The Pit

Sometimes called the Abyss, the Underworld, or the Inferno, the Pit is a realm of unspeakable horror, darkness, and despair. It is an impossibly huge cavern, with terrain that has been charred by rivers of magma and great firestorms that burn without end. Great stalactites and stalgmites jut out of the unyielding rock, some as large as towers. The smoky air is filled with the anguished cries of the damned and the inhuman howls of fiends.

Denizens

The Pit is populated by many foul creatures.

  • The Damned - Numerous and pitiable, the Pit is filled with the souls of departed mortals. Most remember nothing of their former lives, or quickly forget upon their arrival. Stripped of all but their guilt and despair and rendered incapable of dying, they suffer endlessly at the hands of fiends. Eventually, when their spirits have been utterly spent, they become fiends themselves.
  • Fiends - Fiends are the ravenous, violent husks of damned souls that have been emptied of all humanity only to be filled with hatred and hunger. They take many forms, some beastlike, others humanoid, roaming in large packs throughout the Pit as they prey upon the Damned.
  • Incubi & Succubi - Attractive but sadistic creatures, incubi and succubi are fiends that can travel freely between the Pit and the Astral, where they torment the dreams of sleeping mortals. They are known to be extremely rare, only coming into being when a fiend feeds upon the soul of a seer.
  • Nohiraat - The Maw of Damnation stands at one end of the Pit, serving as a gateway for the souls of the dead to enter from the Nether. This gate is guarded by the Nohiraat, red-skinned giants that each bear three heads and six arms. It is believed that the Nohiraat were created by the Maw itself to ensure that nothing interferes with the journey of the dead into the Pit.
  • Fiend Lords - Great and terrifying to behold, fiend lords rule over vast territories of the Pit, commanding legions of lesser fiends. But for the immortals who hold dominion over the Pit, they are unrivaled in their power. Some believe they form from especially wicked souls who manage to retain their minds upon crossing over. Others say they form out of the Pit itself as living manifestations of evil and torment.

Domains

Several immortals make their homes in the Pit, ruling over domains that embody different aspects of evil.

  • Gor Qalast - Dhuroscht, the Herald of the Twilight, was cast down by Lemesin long ago. He slumbers now as the great mountain Gor Qalast, awaiting the day that his heart, the Stone of Twilight, is returned to his breast. Fiends flock to his remains, and mortals are said to go mad if they venture too close, driven insane by the whispered dreams of the prince of all fiends.
  • The Deep - Syflare rules a vast domain beneath an ocean of blood said to be imbricated upon the Maelstrom. There he covets the souls of those who died at sea without receiving funerary rites, as well as sunken ships and all treasures ever lost beneath the waves. The serpent himself slumbers there amidst his endless wealth.
  • The Maze of Shadows - Once owned by Thirsife, his successor Tenaebrus has taken up dominion over a vast labyrinth. Monstrous fiends lurk the innumerable halls, which shift and change periodically to confound the footsteps of those who enter. It is said that the riches hidden in the Maze of Shadows are beyond imagining, but are nothing more than a lure for fresh victims.
  • The Oubliette - Hexadus, the Queen of Chains, rules over a endless dungeon filled with tortured souls and sadistic fiends enslaved to her will. In keeping to its name, there is only one entrance or exit at the very top of the oubliette, ensuring that there is no escape for those who enter.

Travel

Like the Astral, the Pit is difficult to reach with mortal magic. Diablerists are the most apt for creating portals to the Pit, which appear as gaping craters in the earth. They are careful to guard the secrets to creating such portals, however, for fear of losing their leverage over the fiends who feed them power.

Curiously, fiends themselves are incapable of leaving the Pit without mortal assistance. Scholars have long believed that this is the design of the Ageless Ones, who are said to have created the Pit as a prison for the evils of the Realms.

In fact, only one permanent portal into the Pit is known to exist. In the deepest reaches of the Nether, the Maw of Damnation stands as one of the three Gates of Judgment, where the souls of the dead go to meet their ultimate fate. It empties into the Pit itself, where the Nohiraat guard over it to ensure nothing can return.

Needless to say, journeying into the Pit is a perilous prospect at best. Mortals who venture there find an inhospitable realm filled with dangers. Worse still, there exists no edible food or potable water of any kind. Without ample provisions, those who venture into the Pit are doomed to die of hunger and thirst even if they do manage to avoid the Pit's other perils.