“your own science tells you the nature of the universe is to move from order to chaos”
In the beginning, there was light . . . but in the time before
that, chaos raged.
To study fi ends is to study the Abyss. Rage, hate, and
roiling chaos enshroud all ancient fi endish lore like a
darkmantle engulfs its prey. As such, students of demonic
mythos are not usually claimed by madness, but by the
subject matter itself. A loremaster who tempts the Abyss with
his curiosity might fi nd it looking right back at him, hooking its
shadowy tendrils into his soul and clutching at his very being with
a strength that predates the eternal. But madness? No, he will not
survive to know madness.
That said, I study the lore of demons, and somehow I endure.
I have neither wrestled the Abyss directly nor allowed my many
encounters with the fiends that serve it (yes, I said they serve
it!) to quench my thirst for knowledge. Those who come after
me might be more careful, if less skilled, and they can continue
the dark journey from the end of my steps. But, alone in my
explorations, I have uncovered truths they could not hope to
Most importantly, I have learned that the Abyss is the darkling
chaos from which all things come. This genesis has nothing to do
with good or evil—just pure, churning chaos, in its simplest form.
Who could have believed that the origin of life—of earth, of tree
and stream—spawns from such turmoil? Yet, it is true. It is only
through the imposition of order that the gods create, and they
must work the stuff of chaos to build their thrones above man’s
domain. They create law and force order, twisting what was pure
into something . . . else—something more suited to their survival
and their dominance over us. As such, they are not ultimately
responsible for creation, but only for helping the essence of life
Therefore, is it any wonder that demons hate and envy the
divine? The gods corrupt the pure chaos of the fi ends’ spawning
grounds and leave them thrashing around in what is
left. These deities then ascend to higher planes, often taking
credit for the creation of the universe, or individual planes,
or mankind, or any number of wonders over which they had
little infl uence. The chaos and evil of the Abyss is all the fi ends
have left, which is why the demonic now wage war against
It is my hope that I shall discover much more before I am
myself overcome by the Abyss. However, the fiends have
learned of my quest for knowledge, and they fear my power.
Soon, the battle will come. I can only pray to gods I no longer
worship that my learning survives me. Forge on.
—Surviving excerpt from the Black Scrolls of Ahm
Not all who study the ways of demons or the origins
of the universe maintain as thin a grip on sanity as
did the author of the Black Scrolls, Tulket nor Ahm.
Still, as he predicted, few loremasters in his fi eld
have ever surpassed him in skill—though some certainly
bested him in caution. Luckily, his theories
on fi ends and the origins of the universe survived his
gory death and have formed the basis of many continuing
works on the subject.
By a trick of force, personality, and intractable will, a particularly powerful demon can entice or enslave a section of the Abyss to its will, shaping it into a pleasing form that mirrors the demon’s dark nature. Such a creature becomes nearly as powerful as a god, achieving a status akin to nobility among its peers. The fortified realms of these demon lords form the principal battlegrounds of their less powerful minions, for the lords of the Abyss constantly scheme and war against each other. Some of the most arrogant lords fancy themselves demon princes, but these self-proclaimed honors mean almost nothing in the Abyss, where demons maintain power only as long as they can keep it.
THE BLOOD WAR
The word “war” is too simple to describe a conflict that has
raged for millennia, ravaging the planes between the Abyss and
the Nine Hells. The brutal quest for annihilation is a war of fiend
against fiend. Split along ideological lines, it’s demon against
devil-and given the treachery of both sides, demon-againstdemon
and devil-against-devil battles sometimes happen. But
the Blood War eventually touches every creature on the Outer
Planes, one way or another.
The origins of the war are lost to time. Now, it’s all about
genocide. As long as there are fiends, they’ll fight each other in
a contest in which no quarter is given or asked. On those planes
and layers most directly affected, great siege engines rumble
across the battle-plains like mobile mountains, attended by a
surging sea of fiends and mercenaries. When two armies clash
under hellish suns, the very landscape is split with the terrible
energies of war unleashed.
the blood war was a simple plan to buy time until a method could be figured out hot to destroy the abyss itself