Age of Heroes 5e
Gehenna is known as The Nine Hells due to the nine realms which are governed by the nine Lords of the Nine Towers. The Plane itself is a massive disc, many thousands of miles across and hundreds of miles thick, that floats in an endless expanse of red, burning sky. The lands of Gehenna are barren and lifeless, made up of huge mountain ranges of black basalt, endless plains of white dust, and desolate broken lands. Always, there is a cloudless, red sky that bleeds its light upon the lands. No night exists here, only endless, burning days.
Throughout Gehenna, rivers of liquid fire flow through the tortured landscape, sometimes pooling together in huge lakes and seas. Despite the cloudless sky, rains of fire sometimes fall from the sky, collecting in rivulets that eventually soak into the ground.
The heat here is immense, far beyond the capacity of mere mortals to survive. Only the divine and those magically protected can travel throughout Gehenna.
The exception is the River Styx, which flows from one end of Gehenna to the other. The river’s cold waters hold back the oppressive and deadly heat, creating a thick mist that obscures vision to mere yards, even to magical sight. It is on this river that visitors come into Gehenna, its waters flowing throughout the nine realms. It is said that the power and curse of the River Styx repels the Devils that make Gehenna their home. For this reason, travel on the Styx is relatively safe, at least from devilkind.
There exist nine realms in Gehenna, each centered around a great tower. Eight of these cities make up the points of a vast octagon, with the ninth centered in the middle. Thousands of miles of blasted lands lie between these cities, and travel between them is most often made by magical means.
Each of these cities is the capital and seat of power of a Great Devil. The eight on the periphery surround a center tower, the seat of Lilith, ruler of all devil kind.
Avernus is home to Abaddon, the Destroyer of Worlds, whose tower floats above the great Pit of Oblivion. None know the origins of the Pit, not even Lilith, but it is greatly feared by all. It is said that to fall into its depths is to be utterly unmade. It is there that Abaddon casts those who displease him.
The lands about the Pit stretch out for hundreds of miles in smooth, polished basalt from within which can be seen ghostly visages of beings unknown.
Dis is the stronghold of Sammael, the one-time consort of Lilith. He rules his realm from the Iron Tower, a massive, squat building of black iron that sits at one end of the Canyons of Sorrow, which cuts across Gehenna for thousands of miles. It is said that the legendary Archentoreth, Kronos’ dragon steed, lives in the canyon’s deepest trenches.
Sammael governs with his son, the Arch-Devil Asmodai, whom Sammael keeps close only to temper Asmodai’s lust for power and treachery.
The Devil Lord Mammon rules Minauros from the Sinking Tower, deep within the plains of ash that dominate his realm. Of all the dark Lords, Mammon is the most reclusive and isolated, preferring to spend his time plotting in secret and being entertained by his consort, the Temptress Lamia.
It is said that Lamia was a sister of Mara long ago, and that she came willingly to Gehenna, but none save Lilith know why.
Phlegothos is known in legend as the Bog of Eternal Fire due to its many lakes and rivers of liquid fire, and for the rolling fog of sulfur that covers the realm. Belial, Master of the Pit Fiends, rules Phlegothos from Abriymoch, a massive, hollowed out volcano.
Asteroth, the Defiler, rules Stygia from the Carcass of War, a massive, deconstructed automaton that once roamed Stygia before it fell to Kronos. The skies of Stygia are dotted by black clouds from which fall rains of acid. It is not uncommon for storms to wrack the realm and blast the lands with bolts of lightning.
Asteroth is served by the Arch-Devil Amon.
Molbolge lies in a mighty mountain range, on Mount Molrog, and is ruled by Moloch. His tower perches on the slopes near the highest peak and stretches thousands of feet into the red sky. The deep valleys and crevices below are filled with rivers and lakes of fire, and caves within which dark powers sleep.
Maladomini is the home of Baalzebul, Lord of Flies. This realm is similar to Malbolge, but its mountains lay shattered and scattered across the landscape, as if they had been beaten down by some mighty force. The landscape is littered with huge blocks of stone, hundreds of feet in size, that lay in heaps. These massive rocks make land travel in this realm impossible. From the largest pile of these rocks emerges Malagard, Baalzebul’s tower. It is said that its dungeons are so vast that not even the Lord of Flies knows their full extent.
The lands of Caina are plagued by rolling fogs populated by hungry spirits of unknown origin. Even the Devil Lords avoid these haunted mists, keeping their distance. It is said that long ago, Sammael and his armies passed through here and when they emerged, half their numbers has simply vanished.
Caina is ruled by Azazel and his chief servant, Sytry.
Nessus is ruled by Lilith, The Dark Mistress and absolute ruler of the Nine Hells. It contains a series of vast rifts, each leading lower until the grand tower of Lilith is reached. This huge citadel dwarfs even the Khin-Oin of Anthraxus.
Lilith rules Nessus, and all of Gehenna, with Naamah, her daughter and twin of Asmodai.
The Power Struggle
Though the Devilkind as a whole adhere to a rigid caste structure, this is not the case with the Devil Lords. Politically, the Lords are split into three opposing factions. Lilith commands the unwavering loyalty of Abaddon and Asteroth. Baalzebul has Moloch as a stated vassal and has been recruiting Belial, whose rivalry with Asteroth is unbounded. Azazel seeks to appear as a force of reason and restraint; he has Sammael and the ever greedy Mammon on his side.
While Lilith may appear to have the weakest faction of the three, her control over all the devils as overlord gives her the advantage. Both Baalzebul and Azazel seek to dethrone her, but they must balance their own strength against not only Lilith, but against each other as well, for whomever challenges Lilith, the other will certainly side with her. For her part, Lilith plays Baalzebul and Azazel against each other, seeking to solidify her own position be pitting her two rivals against each other.