24 June 2024

New Planar Magic Items - Hellsguard, Mephrytis, Ring of Planar Vision, and Four New Potions

I've been busily working away on various projects since the end of April, including attending the North Texas RPG Con in Dallas from 5-10 June 2024 (and for which I will draft a recap soon!).

In the meanwhile, here are some new planar-related magic items (and a couple that aren't, but are related at least thematically, if not topically) that have seen use in my Greyhawk campaigns over the decades.  The two hellish items were wielded by one of my brother's PCs back in the 1980s and '90s in our planes-spanning Greyhawk/Mendenein campaigns, while the ring and potions are from my current pre-and post-COVID Greyhawk campaigns.

The bibliophage Rhodrar of _____ is no more.  Neither culminations nor agonies nor threats of her eternal demise would bend her to reveal the secrets sourced from her nullurë.  She even dared to mock me---her fonkin song will change when I call, bind, and wrack her!---flaying her soul layer by layer until the fragment echoes of her broken truename are all that remain, which I will scatter in ire across the Astral Wastes.  After ransacking her estate, all I find are ciphers and allusions---hints and references to contexts predefined and known, but unwrit, unexplained.  Neither keys nor resonances nor vorends did she yield.  Yet.

--- The Witch of Perrenland, The Demonomicon

Hellsguard, Armor of the Champion of Each of the Nine Hells

Physical Description:  A suit of iridescent and reflective platemail, beautifully-crafted of a dull ruby-red hue.  The plates are etched with fine detail, and depict scenes from The Rebellion, The Fall, the architecture and landscapes of the Nine Hells, and other Infernal designs and devices.  Each is also emblazoned with the standard of its arch-devil creator, while none bear the device of the Infernal Standard itself.  

Magical Description and Lore:  Hellsguard is a creation of the Dukes of Hell as a part of the Regalia of Hell (q.v.).  Each duke crafted one suit of Hellsguard to give to his or her chosen mortal champion; Hellsguard is bestowed only upon the most-high servant of the Nine Hells---each wielder is powerful, influential, competent, and trusted by their arch-devil.  Twenty mortals are known to have donned one of the nine suits.  

As one might expect from a devil's device, the nomenclature of Hellsguard is fraught with grammatical complexities:  some sages name it as Hells'guard (or Hell's Guard or Hells Guard), Hellsgard (Hell's Gard, Hells Gard), or Hellsgird (Hell's Gird, Hells Gird).  It is also known as The Champion's Gard or Garb or Gird, and sometimes named for its plane of origin, as "Nessus Guard" for example.  Sages who specialize in the Infernal Realms and devildom do know of some lore that curiously speaks of Hellsguard as The Hells' Garden, and speculates that it was forged before the founding of the Hells and before the Fall, by the Morningstar itself.  Such speculation is largely discredited as not only unlikely, but vastly improbable given the assumed power of the Twelve, relative to the bestowed powers of the armor.  A minority of sages (often among those who lend credence to the previous theories) also believe that a tenth suit was created, perhaps by by The Morningstar, Astaroth, or other of the past Overlords of Hell.  If such a suit exists, it is presumed to be bound to and represent the cross-planar Citadel of Hell.  

Magical Properties and Gameplay Notes:  

Forged from an arjale-tantulhor-Disiron alloy, Hellsguard is multi-planar platemail +4 that provides a base movement rate of 12".  It is incredibly strong and never nicks, dents, or scratches.  

When first donned, the armor flows in a liquid/molten state to conform to the body shape of its wielder, from pixie- to titan-sized.  It can accommodate tails, wings, gills, multiple limbs, et al, as required by its wielder's body type.  

When its powers are activated, its metallic iridescence brightens into a glow of ruby brilliance that can be seen clearly from hundreds of yards away at its brightest, when its greatest powers are invoked.  

While each suit of Hellsguard provides the following powers and abilities, common across all nine suits.  Each is usable at will, as long as the wielder is in contact with the suit (even if they are not wearing it, but are touching it):

  1. Affect Normal Fires:  2/day
  2. Burning Hands:  9 hp damage, 2/day
  3. Heat Metal (Caina's suit provides Chill Metal):  2/ week, up to 1/day
  4. Incendiary Cloud:  1/month
  5. Plane Shift:  alone or with up to three others (by linking hands), once per day.  The planar transfer requires 9 segments.  The traveller(s) will always arrive safely anywhere within the suit's native plane of Hell that the wielder has personally visited before in person, while wearing the armor.  They can also plane shift to any plane in the multiverse if it is known to them by name, even if they have not previously visited it, although safe arrival outside the bounds of Hell is not guaranteed.
  6. Produce Flame:  6/day
  7. Protection from Fire:  90 hp damage or 9 turns of protection, whichever comes first; 2/month, up to 1/week
  8. Pyrotechnics:  3/day
Hellsguard common abilities operate at 9th level or the minimum level required to cast the spell, with some exceptions noted below.

In addition, each suit of armor has special abilities imbued by its creator arch-devil, who dictated its unique designs and emblazons with the help and guidance of one of the Infernal Muses, and perhaps the Arch-Mage of the Hells.  The ninth power (or set of powers) for each suit are detailed below:
  1. Avernus:  Forged by the now-deceased arch-devil Iranor, the historical powers of the Avernus suit were known to be tied to , but it will be reforged upon the promotion and appointment of a new arch-devil for the plane.  
  2. Dis:  Created by Dispater, Secretary and Scribe of Hell, this armor commands the following defensive and divinatory powers:
    • Blinking:  controlled within a 9" radius, 9 blinks/2 weeks, no more than 3/day
    • Displacement:  3/week, 9 rounds/use, no more than 2/day
    • Minor Globe of Invulnerability, 1/month for 9 turns
    • the defensive capabilities of a Helm of Telepathy (only, no other functions)
    • In addition, the Dis suit confers the abilities of a Helm of Comprehending Languages and Reading Magic, and provides the ability to read the written contents of a document protected by Secret Page or Encrypt (see "Pages from the Mages III" in Dragon #92 or the DM Sourcebook from the FR boxed set)
  3. Minauros:  Enchanted by Mammon, this suit of Hellsguard confers immunity to poisons (from monsters, insinuative/contact, ingestive, gaseous), and allows the wearer to use:
    • Fire Shield:  hot version only, up to 2/week and 1/day only, 9 round duration
    • Possession:  as per magic jar, up to 3/year, but only 1/month
  4. Phlethegos:  Created by Belial, this suit confers double-strength fire resistance to its wearer, but no protection from fire.  In addition, the wearer can:
    • Fireball:  40 HD/month, up to 9 HD/day
    • Illusion:  as devil, 1/month
  5. Stygia:  Geryon crafted this suit for his prime servant, Lethólgon, who still wears it to this day.  It has these properties:
    • Frost Giant Strength:  Strength 20 at all times while worn
    • Produce Cold Fire:  range 5", affects up to 1-5 designated targets within 5" radius (roll d6, on 6 usage of the power is wasted), inflicts 0-10 damage/round for 0-5 rounds (roll d6, on 6 usage of power is wasted; use same type of roll for 2d5 damage)
    • Resistance to Cold/Frost:  as fire resistance ring, and at all times while worn
  6. Malbolge:  Among the least-powerful suits of Hellsguard, Moloch's confers these powers:
    • Cloudkill:  2/month, up to 1/2 weeks
    • Smoke Cloud:  as fog cloud, up to 2/day
    • Stinking Cloud:  2/week, up to 1/day
  7. Maladonimi:  Baalzebul's suit was recently destroyed, along with its wearer, Trillgar of the 17 Slayings, and another is being fashioned.  The old suit's powers were:
    • Fire Resistance:  3/month, for 7 rounds per use, as ring
    • Flame Shape or Stone Shape:  3/month, no more than 1/week each
    • Stoneskin (on self only):  2/month, no more than 1/week
    • Meteor Swarm:  2/year, no more than 1/3 months
  8. Caina:  Mephistopheles enchanted a suite of vast power, breaking the guideline specifications as set forth by Asmoedus.  His suit's powers perform at 12th (not 9th) level, and allow these abilities:
    • Cone of Cold:  12 HD, 2/month, but not more often than1/2 weeks
    • Frost Resistance:  double strength
    • Frost Shield:  1/week
    • Frostweb:  1/day (see my Wand of Black Ice on Canonfire!)
    • Ice Storm:  2/week, 1/day
    • Wall of Ice:  not usable as an ice storm, 1/day
  9. Nessus:  Also known as the Suit of the Overlord, The Overlord's 'Guard, and similar epithets, Asmodeus' Hellsguard suit confers:
    • Azure Flame:  1/month (but not blue in hue)
    • Fire Resistance:  triple strength; continuous while worn
    • Fireball:  90 HD/month, but only up to 1/day at 9HD maximum
    • Firestorm:  1/3 months
    • Flameshroud:  1/2 weeks
    • Serten's Spell Immunity:  continuous while worn
    • Wall of Fire:  triple strength, as druid spell, 1/9 days
XP Value:  9999
GP Value:  200,000

Mephrytis, The Runes-Graven Blade of the Champion of the Nine Hells   

The Red Sword is the Champion's Sword 
The Word of the Sword is the Champion's Law
The Blade of the Sword  bears the Runes of The Fall
The Dance of the Sword and the Hand are All

-- after Michael Moorcock, Phoenix in Obsidian (1970; published in the USA as The Silver Warriors) 

Physical Description
:  Mephrytis is a longsword forged from a pale red metal, and inscribed or inset with with nine relief-raised runes that transfix the blade and are visible from each side.  Its design is otherwise plain, with a standard quillons guard, a grip of black and silver hide, and no ornamentation in the guard or 

Magical Description and Lore:  Sagely or bardic examination can determine that the hide is from a bulette (difficulty Specific), but the metal will resist easy identification without lower-planar expertise, as the metal is tantulhor, mined from within the Nine Hells (see Ed Greenwood's articles from Dragon Magazine # 74, 75, and 91).  Mephrytis detects as magic (intense conjuration/summoning and evocation, very strong alteration and invocation), evil (overwhelming), and lawful (overwhelming).  

Mephrytis and Hellsguard (q.v.) were forged together, with similar histories.  While they have most-often been wielded together, they have at times been employed singly, but not within recent memory.  

Magical Properties and Gameplay Notes:  Mephrytis is a multi-planar, dancing sentient longsword +2:  it's magical capabilities are fixed and do not change whether the blade is wielded in Hell, Greyhawk, or the Deep Ethereal planes.  Its to hit and damage bonuses cycle over nine rounds of continuous battle, increasing from +2 to +6 during rounds one through five (its height at +6) then down again to +2 over rounds six to nine:  1st round +2, 2nd round +3, 3rd round +4, 4th round +5, 5th round +6, 6th round +5, 7th round +4, 8th round +3, 9th round +2.  

Upon command by its wielder (spoken aloud or in thought), the sword can provide three forms of magical illumination, each of an unlimited duration:

  • a baleful, rusty-red illumination in a 2" to 4" radius as dictated by the wielder's wishes; this light blocks usage of infravision, ultravision, x-ray vision, and other non-visible spectrums of light from functioning within its area of effect
  • a bloody-magenta faerie-fire illumination in a 5-foot radius; this light prevents usage of ultravision but not other vision types within its area of effect
  • a translucent ruby illumination in a 1" radis that blocks infravision within its area of effect but not other visual types

The Red Blade is sentient, with an Intelligence of 13 and an Ego of 16.  It is also telepathic, but does not speak aloud in any known manner.  The personality of the sword has never been described by its wielders, but it is known to serve and advance the causes of the Hells and its devilish masters.  

Mephrytis bears the Nine Sigils of Hell, each a symbol devised by one of the Nine Infernal Muses.  The Nine Sigils also appear in the Infernal Standard and other Regalia of Hell artifacts (q.q.v.), although they are not necessarily enchanted with identical effects.  As such, Mephrytis is also known as The Sword of Sigils, The Sword of the Nine Signs, and similar epithets.  

The runic powers of Mephrytis' Nine Sigils are detailed below, using the Common language command word required to invoke each Sigil's effects.  Legends suggest that the effects can be strengthened or otherwise augmented if a Sigil is invoked using the Infernal dialect native to each Sigil's home plane in Hell:

  1. "Flamentine" causes the sword to erupt in hellish flame drawn from the depths of Avernus.  Flametine is usable twice per day, and lasts for 9 rounds, or until quenched.
    • Each successful hit in combat inflicts an additional 1-6 points of fiery damage, which ignores non-Infernal fire protections and immunities.  As a flametongue, this will ignite flammable materials and objects.  
    • While flaming, the wielder is protected from fire as an infernal ring of fire resistance
  2. "Alcyon" causes the pale red hue of the blade's metal to exude a coppery-red aura drawn from Dis.  Alcyon activates the wounding power of Mephrytis, and usable up to four times per week.  It lasts for 1-9 turns per use.  Wounds inflicted by Alcyon can only be healed magically by demi-, lesser-, intermediate, or greater gods of any alignment or their divine agents and emissaries, or by mortal clerics of the various lawful evil gods or archdevils.
  3. "Calamezxi" causes the pale red hue of the blade to deepen and to assume a repulsive, putrescent quality drawn from the fetid reeks of Minauros.  Any target struck in the next 9 swings of the blade must save vs. spells or be diseased with hell-rot, and die in agony over the next 1-9 rounds (1d10-1; a 1 rolled counts as 1 not 0) as their flesh falls from their bones, inflicting 1/x rounds full hit points of proportional damage each round of Calamezxi's duration.  This disease is only curable by 1/ neutralize poison and cure disease from a 9th+ level cleric, 2/ remove curse and cure diseas from an 11th+ level cleric, or 3/ dispel magic from a 16th+ level cleric.  Calamezxi is usable only once per month. 
  4. "Angpheld" summons 1-2 bearded devils from the depths of Phlethegos, which will serve the wielder unquestioningly and exactly, for 9 rounds.  It is usable thrice per month, but no more than once per week.
  5. "Rhynndalath" invokes a personal blessing of Geryon, ruler of Stygia, and raises the wielder's Strength to 19 (or provides a +1 to Strength if the wielder's natural strength is already 19 or higher) for 9 turns.  It is usable nine times per month, but no more than twice per day.
  6. "Excorziastrindinities" is a 3 segment casting time curse, more colloquially known as "Blossoms of The Fall."  Devised personally by Baalzebul, this unique incantation cannot be learned or cast without Mephrytis, which also serves as the material component and focus for the spell (it is naturally not consumed; the somatic component consists of a sharp salute upward toward the Heavens, then pointing the blade downward toward Malbolge to draw the curse into the blade, which glows with a brick-red aura of hatred while holding the curse; then the curse-aura is fired at the victim, with a range of 3").  The target must save vs. spells at -5 or suffer the full effects of the curse, which turns the victim into a devil of appropriate HD (or otherwise transforms them into a fallen state if they are 14 HD/levels or higher).  If the victim Falls, they must make a second saving throw (at normal chances as a devil, and at -130% MR) or they are geased to seek the service of Baalzebul, otherwise they are geased to present themselves to offer service to the nearest enthroned arch-devil (exiles and independents do not count).  "Blossoms of The Fall" is usable up to nine times per millenium, but no more than once per century.  
  7. "Drendipuir" calls forth a roiling cloud of poisonous vapors from Maladomini.  Treat this as a cloudkill+incendiary cloud cast at 21st level, although the vapors of Drendiuir cannot be moved by winds save those that originate from the Heavens or by the Winds of Limbo.  It is usable once per nine weeks.  
  8. "Hellsblades" invokes a mobile arjale blade barrier 9 feet high, wide, and deep.  It moves at 9" at the mental command of its wielder, who may cast other spells and take other actions while Hellsblades do their work.  Creatures contacting the maelstrom suffer 18-63 points of damage per round of contact (9d6+9).  The Sigil  lasts for 9 turns, and is usable once per three months.  
  9. "Noirethithiel" enables the wielder to scribe a symbol in the air, using Mephrytis as a stylus.  Available symbol options include hellfire (usable once per 9 years), hopelessness (once per 9 days), pain (once per 9 weeks), or persuasion (once per 9 months).  
XP Value:  7450
GP Value:  149,000


Ring of Planar Vision

What drove the Lord Mayor mad, in the end?  Was it his study of Yagrax's tome?; or his transvalent scrying of the Seas of Chaos---seeking islets in the Primal beyond The Wall of the Worlds' End?  Or did he follow al-Yasin's hooded footsteps one triptych too far, beyond even Eibon?; or pierce the veiled schalla between the verses with his reading and seeing rings, so that D--- guided him to U------------ or Y----------, or even A-------, at the center of all things?  

To sift these signs for causes or certitudes is seemly folly at best.  Perhaps sufficient portent is this:  Zagig's seeings ringed his learnings with non-sense, leaving Zagyg's insights circling wisdoms in the wondrous lands of the Red Queen and her dragonchess machinations. 

All of these myriad redes contain possible tendril portions of truths.  I quail before an infinity of infinities---can I interpret and navigate their thresholds, retain sanity, and ascend the chords to the higher scales---to a throne!---, or will I like Z. before me, see truths too terrible and stumble through madness and delusions forevermore?   

Experimentation is the only path and answer that I can fathom.

--- The Witch of Perrenland, The Demonomicon

Physical Description:  The ring appears to be a plain, burnished copper band, unadorned with ornamentation or gemstones.  A competent jeweller would value the ring at 3-5 gold pieces.

Magical Description and Lore:  The ring of planar vision is one of several magical rings that were reputedly enchanted by Zagig, as a set of "Rings of Seeing."  According to local lore among the mages of the City of Greyhawk, Zagig fashioned one of each of a ring of x-ray vision, ring of true sight (some believe that it was a ring of witch sight), a ring of far seeing (providing clairvoyance and wizard eye), and this ring.  

Before activation and attunement, detect magic reveals a faint alternation aura on the ring; after activation and attunement, detect magic registers multiple divination auras (very strong, strong, and moderate), and a strong alteration and moderate evocation auras.  Once detected as magical, this plain copper band will resize to fit the hand of its wearer.   

Magical Properties and Gameplay Notes:  This ring appears to be a simple ring of ultravision until its activation and attunement conditions are met.  Activation requires the ring to be worn by a magic-user for a full month, and attunement requires the MU to travel via blink, teleport, gate, or similar magics during that month (at the DM's option, attunement may require entrance into another plane, demi-plane, or extra-dimensional space, or something similar).

Once attuned, the ring confers the following powers to its wielder, all of which require one round of concentration to utilize (scanning in a 60-degree arc; see detect evil):

  • peer beyond the veil (2.5" range) and regard the portal (6" range:  portal type, active/inactive, perm/temp, one-way/bi-directional) from The Multi-Faceted Portal-Penetrating Gaze, my new 4th level MU spell in The Twisting Stair #2.
  • see extra-planar creatures auras as true seeing, at 6" range
  • see ley lines, planar boundaries, etc., at 6" range
  • detect gate, including teleporters, magic pool transporters, etc., at 6" range
In addition to its divinatory capabilities, the ring of planar vision enables its bearer to interact with (including the ability to attack) creatures requiring magical weapons to be hit due to their multi-planar nature.  This follows the same progression as monsters, so a wearer of 2nd level or 2HD can strike creatures that require silver, cold iron, nickel, or other non-magical weapons to be hit, 4th level or 4 HD can strike creatures that require +1 weapons to be hit, 6th level/HD strikes creatures requiring +2 weapons to hit, etc. (see DMG page 75, with the addition that +5 weapons require 12th level or 12+5 HD to hit, and +6 weapons require 14th level or 14+6 HD to hit).    

Lastly, the ring of planar vision also provides planar ubiety to its wearer (see below for potion specifics), granting +50% to base MR against unwilling teleportation or planar travel, and a base saving throw of 20 even if the spell or ability permits no save (q.v., scarab of protection).  

Similar to a gem of seeing, usage of the ring of planar vision taxes its wielder:  there is always an 8% non-cumulative chance when using any power to see/detect reversed conditions or hallucinations.  In addition, if the ring is employed more frequently than once per six turns, the wielder temporarily loses Constitution points (see ring of x-ray vision).  

XP Value:  4000
GP Value:  35,000

Four New Potions

The higher order schemas still elude.  Ubiety and transitions must not fail or all is lost:  without ubiety, summonings may invert; without transition, multichordal travel cannot survive the advent and intervals of passage.  Even girded by latency and mindbar, even augmented by faceted wisdoms, even sealed in contracted oaths, the arcs of passage may fail without surety of ubiety and transition....

--- The Witch of Perrenland, The Demonomicon 

Elixir of Planar Ubiety
:  A variation on the standard potion of stability (q.v.), the elixir of planar ubiety prevents the alteration of its drinker's change in location through the effects of blink, dimension door, teleport, plane shiftgate, and similar travel spells.  It counters the effects of distance distortion and maze.  The potion's planar fixity affects all such spells  and effects, whether the imbiber would willingly accept them or not.  A full potion dose lasts for 5-20 hours, and it may be drunk in halves, or sipped in eighths like a potion of invisibility, with each sip lasting for 4-10 turns.  

XP Value:  650
GP Value:  1800

Potion of Senility:  Drinking this potion (even a sip to sample it) reduces the victim's Int and Wis scores to 4 each.  This change is permanent, but can be healed through the following spells:

  • heal, restoration, alter reality, limited wish, or wish
  • memory map cast by a 12th+ magic-user (see Rob Kuntz's MoZ4 The Eight Kings)
  • remove curse cast by a 14th+ level cleric or magic-user
  • Rary's Mnemonic Enhancer cast by a 16th+ magic-user
XP Value:  ---
GP Value:  400  

Potion of Shadow Form:  This potion transforms its drinker into shadow form (published in my "From Kuroth's Quill" column in Knockspell #6, and reproduced below for quick reference).  This potion must be consumed as a full dose, and is not efficacious when drunk in halves.  

Shadow Form (Alteration)

Level:  4
Range:  0
Duration:  1 turn + 1 round/2 levels
Area of Effect:  Caster only
Components:  S
Casting Time:  1 segment
Saving Throw:  None

This spell transforms the shadow master into a two-dimensional shadow, in a manner similar to both the third level illusions spell wraithform, and the seventh-level magic user spell duo dimension.  The caster may change his or her shape as per the spell distort shadow (q.v.).  Due to the extraplanar nature of the spell, the caster cannot be attacked directly by physical weapons (cold iron, silver, magical, or otherwise).  If attacked by the shadow of the weapon, the caster gains a +2 bonus to armor class and saving throws against such attacks, and if the attack is successful, normal damage and effects apply.  Most attack spells such as magic missile, fireball, lightning bolt, ice storm, cone of cold, etc. are similarly less effective (-2/die of damage rolled against magic missile; against other damaging spells, a successful saving throw reduces damage to one-quarter, while a failed save indicates half damage); non-damaging spells function normally against the caster.

XP Value:  450
GP Value:  1000

Potion of Stability:  This potion allows its imbiber to walk the narrowest of balance beams and tightropes with surety of footing and excellent control whether climbing, running, or otherwise navigating challenging environs.  Frictionless surfaces can be trod without slipping, and a successful saving throw vs. petrification prevents the drinker from falling into pits.  The potion also quells the effects of trip and fumble spells (and oil of fumbling) for the potion's duration, allows a saving throw against snare, and even grants a saving throw of 18-20 against Otto's Irresistible Dance (additional bonuses may improve the base 18 save).  While the potion provides secure movement, the DM's judgement will dictate movement rate; in general, tightropes and similarly-fraught conditions will reduce movement by half (see the Thief-Acrobat in Unearthed Arcana, page 23 for guidance).  The potion lasts for 6-36 turns, and may be consumed in halves.

XP Value:  350
GP Value:  650

Closing Notes

Recent planar discussion in Anthony Huso's new discord server prompted me to dig up my notes on Zagig's ring, while hellish discussion of his recent PDF releases for Avernus, Minauros, and Stygia reminded me of The Regalia of Hell artifacts from one of my college campaigns.  So here they are! :D

A few other notes:

  • The PCs in my current Greyhawk campaign include a Savant (a magic-user sub-class from Trent Smith's Heroic Lengendarium; this PC will eventually be able to learn detect gate and identify gate) and they found the ring of planar vision in my version of Castle Greyhawk.  They sold the ring to Vistrion (my name for The Mage of the Striped Tower in the City of Greyhawk), but as part of the sale terms have access to rent it for use again if needed.
  • The spells Memory Map (from Rob Kuntz's concluding Zayene adventure, The Eight Kings) and The Multi-Faceted Portal-Penetrating Gaze (from The Twisting Stair #2) are, alas, from print-only products (at this time; when we republish TTS#1-4-ish as a collection, we may offer it in PDF format too).  Neither are terribly difficult to find with some googling.
  • The spell Azure Flame and the symbol of hellsfire are (I think) of my own creation, but I'm too tired to dig them up and add them further this post.  Maybe later!
  • I think that Trillgar of the 17 Slayings was an NPC from my brother Phil's campaign, but I could be misremembering.  One of my brother Brian's PCs wielded both Hellsguard and Mephrytis for awhile, which served as a lawful counter-balance to the other PCs in the group serving Orcus, Zuggtmoy, and other demon princes....  
  • I obviously used an alternative structure and hierarchy for the offices and functions of the arch-devils and the planes of the Nine Hells.  I'm not sure, offhand, that the named arch-devils are in fact current, since play has not been directed hellsward in three or more decades of real-life gaming.  Devilish sources of inspiration include Alexander von Thorn's "Politics of Hell" in TD#28, Greenwood's articles, Moorcock's Von Bek family ("Do the Devil's Work" is their crest and motto, while serving the Grail), and Dante and Milton (directly, and filtered through Melville).  Gygax also created an NPC EHP of Asmodeus in one of the Gord short stories in Night Arrant with a tattoo under his tongue indicating his cult status/membership---an interesting detail that always stuck with me, and inspired me during college to detail some revisions to the planar structure of the Nine Hells when I was first redefining and drafting Greyhawk's and Mendenein's planar architecture.  




  1. Great stuff! I like the Ring of Planar Vision in particular, and how it builds on the gate magic you published earlier.

  2. Very nicely done! Love the details put into it as well.


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