Barathus (Hell)

Map of Barathus. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

The Frozen Expanse
Jahannam Cathedral
The Glacial Pinnacle
The Cloudshriek Eyrie
Dudael Province
The Palace of Pleasure
Citadel of Dis
Fort Tyrannus
Black Cedar Groves
Mire of Dissolution
Vaults of Usury
Other Locations
    Mount Tartarus
    Spheres of Malebolgia
The Infernal Aristocracy of Barathus

The Frozen Expanse

One of the largest regions of Barathus, mostly gripped between the Lethe and Phlegethos Rivers, lives up to its name. Apparently unending stretches of sheer ice or glacial crags make up the entirety of this region. Even magical heat is drained away in seconds, leaving even immortals struggling to resist becoming frozen statues. Victims of this fate are typically mined by ice devils to be refashioned into hellishly potent arms and armor.

Technically, the Frozen Expanse encompasses the ruinous Desolation of Eris wherein those devils which have failed their masters most spectacularly are sent to suffer undying madness. Even archdevils, such as infamous three-headed Geryon, are rendered powerless if sentenced here, able only to bewail their fate. It has been uncovered that prisoners of the Desolation are truly undying, merely crippled by even the most horrific wounds unless Asmodeus explicitly grants them permission to die.

The Frozen Expanse is primarily inhabited by endless legions of ice devils and their ancillaries, training endlessly for war against both the Heavens and besieged Gennax. Its lack of any defining geographical features, relative to its incomparable size, would make it easy to get lost here even for an immortal; but wherever one stands in the Frozen Expanse, Jahannam Cathedral may be impossibly seen and used as a landmark.

Jahannam Cathedral

Inhabitants of the Material Plane often struggle to comprehend the sheer scale of the Outer Planes. Few places are quite so mentally catastrophic as Jahannam Cathedral, or simply Jahannam, the home and workplace of Asmodeus himself. It takes nine days of prolonged marching just to cross the outer courts and reach the entrance, and each of the vast double doors is over a mile tall.

The interior of Jahannam is built to the sensibilities of its devilish attendants. Halls and stairways extend in all directions, some impossible to reach without flight, some behind locked doors or magical wards, some hidden in the very walls or even inaccessible without specific teleportation, or any combination of the above—all in accordance to mathematical principles beyond the grasp of elven savants.

The Glacial Pinnacle

A mountain of unmelting ice rising up from within the Phlegethos, the River of Fire, fashioned from the pure will of Asmodeus as an extremely effective display of power. The Glacial Pinnacle houses the Judiciary of Sheol under the guidance of Baalzebul, and is sited only fifty miles downriver from the Phlegethian Emergence.

With much of Barathus being broadly dedicated to Evil, the Judiciary of Sheol stands out for its emphasis on Law. Only the Cogitean courts surpass it in dedication, owing to their adherency to dispassionate Neutral Law, but even the angels of Caelestin offer grudging acknowledgement that it is the equal of their own courts. Indeed, judgements made in Sheol are upheld in Udamuzin and vice versa.

Cloudshriek Eyrie

Hovering in the airless heights of Barathus over the Frozen Expanse is the Cloudshriek Eyrie, wherein the Godsliver Fiend Lamashtu indulges her unspeakable appetites. It resembles a nest of bone and dung, many miles across, dripping streams of foulness onto the sky below that eventually form into acidic clouds.

The entirety of its inhabitants are demons, imported from Malor to please Lamashtu as she desires. The resultant chaos in the Cloudshriek Eyrie is offensive to the lawful devils forced for whatever reason to visit, but since even Asmodeus must acquiesce to Vornoth allowing its presence, no lesser Barathean has been allowed to act on their loathing.

Dudael Province

One of the more significant administrative regions of Barathus is Dudael Province, a barren and rocky wasteland punctuated by sulphurous geysers and salt plains. It is here that the souls of fallen champions of Good, and to a lesser extent Chaos, are brought to be turned into suitable agents of Barathus. More generally, Dudael Province also oversees sourcing from Soulharbors, and ensures distribution of souls to the rest of the plane is not disturbed in any way.

The more intelligent pit fiends, playing the long game when it comes to promotion and the acquisition of power, seek to be assigned here. The prestige of other locations such as the Judiciary of Sheol or even the Mire of Dissolution may be greater, but it has never matched the risk of those places—Dudael Province, however, is perhaps the least dangerous region in all Barathus, at least to a devil.

Those who show promise in drawing upon the energy of the Maelstrom may even be invited to join Belial in his Frostfire Sanctum. Here, experimentation across all disciplines of magic is conducted with scant regard for what is understood as possible—and if there is a slight bias towards the evoking of elemental destruction, nobody considers this enough of a downside to decline the invitation.

Frostfire Sanctum

The Frostfire Sanctum is a magnificent spectacle of an estate fashioned from opposing magical energies being forced together with miraculous consequence—translucent walls of ice containing roaring sheets of flame, gardens of lightning which bloom into gemstone flowers, tapestries of woven metals whose subject can be heard on a gentle breeze, and more wonders besides.

It is the product of millennia of experimentation by the archdevil Belial and countless adepts seeking to explore the true limits of magic. Very little typical Barathean work is ever done here, for even the most hardened devil would be prone to distraction, but given the results that Belial has produced so far, there has yet to be any word of censure from higher up.

Bloodcroft by Duchess Flux. CC BY-NC 2.0.

The Palace of Pleasure

As the name suggests, hedonists of all kinds—from the true pleasure devils of Carcus to lesser Hellish imitators to the most jaded fey of Tanis—are to be found in this elaborate palatial estate, built specifically to overlook the Stygian Egress and bearing the motto: 'We End Hate'. It is a retreat from the wearisome paranoia and aggression of the Hells, intended to give respite to those struggling through eternity with little to show for it.

Though most across the universe are of the opinion that the pleasures to be found here can only be sexual, the truth is very different. The Palace of Pleasure caters to every taste and desire, indulging in every vice and sin without prejudice or recrimination. Perhaps as a consequence, it has snared more fools with limited imaginations than almost any other devilish effort in the history of Barathus.


The smallest region of Barathus is nevertheless one of its most important, for Avernus mines the ores used to fashion much of the most terrible equipment of the devils. Barathean steel, whilst not really steel at all, is the end result of the industrial manufacturing process which goes on in this part of the plane. The Avernus forge-devils are among the most highly respected in all Barathus.

Rank and file devils see almost none of the completed alloys, instead having their equipment forged out of the slag runoff and similar impurities. Pit fiends and other similarly ranked devils are most usually equipped with the genuine material, though even this is still mass-produced, relatively speaking. The finest works are invariably custom designs for archdevils upon their promotion, when they become truly unique fiends.

Since the retreat of Dispater and the ascendancy of Tytyvyllus, Avernus has also begun to export its products beyond the other Hells. Currently it maintains warehouses in Nemux, Concordia, Cogiton, and the Feywild, and there is even a tenuous caravan route that passes through the Plains of Silence in the Penumbra. The interplanar trade is proving so successful that the Heavens have been forced to open competing establishments in an attempt to balance out the arms proliferation.

Citadel of Dis

Perpetually swaddled in smog and soot, the Citadel of Dis is a cramped and reeking pit that devours light. Magical illumination dwindles to nothing as if snuffed out by malign intent, and innately luminous beings become nauseated in a matter of seconds upon entering. Even the most vibrant of colors appear faded and drained when brought into Dis.

There is a constant excruciating din of smithy-work pervading Dis, and the dry heat is equally as oppressive, even to devils. Those who actually have to live and work here, and even more so those who do so willingly, are seen as very strange beings indeed by the rest of Barathus, but none can deny the importance of their labors. Only in the court of Dispater, the isolated archdevil ostensibly governing Avernus, is there any semblance of peace.


A spit of land nestled between the Acheron and Styx, mostly known for being the domain of Mephistopheles and the location of Fort Tyrannus. The city of Mephistar itself is dominated by the Living Palace, created by the evisceration and reshaping of the Godsliver Fiend Ymir by Mephistopheles. Among devils it is said that this act was so brutal that it caused Vornoth to smile for the first and last time.

Much of Mephistar is devoted to housing the most elite legions of Barathus, and as a result it is also one of the most dangerous regions in the entire plane, even to fiends. Any deviation from permitted routes or hesitation when trying to traverse this region, no matter what the purpose or authority of the traveller, is met with overwhelming force by direct order of Vornoth himself. Several over-arrogant archdevils were among the first to be executed for their presumption in this regard.

Nowhere else in Barathus, save perhaps Jahannam Cathedral, has such stringent regulations on travel. Even Asmodeus, if ever he was summoned to Fort Tyrannus, would need to abide by the rules or face personal censure by the Darkest God. The locals, being uniquely suited to supporting the troops stationed here, have no trouble at all, and make sport of trying to get outsiders injured or killed by breaking the rules.

Fort Tyrannus

This titanic fortress serves as the effective military headquarters of Vornoth in Barathus. Its looming presence can be felt throughout Mephistar and the unceasing patrols upon its Bleak Bastion ensure that it can never be taken by surprise. The archdevil Adramelech is in effective command here, having proven himself the worthiest over many thousands of years of service.

In the very heart of Fort Tyrannus is a portal which allows passage through to Horribus in Carcus, and Morg in Malor. As it will only open at the command of Vornoth, it is almost never used, but is still there so as to allow emergency communication between his three strongholds across the Hells. The portal was created shortly after the rebellion of Samael, when the first siege of Gennax was broken and the Darkest God had his plans set back by thousands of years.

Black Cedar Groves

The value of Barathean black cedarwood is equal to that of the so-called steel produced in Avernus, for not everything is improved by making it out of metal. Certain enchantments bond more strongly to items crafted out of something that was once living, and the resource replenishes far more swiftly than do the mines. Wands and staffs crafted from this wood are regularly issued to more magically capable devils who have earned a reward.

The groves actually stand on both sides of the Acheron which nourishes them, which forces their guardian Humbaba to wade across the river in order to patrol them effectively. However, having inherited a fair degree of the strength of his unintentional progenitor Ymir, Humbaba is almost completely immune to any harm that the Acheron can cause even when it is in full flow.

Mire of Dissolution

A curious region of Barathus which attempts to corrode or disintegrate everything which falls into it. The stagnant waters lap at the buildings and travelers of their own accord, over time eating away at even the most impervious substances. The inhabitants must work constantly to construct new roads and buildings above the sinking morass that was older failed structures, else all will fall into the mire and fade away to nothing.

Devils who cannot be punished so mercifully with exile into the Desolation of Eris are invariably brought here for execution. The public display is a remarkable motivator, though the archdevil Mammon continues to condemn the practice for not providing enough incentive to offset the loss of productivity incurred by having so many assemble to watch the execution. Sheer popularity, however, means that he cannot ban attendance or risk further losses.

The Mire of Dissolution is occasionally trawled by enterprising devils seeking to study its effects, in the hope of finding a way to replicate its power. Careful use of magic to contain the muck retrieved during such excursions permits these devils to withdraw to safer environs for their experiments, but as yet there has been no indication of any success.

Vaults of Usury

The domain of Mammon, one of the oldest of archdevils, is a repository of wealth beyond imagining. Material objects, magical knowledge, historical records, mortal and immortal souls alike, oaths of allegiance from mighty beings, and more besides—all is held within the Vaults of Usury, and every last item and its value is known to the archdevil. All who visit and can pay more than the value of what they seek are welcomed, be they fiend or celestial or mortal.

Mammon could theoretically expend most of his wealth and hoarded magic in a likely successful bid to conquer the Outer Planes, but is so miserly as to be revolted by the notion. Even Vornoth, who would normally command such an action, is aware that doing so would just turn Mammon against him and cause an unacceptable delay in the resulting Hellish civil war.

Other Locations

Mount Tartarus

Whilst the Desolation of Eris is reserved for devils, Mount Tartarus is the prison of celestials and non-Barathean fiends. Unlike in most hellish prisons, the tortures here are rarely of the physical—unless a prisoner has developed a particular dislike for this—but spiritual. One of the most common is to apply water from the Cocytus, drawn by golems or enslaved mortals, to prisoners during interrogations and humiliations, eroding their resolve and tainting their soul through instinctive terror of the River of Wailing.

The art of emotional abuse has also been perfected by the devils of Tartarus. Isolation chambers, memory editing, amicable fiendish company, honest reports on the outside world—such are some of the simpler tools in use to break down the prisoners. It may take thousands of years, but even the brightest angel may in theory emerge twisted to evil after the adept ministrations of the Tarterian devils. This, many an archdevil has asserted, is a greater triumph than merely torturing the prisoners for eternity.

Spheres of Malebolgia

Each of the planes has a system for reshaping the souls of the dead into appropriate vessels for their afterlife. This is normally a slow process, taking decades to complete in most cases, and not being irreversible until over two centuries have passed. In Barathus, the usual system was expedited by means of the Spheres of Malebolgia, vast pits infused with energy cautiously leeched by Lagur the Archtyrant directly from the Ontological Force of Lawful Evil. Souls thrown into the Spheres can be transformed directly and unwillingly into devils at immensely accelerated rates, violently stripping everything about their former lives away in a matter of days.

Thankfully, the process only results in hordes of lemures when used with mortal souls, but a similar process is undergone by devils wishing or ordered to complete their promotion into a stronger form more quickly than normal. Devils of sufficient ingenuity are even able to manipulate the energies of the Spheres to bolster their strength without permission, as was proven shortly before the downfall of Geryon. Since that time, the Spheres have been guarded even more closely than ever before.

The Infernal Aristocracy of Barathus


Diablo by CC BY-NC 2.0.

Domain: Cathedral Jahannam, within the Frozen Expanse
Position: Archdevil Apex
Significant Titles: None
Second in Command: Lamashtu
Currently Favored Tool: Moloch

A Brief Overview

Across the planes of evil, through each and every Hell contained therein, no denizen stands higher than Asmodeus. Alone among archdevil and demon prince, he is left untitled by long custom, for his name is enough by which to know him. He is the first of fiends and is the eldest of immortals, preceding even the elves, for Tal-Allustiel pondered long on the matter of what he should first bring forth.

Asmodeus was born of Lagur the Archtyrant, who used a fragment of the Ontological Force of Lawful Evil to impregnate herself. At her instruction, he was cut fully-grown from the womb by the Urslave Nij, so as both to exert control over all aspects of her pregnancy and, as the carved flesh closed up immediately after, to demonstrate that she was beyond any possibility of harm from her creations.

It is said that Asmodeus' first words were an order for the Urslave to debase himself in submission, only for Lagur to reflect the order back onto him as a reminder that there could be only one who might command a god, and that one was she. Those few left who recall this story whisper that this is the reason Vornoth has him bound only by the slenderest of threads, for the loyalty of Asmodeus lies with a deity that no longer exists save in his ichor. As any devil could thus smugly explain, by ontological law Asmodeus is loyal only to himself.

Indeed, the Dark Walker suffers the slow obedience of Asmodeus only because of the sheer power that he wields—perhaps even enough to match that of fading Grlaarshh—and because he has made no overt effort to rebel. The other archdevils of Barathus, be they fellow Godsliver Fiends or more recently ascended lords, are as respectful to Asmodeus as they are hateful, and know him to be their intermediary with Vornoth. Should Asmodeus' recalcitrance be punished, the resultant civil war would rip Barathus apart and render the plane practically useless to the Dark Walker for several millennia, at the very least.

Nevertheless, Asmodeus is the only surviving remnant of Lagur the Archtyrant, and the only Godsliver Fiend she made. The leash about his throat has become ever more frayed since the deification of Salystra. Should Asmodeus achieve a similar ascension, arousing that dormant sliver of primordial divinity within him, it is certain that the new God of Tyranny will not suffer himself to be a servant.


Domain: The Living Palace of Mephistar, overlooked by Fort Tyrannus
Position: Archdevil Primaris
Significant Titles: Master of Hellfire, Broker of the Final Deal, Darkest Hierophant, The Shadow Tyrant
Second in Command: Adramelech
Currently Favored Tool: Humbaba

A Brief Overview

Though Vornoth himself never produced a Godsliver Fiend, unwilling to surrender even the slightest portion of his essence without good reason, his scheme to create the Book of Seven did require the manifestation of a subordinate deity. This was Bemit the Sinful, a crude personification of the three Ontological Forces of Evil as a collective, contrasting the more refined Vornoth who reflected them truly.

As unaware of her sacrificial role in Vornoth's plan as any of the gods of evil, Bemit sought to emulate and surpass the creative efforts of the other deities across the planes. The first, and sole, result was a formless mind of pure thought which she named Mephistopheles. A Godsliver Fiend in truth, yet by far the most pathetic and contemptible of them all, it was thought.

However, the aftermath of Vornoth's betrayal of the gods of evil left the planes in uproar. All but a fraction of Godsliver Fiends were left without their creators in an unprecedented and unimaginable instant. Mephistopheles immediately seized upon their confusion, selling his advice in exchange for their souls so that one by one, he was able to manipulate them into total surrender. The contract they had signed, unaware of the complexity that would become the hallmark of devilish treaties thereafter, ultimately gave Mephistopheles the power to slay them at will.

By the time some semblance of order was restored, only the mightiest or most intelligent Godsliver Fiends had yet to sign this suicidal contract, scarcely a score in total across all the planes. Mephistopheles, having wisely assigned much of their essences as tribute to Vornoth, absorbed the remainder all at once to manifest himself physically. Though now only Asmodeus exceeded him in power, Mephistopheles knew he would be vulnerable to several Godsliver Fiends attacking him at once, and so was forced into making a temporary peace with the survivors.

Mephistopheles now awaits the moment, or the opportunity to instigate such, when Asmodeus finally loses the favor of Vornoth, allowing him to step up and be second only to the Darkest God. He now sits, brooding and scheming in his city of Mephistar, seeking to prove his worth to Vornoth and supplant his only rival. At present, his experiments with a new form of magical flame are particularly interesting to him.


Domain: The Judiciary of Sheol, within the Glacial Pinnacle of Phlegethos
Position: Archdevil Primaris
Significant Titles: Lord of the Flies, The Pestilential, Of Wretched Honesty, Arbiter of the Final Appeal
Second in Command: Abraxus
Currently Favored Tool: Apollyon

A Brief Overview

The most senior archdevil not to be one of the Godsliver Fiends is Baalzebul, formerly known as the Prince of Lies, and considered one of the most charismatic and elegant of fiends. After an ambitious attempt to scam Asmodeus, he was transformed into a hideous slug-like abomination that repulsed him more than it did any other, to remain that way for one year for each lie ever spoken or written. With this penalty being applied retroactively, Baalzebul was cursed for millennia and has only recently reverted to his original shape.

However, the legacy of this metamorphosis continues to haunt him, for by the supposedly idle suggestion of Mephistopheles—said to have been insulted by a particularly blatant falsehood—Asmodeus further decreed that the curse will return if Baalzebul should ever lie again. The terror of this has made Baalzebul compulsively honest, to such an extent that he will frantically sabotage any attempt at deception made in his presence or his name.

His millennia of emotional trauma have endeared him to many of the Demon Princes, who find his predicament deeply amusing, and delight in the irony of a devil who fears to lie. Lamashtu infamously pursued him during the early years, from which obscene union were born the surprisingly personable otyughs. Numerous minor Demon Princes who inhabit the Crevasse of Crawling Chaos suspect a more resigned Baalzebul in later centuries to be responsible for them, though Lamashtu (probably honestly) claims she has no idea who provided the seed.

The offices of Baalzebub serve to maintain the legalistic integrity of Barathus and, to a lesser extent, Carcus. His Judiciary is fully two thirds of the Glacial Pinnacle—a spire of ice rising up from the fire-river Phlegethos, created at the command of Asmodeus, that serves as an effective representation of devilish law triumphing over even planar nature. Every custom contract that a devil wishes to employ must pass inspection here first, and every accusation of a breach of contract must be defended in its courts.

In Sheol, mortal souls are afforded the same rights as even the greatest fiend, assigned an independent devil advocate with the appropriate legal specialization. These advocates will fight for their clients across centuries if there is actual merit to their arguments, and have even been known to win on occasion. Baalzebub himself sits in judgement on the most complicated or heinous of cases. His word is final and irrevocable, and his penalties harsh beyond imagining.


Domain: Frostfire Sanctum, Dudael Province
Position: Archdevil Primaris
Significant Titles: The Worthless One, Breaker of Angels, He Who Reprimands
Second in Command: Unknown (see below)
Currently Favored Tool: None

A Brief Overview

The question of who exactly administrates the Dudael Province, where the souls of fallen champions of Goodness are retained, is one that no intelligent fiend dares to ask aloud. On some documents it is Belial, on others it is left blank. Attempts to forge a name on these documents has invariably resulted in the immediate destruction of the presumptuous fool. Uniquely among the ruling archdevils, Belial has no apparent immediate subordinates, and retains no pit fiends among his servants.

Belial largely keeps to himself, conferring only with other archdevils and passing judgement on those fiends in his service who have demonstrated excellence or performed poorly during the course of their duties. It is also Belial who takes on the onerous task of interrogating superior immortals from other planes, be they angel or fiend, who are too valuable to be harvested outright. Fiends, being inherently smarter than angels, have a tendency to tell Belial everything they know before he asks a single question.

For much of his existence, Belial was overlooked and underestimated, and even today he maintains his ancient title of The Worthless One to remind his enemies just how highly he has risen despite all expectation to the contrary. As the position he holds is one that is highly coveted by the more realistic pit fiends on the verge of promotion, it also serves to remind them that a danger to the established order can come from anywhere. Paranoia of one's underlings is thus nowhere higher than in Dudael.

He is on surprisingly neutral terms with Mephistopheles, for all that the usual relations between archdevils is that of barely masked loathing. Some think that both feel a strange empathy for each other, having both risen to their high ranks from nearly nothing on their own merit, but even if this is true, the pair have nearly always opposed each other in every disagreement—be it bloodily violent between their legions, or merely verbal in political debates.

Strangely enough, Belial rarely claims the souls of those who supplicate him directly, instead passing all but a fraction onto Mammon. It is unknown precisely what he gets out of this deal, but some believe it explains why Belial, more than any other fiend, has been reported to visit other planes of existence with alarming regularity. For if what is whispered about Mammon is true, then this contract between archdevils has many and terrible implications.


Domain: Vaults of Usury, within the Mire of Dissolution
Position: Archdevil Primaris
Significant Titles: The Miserly, He Of Infinite Riches, Covetous One, Most Avaricious Lord
Second in Command: Paimon
Currently Favored Tool: Malphas

A Brief Overview

Mammon is said to have spontaneously come into existence when the very first crime of greed was committed, and as one of the oldest of archdevils, there are not many who can gainsay just a claim, even if they were inclined to. If this is not mere hyperbole, then his origins must surely lie with the creation of the Book of Seven, when Vornoth greedily consumed the other gods of evil—for Mammon is recorded to have stood alongside Vornoth in those earliest days of the universe.

The insatiable desire for more wealth, for more power, for more possessions, surrounds Mammon as a tangible presence. Tendrils of slimy semi-corporeality festoon the air for a hundred feet around him, growing ever thicker and more grasping the closer one approaches. Those who draw too near find even their breath and their skin being pulled from them, absorbed into the ethereal mass. If this assault is escaped, the unfortunate victim may sometimes rouse Mammon's acquisitive hunger enough to result in a pursuit.

The archdevil himself rarely stirs physically from his throne, loathing the idea of expending any energy whatsoever, but he is able to command his forces with but a thought. These are not other fiends, for Mammon refuses outright to pay them, but artifacts assembled over the millennia and bound to his will. Even Godsliver Fiends balk at the thought of facing the terrible arsenal that Mammon has at his sole command.

Fortunately, Mammon is so obscenely stingy that he has never even contemplated selling anything he acquires, or loaning it out for a high price. Historically it has taken the direct intervention of Vornoth to force him to do such a thing, and the spiteful financial repercussions of these orders have been felt across the Hells for centuries thereafter.

One of the few redeeming features of Mammon is that he does not care in the slightest who he does business with, so long as he comes out on top. Supplicants have come before his throne from across the planes, mortal and immortal alike, and are received with courtesy purely dependent upon their ability to pay. Owing to the relative ease in securing access to the Vaults of Usury, it is whispered that Mammon holds the most prized of all fiendish secrets: that of unrestricted planar travel, in particular to the Material Plane without the need for an anchoring summoner or portal on the other side.


Domain: Citadel of Dis, within Avernus
Position: Archdevil Primaris
Significant Titles: The Paranoid, Recluse of Barathus, Believer of All Tales, King of Fools
Second in Command: Tytyvyllus
Currently Favored Tool: Amduscias

A Brief Overview

If ever there was a cautionary tale of the danger of listening to gossip, it is that of Dispater, officially the governor of Avernus and the master of the Barathean mines. Although he had always been a suspicious and untrusting individual, it has only been a matter of decades since the archdevil has retreated fully into the madness of paranoia, convinced that the entire universe is now out to get him.

Long considered the foremost broker of knowledge in the Hells, Dispater had begun to dig his own grave long before actually falling into it. Hearing of the constant betrayals and plots and deceptions going on throughout the planes, he began to establish contingencies for any that might involve him, until the reasonable precautions overtook themselves and became an all-consuming obsession.

His vizier Tytyvyllus has reluctantly taken over the duties of running Avernus on a day-to-day basis, a position to which Dispater had needed to force him into with an official document witnessed by Baalzebul himself, and has nervously continued to report back that things are falling apart without Dispater at the helm.

This is acceptable, as far as Dispater is concerned, for he is conviced that even Asmodeus is hostile towards him, and only by allowing Barathus to weaken enough for Vornoth himself to take an interest in the reasons why will he be able to emerge safely again from his sealed chambers. That the Darkest God might be behind this unjust persecution is a terrifying prospect which Dispater has often considered in his weaker moments.

Sooner or later though, Dispater knows that he will need to emerge. He hourly curses himself for his lack of foresight in preparing a suitable escape route from his chambers, meaning that should his enemies tire of subtlety and launch a full attack on Avernus, he will need to face them personally to stand a chance of survival. Isolated, sealed away, Dispater trains constantly for this eventuality, honing his abilities in readiness for his final stand.


Domain: Cloudshriek Eyrie, above the Frozen Expanse
Position: Demon Prince, Grand Envoy to Barathus
Significant Titles: Mothersbane, Queen of Harpies, Whore of Barathus
Currently Favored Tool: Ulupi

A Brief Overview

Unusually for a denizen of Barathus, Lamashtu is actually a native of Malor, being a demon prince of considerable power, and one of the three surviving Godsliver Fiends spawned by Soggoth the Calamitous. She is officially merely an advisor to Asmodeus, giving him a demonic perspective on events that he would otherwise lack, but it is widely believed that she is also obsessively attracted to the challenge of seducing the greatest of devilkind.

Certainly her reputation would make any common pleasure fiend feel inadequate. Lamashtu has borne monstrous progeny out of her dalliances with many a greater immortal, a disproportionate number of whom have become lesser rulers of the Hells themselves. Such horrors as Adramelech, Ravana Samraat, Ulupi, and Inanna are among the more infamous of her children; yet through her violation of captured angels she has also brought forth at least two champions of the Heavens, the little-known twins Dumah and Rahab.

Several mortal aberrations and monstrosities are also descended from her, in particular harpies following a rare tryst with Pazuzu. She spawned the otyughs after seducing Baalzebul, whilst hydras are suspected to be the outcome of an experiment with Tiamat—which also explains why the two species, distant cousins of a sort, can breed to produce the vile gulogut hybrids.

Lamashtu feels nothing for her offspring, or her various conquests, barely even recognizing them as having once been a part of her life. Perhaps as a consequence, she does feel intense jealousy towards mortals who have such inexplicable emotions as love and affection. New mothers in particular earn Lamashtu's ironic ire, and historically she derived great satisfaction from having them try to murder each other's children in order to save their own—before, naturally, butchering the victors anyway. This whimsical diversion has bored her of late, and she instead spends her free time trying to breed new and exotic kinds of cambions.


Domain: The Bleak Bastion, girding Fort Tyrannus
Position: Archdevil Secundus
Significant Titles: The Resplendent Glory, High Marshal of Barathus, He of Steadfast Valor
Currently Favored Tool: Astaroth

A Brief Overview

Adramelech is the oldest and most warlike of Lamashtu's children, possibly sired by his sponsor Mephistopheles, though none would dare accuse the famously meritocratic Godsliver Fiend of nepotism. Even if any believed such a root cause of favoritism, the fact is that Adramelech has proven himself many times over, and truly earned his commission as Seneschal of Fort Tyrannus, answering directly to the Dark Walker.

It was Adramelech who uncovered the treasonous plot of Samael. It was Adramelech who presented the famous ultimatum to Tiamat and Dagon. It was Adramelech who tamed Garuda and broke Humbaba. It was Adramelech who withstood unflinching the fury of Israfel. It was Adramelech who held the line against The Unnamable Other which led the Incursion From Beyond. It was Adramelech who did all this and more besides by pure strength of arms and keenness of wit, for he is almost bereft of any magical ability.

Unlike many devils, he is utterly without malice. The unspeakable atrocities he inflicts in war are designed specifically to weaken the resolve of his foes, and on the rare occasion he has been bested, he openly acknowledges his failings and praises his enemies for exploiting a vulnerability he failed to account for. To oppose him is to face uttermost annihilation, but to kneel before him is to earn a rare chance for redemption. Carefully manipulated and sufficiently overawed, the enemy of today might be the ally of tomorrow, and only a fool would ignore that possibility.

He maintains an intense rivalry with his siblings Ravana Samraat and Inanna, for between them the trio represent the spectrum of fiendish extremes, and in their own way seek to prove that their particular specialization is the superior. This rivalry is encouraged by other immortals, from the Heavens and the Hells and all the realms between, for they fear what might be accomplished by the siblings combining their powers and cooperating on a venture.


Domain: The Dockmaster Office of any Soulharbor
Position: Archdevil Secundus
Significant Titles: Gifter of the Powers, Master of Psychopomps, The Friend
Currently Favored Tool: Garuda

A Brief Overview

Abraxus is often named as the patron of warlocks, for it said that they were the first archdevil to offer such a pact to the mortal races. He is he, just as she is she, for Abraxus is Abraxus and is to each damned soul that most comforting image they can perceive in the horror of the Hells. Though mortal notions of sex and gender, as understood by mortals, are highly fluid among the planar immortals anyway, Abraxus transcends even these concepts. So mollified by Abraxus' presence are these souls that they often do not resist their fate, thereby expediting their harvest.

Abraxus oversees the legions of devils who fish out the souls drifting on the planar currents to Barathus, and holds the unique privilege to contest ownership of souls pledged to the fiends of Carcus and Malor as well, if there is evidence to suggest any upheld agreement was legally binding and therefore subject to the ontological remit of Lawful Evil. The inhabitants of Carcus and Malor, who have often lost warlock souls to Barathus in this way, consequently loathe Abraxus more than any other greater devil.

Whilst Carcusite fiends are willing to manipulate the Barathean legal system for their own benefit, Malorish demons are inherently opposed to this concept. Frenzied assaults along the Five Rivers by demons seeking to reclaim lost souls, or just to steal some out of spite, are a constant and significant threat to Abraxus' operations. The conflict is commonly known as the Blood War, and thousands of lesser devils perish daily to push back the unending tide of demons.

Abraxus works to divide their time equally between the Five Rivers, provided the influx of souls through one is not suddenly made disproportionate due to activities on the Material Plane. Owing to the current efforts of the Dweller in the Wintervale, both the Cocytus and the Acheron are unnaturally swollen with damned souls, and Abraxus has been forced to transfer contigents of the other workforces to cope. Any further strain on their limited resources, however, will risk a collapse in the infrastructure, and any number of unforeseen consequences.


Domain: Vaults of Usury, within the Mire of Dissolution
Position: Archdevil Secundus
Significant Titles: The Three-Shadowed King, The Punitive One, Lord of Rusts, Banker of Barathus
Currently Favored Tool: Minos

A Brief Overview

One of the more reasonable individuals to have occupied the position in recent centuries, Paimon is the intermediary between Mammon and other archdevils, and the one responsible for approving transactions of significance between them. The value of everything that passes through Barathus is first set by Paimon and thence enforced by the Judiciary of Sheol, making the archdevil one of the most important figures in the Hells.

The vast majority of his predecessors were often tempted into manipulating the values of goods and services most beneficial to them, as well as devaluing specific transplanar currencies to profit directly at the literal expense of their business associates. Paimon, recognizing that this systemic corruption was only leading Barathus towards economic catastrophe, resolved the situation by brutally slaughtering every devil even vaguely suspected of harboring sympathy towards these policies.

Those deemed to have been historically involved were punished far more creatively. The Paimon Benefits Initiative was launched to abject terror across Barathus, as devils of every rank were dispatched through the planes to perform acts of charity and selflessness without pay. It technically remains in effect even today, should any devil get ideas about repeating history.

With profits on the increase and interest rates more competitive than ever, Mammon has explicitly stated that he has no intention of punishing Paimon for the loss of labor—since the cunning archdevil already deducted the ongoing expenses incurred by the purge from his profitability reports. Paimon is consequently one of the most hated and nigh-untouchable fiends in the Hells.


Domain: Citadel of Dis, within Avernus
Position: Archdevil Secundus
Significant Titles: The Great Deceiver, Champion of Suggestion, Mocker of Truth
Currently Favored Tool: Sarpedon

A Brief Overview

Tytyvyllus was not even one of the greater fiends when he wriggled his way into Dispater's court, bruised and bleeding from a dozen grievous wounds, and pleading to be allowed to speak about the treacherous plot he had uncovered against the archdevil. Dispater, against the advice of his councillors, granted this permission to his cost.

It is Tytyvyllus who has reduced one of the senior archdevils to a cowering wreck, hiding away from all visitors out of fear of assassination or humiliating demotion. Tytyvyllus himself has taken up the mantle of his supposed master, to the extent of speaking for him in court and signing documents in his name. He has become something of an icon to the lesser devils of Barathus, an exemplar of skill and intelligence over brute force.

Since Avernus is being run far more efficiently by proxy than ever it did under official guidance, not even Asmodeus or Mephistopheles wish to bring formal charges against Dispater for incompetence—though Baalzebul is deliberately kept in the dark about this, lest he try to ruin it for everyone.

Some have noted that Tytyvyllus was far too successful, far too quickly, in his scheme to dominate Dispater that mere chance would suggest, especially when added to the number of his rivals who fell into a similar paranoid mania during the transition period. Suspicions are pointed at his curious assignment, to the Crevasse of Crawling Chaos in Malor, immediately before enacting his scheme. If Tytyvyllus indeed has the secret support of a Demon Prince, then his apparent power is far inferior to what he actually wields.


Domain: The Sacristy of Tophet, within the Cathedral Jahannam
Position: Archdevil Tertius
Significant Titles: The Bronze Bull, Highest of Servitors, King of Ash, He Who Smiles

A Brief Overview

Moloch is one of only two remaining Godsliver Fiends created by the Urslave Nij, the other being Apollyon. Unlike his sibling, Moloch is plagued with impotent rage at being a mere servant, at once unable to defy his need to submit to a mightier entity or to overcome his desire to be commanded. A constant source of frustration is Asmodeus refusing to give him any new orders for centuries at a time, forcing Moloch to obey older and outdated instructions in a desperate attempt to fulfil his imperative for submission.

Were he any other fiend, the vast physical and magical proficiencies Moloch commands—all the better for him to enact the will of his master—would make him nearly as feared and respected as Asmodeus himself. Instead, he is a figure of mockery among the other archdevils, who are infinitely amused by the paradox of so mighty a being left unable to use their power of their own volition. He is also seen as a particularly wasteful entity, exemplifying the inefficiency of the bully and the coward which any true devil would seek to avoid.

This stems from the sole exception to Moloch's lack of agency, which lies in the cosmic loophole permitting greater fiends to demand tribute of mortals who venerate them freely. What Moloch demands of his cultists is nothing less than the ritual sacrifice of their children, thrown living into the bronze furnances used for the abominable act. Other archdevils condemn the practice purely for being a waste of innocent souls that they cannot claim. Worship of Moloch is discouraged among the Dark Folk, for Vornoth prefers them to actually mature and therefore be useful as soldiers.

Asmodeus frequently loans Moloch out to the other archdevils—and on some notable occasions, even the demon princes—most commonly in exchange for some unspecified future service that far outweighs whatever aid Moloch unwillingly provided. The risk involved in allowing this interest to accrue is not enough to prevent many from taking Asmodeus up on his offer, for Moloch is by far the most useful and adaptable tool any of them will ever get to wield.


Domain: None
Position: Archdevil Tertius
Significant Titles: The Destroyer, Drinker of Torments, Locust Lord, Scourge of the Hells

A Brief Overview

Apollyon is one of only two surviving Godsliver Fiends created by Urslave Nij, the other being Moloch. Where his sibling is wracked with self-loathing and is almost devoid of free will, Apollyon is validated through servitude and acts on his own initiative wherever possible to aid his master. Unfortunately for many, his master is Baalzebul, whose punishments for deceit and treachery are legendary—and so to lighten the load on Baalzebul, Apollyon has taken it upon himself to hunt down transgressors who have amassed too much power for their underlings to dare accuse them in the courts of Sheol.

Though the phrase may seem to be an oxymoron, many an innocent fiend has become the victim of Apollyon's fixation. Few survive the investigation, and fewer still reach the courts thereafter. Apollyon is usually left to his crusade because, despite numerous failures along the way, he has brought down countless fiends across the Hells who were not keeping to their side of a bargain. Famously, the disgraced archdevil Geryon was one of those few who lived long enough to be brought to trial.

Even chaotic Demon Princes have been targeted, and his long-standing feud with Pazuzu is the stuff of legend among fiends. They, in turn, make sport of placing deceptions and trickeries in his path to cause him to err in judgement. As Apollyon always takes responsibility for this, subjecting himself to Baalzebul's censure over the course of centuries; the Demon Princes do not care that they cannot understand why he takes responsibility, but are simply gratified to have halted his harrassment of them.

During the early days, he worked closely with Adramelech to secure the loyalties of many Demon Princes to Vornoth, and the pair share a genuine camaraderie almost unheard-of among fiends. Whenever either requests a favor, the other will comply at once, and blasphemous whispers have circulated that once or twice they have even forgiven the debt owed to the other.


Domain: The Nightmare Stables, above the Desolation of Eris
Position: : Demon Prince, Skymaster of the Hells
Significant Titles: General of the Flying Cavalry, Dreamscourger, The Inchoate Horror

A Brief Overview

The first Godsliver Fiend to bend the knee to Vornoth, and the last of them to be spawned by Yorsot, is Ephialtes. For both his loyalty and his strength, he was appropriately rewarded by being given total command over the aerial forces of the Hells. As the millennia have passed, his armies have grown immensely, such that now he leads one of the largest military contingents in the Hells. Technically, even such entities as Garuda fall under his remit.

However, until such time as the wards of Gennax are breached, and the Hells are united for their assault on the Heavens, Ephialtes has very little to do with all this power. So, growing bored with the endless politicking and feeble civil wars among the fiends, he turned his attention to the Material Plane. He soon discovered that he was able to influence it in ways that most other greater fiends could not.

Ephialtes has the power to invade dreams, and even disrupt the trancing reverie of the elven races. It is said that his was the first darkness to terrify, for when the first elves sang to the stars, Ephialtes reached into their hearts and gave them a fear of the infinite blackness that lay between and beyond. He is said to often journey across the Penumbra is search of esoteric mysteries that the Erebusites guard jealously, and that the unbreached fastness of Izanaruggathol is his ultimate target.

Though he is on relatively good terms, so to speak, with most of his peers in the Hellish hierarchies, Ephialtes has a particular disdain for his sibling Dagon. So far as Ephialtes is concerned, by actually breaching into the Material Plane and spreading maddening dream-terrors, Dagon has attempted to supplant his authority. Ephialtes has even considered entering into a pact with the Archfey Amphitrite, but doubts that she will be so pliable as to help him destroy their mutual adversary.


Domain: Vaults of Usury, within the Mire of Dissolution
Position: Archdevil Tertius
Significant Titles: Eternal Architect, First Union Speaker, The Overseer of Change, Planner of Obsolescence

A Brief Overview

Though officially recorded as an archdevil for tax purposes, Malphas is actually a native of Carcus, one of the few remaining elder fiends descended from Tormossh via the now-deceased Godsliver Fiend Ahriman. Malphas is viewed with considerable suspicion even after all these years, but as he has demonstrated nothing but loyalty to Vornoth, must be afforded the same opportunities and treatment as any other obedient fiend.

Despite his relative power among the fiends, Malphas would not have risen so highly as he has were it not for a proposal that he made to Mammon—the introduction of a remarkable economic initiative that would ensure the future of productivity and profitability across all forms of industry and manufacture. This was named ‘planned obsolescence’, and stood in direct opposition to the standards upheld thus far.

Malphas reasoned that if something was made to last forever, then there would be no need for it be repaired or replaced. Thus, the value of its component parts would fall. The Barathean economy, built upon the need for profit and expansion, would eventually falter and fail. It was only logical, therefore, to make something with a limited lifespan in order to be paid to replicate it later on.

For this genius insight, Malphas was immediately chosen by Mammon to spearhead a complete reorganization of the Barathean model of manufacture. It took less than twenty years for the incurred costs to be recouped. Malphas has since gone on to champion the cause of workplace unions, citing a number of self-conducted studies proving that such assemblies vastly improve productivity. An experiment is currently underway to determine if this is indeed true.


Domain: The Stygian Emergence, on the borders of Avernus
Position: Archdevil Tertius
Significant Titles: Bringer of Storms, Tempestuous General, He of the Silvered Horn, The Stygian Thirster

A Brief Overview

A terrifying force of destruction more akin to demon than devil, Amduscias was once one of the Starherd, the first and most glorious of unicorns. That is, until the day he was felled by Adramelech in the Battle of the Despairing Glens, and left behind by his fleeing allies, believed slain. By some malign miracle, he was spared death, instead chained before the Stygian Emergence of Carcus to suffer for eternity.

Amduscias lasted some three hundred years before the unending hate was able to distort him. When his kin learned he yet lived, they launched many a failed attempt to rescue him, ironically only bolstering the corruption spreading within as his weakening mind began to believe they came to mock him. At last, he dipped his head and drank willingly of the Styx, and his chains broke, for they had been commanded to hold the unicorn Amduscias, not the monster.

Adramelech first loaned him to Ephialtes, who put him to stud for the breeding of the nightmares, and thence to Lamashtu, whose attentions obscenely returned to him some semblance of sanity. He was then sold outright to Dispater, for a price that only those two know, and neither will tell. Attempts to purchase or even steal him away have been made by other archdevils over the centuries, but despite normally being averse to action or risk, Dispater has curiously taken a personal hand in preventing this on every occasion.

Amduscias now stands guard at the Stygian Emergence of Barathus, drinking deep of its loathsome waters as he pleases, and roaring his challenge to any demon that wishes to attempt a raid from Malor. He never leaves this region even briefly, not even on the one occasion that Tytyvyllus attempted to command him with the ostensible authority of their mutual master. Whatever orders Amduscias does obey must clearly come from Dispater himself.


Domain: The Black Cedar Groves, outside Mephistar
Position: Archdevil Tertius
Significant Titles: The Cedar King, Wyrmsrender, Hewer of Mountains, He of the Burning Eyes

A Brief Overview

It is Mephistopheles who ultimately bears responsibility for the one named Humbaba, for when Vornoth decreed the death of the remaining Godsliver Fiends belonging to Grlaarshh and Tormossh, the titanic Ymir was long considered beyond the abilities of any save Asmodeus or the Darkest God himself. Nevertheless Mephistopheles, being possessed of great guile, drew up a contract with Ymir that would serve to protect him from any fiend that might seek to slay him.

When Ymir signed the contract, he doomed himself. Mephistopheles began his terrible and tremendous work, reshaping Ymir into the Living Palace of Mephistar—for though he too was forbidden by the contract from killing Ymir, there was no provision for inflicting unspeakable torments upon body and mind. Lesser fiends say, only half in jest, that witnessing this was the only time Vornoth has ever smiled. So it was that from the mingled sweat and blood of this unspeakable labor was born Humbaba.

For centuries, Humbaba roamed Barathus as a cannibal terror, devouring fiends of all ranks and positions with impunity. He was considered a useful measure of testing the survival instincts of local Baratheans, and the Godsliver Fiends left him to it. The depopulation of Barathus following the Incursion From Beyond caused Humbaba to be starved of his usual meals, forcing him to assault the Living Palace itself in his hunger.

Mephistopheles, offended by this invasion of his privacy, dispatched his protege Adramelech to slay Humbaba. Instead, Adramelech managed to capture the rampaging yet infantile beast and offered it as a prize slave. Humbaba has since matured and become a true asset to Mephistopheles, acting as the protector of the Barathean black cedars unique to the lands around Mephistar. Few outside of the Hells know of him save the scholars of Gloralion, but to them he is the abomination who devoured the hero Gilgalion, brother to Balanuil Firstking, and his dragon ally Ynkiadu, when they came to destroy the cedar groves during the first epoch of the world.


Domain: Geryon's Solitude, within the Desolation of Eris
Position: Archdevil Exgratiam
Significant Titles: Voice of the Wailing Host, Outcast King, The Twisted, Thief of the Spheres

A Brief Overview

Geryon was a pit fiend of considerable repute prior to his fall, highly respected by the other fiends who worked in the Spheres of Malebolgia. However, this changed when the Incursion From Beyond struck at Barathus, and for a time managed to seize control over a region of the Spheres for their own purposes. Geryon, in defiance of all convention and law, ignored the orders from his superiors to retreat and join the counter-offensive being prepared. Thousands of pit fiends flocked to him, and in so doing, weakened the Barathean military efforts elsewhere with catastrophic results.

After the Incursion From Beyond was repelled, and the Spheres reclaimed, Geryon and his allies were arrested. Owing to the severity of the crimes, and the importance of the setting, Baalzebub decreed that no fiend could stand in judgement over Geryon without having conflict of interest. Legal representation from Cogiton was instead hired at great expense—an act that Mammon decries to this day, arguing that even though their presence was vastly more offensive, angels of Caelestin would have been cheaper!—in order for the trial to proceed.

A major stumbling block in the trial was that Geryon had been using the Spheres of Malebolgia to empower himself directly, elevating him from an ordinary pit fiend into a true archdevil. Geryon's advocate made a very compelling argument, and remarkably concise at a mere seventeen days and nine hours in length, that Geryon was completely justified in this unauthorized self-promotion in order to defend himself against the aggressors.

Ultimately, Geryon and the pit fiends were exiled to the Desolation of Eris, to work off their debt to Barathus by whatever means they can devise. As the only archdevil present, he is both respected and feared by the other outcasts, though they avoid him whenever possible just in case he drags them down even further than they have already been cast.