Illustration by Frances Tsai

Book of the Damned: Moloch and Stygia

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Now that we're back from the adventures, misadventures, and unexpected romances of Gen Con, it's again time to talk about one of our upcoming books, Princes of Darkness, Book of the Damned Volume I. I'll just quote Master Schneider's text.

Illustration by Kieran Yanner

Moloch: All who burn join the armies of Moloch. A being of seething wrath, the Lord of the Sixth embodies both absolute discipline and directed destructive force. General of Hell's Armies, Moloch endlessly trains his infernal legions to be the greatest martial force in the multiverse.

Whatever body Moloch might have once possessed was consumed in flame long ago. Now, the General of Hell is an embodiment of the most devastating, inhuman aspects of war, a creature of fearsome black metal and spiked armor encrusted with the blood of countless opponents. With his clawed gauntlets he exerts the strength of a titan to heft the blood-soaked sword Ramithaine and the horned battleaxe Goreletch. Even in his most tempered moods, flames leap from Moloch's eyes, flaring nostrils, and every other joint and chink of his scorched armor, this blaze growing more wild as the archfiend's ire rises. He never removes his armor, though on the rare occasions where it has become damaged in the heat of battle, nothing lies beneath but flames and the faint outline of withered, fire-charred bones.

Stygia: Every lie spoken throughout the planes condenses as a drop of poison to flood Stygia, the fifth layer of Hell. Amid the tangled swamps and fetid jungles rise moldy ruins, mired temples to false deities, and whole blasphemous cities. The waters of the Styx mix with the layer's venomous bogs, creating vast noxious moors before flowing into vast black seas. Dilapidated avenues paved with cracked stones—remnants of empires that never were—cut through these dense bogs, though they regularly succumb to unexpected floods of stagnant water. Travelers who brave the paths or manage to fight their way through the swamps for long enough inevitably discover examples of the layer's countless ruins, overgrown temples and cathedrals, disparate crumbling monuments, and fortresses upturned as if flung by gigantic and careless hands. Most of these decrepit structures—drawn in their entirety from innumerable mortal worlds—still bear artifacts and artistry from forgotten epochs, typically idols and icons of deities and divine forces unknown to even the longest-lived inhabitants of the multiverse.

In the mountainous scriptorium called the Library of Oaths, diabolical clerks record every mortal oath with a damning consequence. These records prove binding, and those who break their words are damned to eternity in Stygia for as long as their vows remain within the library vault.

Sean K Reynolds
Developer, Pathfinder Chronicles

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Tags: Devils F. Wesley Schneider Frances Tsai Hell Kieran Yanner Pathfinder Campaign Setting
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