Manual of The Gray Waste of Hades(Info on Hades)

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Manual of The Gray Waste of Hades(Info on Hades)

Post by Sarmanos » Wed Jan 14, 2004 12:08 pm

All text below is taken from The Manual of the Planes.

Part 1

The Gray Waste of Hades

It is where evil springs eternal.
It is a plane of endless apathy and despair.
It is the great battlefield of the Blood War.

Hades sits at the nadir of the lower planes, halfway between two races of fiends each bent on the other's annihilation. Thus, it often sees its gray plains darkened by vast armies of demons battling equally vast armies of devils who neither ask nor give quarter. If any plane defines the nature of true evil, it is the Gray Waste.
In the Gray Waste of Hades, pure undiluted evil acts as a powerful spiritual force that drags all creatures down. Here, even the consuming rage of the Abyss and the devious plotting of the Nine Hells are subjugated to hopelessness. Apathy and despair seep into everything at the pole of evil. Hades slowly kills a visitor's dreams and desires, leaving the withered husk of what used to be a fiery spirit. Spend enough time in Hades, and visitors give up on things that used to matter, eventually giving in to total apathy.
Hades has three layers called "glooms." Uncaring malevolence that slowly crushes the spirit permeates each gloom.

World Leader: The Grey Wastes
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Post by Sarmanos » Tue Mar 30, 2004 5:15 pm

Part 2

The Glooms

Gloom of Oinos

The first gloom of Hades is a land of stunted trees, roving fiends, and virulent disease. But more than anything else, it is a plane ravaged by war. This is the central battlefield of the Blood War. Fiends, warrior-slaves, trained beasts, and hired mercnaries gather here to wage horrific battles on an epic scale. These battles despoil the already bleak terrain. The sounds of rending claws, clashing weapons, and screams echo across the entire layer.

Khin-Oin the Wasting Tower: A twenty-mile high tower, Khin-Oin looks like nothing so much as a free-standing spinal column. Some say that's exactly what it is: the backbone of a deity slain by yugoloths. Khin-Oin plunges deep into Oinos's gray soil as it ascends into the air, so the tower's sublevels tunnel twenty miles deep.
The Wasting Tower is ruled by an ultraloth prince named Mydianchlarus. In fact, some stories hint that the entire yugoloth race was birthed here, arising in a pit at the absolute bottom of Khin-Oin. None but yugoloths have ever held the tower, despite the constant array of fiendish armies outside.
The rooms and floors of the tower seem to have no end. Spawning vats, magical laboratories, and meditation chambers can be found here, as can orreries, suites of rooms for yugoloths, and floors that are themselves battlegrounds and drill fields. Mydianchlarus rules from the tower's zenith, and the token of his rulership is the Seige Malicious.
Whoever rules the Wasting Tower is often referred to as the oinoloth. Any creature that can successfully invade the Wasting Tower and make it to the top chamber has the opportunity to claim the title for himself. Claiming the title involves defeating the current ruler, then sitting on the Siege Malicious. The Seige Malicious is a throne of artifact-level power, and as such, it may grant powers over the layer of Oinos. The Siege Malicious is a throne that grants the one who sits on it control over all the diseases of Oinos and can make new ones at will. The one who sits on it though becomes permanently disfigured.

Gloom of Niflheim

The second gloom of Hades is a layer of gray mists that constantly twist and swirl among sickly trees and ominous bluffs. The thin fog limits vision to 100 feet at best, muffles sound, and eventually saturates everything with dampness. Niflheim is not as war-ravaged as Oinos, probally because the mist hinders combat. Many predators prowl the lands, hidden amid the mist, including fiendish dire wolves and trolls.
Vision (including darkvision) is limited to 100 feet in Niflheim, and Listen checks suffer a -4 circumstance penalty due to the muffling nature of the fog.

Gloom of Pluton

The third gloom of Hades is a layer of dying willows, shriveled olive trees, and night-black poplars. It is a realm where no one wants to be and no one can remember why they came. Of course, petitioners have no choice in the matter.
Usually, the Blood War does not reach this lowest gloom, though some raids have occured when one side or the other wished to retrieve the spirit of a fallen mortal captain who possessed particularly sharp tactical skills.

Underworld: The Underworld is contained within walls of gray marble that stretch for hundreds of miles and are visible for thousands of miles beyond that. A single double gate pierces the marble walls of the realm. Constructed of beaten bronze, the gates are dented and scarred by heroes intent on getting past. However, the gates are also guarded by a terrible fiendish beast, a Garagantuan three-headed hound made from the squirming, decaying bodies of hundreds of petitioners.
Beyond the gate, the inside of the realm appears much like the outside. Blackened trees, stunted bushes, and wasted ground dominate the landscape. Larvae are everywhere, writhing in the dust, as are gray, wraith-like petitioners who are on the verge of being sucked completely dry of all emotion by the spiritual decay of the plane. When they lose the last shred of emotion, their remaining essence becomes one with the gloom of Pluton.
Sometimes, great heroes or desperate lovers from the Material Plane travel to this layer via a tributary of the River Styx or portals hidden in great volcanic fissures. They come to the Underworld because they believe that they can find the spirit of a friend or loved one and extricate that spirit from a hopeless eternity. Besides larvae, faded petitioners, and the occasional foolish mortals, demons, yugoloths, and devils roam the land, looking for choice morsels.

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