Layer 3 – Zenador
Layer 3 – Zenador

Layer 3 – Zenador

Also Known As: The Forgotten Land

The Nature of Evil: When your conscience becomes a burden, oblivion is the best solution. Be it drink, or drugs, magic or poisons, wipe your memory clean and your problems are solved. You do not need to face your demons if they can’t remember why they’re after you… 

Layer 3 – Zenador, the Forgotten Land

Ruler: The most powerful and well-known inhabitant of the Forgotten Land is hardly remembered at all. The ancient tanar’ri lord Zzyczesiya (jye-ZEE-sha) the Ungrasped (tanar’ri lord [gender forgotten]/CE) dwells within a forlorn city of impossible towers and weed-choked shattered atria called the Palace of Lost Things. This obscure demon lord considers itself the patron of confused and malevolent ignorance, and revels in its anonymity. The least trusting of those plumbing the secrets of the Forgotten Land believe that Zzyczesiya knows a secret of great import and seeks refuge in the Forgotten Land to stave off inquisitors and to eventually forget the lore and free itself from the terrible responsibility of knowledge. Whether it’s worked or not none can say, as none have successfully encountered it and returned in centuries.

Layer 3 – Zenador, the Forgotten Land

Description: Listen close, and I’ll spin you the tale of Zenador the Forgotten Land, a layer where memories crumble like ancient parchment and identities vanish like whispers on the wind. This is a place where even the mightiest can lose themselves in the mists of oblivion.

Long, long ago, some foolhardy demon tried to play games with the River Styx, thinking they could bend its currents to their will. But as you can imagine, things didn’t go as planned. Oh no, not at all. The oldest tomes tell tales of the Styx once brushing against this layer, but about six centuries back, the story shifts, and the foul river was diverted into this layer. Predictably for the Abyss, chaos ensued. Perhaps there was a Great Flood to End all Floods? The memory is faded now, replaced by a new tale of mortals and tanar’ri alike losing themselves in a maddening fog of forgetfulness.

Zenador is a graveyard of cities, sprawled, ruined and abandoned, choked by the weeds of time and the muck and debris from that ancient flood. Chant goes that the folk here starved themselves to death, their memories unravelled like ripped threads, simply forgetting they needed to eat. Can you imagine, whole cities of the forgotten? Once thriving burgs, but now nothing but echoes, homes just for the ghosts of thoughts and belief.

The demon lords, those grasping monsters like Graz’zt and Demogorgon, they’ve got their fingers in the pie, or rather, their claws in the void. They send their little exploration squads, golems and puppets under the sway of wizard allies. They’re after something, you see, something powerful, something that was left behind and forgotten about. Whispers abound, talk of fragments of the Rod of Seven Parts, that legendary artifact. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the Barbatos Device, a contraption that can span the planes.

But here’s the kicker: Once you set foot upon Zenador, you’re done for. Your memories, your identity, they all start to fade away like smoke. It’s like stepping into a cosmic fog that devours your very essence. A one-way ticket to oblivion. Those who venture here, well, they might as well be ghosts already. First you forget why you’re there and how to get out, then you can’t remember any of your abilities or spells, then you forget who you are, until finally you forget you need to even eat and drink. And then you’re really done for. Well, to be brutally honest you were done for the moment you set foot through that portal in the first place, but who’s telling this story anyway?

So, there you have it, the sorry story of Zenador, the Forgotten Land. A place where memories turn to dust, identities crumble to nothing, and the past slips through your fingers like water. Beware, cutter, for treading these haunted plazas will probably cost you more than you’re willing to lose.

“Zenador is a desolate place inhabited only by twisted manifestations of memories it has stolen… and the remains of those who set foot upon it and forgot how to leave.”

– A lich who visited the Forgotten Land
and no longer remembers its own name

Powers of Note: The illithid god Ilsensine is most often mentioned in connection with this place. Chant goes the Forgotten Lands used to be its hiding place from the baatezu, but once Ilsensine had learned a few secrets of its own it grew bolder and moved to the Outlands, forgetting this layer as it left it behind. Sages reckon that this place is in fact the only thing that Ilsensine has ever forgotten. Perhaps that tidbit’s useful to enemies of the god-brain, perhaps not. Problem is, anyone who flees Ilsensine’s wrath by hiding on this layer will quickly forget why they came here to hide in the first place.

Vasuthants are shadowy, undead abominations

Getting There: Zenador is apparently still connected to the River Styx. Marraenoloths given the right garnish can ferry a basher right to the centre of the layer. It’s a bob, however, because once they’re there, a visitor’s likely to quickly forget why she came. See, the misty air here’s still so thick with Styx fumes that merely breathing it has the same effect as a ducking in the sick river itself.

Local Hazards: This layer drains the memories and identities of any mortal or demon that sets foot on it. Only extremely hardy, unusually crafty creatures manage to survive here, somehow shaking off the memory-draining aspect of the layer to thrive – after a fashion – by adapting some element of the layer’s process to their own biology. In this manner, reason stealers grow fat on the discarded memories floating invisibly upon the air while vasuthants lurk in the layer’s deeper shadows, waiting for a chance to drain a passing victim of life energy. The only other creatures immune to this mind-numbing effect are the walking dead and mindless constructs like golems. Both can be found here in numbers; the former are likely lost planewalkers who died not knowing where they were or why they’d come to be there, and the latter accompanied them and lost their way when their masters died.

The layer is also inhabited by creatures that fed on the life force of victims or on the loose thoughts that permeated the environments. The polluted swampy water also breeds carnivorous plants such as the hangman’s tree (and better believe these things aren’t fussy eaters, since their diet usually consists of undead flesh), and ever-thirsty abyssal leeches.

Forgotten Locations

Little is known of the Forgotten Land, as few have managed to keep their wits long enough to explore the place and report back safely. Even its first official report was obtained only via a gestalt undead crafted by the Dustmen, the only beings to return from that early ill-fated expedition. The latest records predating that expedition mention the layer only as a sparsely-populated stop of the Styx’ winding path, dotted with the wreckage of mortal cities which the Abyss has somehow absorbed and forgotten.


  • Fiendish Codex I (3e), p38-39 (ekolid monster description and stats) 156 (tables of Abyssal Lords and layers)
  • Monster Manual II (3e) p178 (reason stealer description and stats)
  • Monster Manual III (3e) p182 (vasuthant description and stats)
  • Planes of Chaos: Abyss poster
  • Planes of Law: Cosmological Table poster
  • Realms of Adventure wiki here and here

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