THE NINE HELLS
The Nine Hells of Baa tor inflame the imaginations of
travelers, the greed of treasure seekers, and the battle
fury of all moral creatures. It is the ultimate plane of
law and evil and the epitome of premeditated cruelty.
The devils of the Nine Hells are bound to obey the laws
of their superiors, but they rebel within their individual
castes. Most undertake any plot, no matter how foul,
to advance themselves. At the very top of the hierarchy
is Asmodeus, who has yet to be bested. If he were to
be vanquished, the victor would rule the plane in turn.
Such is the law of the Nine Hells.
OPTIONAL RULE: PERVASIVE EVIL
Evil pervades the Nine Hells, and visitors to this plane
feel its influence. At the end of each long rest taken on
this plane, a visitor that isn't evil must make a DC 10
Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature's
alignment changes to lawful evil. The change becomes
permanent if the creature doesn't leave the plane within
ld4 days. Otherwise, the creature's alignment reverts
to normal after one day spent on a plane other than the
Nine Hells. Casting the dispel evil and good spell on the
creature also restores its original alignment.
THE NINE LAYERS
The Nine Hells has nine layers. The first eight are
each ruled by archdevils that answer to Asmodeus,
the Archduke of Nessus, the ninth layer. To reach the
deepest layer of the Nine Hells, one must descend
through all eight of the layers above it , in order. The
most expeditious means of doing so is the River Styx,
which plunges ever deeper as it flows from one layer
to the next. Only the most courageous adventurers can
withstand the torment and horror of that journey.
Avernus. No planar portals connect directly to the
lower layers of the Nine Hells, by Asmodeus's orders.
As such, the first layer of Avernus is the arrival point
for visitors to the plane. A vern us is a rocky wasteland
with rivers of blood and clouds of biting flies. Fiery
comets occasionally fall from the darkened sky and
leave fuming impact craters behind. Empty battlefields
are littered with weapons and bones, showing where the
legions of the Nine Hells met enemies on their native
soil and prevailed.
The archduchess Zariel rules Avernus, supplanting
her rival, Bel, who has fallen out of Asmodeus's favor
and is forced to serve as Zariel's advisor. Tiamat, the
Queen of Evil Dragons, is a prisoner on this layer,
ruling her own domain but confined to the Nine Hells
by Asmodeus in accordance with some ancient contract
(the terms of which are known only to Tiamat and the
Lords of the Nine).
Zariel's seat of power is a soaring basalt citadel
festooned with the partially incinerated corpses of
guests who failed to earn the archduchess's favor. Zariel
appears as an angel whose once-beautiful skin and
wings have been ruined by fire. Her eyes burn with a
furious white light that can cause creatures looking
upon her to burst into flame.
Dis. Dis, the second layer of the Nine Hells, is a
labyrinth of canyons wedged between sheer mountains
CHAPTER 2 I CREATING A MULTIVERSE
rich with iron ore. Iron roads span and wend through
the canyons, watched ove r by the garrisons of iron
fortresses perched atop j agged pinnacles.
The second layer takes its nam e from its current lord.
Dispater. A manipulator and deceiver, the archduke is
devilishly handsome, bearing only small horns, a tail,
and a cloven left hoof to distin guish him from a human.
His crimson throne stands in the heart of the Iron City
of Dis, a hideous metropolis that is the largest in the
Nine Hells. Planar travelers come here to conspire with
devils and to close deals with night hags, rakshasas,
incubi, succubi, and other fiends. Dispater collects a
piece of every deal through special provisions that are
added to contracts signed on his layer of the Nine Hells.
Dispater is one of Asmodeus's most loyal and
resourceful vassals, and few beings in the multiverse
can outwit him. He is more obsessed than most devils
with striking deals with mortals in exchange for their
souls, and his emissaries work tirelessly to foster evil
schemes in the Material Plane.
Minauros. The third layer of the Nine Hells is a
stench-ridden bog. Acidic rain spills from the layer's
brown skies, thick layers of scum cover its putrid
surface, and yawning pits lie in wait beneath the murk to
engulf careless wanderers. Cyclopean cities of ornately
carved stone rise up from the bog, including the great
city of Minauros for which the layer is named.
The slimy walls of the city rise hundreds of feet into
the air, protecting the flooded halls of Mammon. The
Archduke of Minauros resembles a massive serpent
with the upper torso and head of a hairless, horned
humanoid. Mammon's greed is legendary, and he is
one of the few arch devils who will trade favors for gold
instead of souls. His lair is piled high with treasures
left behind by those who tried-and failed-to best him
in a deal.
Phlegethos. Phlegethos, the fourth layer, is a
fiery landscape whose seas of molten magma brew
hurricanes of hot wind, choking smoke, and pyroclastic
ash. Within the fire-filled caldera of Phlegethos's largest
volcano rises Abriymoch, a fortress city cast of obsidian
and dark glass. With rivers of molten lava pouring
down its outer walls, the city resembles the sculpted
centerpiece of a gigantic, hellish fountain.
Abriymoch is the seat of power for the two archdevils
who rule Phlegethos in tandem: Archduke Belial and
Archduchess Fierna, Be lial's daughter. Belial is a
handsome, powerfully built devil who exudes civility,
even as his words carry an undercurrent of threat. His
daughter i s a statuesque devil whose beauty encases the
blackest hear t in the ine Hells. The alliance of Belial
and Fierna is unbreakabl e, for both are aware that their
mutual survival hinges on it.
Stygia. The fifth layer of the Nine Hells is a freezing
realm of ice w ithin which cold flames burn. A frozen sea
surrounds the layer. and its gloomy sky crackles with
Archduke Levistus once betrayed Asmodeus and is
now encased deep in the ice of Stygia as punishment.
He rules this layer all the same, communicating
telepathically with hi followers and servants, both in
the Nine Hells and on the Material Plane.