|Cosmology / Powers and Deities / Dramatis Personae /
Rules and Mechanics / Character Creation / Equipment
The first layer of Baator is a wasteland of charred, rubblestrewn plains, with mountains and talus-sided foothills breaking up the monotony. Legions of mail-clad devils are on perpetual watch here, always assembling for some new cross-planar Blood War sortie. Blood-red light suffuses the air, and fiery balls flit randomly across the sky, sometimes detonating to terrible effect. Travelers not protected by artificial structures or caves are 10% likely per day to find themselves at ground center of a fireball dealing 6d6 points of fire damage (as if cast by a 6th-level spellcaster). Runnels of blood flow in streams across Avernus, finally joining the River Styx. The origin of the blood is unknown, though the devils say it is likely the blood of all Avernus’s past victims.
The Pillar of Skulls
This massive landmark of actual skulls represents devilish trophies taken in the Blood War. Most of the trophies are twisted, demonic skulls, varying in size from minuscule to the size of a house. The pillar rises to a height of more than a mile. The Pillar stands near the part of the ledge where access to the next lower layer is an easy walk down a particularly tall metal spire of the city Dis reaching up through the haze between layers. This spire sees quite a bit of devil and petitioner traffic on its spiral stairwell—and quite a few accidental and not-so-accidental falls. However, a massive cave mouth near the base of the pillar of Skulls holds a particularly terrible sentinel of the ledge: Tiamat.
Tiamat, The Chromatic Dragon, is revered by evil dragons, and her five heads each bear the color of one kind of evil dragon. She enjoys such wretched pastimes as torture, bickering, and destruction. Tiamat guards the access between Avernus and Dis near the pillar of Skulls, but she usually stirs forth only to counter demonic incursions. Five consorts, powerful male great wyrms of red, black, green, blue, and white varieties, attend her at all limes. The hoard of Tiamat, hidden deep in her cavern, is said to equal the treasuries of a hundred worlds.
The Bronze Citadel
What may have once been a citadel constructed of bronze is now a brutish, unimaginative city covering dozens of square miles and featuring twelve concentric ring walls, each bristling with war machines. The city is filled with petitioners, both lemures and soul shells, and hundreds of thousands of lesser devils of all types bound for the Blood War. Because Avernus is the likeliest beachhead for any massed demonic arrack, fortifications are always being added to the Bronze Citadel. Work gangs of soul shells, lemures, and imps constantly expand the city. The construction is so pervasive that bone scaffolding is as likely to be supporting a given wall as not.