A Treatise on The Hierarchy of The Abyss.

By Glashow mac Allum

Sage to the High Lords of Gizzor Del

Demons are, in general, a rowdy and chaotic bunch of malefactors; as such, they respect few rules, except that of force. To the best ability of wizards and sages to determine, demonic society is highly chaotic and disorganized. It is much more strongly feudal than that of humans. Extremely powerful demons lord it over weaker demons, who in turn hold sway over even weaker demons. Even so, the treachery and backstabbing is still extreme. All demons are clever and crafty, always seeking advantages over others, even their own kind and their own leaders.

Even so, at least at the true top levels there is some constant, semi-stable hierarchy based solely on power. The Demon Princes, of which there are very few (13 it is believed) rule unchallenged. The Arch Demons serve the princes and the class IV demons often serve the Arch Demons and from there on down things become tangled. Further, it should be noted that at least some of the Arch Demons and Greater Demons owe only nominal allegiance to those above.

To the best ability of Astlanian sages to determine, there is or was, one supreme demon over all. Apparently, however, this unnamed being, known only as Demon Father, or the Concordenax, has been gone/dead/missing/out of the picture for the last millennium. Directly below the Concordenax are two incredibly powerful demons who currently, effectively, rule the Abyss. Their true names are of course unknown to all; their calling names however, are Sammael and Lilith. Sammael seems to be the more powerful, male demon, and Lilith is his consort. They rule as emperor and empress. They are referred to as the Cofactors of the Abyss. Below them is the Triumvirate. The Triumvirate is essentially the daily governing body of the Abyss. The Prime Ministers if you will. The calling names of these three demons are believed to be Asmodeus, Baalzebul, and Mephistofeles. Together the Triumvirate and the Cofactors form the Quintenal Cabal. The ministers below the Quintenal Cabal are the Supreme Septat. The Supreme Septat consists of 7 Demon Princes of slightly lower power.

Thus at the base of all is the Concordenax around which all revolves (1), followed by the Cofactors (2) with the Triumvirate (3) the last two of which form the Quintenal Cabal (2 + 3 = 5) and finally the Supreme Septat (7). The numerology is obviously with the demons. (1 + ( 2 + 3 {=5}) + 7 {= 13}), the principal primes adding up so nicely is surely some form of power omen. The full significance of which is not completely understood by the best of the sages of men.

Below the level of the Demon Princes, things are not well understood by men. The belief is that the Concordenax is something possibly above normal Demon Prince there are thus two top levels, the Concordenax and then the Princes. Further, of the Princes there are three groups, (Cofactors, Triumvirate, Supreme Septat). Thus, many sages insist, the third level, the Arch Demons, must, by numerological consistencies consist of five groups (the next prime). In addition they say, these five groups must (following the ordering of 1, 2, 3, (5), 7, (13)), consist of 17, 19, 23, 29 and 31 each in that order of power. Now, this means there are 119 Arch Demons, while this number is not prime, 119 has a prime factorization of 5 x 17, the number of groups times the number of demons in the first group. While not ideal, this is an auspicious enough theory as to hold some weight with the sages. Similar counting arguments can be used to determine the number of Greater Demons on down. However, things become less auspicious and the information gleaned is not sufficient to warrant too much faith.

As to what level of allegiance the various demons owe their overlords, it is not completely clear. What is clear is that the closer demons are to their overlords in physical proximity or their overlord's power base the stronger their allegiance to that overlord. Logical enough.

As for the geography of the Abyss itself. The Abyss is essentially infinite in size. It is reported that the temperature is well over the boiling point of water at all times, and that pillars of stone may rise straight up for miles from red, rocky and otherwise lifeless desert floors. Further, in some regions there are vast mountain ranges easily twice as high as any found in the planes of men. High enough, some say, that snow may be found on their peaks, even though wine itself boils at sea level.

Not only is the heat unbearable for mortals in the Abyss, but fire itself is a constant enemy. Great balls of fire and heated plasma will suddenly expand from nothing in the middle of the air, engulfing all for hundreds of feet before disappearing as quickly as they came.

In addition, the mighty River Styx is said to flow through the center of the Abyss on its eternal journey delivering the souls of the deceased to their final resting place. How it is that the river itself does not boil in the infernal heat is not clear, but then nothing about the River Styx or the Abyss itself is clear.

It is further said, that in the Abyss alone, does mighty Charon, the boatman ever relax his eternal vigilance, and sometimes allow a demon to swoop down and scoop up one of the unwary, yet damned, passengers on the boat. What the demons do with the hapless souls is unknown, as is why Charon should allow this. What is clear is that one should seek to take the boat going the other direction in the afterlife.

This concludes most of what can be said in certainty about the Abyss and the hierarchy thereof. Not much is truly known, for the only way to really know, is to consort with demons. Most demons being unwilling to divulge information freely (most likely they are all merchants at heart) they must be tricked or tortured into confessing what they know.

Needless to say, this is neither an easy nor safe task to undertake. Further, all of what demons say must be considered suspect, since it is well known that among their greatest passions is lying (the others being rape, murder {not necessarily in that order}, cheating, wholesale slaughter, destruction, debauchery, gluttony, and lewd conduct as well as general maleficence. Oh yes, and foremost, thwarting their master's aims and plans and seeing to his eventual ruination). As that is all that can be said, I thank you for your attention.

 

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