Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Campaign Design - Religion in the Three Worlds: The Lords of Hell

Arrayed against the Lords of Heaven are the nefarious Lords of Hell, a group of twenty-one vile powers that are the personifications of misery, woe, and cruelty in the Three Worlds. Collectively these evil beings are known as the Lords of Hell, or the Demon Lords, and their worship is outlawed in most of the "civilized" regions of the campaign. The Lords of Hell are not generally available as divine patrons for the players in the campaign to choose, although almost everyone is award of them due to the predatory activities of their agents. Evil clerics and blackguards must select one of these demonic beings as a patron, but since player characters are generally not permitted to play evil characters, players may not do so (other than possibly choosing to be a cleric of Lyssa).

As with the Lords of Heaven, non-clerical inhabitants of the Three Worlds don't regard any of the Lords of Hell as being particularly more dangerous than any other. Although most inhabitants of the Three Worlds would not call upon their aid, they do regard them as powerful entities whose influence needs to be warded against. On the other hand, giants, trolls, goblins, kobolds, orcs, gnolls, and the denizens of regions such as Isakoti, Jaatemaa, Loring, and Polthia would tend to call upon their powers as needed, but even they probably feel some trepidation when doing so, because while the Demon Lords may be willing to offer aid, they do so for a price.

Unlike the Lords of Heaven, who mostly work together, or at least don't actively work against one another, the Lords of Hell are a cantankerous lot, and their priesthoods and followers oppose one another nearly as often as they oppose the forces of Heaven, with the various Demon Lords often vying with one another to establish their supremacy. Some of the Demon Lords even see others of their number as deadly enemies - the rivalry between Ninkurra and Gangyn, for example, is bitter and deadly. The twenty-one Demon Lords are:

Abonde, Mother of Giants; The Blood Witch; She Who Whispers at Night; Demon Mistress of Giants, Trolls, Hags, and Witches
Baal, Lord of the Baleful Eye; Evil Prince of Earth, The Beastlord; The Devourer; The Terror Below; Demon Lord of Gluttony, Decay, Ratmen, and the Dark Places Under the Earth
Belial, The Scaled King; Commander of the Demon Host; The Inquisitor of Hell; Demon Lord of Scaled Creatures and Domination
Darmas, War Leader of Hell; The Great Slaver; The Scourge of Battles; Demon Lord of Tyranny, Conquest, and Duergar
Gangyn, The Spider Spirit; The Venom in Shadows; Lady of a Thousand Poisons; Demon Mistress of Shadows, Assassins, and Poison
Halpas, Evil Prince of Air; The Destroyer; The Nemesis of Heaven; The Relentless Gale; Demon Lord of Reckless Wrath
Iku-Tyrma, Evil Prince of Ice and Frost; The Foehammer; The Lord in the Ice; Demon Lord of Frost Giants, Sloth, and Winter
Ishi, The Red King; The Oathbreaker; The Ruby Sorcerer; Demon Lord of Evil Enchanters, Dark Magic, Pride, and Treachery
Kalma, The Exiled One; The Maiden of Misfortune; Demon Mistress of Ghosts, Spirits, and Calamity
Khil, The Reaver; The Leg Breaker; The Seething Chain; Demon Lord of Orcs, Fury, and Savagery
Kivutar, Mother of Plagues; The Queen of Maggots; The Rotted Temptress; Demon Mistress of Sickness and Pestilence
Lug, of the Mighty Blows; The Skull-Smasher; The Bone Grinder; Demon Lord of Hill Giants, Ettins, Ogres, Revenge, and Hatred
Lyssa, The Maiden of Sorrows; She Who Sees; Demon Mistress of Madness, Confusion, and Despair
Ninkurra, Queen of the Infernal Hive; The Consuming Swarm; Demon Mistress of Goblins, Torture, and Vermin
Oxossi, Lady of the Black Fang; The Carrion Eater; The Slayer; Demon Mistress of Gnolls and the Wild Hunt
Sethra, The Princess of Lies; Mother of Serpents; The Forked Tongue; Demon Mistress of Snakes and Beguilement
Sirchade, That Which Lurks; The Many-Eyed Lord; Demon Lord of Suffering, Slime, Fungus, and Rot
Surtan, Evil Prince of Fire; Flame of the Underworld; Lord of the Black Forge, Demon Lord of Fire Giants and Greed
Tunar, The Pitiless Queen; The Blood-Drinker; The Dark Lady; Demon Mistress of Vampires and the Underworld
Tuni, The Reaper of Life; The Bringer of Darkness; Lord of the Crypt; The Closed Mouth; Demon Lord of Death and Darkness
Vassatar, The Finder of Secrets; The Deceiver; Demon Lord of Kobolds, Avarice, and Thievery

During the War in Heaven, the Lords of Hell rallied their armies and marched upon the Gates of Heaven. The great conflict is told in the myths and legends of the Three Worlds, but the end result is well-known: Kivutar's child Füllar sided with the Lords of Heaven and the Lords of Hell were defeated and cast down, to be imprisoned until the end of the world, when they will rise again for the final battle between the forces of light and darkness. Despite their confinement, the Lords of Hell remain potent, capable of communicating with and acting through their servants, many of whom have dedicated their efforts to freeing their infernal patrons.

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