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Baator — Layer the Fourth

The Hell of Lust, the Burning Lakes of Phlegethos

Themes of the Layer: The Hell of Lust, for pleasure, pain and power. Passions in Phelegthos burn hotter than anywhere else in Baator. Home of erinyes, the torturous Lake of Fire and devilish love triangles, this layer doesn’t do anything in half-measures.

The Fires of Forbidden Passions


Phlegethos, the fiery fourth layer of Baator, embodies the vision of Hell that most mortals conjure up when they think of eternal damnation. Imagine a wasteland ablaze with flaming fury, where rivers of molten lava snake through hills of ash, and active volcanoes belch forth soot and smoke. The air itself shimmers with the intense heat, while the ground beneath your feet radiates a scorching warmth that threatens to consume all who tread upon it. Amidst this infernal scenery, the layer seems to pulse with a palpable sense of desire, drawing in souls with promises of forbidden pleasures, exquisite tortures and carnal delights.

The ruling lords of Phlegethos, Lady Fierna and Archduke Belial, preside over this infernal realm, each plotting and scheming to further their own agendas amidst the searing flames. Their twin palaces loom high above the layer’s capital city of Abriymoch, where the ground is composed of hardened magma within the caldera of a volcano. Few can endure the blistering heat without suitable protection, and even fewer are welcome within the fortress city’s walls.

Travellers should be wary of the relentless heat and ever-present danger that pervades Phlegethos. Tremors and earthquakes are common occurrences. Rivers of liquid fire flow through the land, inhabited by salamanders and other infernal creatures that lurk in the fiery depths. The sky itself is a starless void illuminated only by the leaping flames that endlessly dance across the landscape. 

The Pit of Flame

Yet survival in Phlegethos is a constant struggle against the intense heat and malevolent fires that seek to consume all who trespass upon this fiery plane. Adventurers must tread carefully, navigating the treacherous terrain and avoiding the attention of the plane’s seemingly sentient flames. The Pit of Flame is a particularly harrowing sight, a boiling sea of refuse empowered by the primal energies of Baator. Here, baatezu face endure the searing flames for purposes of both promotion and punishment, while osyluths watch over the fiery abyss to ensure order is maintained.

The fires of Phlegethos are not just flames; they’re manifestations of desire, lashing out hungrily at anything that crosses their path. They seek to consume not just flesh, but to caress the very souls of those who dare to venture into this realm.

Amidst the infernal clamour, there is opportunity for those daring enough to seek it. The city of Abriymoch is not only home to the Diabolical Courts, where disputes between devils are settled, but also offers mortals a chance to appeal their damnation. It is also the hub of Hell’s armaments manufacturing, where Baatorian green steel is mined from the magma and soul-torturing devices known as Shrivers are crafted.

And then there are the denizens of Phlegethos, devils and fiends who embody the darkest aspects of desire and temptation. Erinyes prowl the fiery streets, luring mortals into their clutches with promises of ecstasy and pleasure. Lustful whispers echo through the halls of the obsidian palaces, as devilish nobles plot and scheme to fulfil their most twisted desires.

The Lords of the Flames

Lady Fierna, Lord of the Fourth

Even the rulers of Phlegethos, Lady Fierna and Archduke Belial, are not immune to the seductive allure of lust. Their scandalous affair, whispered about in hushed tones by devilish courtiers, serves as a reminder of the power that desire holds over even the most powerful beings in the Nine Hells. They are a fascinating yet treacherous pair. Daughter and father, together they wield power and influence as dangerous as the flames that engulf their domain.

Lady Fierna, with her seductive charm and cunning intellect, exudes an aura of allure that can entice even the most stalwart of souls, drawing them into her web of deceit and manipulation. Her palace, a den of vice and debauchery, echoes with the screams of her ex-lovers, trapped within cells where they are alternately loved and loathed by their mistress. Fierna is a master manipulator, adept at using her charms to lure unsuspecting souls into her web of deceit. Rumour has it she’s in cahoots with Glasya, forging alliances and building her own network of influence to rival even her father’s.

Archduke Belial, Lord of the Fourth

Archduke Belial, on the other hand, is a smooth-talking devil of unparalleled cunning. With his silver tongue and shrewd mind, he navigates the treacherous politics of Hell with ease, always plotting and scheming to further his own ambitions. Despite his rumoured incestuous relationship with Fierna, he’s as likely to be plotting against her as he is to be plotting with her, for such is the nature of devilish politics. Belial once plotted to seize control of Malbolge, but his plans were thwarted by none other than Glasya herself.

Together, they rule over Phlegethos with iron fists, their obsidian palaces looming high above the capital city. Yet, despite their power and influence, they are not without their rivals and enemies. Glasya watches their every move, her more-than-friendship with Fierna a cause for concern for Belial, who fears her ambition may one day lead to his downfall.

Locations of Phlegethos

  • Abriymoch (independent burg)
    • Fierna’s Palace (realm of Fierna)
    • Hall of One Thousand Sighs and Screams (realm of Belial)
  • Jealous Heart (realm of Inanna)
  • Mount Erebus (site)
  • Palace of Exquisite Agonies (realm of Scahrossar)
  • Pit of Flame, the (site)
  • Prototypes, the (workshop of Duke Sabnach)
  • River Pyriphlegethon (planar pathway)
  • Voiporl (realm of Mahathallah)

Powers of Phlegethos

  • Belial (Lord of Pain and Suffering) — Lord of the Fourth
  • Inanna (Sumerian power of love and war)
  • Fierna (Lord of the Fourth)
  • Mahathallah (Queen of the night, power of death and vanity)†
  • Scahrossar (Oerdian power of pain and perversion)

Nobles of Phlegethos

  • Baaphel — Grand Duke in the service of Belial
  • Balan — noble baatezu who serves Belial
  • Bathym — noble baatezu who serves Belial
  • Chamo — Legate of Abriymoch, High Chamberlain of Belial
  • Galziel — noble consort baatezu who serves Fierna
  • Gazra — pit fiend companion of Fierna
  • Naome — consort of Belial and mother of Fierna
  • Philotanus — a depraved baatezu noble of corruption
  • Rahu the Sun-Eater (an asura rana paragon)†
  • Sabnach, Duke
  • Uranasha — kyton
  • Zaebos — deputy of Abriymoch
  • Zapan — noble baatezu who serves Fierana
  • Zurapadynthe Beast Who Waits in Smoke (an asura rana paragon)†

Canonwatch: Entries are from D&D canon unless otherwise marked, although when the canon is sparse I’ve got creative with the details; † adapted from a 3rd party publication; ‡ homebrew.

Canonical Sources

  • Book of Vile Darkness [3e]
  • Faces of Evil [2e]
  • Fiendish Codex II [3e]
  • A Guide to Hell [2e]
  • Hellbound: The Blood War [2e]
  • Manual of the Planes [1e, 3e, & 5e]
  • On Hallowed Ground [2e]
  • Planar Handbook [3e]
  • Planes of Law [2e]
  • Planescape Campaign Setting: DM’s Guide to the Planes [2e]
  • Planescape Monstrous Compendium Vols. 1 & 2 [2e]
  • Planewalker’s Handbook [2e]

More details to follow!

Source: Jon Winter-Holt

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