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Abyssal ship

It is an infinity of clutching horror.

It is home to demons.

It is where morality crumbles and ethics perish.

The Abyss is all that is ugly, all that is evil, and all that is chaotic reflected in infinite variety through layers beyond count. Its virtually endless layers spiral downward into ever more atrocious forms. Conventional wisdom places the number of layers of the Abyss at 666, though there may be far more. The whole point of the Abyss, after all, is that it's far more terrible than conventional wisdom could ever encompass.

Gatecrasher's Guide[]

There are multitudinous layers of the Abyss, perhaps even an infinite number. No one has ever catalogued them all, and it's doubtful that any of the plane's natives, let alone any other bean counter, has ever considered the effort worth the time and danger. Plain and simple, no one's ever done so because each layer is so horribly grotesque that a berk would have to be barmy to want to see any of them. Even fewer sods have the power to actually do so and survive. For one thing, almost every layer of the Abyss is completely inhospitable. For another, this plane is home to the tanar'ri, one of the two races locked forever in the infernal Blood War — and they aren't particularly hospitable either.

Watch out for those tanar'ri bashers. They'll either try to impress a berk into one of their armies — whether for the Blood War or a local squabble — or they'll flat out put him in the dead-book. Their reason? As often as not, just because they can. Don't expect a better reason from beings of utterly evil chaos. They're devoted to seizing everything they can for themselves, and killing or enslaving everyone else. To their minds, that's the only way to power, and power is the goal of their existence.

Petitioners on this plane are the spirits of the chaotic-evil. Most take the form of manes, the very lowest of the tanar'ri, though a few especially powerful or evil ones may begin their Abyssal existence as something more powerful. Being a mane isn't so special, because more powerful fiends vent their bloodlust on these poor sods, sometimes slaying them in droves. But tanar'ri ain't tanar'ri because they're being punished or because of any other dim-sided reason some green prime has thought up. Here's the real chant: Tanar'ri want to be tanar'ri, even if all they are is a lousy mane. Those who survive long enough may be transformed to more powerful forms, should a master find the need for such a servant. Raw, indomitable power's all those sods care about, and the Abyss is the place to get it.

- Guide to the Planes


  • Normal Gravity: The top layer of the Abyss, the Plain of Infinite Portals, and many other layers have the normal gravity trait, but other layers of the Abyss can contain wildly different gravity traits that run the gamut of possibilities.
  • Normal Time: Time flows at the same rate in the Abyss as on the Material Plane. However, rumors persist of a layer where time flows backward with regard to aging. The reverse flow is erratic, however, and a visitor could be reverse-aged to childhood or out of existence altogether.
  • Infinite Size
  • Divinely Morphic
  • Mixed Elemental and Energy Traits: Dependent on layer.
  • Mildly Chaos-Aligned and Mildly Evil-Aligned
  • Normal Magic


Abyssal portal

The Abyss has more layers than anyone knows, mortal or deity, though some scholars say that it has 666 layers.

Plain of Infinite Portals[]

This is the topmost of the uncountable Abyssal layers. It is a barren dusty place without life or greenery, baking beneath a hell-red sun. The dusty plains are broken by three features: huge pits in the earth, great iron strongholds, and the River Styx.

The pits of this first layer are portals to deeper layers. Dropping down a given pit soon deposits the traveller into the associated layer, though jumping into unknown pits is insanely dangerous.

The iron strongholds here most often house powerful demons, and serve as rallying points for demonic armies on their way to join in the Endless Blood War. Some of that war's greatest battles take place on this layer.

Broken Reach[]

Broken Reach

Red Shroud, a succubus sorcerer, rules the town of Broken Reach, which serves as a gathering point for the Blood War mercenaries, a way spot for travellers insane enough to explore the Abyss, and a place for trade. The town is a set of crumbling towers surrounded by outworks of trenches, walls, and spiky barricades.

Lakes of Molten Iron[]

A series of natural white-hot crucibles filled with molten iron that stretch across the Plain of Infinite Portals. Several strongholds are situated along their banks, as the iron provides material for weapons to feed the Blood War.

Endless Maze[]

Endless maze

The 600th layer of the Abyss. Here Baphomet, the bellowing Prince of Beasts, dwells at the center of an infinite maze of twisting corridors and trapped switchbacks. Numerous minotaur tribes inhabit the maze, usually led by half-fiend minotaurs or rogue bulezaus that have escaped the Blood War. These creatures revere Baphomet as a patron deity, and such is their devotion that some eventually escape the maze to preach the worship of the Prince of Beasts to the minotaurs of the Material Plane. In addition to the ram-headed bulezau, several “domestic” demon breeds created in Baphomet’s Tower of Science haunt the layer, including brutal horned ogres known as ghours and the demon lord’s most oft-exported creations, the goristros. Numerous wild goristros hungrily wander the forlorn hallways of the Endless Maze, keeping the larger corridors and galleries free from intruders (and often dumbly crushing allied servants of Baphomet for good measure).

Wells of Darkness[]

A series of pools on the 73rd layer of the Abyss—the eponymous Wells of Darkness—contain some of the most vile and accursed prisoners in all the multiverse, let alone the Abyss. The inky black liquid of the pools somehow restrains those submerged into it, preventing escape but allowing a very primitive form of telepathic communication that serves only to prove that the captives have not yet been erased from existence. Escape from the Wells of Darkness has occurred in the past—at the order of the Court of Woe or the act of a greater deity, for example—but such events are so rare that those who follow the history of the Abyss can name all known escapees from memory: Bayemon of the Unhealing Wound, the marilith queen Shaktari, Siragle the Ineffable, the vaunted Zzyczesiya, and Shami-Amourae.

On the Server[]

Abyssal battle

A portal from the Harmonium Barracks and a portal from the Temple of the Abyss in Sigil lead to parts of the Plain of Infinite Portals where the Blood War rages by the Lakes of Molten Iron.

Several years ago, the devils secured their foothold in the area, and now several strongholds of both demons and devils are located in the region to fuel the constant fighting. Most of the battles take place by a series of bridges which cross the rivers of molten iron that lead between the lakes.

This particular area of the layer does not have many portals to the lower layers, though there is one unusual portal leading to the Endless Maze. Only the very brave and hardy should venture through this portal, however, for the minotaurs of the Maze are ruthless and the twisting passages are difficult to navigate.

Broken Reach and the Wells of Darkness both can be accessed on the server.