Asmodeus

Asmodeus
Betrayer God, Archdevil[1]
Official art of Asmodeus, Lord of the Nine Hells, by Kent Davis.[art 1]
Symbols of Asmodeus.[art 2][art 3]
Deity information
Other names
  • The Lord of the Nine Hells[1]
  • Father of Lies[2]
  • Imri (in Tengar)
Pronounshe/him
ProvinceGod of the Nine Hells[1]
SymbolCrown of spiked onyx and curved horns[3]
Creature type
AlignmentLawful Evil[1]
Home planeNine Hells (Nessus)[1][4]
RealmMalsheem[5]
Worship
Cleric domains
Arm of the BetrayersMace of the Black Crown[7]
Appearances
First seen"Excelsior" (E3x01)
Last seen"Downfall: Part One" (3x99)
Stream

Asmodeus, the Lord of the Nine Hells is a fallen celestial[8] and the devil god residing in the Nine Hells and an archdevil of the ninth layer the Hells.[1] He is the god of tyranny and domination, and a skilled manipulator.[4]

In the realm of Tengar, before his arrival to Exandria, Asmodeus was called Imri.[9]

As an NPCs in both Exandria Unlimited: Calamity and Campaign 3: Downfall, Asmodeus is played by Brennan Lee Mulligan.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Asmodeus is typically depicted as handsome humanoid with dark red skin, long black hair, and two curling horns rising from his brow.[4] This is true to how he appears to Zerxus Ilerez, although Asmodeus has the ability to appear in the form of whomever the viewer finds most beautiful.[10]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Pre-Founding[edit | edit source]

Imri, along with other deities of Exandria, originated on the plane of Tengar witnessing its destruction. Imri grabbed Aru and Luz, promising they would stay together. Imri covered the god's escape from Tengar and told Luz he loved her, throwing up a wall against the heat. He was burned badly, and Luz went to help and hug him, saving him and healing him, though he was also changed into a burnt black form with curved horns.[9]

Imri, escaping the plane, lost an aspect of their eternality and infinite nature.[9] After the gods created mortals, he was given the name Asmodeus.

The Founding[edit | edit source]

Asmodeus is a fallen celestial.[1][11] During the Schism of the Founding, a rift between the Betrayer Gods and Prime Deities opened up, disputing the fate of the primordial titans. Asmodeus claimed to believe that the primordials, who brought chaos and destroyed the gods' creations, had used their ability to shape reality and rose up against the gods who had come into their world and lent on their hospitality.[11] Asmodeus sided with the group defending the titans, so they were called Betrayers. During the conflict, Asmodeus corrupted celestial armies of the Prime Deities into the first devils.[6]

The Prime Deities, with the help of their mortal champions, ultimately destroyed the Primordials and banished the Betrayer Gods from the Material Plane, behind the Divine Gate.[12][8] They did it so thoroughly that Betrayers could not grant their divine magic to their followers throughout all of the Age of Arcanum.[13]

Pact with the fey[edit | edit source]

The Lord of the Nine Hells signed a pact with Elmenore, the Matriarch of the Seelie Court, that ensured the fey a safe escape passage from the Material Plane and immunity from fiends' encroachments in case of a disaster.[14] After the Tree of Names was destroyed and the Betrayer Gods were released, Elmenore opened portals for the fey of the Seelie Court living in Exandria so that they could return to the Feywild and avoid the Calamity.[15]

Age of Arcanum[edit | edit source]

Vespin's ascension[edit | edit source]

Closer to the end of the Age of Arcanum, on the eve of the Calamity, Archmage Vespin Chloras, inspired by the ascension of the Raven Queen, attempted to repeat her ascension ritual. But rather than trying to replace a Prime Deity as the Raven Queen did with the previous god of death, he instead planned to replace one of the Betrayer Gods, Asmodeus, believing that in doing so he could remove or reform the Lord of the Hells' divine portfolio.[16] However during his ritual, he released the Betrayer Gods from their planar prisons, and Asmodeus bound Vespin as his thrall,[17] turning him into a k'nauth. The released Betrayers were caught in the spell cast by the Tree of Names, and imprisoned within its branches, but not before they were able to set a plan in motion to have the Tree destroyed.

Tree of Names[edit | edit source]

About that time, Zerxus Ilerez had recurring dreams of Asmodeus falling to Pelor and begging Zerxus for mercy as he sin the streets of Avalir.[18] While at the Hall of Oracles, Zerxus noticed Asmodeus in a mirror and had a vision in which Asmodeus, gravely injured, told him that he and the other Betrayer Gods had recently been released. Asmodeus expressed grief over the Primordials and his and the other Betrayers' rejection by the Prime Deities and by mortals. Zerxus showed him sympathy and began to cast Ceremony on him, but Asmodeus interrupted him and cast Protection from Evil and Good on him and told Zerxus he would not forget him.[19]

After Laerryn Coramar-Seelie destroyed the Tree of Names, Asmodeus stepped out.[20] Zerxus helped pull him through into the world.[21] Asmodeus then healed him, and Zerxus began to cast the atonement Ceremony again but Asmodeus became angry and told him he'd done nothing wrong.[22] While repeatedly killing and resurrecting Zerxus in anger, Asmodeus explained that prior to the mortals, the Prime Deities and Betrayer Gods were as siblings, but the Prime Deities choosing to side with the mortals destroyed that relationship.[23] Zerxus expressed pity towards Asmodeus and his mindset of hate,[24] and Asmodeus killed him a final time and created the Mace of the Black Crown from Xartaza, an erinyes, and offered a deal to Zerxus.[25] Zerxus ultimately took it, though Vespin Chloras rewrote the contract to give him until sunrise before it took effect.[26] After the Ring of Brass thwarted his plan to ally with the Primordials by releasing two of them, Ka'Mort the Empress of Earth and Rau'shan the Emperor of Fire, from their their prison beneath Mount Ygora, and destroy all of Exandria, Asmodeus said he would "shatter [the] teeth" of Domunas.[27]

Ghor Dranas and assault on Vasselheim[edit | edit source]

Fulfilling his plans in Avalir and stating that the "business takes him to Vasselheim tonight", Asmodeus opened a gate to Ghor Dranas, newly raised capital of the Betrayers' influence, where he was greeted by Gruumsh.[28] Ghor Dranas, according to one theory on the origin of tieflings, is the place of their creation, as a result of some of the city's inhabitants tying their bloodlines to Asmodeus in exchange for magical knowledge.[29]

Official art of Erathis and Bahamut battling Asmodeus and Gruumsh at Vasselheim, by Kent Davis.[art 4]

In the following evening,[28] the Betrayer Gods attacked Vasselheim, starting a battle that lasted twenty days and nights. Ultimately, the Betrayer Gods were forced to retreat, but the attack started the centuries-long war known as The Calamity.[30][12]

The Calamity[edit | edit source]

During a brief period of unified interests, Asmodeus and Lolth exalted an immortal assassin, Jourrael, the Inevitable End, who could not be completely destroyed as long as their contract remained intact; as of 836 PD, Jourrael remained immortal.[31]

Official art of Erathis again battling Asmodeus during the Calamity, by Kent Davis.[art 5]

During the Calamity, Asmodeus deceived and betrayed Sarenrae, and killed most[32] or all[1] of her worshipers, in one stroke. In the end, Asmodeus was defeated by Avandra who tricked his armies into attacking one another.[1]

Campaign 3: Bells Hells[edit | edit source]

Within the month following the apogee solstice in 843 PD, the Lord of the Hells was preparing the coming attack on Ruidus.[33]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Asmodeus has many enemies even among the Betrayer Gods, many of whom only follow him out of fear. His archenemy, however, is Avandra, the Changebringer, who defeated him during the Calamity by tricking his armies into attacking each other.[4]

Vespin Chloras[edit | edit source]

The archmage Vespin Chloras released the Betrayer Gods from their planar prisons in the hopes of gaining power. Instead, they immediately enthralled him. Post-Divergence, Vespin is said to be a devil serving at the left hand of Asmodeus.[34]

Desirat[edit | edit source]

Desirat was the companion and mount of Asmodeus during the Calamity. She was captured and imprisoned beneath Mount Mentiri by the original pre-Divergence Cerberus Assembly and remains there as of 836 PD.[35]

Zerxus Ilerez[edit | edit source]

Zerxus Ilerez first dreamed of Asmodeus, and then had a vision in which he saw the gravely wounded god shortly after Asmodeus had been released. He healed him and listened to Asmodeus' story, and in exchange for his sympathy Asmodeus cast Protection from Evil and Good on him.[36]

Worship[edit | edit source]

Commandments of the Lord of the Nine Hells
  • Assert dominance and power over others. Show your strength of will in the image of your Lord.
  • Repay cruelty done unto you with further evil. If others show you kindness, exploit it.
  • As you ascend to power, do not pity or show mercy to those you climb over to get there. The weak do not warrant your compassion—compassion itself is a weakness.

— from the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn[6]

In 835 PD, the subterranean tunnels of the Labenda Swamp contained a chamber abundant with idols and an iconography mostly depicting the gods forbidden in the Dwendalian Empire, including a cluster of symbols dedicated to Asmodeus.[37]

The same year, the adventure hook Twilight Phoenix in the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount involved archmages who worshiped Asmodeus. They attempted to free his mount Desirat from her prison.[38]

Known worshipers[edit | edit source]

Mynarc Furdahl, an undead warlock of Asmodeus living in the island of Kaltsel, on Eiselcross.[39]

Spells[edit | edit source]

Spell Level Notes Ref.
Protection from Evil and Good 1st [40]
Counterspell 3rd [41]
Time Stop 9th [42]

Appearances and mentions[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

One of the oldest objects in Grog Strongjaw's Bag of Holding was a signet ring with the symbol of Asmodeus, recovered from a "big demon" who had body-slammed him onto a spike.[45] It was used to assert belonging to the cult of Asmodeus.[46] This demon may have been Juurezel, a glabrezu demon who posed as a "devil prince".

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 20.
  2. "Bitterness and Dread" (E3x02) at 4:20:42.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", p. 27.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", p. 26.
  5. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", p. 26. Misspelled as "Nalsheem".
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 2: "Allegiances of Tal'Dorei", p. 34.
  7. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 6: "Wildemount Treasures", p. 276.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", p. 12.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Downfall: Part One" (3x99).
  10. "Bitterness and Dread" (E3x02) at 4:07:40.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Bitterness and Dread" (E3x02) at 4:13:08.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 6.
  13. "Bitterness and Dread" (E3x02) at 1:57:23.
  14. "Fire and Ruin" (E3x04) at 3:31:26.
  15. "Fire and Ruin" (E3x04) at 3:29:51.
  16. "Bitterness and Dread" (E3x02) at 2:44:54.
  17. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 7.
  18. "Excelsior" (E3x01) at 19:10.
  19. "Bitterness and Dread" (E3x02) at 4:26:55.
  20. "Blood and Shadow" (E3x03) at 5:20:22.
  21. "Fire and Ruin" (E3x04) at 50:13.
  22. "Fire and Ruin" (E3x04) at 56:53.
  23. "Fire and Ruin" (E3x04) from 58:51 through 1:08:24.
  24. "Fire and Ruin" (E3x04) at 1:08:49.
  25. "Fire and Ruin" (E3x04) at 1:10:02.
  26. "Fire and Ruin" (E3x04) at 2:09:15.
  27. "Fire and Ruin" (E3x04) at 5:37:21.
  28. 28.0 28.1 "Fire and Ruin" (E3x04) at 1:22:31.
  29. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 4: "Character Options", p. 180.
  30. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 1: "Welcome to Tal'Dorei", pp. 13–15.
  31. "Between the Lines" (2x78) from 3:01:47 through 3:02:38.
  32. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 15.
  33. "Ancient Sins" (3x97) at 3:10:06.
  34. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 1: "Welcome to Tal'Dorei", p. 15.
  35. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", p. 31.
  36. "Bitterness and Dread" (E3x02) from 4:02:41 through 4:28:33.
  37. "Lost Treasures" (2x22) at 2:35:00.
  38. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 90.
  39. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 123.
  40. "Fire and Ruin" (E3x04) at 12:24.
  41. "Fire and Ruin" (E3x04) at 1:02:50.
  42. "Fire and Ruin" (E3x04) at 35:16.
  43. "Vox Machina Go to Hell" (1x91) at 25:50.
  44. "Deals in the Dark" (1x92) at 27:42.
  45. "Deals in the Dark" (1x92) at 26:45.
  46. "Deals in the Dark" (1x92) at 1:34:49.

Art:

  1. Official art of Asmodeus, Lord of the Nine Hells, by Kent Davis (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  2. Symbol of Asmodeus from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting.
  3. Symbol of Asmodeus from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount by Claudio Pozas. (source)
  4. Official art of Erathis and Bahamut battling Asmodeus and Gruumsh at Vasselheim, by Kent Davis (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  5. Official art of Erathis again battling Asmodeus during the Calamity, by Kent Davis (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.