Realm of Nikholash
The Dawn Age
The Dawn Age
The Dawn Age was a time of mortals rising up to dominate the world, after the gods have retreated to their astral dominions. The chronology of events during this time is extremely shaky. Without inter-event references, it is difficult to determine whether an event occurred before or after another event.
The Nine Hells
Asmodeus was an arch-angel under the command of the God whose name has been wiped from history. The realm that God He Who Was was Lord of was divided into Nine Layers, Each Layer had an Arch-Angel that protected it.
While Asmodeus guarded the Chained One whispers used to haunt him, sometimes taunting him other times asking for his aid. These were the whispers of Tharizdun as he attempted to test the limit of his powers from within his arcane bonds. Tharizdun found a weak spot in the arch-angel regarding his involvement in the Dawn War, disheartened by the fact that he was made to guard the Betrayer while the war waged on. Tharizdun manipulated him into believing that the He Who Was was worthless and incapable of ruling and that he must take his place. The Chained One informed him of the shard at the depths of the growing Abyss would aid him in overthrowing the God. Asmodeus left his post and dived into the maelstrom, as he grew closer to the shard it began its own influence and further instilled thoughts of revenge and corruption, it whispered to him to take the entire shard to the astral sea. Asmodeus broke a sliver from it instead and ascended towards the throne of He Who Was; he managed to convince a few of his fellow Angels to join his cause and led the army to the throne. Asmodeus managed to stab the God using a rod tipped with the sliver he had acquired, due to the connection of the God to the realm the region began to mutate as the shard corrupted the body and realm of the fallen God. The realm after its mutations was renamed the Nine Hells. The other gods cursed Asmodeus and his followers with monstrous forms and imprisoned them in the murdered god’s dominion. Asmodeus seized divinity and created a rigid hierarchy of power. Having devised a way to subvert and harvest mortal souls, the devils also require infernal pacts to breach the bindings of Hell.
Asmodeus having taken the place of the fallen God went to meet the other Gods and tricked them into signing away the souls of the sinners to his realm through The Pact Diabolus. This allowed for the power of the Nine Hells to increase over the years. When the Gods found out about the trickery they confronted him, his reply were the famous words “Read the fine Print”.
Grazz’t , Asmodeus’ most trusted advisor, was sent to the Abyss to seize the evil seed within. But the evil of the Abyss corrupted Grazz’t and made him a powerful demon lord.
The Blood War
The Blood war was a battle between the Abyssal and the Hell dwellers. No one in the outer planes seems to have any real idea of what started the Blood War. There are rumors that the blood war fueled by the fact that Asmodeus stole a sliver of the shard that gave birth to the abyss and had sent Grazz’t to steal the rest of the shard after his rise to power. There is also a tale of Tharizdun whispering to the Demons of the abyss that they had been wronged as everything was theirs to destroy even the souls of the sinners that Asmodeus had managed to contract from the Gods. The fiendish codex dictates that the Blood War is a simple offshoot of the primordial wars between law and chaos. The demons and devils (in keeping with their sadistic and violent natures) simply would not cease their fight, even after the rest of the multiverse had grown more tolerant. According to the Diabolus Asmodeus was granted all the souls with free will, this included the Primordial’s Creation. In the Abyssal Maelstorm the obyriths being the oldest creations considered themselves default leaders while the mutated Primordials were still recovering from the rapid mutation and the Dawn War. The Queen of Chaos who was second in command during the time Tharizdun lead them stepped forward with Miska The Spider Wolf on her side. She became the leader of the Obyriths and Demons, while Miska became the commander of the army. The Blood War began; the Wind Dukes of the Elemental Plane of Air who were on the side of Baator had been losing the war. They got together and created the Rod of Law to eradicate the ferocious Miska, they managed to pierce his tough skin banishing him into Pandemonium where he was imprisoned to reduce the advantage the Abyssal had. The Queen of Chaos losing her most powerful general began losing battles and her forces grew weaker causing her to retreat into the abyss and wait for the right opportunity to release Miska and rejoin the Blood War.
Despite millennia after millennia of constant strife, no side has yet been able to gain a definitive, permanent advantage over the other. Despite their vast differences, the Abyssal and the Hell-dwellers are surprisingly balanced combatants on the fields of the Blood War. The chaotic denizens of the Abyss, while far more numerous than the devils, true to their alignment, constantly warred amongst themselves. They can contest the might of the Nine Hells only through sheer individual power, and their seemingly limitless, if unorganized and uncoordinated supply of warriors. The baatezu, on the other hand, deploy smaller numbers onto the field, but their warriors are regimented, well-trained and well-disciplined, all the while making incredible use of their generals’ ruthless strategies. This violent balance could keep the Blood War fueled for an indefinite period of time
One thing, however, is certain: were one side able to eliminate all opposition, and thus gain control over the entirety of the Lower Planes, the multiverse as a whole would be in great danger. With no enemies left in the Lower Planes, the fiendish rulers could then turn their attentions towards other worlds and planes, and it is likely that no force could hope to stop them. Even the celestial beings of the Upper Planes, formidable as they are, could face destruction at the hands of the either of them, weighed down as their alignments demand by the needs of good and justice—the fiends, having no such compunctions or scruples, could easily use the celestials’ morality against them. In the past, agents of the heavenly races have even planted powerful weapons or artifacts among the ranks of the demons or the devils. This appears to be reliable indicators that even the beings of the Upper Planes do not want the war to end.
Interestingly, the greatest powers of the Nine Hells and the Abyss do not take an active role in the Blood War. The sole exception from Baator is Bel, Lord of Avernus. The mighty pit fiend has strong ties to the Dark Eight, the pit fiend generals who oversee all of Hell’s involvement in the War; this relationship keeps the relatively weak Bel safe from the other archdukes. The mightiest demon princes, such as Orcus, Graz’zt, and Demogorgon, constantly war with each other within the Abyss, and have little concern for the Nine Hells.
The Raid of Arvandor
When the gods first got a taste of evil due to their attempt at capturing Tharizdun, Gruumsh was one of the first to fully embrace it. He told his Orcish children to take what they needed and to enslave and kill those that were weaker than them. Gruumsh saw the death and destruction spreading out amongst the world and realized that as his children should be rulers of the earth, he too should be ruler of the heavens. He and Correllon had always shared an enmity due to their opposing natures but with the introduction of evil in the world it had evolved into a hatred of each other. Gruumsh wished for the orcs to raid the Feywild and take that which belonged to the Tel-quessir. He Who Watches then lead an assault on the Arvandor, his orc exarchs and evil angels slaying the fey creatures that called it home. Sehanine, Lolth, and Correllon looked on in horror as he tore their beautiful dominion to oblivion. Lolth and Sehanine went to intervene but Correllon held his sisters back and challenged Gruumsh to a one on one fight. Gruumsh accepted, he evacuated his army from Arvandor and did battle with the First of the Seldarine. During the conflict Corellon shot out Gruumsh’s left eye using a magical arrow. Gruumsh retreated from Arvandor and stills bear a grudge against the Tel-quessir today.
The Fey gods retreated back into the Feywild, using this as an example proving that the other gods were not to be tolerated and that their races were pitiful compared to that of the fey.
The Crow and the Scythe
Nerull was the ruler of death and the keeper of souls since the dawn war. He reaped the souls of the dying without mercy and dragging their souls to his realm Pluton. He was an evil god; trying to use the souls of the dead to rise to the position of the king of gods. Eventually, a powerful Sorcerer-Queen entered his realm. Unlike all the other inhabitants of the realm, her soul shone with her ambition and determination. Nerull judged her to be a worthy consort, restored her power and vitality, and named her Nera. He trained his queen in the use of the power gained from the souls of the dead. This of course proved to be a tactical mistake,the Sorcerer-Queen was too proud to kneel to any God, however, and rose up in rebellion. Learning how Nerull kept the souls in his thrall, she released them all, gaining power with each released soul while Nerull suffered. Though her body died as well during this rebellion, due to her power over souls she managed to hold onto existence, and claim the mantle of the slain god of the dead.
The other gods saw this as an opportunity, and presented the new goddess with a choice: either become the goddess of death instead of the dead (ie: be only the wayfarer for the deceased, instead of their ruler) and be accepted as a fully-fledged deity, or be destroyed. She begrudgingly accepted, she erased her true name from history and became known as the Raven Queen.. Abandoning her predecessor’s realm of Pluton, she went to the Shadowfell to work on the unlocking of the powers of the soul, undisturbed by the meddling gods.
The Spiders Web
Lolth was formerly Araushnee, elven goddess of destiny, artisans, and dark elves. She was the lover of Corellon and had him completely smitten by her grace and beauty, but she grew power-hungry and a sense of never-before-seen greed and cruelty entered into her mind. She began to aid Corellon’s enemies. In a fight with his nemesis Gruumsh, Araushnee aided the orc god and Corellon had to flee. She then sent her new ally Malar to hunt her weakened lover but, through sheer skill of arms, Corellon, with the help of Sehanine Moonbow, managed to defeat the Beastlord.
Corellon still had no idea that his beautiful consort was behind the attacks but Sehanine Moonbow found out the truth after discovering that Araushnee had started an affair with Fenmarel Mestarine in an effort to have him aid her in an upcoming rebellion. Although at first entranced by her advances, he eventually spurned her. Sehanine confronted Araushnee and was imprisoned as a result. The Weaver, with the help of her son Vhaeraun, then gathered a host of evil deities opposed to the Seldarine (like Malar, Gruumsh, and a host of other gods of goblinoids, orcs, giants, and kobolds), and convinced them to attack Arvandor, in an attempt to overthrow Corellon. She had planned for the assault to ultimately fail, as her actual goal was for his consort to be killed during the battle and to replace him as Coronal of Arvandor. She was almost successful in tricking Eilistraee into slaying her own father with a stray arrow, but the Weaver’s conspiracy was ultimately thwarted by Sehanine Moonbow (who had managed to free herself), Hanali Celanil, and Aerdrie Faenya and Corellon’s life was saved. After her betrayal was revealed, Araushnee was banished by Corellon and turned into a spider demon, while Vhaeraun was simply exiled. Even though she was cleared from all guilt, Eilistraee chose to share her mother’s and brother’s punishment, because she knew that the drow would need her light in the times to come.
Araushnee took the name “Lolth” and turned the 66th layer of the Abyss into her new home. She had to struggle to gain control over the layer, fighting the power of both Ghaunadaur and of Kiaransalee. Kiaransalee wasn’t able to prevent Lolth from gaining control of the plane, and was subdued by the Spider Queen, reduced to an unwilling vassal. Ghaunadaur, on the other hand, became the author of his own defeat, as his failure to destroy Lolth drove him to steal the intelligence from all the oozes that worshiped him in a fit of rage, leading to a great loss of followers, and therefore of power. Lolth also learned of the demon prince Zanassu, who claimed divine dominion over spiders. Considering her new body, she thought it was her sole right to own such a portfolio and angrily tricked Selvetarm into attacking the demon prince, killing him. She gained a divine portfolio and a new consort. She used her regained divinity to turn the 66th layer into the Demonweb Pits, morphing it into a giant funnel-shaped web to fit her spidery appearance.
The City of Bones
Born in the first human city of Kahrim, Vecna was taught magic by his mother Mazell. She taught him that the great serpent M’gysswa taught the mage-kings of the Kahrim magic. This serpent is said to be a direct creation of the Old Ones in the far realm. She taught the young Vecna that he was descended from the M’gysswa and that it devoured all those who honored it in life. When the princess of the city requested a medicine from Mazell she prescribed one, but since the princess intentionally disregarded the dose she Overdosed and died. The city guard was ordered to kill Vecna in front of the woman as retaliation, but Mazell used her magic to allow Vecna to escape. Not happy with this, the authorities dragged her to the public square and burned her alive. But as she died, the woman’s soul was seemingly devoured by a great serpent. The young Vecna fled and continued his study of magic. He claimed to have been trained by the Serpent itself, but if this is actually true or part of the Lich’s madness is unknown. Over a thousand years later, he had become a powerful lich and laid siege to Kahrim. Officials approached him and offered their lives if he’d spare the citizens. Instead, Vecna let his army murder everyone in the city but the officials.
With Kahrim under his thumb Vecna was content with the revenge he had completed. M’gysswa connected with the Lich and planted the seed of destruction of the Gods but Vecna had other plans. Vecna dedicated a century into recruiting personals to his army and acquiring secrets, he instated Kas as his General during this period and began perpetrations for his plan. Baiting M’gysswa into the mortal realm Vecna triggered a ritual to ascend into godhood, Just as he was going to absorb M’gysswa and attain all its powers, Vecna was betrayed by Kas, his most trusted lieutenant. In a climactic battle that cost the lich his left eye and hand, Vecna reached apotheosis followed by an explosion that leveled the new god’s empire and flung both of them across the planes leaving behind just a pile of bones.