The Plane of the Damned


Does light really say, "you are like me"? Should it not instead say, "I am like you"? For out of your heart proceeds good thoughts, wealth, fame, and your truth. Nothing impure ever comes out of it.
~ Ugeroth ~

 

Hellfire and Brimstone

In the cosmology model of Brinomir, the Plane of the Damned, also known as Hell, is the evil and corrupt nine-layer realm home to the evil devil lords and the demonic minions which serve them. The plane is a product to the Plane of Fire, brought into existence because of the Battle of Ijig.   Its denizens are united through a strict caste system that is meant to taint the imaginations of mortals through greed, deceit, and war, before a mind is ultimately turned towards evil forever. These corrupted souls fall into the Plane of the Damned where they become demons who only serve to fuel this continuous cycle and their devil lords.   This plane functions through a tyrannical hierarchy, with a devil being at the top, and a demon being at the bottom. The devils are classified through four titles of leadership: Greater Devil, Lord, Baron, and Archdevil, all of which are superior in rank to any title a demon holds.   Demons are classified through numerous different titles that are often used only to mock them and hold no authoritative power in the slightest. But, some demons who find favor with devils can attain the following ranks: Greater Demon, Demon General, and Lesser Devil.  

Devistic Hierarchy

The Plane of the Damned lives under a devistic hierarchy, or a chain-of-command derived for devils. What this means is that a devil holds a great deal of authority by nature alone over those who are not.  
But, even among themselves their power rankings can differ, such as Ugeroth, the Archdevil who has been the ultimate ruler of hell ever since its first appearance. No devil holds more power than he does, and as long as he is classified as a god, no other devil ever will. But, if he were ever to be vanquished, the victor is bound by devistic blood to to rule the realm in turn.   Below Ugeroth are the Barons, devils that oversee the eight layers above his own, which is called Nessus. Below each baron are a collection of Lords which serve as generals for the demonic hordes that are subject to a baron. Finally, below each lord are the Greater Devils, who are revered as powerful killers and officers directly under the lord.
 

Demonic Hierarchy

On the other hand, demons do not hold nearly as much power as even the lowest devil does. The vast majority of demons are left to be treated as mindless minions meant only to do their devils' biddings. But, some do prove themselves enough to achieve even in the slightest sliver of approval.   The first common rank is Greater Demon, which is simply given to a demon that has slain one-hundred others without death; it holds no authoritative value. Above those are Demon Generals, who are subservient warriors that serve directly underneath a greater devil.   And then, the highest rank a demon has ever earned is a title called lesser devil. It is given through a baron's personal judgement and grants the demon the basic rights and allocated worth of a devil, but with the restriction that one can never rise to become a greater devil or anything higher than that.  

The Layers of Hell

The Plane of the Damned is broken up into nine vertical cone-shaped layers, with the top layer being the narrowest at the tip of the cone, and the final layer being the widest and most endless at the base of it. The layers are ordered as follows from the first to the last: Avernus, Dis, Minauros, Phlegethos, Stygia, Malbolge, Maladomini, Cania, and Nessus.  

Avernus

Any outsider's journey through the Plane of the Damned, whether accidental or purposeful, begins in Avernus. Avernus is a rocky and mountainous place where the air is covered in a red blood-like mist, obscuring everything. The landscapes around the rivers of blood are covered in weapons and corpses, evidence of times when legions from outside hell invaded yet did not prevail.   The baron of Avernus is Beskeza, a fallen angel from the Lidis Eshefar. The lords that serve under Beskeza are Techimedes and Nulkor, brother and sister devils who were said to have been formed in the same pool of blood at the same time.   Avernus is normally used by Ugeroth and the other barons as a staging grounds against enemies who attempt to invade their realm like the Lidis Eshefar on multiple occassions.  

Dis

Descending from Avernus takes the traveler into the ground where they eventually come upon the second layer, Dis. It is a near endless arrays of caves, dungeons, and tunnels that lead to dead ends and circles, all of which is inhabited by terrifying skeletal demons. The center of Dis is a massive city built as an iron fortress known as Distopia. Here, the hierarchy flaunts its magnificence of being the largest organized city in hell.   The baron of Dis is Beelzebub, a powerful moth-like devil whose ceaseless pride is a curse from Ugeroth during the Coup of Dis. The lords that serve under Beelzebub are Ospin, Jaseroy, and Zamatil. Zamatil is speculated to be like a warden over Beelzebub by Ugeroth to ensure the devil never steps out of line again.   Dis is primarily mined and harvested for its planar minerals used in special summoning rituals and weapons, like Samsaseite.  

Minauros

Descending from Dis takes the traveler into the acidic swamp-filled marshes of Minauros. Its expansive land is surrounded by innumerous bogs and swamps that are only ever described as endlessly deep. From the sky, acidic rain pours upon the ground in waves, affecting organic life, but not the devils and demons who've grown resistant to it and tempt anyone they can to give up everything they have.   The baron of Minauros is Raazulton, a plant-like devil who is covered in so many mounds of moss and overgrowth that none know the true appearance of his face. The lords that serve under Raazulton are the acid devils, Memnon and Zolvuch.   Most of the demons that are formed in the Plane of the Damned come from Minauros. As a result, the devils of the layer, especially Raazulton like to ransom off these demons in groups to the highest bidders of the other layers to sate their hunger for money and possessions.  
Norvol, Lord of Phlegethos
Fire Elemental by iVANTAO

Phlegethos

Descending from Minauros takes the traveler into the realm flooded by seas of molten magma known as Phlegethos. The heat here is as hot as the Plane of Fire itself, and its inhabitants are fiercely hostile and violent. The order of Ugeroth their archdevil is the only thing which keeps them in check. The layer is marked by the city of brimstone that runs along the ceiling of Phlegethos called Mhartyr.   The baron of Phlegethos is Norvol, a fiery devil who once captured the legendary Beholder named Ix'xalhoon and fused him with himself, ultimately making a kind of devil never seen before. He is the most wrathful and quick to anger devil among all the barons. The lords that serve under Norvol are the generals of his Fire Legion, Rim, the Despised, and Balphas who is Norvol's son.   Phlegethos is commonly used for lava quarries to harvest its unique brimstone, a highly volatile mineral that acts as a great magical component for highly violent Weaving.  

Stygia

Descending from Phlegethos takes the traveler into an expanse of frozen ice and glacial pillars, a stark contrast to the layer just above it. Stygia is a realm so cold that it burns. The sky above constantly crackles with lightning and periodically rains hail the size of a human hand. So barren is this place that the devils here covet and try to steal everything the other layers have.   The baron of Stygia is Baphomet, a goat-like devil who is voluntarily sealed inside an indestructible block of Stygian ice so that none may ever be able to defeat him and take his place. The lords that serve under Baphomet which he telepathically communicates with are the fallen angels Azazel and Marael, who were once part of the Lidis Eshefar but succumbed to Ugeroth's corruption.   Stygia is a place often overlooked and ignored, which also equates that Baphomet is equally not as valued. This outlook only spurs the Stygians on to covet and steal.  

Malbolge

Descending from Stygia takes the traveler into Malbolge, an infinite slope along a mountain with no base and no summit. The atmosphere here is covered in ash and soot; some planar scholars believe it to be because of all the bodies that are burned there. Prisons and countless stockades are built into the mountain's caves, where the denizens take great pleasure in torturing and humiliating prisoners that end up here, usually in the effort to fully corrupt them.   The baron of Malbolge is Jezebel, also called the enchantress, who has led more souls to hell and to corruption than any other baron. The lords that serve under Jezebel are her self-proclaimed slaves, Thyatira, Bihan, Zelphuval, and Rulnazi.   Malbolge is commonly used by the other layers as a prison where captured angels, mortals, and other beings are sent. They find no escape until they are fully turned, or until they perish from the ruthless practices.  

Maladomini

Descending from Malbolge takes the traveler into a ruin-covered landscape. Philosophers claim the structures and monuments which can be found here are the remnants of past civilizations from countless other worlds, or that it is the remnants of the ancient city of Ijig from the Plane of Fire. The sky above is eternally covered with grey clouds, and as opposed to the other layers, this one is deathly quiet.   The baron of Maladomini is the sloth devil Mayuner, who only ever leaves his ruined palace when the barons are called to gather in Nessus. The lords that serve under Mayuner are equally slow devils known as Manati and Erroth.   Everything in Maladomini is sluggish and lazy, and its pervading atmosphere proves to be a deathly trap for outsiders who fall at risk of succumbing to this same temptation and never leaving too.  

Cania

Descending from Maladomini takes the traveler to a dry desert of steep dunes and a sun that never sets. Everything out in the desert is barren and so hot that a wanderer might only survive a few days on their own. But, things are much different in the city of Bogoron that to an outsider seems like an oasis. But, inside the city is full of gluttons who eat and drink anything that crosses their path, from Materian alcohol and foods to meals from other planes entirely.   The baron of Cania is Baal, a fat winged devil whose term for punishment is to be eaten alive by him. The single lord that serves under him is his proclaimed butler, Uvla. No lord has ever lasted a year under Baal without being eaten, but Uvla has long surpassed that point, so many assume his demise will come at any moment.   Ugeroth uses Cania like a protective shield. Trespassers first have to cross the desert into Bogoron, and can only descend from the very throne room of Baal.  

Nessus

Descending from Cania takes the traveler to the lowest depths of hell, to a fiery wasteland of cracked ground, deep fissures, and a sky where ruined planets hang in the sky. Only one structure looks out across this landscape, and it is a magnificently large palace that is the lair of the archdevil himself. It is called Satan's Palace. When the archdevil summons the barons, all are gathered to this palace in order to discuss someone's actions or, most often, to be issued direct orders.   The baron of Nessus is always the archdevil, who is Ugeroth. He is a massive devil whose strength is as great as his skill to tempt is. The lords that serve under him are the powerful warriors Balor and Lucifer, who each lead their own legions of lesser devils.   Nessus is the final resting place of all hell. None know what might happen to the cosmology if Nessus were to ever fall, although myths and prophecies from religions such as Demanity say that this will never happen.  

Talisman of the Damned

Like holy symbols for clerics and paladins, talismans of the damned are unique unholy symbols meant to act as objects of faith, particularly for those who practice Demanity. None know the true origin of the talisman, but some speculate it was a gift from Ugeroth to the first mortal man that fell to his corruption.   A talisman is often acquired by stealing it off someone else or when a devil grants it to a follower. Sometimes, these talismans will come with additional iconography that depicts a certain devil's personality or name.   For instance, talismans gifted from the devil baron Baphomet often depict the image of a goat's skull in the center.
 

The Plane of the Damned is like a whirlpool. The further down you go, the closer to the eye you get, until eventually you're pulled under completely.
~ Obras Torgella ~

Type
Dimensional plane
Location under
Owner/Ruler

Adventures in Hell

When running a D&D 5E campaign, any visitor, player or NPC, that finishes a long rest in this plane falls at risk of succumbing to the particular layer's temptation.  

Avernus: Blood Thirst

After finishing a long rest in Avernus, a visitor must make a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature succumbs to a sudden urge to inflict self-harm and drink of their own blood. They suffer 3d6 true damage.  

Dis: Pride

After finishing a long rest in Dis, a visitor must make a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature succumbs to the temptation of pride until they leave Dis. While succumbed to pride, the creature will never willingly end its turn within 5 feet of an ally, will never willingly share anything it has, and will never willingly cast beneficial spells on anyone but themselves. The change becomes permanent if the creature doesn't leave Dis within 1d4 days.  

Minauros: Greed

After finishing a long rest in Minauros, a visitor must make a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature succumbs to the temptation of greed until they leave Minauros. While succumbed to greed, the creature will never willingly spend any currency, sell anything it has, or give anything it has away. The change becomes permanent if the creature doesn't leave Minauros within 1d4 days.  

Phlegethos: Wrath

After finishing a long rest in Phlegethos, a visitor must make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature succumbs to the temptation of wrath until they leave Phlegethos. While succumbed to wrath, the creature will never help another creature, and after rolling initiative, must its action each turn to cast a harmful spell or effect, attack, grapple, trip, or shove a hostile creature until the combat ends. The change becomes permanent if the creature doesn't leave Phlegethos within 1d4 days.  

Stygia: Envy

After finishing a long rest in Stygia, a visitor must make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature succumbs to the temptation of envy until they leave Stygia. While succumbed to envy, the creature will never willingly give anything it has away, continuously covets anything it doesn't have. After rolling initiative, the creature must succeed on the same Wisdom saving throw or use its turn trying to steal something it doesn't have from the nearest creature to it. The change becomes permanent if the creature doesn't leave Stygia within 1d4 days.  

Malbolge: Lust

After finishing a long rest in Malbolge, a visitor must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature succumbs to the temptation of lust until they leave Malbolge. While succumbed to lust, the creature has disadvantage on saving throws against being charmed and other mind-altering effects, and views all creatures as friendly creatures. The change becomes permanent if the creature doesn't leave Malbolge within 1d4 days.  

Maladomini: Sloth

After finishing a long rest in Maladomini, a visitor must make a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature succumbs to the temptation of sloth until they leave Maladomini. While succumbed to sloth, the creature cannot make attack rolls or ability checks that use their Strength, and has disadvantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws. They also will never willingly take the Dash action on their turn. The change becomes permanent if the creature doesn't leave Maladomini within 1d4 days.  

Cania: Gluttony

After finishing a long rest in Cania, a visitor must make a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature succumbs to the temptation of gluttony until they leave Cania. While succumbed to gluttony, the creature is poisoned and constantly feels hungry for food and alcohol. The change becomes permanent if the creature doesn't leave Cania within 1d4 days.  

Nessus: Absolute Evil

After finishing a long rest in Nessus, a visitor must make a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature succumbs to the ultimate temptation of hell. While succumbed to hell, the creature's alignment changes to chaotic evil. The change becomes permanent if the creature doesn't leave Nessus within 1d4 days.
 
Lucifer was once a righteous man. That is, until he fell to all the temptations of hell.
~ Asmodeus, the Faithful


Cover image: A Tear for Every Hero in Hell by noahbradley

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