Melding Infernum into the 4E cosmology: possible?

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I'm looking forward to 4E quite a lot, especially the new changes to the Nine Hells and the Abyss. However, I've long had a soft spot in my heart for an independently published D20 setting by the name of Infernum, which sets the scene inside a Hell roughly based upon the Christian format. Given the considerable alterations to the planar structure, I was wondering if it'd be possibly to add the Infernum to the 4E planes as a replacement for the Nine Hells and the Abyss.

Paraphrasing, and stripping away some of the more obviously Christian-based material, the background for Infernum goes like this: thousands of years ago, an archangel grew dissatisfied with serving his patron deity, and converted a number of his fellows to his cause. They rallied their subordinant legions of angels and rebelled, only to fail and be cast from the heavens into the darkness that was the proto-Hell.

Like a terrible metorite, they struck the dark land, smashing into the soil like a great fist and digging a massive crater that would become the cradle of demonic civilisation. For an age the rebellious angels burned, wracked and broken by their headlong fall from grace. And then, they stirred from the wreckage, arising bloodied, but unbowed, fuelled with hate and rage for the loyalists who had cast them down. Knowing that they couldn't hope to reclaim the victory they sought with their diminished numbers, they set about a plan to create a race to win the battle for them.

Hell was not empty even in those days; spawn, the crude protoforms of life that had been discarded by the creators as their skill improved, roamed freely, as they do to this day, and the angels set upon a regime of experiments to create a species half-angel and half-spawn. Sorcerous experiments, bizarre surgeries and vile copulations created the first half-breeds, the primal muck from which would be fashioned, after further crossbreeding, incestuous and mundane, and experimentation, the first seven breeds of demon.

Artificers, the dwarf-like arcano-engineers and forgemasters of Hell. Beasts, whose brutish and animalistic forms hid the minds of master magi. Deceivers, dark reflections of humanity and its variations. Fiends, the flying knights of Hell. Hulks, the brutal warriors. Imps, the spymasters and scouts, and the Malcubi, the seductive winged demons whose sexes would become known to mortals as Succubi and Incubi.

But as the numbers of demons grew, a problem arose. Being half-flesh, demons were more frail than their angelic parents- they hungered, but not for mere flesh, but for iliaster, the spiritual energy from which their forebears had been composed. When the angels had fallen, great chunks of Heaven had fallen with them, raw monoliths of iliaster that were quickly cut to pieces to feed the hordes. But as more and more demons were created, the divine obelisks were depleted, and soon the angels turned on each other, so-called "traitors" being rooted out and rendered down to provide sustenance to their misbegotten children.

Salvation was to arise when the first human souls came to Hell: through experimentation, it was discovered that these frail things could be induced to produce iliaster... through the application of pain. Thus was established the relationship between soul and demon; the latter torturing the former to acquire nourishment. Thus too was the race of demons expanded, two new breeds solidifying from the concepts of their creators to take their place in Pandemonium. Demons once created with the intent of being medics and beast-tamers were directed instead to guard and torture souls, becoming Slavers. Unwilling to tear themselves away from their other tasks, the fallen created the Stalkers to hunt souls wherever they may land.

With this new source of food, the angels once again applied themselves to planning their upcoming seige. But it was not to be. The demons, while savage and inclined to fight amongst themselves, were not stupid. They knew there would be no place for them in heaven- Hell was all they had known, and they were content. Demons attempted to seduce their parents into realising that they could abandon heaven, transform Hell into a dark paradise where they could rule, but the angels were obsessed.

And so the demons rose up and turned against their parents. In a horrific slaughter, they dragged down each and every angel, from the lowest to the lord of the fallen archangels, devouring them in grisly feasts. The throne of Hell was emptied, and has remained so ever since, as the political machinations and near-constant wars amongst the demons has prevented, thus far, any one leader arising to claim the Throne of Pandemonium. Most demons don't care, too concerned with the trials of surviving life in the Pit and acquiring iliaster to bother with the heavens.

So, if I did include the Infernum in my 4E cosmology, what changes would I have to make? Not just to the planes (including Infernum's own backstory), but also to the flavor for classes (such as Infernal-pact Warlocks) and creatures?
Hmm... Well, if you wanted to warp it a little. The Abyss could become the new hell. Since it is said in the cosmology that the Abyss was formed when a dark essence of evil (or some such) was cast into the Elemental Abyss.

Or you could have it that, this Hell, was formed when the angels cast out of the Astral Sea piercing a hole within it, which caused its form to warp and bend causing the creation of Hell.

Or I guess you could have it that the ruins of Heaven (could be a dominion in the Astral Sea) fell they formed a new twisted dominion (Hell) in the Astral Sea.

As for the beings I think most of the fallen angels could be simply devils or perhaps some reworked evil-gods angels. Umm... Succubus are now devils as well, and we dunno about some of the others, but I think alot of things should be covered well.

As for Infernal-Warlocks you could put in that their contract to gain power is they will give up their soul when they die to be tortured to gain the iliaster.
An interesting aspect then comes in with the back story for Tieflings. Assuming you allow them, why did the devils/demons create them. Was the contracts originally signed designed to ensure that every child born to the originating participants forced into hell upon their deaths? Did that come about then and are the tiefling characters now still doomed, or did something else happen (misprint in the original contracts perhaps) which led to the children being born in shapes similar to the devils involved in the original contracts?
Just some random notes and ideas from me to continue this topic.
*Firstly, one of the concepts of the Infernum game is the concept of the "Hellgout". A dimensional anomaly that kind of blends closing Ravenloft domains, cerebrotic blots and Silent Hill. Basically, every so often, Hell sends a "tendril" to the mortal world, slowly latching onto a given area and eventually 'merging' with it. This creates a patch of the world that demons can access freely from Hell, as well as one where the rules of Hell regarding souls (aka they step out of their 'shells' once a mortal is slain and can be directed around like transparent versions of the living mortal) apply.

This makes it a perfect opportunity for demons to raid: normally, mortals slain in the materium by demons *don't* go to Hell automatically, which makes ravaging and pillaging somewhat less than satisfying. The Hellgout only lasts so long, and then it vanishes, taking the demons with it. What happens to the area it touched is random: sometimes the folks are left alone, to recover from the shock. Sometimes every living being is taken with the demons, leaving an empty but apparently unmarked (usually) town behind. The Marie Celest could have been the site of such a Hellgout. And sometimes the entire area is dragged down to Hell, leaving behind absolutely nothing but a blank spot.

The question is this: is this an element I should keep?

*On tieflings, a vague idea emerges that makes some use of the "Bael Turath" fluff established for D&D 4e: noble houses, a "deal with the devil", etcetera. My idea is that it was the head of a number of houses who made a deal, using dark rituals to contact a number of powerful demon lords and bargaining with them. In essence, each patriarch/matriarch was 'merged' with an individual demon of a particular breed, creating something that was neither human nor demon but a powerful hybrid of the two. One power they shared in common was that they could transform those of their blood into the first tieflings by "implanting" a shard of demonic essence into their soul, shards that could themselves be borne by blood. Using this, they became the leaders of a great empire... before they fell to their own corruption.

The Possessed (for lack of a better term) were extremely powerful, immortal even, but utterly corrupt even before they became one with demons, and they turned their infinite supply of malice on others. Tieflings, who had (naturally) been favored on their rise to power, became a virtual underclass in practise, as their founders saw them as the likeliest threat and thus subjected them to the worst degredations and depredations. This, coupled with time and the fact it was tieflings who helped organise the revolution that finally shattered the empire and slew the Possessed, is why tieflings aren't hated and despised today.

This idea means that there are 8, possibly 9, "breeds" of tiefling, each representing a distant descendant of a demon-touched house. How does this idea sound?

*Idea three is that the place that became Hell was originally either a "proto-world", where the various gods honed their abilities at shaping the Elemental Chaos before creating the "true" World, or it was an attempt by the Gods of Evil to create their own World, inspired by jealousy of the Materium (created by the Gods of Good) and the Feywild/Shadowfell (both created by the Gods of Neutrality- Life/Nature for the Feywild, Death/Decay for the Shadowfell). How does this sound?

*In the Infernum setting, "Demon" is the species and "Devil" is a social rank for Demons. As such, does anyone have any suggestions for what the 'generic' race name might be? I mean, what mortals might call them? The slightly less clued-in might still use those names... some of the more lore-twisted might even use both names for different breeds: Slavers, Deceivers, Artificers, Imps and Malcubi as Devils; Hulks, Stalkers, Beasts and Fiends as Demons.

*In D&D parlance, the demons of Infernum don't have a set alignment- aka they aren't "Always Chaotic Evil" like they were in 3e, or "Always Evil" like the angels of evil-aligned deities will/might be in 4e. Given that they need to torture souls for their very survival, and the corrupt and harsh society they've fashioned for themselves (they were originally bred to be an expendable race of warrior-slaves; give them credit for having come up with *any* society at all), Evil is undoubtedly common- however, for every evil demon, there's at least one that's simply pragmatic, accepting what it has to do for survival and scraping by from day to day, its own hopes and dreams locked away inside it's head. I guess that's default to a "Racial Alignment" of "Unaligned, with substantial population of Evil". There could even be a Good demon... but that would take considerable effort to happen and probably wouldn't unless that demon managed to A: find a way to remain out of Hell and B: was exposed to the actual concept of Good in practise.
I will read it closer later when I have more time but your first part about the "Hellgout" you could possibly use by taking the idea propositioned with the Far Realm where it occasionally will layer parts of itself over a area of the World and and change it. If there is more then simply fluff and actual mechanics to this you could take that and instead of Far Realm have this come from Hell.
Just thought I'd try and revive this, seeing as how I finally got my own hard copies of the Infernum books. Thoughts on Demon/Other Species interaction, and how the Classes might tie to the Children of the Pit.

The demon relationship with mortals is simultaneously complex and simple. Demons want -*need*- souls. Mortals have souls. However, simply killing a mortal (unless they're in hell) doesn't yield a harvastable soul. So what are demons to do? The answer is simple: bargain.

Mortals are, by their very nature, prone to wanting things. Power, glory, revenge, sex, aid, all sorts of things. And demons can be quite adequate suppliers: nothing like a Stalker to track down the murdering scum who killed your family and skin him alive. Hulks are perfect mercenaries, and the most powerful ones can shatter entire fortresses. Beasts can tutor mortals in the arcane. Artificers are more than willing to trade hell-crafted arms and armour, and as for malcubi... I"ll steer clear of that.

The basic "faustian" contract is simple. The mortal and the demon swear to a special mystical contract, and in return for the demon completing their side of the bargain, the mortal's soul is automatically condemned to be transported to hell upon their death, rather then slipping into the Shadowfell and then falling down the cracks in the Pit (so to speak). Of course, demons aren't picky, and there's more than a few ways by which the souls of others can be traded, from ritualistic sacrifice to the simple process of opening a portal to hell and shoving the poor bastards through.

This relationship is quite simple: the two sides, in essence, are mortal enemies. Even evil Celestials are instinctively repulsed by the demons, and the sight or even the mere smell of an angel sets an ancient, inherited hunger burning inside even the most controlled demon. It is oft claimed that it was a combined effort by all the gods, Good, Evil and Indifferent alike, that wove the Great Curse and bound the demons to the Infernum, fearing that some terrible demon lord would arise and lead its bretheren to ravage the Astral Sea like a monstrous swarm of deicidal carnivorous locusts.

Oh, on occasion you get exarchs or arch-angels who try and descend into hell, either to try and "purge it" (if Good) or to recruit demonic aid (if Evil). Those that come back and don't die of their wounds never dare go down again. The Infernum has swallowed entire armies of angels whole... and spat out the bones in the faces of their enemies.

This class I'm unsure of how to handle. Demon-worshipping cults are a common theme of D&D, but I don't know whether to have it that 'demon gods' can grant their worshippers spells or if the "high priests" of such cults are basically Infernalist pact Warlocks with religious trappings. One idea is to borrow from Warhammer's Chaos and the fact that demons contain, muddied as it is, pure divine essence.

Basically, a Cleric and its demonic patron establish a kind of spiritual link- a mystical conduit that connects their essences, allowing the cleric to draw upon the divine energy within the demon and unleash it upon the material world as Prayers. The cleric's power increases as their essence becomes more firmly 'entwined' with that of their patron- in metagame terms, as their level increases, the bond between human and demon becomes more solid, until a high-level cleric is essentially little more than an extension of their patron. However, when the cleric dies, the conduit "reverses polarity", drawing their soul down and into the pseudo-soul of the demon. In essence, death for the cleric means not being banished to hell, but their very soul being assimilated into their patron's being, increasing their power by the power the cleric had acquired.

That raises the question of what happens to the demon-gods: do they remain in hell no matter how much power they have acquired from their absorbtion of faith and human souls, essentially little more than "demon princes" ala Demogorgon, Orcus and Grazz't, or does a demon who absorbs sufficient amounts of such become a divinity in truth, soaring from the Pit as the chains of the Great Curse shatter and they burst into the Astral Sea, shaping a new Dominion for themself?

Martial Characters in General:
No real effect on these classes, though demons might attempt to ensnare souls by bartering infernal weapons, hell-crafted arms & armour and mercenary/hireling work to them.

Warlocks & Wizards:
As stated, the Infernal pact seems to essentially be a form of "Vestige pact"; the warlock is making bargains with the essences of slain/imprisoned devils who desire revenge against Asmodeus. Incorporating Infernum suggests that the Infernal pact basically consists of making a contract with a demon for magical powers and being taught how to manipulate "raw magic" in the way demons do.

Wizards learning from demons are still possible; in this case, the contract is basically the same as between two mortal wizards- the mortal offers payment to the demon and the demon tutors him in conventional arcane magic.

Paladin: not a clue how this one might change. Paladins can be any alignment now, but given the already stated idea about demon-god Clerics getting their power through a spiritual link, I don't know how Paladins would be differentiated.
I've been going through my Infernum books and I finally managed to pinpoint most, if not all, of the things that I feel need to be examined and altered to merge the Pit into 4e. Can anyone give me their opnions/advice/suggestions on the following factors?

The timeline
Because Infernum was created to be a game where you could actually have a campaign based there instead of the "Weekend in Hell" (ala Ravenloft 2e) approach, the Pit has a rather short age- the current year in which the books are set is 766 AF (After Fall); seven centuries and sixty-six years since the angels first crashed into Hell. There is perhaps some room for 'expansion', as time is basically divided into a number of Ages, consisting of (from the Fall):
The Age of Foundation (the creation of the demons, discovery of torture-for-iliaster, the destruction of the angelic hosts and the foundation of the Infernum)
The Age of Houses (the nine Noble Houses of Demons -Astyanath, Carthenay, Glabretch, Haimon, Jelac, Oblurott, Riethii, Sturrach, Zethu- form and begin struggling against each other)
The Age of Sturrach's War (House Sturrach, grown mighty on its military prowess and alliance with House Carthenay, attempts to conquer all of Hell, finally being stopped and thrown into disarray when its Lord is destroyed along with Lord Zethu. House Jelac is destroyed by House Riethii)
The Age of Chaos (the time of rebuilding and turmoil in the wake of the war's end, a band of independent demons begins to usurp the lands once belonging to House Jelac and dub themselves the new 9th House, House Lictat)
The Age of Upheaval (recognition of House Lictat, beginning of the Free City Heresy, present day)

Time in the Pit
The basic concept of the Infernum is that time is, more or less, meaningless/non-existant. To this end, it depends upon time "stolen" (or perhaps "leeched) from the mortal world by the multitude of great Brass Pillars upon the First Circle, which gulp handfuls of time from the Materium and transmit it to the Clocks of Hell in Pandemonium.

Demons aren't alone in the Pit. When they rebelled and destroyed their creators, some angels managed to escape to "The Broken Lands", which are the "cold, empty ruins of a dead universe". There, they encounted a strange race of beings, referred to in some texts as the Quillipoth, but which the demons call, simply, Brokenlanders.

The Brokenlanders basically consist of sentient energy lattices inside an incredibly thin but resilient shell of crystalline matter- a Quillipoth looks like sketch in glass and spiderwebs, and the amount of matter used would fit neatly into a thimble. Their universe is all but entirely exhausted; nothing remains but a ringworld orbiting a guttering star. In contrast, the universe that lies beyond Hell is rich in matter, energy, life, emotion and creativity. This, coupled with the fascination their appearance naturally caused, meant the renegade angels were quickly able to enlist the Brokenlanders to their cause. Though the portal to Hell can only be opened rarely, and at considerable cost, when it pens the Quillipoth surge through, driven by something that can only be considered a desperate hunger for the creation beyond.

My main worry about these creatures is simple: where and how would their dead universe fit into the cosmology?

Location of Hell
Likewise, where to place the Pit in the "map" of the 4E multiverse is proving problematic. It naturally has some connection to the Shadowfell, but it can also connect to the mortal realm. The vague idea that comes to me depicts it "hanging" halfway between the "Great Works" (Materium, Feywild, Shadowfell) and the Elemental Chaos, and positioned halfway between Materium and Shadowfell.

Level of Technology
This is one area I think is a major problem: though a good deal of it is based around "technomancy", blending sorcery/alchemy into industrial machinery, Hell has a technology level roughly equivalent to the early 19th century. Telecommunications in the form of Screamer Lines (which are basically telegrams/telephones where each wire is a soul stretched to hair's thinness and tortured to produce different screams that equate to different sounds), trains (from simplistic giant spawn with embedded armour plate and bolted wheels to biomechanoids), biomechanoids (golem-like abominations created from artificially grown flesh and alchemically created metal that serve various purposes, from golem-like soldiers to transportation), steam engines and firearms.

The Free City Heresey
The basic "civilisation" level in Hell is Feudal; the Houses consist, simply, of more powerful demons commanding the obedience of the less powerful. The Free City Heresy is a newcomer to the order of Hell, and is basically a form of democracy. First emerging in Dis, on the 6th circle, it has spread to other locations throughout the Upper Circles and is considered the greatest threat to the current order of the Infernum. To put it simply, the Free City Heresy eliminates Covenants -the mystical bindings that are an essential part of controlling other demons, but requires the demons treat both each other and non-demons as equals.

The Church of the Morningstar
This was the first non-House organisation to develop in the Infernum, and emerged from a small group of demons who snuck into Pandemonium (the original wards barring the demons from entering) while the other circles were fighting. They crept right into the Palace of the Morningstar, and found there that the Morningstar, the strangeling orb of mystical fire that serves as Hell's sun, was generated by eldritch engines and arcane machinery. At the center of these, they found the skull of a human woman, ensorcelled to retain the soul of whoever she had been in life. It spoke to the demons, claiming to have been left behind by the First of the Fallen (the Archangel who had been the first cast down) and that, if they would work to maintain the engines, they would be rewarded when it returned.

As the First had never been reported slain on the killing field when the demons rebelled, the demons agreed, studying the powerful angelic magics left behind. However, engines need fuel, and like almost everything in Hell the Morningstar was fuelled by iliaster. When their reserves ran out, the demons approached the Nine Houses, eventually working out a deal. The demons of the Pit would tithe iliaster to keep the Morningstar alight, and the Priests of the Morningstar would serve as a way to get particularly troublesome demons out of the way without actually killing them.

While they are, fundamentally, a kind of social service (they keep the sun going- what else do you call it?), the Church has grown over time into a deliberate mockery of mortal religions (though there are a few screw-loose demons who actually believe the "faith" professed by the Morningstar). The problem is, the default Infernum version is a parody of the monotheistic Judao-Christian faith: how would it be altered for a setting where the default religion is polytheism? My best guess is that they would mock most if not all of the various Good religions, especially Sun and Purity-related faiths.

During the age of Foundation, two demons managed to "slip the net" before the demons found out how to torture souls for iliaster. One, an imp named Glabretch, would become the founder of House Glabretch, the disease-mongers. The other, a beast named Abhor, slipped away through the tunnels and sailed across to the other side of the Sunless Sea, there to found a new race of parasitic demon-creatures he came to call "Abhorei". These vile monstrosities function by grafting themselves to the bodies of living beings and feeding of their energy- spawn, mortal, demon, angel, it's all the same to them. And they hate their "cousins" greatly.

This one I don't have much of a problem with, but I was wondering: perhaps the Abhorei could have evolved so divergently due to exposure/proximity to the Far Realm? In much the way some Aberrations of the profanities of mortal life created by exposure to such alien energies, perhaps the same energies transformed early demons into body-snatching logistical monstrosities?

In other words, would tieing/connecting the Abhorei to the Far Realm be a valid 'tweak' of their fluff?
That is so awesome. Its also oddly similar to an idea I had, in which the elementals each had their own moon, and all of them were basically made of essence, in a different form(ie fire would be essence becoming plasma, air is gaseous essence, water liquid, and earth solid. There is also essence in its own form, and it can't be changed from one to the other form after it is already essence. Then it would start to change on what is basically an atomic structure as it all moves together, which also allows elementals to become stronger simply with normal water, earth, air, or fire, while remaining impure) Then this sort of stuff is used by human mages for power. They basically just drain off the essence and shove it in an item for the safest method, which is also the least used. The other methods involve shoving the essence in without draining it out and cutting its connection to the moon, which also leaves the consciousness of the elemental.

You should probably use illiaster for that sort of stuff too, with mortals providing the main form, and both a quick drain method, and a slow drain(you already have that however). However, there would also be attacks against angels, and the elementals would be another target, although it is arguably one of the most dangerous, since the illiaster is impure.
Thank you Holy_Beholder... I think. I can't really understand what you're saying, but I gather that you like this idea.

So, can anyone comment on my concerns? Give me their opinions on possible fixes for the listed problems?

What about suggestions for how the Infernum might be useful for adventurers? The basic "assumption" is that all of the planes should be accessible for gaming, if I recall correctly, rather than the "sinkholes" of previous editions (the life-sapping Negative Energy Elemental Plane, for example). Well, Infernum is designed by default so that campaigns for mortal parties can be actually set there without the goal being "ESCAPE!!!", but I'm not sure how well its themes would blend with more fantastical 'base settings'.

For example, in canon-Infernum, a campaign might be set around establishing your own stronghold, defeating a more powerful rival (and/or usurping its place), taking part in a war on Abhorei, aiding the efforts of your House/The Free City Heresy, etc...
Just decided to try my hands at some rudimentary Creation myths- can anyone please critique it or make suggestions on changes/improvements? First up, the Creation of the Planes.

Scholars argue which came first, but all agree that, in the beginning, the Worlds were two: the Elemental Chaos, the World of Matter, and the Astral Sea, the World of Spirit. For time beyond meaning, for time is something of the 4th World, there was nothing but the endless shifting and swirling of the currents of the two worlds, until life first blossomed within the Astral Seas, the unmarred essence colaescing into the Gods themselves. Eventually, the Gods, beings of pure Spirit, were drawn in wonder to the Elemental Chaos, and found that they had the power to shape this untamed priomrdial Matter as they willed. Crudely and clumsily at first, but with ever-greater proficiency as time passed on, as a mortal sculptor becomes progressively better at her art.

And so was shaped the 3rd World, the World that would become known as Hell, as the Gods tested their newfound abilities in the ultimate expression of shaping Matter. Some scholars, noting Hell's abundance of rock and metal, proclaim that the 3rd World was constructed entirely from the hardest, densest materials, as the Gods were as yet too unskilled and unrefined to work with finer, more fragile substances. Whether or not that was the case, the 3rd World was created entirely from the raw stuff of the Elemental Chaos, a practising ground for the Gods that culminated, finally, in their greatest work: breathing Life into inanimate material, creating the crude works known as Spawn.

Yet the Gods found themselves disappointed. For all of their hard work, they had produced nothing but a cold, dark, ugly, barren World, populated by mindless monstrosities. Much like children confronted with an unwanted toy or similar diversion, they abandoned their work and returned to the Astral Sea, wondering what had gone wrong. It was then that one of their number (and precisely who it was differs from story to story) suggested that they try again, but that this time they mix Spirit in with their sculpted Matter, a suggestion that intrigued the Gods and reinspired them.

Thus was born the 4th World, the World of Mortals, the perfect fusion of Matter and Spirit. Stories differ on the creation of the Feywild, the 5th World, with some suggesting it was an attempt at creating a World with a greater proportion of Spirit and others that, like the 6th World, the Shadowfell, it was an unintended reflection, a strange shadow cast by the light of blazing essence and swirling creation-stuff.

Whatever the case, when their works were finished, the Gods retired to the Astral Sea in great pride and contentment, taking joy in their work. They cherished their mortal creations, so much more elegant and wonderous than the ugly Spawn, but it was this cherishment, this pride, that led to the War in the Heavens...
The "divine war" is a common motif, and it makes as good a backdrop as any for why the Fallen fell. Not to mention why the gods don't intervene directly in the mortal world (beyond the fact they're so damn powerful there's not really any point)

The War in Heaven's origin remains shrouded in mystery, but its cause is clear enough. Each of the gods had created different forms of life, different followers, and each was greatly proud of its own creations and prone to boasting of their accomplishments and capabilities. Naturally, this lead to questions- whose creations were the best? Debates turned into disputes, disputes into arguments, arguments to hatred, and hatred to war.

It is said that it was during this time that the Gods created Angels, lesser entities of pure Spirit to serve and attend them, and these formed great legions who warred throughout the Astral Sea. But the war did not consign itself to the 1st World, no, it spilled into the 4th as well, with various races forming into armies to prove the superiority of their creation and their creator. It is said that this is the time in which the various monsters that plague the 4th World were fashioned, abominations created by this God or that to harrass and destroy the creations of their rivals.

For an age the war raged, claiming countless lives and many Gods, until finally the Astral Sea was calm again, the Gods being too tired and bloodied by their struggles to continue it. The War in the Heavens was over, but the bonds of brotherhood and trust once shared by all the Gods had been shattered irreversibly.Though some friendships were still shared between Gods who had found common cause with each other, and others had forged pacts of alliance or non-agression, for the most part the new order was an order of non-interference, an order reinforced when they saw just how much damage had been inflicted upon their beloved creations by their squabbling.

It was in this time of drying blood, as Gods and Worlds licked their wounds and began the long, slow process of healing, that the creation of the demons was to take its first step. And, as with all things of the Infernum, it was a step filled with blood and shadows.
The demon creation myth- the "real" or "default" one, that is, as the other races would probably have their own tales (for example, elves might claim that Artificers are the souls of a race of dwarves who were cast down by Moradin for some great crime, which is why the dwarf race today is so lawabiding).

The name and nature of the god whom the Lord of the Morningstar served is lost to history, though more than one scholar has wondered if perhaps it might not have been the creator of the humans, hence explaining why humans have no patron now and why most demons appear as mockeries of the human form. What is known is that the Lord of the Morningstar was the servant of the Lost God, the first amongst his subservients, though debate rages over whether he (or she, in some versions of the tale) was Exarch (lesser god) or Archangel (greater angel). Whatever the truth, he was a jealous being, who envied the power and majesty of his master despite his own (or perhaps because of it).

In the closing days of the War, he went to his fellows with seductive words and cunning arguments, eventually swaying a third of his master's host to his side and attempting to lead a revolt against his master. However, his forces were outnumbered, and though they inflicted heavy casualties, they could not stand against the might of superior numbers and a wrathful god. However, the god did not slay those rebels who survived the final battle, perhaps deeming it insufficient punishment, or simply tired of shedding celestial vitae.

It was then the god's attention turned to the nameless 4th World, the long-abandoned First Work. The renegades, who dubbed themselves The Fallen, were cast from their Dominion in the Astral Sea to the barren rock of the future Hell, falling from the sky like a great meteorite and gouging a roughly cone-shaped crater 2400 miles deep through the solid rock and flames of the barren wastes. For an age they smouldered in the dust and the flames, but then the first angels heaved themselves from the ash, bloodied but unbowed, swearing vengeance upon their former brethern. But they had learned from their mistakes: when they stormed the gates of the heavens, they would do it at the forefront of a great army!

With this vow, they turned their attention to the first candidates; the Spawn. They dared not leave Hell or risk the ire of other gods by going after their Mortal creations, and the mortals were too depleted in numbers to be viable sources for experimentation. The Spawn, however, had proliferated in their aeons alone in the darkness, and so the Fallen began their dark work. Realising that the Spawn were too mindless to be useful, and remembering that the first mortals had been made by mixing matter and spirit, the Fallen set upon a profane course of action- mingling their own divine essence with the slime of the Spawn in nightmarish crossbreeding experiments.

From this dark union of hateful spirit and monstrous flesh were born entities that would be reviled and cursed by all others. These were the first demons. The Lord of the Morningstar plunged a fiery weapon into the Lethe, the memory-sapping river of tears exposed by the Fall, creating great clouds of mind-sapping vapour to obscure the eyes of any curious watchers and shield the Fallen's misbegotten children from threat while they grew and were further tested and experimented upon. Eventually, the nine breeds of demons emerged after a nightmarish age of primogenesis.

The Artificers, squat and dwarfish beings encased in shells of armor and machinery, were bred to be the engineers and forgemasters of Hell, to work the foundaries and churn out the endless numbers of weapons and armor needed to equip their brethren, as well as to design and construct great buildings for the Fallen.

Beasts, in form, more closely resembled their Spawn ancestors, insane animalistic forms wrought in a crude semblance of a humanoid shape. Despite this, they were truly Angel-born, for they possessed the innate abilities to wield essence, in the form of magic, and thus they formed a vital role in the army- as demons were, naturally, unable to channel divine energies, arcanists would be essential for supporting the troops.

Deceivers, with their predominately human appearance, now fulfil the role of tempators and manipulators; their forte is travelling to the mortal world to bargain and barter and trick mortals into sacrificing souls to Hell. But this was not their original role- in the beginning, Deceivers were merely warriors, less powerful than the mighty Hulks, but more stable, cunning and intelligent, hence why their breed was allowed to thrive.

Fiends were one of the Fallen's greatest success; not only were they a true warrior breed, but one possessed of their angelic forefather's ability to fly. Their power to generate the soul-scorching hellfire augmenting their lethality, they also made effective messengers and couriers.

Hulks were and are the pinnacle of the demonic army, its shock troops, its hammer. From squat, barely-there head to armored boot, these monstrous figures look every inch what they were made for: to break angels. Though not the brightest of demons, their ferocity and capacity for carnage are tremendous.

The Imps barely managed to escape culls, for the Fallen needed warriors and the small, weak, cowardly fliers were anything but. But their intelligence, their speed and their stealth made them perfect scouts, messengers and advisors- many imps now can be found perched upon the shoulder of more powerful demons, a memory of the time when they were the lackeys of renegade angels.

The purpose behind the Malcubi is more obscure than you might guess- despite their claims to the contrary, they were not bred initially to be diplomats and assassins (for there was no need for such things at that time). Nor were they bred by the increasingly decadent and perverse Fallen so that they might have something more palatable to share their beds than Spawn (well, not entirely so anyway). They were bred for one purpose: to breed new demons. With the exception of their demonic litters, Spawn did not themselves breed, instead having smaller and weaker Spawn crawl from their carcasses. Demons reproduce in a similar way, with living demons being hurled into pits filled with arcane acids and acidic toxins and grotesque larvae crawling from the ruins, organs transmuted into unwholesome embryos by the chemicals and insurge of iliaster.

It is difficult to pinpoint the reason behind the creation of the first Slavers, but their fascination with torture suggests that maybe they were originally intended to be medics- for what are torture and surgery but two sides of the same coin?

Stalkers were bred to be scouts and advance troops, commandos and unseen hunters, creeping ahead of the main force to wreak mayhem before the army arrived to smash into the confused, demoralized foes.

Yes, the plans of the Fallen were proceeding- but there was trouble brewing...
You know, if I've got this topic in the wrong place, then could you please tell me where else to put it? The rise of the demons and the loss of the Fallen- does anyone want me to start putting up the basic Infernography now?

When the Fallen had been cast down, great shards of colaeasced Astral substance fell with them. Demons, being twisted and unnatural conglomerations of flesh and spirit, hungered for pure spiritual energy to sustain themselves, and so the Fallen rendered down these heavenly shards to feed their children. But the supply of shards were finite, and the demons multiplied exponentially, and soon they were exhausted.

It was then, as the starving hellkin clamoured and pleaded for food, that the Fallen turned on each other. Strained relationships finally parted and old rivalries flared as they began to denounce their fellows as traitors and spies, with those found guilty being rendered down into iliaster. In total, this time of madness claimed about a third of the surviving Fallen.

During this time, the First of the Fallen had been locked away from his fellows, conversing with one of his most powerful followers and the mightiest magi amongst them, a Fallen now referred to simply as "The Architect" or "The Arcanist". It was these two Fallen, in unison, who erected the great Brass Pillars upon the First Circle, whose precise purpose remains a mystery but is generally dismissed as stealing time from the Mortal World. And it was these two who would save the demon race.

For, at the height of the madness, they returned triumphantly to the Pit, bearing with them something never before seen in Hell. A soul. To this day, no one knows whether the two Fallen managed to somehow damage the boundaries beween the 4th and 6th Worlds, or if the 'meshing' had always been present and it was simply they who opened the gates, allowing souls to plummet into Hell, but whatever the case it was the end of the famine.

With disaster averted, the Fallen returned to their work, confident that at last they would be able to ready the armies and launch their invasion. But it was never to be. The demons, ignorant of anything else besides Hell and knowing that they would be disposed of once the war was won, had no itention of going to war.

The First and the Architect tried to counter this rebellion by laying powerful spells of binding and obedience upon the Hellkin, magics that linger to this day as the Covenant, which forces a demon to obey any to whom it gives its word. But the spell wasn't perfect - it *couldn't* be perfect - and the demons managed to "misinterpret" or simply ignore orders. Matters were not helped by the fact that the demons had begun a campaign of corruption on their forebears, tempting and seducing roughly half of the Fallen into seeing the demon view- that they didn't need heaven, that hell was more than enough, that they could rule here in the darkness as kings.

Matters finally came to a peak when the First ordered all demons to come to Pandemonium, the great city at the crater's floor, the home of the First, the Architect and, indeed, all of the Fallen, and to bring all of their supplies of iliaster with them. He intended to starve them into obedience; by locking up the vital supplies of sustenance, the hellkin would be forced to aid the war effort or starve. The demons howled and screamed, but their Covenants forced them to obey. Finally, in the 8th Circle, the two factions of Fallen met, the entire population of demons and damned in attendance.

The loyalists flew up and demanded the demons obey them

The renegades flew up and demanded the demons obey them.

Two commands, both contradictory, both equally potent. The Covenant was stretched to the breaking point, leaving the demons free. And they seized that moment of freedom to turn on both factions of Fallen, slaughtering the surprised angels in vast quantities. Only a small few, led by the Architect, escaped the slaughter, fleeing through a gate to the Broken Lands. The First vanished, never to be seen again. When it was over, only demons and the damned remained in Hell. It was theirs now, and no one would take it from them.

The great irony of things is that, unbeknownst to the Fallen, their "brothers" who had cast them out had been destroyed already, one of the final casualties of the War in the Heavens. So they had destroyed themselves... for nothing. A fact that greatly amused the demons when they finally learned of it.
Infernography; the quick and basic quide to Hell.

Technically, Hell refers to the 3rd World in its entirety, but in practise the word is used to refer to the Pit, the great crater dug by the Fallen and in which demons live. The pit is divided into nine "Circles", which roughly equate to countries/continents. The first circle is the surface of the 3rd World itself, the 9th is the Pit's floor, and the intervening seven are different layers of strata on the Pit's walls- though the sharp diagonal slant would normally make this impossible, gravity in the Pit is severely distorted; except for the surface, and a 30-mile circle centered on the 9th circle, gravity in the pit is orientated so that *down* is towards the wall, which means that, from the perspective of a person there, they are on perfectly level flat ground and reality is on a crazy-slant.

The Circles of Hell each have a different name and a different terrain type, all equally unpleasant.

The First Circle is aptly named Emptiness, consisting as it does of an empty waste-land of fine, ash-white dust pockmarked with the Brass Pillars and mountain-sized chunks of scorched debris from the impact of the Fallen. If it weren't for the abundance of soul fields here, the hellkin would ignore it- as is, demon expansions into this circle are marginal at best.

The outcast, the exiled, the criminal, the renegade and the unwanted, these and these alone inhabit Emptiness, banding together in the shantytown of Gallfang Plateau for mutual protection. Beyond Gallfang, the most important location in Emptiness is Harvest Keep, a massive prison-fortress that vaguely resembles a Slaver in outline and which houses the gathered souls before they are shipped down into the pit.

Technically, the demons could spread out the First Circle in an infinite direction, but as the region is so harsh and lifeless, they stick to a relatively small area around the mouth of the Pit. Emptiness has a radius of 900 miles, a circumference of 5922 miles, and a width of 400 miles.

The Second Circle is called Tempest, an appropriate name. There are taller mountains on the 4th and 8th Circles, but no region is more mountainous than Tempest- it is a single giant mountain range that circles the width of the pit, lashed by constant storms and perpetual winds that ensure that it is the coldest and least hospitable (by demon standards) region in Hell. House Lictat alone has holdings here, and much of those consist of colonised segments of the Inferno Line, an immense dungeon-complex created as the first line of defense against an invasion from the Astral Sea.

Beyond the estates, the only real habitation is Minos, the first and one of the largest tradetowns in the Pit- here is where the souls from Emptiness are sold and shipped downward. Should the Free City Heresy reach Minos, it would be a disaster for the Houses, and so they all maintain military forces here to prevent such insurgency.

Tempest covers an area of 800 miles in radius, 5024 in circumference and 350 miles in width.

The Third Circle is called Tears, for it is the end of Upper Hell and where the torment of souls truly begins. As the border between the icy mountains of Tempest and the heat of the Middle and Lower Hells, Tears is rich in natural water- the majority of the terrain here is mud, from sodden fields and canals to great swamps and bogs. What isn't mud is bones- Tears houses great ossuaries, filled inexplicably with countless bones, which are a valuable resource for building materials, glue, and other uses. Tears is the territory of three of the Great Houses; Haimon, Glabretch and Oblurott. Precisely why the Haimon, a House noted as being obsessed with death and the dead, would choose to settle in one of Hell's most fertile terrains remains a mystery.

Tears houses two cities of note; the first is Allsorrows, a trading city built entirely on a flotilla of barges which sweeps endlessly along the canals and rivers. At least, it used to be a trade city- now Allsorrows belongs to the Free City Heresy, which makes it unwelcome in House territory. The other city is Bileflot, which floats in an enclosed dome of iron atop a great lake of acid. Bileflot is unique within the Pit as it is strictly and truly neutral in all things- which makes it the favourite spot for inter-House diplomatic meetings.

Tears is 300 miles wide, has a circumference of 4396 miles and a radius of 600 miles.

The Fourth Circle is called Toil, and this is Hell as most mortals imagine it; great volcanoes and slagheaps of mountains scattered amidst rocky badlands and firepits, where endless legions of damned souls and demon workers dig forth the raw materials that are the lifeblood of demonic society. Originally, all Houses shared Toil in a tentative balance of non-agression, but that has changed since Zethu fled here after Dis's rebellion.

Toil's primary city is Moloch, which takes in a portion of the raw materials to create the various tools and gear needed to keep the mines flowing. Moloch is notorious for poor quality and shoddy work. Technically Moloch is an independant city, controlled by unaligned demons, but as Zethu now clusters its new estates around Moloch, declaring it part of their holdings is just a formality.

Toil is 600 miles in radius, 3768 miles in circumference and a mere 250 miles wide.

The Fifth Circle is called Slaughter- and for it to earn such a name in Hell, one can only imagine just how terrible the fighting must be. Battle is everywhere in Slaughter, as it is traditionally the Circle where the Houses can settle their differences through battle. Lower Hell is forbidden, Upper Hell too distant, and the 4th and 6th Circles too valuable. Slaughter is just right in terms of position. The constant wars have led to rather contradictory terrain; most of the landscape has been utterly levelled to aid the passage of demonic armies, and where the fightest is fiercest the earth has been ripped open, creating blasted wastelands that spill magma like blood. In others, the constant influx of gore, carrion and iliaster has rendered the soil fertile and strong- the forests of Slaughter are thicker and wilder than anywhere else in the Pit.

House Sturrach, naturally, holds its estates here, and there are two other cities of note that are also tied to war; Golgotha is the capital of the mercenary trade, with virtually every sellclaw in the Pit bartering its services there. Mayhem was the arms trade's answer to Golgotha, but the Free City Heresy has rooted there. Mercenaries and Sturrach forces alike have tried to retake Mayhem, but the city's arsenal is the most formidable in the pit- none have ever survived once they got within firing range.

500 miles in radius, 3140 miles in circumference, 200 miles in width.

The Sixth Circle is the Circle of Industry, with terrain that essentially reflects Toil and the battlegrounds of Slaughter- rocky, volcanic wastelands. The trick is to find natural terrain beneath the sprawl of the abandoned Zethu estates, Cacaphractus (the original city of invention and industry until the entire place became a giant and self-aware construct) and Dis, which was THE city of Hell until it became the heart of the Free City Hersey.

Industry is 400 miles in radius, 2512 in circumference and a mere 175 miles wide, which only adds to its feeling of being cramped and stuffed to bursting point.

The Seventh Circle is called Delight; here is a land rich in fertile soil and beauty unprecendented in Hell- bar the great Blasted Desert that forms the barrier between the Riethii and Carthenay estates, and Lake Inferno, the barrier between Riethii and Astyanath, all of this circle is jungle.

Beyond the estates of the three houses, the major city of note is not a city, but a marketplace the size of a city, which travels continuously around the circle as old stalls at the rear are taken down and new ones established at its front. The Tattered Market is the greatest market place in all the Infernum, where absolutely anything and everything can be had- for a price. Entertainers are sarosanct here, and when not entertaining the nobility the Dark Carnival can be found here.

Delight spans a radius of 300 miles, a circumference of 1884 miles and a width of 150 miles.

The Eight Circle, the Malebolge, is a swift and unpleasant return to hellish normality- in fact, the Malebolge is so unpleasant that even demons have a hard time living here. Yet live here they do, for here is where the nine houses have their Citadels, the massive palaces that are the symbol of their standing as the Great Houses of Hell. The Malebolge is a volcanic nightmare, burning mountains of basalt stretching to such height that they almost meet in the center of the pit, forcing the Morningstar to squeeze through a barely-big-enough gap each morning and evening, triggering another round of eruptions and earthquakes.

Malebolge is 200 miles in radius, 1256 in circumference and 120 in width.

The Ninth Circle is the Pit's floor, the infernal metropolis known as Pandemonium. This 30 mile wide landscape consists, for the first 15 miles or so, of the river Cocytus and a barren wasteland. Beyond that lies the city of Pandemonium, whose exact area is... well... let's just say that space isn't exactly on speaking terms with reality here, alright?
Various bits 'n' pieces of extra detail.

Because Hell is an essentially circular and vertical piece of terrain, it uses a different set of directions to the North/South/East/West of the Mortal World. For horizontal travelling, the directions are Clockwise (travelling around the Pit left to right) and Widdershins (the opposite way- right to left), while the vertical directions are Pitwards (deeper into the Pit) and Abmouth (towards the surface).

The Great Houses put forth their own take on history; their take, and thus the "official" history, claim that the House founders were Fallen who became so corrupted that they were practically demons themselves, and that they turned on their brothers for their foolishness and weakness. The truth, that their "noble ichor" is as tainted and filthy as any demon, is unpleasant, and they dislike the implications of the fact that the Houses took their place by rebellion of underlings rather than assassination of equals.

Time in Hell
The infernal day measures 48 hours, which covers the time it takes for the Morningstar to form, rise up to the sky above the first circle, sink back down to Pandemonium and dissipate into nothingness. Because of this, as well as day and night, there are two extra 'time zones' in each circle of hell; Witching and False Dawn. Witching is the twilight-state during which the Morningstar is in an upper circle, whilst False Dawn is the far briefer period of daylight caused by the descent of the Morningstar.

There are 30 days to an infernal month, and 12 months to a year. In order, the months are Mortis, Oblivis, Carcis, Agony, Lament, Suffering, Ascenis, Vincere, Throne, Inferno, Shadow, and Harrowing. These were codified by Haimon, and are generally assumed to be some manner of hidden cipher- the idea of the Founder of the Deathly playing some kind of joke is unthinkable.

Celebrations of the Infernum
As much as Hell is a place of suffering for demon and damned alike, it is also home to enjoyment. There is always a party being held somewhere in the Pit- in House Riethii the party never stops. Demons throw celebrations of all types for all sorts of reasons, but there are a few days that are recognized throughout the pit as a day of festivity and celebrations.

New Year (1st Mortis): the first day of each year is a wild celebration for the hellkin. It is the traditional day to be promoted to a Housefellow, or simply to apply for promotion in rank.

Battle of the Ash Ghosts (26th Mortis): this day commerates the day the Haimon Legions of Damned turned back an assault by House Sturrach, thus beginning the end of the Age of Sturrach's War. In House Haimon, this is one of the few celebrations actually held, a day of quiet and triumphant reminiscence. For the rest of the demons, it's a day of self-doubt and paranoia as they recall how one of the most powerful demon armies was stymied by a collection of dead mortals. Having a run of successes and victories prior to this day is considered a terrible omen.

Founding (1st Carcis): this is the universal celebration held to commemorate the founding of the Infernum as a whole. The Great Houses also have their own personal Founding holidays, remembering the day they officially declared themselves a Great House.

Walpurgisnacht (1st Agony): during this time, the barriers between Hell and the Mortal World become unusually thin, resulting in numerous hellgouts and temporary portals. Naturally, demons take this as an opportunity to explore the Mortal World en masse, and equally naturally this is a dangerous time for mortals. A week-long Lethe Storm always flares into life on the First Circle on Walpurgisnacht.

Renewal of the Flame (9th Agony): one of the holy days of the Cult of the Morningstar, this is the day when the tithed iliaster is brought to the Palace of the Morningstar to refuel the great engines of light. Naturally, opportunistic and irreverent thieves do their best to try and make off with some of the harvested soulstuff.

Gout's Eve (15th Lament): this day celebrates the triggering of the Great Gout by House Zethu- every demon who can either hosts or participates in a hunt, with mortals being the favoured prey.

First Fall (30th Lament): officially, this day commemorates the ending of the Great Famine, marking the day the first mortal soul fell into Hell. Unofficially, it marks the day the Fallen were cast down.

High Muster (1st Ascenis): this day is the most important day on the military calender; every demon lord in the pit *must* review their military capabilities and, if neccessary, present them to their superiors on this day. Coincidently, it's the favoured day to start wars.

Slaughter (3rd Vincere): also known as the Night of Assassins, this day is the most ill-omened in all of the hellish calender. It marks the day that Astyanath and, 166 years later, Sturrach and Zethu, died at the hands of assassins (well, Astyanath died at Sturrach's hands at the Bileflot Conclave- close enough).

Feast of Fools (30th Vincere): the most popular holidays of the infernal calender, the Feast of Fools is a day of chaos and whimsy, when all of the rules are bent, broken or outright discarded for the amusement of the demons.

Opening of the Auditorium (1st Throne): as the name suggests, this is when the yearly debates begin in Pandemonium.

Body Dance (25th Inferno): this is one of the most bizarre holidays in Hell. A formal ball open only to demons capable of possession, the holiday gets its name because the celebration is a skill & luck-based gambling game- the dancers swap bodies in time with the music and steps.

Oathing (10th Harrowing): this is the demonic equivalent of a harvest festival. Common demons renew their Covenants and pass on tithes, and noble demons hand out promotions or gifts.

Rivers of Hell
There are numerous bodies of water in hell... if you stretch the definition of "water" to include "any kind of fluid", but there are only five rivers that are truly considered important.

Acheron: this vile river of foul water seeps from myriad tunnels pockmarked around the border of Tears and Toil, forming a kind of boundary or marker between Upper and Middle Hell. It sinks back underground as it progresses into Toil, reemerging in Slaughter in a place known as Scar Delta- the Glabretch have established a stronghold here by floating fungus-islands down the Acheron and through the tunnels to settle here. The Acheron flows onwards into Industry, originally ending in a swamp but now serving as the sewers of Dis. Throughout its length in Middle Hell it is used as a dumping ground for various forms of waste.

Cocytus: a river of grinding jet-black ice of uttercold that emerges from a rift beneath the volcanic Malebolge (Zethu would love to be able to explain that), Cocytus forms a natural barrier around Pandemonium- the Morningstar makes it too dangerous to fly over, but those who fly too close to Cocytus are frozen solid.

Lethe: the river of forgetfulness rises in Toil and once flowed all the way to Malebolge, but one of the earliest buildings in Hell was a great furnace-dam to trap and boil the river in the 4th Circle, creating the memory-sapping fumes that spiral up to form the Lethe Clouds. Now the course of the Lethe is dry, bar in Slaughter (where spilled gore and Lethe-slurry have mixed together to form a very strange substance)- however, the furnace-dams are currently in the possession of House Carthenay, and the expense of their maintenance means that said maintenance is not being kept up to standard. More than half of the furnaces have gone cold, and the dams themselves are growing weaker...

The very first river of Hell rises high up in Tempest, coiling from a volcano like a dragon of molten iron and pouring down towards tears, where it slips into a tunnel just hundreds of feet below the surface until re-emerging in Toil, where it is tapped for metals and for heat to power the furnace-dams of Lethe. It continues on through Slaughter and once even reached Industry, but now it grows cold and sluggish by the 5th Circle and comes to a stop at the 6th, hence why iron must be shipped from further Abmouth.

The river of mournful blood rises majestically from the earth of Slaughter, gushing out as though being pumped by some nightmarishly huge subterranean heart. It surges on through Industry, where its flow is tapped for power and various chemical uses, and ending at the border between Delight and Malebolge. Bizarre spawn haunt its mouth and upper banks, and an army of demonic soldiers is kept in perpetual battle to prevent them from following its course into the heart of demonic society.
Demonic physiology and psychology- you know, if there's somewhere else I should be doing this (the Monsters forum, for example), then please speak up and let me know so I can stop making an idiot out of myself! I know you're looking, so please say something.

Demon anatomy varies considerably from individual to individual, partly due to mutations (see below), partially due to racial differences, but there are some generic traits. Compared to mortals, demon systems (circulation, respiration, etc) are quite crude and often redundant; a set of especially muscular arteries that can pump blood around the body even if the heart is destroyed, for example. It is because of this that demons are so physically resilient.

The demonic digestive system is one of its more unusual features; it most closely resembles that of a Mundus carnivore, but lacks the "excretory" organs- this is because demons were intended to live on iliaster alone and thus have no need for physical food and drink, though they can and do ingest meals (predominantly flesh). The combination of otherworldly acids and raw arcane energies means that everything eaten is digested, in time.

Next is the demonic reproductive system. To put it bluntly, bar a few exceptions, demons don't have one. Gender is an option for most demon breeds, and unless they belong to House Riethii or begin the Chain of Lust, it's simply an affectation- sterile and rather underdeveloped looking. The exceptions are demons who obtain the ranks of nobility, the Malcubi breed, and Deceivers who choos to have a gender- these and these alone have (or can have, for the nobles) a true reproductive gender. These demons can reproduce just like mortals, producing halfbreeds (demon/mortal hybrids) or crossbreeds (demon breed hybrids).

Demons reproduce primarily through a method called the spawning pit; a living demon is hurled into a noxious brew of alchemical acids and arcane fluids, dissolving in a quick but hideously painful death. As part of the process, the demon's 'essence' is channelled into its internal organs, which transmutate into grotesque worm-things -called larvae- and chew their way to freedom. They spend six months swimming in the pit, and assuming the 'spark' of life-force they absorbed doesn't fade out and they die, they then form a chrysalis from which a new demon will emerge in about another month. A "newborn" demon instinctively knows what it is and how to use its various abilities, both mystical and mundane (talking, walking, eating, etc).

Demons are, naturally, considered to be evil creatures, and the majority of them are indeed Evil. However, like any Mortal -which the demons are, in the sense of being creatures of combined Spirit and Flesh- demons are not innately evil. Demons are evil for all the same reasons that any mortals are; out of hatred, out of greed, out of the desire to survive in the easiest way possible. Like any living creature, demons are born (so to speak) with the option to choose their path in life. In theory. In practicality, the very nature of demons means that the best most tend to achieve is Unaligned.

The emotions of a demon are darker-hued and more passionate than those of most mortals, which makes them more savage and direct than humans. A demon spurred to wrath is driven to rend and tear, a demon driven to hate becomes obsessed with the destruction of its foe.

What makes things worse is that demons can scarcely conceive of many of the more positive emotions. A demon finds the idea of love almost incomprehensible- lust and possessiveness, yes, but true affection is something with which they have no experience. A demon has no parents, or children, and has siblings only in the most general sense- for many demons, their first ever experience of love is the birth of a half-breed child, the only form of reproduction that doesn't involve their death, and there is no way to convey how alien the feeling is to them. Empathy and sorrow are likewise near impossible for them to feel, like a result of the First's experiments- what use is a living weapon that mourns its fallen comrades, or which can sympathise with its enemy? It is only with training and study that a demon can feel anything other than twisted joy when it sees others suffering, and no demon can weep unless the very flesh of its face reshapes itself through the Chain of Weeping mutations.

Being a spark of spiritual energy shackled in a crudely-built shell of flesh and bone, demons are prone to all manner of bizarre transformations and deformities as they grow older and more powerful. These are called mutations, and are divided into four categories; Breed, House, Common and Noble. Breed mutations are inevitable; they reflect the very aspects of a demon's nature establishing itself, for demons only grow into their full capabilities as they age. House mutations affirm that a demon was truly spawned to one of the Great Houses, providing the powers and abilities associated with its members. Common mutations are just that; common powers that any demon can develop. Noble mutations only develop in those demons that manage to achieve positions of power- they are a reflection of the demon's power, infernal geomantic energies surging into their very essence.

Mutations are organised into sets of cumulative thematic powers known as chains- there are 50 common chains alone, ranging from the Chain of Agility to the Chain of Wrath.
Various bits 'n' pieces of extra detail.

Because Hell is an essentially circular and vertical piece of terrain, it uses a different set of directions to the North/South/East/West of the Mortal World. For horizontal travelling, the directions are Clockwise (travelling around the Pit left to right) and Widdershins (the opposite way- right to left), while the vertical directions are Pitwards (deeper into the Pit) and Abmouth (towards the surface).

I could see polar coordinates making an appearance here, with a 3rd variable for height. So something like (27.5 miles, 225 degrees, 240 degrees). That would be 27.5 miles away from the center, in what is basically south west, and at a pretty steep incline.
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