Detailing the Eldritch:
by Abraxas Silvermane,
as dictated by his master, Ichorus of Helgen
Long ago, when the world was still young, the gods, who were then new and powerful, looked into the astral and saw the Abyss, the endless nightmare, as a threat to their dreams of creation. The gods, of course, had a world to build, people to shepherd, and were incapable of fighting the Abyss and its demons without risk to the world. So the gods created the first champions of order. Not angels, they came later, these were greater than angels, with powers godlike in their glory.
These “champions” were led by the strongest and most beautiful among them, Asmodeus. Asmodeus led the charge into the Abyss, slaying hordes of demons until he and his warriors were bathed in demonic blood. They warred for long years, holding back the tide of evil, until the gods managed to seal off the abyssal portals into their worlds, creating relative peace in the universe.
Asmodeus and his kin could return home, and did so, thankful to be welcomed into the realms of light once more. But the gods welcomed their champions as strangers, for the Abyss changes a person, warps them, no matter how pure, and so Asmodues himself was twisted and warped, changed into something resembling an abyssal lord. The gods feared their champions, feared their twisted, changed ways, but saw that they needed Asmodeus still, for the mortals had reopened the portals, and the Abyss began to seep through again.
“Why?” the gods asked, “would our children do this? Why commit such evil? Do they not love us?”
And so it began, when Asmodeus came to the gods and explained that if mortals are allowed free will, they will defy the gods in favor of power and wealth. Even still, a mortal could ascend to the heavens, with no care for their own misdeeds. Asmodeus claimed that if he and his people would be allowed to punish the souls of wrong-doers, then the mortals would not dare break the divine rules.
“Of course,” Asmodeus said, “we will need to draw power from these evil souls in order to maintain our strength. Otherwise you’d need to give us the power of gods to do our job.”
Asmodeus, the changed and corrupted one, the one the gods feared, made a compelling case. They would not make him a deity, naturally, so they granted his request, he and his ‘devils’ would take up residence on the plane of Baator, where they would punish the souls of the wicked. This was known as the Pact Primeval, Asmodeus’ first contract, through which the passage of all souls is so controlled to this day. From Baator the devils served as both wardens and defenders, as the Abyss was Baator’s neighbor plane, linked by the river Styx. And so the endless Blood War between demons and devils began.
Time passed, as always, and the gods of the upper planes came to realize that fewer souls ascended into their realm. Curious as to the cause, the gods sent an angel to Baator in order to consult with Asmodeus on the matter. Yet when the angel arrived, they saw to their horror that Baator had been turned into a hellish wasteland, and that the devils were corrupting mortals and transforming them into new breeds of fiends.
Asmodeus was brought before the gods to answer for what he had done. He was committing evil to further his own ends, and as such should be punished for violating the terms of the Pact Primeval.
Yet so it was that Asmodeus uttered the immortal words, “Read the fine print.” The Pact Primeval said nothing preventing his corrupting of the mortals, and the terms of the punishments doled were determined by Asmodeus himself, not the gods.
So in a fiery, world shaking rage the gods cast Asmodeus from the heavens, where he plummeted to the very last layer of Baator, battered and broken, but victorious over the gods. Rumor has it that Asmodeus suffered injuries during his fall, injuries that to this day never heal, and that for each drop of his own blood spilt, a pit fiend is born loyal to him.
And thus Asmodeus rules the Nine Hells of Baator, were he punishes the guilty, and corrupts the pure, bending the cosmos to his will via manipulation. And woe to any adventurer who crosses paths with him or his servants, as that would be a dark day indeed…
Ah, to be so young and foolish again. I can clearly remember when I wrote this. If only I knew then what I know now. Though I will say this, old Ichorus was right to fear the devils — most are just scheming weasels living in Asmo’s shadow. But oh well, Ichy’s dead now anyway. I never did find that goblin assassin who killed him…
Journal Entry while camped at
The Ruins of the Sacred Flame