Asmodeus (Arch Devil)

Asmodeus is he is the Lord of Hell and the Overlord of the lesser Dukes of Hell. Asmodeus is the most powerful of infernal beings. Like the other Archdevils, he is impervious to mundane attacks and requires powerful magics to slay. A powerful aura of submission surround him, making most who approach him slaves to his will.

As the master of Hell, he has complete power over lesser devils, including other lords of Hell. Several times he has permanently changed their physical forms at a whim. He transformed Mammon into a humanoid/serpent hybrid, and cursed Baalzebul with the form of a gigantic slug with tiny, useless arms.

Asmodeus carries a powerful unique artifact, the Ruby Rod, that allows him to use several powerful offensive and defensive spells. The Rod allows Asmodeus to attack with elemental forces, force his enemies to cower in fear, or cover himself with a field which heals and protects him. It is also a powerful melee weapon that can cause grievous wounds with the merest touch.  The Ruby Rod is a fragment of the shard of pure evil that created the Abyss, but this origin is not suggested in earlier editions.

In addition to the Ruby Rod, Asmodeus possesses material wealth greater than entire mortal worlds.

Finally, Asmodeus is an ancient schemer and deadly manipulator, orchestrator of the most Machiavellian of schemes. He lays plans millennia in advance, patiently biding his time until his machinations come to fruition.

Asmodeus is depicted as the strongest, most cunning, and most handsome of all devils. He is typically described as appearing as a giant human, over 13 feet tall, with fair skin and hair, red eyes, handsome features, and small horns on his forehead. He dresses in regal finery of unimaginable expense. Beneath his clothing, Asmodeus‘ body is covered in bloody wounds which he sustained when he fell from the Upper Planes. His wounds ooze blood daily, and any drop of blood which touches the ground grows into a powerful devil.

Asmodeus began as a servant of the lawful gods. Asmodeus is described in some versions of the myth as an “angel” (though this is self-contradictory given the time period this would have occurred during). He was “the bravest, toughest, fiercest and most beautiful of angels.” He and the other angels were created to fight the demons of the Abyss, so that the gods could concern themselves with creating worlds and sentient beings.

After eons of fighting the creatures from the abyss, Asmodeus and some of his fellows began to change. They grew similar in appearance and methods to the demons which they fought. Afraid of his power and of the changes he had undergone, the gods put Asmodeus on trial and demanded that he be cast out of the Upper Planes. However, he argued effectively (and correctly) that he and his fellows had not violated the law. Asmodeus and his followers successfully sued for access to the Upper Planes and the honors to which they were entitled.

Once the gods created worlds and sentient beings, the demons attacked these, too. The gods created mountains, oceans, and wastelands to seal up the gates to the Abyss, but their creations defied their orders and explored their worlds, accidentally unsealing the gates. The gods could not understand why their creations did not follow their instructions, until Asmodeus explained to them that their system did not work because it relied solely upon voluntary compliance. Asmodeus explained that the only way to ensure obedience was to threaten mortals with a disincentive; hence, Asmodeus invented the concept of punishment.

Asmodeus convinced the gods to sign a contract called the Pact Primeval. This contract allowed Asmodeus and his fellow devils to take up residence in the abandoned realm of Hell, to punish the souls of wicked mortals, and to extract magical energy from the souls under their care in order to fuel their powers. Otherwise, Asmodeus reasoned, they would have to be granted the powers of godhood in order to do their job, which the current gods would surely find unacceptable.

In the myth that Asmodeus created Hell it states that Asmodeus tortured souls in a far off section of the upper planes and that when their screams filled heaven the gods once again tried to remove Asmodeus from the upper planes, but by the Pact Primeval Asmodeus was allowed to torture the souls in heaven. Asmodeus offered the gods an alternative; give him the power to create his own plane of existence from which to torture the souls that broke heavenly law. The gods agreed and Asmodeus and his devils left and created the Nine Layers of Hell.

Asmodeus‘ true form is that of a giant serpent. He was cast out of the Upper Planes before the creation of the current gods, and his fall created the 8th and 9th planes of Hell. He is currently still recovering from his wounds in the pits of the 9th level, and his devil form is just an avatar of the real Asmodeus. No one who tells the story of the true form of Asmodeus survives more than 24 hours after the telling. These stories are always connected with the name Ahriman of couatl history.

Asmodeus is devoted to oppression and might through subversive action. He imposes strict rules and harsh punishments on his followers. The cult of Asmodeus urges its adherents to seek power over others, to repay evil with further evil (an eye for an eye), to exploit kindness for personal gain, and to show no compassion for the weak and downtrodden. All done in the most legal possible manner of course, and never overtly.

Typical rhetoric from worshippers of Asmodeus will discuss “promoting personal excellence and independence,” “taking care of one’s own affairs” and “ridding oneself of weakness”. Sometimes one will hear of “ascending to godhood”, or “no gods, no masters”. When harming innocents, their actions are discussed as “providing motivation to succeed”. Most often, ritual practices are deeply secretive and not publicly discussed. Most followers will not publicly admit their worship of Asmodeus, as that would compromise their potential bargaining position for greater power over non-followers.

Though Asmodeus‘s faith is by far the largest of the diabolic cults, few of Asmodeus‘ followers are known by name. A notable exception is Christophe Jean Markosian, “The Devil Behind Thrones,” a hierarch of the Horned Society. Most of Asmodeus‘s worshippers are based in the towns and cities of humans and demihumans, though Asmodeus has some monstrous followers as well. His cultists use his faith as a stepping stone to wealth and power. They form secret alliances, using their wealth and connections to bring status and power to other members of the society. He has worshipers and does occasion to grant them clerical powers, his true identity as Ahriman makes him loath to expand his cult. This is because his true motivation is to spread atheism through the multiverse and make all believe that “gods” are not divine at all, but beings who have achieved great power. In his plan, when belief fails, the outer planes will cease to exist. As Ahriman the evil lawmaker of the whole of the cosmos and unfettered by belief himself, he can then remold the multiverse perfectly according to his desires, and this time not having to share in its creation with Jazirian: the good creator of the multiverse’s orderly structure. There will be no remnant of chaos as a result, or any missing rules in this future outer ring of planes, which will be the exclusive domain of Asmodeus. In most lands, temples to Asmodeus are hidden subterranean complexes, though in places dominated by lawful evil, they may dominate the landscape. If a cult of Baalzebul overthrows the local government, cultists of Asmodeus typically assume control of their headquarters to bring the local diabolism into its “establishment phase.”

Domains: Baator, Evil, Charm, Fire, Domination, Mentalism, Lust

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  1. Pingback: DARKNESS GATHERING: PART SIX | KEEP ROLLIN' SIXES

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