The Lower Planes are the evil-aligned realms populated by demons and devils, among other creatures.
The Lower PlanesEdit
In the raw void at the beginning of the multiverse, the draedens - titanic, tentacles creatures - dwell alone in the emptiness. With the coming of the primal powers, the draedens make war. Ultimately, they agree to a treaty, falling into hibernation to out-wait their enemies. The planes of existence form around them.
The planes are formed. A short time later, the progenitors of the various alignments stagger forth from the mists of creation: the baernaloths and their counterparts, the progenitors of Law, Chaos, Balance, and Good.
The Flow of the Styx
The River Styx is truly ancient, older than most of the lower planes it touches in the present day. Beginning as a mere trickle, it eventually becomes a torrent, and is deemed a Great Path.
The birth of the demodands
One (or perhaps three) of the baernaloths decides to create a race in defiance of its kin. The result is the demodand or gehreleth species, which is banished to the newly formed plane of Carceri.
The Casting of Law and Chaos
The yugoloths, creations of the other baernaloths, are infected with Chaos and Law. The General of Gehenna casts these alignments from the spirits of its people, creating lawful and chaotic larvae.
The Growth of the Obyriths and Baatorians
The larvae are herded into the newly formed planes of Baator and the Abyss, where they evolve into the million forms of obyriths and Baatorians. Most of these creatures cannot reproduce naturally. Yugoloth tomes claim that the 'loths retain control over these beings and their descendants and creations through a fallen celestial called the Maeldur Et Kavurik.
The Disappearance of the Baernaloths
The baernaloths withdraw from their positions of power over the yugoloths, vanishing into the Wastes. Some say they go mad, others say they simply become more subtle. Many seek them, but few have any success.
The War Between Law and Chaos Begins
A group of explorers - "angels" - dispatched by the lawful neutral forces of primordial Mechanus encounter the yugoloths (they seem to miss or ignore the ancient Baatorians, who have perhaps already evolved into beings of pure thought and disappeared into their plane, leaving only their blind, mewling young behind, and beings like formless shadows). They press on, and meet the obyriths. The innate philosophical hatred between the two races becomes violent hatred. The obyriths blame the forces of Law for the inhospitable nature of their plane, claiming that Law stole all that was good and fertile there when the planes were first forming. The beings of Law feel only disgust and revulsion toward the hideous, disordered obyriths, and slaughter as many as they can before returning to Mechanus to report on their findings.
Meanwhile, a group of obyriths explores the Inner Planes, coming into confrontation with a being of the Quasielemental Plane of Vacuum called Sun Sing, who follows them back to the Abyss, infecting and twisting their portals. The most significant discovery, however, is a race of rigid Law called the vaati, or Wind Dukes, who rule over the genie races and control much of the elemental realms. The obyriths rend as many as they can.
In Mechanus, the beings of primal Order (the Twin Serpents, the One and Prime, the Cultivator, the Plotter, the Defender, and the Clockmaker) debate on what to do. One of the Serpents suggests they dispatch warriors to destroy the obyriths before they infect more of the planes, before they come to Mechanus to destroy them all. The others agree, and give most of the responsibility to the Serpent, who accepts it gladly. The others return to their austere contemplations of mathematics.
The Serpent of War, also called Aeshma, leaves its twin, the Serpent of Wisdom, behind and leads legions of winged servants to reinforce the position of the vaati. The Blood War begins.
The Yugoloths as Mercenaries
After centuries of isolation, the yugoloths offer themselves to the warring sides as mercenaries. They bring contracts written on the skins of the dead, which are more binding to others than themselves. This marks the first time the yugoloths are involved in the Blood War, as well as the first time the yugoloths betray their employers.
The Appearance of the Lords
Some of the obyriths distinguish themselves above the others of their kind, becoming the first Lords of the Abyss. Some of them still exist: Obox-Ob, Pale Night, Ugudenk, Dagon, and Pazuzu. Many more are forgotten today: Veshvoriak, Vroth-Khun, Ubothar, Asima, Areex, Cabiri, and countless others.
Among the forces of Law, many generals of the war distinguish themselves similarly, including Darbos, Emoniel, Penader, Uriel, Icosiol, Dispater, Gargauth, and Qadeej, although they are not yet attached to a single Outer Plane. The greatest general of Law is Aeshma, who is now called Asmodeus.
The greatest leader among the obyriths becomes the Queen of Chaos, who cows or destroys most of her rivals under her banner. She also recruits many slaadi and other beings of Limbo.
The Pattern of the War
Initially, the balance of the war swings wildly between the forces of Chaos and those of Law. Whole sections of the Outer and Inner Planes fall under the control of one side or the other every few years, only to return to the control of the other side a few years later.
As the war progresses, the war swings less dramatically. Key developments put large parts of the multiverse under the thumb of one side or the other, seemingly permanently. At the same time, the numbers on both sides dwindle, as they do not have any quick method of reproduction.
The Exploration of the Planes
During this period, both sides explore the planes more thoroughly, invading and dominating many other regions.
The Queen of Chaos recruits beings of the Inner Planes such as Ogremoch, Bwimb, Cryonax, Sunnis, Imix, and Olhydra, and she incites the efreet to rebel against the djinn who act as faithful servants of the Wind Dukes.
The archomentals Yan-C-Bin, Chilimba, Ehkahk, Bristia Pel, Ben-Hadar, and Chan join the forces of Law. Chan quits when she discovers that Yan-C-Bin is involved. The vaati also gain some limited aid from the modrons.
Asmodeus petitions the other Primal Beings of Law. He reminds them that mortal souls have begun interfering with their contemplations, and offers to set up a place on the Plane of Baator to issue corrective measures. The other Beings agree, and the Pact Primeval is signed.
Baator becomes a place of horrific torments, the fine print in the contract allowing Asmodeus and his minions to gain great power from the suffering they inflict.
The Intervention of the Celestials
Some (but not all) of the Beings of Primal Law grow impatient with the growing evil of Asmodeus, believing him to have been almost as corrupt as the forces he opposes. They send an army of millions of archons and angelic beings to end the war themselves. Then something unprecedented happens: Asmodeus brokers a peace accord with the Queen of Chaos, and both armies turn on the celestial forces, annihilating them. Within a week, the celestials turn back. Only 3000 are said to survive.
In the future, the celestials decide to only battle their diametric opposites. The Lawful Good celestials fight only the creatures of the Abyss, and the Chaotic Good ones fight only the creatures of Baator. Because of this, the Queen of Chaos gains a tenuous alliance with the eladrin Queen of the Stars, whose people fight primarily on the Material Plane against the more corrupt forces of Law.
However, it is said that Asmodeus is gravely wounded during the conflict, his titanic body buried in the deepest pit of Baator, and that his wounds still bleed. Some say that from his blood the first pit fiends form.
The Keepers of Knowledge
Both sides give their members the task of recording information. The arcanaloths are said to write the only honest histories, seeing how they check and double-check each others' work. Unfortunately, their records, which begin during this period, are all but inaccessible in the Tower Arcane in Gehenna.
It's only now that the feuding forces interact with the gods, though they've been around for what seems like forever. One or two gods of Chaos side with the obyriths, and the forces of Chaos seem almost unstoppable. Soon, powers across the planes choose sides.
But then, a powerful god of Chaos begins to wither away. The other deities feel their essences start to dwindle. They stop involving themselves in the War so blatantly, interfering only through their proxies. Of course, a number of gods of war and destruction continue to dirty their hands in the fighting.
The Great Mother cements an alliance with the Queen of Chaos, mating with obyriths and their creations to produce many-eyed fiendish offspring that are used in the battles.
Some of the most famous Blood War ploys are first devised during this period. The Mask of the Pit strategy involves obyriths disguising themselves as minions of Law, although this fails. One of the generals of Law - some say it was the pit fiend Bel, currently the Warlord of Avernus - executes his legendary Four-Cross, seeming to betray his own side, then the side of Chaos, then his own side, and finally betraying Chaos again.
The archomental of magma Chilimba, convinced that the archomentals of good were not prosecuting the war with sufficient zeal, murders Bristia Pel with the aid of Ehkahk. Horrified at the deeds of the side he was supporting, Ben Hadar defects to the side of Chaos.
After millennia of bitter fighting, the two sides discover a use for the souls of the mortal dead. The obyriths create the manes and other subordinate races, transforming them into the first tanar'ri. The vast breeding pits of the sibriex obyriths writhe with nascent life, and every generation brings new innovation and depravity.
Asmodeus and his minions create the first lemures from the petitioners sent to Baator and the young of the ancient Baatorians. These are carefully promoted into higher castes as they merit it.
From this point on, the Material Plane becomes a crucial part of the War. The Wind Dukes secure many worlds for their baatezu allies, while the Queen of Chaos takes many others.
During this time the tanar'ri Turaglas is created, a "thousand times a thousand years ago."
The vaati, who - based in the Inner Planes - are unable to gain enough petitioners to create enough replacement warriors, continue to decline.
It was after this - how long only the arcanaloths know - that the Queen of Chaos takes the most powerful of the tanar'ri, Miska the Wolf-Spider, as her consort, destroying Obox-Ob and naming Miska the Prince of Demons in his place. This brilliant combination tips the conflict against Law.
Somewhere around this time, the forces of Law and Chaos discover the City of Doors, which seems to be the perfect launch pad for their armies. The problem is that an entity known even then as the Lady of Pain seems to have some sort of problem with her city being used this way. Some say the Lady was a renegade obyrith high-up who fled to Sigil to protect herself against the rage of the Queen of Chaos. Others say she was a General of Law. She doesn't mind lesser beings in her city, and she tolerates greater ones, but if they step out of line she doesn't hesitate to destroy them. That doesn't stop the forces of Law and Chaos from invading the city time and time again, sacrificing thousands to her bladed shadow in an attempt to get closer to the secret of the Lady's power.
Creation of the Black Abyss
A group of unknown beings pledge themselves to the slaad lord Ygorl in an attempt to gain refuge from the tyranny of the Wind Dukes. With Ygorl's help, they create the demiplane that is later known as the Black Abyss.
The Field of Nettles
90,000 square miles of wasteland between two tributaries of the River Styx, this becomes a major battlefield of the war. Rare is the year when piles of millions of bodies don't build up in the disease-strewn wastes.
The Field of Pesh
Eons of conflict finally shudder to a climax on the Material Plane world of Oerth, a place rich in magic and untapped possibilities. In the shadow of a great volcano called White Plume Mountain, Miska the Wolf-Spider fell in battle with the Wind Dukes and their allies. Miska is imprisoned in Agathion, the fourth layer of Pandemonium, by the Rod of Seven Parts. However, the vaati race is made virtually extinct by this battle and the long attrition that led up to it. It was a final, desperate use of all their remaining resources, and though it proved effective, the vaati are never again an important planar race. The few remaining vaati retreat to the Vale of Aaqa, dispatching only a few wanderers to ensure that Miska remains bound.
Back on the Plain of Infinite Portals, the obyrith alliance fractures, and the Queen of Chaos retreats to the Steaming Fen in the lower depths of the Abyss. Sensing weakness, the Queen's former allies turn on her. The Queen of Stars sends legions of ghaele knights to launch a devastating raid against the Plain of Infinite Portals. The obyriths and their demonic thralls die in the thousands. For this moment the treacherous tanar'ri, led in part by Demogorgon, explode in open revolt against their cruel masters.
This is the end of obyrith domination of the Abyss. From then on, the tanar'ri are the dominant race on that plane. With the collapse of both the obyrith-eladrin alliance and the vaati-baatezu alliance, the war between Law and Chaos awkwardly stalemates, its violence mostly limited to the Lower Planes. The archomentals and genies refuse to answer to either faction, although wars between chaotic and lawful elementals continue among themselves. The slaadi refuse to ally with the tanar'ri, and indeed many of them aided the eladrins in their purge of the obyriths. Many still kill baatezu out of habit, but only as independent agents. The modrons continue to fight in the Blood War, but no longer as allies of the baatezu.
Demons and devils continue to destroy each other in the Blood War, however, which is still a major source of conflict throughout the planes.
The Exploitation of the Prime
With the Wind Dukes out of the way, the baatezu exploit another loophole in their contract with the Primordial Beings of Law to tempt mortals into lawful evil so that they can legally torment them and use them as new recruits. The tanar'ri respond with their own breeds of tempters. Both groups teach mortals the magic to summon them and foster cults of mortals who worship them as gods. Half-fiends and eventually tieflings begin appearing in greater and greater numbers. Entire societies are manipulated like puppets.
Inspired in part by the celestials and no longer oppressed by the vaati, mortal champions begin to appear, fighting back against the encroachments of evil. Fiends begin to realize that mortals can be more than the mere insects they imagined them to be.
From this point on, the history of the Blood War is more exhaustively detailed, as mortals obsessively chronicle their interactions with the fiends and the secrets they learn from them. Although much of what they learn is lies, the sum total of their knowledge is a reasonably accurate picture of fiendish affairs.
The War of Ripe Flesh
The succubi of the Abyss war with one another for dominance. A few high-ups eventually establish themselves as lords of various parts of the plane.
The Illithid Empire
The illithid empire expands so far that the Blood War pauses for one of only three recorded times in all of history, the various Lords and generals worrying that the mind flayers will seize control of even the Outer Planes in their cold, premeditated conquest. The rebellion of Gith eventually puts those fears to rest, at least for now. The war resumes.
In Baator the Lords rise against Asmodeus and his tyranny. Geryon blows his horn at a crucial moment, and the pit fiends known as the Dark Nine turn the nine armies against their ostensible masters. The rebellious Lords surrender. Several are banished or transformed by Asmodeus. The Dark Nine are put in charge of the bulk of the armies (and thus the Blood War), the rebellious lords permitted only enough troops to secure their individual layers.
Soon after, the founder of the Dark Nine, the pit fiend Cantrum, is assassinated. Reports vary as to whether his assassin was a paladin or an amnizu. The Dark Nine change their name to the Dark Eight, deciding not to replace Cantrum in honor of his memory.
The Rebellion of the Inferiors
After the Reckoning, the morale of the legions of Hell dips to an all-time low. Abishai disappear into the Gray Waste, spinagons fail to deliver their messages, and even the barbazu are reluctant to wade into combat.
The pressure erupts, and a town full of lesser baatezu gives over to chaos, lesser baatezu crushing the life from greater baatezu and holding others hostage. The Dark Eight intervene in person, asserting their authority for the first, and most crucial time. A number of balors appear too, cackling gleefully and revealing that they've orchestrated the whole revolt. When they attempt to command the baatezu they've so carefully infiltrated and corrupted over the years, however, the lesser baatezu look at the balors, and they look at the Dark Eight, and it turns out there was never any real choice for them. The balors are torn apart by those they hoped to command, and the authority of the Dark Eight is never again questioned by their legions.
Malcanthet Becomes Queen of the Succubi
After defeating her rivals, the Abyssal lord Malcanthet ascends to the Razor Throne, declaring herself monarch of all her kind. This was 2000 years ago.
Summoning of the Keepers
About 1500 years ago, a member of the Fraternity of Order summons the race of Keepers from an alternate reality.
The Ascent of Bel
The ancient pit fiend Bel stages a coup against the Lord of the First, Zariel, binding her beneath his fortress and slowly draining her of her power. By the decree of Asmodeus, he continues to be subordinate to the Dark Eight.
The Maw Opens
Ghoresh Chasm appears from nowhere in the heart of the Gray Waste. Within its depths, the spiraling lines of Chaos and the rigid lines of Law both appear. Who created the Chasm and what did it mean? The tanar'ri and baatezu wonder if within it lies the key to their own origins. Oracles say only a perfect combination of Law, Chaos, and Neutrality can glean the chasm's secrets.
=Peace and TreacheryEdit
The Blood War pauses for a third time. The Dark Eight calls for a truce with the tanar'ri generals, and both sides agree to meet at the edge of Ghoresh Chasm. The celestials shudder in fear that the forces of Evil might unite against them, and the final war between Good and Evil might finally begin.
A balor sits in a pit fiend's chair and refuses to move. Carnage erupts. The debacle seems to end forever any chances of peace between the tanar'ri and baatezu, as the two sides trust one another even less than they did before.
The Death of OrcusEdit
Orcus is killed by Kiaransalee over a long-forgotten grudge, his body cast into the Astral Plane and his wand locked away in Agathion. This deals a major blow to the tanar'ri, who had come to depend on Orcus' undead legions in the Blood War. Kiaransalee offers similar services, but others seek ways to restore the Prince of the Undead.
The Ships of ChaosEdit
An alliance between the tanar'ri and the Doomguard results in the entropic, plane-shifting Ships of Chaos, created from living demons built into flying galleons and powered by millions of larvae. They have yet to be proven effective in battle, however.
The Ascent of MydianchlarusEdit
The ultroloth Mydianchlarus whispers a secret in the ear of Anthraxus the Decayed, the Oinoloth of Hades. Anthraxus leaves his throne unexpectedly, becoming a wanderer of the Lower Planes, searching for something he does not reveal. Mydianchlarus becomes the new Oinoloth. Anthraxus' Staff of the Lower Planes is lost.
Squaring the CircleEdit
The yugoloths decide to reign in the other fiends. With the aid of the Maeldur Et Kravurik, they plan to strip the tanar'ri and baatezu of the teleportation power they inherited from the obyriths and the young of the ancient Baatorians. Meanwhile, a baatezu raid steals the Maeldur, not realizing its significance. The yugoloth plan teeters on the brink of failure.
The yugoloths manipulate a band of mortal heroes to steal the Maeldur back. They free it, destroying the power of tanar'ri and baatezu teleportation, but broken by countless eons of servitude it eventually returns to its yugoloth masters. The yugoloths, with the Maeldur once again their thrall, restore the teleportation ability of the other fiends, deciding to wait for the incident to be forgotten before they attempt to reassert control.
Orcus has been resurrected, brought back to life by the faith of his priest Quah-Namog. Kiaransalee has retreated to a Prime world, and some Abyssal lords rejoice while Demogorgon and Graz'zt experience the attacks of a reinvigorated Prince of the Undead. Glasya, daughter of Asmodeus, has seized control of the layer of Malbolge