Asmodeus

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Asmodeus
 © 2008, Paizo Publishing, LLC Credit Tyler Walpole Source James Jacobs. (August 22, 2008). Good Versus Evil, Paizo Blog. Print Source Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Gods and Magic, p. 7. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-139-8
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Asmodeus is a king of devils and of the Nine Hells,he is referred to as one of the nine princes of hell. Each one of these princes represents one of the seven deadly sins (Pride, Lust, Envy, Sloth, Greed, Gluttony, and Wrath). Asmodeus is the devil of lust and is therefore responsible for twisting people's sexual desires. People who fall to Asmodeus' ways will be sentenced to an eternity in hell.

In yet another legend Asmodai changed place for some years with King Solomon. Another passage describes him as marrying Lilith, who became his queen. He has also been recorded as the off-spring of the union between Adam and the angel of prostitution, Naamah, conceived while Adam was married to Lilith.

In the Testament of Solomon

In the Testament of Solomon, a 1st-3rd century text, the king invokes Asmodeus to aid in the construction of the Temple. The demon appears and predicts Solomon's kingdom will one day be divided. When Solomon interrogates Asmodeus further, the king learns that Asmodeus is thwarted by the angel Raphael, as well as by sheatfish found in the rivers of Assyria. He also admits to hating water and birds because both remind him of God.

In the Malleus Maleficarum

He has seventy-two legions of demons under his command. He is one of the Kings of Hell under Lucifer the emperor. He incites gambling, and is the overseer of all the gambling houses in the court of Hell. Some Catholic theologians compared him with Abaddon. Yet other authors considered Asmodeus a prince of revenge.

In the Dictionnaire Infernal

In the Dictionnaire Infernal Asmodeus is depicted with the breast of a man, a cock leg, serpent tail, three heads (one of a man spitting fire, one of a sheep, and one of a bull), riding a lion with dragon wings and neck, all of these animals being associated with either lascivity, lust or revenge.The Archbishop of Paris approved his portrait.

In the Lesser Key of Solomon

Asmodai appears as the king 'Asmoday' in the Ars Goetia, where he is said to have a seal in gold and is listed as number thirty-two according to respective rank.

He "is strong, powerful and appears with three heads; the first is like a bull, the second like a man, and the third like a ram; the tail of a serpent, and from his mouth issue flames of fire."[6] Also, he sits upon an infernal dragon, holds a lance with a banner and, amongst the Legions of Amaymon, Asmoday governs seventy two legions of inferior spirits.

Roleplaying

Claude Vignon Title Croesus Receiving Tribute from a Lydian Peasant Year 1629

Claude Vignon Title Croesus Receiving Tribute from a Lydian Peasant Year 1629

The Gates of Hell (Dice Freaks)

Grimoire of Cosmic Entities Volume One By Eli Atkinson, William Church and Serge W. Desir, Jr.
Original Concept by Serge W. Desir, Jr.

Full netbook can be found on the following website

Dicefreaks d20 Community
ASMODEUS, The Lord of the Nine
The Overlord of Hell
Medium outsider (Abomination, Evil, Extraplanar, Lawful)
Divine Rank 18 (cosmic rank 21 in Hell)
Symbol A pentagram surrounded by eight “9s” with a final “9” in the center
Portfolio Damnation, Devils, Tyranny, Power, Oppression, Lost Knowledge, Intrigue
Cleric Alignments LE, NE
Domains Destruction, Domination, Evil, Knowledge, Law, Trickery
Favored Weapon “The Ruby Scepter of Hell” (heavy mace)
Hit Dice 45d8 (outsider) + 20d8 (cleric) + 25d4 (wizard) + 990 (1,610 hp)
Initiative +21 (+13 Dexterity, +8 Superior Initiative)
Speed 120 ft., Fly 250 ft. (perfect)
Armor Class 97 (+13 Dexterity, +18 divine, +34 natural, +22 deflection), touch 63, flat-footed 84
Base Attack/Grapple +68/+101
Attack The Ruby Scepter of Hell +110 melee (1d8+24 plus 3d6 and 1 negative level (axiomatic) plus 3d6 and 1 negative level (unholy) plus Tyrant's Taint/15- 20/x4 plus 12d6 and 4 negative levels (axiomatic) plus 12d6 and 4 negative levels (unholy)); or spell +101 melee touch or +99 ranged touch.
Full Attack The Ruby Scepter of Hell +110/+105/+100/ +95 melee (1d8+24 plus 3d6 and 1 negative level (axiomatic) plus 3d6 and 1 negative level (unholy) plus Tyrant's Taint/15-20/x4 plus 12d6 and 4 negative levels (axiomatic) plus 12d6 and 4 negative levels (unholy)); or spell +101 melee touch or +99 ranged touch.
Space/Reach 5 ft. /5 ft.
Special Attacks Domain powers, gaze of Hell's depth, rebuke/command undead 25/day, salient divine abilities, spell-like abilities, spells.
Special Qualities Abomination traits, Avatar, Diabolical Decree, Diabolical Empowerment, Diabolical Prowess, divine aura (18 miles, DC 72), divine immunities, damage reduction 40/anarchic, epic, good, and silver, godly realm, greater teleport at will, Infernal
Knowledge, Infernal Majesty, immunity to acid, cold, electricity, and fire, malefircarim traits, plane shift at will*, regeneration 22, remote communication, resistance to sonic 23, see in darkness, Spell Resistance 115, telepathy (18 miles), understand, speak, and read all languages and speak directly to all beings within 18 miles.
*As The King of Hell can only send one Avatar beyond the confines of Hell at a time, he rarely uses this ability.
Saves Fort +75, Ref +77, Will +86.
Abilities Strength 40, Dexterity 36, Constitution 32, Intelligence 54, Wisdom 54, Charisma 54.
Skills Appraise +105 (+113 alchemical items, +113 books, +113 paintings, +113 forged items), Balance +96, Bluff +141, Concentration +122, Craft (alchemy) +110, Craft (blacksmithing) +105, Craft (bookbinding) +105, Craft (painting) +100, Decipher Script +90, Diplomacy +169 (+175 with evil beings), Disguise +112 (+122 when acting in character), Escape Artist +76, Forgery +110, Gather Information +139 (+149 in Hell), Heal +115, Hide +119, Intimidate +149 (+155 against evil beings), Knowledge (Arcana) +133, Knowledge (Architecture and engineering) +85, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +85, Knowledge (Geography) +90, Knowledge (History) +120, Knowledge (Local [Hell]) +133, Knowledge (Nature) +90, Knowledge (Nobility and royalty) +105, Knowledge (The planes) +133, Knowledge (Religion) +133, Listen +100, Move Silently +81, Perform (dance) +89, Perform (oratory) +89, Perform (string instruments) +89, Search +115 (+121 to find secret doors), Sense Motive +133, Sleight of Hand +45, Spellcraft +143, Spot +90, Survival +40 (+46 in aboveground natural environments, +50 on other planes, +48 to find or follow tracks, +46 to keep from getting lost, +46 while underground), Use Rope +31 (+37 to bind someone).
Feats Alluring, Brew Potion , Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Corrupt Spell, Corrupt Spell-like Ability B, Craft Magic Arms and Armour, Craft Rod, Craft Staff, Craft Wand, Craft Wondrous Item, Dark SpeechB, Empower Spell, Eschew Materials, Flyby Attack, Forge Ring, Heighten Spell, Imposter, Improved Combat Expertise, Improved Critical (heavy mace), Improved Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative,Jack of All Trades, Persuasive, Power Attack, Quicken Spell, Reach Spell, Scribe Scroll, Silent Spell, Spell Focus (all)B, Still Spell, Trustworthy, Violate Spell.
Epic Feats Epic Evil BrandB, Epic Reputation, Epic Spellcasting, Ignore Material Components, Improved Heighten Spell, Intensify Spell, Multispell, Superior Initiative.
Salient Divine Abilities Alter Form, Arcane Mastery, Aura of Utter Hell*, Control Creatures (devils), Craft Artifact, Create Object, Create Greater Object, Damnation*, Divine Blast (25/day, 18 miles, 480 damage), Divine Glibness (DC 72), Divine Shield (14/day, absorb 180 points of damage), Divine Spellcasting, Govern the Children (devils), Hand of Death (DC 72), Hell’s Mouth*, Increased Damage Reduction, Increased Spell Resistance, Know Secrets (DC 72), Life and Death, Overlord, Spontaneous Wizard Spells, The Lord of the Nine*, Overlord of Hell*.
*Unique Salient Divine Abilities; see below for details.
Environment Malsheem, Nessus, Ninth of the Nine Hell of Perdition
Organization Solitary (unique); or with bodyguard (Aesmadeva); or with attendees (The Ashmadia and Aesmadeva); or with court (The Ashmadia, Aesmadeva, Martinet, 1d8+1 Dukes of Hell, and 1d3+1 arch-devils); or with Infernal Procession (4d20 + 1 common devils, The Ashmadia, Aesmadeva, Martinet, 1d8+1 Dukes of Hell, and 1d3+1 Arch-Devils).
Challenge Rating 81
Treasure The Ruby Scepter of Hell
Alignment Lawful Evil

Up until this point, this treatise has dealt with the individual threats of the lowliest lemure to the god-like Lords of the Nine. Yet, in all cases, an astute reader has noted that the threat of these creatures, while immense, was nevertheless limited by their own emptiness, their own meaninglessness. For that is what Evil is: negation. There is nothing in Evil; indeed, Evil can exist only by taking away something from another, consuming anything of value only to be empty and hungry for more. For the demons of Chaos, this is a raging, destructive need with an unassailable appetite for ever more destruction. For the daemons of pure Evil, it is selfish apathy and lies, a study in darkness and depravity. However, for the devils of Law, it is an attempt to drag others down into a mire of vice and oppression, making all slaves to the emptiness from which they too suffer.

The devils of the Nine Hells of Perdition want all to wallow equally in iniquity; yet, as mentioned earlier, devils believe that what they want, to impose pain and emptiness on others, can be explained logically, can be rationalized. It is unclear to what degree that the greatest of the devils recognize the futility of their cause. Not even Mephistopheles can comprehend what the depths of his soul has revealed to him, that his pursuits are meaningless; not even Beelzebub can recognize that in his prideful search for perfection, he has only degenerated. To the last, all in Hell, despite their varying degrees of cosmic or divine power, are equal in their loss. There is one, however, who knows full well the emptiness of Evil. There is one who revels in the pathetic nature of those who have enslaved themselves to his will through their pursuit to rationalize something that has no meaning. There is one whose very existence is defined by his own emptiness, his own terrible desire to enforce that emptiness on all others, making them through force do what they are made to do: suffer in darkness and misery for all eternity. That one is The Overlord of Hell: Asmodeus.

There is no single being in Creation that is more mysterious, more confusing, or more feared. Since time immemorial, Asmodeus has ruled from the bottom of the Pit, controlling virtually every aspect of the Nine Hells of Perdition and manipulating organized, tyrannical evil throughout the Cosmos. He is the face of active, directed evil and vice, the Adversary that has intellectualized Evil in the universe. He is the one that seeks to shackle the Cosmos under the weight of a logical emptiness, a confounding impossibility that leads to spiritual oblivion. Asmodeus is the greatest of the spirits of Hell and the one that is the personification of all that is prideful in its emptiness and its will to crush the spark of others until they too are empty. Asmodeus knows very well that what he wants offers nothing of value to any being but himself: Asmodeus seeks empty slaves, their souls devoid of light, hope, joy, or love, yet simultaneously aware of what they have lost, making their misery all the more pleasant for him. He knows that in every soul the same desire lurks, the need and will to crush the wills of others in order to shore oneself up. He offers this ability by revealing to Creation the value of Evil, its sensibility, knowing that most will never recognize that there is no meaning, no value in the grand scheme of things to any but The Overlord.

Asmodeus is the Prime Evil, the intellectual center of all that is unholy. Indeed, the various nether fiends may well be seeking to unite the Cosmos under a banner of Evil for Evil’s sake. True, the multitudes of demon princes wish to see the overthrow of restraint and explanation in the Evil they hope to spread. These alternatives are terrible, make no mistake. But neither is so seemingly reasonable, so logical as what The Overlord offers. Asmodeus, The Devil, is Hell.

In spite of so many knowing of the King of the Ninefold Realm, few know of his origins. There are numerous stories and myths about The Overlord of Hell. In the past, popular myths claimed that he was not Hell’s first Overlord, but a powerful arch-devil or Lord of the Nine that overthrew the previous Overlord, a being called Lucifer (or The Satan). In a war that rocked Hell, these two beings battled to be the penultimate face of organized Evil and, through trickery and Diplomacy in some stories or physical might in other stories, Asmodeus overcame Lucifer. Some say that Lucifer was obliterated by the new Overlord of Hell, while some insist that Lucifer escaped Hell and now roams Creation pursuing new goals.

A more recent legend insists that Asmodeus has not only always ruled the Nine Hells, but that he was one of the initial forces of Law in the Cosmos and was known as Ahriman. These legends claim that Ahriman and another powerful being of Law, called Jazirian, were joined in some kind of uroborus, a mystical circle. Emerging from the destruction, freedom, and madness of Chaos, these two beings are credited with defining the borders of the Space and Time, thereby determining how the Realms Beyond would be structured. However, the two disagreed on where the Cosmos’ center should be and, in a titanic struggle, pulled each other apart. Both were and continued to be severely injured from this ordeal before Time and are still recovering. For whatever reason, Ahriman changed his name to Asmodeus and hid himself in the plane in which he fell where he slowly plots a terrible Armageddon at the End of Time.

Needless to say, there are other legends, but none, not even these two popular versions, are entirely accurate. And do not make the mistake of thinking that these errors are accidental for, like virtually everything associated with Hell and Asmodeus, these legends exist – and in some cases are spread – for a reason. Virtually every story has a kernel of truth buried under the detritus of misinformation.

The realities of Asmodeus’ origins are remarkably similar to the two preceding false legends. The being that would become Asmodeus was originally linked with the being that would become The Supreme Virtue of Heaven (whose name, incidentally, is not Jazirian). And, in truth, these two beings were responsible for creating two of the Rules of Three. And, in truth, they did do battle. However, they did not create the planes, nor did they have names any would recognize today. And they were not alone in their bond. These two paragons of Law were joined by the being that would become the Progenitor of Nirvana. They were the Circle of Three. They sought to order everything, including morality and the fledgling gods; they also hoped to do away with annihilation, chance, and liberty. This Circle of Three battled against Chaos, hoping to overthrow the roiling spontaneity by defining everything and establishing borders in the Cosmos.

However, all Three could not agree on the sole important element of the Cosmos: The Center. The definition of The Center, the physical manifestation of ultimate reality, of the total Truth, would have been the final component to secure the power of Law and defeated Chaos for all time. While the Three could agree on the ordered elements of reality, they could not agree on the moral elements. One vied for honesty, truth, and integrity, believing that Law should seek to make all equal in happiness and goodness. The other wanted to eliminate goodness and evil, viewing both as irrelevant, in favor of pure logic and unfettered order. But the last, the quiet one, wished to see all of Creation ground into submission and all beings and concepts serving its every whim. Reaching an impasse for the first time, the Circle of Three struggled and their struggle became a war. As they fought, much of what they built unraveled as Chaos rebounded, and when it seemed that Chaos would rise triumphant (despite dealing with its own internal conflicts), the unthinkable occurred. The Three separated.

The separation was not painless. Exploding from each other, the Three were sent reeling into different directions. The personification of Justice and Truth rose into the defined Realms Above, the scorching wind of her passing creating the mountains of the Seven Heavens, her blood the Silver Sea. The Progenitor stopped shortly after the separation, latching onto the far “left” of the Concordant Opposition, his body shattering into thousands of pieces, creating the first cogs of Nirvana. The personification of Tyranny and Oppression fell, plummeting until he slammed into the defined Depths Below, his passing creating the inverted mountain of Hell, his blood the Lake of Fire. Even as the Three separated, the energy unleashed in their passing infected the numerous champions of Chaos, dwindling Chaos’ numbers and creating beings of Balance.

It is unknown how long the Father of Hell lay at the bottom of the Pit his fall created. It is known that, due to the conflict of the Three and their separation, he – like his brethren – suffered a great loss of power, finding himself trapped in a prison of his own making. The Serpents Coil, the Pit of Darkness, and the Endless Chasm of Fire - all of these serve as names for the place that held, and continues to hold, The Overlord.

While the Father of Hell recuperated, the first forms of “life” emerged from the coagulating blood of the Lake of Fire. These would be the malefircareim, the original devils. Reflections of their father, these terrible creatures sought to dominate each other, instinctively knowing that an entire Cosmos awaited the victor. But, eventually, the Father of Hell awoke. Watching his children from the Pit of Darkness, the Dark Lord of Nessus realized that he did not have the ability to return to his lofty position, but could use these beings, his “children,” as slaves, forcing them down a path that would eventually lead to his freedom. The Overlord of Hell extended a small bit of his will to create a score of avatars called Lucifer. Through these avatars, the King of Hell destroyed the more troublesome hellspawn (or rather dispersed their forms) then selected eight of the most powerful to rule over eight equally infinite layers of Hell. These included Astaroth, Dispater, Mammon, Adrammelek, Leviathan, Lilith, Sammael, and Mephistopheles. Thus were the Lords of the Nine established. To occupy these beings until he was ready to use them to their fullest extent, Lucifer created more creatures, the common devils, and enforced a rigid hierarchy that encouraged the slavery of the weak and foolish under the strong and clever.

Lucifer was a force of tremendous evil in the earliest days of the Dawn of Gods. However, still dedicated to the eradication of Chaos, The Overlord of Hell became wary of the gods, knowing that they would create mortals and that these mortals would eventually have a role to play in his secret goals. Through his various vassals and slaves, Lucifer corrupted countless worlds, appearing as an angel of light and betraying the trust of mortals, leading them into damnation and evil. Through Lucifer, who became known as The Satan, The Overlord of Hell drew attention to Hell. As the gods and the first of the powerful mortals sought to end the threat of Hell forever, The Lord of the Nine created a second avatar, calling it Asmodeus. Even as Hell’s enemies sought to destroy Lucifer, Hell’s Master staged a civil war, The Battles of Greed and Light, between Asmodeus and Lucifer. Lucifer lost, either killed or exiled, and a new Dark Lord of Nessus was established. The Cosmos could feel at least a bit safer knowing that even the greatest of evils could be destroyed and that this new Lord would have to struggle to maintain his fiefs. Since that day of treachery, the face of Hell has been Asmodeus, most of the Cosmos having no idea that Lucifer and Asmodeus are essentially one and the same.

Asmodeus has many goals. Chief and foremost is the spread of Lawful Evil throughout the Cosmos. He strongly, but secretly, supports a wide array of plots across Creation, from the corruption of entire worlds, to the creation of so-called messiahs, to bringing about some worlds’ “Armageddons.” Ultimately, Asmodeus simply wants one thing: to rule all Creation.

Unlike a true god, Asmodeus does not require worship. What he does require is belief and veneration through actions or inactions that promote his portfolio. For every act of tyranny, corruption, and vice, Asmodeus grows in power. It does not matter if the act was in his name or not (although this certainly helps) so long as the act is committed. Sacrifices of goodly creatures in his name also empower The Lord of the Nine, their souls sent directly to Hell to be consumed. Eventually, Asmodeus will gain enough power to break free from his imprisonment, at which point he will be one of the most powerful beings in Creation, towering over even the overpowers of singular worlds. He will strip back the power he spent in aligning the Universe, toppling it entirely. All will come to naught and only Asmodeus will remain with the power to rebuild.

In his goal to regain his former power, The Overlord of Hell consumes souls. All mortals bound by tyranny and vice in their hearts find their souls in Hell upon death. However, aside from those who have been personally touched by an evil god or a Lord of the Nine, even these mortals have some spark of light, some shred of decency, in their souls. When these souls emerge in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone in Phlegethon (Phlegethos), any remaining spark is seared away, melting into the supernatural flames, along with much of their memory. As mentioned earlier, the Lake of Fire also serves as the primary location for both purification and punishment for devil; it is so important that the Lord of the Fourth, Belial, has ordered Gazra to guard it at all times. However, not even Belial knows the truth of the Lake of Fire. The Lake of Fire is a “vein” of The Overlord, his “blood.” It leads directly into the universe spanning body of the creature that lies in the Pit of Darkness in the deepest rift in Nessus. While Asmodeus grants power to those he finds worthy, so too does he strip any light from those that bathe within his blood. He drags their goodness, their meaning, away, consuming it utterly, enslaving it to his will, and growing closer to wholeness. So, the arrival of lemures in Phlegethon (Phlegethos) is no accident, but by design. Indeed, Asmodeus takes their memories as well as he hopes to consume every good thought along with the bad, smothering them within his being, enslaving them to his will to corrupt. While Asmodeus is capable of returning memories, he rarely does so, savoring the fact that anything decent his slaves may have felt has been shackled within his being. It is unknown if he has the capacity to return any spark of goodness once taken. The more he consumes, the closer Asmodeus comes to freeing himself from his imprisonment.

Illustration for John Milton’s “Paradise Lost“ by Gustave Doré, 1866. Illustration for John Milton’s “Paradise Lost“ by Gustave Doré, 1866.

Asmodeus spends his time ruling Hell, which does not require much direct effort on his part. The other Lords of the Nine, a good number of arch-devils, and a few Dukes of Hell, although unaware of the truth of their master’s origins and form, suspect that Asmodeus is far more than he appears and fear him tremendously. Still, that has not stopped each of the other Lords, at one time or another, from challenging Asmodeus’ power - the most recent and explosive example being the Dies Irae. However, all Lords obey a direct order from Asmodeus, although the more powerful, like Beelzebub and Mephistopheles, are likely to find the means to obey just the letter of his rulings – something Asmodeus respects and always takes into account.

Beyond managing Hell and the political status quo therein, Asmodeus opposes the acts of the demons of The Abyss. Although not integrally involved in The Blood War – largely viewing it as a meaningless pastime without a resolution for trillions of years to come – Asmodeus does support the appointments of the Dark Ministry and allows these dreaded pit fiends to meet in Nessus four times a year. For his part, Asmodeus is very wary of the actions taken by a few demons, namely Orcus and Demogorgon. Asmodeus is mildly amused by the lies spread by other fiends and their demon lackeys. Indeed, he views their desire to place themselves as the “creators” of all fiends as ideal to his desire to remain in the background and out of sight. Still, Asmodeus has numerous plans in place to topple many demon plots should their lies come dangerously close to reality. Beyond the demons of The Abyss and the demons of the Wastes, Asmodeus opposes actions taken by the forces of righteousness, whether they are of a lawful or chaotic bent. Asmodeus hates both The Supreme Virtue of Heaven and The Progenitor of Nirvana, never forgetting what their insolence cost him.

Asmodeus does not often interact with traditional gods and most are unaware of his true nature. The gods of Hell, though, do fear and respect him and all have some manner of pact or arrangement with him that bars him from their realms. Asmodeus has even allowed many gods to assume titles and names that suggest that they are Lords of Hell; this is not a concern to Asmodeus since he still receives power from their worshippers. Of course, Asmodeus, far older and far more intelligent than any of them, has built-in numerous loop-holes should the need arise for him to destroy a realm. Indeed, it was such a loop-hole that allowed Asmodeus to drive the goblin pantheons from Hell untold millennia ago.

Asmodeus seeks to damn as many mortals as possible. Although he is infinitely patient, Asmodeus would love to accelerate the moment of his freedom and damning entire worlds is an excellent means to that end. Not even the greatest gods (save perhaps those associated with Wisdom and knowledge) can see as far as Asmodeus. His foresight and craftiness allows him to use one simple mortal to cause the downfall of entire civilizations. One of Asmodeus’ means to accomplish this is to spread information to all that would accept it. While Mephistopheles represents cold, clinical knowledge in the pursuit of greater understanding, Asmodeus represents knowledge that has been lost or concealed for fear of it being abused for the cause of Evil. Asmodeus encourages intrigue and conspiracy in the pursuit of knowledge, dropping hints and scraps to those seeking to learn more about that which they have no business knowing. Such seekers invariably are in pursuit of more power and control.

Their dreams are filled with passion, for the desire to take what they have learned and to use it to become stronger or to create dark cabals to control the lives of others from the background.

What is amazing about the ploys Asmodeus uses is the fact that he encourages the spread of truth. Those that would follow Asmodeus often learn early on that the path upon which they have embarked will lead them into Perdition, yet anyway they come. This is because Asmodeus offers a reasonable explanation for why their pursuits are worthy, why the knowledge they will uncover will improve their lives. The damnation Asmodeus delivers is never due to anything he forced upon others directly; rather, it is something that the damned take upon themselves in their desire to have more, control more, be more. Many find this interesting for it is often expected of Asmodeus that he will force mortals to take the path he demands. In point of fact, Asmodeus does accomplish this through the other Lords of the Nine and the various Powers of Hell. Whether it is through the various unique servants of Hell (like the dark marshal of Bael or the stoic of Mephistopheles) or through the Legions of Hell, Asmodeus has plenty of means to impose his will on others. However, when he becomes personally involved, The Overlord prefers to allow others to willfully place the shackles on their souls, to willfully accept him as their true lord and master.

Asmodeus is even craftier than Dispater when it comes to arranging contingencies. More than almost any other being in Creation, Asmodeus has the capacity to be patient and has no problem with manipulating events over the course of a thousand generations to lead to one end. Whether it is in Hell, with the death of Bensozia, the Dies Irae and the dismissal of Geryon, or the creation of false messiahs on countless worlds, there is nothing Asmodeus does not do that does not play some role in his desire to rule over all. What is never clear until it is too late is precisely what Asmodeus is hoping to accomplish. Asmodeus will guide apparent servants down a path only to abandon them at what appears to be the strangest moment while at other times he will make sure that a single child is saved from a collapsing building. In the end, it is always better to assume that whatever Asmodeus does is done to benefit himself and Lawful Evil.

There are two public faces of The Overlord of Hell. The first was Lucifer the Satan. In this guise, The King of Hell appeared as being of inhuman, angelic beauty, his androgynous, glowing white body held aloft by six wings, his evil only hinted at through his blood red eyes. The guise of Asmodeus is notably different and more subtle. As Asmodeus, The Overlord of Hell appears as a slightly taller-than-average, very handsome mature man with slicked back, ebon hair, and blood red eyes. His skin is like white marble and his red lips are framed by a neatly trimmed moustache and goatee. Dressed in extremely expensive, yet conservative red and black robes and cloaks that bring to mind religious attire, Asmodeus seems to glide rather than walk with tremendous grace. In either guise, the avatars of the King of Hell always carry the Ruby Scepter of Hell, an artifact of almost incomparable power.

The true form of The Overlord of Hell is unknown. Apocalyptic texts and the visions of lunatic seers claim that the true appearance is similar to that of a tremendous black serpent or legless dragon with broken bat-like wings and with flaming, blood-red eyes. The body of The Overlord is said to be as large as a single mortal coil and that a single, ebon scale can hold an entire world. These apocalyptic visions often end with this tremendous monster rising from the depths of the Pit of Darkness, followed by countless legions of pit fiends, as it slowly coils about the Cosmos, suffocating it of love, joy, peace, and freedom, smothering all under the weight of tyranny and evil. To date, all those who have publicly shared their dreams disappear within nine days, never to be seen or heard from again. Yet, their books remain, hidden in dusty libraries across the Cosmos, ready to be read by those eager to learn more of Hell and its master, preparing them for the tribulation that will end with The Overlord’s final, ultimate, victory.

Combat

Asmodeus rarely finds it necessary to allow matters to degenerate into fisticuffs, preferring to trick other beings into doing his bidding or to smother their wills. Asmodeus does not personally engage in combat unless it becomes absolutely necessary, first allowing millions of devils to enter battle in his name. If combat occurs in his direct presence, he may aid favored minions (such as Aesmadeva and the Ashmadia) by countering particularly dangerous spells, disarming foes via telekinesis, or dominating the weaker-minded opponents and ordering them to attack their comrades. Seated calmly on the Serpent’s Throne, Asmodeus activates his Aura of Utter Hell and employs spell-like abilities or silent and Still Spells, exerting his will with no outward signs of any effort. Should enemies attempt to engage him directly, he may strike them down instantly if possible (via Divine Blast, Hand of Death, or Life and Death).

Against more powerful foes, rather than taking them apart in combat, Asmodeus may first allow them to wear themselves down on his defenses (employing the Armor of Malsheem and his Divine Shields), creating a feeling of hopelessness and forcing them to inevitably submit to his will. Though it is virtually unheard of for Asmodeus to enter physical combat, he is quite proficient at it, and
with the might of the Ruby Scepter of Hell, Asmodeus will not hesitate to humble his foes in melee if necessary.

Between his melee abilities, salient divine abilities, special attacks, spell-like abilities, spontaneous spells, and the powers of the Ruby Scepter, Asmodeus has virtually limitless options in combat. His vast knowledge allows him to select the most appropriate attack form for any foe or situation he may come across.

Asmodeus is always prepared to increase the sway of Lawful Evil, and a creature powerful enough to challenge him may become a useful slave, whether tempted or tricked into his service or dominated outright. Others that challenge The Overlord, however, may find naught but oblivion as he consumes their immortal souls.

Alter Reality: Asmodeus can use the wish spell with regard to his portfolio, save for the replication of other spells. This ability costs Asmodeus no XP, and requires a standard action to implement. Asmodeus may also use Alter Reality to cast any inflict spell at will as a standard action (applying metamagic feats to the spell requires him to forego using Alter Reality for 1 round for each spell level the feat would add). As a free action, Asmodeus can assume any size from Fine (as small as a grain of sand) to Colossal (up to 1,600 feet tall), adjusting his statistics accordingly. He may also change the size of up to 100 pounds of objects he touches.

Aura of Utter Hell (unique salient divine ability): As the ultimate representation of organized evil, Asmodeus exudes an aura that is akin to Hell itself. Asmodeus’ presence is so heinous and overwhelming that it causes lesser (that is most) beings to cower before him or pay homage to the totality of Lawful Evil he represents. All within 9 miles of Asmodeus must succeed on a Will save (DC 72). Those who succumb to evil of The Overlord of Hell suffer one of the three following effects, as determined by The Lord of the Nine (who can change the effect, or discontinue it, as a free action):

Cower: Affected beings cower before the might of Asmodeus. They can defend themselves normally but take no actions.

Induce Fear: Affected beings become panicked and suffer a -9 morale penalty on attack rolls, saves, and checks. The merest glance or gesture from Asmodeus makes them frightened, and they flee from him as quickly as possible. A panicked creature has a 50% chance to drop what it’s holding, chooses its path randomly (as long as it’s getting away from immediate danger), and flees any other dangers that confront it. If cornered, a panicked creature cowers.

Obeisance: Affected beings drop to their knees at the sound of Asmodeus’ voice, acknowledging The Arch- Fiend’s sovereignty. While bowing, victims are considered prone and flatfooted until their next turn. Asmodeus can use Obeisance in conjunction with any 9th level or higher spell that requires a verbal component (this includes spells adjusted by metamagic feats). Doing so uses up a spell slot as per usual.

Asmodeus’ Aura of Utter Hell supersedes the effects of his divine aura for those beings within 9 miles of his presence. Deities and cosmic entities can only be affected on a successful opposed rank check.

Avatar: Asmodeus is the avatar of The Overlord of Hell (Lawful Evil overdeity). As the avatar of an overgod, Asmodeus possesses the powers of a true deity rather than those of a conventional avatar. Asmodeus also keeps his malefircarim special abilities, and was given several unique salient abilities to help facilitate his rule over Perdition.

The Overlord may generate up to 20 avatars within Hell at one time and typically has at least nine (including the “dominant” avatar) available. However, due to the nature of his imprisonment, The Overlord may only maintain one avatar outside of Hell at any one time; if The Overlord sends an avatar beyond Hell, he can neither generate nor maintain other avatars (already created avatars go into “stasis” until the avatar returns to Hell). It takes 90 days for the Overlord to create a new avatar unless an avatar was destroyed beyond Hell. In such cases, The Overlord will lose all current avatars save one and it will take nine months for him to create a new avatar. It is unknown what would happen if The Overlord lost access to all his avatars. The Overlord may select different appearances, ability scores, classes, feats, salient divine abilities, skills, and so on when creating an avatar, as was the case with Lucifer and Asmodeus.

Damnation (unique salient divine ability): Many desperate mortals have made deals with devils over the centuries, seeking the quick (yet dangerous) road to knowledge, power, or wealth. Some of the most arrogant or foolish have attempted to bargain with the King of Hell himself. Assuming the client signs several contracts of terrifying complexity, thereby agreeing to repay the Overlord at some point in the future, Asmodeus will grant the client whatever his or her heart desires. Using his ability to Alter Reality, Asmodeus will generally grant the client great power (whether personal or political) and/or the ability to completely dominate or oppress a person, group of people, or even country of their choosing.

Asmodeus can grant virtually any boon that suits him and his client’s needs. For instance, Asmodeus might grant the client a +9 profane bonus to an ability score or skill (especially Bluff, Diplomacy, or a Knowledge skill), or the ability to cast a spell like dominate monster or mass charm monster (with a +9 profane bonus to the save DC) 9 times per day as a spell-like ability. Asmodeus is quite flexible with the boons he offers those insane enough to deal with him; so long as their desires promote organized evil, The Lord of the Nine is likely to grant them their request, even in the form of a wish. Furthermore, it is believed that Asmodeus has the ability to mimic the soul-bargaining powers of any being bearing a Duke of Hell, arch-devil, or Lord of the Nine template. To date, this has neither been confirmed nor debunked. It is known that Asmodeus has the ability to grant Damnation “boons” through a proxy; such proxies are typically Nessian pit fiends, extremely powerful (21st level +) cardinals of Asmodeus, or Dukes of Hell (particularly Martinet).

Asmodeus can bestow up to nine such benefits per client, but one such benefit is lost every nine months unless the client sacrifices the soul of a willing or dominated subject to Asmodeus before that time. Such sacrifices must be worth no less than one-third the HD of the victim and must have noble or royal blood in their veins (no more than nine generations removed). Such sacrifices must take place in regal environments and at midnight. When all of a client's powers have been lost, or when all nine sacrifices have been made, the client usually dies (The Devil has been known to let his favored clients live on for quite some time, often killing them when they least expect it or right before they assume their hoped for “destiny”). Short of the direct intervention of a deity while the client lives, there is no chance of reprieve from the damnation awaiting this corrupt soul. Even with the direct intervention of the deity, the victim must undergo some form of Atonement to release his soul from Asmodeus. The deity may offer Atonement and a quest to the client to not only undue the wrongs he committed, but to release the souls he consigned to Hell to gain more power. The quest must be completed within nine months after which the client’s soul is forfeit and he immediately dies and descends into the Pit of Darkness where his oblivion will be endless and complete. To retrieve such a soul is an epic adventure of almost divine proportions as it requires that one bargain with Asmodeus . . .

Divine Immunities: Ability damage, ability drain, acid, binding, cold, death effects, dimensional anchor, disease, disintegration, dismissal, electricity, energy drain, imprisonment, mind-affecting effects, Paralysis, poison, repulsion, sleep, soul bind, stunning, temporal, stasis, Trap the soul, turning or rebuking, transmutation.

Unlike most deities, Asmodeus is subject to banishment and similar effects. This unique status is due to the nature of The Overlord, who itself has effectively been banished from the Cosmos.

Domain Powers: Cast divination, evil, and law spells at +1 caster level; smite 18/day (+4 to attack, +20 to damage); treats Bluff, Disguise, and Hide as class skills.

Gaze of Hell’s Depth (Su): Asmodeus’ gaze reveals the depth of depravity, loss, and wickedness that is Hell. Those subjected to Asmodeus’ blood red gaze may suffer one of the following effects, as chosen by Asmodeus (each is a mind-affecting gaze attack with a range of 60 feet):

Chill: The target creature must make a Fortitude save (DC 72) or begin to feeling numbingly cold and empty. If affected, it can take only a single move action or standard action each turn, but not both (nor may it take fullround actions). It moves at half its normal speed (round down to the next 5-foot increment). This effect lasts for up to 63 rounds and does not stack with other slow effects. Additionally, the creature takes a –9 penalty on all attack and damage rolls, saving throws, ability checks, and skill checks for the next 24 hours.

Fear and Weakness: The target creature must make a Will save (DC 72) or cower before Asmodeus for up to 63 rounds. If the Will save is successful, the creature is instead shaken for 9 rounds. In addition, if Asmodeus wills it, the target may also take 9 points of Strength damage. A Fortitude save (DC 72) halves the effect. A creature cannot drop below Strength 1 in this manner.

Madness: If the target creature fails a Will saving throw (DC 72), its mind becomes overwhelmed by the sheer power and otherworldliness of Asmodeus. The creature’s Intelligence and Charisma scores each drop to 1. The affected creature is unable to use Intelligence- or Charisma-based skills, cast spells, understand language, or communicate coherently. The subject remains in this state until a heal, limited wish, miracle, or wish spell (succeeding at a DC 45 caster level check) is used to cancel the effect. If the variant sanity rules are being employed (see Appendix D: Infernal Insanity), the creature instead takes d% points of sanity damage (minimum 9) on a failed save and 3d6 points of sanity damage on a successful save.

Deities and cosmic entities can only be affected on a successful opposed rank check.

Hell’s Mouth (unique salient divine ability):

Detail of an illustration by Simon Marmion for the Visio Tnugdali, a medieval vision of hell and heaven; it shows the gaping mouth of a monster, in whose belly poor souls are tortured. The mouth is held open by two giants, one of them standing on his head.

Detail of an illustration by Simon Marmion for the Visio Tnugdali, a medieval vision of hell and heaven; it shows the gaping mouth of a monster, in whose belly poor souls are tortured. The mouth is held open by two giants, one of them standing on his head.

As the King of Hell, Asmodeus has absolute control over all of the gates and portals that lead to Hell from any location, reality, or plane of existence, as well as those within Hell. Up to 18 times a day, The Lord of the Nine can cause a gate or portal to open and can accomplish different feats with it. First, Asmodeus may use the Hell’s Mouth to interact with beings within his sensory range.

Secondly, Asmodeus may cast spells, use salient divine abilities, spell-like abilities, or any other power through a Hell’s Mouth. Asmodeus may also send devils through the Mouth; such beings are treated as if called rather than summoned. Finally, Asmodeus can cause the Hell’s Mouth to inhale sharply; sucking in those within 90 feet into a location in the Nine Hells of Asmodeus’ choosing if they fail a Will Save (DC 72). In any event, the Mouth remains open for nine rounds.

Asmodeus can only open existing gates to Hell or those that have been opened by spellcasters, magic items, or artifacts within the past nine days at the location the gate was created. Thus, if a wizard casts a gate spell to Hell in his sanctum, for the next nine days, Asmodeus can create a Hell’s Mouth in that location. Asmodeus cannot use Hell’s Mouth on typical summon monster spells. He is limited in his ability to create Hell's Mouths on planes apart from Hell and the Prime - he does not have direct access to the Ethereal Plane or the Elemental Planes. He has no access to the plane of Concordant Opposition or to Sigil, though he is able to open a Hell's Mouth in the gate towns. He may open Hell's Mouths on the Outer Planes, but only 18/year, and only within 18 miles of an existing monument or portal to Hell. Note that these restrictions do not prevent him from opening standard gates to these locations (save Sigil).

A Hell’s Mouth usually appears as a great, diabolically evil human male face with jagged, chewing teeth. Flames burst from the gaping maw as it attempts to suck in unlucky victims or when Asmodeus uses the Mouth to communicate. On other occasions, it appears as a particularly sinister-looking portal complete with a diabolical, enflamed frame. Asmodeus may adjust the Mouth’s appearance as he desires.

Infernal Knowledge: As the driving force of Lawful Evil in the cosmos for countless millennia, Asmodeus possesses untold knowledge. He may use the lore ability as a 45th level loremaster (+85 to his check).

Infernal Majesty (Ex): Within Perdition, the power of the King of All Hell is incomparable. On any layer of Hell, Asmodeus possesses a cosmic rank of 21, ranking him as an overdeity. This does not alter his statistics and is applied in addition to his divine rank (the better of the two, in this case the cosmic rank, is used for rank checks). Asmodeus may select up to nine locations within Hell at any one time, which he may affect as a godly realm. It is unclear if he has any limitations in terms of range or duration in accomplishing such feats. Although it is believed that he must succeed in a rank check to overcome the cosmic or divine defenses of other Lords or gods, the certainty of this position is unclear.

The Lord of the Nine (unique salient divine ability): Asmodeus is affected as though by a permanent nondetection spell (caster level 45th) and can see in perfect darkness, even that created by deeper darkness spells. He can communicate with any creature within 18 miles using telepathy. He gains the Damage Reduction, Infernal Majesty, Regeneration, and bonus feats of the Lord of the Nine template, and reaps improved versions of some of their other powers, as follows:

Call Devils (Su): As a move equivalent action, Asmodeus can demand the respect of any devils. Asmodeus may call, up to 9 times a day, up to 3 archdevils, 6 Dukes of Hell, 9 pit fiends, or 18 of any lesser type of devil. Any devil or being with a diabolic template is vulnerable to being called by Asmodeus, regardless of location. No devil is brave enough (save Mephistopheles) or stupid enough (save Moloch) to verbally challenge Asmodeus in Hell, much less to his face, so all obey his commands.

Diabolic Supremacy: Akin to (but more potent than) the diabolic prowess of lesser arch-devils, Asmodeus receives a +18 profane bonus to the DCs and effective caster levels of his special attacks, spells, and spell-like abilities. Asmodeus calculates the save DCs for his divine aura and salient divine abilities as he does his other special abilities.

Spell-Like Abilities: Asmodeus may cast all spell-like abilities available to the Lord of the Nine template at will. These abilities are included in the list below.

Overlord of Hell (unique salient divine ability): As the true and undisputed King of the Nine Hells, Asmodeus has powers that transcend those of the other Lords of the Nine.

Infernal Potentate (Ex): As the personification of Lawful Evil, Asmodeus’ mere presence automatically unhallows an area equal to 9 miles in Hell. Not only can Asmodeus select any spell from the unhallow list in the Player’s Handbook, he may also use any of his domain spells as potential attachments to the effect, can attch up to nine different spells at once, and can change the associated spells 9/day as a move equivalent action. While he can suppress (and reactivate) this ability as a free action, he rarely does so. Asmodeus can use this ability through his Hell’s Mouth salient divine ability.

Submission of the Lords (Ex): Once a month, Asmodeus can force the other eight Lords of the Nine to submit to him. Asmodeus may call them to his fortress in Nessus, Malsheem, where they must pay obeisance to him. This power also allows Asmodeus to terminate any and all infernal abilities of the Lords or any other devil. Asmodeus may do so 18 times a day as a moveequivalent action, the devil (even an arch-devil or Lord) receiving no saving throw or Spell Resistance to avoid the effect. The devil retains its hit dice, class levels, feats, skills, and ability scores, but loses its Abomination and Devil traits, supernatural abilities, spell-like abilities, and any benefits and/or features associated with the Duke of Hell, arch-devil, and/or Lord of the Nine templates. Asmodeus may also grant these benefits up to 18 times per day, again as a move equivalent action. Finally, Asmodeus can simply transform a devil into another kind of devil, the devil again receiving no save against this ability. This power extends beyond Hell through the use of a Hell’s Mouth, although there are rumors that Asmodeus can reach beyond Hell without the benefit of the Mouth. Asmodeus’ power to promote or demote devils as described here is in addition to the powers of the Diabolical Decree.

Spell-Like Abilities: Asmodeus uses these abilities as a 99th level caster, except for divination spells, evil spells, and law spells, which he uses as a 100th level caster. The save DCs are 78 + spell level.

At will - accursed, animate dead, baleful polymorph, blasphemy, blur, calm emotions, change self, charm monster, clairaudience/ clairvoyance, command, confusion, contagion, create greater undead, create undead, deeper darkness, delayed blast fireball, desecrate, destruction, detect chaos, detect good, detect magic, detect secret doors, detect thoughts, dictum, discern location, disintegrate, dispel chaos, dispel good, divination, dominate monster, dominate person, Earthquake, Enthrall, false vision, find the path, firestorm, flame strike, Foresight, geas/quest, greater command, greater dispel magic, greater invisibility, greater restoration, harm, hellball, hold monster, Implosion, inflict critical wounds, inflict light wounds, invisibility, Legend Lore, magic circle against chaos, magic circle against good, mass hold monster, mass inflict light wounds, Mass suggestion, meteor swarm, mirage arcana, mislead, monstrous thrall, nondetection, oppress, order's wrath, persistent image, polymorph, polymorph any object, power word stun, protection from chaos, produce flame, protection from good, pyrotechnics, read magic, restoration, resurrection, screen, scrying, shatter, Shield of law, suggestion, summon monster IX (as evil or law spell only), symbol of pain, time stop, true domination, true resurrection, true seeing, tyranny, unhallow, unholy aura, unholy blight, wall of fire, wish.

Spells: Asmodeus may spontaneously cast up to 9 arcane and 9 divine epic spells per day. The forbidden spells accursed, Asmodeus' heretical infection, the Serpent's sibilant whisper, and tyranny are all closely associated with the Lord of the Nine, though he is familiar with an untold number of spells.

Cleric Spells Per Day: (Levels 0-22) 6/11/11/10/10/10/9/8/8/8/5/4/4/4/4/3/3/3/3/2/2/2/2. Caster level 71st (72nd for divination, evil, or law spells). Base DC = 51 + spell level, or 53 + spell level for mindaffecting, language dependant spells.

Wizard Spells Per Day: (Levels 0-22) 4/10/10/9/9/9/9/8/8/8/5/4/4/4/4/3/3/3/3/2/2/2/2. Caster level 76th (77th for divination, evil, or law spells). Base DC = 51 + spell level, or 53 + spell level for mindaffecting, language dependant spells.

The Ruby Scepter of Hell:

Lodovico Cardi, called Cigoli (1559-1613). Title Portrait of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1519-1574).

Lodovico Cardi, called Cigoli (1559-1613). Title Portrait of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1519-1574).

Asmodeus carries The Ruby Scepter of Hell. The scepter is carved from pure ruby, with an onyx pentagram at its head. Of unparalleled craftsmanship, it glistens with an unimaginable, unearthly luster. This item would be worth more than 1,000,000 gp in gem value alone, before even considering its immense magical power.

The Ruby Scepter is a +9 axiomatic power unholy power heavy mace with a threat range of 18-20 and a x4 critical multiplier. Any creature struck by the Scepter is affected as by blasphemy and dictum (caster level 45th).

The Ruby Scepter also possesses the following powers. While Asmodeus may use each of these powers at will, unless otherwise stated, all others may use each power no more than three times per day.

• Tyrant’s Taint: On any successful strike, the Ruby Scepter may confer Tyrant’s Taint. If a victim fails a Will save DC 72, he suffers from this insidious effect. Tyrant’s Taint has an incubation period of 9 days and deals one negative level. The “damage” dealt by Tyrant’s Taint shifts the victim one alignment step closer to Lawful Evil. What makes Tyrant’s Taint particularly dangerous is that a new save must be made every nine days for the next 81 days. Nine successful consecutive saves indicate that one has become free of the disease. Tyrant’s Taint may be removed by a 31st level, good aligned cleric who must cast greater restoration and miracle in immediate succession, succeeding on a DC 45 caster level check each time; this may be done at any time during the 81 day period. Like the Serpent's sibilant whisper (see Medieval Magic), it is all but impossible to detect Tyrant’s Taint.

• The Ruby Scepter grants a +9 profane bonus to the saves of all Lawful Evil creatures within 90 feet (all wielders save Asmodeus benefit from the bonus). The wielder may withdraw this effect on an individual basis should a powerful Lawful Evil creature challenge his authority. Further, all Lawful Evil creatures within 900 feet with 45 or fewer combined HD or class levels may be commanded by the wielder as an evil cleric commands undead. All other non-Lawful Evil creatures with fewer than 45 HD may be turned as a good cleric turns undead.

• Absorption: The Ruby Scepter can be used as a rod of absorption, capable of absorbing up to 27 spell levels per day.

• Armor of Malsheem: When this ability is activated (a full round action), the wielder’s damage reduction, fast healing, and regeneration are doubled for the next 9 rounds (if the wielder does not possess one or more of these boons, he receives a DR of 9/ – , fast healing equal to his Constitution modifier, and regeneration equal to double his Constitution modifier). When in Asmodeus’ hands, the Scepter also doubles the hit points of his Divine Shields for the duration. While this power may be used once a day for others, Asmodeus take on the Armor of Malsheem thrice per day.

• Bolt of Lightning: 180 foot long, 10 foot wide line; deals 180 points of corrupted, violated electricity damage (Reflex DC 72 for half). Failure of the Reflex knocks a victim prone; furthermore, failure by 10 points or more throws a victim back 10 feet plus 10 more feet for every additional 10 points by which the save was failed (thus a being that received a result of 40 would be knocked back 30 feet). If this effect causes the victim to strike a solid object (like a wall), the victim suffers 1d6 points of damage for every 10 feet they travel before striking. A victim must also make a Fortitude save DC 72 or become paralyzed for 9 rounds. Whether the victim succeeds or not, he becomes charged with static electricity for the next 9 rounds and deals 15d6 points of electricity damage whenever they come within reach of or touch another being.

• Cone of Frost: 90 foot long cone; deals 180 points of corrupted, violated cold damage (Reflex DC 72 for half). Those struck must also make a Fortitude save DC 72. On a successful save, victims are slowed for 9 rounds. On a failure, victims are stuck in place as though by Hold monster for 9 rounds. If they fail the Fortitude save by 18 points or more, they are frozen into ice and rendered helpless for up to 9 days (a miracle or wish cast by a 31st level caster that succeeds at a DC 45 caster level check can thaw victims out). If they take 50 points of damage or more from any one attack while in this state, victims shatter into pieces and die.

• Inflict Wounds: On any successful melee attack with the Ruby Scepter, the wielder may choose to inflict wounds upon the target of a melee attack (this is done as part of the melee damage rather than as a separate action). This effect deals 52 points of corrupted, violated negative energy damage to the target (Will save DC 72 for half). undead are neither harmed by nor benefit from this power. Thrice per day, Asmodeus (and Asmodeus only) can increase the effect, dealing 200 points of corrupted, violated negative energy damage instead (Will save DC 72 for half). In both cases, Asmodeus heals a number of hit points equal to half the damage dealt in this fashion (he cannot exceed his normal maximum hit points in this fashion).

• Jet of Acid: 360 foot long, 5 foot wide line; deals 180 points of corrupted, violated acid damage (Reflex DC 72 for half). Failing the Reflex save requires that a victim must also make a Fortitude save DC 72 for one magic item; failure indicates that the item takes the damage as well (see Items Surviving after a Saving Throw in the Magic Overview section of the Player’s Handbook to determine which items are affected first). At the beginning of each of the next two rounds, another of their items must save as well. In addition, the acid eats away at the flesh, dealing 3 points of Constitution damage (Fortitude DC 72 for half) immediately and an additional 3 points at the beginning of each of the next two rounds (unless a heal, miracle, or wish spell from a 31st level caster that succeeds at a DC 45 caster level check is cast on the victim).

• Tyrant Triumphant: Activating this ability causes pulsing, red and black waves to emanate from the Scepter in a 90 foot radius. The area within 90 feet of the Scepter is surrounded by a wall of anti-magic. The wall is razor thin, but prevents spells or supernatural abilities originating from within the area from affecting those without and vice versa, similar to the lesser layers of a prismatic wall. All save the wielder within the area are affected as if by mage's disjunction, blasphemy, dictum, and repulsion in that order during the round that the effect begins (caster level 99th, DC 72 where applicable). A nearly impenetrable shield is erected around the wielder, and remains for 3 rounds. Each round the barrage of spells repeats within 90 foot radius of the Scepter. The shield surrounding the wielder is immune to all forms of attack save those with the good or chaotic descriptor. The shield has 999 hit points. Even from those forms of attack against which it is vulnerable, the shield ignores the first 90 points of damage per round. Good or chaotic aligned spells which do not normally deal damage deal 1d10 points of damage per spell level to the shield. During the first round, the Scepter’s wielder is purged of all unwanted effects, including but not limited to, disease, poison, enchantments, curses, debilitations, and death. In the second round, the wielder is healed to full hit points. By the third round, the wielder regains spells, spell-like abilities, and any other limited-use abilities innate to his nature (not granted by an item) as if he had rested for a day. While Asmodeus may use this ability thrice a day, all others benefit from it once a day. Tyrant Triumphant will automatically activate once per day should its wielder perish. In either case, once Tyrant Triumphant is used, the wielder may not call on any of the Scepter’s other powers save its melee effects (including axiomatic power, unholy power, blasphemy, dictum, and Tyrant’s Taint, but excluding inflict wounds), or the remaining uses of Tyrant Triumphant (Asmodeus only), for the next 24 hours.

A being that touches or holds the Ruby Scepter against Asmodeus’ will suffers several dire consequences. In addition to the saves required by Infernal Arms, the DCs increase by +1 every nine hours. Even a being that saves against these effects suffers nine negative levels when holding the Ruby Scepter.

Any being slain by the Ruby Scepter finds his soul consigned to Nessus – trapped in the Serpent’s Throne. No being save Asmodeus himself can restore such a soul to life. Asmodeus has a price for the release of each one, assuming someone is willing to travel to his domain in order to bargain for it.

Some say the Supreme Virtue once traveled into Hell to liberate her follower, and she was the only one to ever receive a soul back free of cost. The modron bureaucrats of Mechanus offer pricey legal advice for discovering loopholes in a contract offered by Asmodeus...some go mad after seeing perfect logic so tainted by evil.

Other Divine Powers

The statistics here reflect the powers of the avatar of the King of Hell, whom most simply call Asmodeus, although the true name of this being is unknown. As far as the devils of Hell, most gods, and virtually all lesser beings know, the avatar is the true Asmodeus.

Although these statistics are for the avatar of the true King of the Nine Hells (what or whoever that being might be), it is only through the use of the Hell’s Mouth salient divine ability that the avatar can interact with (or, more rarely, enter) the Prime Material Plane.

Senses: Asmodeus can see (using normal vision or Darkvision), hear, touch, and smell at a distance of eighteen miles. As a standard action, he can perceive anything within eighteen miles of his worshipers, holy sites, objects, or any location where one of his titles or name was spoken in the last hour. He can extend his senses to up to twenty locations at once. However, his remote sensing is limited to Hell, or to Prime worlds he has accessed with a Hell's Mouth. While he can completely block the sensing power of any god or cosmic entity attempting to peer into Nessus, he does not have this ability beyond his layer.

Portfolio Sense: Asmodeus can sense anything that pertains to Lawful Evil acts (trickery, tyranny, etc.) eighteen weeks before it happens and retains the sensation for eighteen weeks after the event occurs. However, he is limited in his ability to perform this feat beyond Hell except with the use of a Hell’s Mouth.

Automatic Actions: Asmodeus can use Bluff, any Knowledge skill, or Sense Motive as a free action if the DC for the task is 30 or lower. He can perform up to twenty such free actions each round.

Create Magic Items: Asmodeus can create any magic item that has lawful or unholy attributes, that smothers the will, or that otherwise brings the wielder ever closer to a Lawful Evil alignment.

Depiction of the demon Asmodeus from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, first published in 1818. Depiction of the demon Asmodeus from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, first published in 1818.

Summoning Asmodeus

The summoning of the King of Hell is a rare event indeed, but it has been attempted - and even been successful – on certain occasions, most often immediately before the absolute triumph of Hell’s powers on a prime world. The highest-ranking cardinals of Asmodeus are perhaps the most likely to successfully summon TheLord of the Nine, but the damning secrets by which thisfeat can be accomplished are by no means limited to their clandestine order. In short, those who dig deep enough and delve far enough will find a way to treat directly with he who rules from the bottom of the Pit.

Asmodeus has stipulated very precise arrangements necessary to facilitate his summoning to the mortal coil. First of all, the summons must be spoken entirely in the Dark Speech. This tongue, best lost to mortals, is the only language capable of adequately capturing the evil essences crucial to the invocation; scholars have speculated that the Dark Speech, while representative of evil as a whole, more perfectly represents Lawful Evil than Neutral Evil in that it is confined in a particular, definable form. The ritual formulas, repeated thrice throughout the invocation, only further demonstrate this lawful bent.

Speaking the entire invocation in the Dark Speech is no mean feat; indeed, a mortal cannot possibly achieve such a thing on his own. Thus the second requirement of the invocation: diabolical aid. The summoner must be assisted in the invocation by nine pit fiends (or devils of equal or greater status – note that epic level cardinals of Asmodeus are considered to be of such status for this purpose). These pit fiends are generally brought to the prime for the summons by means of greater planar binding. Whether bound or not, these diabolical aides must be situated equally around the outer magic circle. Even with such aid, any mortal involved in the casting takes 18d6 points of non-lethal damage from the strain of channeling such oppressive might as needed to summon the King of Hell.

Finally, the site itself. This must be an unworked stone room, at least 36 feet in all dimensions, the ceiling of which being situated at least 9 feet below the foundations of a place of profound religious significance. The magic circles must be chiseled directly into the bedrock before being laced with powdered silver, ebony, and unholy unguents worth in excess of 9,999gp. The trappings of power must adorn the place – rich tapestries, exotic treasures, slaves, and so forth. The chief invocant must dress to suit the site and the occasion: garments of rich brocade, black and crimson, and bearing a rod in the right hand, and a scourge in the left.

As the invocation progresses, the chief invocant walks about the outer magic circle, forcing each devil in turn to submit to him, until all nine bow and offer him obeisance. The chanting continues throughout, but each devil that submits to the chief invocant loses one point of Intelligence permanently as a result of the dark energies being channeled, as forbidden lore is stripped forever from their minds. The chief invocant does not gain this knowledge; instead, it provides the final fuel required to rend the wards protecting the mortal coil from the physical presence of The Devil.

A crack appears then in the center of the floor, small at first, and then suddenly wrenching open under the pressure of a mighty, supernatural blast. All in the room must succeed on a Strength check DC 72 or be knocked to the ground; note that it is not by happenstance that all in the room are forced to “bow” before Asmodeus even appears. Accompanying this terrific explosion of power, the cries of a myriad of damned souls rise from the Pit, the sound deafening all those except for the chief invocant (Fort save DC 72 allows the deafness to last only the duration of the audience, otherwise the deafness is permanent). A palpable mist of darkness ebbs into the room, at first swirling only around the feet of those in attendance, but steadily mounting throughout the encounter until nothing can be seen. Those without protection against mind-affecting effects must make a Will save DC 72 the moment they are engulfed by the darkness, or permanently lose all memory and become feebleminded.

An eddy in the mist is the first sign that betrays the coming of The Arch-Fiend. The cries rise in crescendo as he ascends slowly from the mist, his hands hidden deep within the folds of his robes, and his eyes piercing all those whom he gazes on to their very souls. Any who willingly participated in the summons at this time are damned, their alignments shifting directly to Evil along the moral axis, and three steps towards Lawful along the ethical axis.

Throughout the audience the mist of darkness gathers with increasing heaviness about Asmodeus, obscuring him from all sight early on, though the chief invocant can always see him clearly. Each time the Prime Evil speaks, an oppressive heaviness settles on all present, forcing additional Strength checks against DC 72. Failure results in that creature being forced to the ground – or, as is more likely the case, forced to remain on the ground – prostate and effectively groveling for The Lord of the Nine. Deafened creatures are still susceptible to this effect, and the chief invocant is not exempt.

Asmodeus uses his vast intellect, cunning, and deific might to steer conversations in the way he desires, whilst also maintaining the illusion that all outcomes of the audience are as per the invocant’s darkest desires. He uses his Damnation ability to grant such desires to clients, granting up to nine boons to the invocant (note that the sacraments of the cardinal are not included as a manifestation of the Damnation power). The contracts drawn up in relation to such boons are complex beyond imagining, but entirely legal and binding throughout the Cosmos. To date none have found any viable loophole in even one of The Overlord’s contracts.

When business has been concluded, Asmodeus, in the midst of the darkness, covers his face with the hood of his robes and whispers an unholy prayer. The darkness takes on a malevolent feel, transmuting into a permanent Damning Darkness effect through which only the chief invoker (typically) can see. Joining Asmodeus in his unholy, blasphemous prayer are the souls of the countless damned, whispering and weeping as their sorrow and damnation leeches from the Pit of Darkness. The arch-devil begins to swell into immensity, his shape elongating and becoming serpent-like, his face becoming too terrible to behold. All those that witness this transformation immediately lose nine years from their lives and suffer 9 points of Wisdom drain (if the variant sanity rules are in use, victims lose d% sanity points). In short order, the King of Hell’s bulk strangles the entire room. As the whispers of the damned reach a chilling crescendo, The Overlord’s form explodes into a cloying, black mist that forces its way into every creature present. This process is a violation of the highest order that eternally marks the soul. animals, magical beasts, oozes, plants, or vermin immediately take on the fiendish template and become Lawful Evil. All others are thereafter under a permanent serpent’s sibilant whisper effect (Will save DC 72 negates). Unlike the version of the spell detailed in the Medieval Campaign, a successful rank check is required to not only magically discern the enchantment, but to remove it once found. If the rank check is not exceeded by at least ten points, the victim’s soul is immediately rent from wherever it resides and is dragged screaming into Nessus.

The pit fiends present, having suffered humiliation and a loss of intellect, are banished from Hell, but are granted an ethereal form by which they may tempt and possess the souls of the children of humanity (see the Book of Vile Darkness for rules on possession and the Fiend Folio for the fiend of possession prestige class). Generally, these pit fiends remain close to the chief invocant, possessing those closest to him and influencing all his affairs in such a way as to please Asmodeus, hoping for a reprieve and return to Hell.

Once the pit fiends take ethereal form, illumination returns to the summoning chamber and all seems as it was save that burnt into the precise center of the floor is a small (nine inch) and invisible symbol of Asmodeus. The summoning chamber is forever marked as a place of immense and eternal evil. Although Asmodeus often leaves the mortal coil without any indication of a spiritual wound, it is a certainty that the effects of his spiritual wounds far exceed those caused by his vassals. The following affects are the better known:

• Evil and Lawful spells function at +9 caster level (this supersedes the caster level described the Medieval Campaign.

• Asmodeus has the ability to select what creatures are affected by the spiritual wound maladies within the range.

• Asmodeus may cause weather in the area to function as evil weather cast by a 99th level caster with all applicable saves at DC 72 in addition to the effects described in the Medieval Campaign

• Asmodeus may open a Hell’s Mouth up to nine times a year for the next nine years in the summoning chamber.

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