Asmodeus, the King of the Nine Hells and Lord of the Ninth, is at the very least an archdevil, but he may possess the power of a true deity. He resides in Malsheem, located on the lowest layer of Hell, Nessus. He is rarely ever seen, and only when the elite of the Nine Hells gather in any one of a hundred different audience chambers does Asmodeus make his presence known, usually in the form of an unprepossessing humanoid thirteen feet tall with black hair, dark skin, a black goatee, and eyes of flame. According to the Pact Primeval legend, Asmodeus was once the greatest of the angels, who were servants of the primal deities of law, created to combat demons in the age before ages. As the battle went on, Asmodeus and his company grew ever more poisoned by their combat against the infinite hordes of the Abyss. The deities grew restless at seeing him and his tainted companions, but could not find clauses in their laws that would allow them to cast him out. Further, they were distressed that mortals were choosing to disobey law, choosing the so-called liberty dangled to them by demons, rather than adhering to the dictates of the gods of law. Asmodeus, seeing the predicament, proposed that the gods establish punishment and retribution, as a way to giving consequence to mortals who chose not to follow law. Asmodeus’s masters agreed, and assigned him and his brood to administer the punishment. So as to spare them the sight of mortal souls being eternally tortured and made to suffer, Asmodeus chose the (apparently empty) plane of Hell as the site for his new Hells, and demanded that he and his dark company be allowed to harvest energy from the souls they punished for their sins, or they would have to be made gods themselves to have the strength to manage the task. Thus the “Pact Primeval” was signed, and the baatezu–devils–were created. Curiously though, the legend of the Pact Primeval uniformly fails to mention earlier inhabitants of Hell, the so-called Ancient Baatorians. Yet the myth admits that Hell, or some previous version of the plane, was already extant when Asmodeus and his brood arrived to turn it to their use. As undisputed master of the Nine Hells, Asmodeus commands fear and respect from all who occupy his realm, even evil deities. Working constantly to expand evil law, Asmodeus directly opposes celestials and goodly deities, his minions fighting the agents of good, murdering them whenever and wherever they can. Asmodeus also works to contain, and eventually destroy, the chaos of demons and the infinite Abyss. As long as they exist, he will never achieve his eventual goal of ruling the multiverse unopposed. Asmodeus‘ parting from his plane of origin was not peaceful, following the signing of the Pact Primeval. Physically cast from there, Asmodeus fell and fell, wounded to within an inch of his life from his crashes. His wounds still bleed today, every drop of blood forming a new pit fiend, fanatically loyal to the Lord of the Ninth. These pit fiends patrol the canyon of Serpent’s Coil, viciously attacking any interlopers. The Lord of the Ninth is so powerful that within Hell he can work almost any magic as an act of will, reaching into the realms of the other archdukes and reshaping their domains (or the archdukes themselves) with but a thought. Asmodeus emits an aura of submission so powerful that nearly any creature in proximity to him feel overwhelming compulsions to bow before him and submit to any and all of his commands without question. It takes a supreme act of will merely to resist.
Asmodeus is never without his Ruby Rod, an artifact as old as time itself and symbol of office for the ruler of Nessus, and of Hell. A 4-foot shaft of solid ruby, the ruby rod was crafted from a single ruby of incredible size, bathed in the blood of a thousand mortal sacrifices, quenched in the acid drool of Tiamat, and polished with the tears of 777 angels. The rod itself functions as a weapon of epic power, delivering streams of vitriol, crackling death, or frigid wind. Its majesty often leaves creatures staring helplessly at it, and its magic can save its wielder from even the most grievous harm or ailment. Asmodeus has recently achieved a long-standing goal of strengthening further his grip on the Hells, through the taming and elevation of his daughter Glasya. With this additional power, Asmodeus intends to harvest additional divine power with which to speed the healing of his wounds. Once the wounds are healed, Asmodeus plans to strike a temporary truce with the demons, pausing the Blood War just long enough to begin an apocalyptic final struggle between Good and Evil. Following his victory, he will resume his annihilation of demonkind and take his rightful place as ruler of all things. Nessus is the ninth and deepest layer of Hell. It is a place of pits and ravines of virtually endless depths. The great citadel of Malsheem lies immediately below the portal between Cania and Nessus and is the largest fortress in all of the Outer Planes. Here, Asmodeus rules over the entire plane, and thus the entire race of devils. It is a plain shattered by rifts deeper than the deepest ocean trench. Many of the ravines and canyons here reach thousands of miles into undifferentiated, dead stone. Most of the trenches seem natural, but some appear as if they were cut or blasted into the land. Rumor has it that an offshoot of the River Styx flows here and there, dropping into trenches and trickling its way across the layer. Few know how to reach this tributary, if it exists at all. A rift of incredible depth and width lies immediately below the layer boundary between Cania and Nessus. Malsheem, the Citadel of Hell, rises in its dark, elegant, fiendish beauty from the trench. From here, the Overlord of Hell, Asmodeus, rules the plane of Hell. Asmodeus runs a large group of troops and dukes they are as follows:
Adramalech — Chancellor of Hell, Keeper of Records
Alastor the Grim, pit fiend — Executioner
Baalberith, pit fiend — Major domo
Bensozia — Consort of Asmodeus, Queen of Hell (Deceased)
Buer — 15 companies of pit fiends
Buer— 30 companies of horned devils
Glasya – Daughter of Asmodeus and Bensozia, former Mistress of the Erinyes, now Lady of the Sixth
Martinet, pit fiend — Constable
Morax — 9 companies of pit fiends
Phongor — Inquisitor of Hell
Rimmon— 5 companies of ice devils
The Spark Hunters – Lord Asmodeus’s personal guard of 13 barbed devils rangers/mortal hunters who capture and/or slay mortals who draw their master’s ire
Zagum — 30 companies of barbed devils
The many gorges of the layer are like massive windy rivers of hate. Many are hundreds of feet deep and some never end, they go by the following names. The Slaughter Gorge holds the lesser devil lairs and produces the emotions of hate. Hook Fissure is made of sharp crystal rocks. Crevasse of Regret is filled with the emotion of suicide and regret. The Eel is home to massive hellwasp swarms. Sawtooth Gorge is home to the courts under the commnad of Mavisalik a amnizu devil. Spectre Gorge is home of the flowing ghosts. Hell Lip is a dry, thristy and hungry location that many die at. Reaper Canyon is home of instant death. Cravasse of Eternity never ends and there is no bottom.
The Forgotten Lake is the falling point of the River Styx for Hell. It lands in a dropping waterfall of memories that have been lost from the many encounters of the water that were effected by it draining. Illusions of these lost memories flash here at the lake.
Malsheem is the home of the grand palace of Asmodeus himself. Made of flesh, green steel, massive gems and silks this palace is where to find none. Armies of devils are located here and under the command of the great arch devil. The fortress of Nessus is located here and is vacant except for the howling torment of lost souls. Asmodeus can appear here on a thought and he can bring any devil throughout the planes to this location.
Tabjari is home to the great ruby gem that holds the Pack Primeval. This large copper tower is protected so that no evil creature can enter and the gem is so heavy and massive that no creature can lift it.