Location: Abyss / Pazunia

The burg of Styros is perched precariously on the banks of the River Styx, in a place where the air is so thick with the scent of sulphur and brimstone that you can practically chew it. The ground, it’s a right swamp of ceaseless muck, a kind of mud that clings to yer boots and refuses to let go, a proper metaphor for the place, that is.

Styros is one of the staging grounds for the Blood War, where tanar’ri unlucky enough to have been press-ganged into joining the army are gathered, loaded up onto transport barges and shipped out to the battlefields in an endless cycle. Almost none of them will return. The place is bristlin’ with a harsh kind of order, as babau officers run the show with their iron fists and cruel intentions. I’ve heard tell that they get a kick out of flexing’ their muscles, dishing out threats and beatings as though they were sweets at a carnival, the sick berks. 

Now, if you find yourself stuck in this pit of despair, you’ll witness the spectacle of those unfortunate souls being herded like cattle onto grim riverboats, monstrous contraptions powered by the burning of souls, a grotesque parody of industry, it is. They’re massive, those boats, with great belchin’ smokestacks spewin’ crematorium ash into the air, a testament to the brutal efficiency of the Abyss, where everything, even the damned themselves, are grist for the mill.

The most common sight in Styros, aside from the wretched and downtrodden, is the molydeus-captured demons; poor sods who’ve been roped into servin’ in the seemingly never-ending Blood War. They’re a sorry lot, trudgin’ with shoulders slumped and eyes devoid of hope, headin’ for a fate worse than death on some distant battlefield, each step taking them further from any chance of redemption, it’s a proper tragic sight, it is.

As for those poor berks who stumble into Styros unprepared, they’d better have their wits about them, and a fair bit of jink too. It’s not a place that welcomes strangers kindly, no. Quick thinking and a heavy purse might just save you from finding yourself shackled and thrown into the depths of one of those slave pens, set to be shipped off to who knows where, in the bowels of a war hulk bound for some Godsforsaken battlefield.

It’s not the place to be caught napping, cutter, not if you value your skin. In Styros, it’s every berk for themselves, a place where compassion is as rare as a honest man in Sigil. It’s a place to avoid, it is, unless you’ve got a death wish or a heart as black as the Styx itself.

Source: Fiendish Codex I [3e] p116 (short description), Planes of Chaos

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