torso is red and his wings have a massive 20 foot wingspan.
Adonides, Steward of Cania: Paranoid and wary, Adonides doesn't trust any pit fiends and he is constantly looking to root out spies. Adonides always has 16 ice devils guarding him. His eyes are black and his torso is red.
Barbas, Chamberlain of Mephistopheles: Barbas is proud, arrogant and extremely cruel. Dishonest and unscrupulous, Barbas keeps his job by coming up with brilliant schemes for Mephistopheles to partake in. He has a big beard and belly, red skin and oily black hair.
Bifrons: Bifrons leads 26 companies of ice devils. He is a very intelligent and detached philosopher. He likes to say that "Good promotes incompetence and mediocrity." He has gray skin, huge muscles and a snake-like lower half.
Testaron the Red Dragon: Mephistopheles pays this red dragon to lurk in his throne room for the purposes of intimidation.
Beltorius: This is a pit fiend that Mephistopheles sent out into the material plane to make a major attempt at corrupting as many mortals as he could. A pleasure devil named Lady Madori keeps an eye on him.
Zariel, Ruler of Avernus, the 1st Layer of Hell
Zariel, Warlord of Avernus: There is very little information out there about Zariel, who is now back in the spotlight in 5th edition.
It is said she is badly burned and that her eyes burn bright white. She has the power to set people aflame with her gaze.
Bel fell out of favor and is forced to serve as Zariel's adviser. She rules from a citadel festooned with partially incinerated corpses of those who failed to earn her favor.
Her Job: She was one of the entities to turn against He Who Was with Asmodeus. Her job in Baator after the angelic rebellion was to protect Hell from angels looking for revenge.
Zariel vs. The Dark Eight: After The Reckoning, the Dark Eight hunted Zariel down and threw her in prison. Bel replaced her as ruler of Avernus.
Zariel in Prison: Bel would eat Zariel's flesh regularly, a procedure which weakened her and magically empowered him. According to Dragon #223, she was imprisoned for thousands of years. Bel was slowly reducing her to a soul shell before she escaped.
Eventually, Bel fell out of favor with Asmodeus and Zariel was given Avernus. Bel is now her adviser.
Brand of Avernus: This magical mark gives a bonus to Intimidation checks.
- It gives you the power to make weapons burn with green flames.
Amduscias: Amdsicas is a skillful negotiator who can shape change. He has three main forms:
- A dirty yellow unicorn with eyes of flame and a purple horn.
- A hawk-headed man in robes of red or black.
- His favorite form is that of a wolf with a serpent's prehensile tail.
Baelzra: An archdevil who is the daughter of Mammon and Sagirsa. Baelzra was banished to Avernus because she has a habit of using a yuan-ti ritual to unbind souls from archdevils so that she can use them for her own purposes.
Nergal: He is a lion-headed winged toad enveloped by magical darkness. "His mottled pinkish-grey, warty skin is covered with sores which ooze a clear colorless ichor." He is a schemer who hoards information.
Bist: Invisible except for her fiery eyes, Bist is similar to a hellcat and a selfish master of duplicity. She can't leave the Hells without being summoned.
Caim: A gossip and a sneak, Caim loves to eat elves and men. He often appears as a thrush with a belt.
Former Rulers of Hell
Tiamat: She ruled Avernus long ago. During that time, she preferred to stay in her lair, the Dragonpawn Pits. She had five mates that she would make mewlings with. She could conceive every six days! If a newborn had more than one head, she would eat it. Some of her spawn eventually grew up to be new consorts.
She left Hell, but is now trapped there again. Tiamat is a prisoner, ruling her own domain but confined to the Nine Hells due to a myterious ancient contract between Asmodeus and Tiamat.
The Cult of the Dragon almost freed her in the Tyranny of Dragons adventure, but she was probably thwarted. I wrote a Guide to Tiamat here.
After a battle against a creature from the Far Realm, He Who Was saved Geryon by using the souls of two other dying angels to heal him. It turns out that those angels lived on inside him. This made Geryon angry.
Geryon has a magic battle axe called Sever that is intelligent and acts as a sword of sharpness. Tonguelash, his magic shield, has a devil face on it that can extend a 5 foot long tongue used as a whip. It is said the Greyon despise uncleanliness.
During his time as ruler of Stygia, Geryon took great pleasure in hunting and fighting prisoners or an adventurer plucked from a mortal realm.
When ousted, Geryon lurked for a time in Citadel Coldsteel deep under water in Stygia. He had a group of advisers:
- Squinnamorg: A mind flayer ambassador from the Greyhawk setting.
- Ephillu: An erinyes who has a really weird magic item - a black, hell-forged sword that transforms permanently into a nupperibo if anyone tries to attack it.
- Christanon: A medusa who wears an iron mask to control her gaze attack. She is also from Greyhawk.
- Bleg: A beholder with a hot temper
He ended up in a realm called Tytherion, the Endless Night. Geryon began looking to serve an evil deity such as Tiamat or Zehir.
Geryon has begun to think that Asmodeus exiled him for a reason - to do something Asmodeus couldn't dare be associated with.
In 5th edition, he is back in Stygia. He is not the ruler, but perhaps he figured out what needed to be done.
The Horn of Geryon: In older editions, it summoned minotaurs, In 4th edition, it summons extinct devils called horned beasts.
|The Hag Countess|
Malagard the Hag Countess, Hag Queen of the Crushing Lands: Malagard appeared to be an old crippled hag, stooped from the weight of the years. She effortlessly wielded a great flaming sword.
She was an underling of Moloch when he ruled Malbolge. Malagard seduced him in a pool of fetid pus. Soon after, she began a secret dalliance with Geryon.
During The Reckoning, she knew that the pit fiends were going to betray their masters (Geryon told her). She and Tartach convinced Moloch that if anything went wrong, he should remain defiant because Asmodeus would respect him for it. On the battlefield, once his generals turned against him, Moloch did everything short of spitting in the face of Asmodeus.
Asmodeus cast down Moloch and replaced him with the Hag Countess. She kicked Moloch out of Malbolge, and he has not been seen since.
She ruled Malbolge from a fortress inside a rolling boulder.
The Hag Countess had the power to bring down avalanches. She would go with Bileth, her pit fiend tribune, to make surprise inspections of their bronze citadels (which were cities) to see how they were holding up against the constant rolling boulders of the layer. She would visit in disguise to spy on and test the few dukes she had under her command.
Her inner court included, a corruption devil named Axacrusis and a coven of three hags. She owned a stable of nightmares. Her personal mount was a powerful nightmare named Bloodcurdle.
Her inner court is currently being tortured by Glasya in the Tower of Pain. Little devils have been eating the still-living Axacrusis for years.
As time rolled on, the Hag Countess wanted more power. She amassed souls for a ritual that would turn her into a god. Geryon may have meddled in this, because the ritual backfired and transformed her into a hideous thing.
Here's how it is described in Dragon Magazine #197: "Malagard grew and swelled, becoming a bloated and ever expanding horror until her body finally split open, releasing a torrent of filth to wash across the realm." Glasya now lives in her giant, deformed skull.
|3rd edition Moloch|
Moloch: Moloch can breathe a cone of fear. When someone tries to magically force him into another plane, Moloch is instead teleported 100 miles in a random direction on the same plane.
Moloch is an archdevil who fell very far down the social ladder of devil society. In the early days of Hell, Moloch was one of the greatest of the devil warriors and because of it, Asmodeus rewarded him with the domain of Malbolge. Asmodeus made Moloch the viceroy of Baalzebul in the hopes they would scheme against each other instead of him.
|1st edition Moloch|
The Hag Countess was his underling. She manipulated him and made him look bad during The Reckoning. The Hag Countess seduced Moloch in the fetid pools of pus that infested his demesne. She pleased her master, coating his foul form with grease collected from the tombs of heretics and blasphemers.
I swear that the above material is right out of Dragon Magazine #360. There's also this: The Hag Countess "cuckolded" Moloch with Geryon.
Geryon helped the Hag Countess trick Moloch into making a fool of himself during The Reckoning. Asmodeus cast Moloch down and put the Hag Countess in charge of Malbolge. She promptly exiled Moloch to the material plane.
In the Apocalypse Stone adventure, Moloch has fled to a mortal world with an army. He is planning a surprise assault on the Hag Countess. But the apocalypse stone triggers the end of the world, shutting down all connections to the planes.
Moloch gets revenge on the heroes (who were involved in the apocalypse stone going off). He kills their friends and family and makes flesh golems out of them.
He had some underlings in this adventure:
- Skallathrax: An arcanaloth mercenary.
- Grellnor: Skallathrax's nycaloth bodyguard.
- Three unnamed pit fiends.
Moloch did get back in the Nine Hells and he was building a new army to usher in a new era of Hell under his rule. Stripped of his title and weakened by betrayal, he was a shadow of his former self.
In 5th edition, it says in the DMG that Moloch is a lowly imp. He is in Malbolge, trying to scheme his way back into Asmodeus's favor.
Bel: Bel was a pit fiend general legendary for a scheme where he convinced the demons that he was defecting and then lead an army of demons into a devil ambush. Bel has a belt with a dozen shrieking angel heads on it, their necks neatly severed.
Zariel, ruler of Avernus, came to trust Bel. Bel turned her court against her and he was able to imprison Zariel in a cell beneath the bronze citadel in Avernus.
He would routinely have abishai carve off bits of her flesh to feed him. This act allowed him to siphon her power, keeping her weak and making him stronger.
Bel took to placing spies in the courts of other archdevils and giving Asmodeus the information, in the hopes of currying favor with him.
Bel was not respected and was called "Bel the Pretender." In 5th edition, he lost favor with Asmodeus. Zariel rules again and Bel is her adviser.
The Government of Hell
The Dark Eight: This is a council of pit fiends that handles much of the actual governing of the Nine Hells. They are:
- Baalzephon: Supply master
- Corin: Spy master
- Dagos: Marshal of the pits
- Furcas: Minister of mortal relations
- Pearza: Chief of research and implementation
- Zaebos: Minister of promotions
- Zapan: Immortal diplomacy
- Zimimar: Minister of morale
- They decide on promotions of devils.
- They plan the Blood War strategy.
- They have 106 cornugons in their retinue.
- The Dark Eight were founded by Cantrum, who was slain by a paladin from Mount Celestia. The paladin didn't survive.
- They are gathering millions of larvae for The Bringing, a ritual in which they will sacrifice millions of potential devils to trigger a mysterious event.
- After The Reckoning, they hunted down and imprisoned Zariel.
- They installed Bel as the new ruler of Avernus and used him as their puppet.
- Only Baalzephon and Furcas remain from the original group. When one dies, they are discreetly replaced by an underling who takes on the slain pit fiend's name.
- Sometimes when on an errand, they magically disguise themselves as humans.
- They have a spy named Jebelam, who lurks in a ruined tavern called the Pig and Poke in Avernus.
The hellforged devils enforce his edicts. The hellforged are rigid, enforce the hierarchy of Hell and police the devils.
The Court Infernal: In the 4e Manual of the Planes, it says that there is a council of pit fiends who reside in Abyrimoch of Phlegethos. There, they settle legal disputes between devils and will sometimes hear the case of a damned soul who thinks they were wrongly damned.