|Prince Levistus imprisoned in ice, as depicted in the Book of Vile Darkness (2002).|
|Title(s)||Prince of Stygia, Lord of the Fifth|
|Home Plane||Nine Hells|
|Class(es)||Thief 23 (avatar)|
|Domains||Cold, Diabolic, Evil, Icebergs, Treachery, Trickery, War|
|Alias(es)||The rogue Archdevil, Leviathan|
Levistus is the arch-devil currently ruling Stygia, the Fifth layer of the Nine Hells of Baator. His unholy symbol is a sword thrust through a block of ice, or a cauldron with chunks of ice floating in it.
Levistus appears as an unnaturally tall, handsome male human. Aside from his completely black eyes, pointed teeth and his height, no features betray his infernal descent.
Levistus obtained rulership over Stygia long ago, right after Asmodeus was crowned King of Hell. Consumed with ambition, Levistus always wanted to take the place of Baator's overlord. Although he shares this scheme with many other arch-lords, Levistus is the most open and direct about it.
Upon his most heinous attempt to take control, Levistus tried to subsume Bensozia, Asmodeus's consort whom he thought knew very well her master's weaknesses. At that time, Bensozia was leading a routine inspection of the layers with her pit-fiend escort and Asmodeus's constable, Martinet. While they were travelling across Stygia, Levistus ambushed them and proposed that the Queen of Hell become his consort if she helped him depose Asmodeus. The staunch queen refused harshly and passed him by. Infuriated, the Lord of the Fifth killed Bensozia and her pit-fiend bodyguards while Martinet managed to escape.
Asmodeus quickly spotted the act and punished Levistus by imprisoning him in an iceberg on Stygia. Moreover, the King of Hell gave rulership of the layer to Geryon, another arch-fiend who ruled Stygia until the Reckoning of Hell. When the Reckoning ended, Geryon was demoted and banished. Much to everyone's surprise, Asmodeus returned power to Levistus. However, the arch-lord remained trapped still in his ice prison boulder, forced to communicate with his subordinates solely through telepathy.
Back in charge, Levistus couldn't bring himself to behave. While he can't act physically nor unaided, Stygia's lord still wants to betray and overthrow the Lord of Nessus and blatantly provokes him at any occasion. All the other arch-lords despise and mock him constantly for his derisory condition. Thus, Levistus has no allies among them and tries to raise a cult on the Prime Material Plane to gain more power. His largest cult is the iceberg-based floating city of Icerazor. A fiendish harpy named Azediel controls the city, sacrificing fire-based good creatures to melt the prison of Levistus.
However, now that Glasya, the daughter of Asmodeus and Bensozia, seized control of Malbolge, the sixth layer, Levistus's life is on the line like never before. The Princess of Hell wants him dead for killing her mother. Levistus wishes to turn her against her father and use her in his schemes but such a thing is very unlikely.
The ruthlessly ambitious Levistus ignores the rules the other Lords of the Nine play by, plotting to conquer every other layer of Hell rather than playing at allegiances. As a result, he is universally disliked in the Hells. Belial is especially eager to take Levistus's territory, and Levistus in turn is trying to sway Gazra into his influence. It may be only a matter of time before he succeeds, but for the time being Gazra remains loyal to Fierna.
Among Levistus's greatest rivalries is that with the Egyptian god Set, who also dwells in Stygia in a black pyramid, and plots to take control of Stygia, then Baator, then all of the multiverse. Levistus's cultists destroy temples of Set whenever possible, while Set wreaks havoc on the cities and amnizu of Stygia; the two powers are currently at an impasse. The sahuagin deity Sekolah is also attempting to wrest control of Stygia from Levistus, convinced the prince would make a quick meal if he ventured outside his iceberg.
According to Fiendish Codex II, Levistus has amnizu devils as chief chancellors and the following dukes under his command:
- Agares - 31 companies of osyluths (DR75). Former vassal of Geryon.
- Erridon Alaka - Male gelugon sorcerer dressed in regal finery. He acts as the eyes & ears of Lord Levistus.
- Machalas - 11 companies of hamatula (DR75). Former vassal of Geryon.
- Trinity - Female hellcat whom Levistus speaks through. She declares the edicts which Erridon and Zanth carry out.
- Zanth - male half-devil human rogue/assassin who is Levistus' enforcer, and surgically removes rival upstarts.
Levistus rules from within his iceberg prison near the city of Tantlin. Although unable to act physically, he is fully aware of all that transpires in his domain.
Levistus's followers are thugs, rogues, and swashbuckling bravos generally in pursuit of some great betrayal or act of vengeance.
Levistus's clerics are also known as bladereavers. They favor the rapier, and typically live the lives of solitary nomads. They wear flamboyant, silky garb.
Levistus has few formal temples, as his followers rarely gather together as a group. He is usually worshipped at portable shrines. The greatest center of the cult of Levistus on the Prime Material Plane is the iceberg city of Icerazer, described in Frostburn. It was founded only a few decades ago by the halfdevil, half harpy assassin Azediel somewhere in the northern ocean (perhaps the Icy Sea). Because of magic inherent in the fortress's creation through the death of a rimefire eidolon, Icerazer acts as a siphon for the power of the souls of all who die within it. This power is channeled directly into Levistus's prison in Stygia, so that each soul weakens it a little more, particularly good-aligned fire creatures. To this end Azediel, a fanatic worshiper of Levistus and now the head of a powerful cult dedicated to that archdevil, sails the seas looking for fresh victims.
In the Prince of Stygia's rituals, chunks of ice are melted in boiling cauldrons.
In the apocryphal text Legions of Hell, the Lord of the Fifth Circle is called Leviathan and is said to be an enormous sea monster with a hunger for mortal souls, trapped in a Circle of Hell that can barely contain his massive bulk. He is served by the infernal nobles Nekhet and Krotep, who believe themselves to be the children of Set. He is also served by an aquatic devil called Dagon, Warden of the Stygian Depths, who won fame by thwarting an invasion by Belial.
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