Sunday, December 20, 2009


The devils are the fiendish creatures living in Avernus (a word meaning abyss). This plane was once that in which angels lived (see the description of the hellish planes in this regard); it was a plane with a slightly lawful alignment, and mostly empty, because all angels were flyers and required nothing but floating islands on which to build their civilization. But when Thanatos was full of demons, they were driven to conquer another plane; and sadly for angels, theirs was the chosen plane. After a long campaign under the military leadership of Satan, the plane was conquered and became the home of demons, being imposed the new fiendish name of Avernus. Given the lawful nature of the plane, it was the demons with such trends who moved to live there, led by Lucipher. Over time, these demons started calling themselves "devils", the name by which they are known today; and some new purely diabolical races have appeared with no past and no relation with the demons from Thanatos. Of course, the evil tendency of all fiends caused wars and conflicts to arise between demons and devils, even in a shaky truce pacted between their leaders.

As most Archdevils, Abyssus has become the living embodiment of a negative emotion. In his case, it is despair; and this Archdevil has the bad luck of falling prey to his sphere of power himself. Therefore, although he looks fairly humanoid, framed by two gnawed black wings, the grimaces of pain and despair that he doesn't stop doing for ever and ever have deformed his face to an extent that would be cartoonish if not for the feeling that emanates from him. That despair from which he's a source makes him avoided by most Archdevils, who just by approaching him begin to suffer and mourn his hellish condition. And if this is true with the powerful Archdevils it's easy to comprehend how much he can affect the souls that fall under his rule: it's the most feared fate, and any deal can be made to get rid of an eternity under his influence.

He's perhaps the most elegant Archdevil of all the inhabitants of Avernus, or of any of the hellish planes, and this is because Adramelech is the Master of Vanity. His obsession with physical appearance is such that his wardrobes occupy most of his vast palace, which means that he stores more clothes than what could be found in many whole human cities. He also likes to alter his own physique to match the clothes he wears, although he feels a predilection for dark shades of blue and metallic greens; as these colors are present in the feathers of the peacock he's often decorated with them, and in fact it has become his emblem. As an Archdevil he holds little power, but gets along well with most others, to whom he serves as an aesthetic consultant; and in his dealings with humans his extreme handsomeness and diplomatic and protocol delicacy gives him a great advantage.

This Archdevil stands out among the others due to his severity and always relentless spirit, what has earned him the nickname "The Executioner". But it's not as if he presided over summary executions and cruel justice (that is left to others), but over the justice that the very spirit applies to itself: remorse. Alastor is capable of causing deep remorse attacks worldwide, not only to those guilty of major crimes and sins, but also to anyone who feels that has committed some fault, however small that is. The appearance of this Archdevil does justice to his personality, and his eyes that watch from under a perpetually furrowed brow can distill a sentence able to rip through the souls of all who face him. He's the only bearded devil, and that is because the dwarves are his main victims, as their deep sense of honor makes them likely to have regrets.

One of the best known Archdevils in the material plane, and one that has the largest predicament; also in Avernus he's very high in the hierarchy, due to his power, his age, and the deeds which he staged. Asmodeus is the great corrupter, dedicated to extending the depravity and licentiousness among all civilizations in the cosmos. Of course, it's the lawfully aligned civilizations those in which his destructive power is more noted, because as the corruption spreads among the levels of their hierarchies they eventually become unstable and collapse like a castle made of cards. Perhaps only the devilish order is immune to the corruption caused by him, as this is grounded in their system naturally. However, his activities causes that Asmodeus does not keep good relations with Nergal and his associates; while on the other hand Adramelech is one of his closest friends and allies, and has a (limited) favour from Lucipher.

This Archdevil has little power, but has managed to make his way step by step in Avernus and between Ajsalium's mortals too. Baalberit could be classified as the "Prince of Wayward Lawyers", because his specialty is the legal and judicial rhetoric; and in a lawful society like that of devils, you can make a very profitable use of this ability (which is what this Archdevil is devoted to). Of course, his complete lack of scruples makes that he can constantly switch sides, so he has no real ally, but also no notable enemy. On the other hand, humans call him the "Archivist", because given his prodigious memory he can remember thousands of data on any topic; and some have gone to him to acquire knowledge of the history of the cosmos. Of course the reliability of the version explained by a devil is something that leaves much to be desired, since for Baalberit knowledge does not imply veracity.

This Archdevil is subject to Nergal, for whom he's his right hand and, in many ways, his most faithful executor. In diabolical society, Baalcefon occupies the lackluster but eventually influential rank of chief of sentries and guards. No civilization devotes more resources to these endeavors that a lawful evil one, so the network of agents depending from Baalcefon is extremely broad, and his contacts are so abundant that there is virtually no plot or plan of which he won't learn. This is the kind of services he's ready to offer to mortals (for a price, preferably in blood), along with another equally valuable: he's capable of ensuring the loyalty of slaves, and their complete submission to their masters. Finally, it is noteworthy that, like Baalberit, he's a relative to the Demon Prince Baal (hence their names), but no one but themselves know what this relationship exactly is and how it can affect loyalties.

Bucon is one of the most sadly busy Archdevils in the material world since the beginning of time, and its supreme malice surely will guarantee that he never abandons his tasks. He is nothing less than the popularly known as "Demon of Jealousy", but actually he's a devil. For some reason, probably due to the intervention of a deity, this devil was doomed to never be loved, while he himself is driven by passion. This contradiction tortures him continuously, and is the reason that has forged his resentful character against all those who can enjoy mutual love. Thus he's dedicated to sow discord between lovers, imposing in their hearts the shadow of a doubt that grows in depth and darkness until it corrupts love and turns it into hate and madness. In addition, Bucon takes that moment to offer his services to eliminate any possible rival in exchange for the soul of the jealous lover, thus sealing his doom.

For an Archdevil, the extremely passionate character of Gaab leads him to behave in a way that rather suggests a demon. But make no mistake: behind this facade of apparent fanaticism hides a mind as cold and ruthless as few. His empire on extreme passions makes him deeply hate any tepidity, and he's sometimes known as the "Scourge of Neutrality", because for him that is a real aberration, and has proposed to eradicate it from the cosmos. And if he hates all neutrality you can imagine his fury at true neutrals; his eternal campaign against monks is the greatest suffering that they must endure. Gaab enters their dreams and thoughts, awakening all seeds of radicalism to make them abandon their neutral and equidistant stance. Gaab's passion for his cause leads him to attack not only mortals but also any other creature, even gods, as he's not even afraid of these (being Ivellios the fetish of his hatred).

Goleenban is one of the two she-Archdevils of Avernus, and she's quite beautiful and elegant, but her beauty cannot compensate for even a fraction of her terrible evil. She lives in an area of Avernus rather peculiar, since it is an absolutely vast uninhabited desert, and separated from the rest of floating islands in which her fellow Archdevils live; in fact its landscape is quite similar to that which can be found on most of Thanatos. The reason for the voluntary isolation of Goleenban is that this devil from the desert is the Spirit of Solitude. Every time someone gets lost and is left alone, especially if that happens in places of difficult access and exit more than unlikely, Goleenban comes swiftly and wraps the lost one in a tenuous cloak that makes him keenly aware of his loneliness. After a few days, the oppression caused is so strong that he begins to go mad, finally leading to his death as all sense of reality is lost too.

This is one of the Archdevils with a most pleasant treatment, as his manners are very far away from the seriousness that most Archdevils have. Great striker, he looks like a handsome and charming young, and exudes a big confidence in himself and a certain arrogance. The reason for this behavior is that Jezbeth is the devil of imaginary wonders, fraud and deception. With him around, you can never be sure of what is real and what is not, since he likes to alter all of reality around him, and he does so almost unconsciously. So for centuries and millennia has been invoked by the mortals from the material plane as protector for liars and swindlers, to free them from the clutches of earthly law; making him one of the most popular Archdevils. As an anecdote about Jezbeth, it's noteworthy that his name has a feminine tone, and in fact some believe that this is a she-devil, whose first and longest deception is impersonating a male one.

Second only to Lucipher himself, the name of Leviathan is known and feared throughout the whole cosmos. Their appearance is impressive, and has a strong military air. Not surprisingly, since he's the diabolical Lord High Admiral, and Lord of Avernus' seas (i.e., the vacuum flows in which the islands float), in which he's usually found aboard weird constructs driven by the energy of thousands of enslaved and tortured souls. His credentials do not end with war, though, but apart from his military worth he's a big liar, and therefore also triumphs in politics (the continuation of war by other means). He's also a great epicure, a powerful incubus who likes to "enjoy" famous women, which are passionately attached to him, and manipulated at will. The rituals to invoke his attention are often held in the dead of winter, and is best done in the middle of a snowy and icy wasteland.

There was a time when Satan reigned supreme over all the progeny of fiends, and when Lucipher and Belzebuth were his faithful lieutenants. After their rebellion, nowadays Lucipher can only be compared to Belzebuth, and he's therefore the most feared Archdevil. His power is immeasurable and incontestable, the reason why he's the leader of the Archdevils, with the title of "Prince of the Abyss." his name means "Morning Star", a truly romantic name, which is due to his unbelievable handsomeness. His face is flawless, and has an expression of melancholy that makes him yet more appealing; he wears a crown of fire (similar to Belzebuth's one), but that burns with softness and fluidity; and from his back sprout four wings of feathers perfect but as black as the deepest night and death. For some reason that nobody knows, his worship has spread in recent times across Alterria and its civilized feudal countries. His followers carry rites in his honor between spring and summer.

He is, by far, the most widely seen Archdevil in Ajsalium (and other alternative material planes), because in a sense he's like an intermediary between Avernus and mortals. He could not perform this function if he didn't know to appear helpful, kind, clever and polite, but also ruthless when the time comes to retrieve the agreed price and immune to any kind of affection. He's in charge of sealing all major agreements, what makes him enjoy a very high position, having the obligation to report only to Lucipher. But this does not make him happier, because he repented long ago of doing evil deeds, but because of his diabolical nature he's bound to act evil against his will; besides that he can't overcome his pride and inability to love. Getting far away from Avernus on a regular basis could make him vulnerable to attacks, but even the most powerful celestials dare not do it, because although he has never shown much power it's suspected that he has it at the level of the greatest Archdevils.

Nergal is a tenebrous Archdevil, chief of the secret police from Avernus; he is the embodiment of vindictive justice. In the diabolical hierarchy he depends directly from Lucipher, and has the control over the very wide police system of Avernus, needed to keep the fierce order and control that these lawful beings love so much; being Baalcefon his subordinate. Despite his relation with Lucipher, Nergal is not considered one of the most important Archdevils as his functions are considered minor as they are limited to the plane of Avernus and not to extend the evil cause across the cosmos. He believes he is owed more respect and admiration, because if not for his zeal society would have fallen into demonic chaos; this resentment makes him especially relentless in his work and strive for perfection at any cost. In the material plane sometimes the souls of the worst murderers sentenced to death are assigned to Nergal, but only in isolated cases of utter depravity.

The other she-Archdevil, alongside Goleenban, is even more sinister than the latter. Her nickname is the "Strangler", given the pleasure she finds killing her enemies in this way; for that she has entwined in her complex dress multiple pieces of string or strips of many different fabrics, from silk to leather, gone through rough hemp. Rhabdos is the matron of murderers, torture and sex, preferably when all this is happening in unison; many psychopaths and rapists have ensured that a female inner voice drove them to commit their crimes; if true, it would be Rhabdos, although the clerics set up to judge these criminals are very aware that Rhabdos doesn't enter a heart that has not already opened to her voluntarily. Moreover, this she-Archdevil is the symbol of betrayal, leading to suspicion even amongst her fellows, except Baalberit, her lover and the closest thing to an ally with which she can count, this female always thirsty for blood and pleasure.

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