Many people believe that the moment of Creation occured with the Advent of Light. Ogin knows that this is not true. Memory is the advent of creation, just as writing is consider by most as the indicator of civilization.
Ogin rules Layer 317 of they Abyss, the Lost City of Pandemonium. What Ogin is, is a matter of conjecture; when those can, remember to conject. It is noted in the Codex of Infinite Planes that he was there at the beginning.
It is also noted that he may have been the genesis of memory, and remembrance is his bane. Who or what he was in the beginning is unknown, but it is known that he was not evil in the incarnate way that demons and devils are evil. Rather, he committed an act, and relives it in his memory eternally. This has driven him mad, but he cannot die and cannot forget.
The lost city is not lost in the usual sense of the word, for some of the rulers of other layers know exactly where it is. They know however, that it is one of the most treacherous places in all the multiverse, and the fate that afflicts its residents afflicts all equally.
The City is lost in that it is difficult to remember. Oddly, it is the trick of civilization that defeats the trick of creation. What people cannot remember, they often write down. This has occured on numerous occasions, so the Lost City is known.
The unusual thing about Ogin is that he engenders forgetfulness. In the Lost City, thousands of souls wander aimlessly, unable to remeber where they are, or what their motivations are. Anyone approaching the Layer must make a will save Hourly (DC 25), or simply forget where they are going. Writing down their destination reduces this DC by 5.
In the City, visitors must make a will save every 10 minutes (DC 30) or forget where they are, who they are, where they come from, or why they are here. Once this save is failed, the person can only retry when some event "triggers," a memory, but each time it becomes more difficult. Add 2 to the DC each additional attempt. These modifiers are cummultive, and have no maximum. Attempting to save 10 times would result in a DC of 50 on the last attempt.
Removing a person from the plane reduces the DC by 10, but the addition continues to occur. Thus, an afflicted mage returning to the Wizardry College of Greyhawk who has not attempted but one save must make a will save DC 20. If he fails it goes to 22.
Those who are afflicted cannot remember. They cannot do anything but eat and sleep. They cannot prepare meals or go to bed, they will simply chew what is placed in their mouth, or fall to sleep when they are tired.
This affect is strongest in the prescence of Ogin. While Ogin is in sight, a character must save every other round. The DC is 30. Ogin can, at will suppress this ability. However, if a character has already forgotten their past (failed a save) then this just allows them to remeber from that moment on. They will remember all of their skills and feats, but will not know why they can do such things.
Ogin uses these people to build his city. He calls the city Memory, but it's appearance is that of Pandemonium. Ogin cannot selectively suppress his forgetfulness, and therefore, he must allow the whole of the city to remeber. The result of this is that the undead souls who are building the city often forget and then start over. Streets often dead end, rooms have no doors, buildings have no rooves, etc. The dead are effectively infernal shadows, but bear no malice or motivation. They will defend themselves if attacked, but only as long as Ogin suppresses his aura.
If a characte touches or passes through one of the souls, then they are treated as if they were hit by a shadow, plus they must make an additional save versus forgetfulness.
Ogin wanders the city instructing his minions in the consturction. Anyone who approaches Ogin can talk with him, provided they make their saves. He is the only resident of the city, other than the lost
Only devices that affect wil save have any affect upon this aura.
Alright everybody, this one is too much fun to let die. Someone take a stab at this, even if it isn't the best name for an abyssl layer. What idiot proposed "Layer 318: Houses of the Caged Legions," anyway?
Eons ago, an ill fated baatezu force attempted to invade the Abyss as part of the Blood War. The great Marilith general, Rehnaremme, led the demonic army that crushed a large force of barbazu and abishi devils that became seperated from its commanders and unable to retreat back to Baator.
Rehnaremme was anxious to understand and use her enemy, and so she directed her troops to try to take prisoners. Remarkably, some of her troops obeyed this order and a large amount of these lower level devils were disarmed and brought before Rehnaremme. She had these prisoners taken to layer 318, a wild and unstable Abyssal plane. There, she conducted vile experiments on the baatezu, attempting to create a demonic race with the outward appearance and abilities of devils.
The devils were placed in specially wrought cages and exposed to plumes of raw chaos that erupted from the plane's suface like volcanic lava. Some devils had grafts of demonic body parts put on them, some had demonic ichor transfused into their blood, others were endlessly treated to suggestion and charm spells until their minds broke.
Rehnaremme's experiments partially succeeded. A new type of hybrid fiend was created out of these efforts. Unfortunately, the tortures and mutations made the former baatezu totally out of any control of Rehnaremme and are now completely insane. The devil-demonic hybrid is now something not entirely baatezu and not wholely demonic. Some individual creatures appear physically unchanged, some have developed different abilities and immunities. In short, no two individuals are alike and all share a burning hatred of their captors.
Rehnaremme does not know what to do with her new army. An attempt to release them from their cages to throw at the baatezu resulted in an army that turned on the demons and shredded them. It is clear that Rehnaremme can not control them and their mutations make them unable to act as infiltrators for the Blood War. To Rehnaremme's horror, the hybrid fiends have begun to reproduce themselves (probably the result of them being exposed to too much raw chaos) and seem to have an ability to pass on their insanity by wounding their opponents. The "Caged Legions" have now almost total control of the layer, making the "inmates running the asylum"!
Rehnaremme has what forces are left to her desperately making more cages to hold the ever increasing legion of these hybrid fiends. The cages fill the whole of a grey plane, with great plumes of raw chaos erupting out of fissures scattered about the layer. The hybrids grind their teeth, and slaver at the thought of escape and are always madly struggling to break their cages and slay all demonic life they see.
Rehnaremme herself fears for her life as she controls the last major intact cell blocks on the planes. Other demon lords have declared this plane as a quarentine and nervously monitor the expansion of this enraged army. There remains a few pockets of demons who vainly attmpt to keep the legion caged off from the portals that lead to other levels of the Abyss. Only time will tell if this legion will grow into a power to its own in the Abyss.
This is a great thread. The Caged Legions are my favorite thus far. If anyone was looking for a horrid Epic Villan, this could be it!!!! Defend your homes against these creatures, you supercharged 40th level megamen!!! You may win, but what will you have left but a charred remnant of the world as you know it. Requires more brain, less brawn
Abyssal Layer #589: Dominion of the Sapphire Queen (formerly The Bloodheart)
The Dominion of the Sapphire Queen, or the Bloodheart as it is formerly known, is a plane of suspended highways made up of monstrous pulsating blue veins and deep red arteries, with pulsing structures of muscle and sinewy blood vessels thrusting skyward at main junctions throughout. The vesicular highways originate at the center of the plane, which is taken up by a massive pulsating heart, growing out of which is the Sanguine palace, a structure of muscle, sinew, and a mass of engorged blood vessels. Sages theorize that these vessels and tissues come from the body of a long dead god that fell prey to the lords of the Abyss, while yet others claim they are the remains of a vast demonic lord that once ruled the whole of the Abyss before being toppled from power by its traitorous minions, known now as the various demon lords of the Abyss. At the center of the Sanguine Palace within a pool of blood where all souls from the blood pools pass through sits the Throne of Blood. It is from here that the Sapphire Queen, a demonic mage of unknown power, rules her gory domain.
Along the periphery of the blood vessels that striate the plane are structures of muscle fiber and sinew that form pools which bubble with arterial blood and are constantly surrounded by the susurrating moans of the tortured souls of the damned that have arrived at the plane and are drawn into the pools, traveling along them to the Sanguine Palace, and the Bloodheart below it. Within the Bloodheart, the veins carrying the newly arrived souls terminate within a vast pool, where they are processed by the demonic servants of the Sapphire Queen. Some are consumed, while most are sent on their way to the arterial blood pools, which ring the Bloodheart. From these overflowing pools are birthed various demonic creatures from the corrupted souls of the damned. The most numerous of these are the dretch and babau, while a very select few become succubi, according to the Sapphire Queen’s will. Surrounding most of the arterial blood pools are clumps of swollen membranous tissue, from which burst forth larvae and the occasional quasit. The overflow of the various arterial blood pools falls to the floor of the plane, covering it in a sea of blood within which float islands of living tissues, some with living towers fashioned from muscle and sinew, where hezrou and cambion vampires make their lairs. A hazy reddish fog of blood is ever present in the breathable atmosphere of the Dominion of the Sapphire Queen, as are roving demonic vampiric mists that feed on the unwary. The blood mist coats all within the plane in a thin sheen of sticky red gore.
Throughout the arterial highways of the plane loom pulsating towers of living tissue, where the armies and other minions of the Sapphire Queen dwell. These are mainly composed of dretch and babau troops, which are often led by enhanced babau, succubi, hezrou, nabbasu, and more than a few vampire servants who find the arterial blood of the plane particularly invigorating. Uninvited visitors to the Dominion of the Sapphire Queen will either have their blood drained into the blood pools or, if they are less fortunate, taken to The Bloodheart for some much more personal attention at the hands of the Sapphire Queen and her court.
Last edited by Cebrion on Thu May 28, 2009 12:15 am; edited 3 times in total
Centuries ago, the offspring of a succubus and an unknown demon lord was summoned forth from The Bloodheart to be the plaything of a powerful arch mage. Her name was Murmyzyth, and she served the master of The Bloodheart, the balor Shaounok. For decades she was enslaved to her mortal master. Over time she succeeded in seducing her master and learning most of his magical secrets, becoming a powerful mage in her own right. It was not long before Murmyzyth was able to break free of her mortal master’s will and steal his soul, gaining even more power in the process. Before long she became too great a threat to the surrounding lands and was sought out by powerful servants of weal and banished to her true master’s realm, the five hundred and eighty-ninth plane of the Abyss, which was and still is known among sages as The Bloodheart.
Having returned to the Sanguine Palace of her true master, Murmyzyth used her newfound powers to seduce the balor. After a month of particularly base debauchery, the succubus succeeded in binding the sated Balor to her will and fed upon it’s essence to become something far more than what she had been born as. Murmyzyth took control of the Bloodheart, and took on the title of The Sapphire Queen, a reference to the colossal bluish veins that feed the blood pools of the Sanguine Palace with the newly arrived souls of the wayward and the damned. It is also an affectation of her favorite gemstone.
The Sapphire Queen appears as a white-skinned succubus with lustrous wavy blue-black hair and wings of midnight black. Her cat-like eyes glow a deep blood red and are framed by sultry blue-black lashes. Her lips are brilliant azure in color while her teeth are purest gleaming white, and her horns and nails are jet black, fading to brilliant blue at the tips. She often wears evocative diaphanous robes of black silk, embroidered with designs in platinum and blue silk thread, along with a delicate platinum tiara set with sapphires and rubies. She has consorted with both Orcus and Grazzt in the past, though she has cleverly avoided allying with one over the other so far. She currently hosts an envoy of each within the Sanguine Palace. Murmyzyth spends most of her time seeking a means to increase her power and join the ranks of the lords of the Abyss. To that end she is constantly experimenting with the blood pools, and continues to absorb the essences of those of her minions who displease her. She also seeks powerful mortals to seduce into her service, so as to gain more agents on the prime material plane. She is particularly fascinated by vampires, and has no trouble luring any that interest her to her realm of blood.
Next up: Layer #227, The Hanging Gardens of Mahgra-Toh.
Last edited by Cebrion on Mon May 25, 2009 1:36 am; edited 2 times in total
I had to bump this one. It was all the way back on page 4. I was looking over the posts and have to agree with AM. This thread would make an interesting article, perhaps another eventual Special Feature? _________________ Never get into fights with ugly people, they have nothing to lose.
First it is more appropriate to the subject matter. And second, there is just too many new topics being posted in the general forum to keep it up top.
I agree and let the powers that be *cough*GVD*cough* for permission to move it to The Planes folder if others think it will help this topic along. _________________ Canonfire Community Supporter and Forum Justicar
This is kinda like Abyssal jazz. I’ll give it a whirl:
Layer #227, The Hanging Gardens of Mahgra-Toh
In Mahgra-Toh, all sense of spatial orientation vanishes. There is no sky and no ground below. There is only vast, verdant space in which hang multitudes of vines, lianas and creepers, which in turn support myriad orchid blooms, garlands of protea, shoots of anthuriums and uncounted varieties heliconias. No gravity defines up from down and the ever present greenery grows so thickly that distance is swallowed in the foreground, not even a stone’s throw away. A yellow-green light filters dimly for nowhere and everywhere and the warm air is thick with the humid scents of foliage - exotic flowers and decaying vegetation. These are the Hanging Gardens.
Floating in Mahgra-Toh movement is almost impossible. One cannot fall for there is no gravity. One cannot walk for there is no ground. One cannot swim for there is no water. One cannot fly as the hanging plants hang too densely. It is only possible to pull oneself along or swing from vine to vine. Nothing impedes such movement for the plants all seem anchored to nothing but each other and, then, only loosely.
Unbroken is the monotony of the all encompassing green, except splashes of flowering color that will flash then vanish when a seeming wind that comes from nowhere rustles the vines. No cities are to be found. No monuments. Nothing. The Hanging Gardens of Mahgra-Toh is a plane totally dominated by vegetation. Animals and insects are non-existent. Sentient life of any native sort appears non-existent. Only creatures and beings trapped from outside may be found within, struggling for survival. Neither will for long survive. While beautiful, Mahgra-Toh is deadly.
Every flower’s petals are razor sharp. Every bit of pollen, nectar or sap is poisonous. Worst are the fungi that grow in damp boles formed by overgrowths of plants, one upon the other. They take root wherever there is moisture. Human sweat. The oil on a blade. Leather kept supple. Beaded moisture on armor. They are omnivorous and, given time, will break down and compost any material or organism not native to Mahgra-Toh. Magic that prevents any and all physical contact with the environment is the only periapt. Indeed, without magical aid, survival within the Hanging Gardens is apt to be short and painfully unpleasant. Yet, something lurks here.
The Hanging Gardens of Mahgra-Toh are moved by breezes of unknown origin. In truth, it is not wind that moves through the foliage. The plane is the home of nearly incorporeal fiends whose invisible passing subtly disturbs the hanging plant life. These are the Mahgra-Toh. The souls of sinister druids, corrupt rangers, venal farmers and sentient plants of evil disposition may be drawn in death toward the Hanging Gardens. Amidst a verdant beauty that mocks their lives spent defiling nature upon the Prime Material Plane, they become prey of the Mahgra-Toh.
From among the ranks of the most powerful of the Mahgra-Toh, it happens that those grown most puissant feeding on souls may manifest physically on the Prime Material Plane, possessing and warping plants in areas saturated with evil or blighted with malignant growths. Plant Demons they are called and take an infinite variety of forms. They are, however, Mahgra-Toh and will resist all efforts to return then to the insubstantiality of their existence in the Hanging Gardens. Physicality is for the Mahgra-Toh a luxuriant sensation, an aphrodisiac existence in which they can not only sense but feel. And nothing feels better than the destruction of other physical beings with ones own appendages, be it bows, branches, roots, vines or flowers. Learning of Prime Material worlds from their fellows banished back to the Hanging Gardens after defeat, all Mahgra-Toh now long to seed the Prime Material Plane, to take root there and bloom in a new, fleshy garden.
Next - Layer # 512, The Black Towers of Night Everlasting _________________ GVD
This is a really cool thread, so I'm happy to add to it with my first ever canonfire contribution. Would love to see more ideas posted here!
Layer 88: The Silent Swamp of Mangroves and Malevolence
This layer consists of an endless swamp dominated by several species of mangrove trees growing out of brackish water (a mixture of fresh and salt water). The air of this plane is thick and fetid, and the temperature remains constant at 88 degrees (F) with 90% humidity. No wind ever blows here and the swamp stinks of decay and rotten vegetation.
The sky, when not obscured by the thicket of mangrove branches, is a uniformly hazy greenish-gray color. It continually radiates a sort of late afternoon level of “sunlight,” although no sun is actually ever visible and there is no apparent cycle of day or night in this domain. In addition, the ambient light does not negatively affect the undead.
The mangrove trees themselves reach heights of 35-40 meters, and various types of ferns, mosses, fungi and orchids also grow here. The flowers are generally a sickly greenish-yellow color and produce a disgusting scent reminiscent of human feces.
Food and Drink
The water in which the mangroves grow can reach a depth of up to 6 meters, although 0-2 meters is more common. The water is dark, almost black in color, and is not potable due to the salt content its general polluted state. The beasts of this plane have apparently adapted to this and are able to filter out the salt in one way or another. But given the heat and extreme humidity in the swamp, dehydration quickly becomes an issue for any non-native creature without its own supply of fresh water.
Even if the foul liquid could somehow be desalinized, any PC ingesting it has a 75% non-cumulative chance per half-liter consumed of contracting a severe case of dysentery. Purification spells and the like will not function in this layer because of the baleful influence of the Abyss. Cure Disease and similar spells will work, although they are only effective 60% of the time.
Numerous animals live in the swamp, but the ecosystem’s biochemistry differs slightly from that of the prime material plane. Thus, any non-native creature ingesting “food” from this environment winds up introducing a bio-toxin into their system. Plus, the food (fish, meat or fowl) uniformly tastes rancid. No fruit grows in the swamp and none of the flora is edible.
The effects of the bio-toxin are cumulative such that a typical PC would accrue a lethal dose after eating the number of meals equal to 1/3 of his or her Constitution score (rounded up). Purification spells will again be of no use here, although magical protections from poison will work at roughly 60% of their normal level of effectiveness.
Denziens of the Swamp
The “natural” fauna living in this awful place include crustaceans, fish, reptiles, mammals, small primates and all sorts of birds. Most appear deformed in some way relative to their prime material analogues. For example, a commonly seen crustacean-eating fox-like animal has greasy brown fur, a gnarled, corkscrew-like tail and eyes the color of fresh blood. The birds especially are bereft of their normal bright colorings, being either a dull grayish-brown or various putrid shades of ochre and green.
The swamp is infested with tiny but voracious and bloodthirsty flying insects. Any unprotected warm-blooded visitor to the plane will be bitten an average of three times per turn. Each bite has a 1 in 10 chance of imparting a virulent tropical disease (malaria-type).
Essentially, if unprotected creatures are not somehow magically or otherwise immune to disease, they are virtually guaranteed to contract one in fairly short order. Cure Disease spells will rid an infected PC of this disease with the same 60% effectiveness noted above, but with each bite received he or she has a 1 in 10 chance of being re-infected.
PCs unfortunate enough to become trapped on this vile plane may not survive long enough to die from the symptoms of this disease (or from dehydration, starvation, poisoning, dysentery, etc.) as countless hostile creatures populate this reeking swamp. Some of these are deadly but non-magical, such as crocodiles, jaguars, poisonous snakes and various prehistoric reptiles. Dangerous giant animals (catfish, frogs, etc.) are also common. And finally, PCs must of course contend with the undead and demonic denizens of the plane.
Random Encounter Table for the Silent Swamp:
01-20 Animal, giant (see subtable)
21-27 Crocodile (normal)
27-29 Daemon, Hydrodaemon
30-31 Demodand, Faratsu
32 Demodand, Kelubar
33 Demodand, Shator
34-36 Demon, Chasme
37-41 Demon, Dretch
42-45 Demon, Type II
46-48 Demon, Type V
49 Demon, Type VI
50-54 Demon, other type or mixed group
55-58 Dinosaur, Dimetrodon
59-65 Dinosaur, Pterosaur
66-67 Dinosaur, Tanystropheus
69-75 Ghast / Ghoul
76-77 Green Slime
80 Naga, spirit
82 Son of Kyuss
83-87 Snake, constrictor (normal)
88-93 Snake, poisonous (normal)
97-98 Throat Leech
Special Features of the Layer
The most unique aspect of this plane is that it is totally silent. Sound waves cannot be produced here and even if they could, they simply would not travel through the air or ground. Thus, spells with a verbal component will not function in this layer and verbal communication is impossible. PCs will be unable to hear the splash of a crocodile entering the water or their compatriot’s cries for help, etc.
The utter lack of distinguishing landscape features renders navigation on this layer extremely difficult. The massive, gnarled mangrove roots and the interminable maze of interlocking shallow waterways significantly impede normal movement. If not assisted by some magical means, PCs will move at only 30% of the standard rate. Travel by mount, cart or coach is simply out of the question.
Boating is possible along the larger tributaries, but the resident crocodiles have learned that vessels usually contain food and will move swiftly to attack and overturn them (50% chance for a crocodile encounter every turn spent boating or rafting).
Similarly, it may be possible to fly above the canopy of mangrove trees, but doing so will often result in hostile pterodactyl encounters (50% chance per turn of flying, triple the number of pterosaurs normally encountered).
Most beasts of this plane will not attack the undead or natives of the lower planes, although they will defend themselves if attacked by such creatures. Thus, a group of evil PCs with a demonic or demodand escort would be able to pass through the swamp relatively unmolested as long as they practice a “live and let live” policy -- and their escort does not turn on them.
There is no source of metal or stone in this layer, and the twisted, salt-infused mangrove branches and roots are useless for most types of woodwork. Metallic items other than pure silver, gold or platinum will rust here and/or corrode away to nothing over time, and paper items (including scrolls and spell books) are vulnerable to mold and mildew with prolonged exposure to this humid environment.
Politics and Planar Ecology
Apparently, no demon lord rules this land directly, although Demogorgon reportedly banishes unfortunates who have displeased him to this plane from time to time. Pazuzu may visit this realm on rare occasions to patrol its skies.
Gates to other lower-planar destinations are somewhat more common on this plane than elsewhere in the Abyss, and one of the winding tributaries of this endless swamp may in fact eventually connect up with the river Styx. Thus, Demons of many types, Demodands and perhaps others of the lower planes sometimes use it as a conduit for transit. Most gates here are unstable, however, and how the fiends manage to navigate from point to point on this plane remains a mystery.
Unless visitors have a very good reason for staying, the only good thing about this reeking, horrid plane will likely be taking their leave of it.
Excellent job Wilfrick! I liked your adding encounter charts, that's a new touch for this thread I think. Also the silent swamp aspect is the spookiest thing I've seen yet in these planes. To not possibly hear anything could be a fun exercise in role play tactics.
However, two things. One you are supposed to write about the layer named at the end of the last poster's layer. In this case it was GVD's 'Layer # 512, The Black Towers of Night Everlasting' Then two, at the end of your post you need to come up with a new name for the next layer to be featured so someone else can keep the thread alive. With that said I like the Silent Swamp alot, keep it. Someone else can pickup on the Black Towers I'm sure so no need to name a new layer yet.
I wanted to use Grodog's list of Abyssal layers with the Abyss as I see it - based on Planescape and other sources, including many fan-created - and with the standard Lower Planar setup. So I did some work renaming and renumbering Grodog's version of the Planes of the Abyss so it's compatible with this page and the Mimir. In almost all other respects, the following words are his. This is the only place I will post this.
Layer 1: JHAAT, THE PLAIN OF INFINITE PORTALS
Most common Astral entry layer to the Abyss, this layer also connects to the River Styx, Pandemonium, the Outlands, and Carceri, as well as approximately 83 internal layers (one-eighth of the Abyssal planes).
LAYER 5: "WYRMBLOOD" (I) discovered by Factol Jarkopple the Inflexible
A mountainous layer, and home to many abyssal dragons, this was also the court of the Tiamat pretender Miatta (also called Del-Kronia). Miatta's hoard and consorts were scattered after her demise at the hands of Trillz the Dark. Called Layer #85 in Iggwilv's roster.
LAYER 9: BURNINGWATER (I)
An oceanic, Prime-like layer with island chains, a pink sun, yellow sky, white clouds, and blue/green water. The Ethereal plane connects to this layer, and magics which require contact with that plane will function normally here. The Tome of Zyx numbered this #662.
LAYER 14: A'SHAD'IFOHG
Also called layer #453. The River Styx impinges...
LAYER 19: FALSERAPTURE (I) (Realms of the Evangelist, the Heretic, the Crusader, and the Apostate)
Library of Gresil. Rows and rows of books, scrolls, tapestries, and other records enclosed in stone shelves. Paved flagstone floors and walls, ceiling that just go up . . . Gresil's library demons now who is permitted to delve the archives. This plane is neutral ground, at least temporarily, as few demons are willing to risk Gresil's wrath. Called #267-268 by Iggwilv.
LAYER 23: IRON WASTES (Kostchtchie's, Kostchei's and Chernabog's realms)
Court of Kostchtchie. 471 (as Iggwilv names it) is a frozen, mountainous layer, covered over by glaciation, and home to frost giants. The Iron Wastes connect to the Jotun Pits (layer #246)
LAYER 26: MAGEBANE
A Prime-like plane of magical weakness. No spells greater than 6th level will function (including magic item effects). This plane connects to layer 55 (Glass Shards).
LAYER 30: SLIMEFLOW
Once-court of the deceased demon lord Cligpha. This layer is being annexed by Tsuggtmoy, who can offer some consolation to the lordless slimes, jellies, puddings, etc. This plane connects to layer #222. The Demonomicon named this layer #457.
LAYER 34: COURT OF AESKYLOS
Called the 4th layer by Iggwilv, this is the Court of Aeskylos, the Shaper. This plane is animate and malleable to his whim, and connects to layers #58 and #366.
LAYER 35: SENSELESS COURT OF SHABRIRI
This plane connects to the layer 366, Azgoroth. Shabriri is a callous demon, The Unfeeling Lord. He has four arms, and four eye clusters, and claims Tiamat as his mother (as well as Abraxus as father). He is associated with many of her brood, and raises young dragons on occasion. He despises Azazel.
LAYER 36: ACID SCRUB
A desert plane of acid-dripping scrub, which connects to Khalas (Gehenna's first plane), and layers 205, 361, and 425. Something of the stench and heat of Gehenna is sensible from this layer, and exiled yugoloths, barghests, vaporighu and the like are occasionally driven here.
LAYER 37: THE FEEDING REACH (ZEGRENTILANDIB) (I)
A sentient plane, with bestial appetites and instincts. It tries to gobble up those who intrude upon it by animating itself in interesting manners. Called layer #444 by Iggwilv. It connects to layer #246.
LAYERS 38-40: COURT OF SCEIRION
Court of Sceirion. All four planes are interconnected throughout, and share planar geographical features. The Keep of Rhieaz is Sceirion's stronghold. Sceiron is associated with Ronduvall, the Unseen Lord, and was among those who helped create the 101st layer, the Endless Enigma. Sceirion's symbol is a corroded brass armband. Rhieaz is guarded by huge demonic witch-wardens appearing as twisted crosses between a lion, gargoyle, and a construct. They have slate-grey colored, rock-like flesh; the body of a lion with a gargoyle/leonine head featuring three horns, a fanged mouth, large and pointed ears, a vaguely-humanoid skull, and fiery orange eyes with white pupils. Their tails are long (about equal to overall height), and end in a bony, mace-like knob.
LAYERS 42-43:TZARETCHUK (Realms of the Tzaretch)
472 and 473 (as Iggwilv names them) are tundra plains covered with fir forests and share a sun.
LAYER 44: STORM (cataboligne layer)
Called Layer #73 by Iggwilv. A Prime-like layer wracked by constant storms. It also connects to layer 55.
LAYERS 45, 46 AND 47: AZZAGRAT (TRIPLE REALM) (Graz'zt's realm; For Duty and Deity)
The Court of Graz'zt. This covers far too much planar ground to bother going into any detail here. Layer 46 (called #333 by Iggwilv) is Graz'zt's seat of power, and connects to layer #366.
LAYER 54: COURT OF MORFLOS (Absorbed layer)
Once-court of Morflos, Balrog Lord, absorbed by Graz'zt in its owner's absence. Called layer #340 by Iggwilv. Became #47, Graz'zt's third realm.
LAYER 55: GLASS SHARDS
Called Layer #371 by Iggwilv. A barren and rocky plane which was once volcanic. Obsidian shards and ashen desert wastes. This plane connects to layers 44 (Storm), 26 (Magebane), 668 (Plane of Ultimate Chaos), 229 (Lucid Dream), and 532 (the Apelands); the Styx also crosses this layer's schalla (toward Pandemonium).
LAYER 56: TIERS OF MYKHAZ
A tiered plane appearing as a chain of scarlet hemispheres ultimately vanishing in shadow, which connects to the depths of Agathys (Carceri's deepest plane) with a fair amount of daemonical traffic. Apomps, enraged, hasn't managed to seal the portal, as it is protected by the entity Tartarachus. This layer is #432 to Iggy.
LAYER 58: THE TIERS OF PHELETHO
Called Layer 500 by Iggwilv, the Tiers of Pheletho are a series of continent-sized plates hovering in the void like cosmic stair steps. Above the plates are two white suns and a ringed, asteroid-strewn sky of purple (with silver/pewter clouds). The River Styx flows down the tiers in great waterfalls; each tier features portals to a separate plane or layer.
The most famous tier is called simply Pheletho; it features tall mountains and leads to Carceri’s layer of Colothys. It is home to a powerful lord named Xondolor, and he alone. He does not encourage visitors, save perhaps Nergal and his undying company. Xondolor doles out various estates to his vassals, each of whom has a fortress as well. He gladly wages war upon demon, daemon, or devil alike. The mercenary armies of mezzokin in service to Hades and the Abyss are garnered from this plane---and are quite expensive.
The environs of Pheletho are typically hilly rifts and chasms, with many ash-spewing volcanoes (although eruptions are rare, the plate’s skies are always filled with ash). The leaden sky is continuously dismal, filled with ash clouds, lightning storms, and strong winds. Pheletho’s mineral wealth is above average---deposits of ayrn, iron, silver, and gold predominate.
Another, Pazandillan, is dominated by a chill sea and many races of demons and daemons, including malvachuu, ssilhex, and hydrodaemons. The sea, known as Tavlompea (Tahv lohm pee uh) also contains kraken, demonic sea dragons, leviathan, etc. Its waters are thicker than water, and an orange/yellow shade. They are useful in inks for scroll manufacturing and in potions (especially growth, elixir of madness, and water breathing). Pazandillan leads to Carceri’s layer of Porphatys.
Other tiers lead to: The Court of Aeschylus (layer #34), Lolth’s Web (#65), Gaping Maw (Demogorgon’s realm, layer 88) , and twelve others (the Plain of Infinite Portals (#1), Falserapture (#19), Malignebula (#27), Vermilhon (#200), #257, #285, The Scarlet Path (#304), #416, #438, #449, #497, #602 (Cerebulim)
LAYER 59: THE SILVER VOID
Court of Aseroth, Demon Lord of Githyanki and Regent of the Silver Realm. This layer is essentially a demonic Astral plane, and spells that require a connection to that plane will function normally. Githyanki, astral islands, and voidships abound, in addition to the usual motley assortment of demons. Also numbered #510.
LAYER 60: THE ELDRITCH HANDS
A Prime-like plane of great magical strength. 12th-level spells are possible. The sorceress Unsere rules this layer.
LAYER 65: LOLTH'S WEB (Lolth's realm, formerally Zanassu's realm)
LAYER 66: THE DEMONWEB PITS (Lolth's, Selvetarm's, and Keptolo's)
Court of Lolth, Demon Queen of Spiders. The 65th layer is Lolth's secondary domain and hidey-hole. Her web connects to the layer 58, and both layers connect to various alternate Primes through permanent gates that Lolth has created as invasion routes.
LAYER 74: SMARAGD (Merrshaulk and Ramenos' realms)
Court of Merrshaulk, Demon Lord of Snakes. These planes are amazonian jungle levels filled with rainforests, rivers, and snakes in all colors, shapes, and sizes. Yuan-ti and ssilhex are native. Demogorgon is known to have visited this plane prior to his first disappearance. Called layers #350-351 by Iggwilv.
LAYER 81: THELEMA (Socothbenoth's realm; AotA)
Court of Socothbenoth. A Prime-like realm, with cities, sky ships, and a Lord among the Firstborn. Uliel, a balrog of considerable power, is Socothbenoth's castellan. Alternately numbered #528.
LAYER 88: THE GAPING MAW (BRINE FLATS) (Demogorgon's realm; formerly Yam's realm)
LAYER 89: DEMOZG (Demogorgon's realm)
LAYER 90: GORGONASHK (THE STARS ARE BLOOD) (Demogorgon's realm; H4)
Court of Demogorgon (see his listing for a description in detail). Layer #88 connects to layer #58.
Some call these layers and their neighbors #546-550.
LAYERS 101: THE ENDLESS ENIGMA
A prison layer of non-euclidean and tesseractian chambers, created through the combined powers of Alrunes, Fraz-Urb'luu, Sceirion, Obox-ob, and Abraxus. This level is often the destination of gate traps. The only being to have ever escaped its confines, Baphomet, entered on a bet and emerged 7500 years later. Most demonic scholars believe that each of the plane's creators built special strongholds and caches throughout its structures. In addition to creatures indigenous to this unique environment, the plane is inhabited by various failed experiments, political prisoners, invaders, adventurers (Prime-planar, demonic, and otherwise), and such.
LAYER 112: STALKINGBONES (FONT OF SKELETONS) (I) [*]
LAYER 113: THANATOS (THE BELLY OF DEATH)
LAYER 114: OPEN GRAVE (I)
LAYER 334: UNNAMED (Eldanoth's realm; formally Orcus'?)
The Dead Court of Orcus. These planes are a huge graveyard wherein all known and unknown forms of undead are represented among the populace. Chadun is Orcus' chief lieutenant, who controls entrance to the plane through the unnamed city of bones which guards access to Orcus' realm. Iggwilv calls these layers once dominated by Orcus #212-215.
LAYER 122: FALSE FALLOW (IPONYSS'ITHYSS)
Court of the missing Fraz-Urb'luu. An illusory layer of deception. This plane was under Fraz-Urb'luu's mental control. None know Fraz-Urb'luu's current whereabouts. Many believe that Fraz' is waiting for someone---anyone---to try to take over his home plane, Iponyss'ithyss (ih pohn iss ih thiss), so that he can return from his place of hiding to wage planar war upon the trespassers. Iponyss'ithyss is sometimes known as Terminus, since it is called by the Tome of Zyx and other sources the 666th (and final) layer of the Abyss. It is a horrid plane, and wildly anti-magical in nature.
Fraz-Urb'luu was imprisoned within a great stone effigy while exploring a strange, island-like Fading Land at some unknown time within the past five centuries. The Mad Archmage, Zagig Yragerne, discovered this demiplane in CY 381 after researching the effigies, known as a moai in an ancient dialect of Flan. After careful (though erratic) research and preparation, Zagig returned to the Fading Land and transported the moai in which Fraz' had been imprisoned to the dungeons of Castle Greyhawk. He placed it prominently on the tenth level, where it has remained to confound adventurers ever since.
Scholars of Zagig have postulated that this unnamed Fading Land inspired his creation of the demiplane ruled by Oonga, known to Tenser, Robilar, and others as the Isle of the Ape. Some of Zagig's surviving research notes, as decoded by similar scholars, speculate that the Fading Land did not imprison Fraz', but instead somehow transformed him into the moai, and that the hundreds of other moai of the Fading Land may in fact be similarly transformed creatures. How Zagig escaped imprisonment and/or transformation while within the Fading Land remains unknown.
LAYER 130: SALONS OF PLEASURE (Soneillon's realm)
Soneillon's Gardens and Salons of Debauchery. A largely Prime-like, though small, plane, Soneillon's Court offers the finest arts of harlotry, hedonism, and such . . .
Iggwilv noted this as layer #421.
LAYER 200: VERMILHON, The Cataracts of the Fallen, also known as Just Rewards (Mastiphal's Realm)
The River Styx impinges in a cascading waterfall, which pools in a large lake, and drains out of the Abyss. Ancient watch towers stand on either shore of the falls; they are generally unoccupied. Also numbered #492.
LAYER 222: SHEDAKLAH (THE SLIME PITS) (I) (Jubilex's and Zuggtmoy's realms)
Court of Tsuggtmoy, Demon Queen of Fungi. This layer is a vast plain of moldering fungus which sinks into vaporous swampy masses of putrescence. Rivers and lakes of slime cross its surface. Tsuggtmoy holds court in a bowl-like depression in the lowest depths of the layer's swamps. This plane connects to layer #30.
LAYER 229: LUCID DREAM (Curlonax's former layer)
A spatial plane of white and black geometry, clouded by shades of grey. This plane is home to many xuphaitz demons, and other, odder creatures. Think M. C. Escher. Curlonax was a artistic lord, who helped to affix the 229th plane's strange properties. He despised both Abraxus and Graz'zt, who slew him together on a whim. This layer connects to layer #55, Glassshards.
LAYER 246: THE JOTUN PITS (by Grodog)
A prime-like layer of rifts, hills, and craggy mountains. This plane is home to many races of giants, and connects to layers #37 and #23 (Kostchtchie).
LAYER 247: XALTA (by Grodog)
A swampy fen layer which houses many will-o-wisps, hags, lower demons, etc. Xalta is reputedly home of the demonic xuphaitz, beings of fire and shadow, but this is contested (most strongly by the xuphaitz themselves). This plane connects to Gehenna's plane Mungoth, near Loviatar's realm, and also serves as a temporary home for those who wander in from there (stray Abishai and Barbed devils, the explorative barghest, etc.).
LAYER 274: DURAO (gateway layer)
Called Layer #74 by Iggwilv, the River Styx impinges on this layer.
LAYER 300: FENG-TU (Tou Mu and Lu Yueh's realm)
The Styx impinges...
LAYER 340: UNNAMED (A cold, desolate, voidlike place; Faction War)
This plane is an empty husk, a barren vacuum. An open conduit to the Negative Material plane has drained this plane of all life. For all practical purposes, this plane is an extension of the Negative Material Plane, and all magics that require contact with that plane function normally on this layer of the Abyss. #184 according to Iggwilv.
LAYER 352: THE INCESSANTLY SUBLIME COURT (Obox-Ob's realm)
"The Incessantly Sublime Court" of the departed (?) Obox-ob. This plane plays with one's mind, body, and soul. It connects to layer 366.
LAYER 366: AZGOROTH (Ojukalasogadit, the living layer)
#393, according to the Old Witch. This plane is sentient, and Prime-like, but with fleshy ground. This plane is a nexus, and connects to the River Styx, Colothys (Carceri's fourth plane), 34 (Aeskylos), 352 (Obox-ob), 46 (Graz'zt), 532 (Mandrillagon), and 19 other layers (The Plain of Infinite Portals (1), 7 (Sess'inek), 41 (Slaanesh), 49 (the Horrid Sea), 85 (Xibalba), 143 (the Shadow Fortress), 172, 179, 300 (Feng-tu), 309, 364 (Anarazel), 389 (Pibius), 396, 404, 462 (the Atrocity Caverns), 512, 599 (the Soundless Sounding), 646).
LAYER 408: THALERIAK, THE FOREST OF NIGHTMARES (Tyrel's realm)
A Prime-like plane of dark forests, with no sun and seven moons. Many drow live here, or make it a point to visit this layer while in the Abyss. This layer connects to Pluton (Hades' third plane), and many daemons and gigantes travel between the realms.
LAYER 421: SALTED WOUND (Realm of the King of the Ghouls, vassal of Yeenoghu)
LAYER 422: THE SEEPING WOODS
Court of Yeenoghu, Demon Lord of Gnolls and Ghouls. Layer 422 is a hilly, forested plane, and Yeenoghu's personal domain where he hunts. Layer 421 is a waste of salt flats and badlands called the Salted Wound. The layer is continuously windy, so salt dust is always in the air. Combined with the heat from a three bloated suns which hang in the sky, the layer is almost as inhospitable as Athas [use the rules on dehydration there]. At, night when the ghoul packs roam, the temperatures drop far below freezing. Yeenoghu's keep, the Juggernaut Encampment, is more a city of baked clay on wheels than a castle. Pulled by enslaved tanar'ri, mortals, and ghouls, all over seen by gnolls, the Encampment slowly works its way across the wastes., and is a training-ground for Yeenoghu's gnolls, gnoles, gholes, thouls, ghouls, trolls, and legions of demons. These layers are called layers 121 and 120, respectively, by Iggwilv.
LAYER 465: HALLS OF THE WHISTLER
Called Layer #269 by Iggwilv.
LAYER 487: LAIR OF THE BEAST AND MANSION OF THE RAKE (Kanchelsis' realm; OHG)
#317 in the Demonomicon. Decadent Court of Kanchelsis, Master of Vampires, wherein all you see is fit to eat, drink, or drain . . . .
LAYER 500: VOLCANOES OF GOTHMOG
LAYER 501: PARADISE DEFILED (Ochremeshk's realm)
Court of Gothmog, Demon Lord of Balrogs. A hellish set of volcanically-paired layers: layer 500 is the mounts, vents, ash, and slag, while 501 is an underground maze of passages, lava tubes, magma lakes, etc. The volcanoes leak exotic substances, like molten fat, boiling blood, mercury, lead, etc. Gothmog's palace rests on a vast pool of bubbling lava, in a huge crater. #606 and #607 to some.
LAYER 502: THE JOVIAN MINEFIELDS
The Styx impinges on the Abyss in a gaseous, Bespin-like spatial layer. The river here is a free-floating stream, with no bed. Also numbered #564.
LAYER 503: TORREMOR (LAYER OF FLIES) (Pazrael's realm)
Once-court of Pazeuzeus. A spatial layer with pewter sky, no sun, and murky clouds in a variety of colors (purple, brown, black, deep ocean green). Pazeuzeus' open-aired cloud palace floats randomly about the plane since his insanity.
LAYER 531: VUDRA (Marilith realm, Dungeon #60)
Called layer #407 by Iggwilv.
LAYER 532: ISLE OF THE APE (Mandrillagon's realm)
LAYER 533: THE ENDLESS TORTURE (Bar-lgura realm)
Forest planes of Mandrillagon, filled with huge trees, apes, various and sundry primates, tribes of primitive humans?, etc. #532 Connects to layers #366 and #55.
LAYER 575: AWASH (I)
Styx impinges on the Abyss again on this plane, and forms a large "lake" (anywhere but the Abyss it would be an ocean). #248 for Iggwilv.
LAYER 600: ENDLESS MAZE (SHUBGOETIA) (Baphomet's realm, OHG)
#149 in the Demonomicon. Court of Baphomet, High King of Demonkind. Baphomet's layer is mazey, with various open "courtyards" that contain forests, seas, and his palace (at the center of the plane, of course). The demon Belitfint is Baphomet's chief aide and major domo. This layer connects to a realm called Labyarax, the Inescapable Labyrinth, in Minethys, the third layer of Carceri.
Labyarax boasts a gigantic, enclosed maze over 10 miles by 7 miles in area, up to 250 feet high and 250 feet deep. It has only one entrance and one exit, on opposite ends. The realm derived its name from this structure, said to have been constructed by Baphomet millennia ago.
The rare metal duranol is native to Labyarax. Duranol is silver-sea green in hue, and relatively strong (as strong as alloyed iron). When tempered with mithril and sharpened, its edges turn a bright sea-green, and the rest of the blade will be veined with lighter sea-green traces. Duranol will only alloy with mithril and steel, and can be enchanted to +4.
LAYER 614: ACID SNOW
Called 474, recently taken by Mandrillagon, is a temperate Prime-like layer which is now succumbing to an ice age.
LAYER 637: CARYNACH, The Empty Place (no portals in or out; Canonfire!)
The Cabrir is a demon, though this is in question among most other demons. The Cabrir appears as silvery-black mirror shards floating suspended in space. It is jaggedly shaped and is in constant motion---twirling, shifting position, rising and falling. It does not seem to exhibit any sentience and has never been known to communicate in any manner.
Who, or what, the Cabrir (singular and plural) is remains a mystery among demonkind. It is greatly feared, for it appears at random and attacks a particular demon, to the exclusion of all others, even if attacked by other demons nearby. The Cabrir has imprisoned various demons and slain others by driving itself into their bodies, shredding them. Two abyssal dragons have thus been destroyed, as have the demon lords Shalovoz, Dorat, and Alycarn. Both Mirzandualc and Nazz were imprisoned by the Cabrir while on their home planes, each a strong demon prince.
It is known that the Cabrir can be eluded, for both Unsere and Pazuzeus have escaped it by fleeing to the Prime. It seems that the Cabrir is unable, or unwilling, to follow to that plane. However, this information is less than useful to most demons, as the majority cannot enter the Prime without conjuration. The Cabrir, once avoided successfully, did not further pursue Unsere or Pazuzeus once they returned to the Abyss from the Prime. In fact, Unsere was present at Mirzandulac's imprisonment, and observed the Cabrir closely.
Within the Lower Planes, there is no plane to which a demon could flee to escape the Cabrir, for it seems to trace a demon's psychic imprint and can follow it anywhere --- from Pandemonium to Acheron, without restraint. The Cabrir has been known to pursue victims into the Astral through permanently open gates, as well. It exhibits psionic traits and leaves the typical psionic residue, but is otherwise immune to all psionic attacks, and most psionic effects.
Demonic scholars speculate that the Cabrir is the shards of Abraxus' shattered soul (if one believes in that particular fable), or that it is a tool of the Father of Demonkind, through which he wreaks horrible vengeance upon his children. Others believe that the Cabrir is a test, to winnow out the weak from among Abraxus' brood. The Cabrir tends to be associated with Abraxus, in one form or another, though, by most demons.
Among those who lend credence to the belief that the Cabrir was created and/or fathered by Abraxus, a few further believe that the Cabrir can be controlled and/or conjured according to the laws that govern all demonkind. No mortal has ever successfully conjured the Cabrir (although Unsere has set up several priests and mages specifically for this purpose), and it is almost totally unknown outside of the Abyss. No demon would ever attempt to conjure or summon The Cabrir, for fear that it would in fact appear and attack the summoner.
Gresil discovered another reference which he did not disclose to Unsere. This primary source was The Scaled Grimoire of Nahvoohos, an account of Abraxus' explorations and journeys. It is written upon the tanned hide of Nahvoohos, one of Abraxus' unborn childer. The relevant information follows.
Abraxus was in a region of the Abyss near unto Carynach (the 637th layer). Carynach literally means "the empty place" in Abyssal. It is a mystery level, since no other layers connect or allow entrance to it. No gates will open to this plane, from anywhere in the mulitverse.
I saw a shimmering in the air and Appearing before me were the fabled Eyes Of Vanquisht. They were a blur, visible only by adjusting mine sight to their vibrations. I beheld what seemed shattered and fragmented planar shards, twirling round a receding Vortex --- a Vortex leading from Carynach!
As I focused, a voice spake unto mine mind, with horrible grating and pain --- it sounded like unto metal or glass dragging across itself in tortured screechings. It spake thusly, "I shall obey the Wearer of the Crimson Crown so long as I am awarded Fiefdom.' And then the shimmering folded upon itself and was gone, as was the Vortex to Carynach."
It is worth noting that Abraxus' crown of rulership was topped with the Bloodstone Jewels of Perdition, which he mined in the Wall of the Worlds' End . . . .
LAYER 650: THE TIMEPIECE INFERNAL
A Prime-like plane of magical strength which allows up to 10th level spells to function, with and temporal distortion as a side-effect. This effect usually manifests as accelerated aging. Unsere is the only being who habitually uses this plane, and it is often another popular destination for gate traps.
LAYER 656: HELLGATE
Prime-like, a heavily fortified plane which connects to Avernus (Hell's first plane).
LAYER 668: LAYER OF CHAOS INCARNATE (Realm of Ushablator the Chaos Horror) (I)
This chaos plane connects to Limbo and layer 55, the Glass Shards.
Interesting work, Rip. I may have to check out some PS books afterall, sometime. Do you have any you would recommend in particular (thinking Abyssally-inclined ones)? I only own Dead Gods at present. _________________ Allan Grohe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Someone could re-present it in an article it if dead.
If you want to keep it going, that is another matter. Perhaps the problem is that people ran out of ideas. Brainstorming helps as does a challenge.
The discussion could drift into ideas for layers with presentations of layers to come later. The weakness in that is that there are so many levels and the discriptions can be so short that there is almost no need to reject ideas.
How about a micro-forum-postfest? Post in this forum, and PM to everyone who submitted a discription in the past, a request to develope 3 or so level within two weeks and submit one a week after that.
Interesting work, Rip. I may have to check out some PS books afterall, sometime. Do you have any you would recommend in particular (thinking Abyssally-inclined ones)? I only own Dead Gods at present.
I think these three would be of most use for your interest, Allan: Faces of Evil: the Fiends, Planes of Chaos, Hellbound: The Bloodwar. They tend to be rather expensive though. You might want to get them as pdfs.
I gather you already have the freely downloadable For Duty & Deity which features Graz'zt's layer ?
As the mood strikes me, I am redoing my old suggestion on the 588th layer of the Abyss "The Death of Life" in honor of the Halloween season. This is a great thread so, for one last time, I will attempt to jump-start it back up again.
Layer 588 "The Death of Life"
With so many layers of the Abyss, there are bound to be several layers that are true hinterlands. Layers so desolate and hostile to life that even the demons will not rule them. The 588th is one such layer.
The title of the plane is literal - the plane is inherently hostile to all life, inevitably causing death to all who enter. This layer is one in which living beings were not meant to exist. The plane has an energy draining entropy that gradually sucks all the life from any living creature that enters it.
In game terms, a living creature will lose the equivalent of one level/hit dice for every turn spent in the layer, no saving throw. The effect has a palpable feel - the victim will feel himself getting weaker and colder for every minute spent on the layer. This feeling should be enough for the victim to realize the draining nature of the plane and give them enough time to attempt an escape. A creature drained of all hit dice/levels becomes a bodak.
Unfortunately, the plane's inherent chaos effects teleportation magic and gate travel. There is a chance that any gate used by a creature to enter may randomly move to a different location before the traveler can reenter. This chance varies widely from moment to moment, making it impossible to predict.
The layer can also effect the natural teleportation abilities of certain creatures if the creature's magic resistance is breached. The entropic nature of the plane continually barrages the creature's magic resistance, making the creature have to make a magic resistance check every turn spent in the plane, failure means the creature can not teleport until the next turn, if it makes its magic resistance save. Creatures with magic resistance also avoid the life draining aspects of the layer, but only as long as their magic resistance hold out. If they fail, the creature losses life just as an unprotected being would.
Physically, the plane is every bit a foreboding as its nature. The blasted landscape of this layer resembles great, black, hardened lava fields. But there has been no volcanic activity in recorded memory, all aspects of this plane are dead (even geologic activity). Nothing grows in this plane, the air is extremely thin and cold, the sky is perpetually grey and there are no clouds or wind. Light comes from an unseen and unknown source, and the light is grey as well, bathing the landscape in a depressing hue.
All energy is drained away by the entropy. Even demons are not immune to this loss of life. Should the chaos of the plane effect the demon's inherent teleportation power, the demon may die and become a horrid demonic-bodak! As mentioned above, magic resistance can ward off the entropic effects. Certain spells, if cast in time, can protect an individual from the life drain as well. Once a spell wears off, the life draining will begin again.
Some demons use this plane as a means of execution by throwing their enemies into it. A few demons with interests in the areas of undead mastery have attempted to reside in the layer, but the chaotic entropy fields that saturate the layer have proved to cause too much havok with the casting of spells and other activites, so that no demon lord would stand to rule there. It is regarded as one vast death trap in the Abyss, though there are rumors of some powerful individuals hiding treasures or magic items in the plane. Because bodaks have no interest in wealth these hordes can remain in the open and not be disturbed. The plane itself proves to be an excellent guardian of such caches.
Only bodaks dwell in this layer, and a few of them every so often will stumble upon an exit gate and thus appear in other parts of the Abyss. By no means is this plane the only way that bodaks are created, but this could be the source of this unpredictable curse that occurs elsewhere in the Abyss.
Therefore, this layer has little value to any being, excepting that because this is a layer that not even demons would enter, a pursued adventurer may flee to it to elude beings who are aware of its nature. This is a dubious benefit. At best, a fleeing character can hope to enter the plane, elude the native bodaks, find a gate to another Abyssal layer, and pray for the gods to have mercy on his fate.
Next layer - let's revisit
'Layer # 512, The Black Towers of Night Everlasting'
That is not dead which can eternal lie
And with strange Aons even death may die
Layer Number 512: The Black Towers of Night Everlasting
Theme: Night is coming.
Ruler: Nocticula, Demon Queen of Darkness
The layer is an infinite abyss without top or bottom, dark as the darkest moonless night, and cold as the coldest sunless world.
The habitable portion of the plane is made up of a series of apparently infinitely tall stone towers. The towers are of various sizes, from as slender as minarets to as wide around as a cathedral. They’re interconnected by enclosed stone bridges. Most of the towers have windows, but all the window openings are sealed with mortared stonework.
Although the entire layer is filled with endless darkness, the lowest depths of the plane are filled with the Utterdark, a force of Nothingness, Entropy, and Destruction in which not even demons can survive. The Utterdark is slowly rising and engulfing more and more of the towers. Nocticula and her Court keep moving to higher levels of the towers to escape this force.
Strange shrieks and rustlings can be heard outside the towers where nothing should be able to live. Occasionally something can be heard trying to force its way in through a bricked-up window. This happens especially on the stone bridges; for this reason, event he most powerful demons on the plane spend as little time as possible on the bridges or near the windows. The denizens of the plane do not speak of whatever lurks outside the towers. [The creatures are in fact various types of obyrith that tear to pieces any creature they find outside the towers. The obyrith are also unable to survive the Utterdark, and have been driven mad by the relentless rise of the darkness.]
The tower levels themselves are strange places. Some are lairs for demons, dragons, or other monstrous creatures. Some are fungus gardens, pools of water or acid, temples to forgotten gods, or strange museums. Others are crossroads, waystations, or even inns. The lower levels, engulfed by the Utterdark, cannot be entered. The highest level are as vacant and dusty as an unused attic.
The towers are infested with flocks of starlings, which are sacred servants of Nocticula here and on other planes. Although bright compared to outside, the tower interiors are quite dark. [Magical light sources function only 50% of the time, and even if functional are only 30% as effective. Nonmagical lights sources shed only 30% as much light as normal.]
This plane is rarely visited by non-demons. Occasionally, illithid, drow, and deep dragons can be found here.
The Demon Queen of Darkness is one of the oldest demon princes. It is said that she stood at Demogorgon’s side when he first seized the title Prince of Demons. It is said she first whispered the secrets of undeath to Orcus. It is said she taught deception to Grazzt, and lies to Iuz. But then, these things are said mostly by her own court…
Nocticula appears to be a tanarri, but she has some affinity with the obyrith as well.
Of all the demon princes, she is closest to achieving true divinity than any other save Lolth herself. But she pursues this goal more subtly – instead of seeking worship under her own name, she masquerades as various deities of night and darkness. The power of darkness itself provides her duped followers with their spells, and her deluded worshippers provide the demon queen with the power she will need to eventually ascend to divinity.
Nocticula is pursing divinity in hopes of stopping the rise of the Utterdark. She does not completely understand that force, but she senses that it will pursue her and destroy her if she cannot find a way to stop it.
Nocticula’s appearance cannot be described. She is surrounded by a field of darkness so intense that eyes and mind avoid even glancing at her.
The Queen of Night is served by starlings (even those on the various prime material planes), marilith, and vrock. Her most feared servants, though, are the Dark Maidens: Sixteen humanoid demonesses that appear to be beautiful women veiled and robed in black. When they lift their veils, their true appearance is revealed. Their countenance drives even demons insane.
• What is the Utterdark? Can it be stopped? Will it escape the layer and threaten the multiverse?
• Who built the towers? (Nocticula didn’t.) Their structure does not seem susceptible to the destructive effects of the Utterdark.
• Will Nocticula succeed in her quest for divinity?
The layer is an infinite desert of fine white sand. The desert is broken by occasional oases and ruined cities. The plane is best known for the hundreds of half-burried monumental statues of sphinxes, gargoyles, angels, and mortals. The statues are of various substances from marble to granite to malachite. All are of exquisite workmanship and possess an ethereal beauty – except for their mouths, which are roughly hewn or scraped away.
At random intervals, a titan-sized hand or eye will erupt from the sands. Arion’s demons swarm around these strange intrusions, hacking and clawing at them until they withdraw back beneath the sands.
In addition to the odd demon and fiendish blue dragon, Aseroth is plagued by swarms of tiny glass ants that devour all in their path. In fact, Arion’s favoriate punishment is to bury an offending demon up to the waist in the sand, and then wait for the glass ant swarms to eat the demon alive.
Arion’s capital is TalAseroth, the City of the Sphinx, where a carved stone sphinx – with no mouth – stands on every street corner. Locations of note in TalAseroth include:
• The Palace of Secrets, Arion’s many-pillared halls, where he sits in state attended by the Nine Viziers.
• The Scriptorium of Aseroth, where demonic scribes copy down every word spoken in the palace using vellum made from mortal flesh, quills from angel wings, and ink from devils blood. Each page is carefully copied six hundred and sixty six times. Each page is then consigned to the flames of the furnace, forever destroyed.
• The Garden of Whispered Delights, where secret, forbidden acts of lust and pleasure are ceaselessy performed.
• The Vendors of Oblivion, a marketplace of tents and stands where fiendish merchants offer to take and hide all your secrets – for a price.
• And, most famously, the Grand Library of the Abyss. The Library is said to contain a copy of every forbidden, banned, censored, and burned text ever written in any world. Thousands of mortal sages and wizards spend the lives waiting in vain for permission to view one of the texts. Although no request is ever granted, the librarians are adept at convincing supplicants that they will be the exception if only they would perform one small favor…
It is whispered that Arion was originally a mortal who wrested the plane from its previous ruler. Somehow keeping the name of the Aseroth’s prior ruler secret allows Arion to maintain his dominance of the plane. But no secret can be kept forever. Arion lives in constant fear that this secret will be discovered.
Arion is not terribly active in the politics of the Abyss, and has no more enemies than any other demon lord.
From the waist up, the Prince of Secrets appears to be a handsome human youth with amber eyes and blond hair. From the waist down, though, he is an inhuman monster: Arion has 12 unmatched appendages in place of legs, ranging from a comely female leg to a monstrous tentacle to a giant roach leg to other, more bazaar appendages. The prince is strangely shy about his mismatched legs, and keeps them hidden by a long kilt. Although he has the ability to shapechange into other forms, every guise he wears has at least one extra appendage of some sort.
• Who or what was the prior ruler of Aseroth?
• What are the titanic arms and eyes that occasionally erupt from the sands?
• Will any mortal succeed in getting access to a text from the Grand Library?
• Will Arion’s secret be discovered? What happens then?
Next: Layer Number 276, The Churning Seas of Goriog
One idea I've often thought about was a layer of the abyss (or some other fiendish plane) that was ruled by a fallen angel and was trying to unite the various fiendish races togther for a great big war against the higher planes.
For some reason, the Angels are some of my favourate creatures in the Monster Manual, and when I start DMing, I'll probably try and include as many as I can in my adventures. :)
Bump - I noticed this in reading ODs brewfest submission, and thought it should rise again.
Well then we can't let it fall again then can we? I realize I am new here, but let me take a stab at this...
Layer Number 276, The Churning Seas of Goriog
It is likely that as someone arrives on this plane they will fall from the sky only a score or so feet above the surface of the waters that comprise this layer. Unless they act quickly or have adequate abjuration magics in place, their first contact with the Churning Seas will likely be their last!
Assuming the visitor survives long enough to take in the horrid vista that greets them, they will note several unpleasant things about this land. First, there is the acrid reek that assails the sense of smell. Second, is the dramatic curve of the horizon suggesting the plane is a relatively small sphere. Third, is the bubbling, churning nature of the seas they find themselves adrift upon. The seas here churn and roil because they are in fact acid not water! A knowledgeable adventurer (a successful relevant knowledge check) will note that for the acid to boil and bubble as it is, it must be reacting with something and releasing gasses as a result.
Upon further examination, the keen eyed surveyor will note the occasional unidentifiable something bobbing in the sea. When investigated from a somewhat closer vantage point, the bobbing things are revealed to be what appears to be the slowly dissolving corpses of a vast legion of fiends. Intrepid adventurers that manage to ply their way to one of the "corpses" will discover the horrid truth... The fiends are not in fact dead, but are paralyzed as the acid gnaws away at them. A further knowledge check will suggest that the acid is weak enough that its balanced against the natural resistances and regeneration of such fiends. Thus, the creatures are in unimaginable agony, but not in any risk of actually being dissolved.
The plane is actually a small worldlette that is only several hundred miles across and its possible to circumnavigate the whole thing if so inclined. The alien nature of the plane allows for gravity to function as the players are accustomed even though the diameter of the plane is so much smaller than their home world. If someone is so inclined and they choose to dive into the acidic seas, they will find them uninhabited. If somehow they manage to find the bottom of the ocean, they will discover a glass like core several hundred yards across that is virtually impregnable. It is in fact composed of a substance similar to which is created via the spell glasssteel, but with the strength of adamantite.
If visitors here continue their explorations, they may finally encounter what could be mistaken for a small isle amidst the nightmarish seas. In fact, this is the body of Goriog. If a means of discerning the grim history of Goriog is available (such as Contact Higher Plane, Legendlore, a sage with specialization in fiendish politics, etc.) they can learn the following:
*Goriog was in fact a minor godling that dwelt upon the Abyss aeons past. He and his followers were gaining in power such that he began to draw worshippers away from a rival diety now also long dead (or at the DM's discretion a diety from the PC's home world) who punished him and his abyssal legions by imprisoning him in this plane of torment.
*The magic of the plane is such that Goriog and his followers are paralyzed for an eternity of suffering in the acidic bath. However, it can be broken if the core of the plane can be accessed. Within is a large gem through which the magic of the plane is bound. It is up to the DM to devise a sufficiently fiendish mechanism for disabling the magic protections in olace, but it should be an epic feat to accomplish such a task (e.g. the gem must be shattered with the sword of an Astral Deva after it has been bathed in the tears of a saint or something similar).
What they may not learn, but could conceivably surmise is that Goriog and his followers are now quite insane after aeons of such agony and suffering. Thus, the would be saviors are likely to receive something other than a generous reward should they free Goriog and his minions from their suffering.
Next: Layer 513, The Trackless Shadowforest of Urgwai
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