Ramon’s Guide to the Lower Planes

Just… do as she says.  Fewer people get hurt that way.  Also, please don’t bring up Gehenna!  Other ‘loths anger her.  She won’t say why!

“The multiverse, she is a cruel mistress.  For much time, things have looked up for me.  But for so long, my luck is rather dreadful.  While my poems and records will be the stuff of legends, a break from this figurative and literal hells would be quite nice too!  I preferred my luck with just the King of the Cross-Trade in Sigil.” – Ramon DeLeon, Planar Traveling Bard

 

Of Bards and Bad Places

While I assure you that not all planes are mortifying and deadly, I tend to have rather bad luck.  This luck has sunk even lower, finding myself in the dark planes of the fiends.  Races of creatures built from pure literal evil, formed into physical manifestations.  Only the most noble and just and survive a trek into these wretched places.  As I can assure that I’m not, I have my work truly cut out for me.

Let us discuss The Lower Planes of the Great Wheel.  This is a place for not just creatures made of evil, but the most equally evil souls that find themselves punished or harvested for the creation of more fiends.  The most worthy petitioners even gain the chance to become fiends of their own!  To make matters more hostile, each plane has its own challenges within the environments themselves.  Acidic air, dueling erupting fissures, grey murk and more await the most intrepid and foolish of explorers.

Now, where do I fit into this?  A valid question!  An attempted escape from strange realities proved rather flawed.  My grasp on the planes is quite good, within my rules of reality.  Parallel versions of the Wheel has all sorts of alterations, to say the least.  With some level of luck, this is the “true reality”, however escaping the Lower Planes proves to be far harder than expected.  Even any portals and keys that should work mysteriously fail.  Well, through narrowly dodging fiends and escaping hostile environments, I’ve found my way across the Planes Below.  Impossible as it may be, I find myself not too damaged by this.  But, a Planeswalker has already seen a lot, no?

Author’s Note: I’ve been feeling a little down, so things have slowed a bit as a result.  Plus, I junked a previous post that I couldn’t find myself completing, which slowed things down more.  My apologies.  Anyway, here is something I have been sitting on for a while.  My Look at the Planes have focused too much on Ramon flailing about and finding danger, rather than describing locations and happenings in the planes, with Ramon as your guide.  Let me change that.  Also, I figure I may as well toss out a reference to the recent adventure.  In addition, plenty of references to classic D&D lore, as well as my own mad musings.

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Great Evils of the Underworld – Killer Fiends

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Behold, The Lower Planes!  These are places of divine punishment, the quarantine zones for the foulest evil next to Ravenloft, these lower planes are the birthplace of The Fiends and so much more.  It is inhospitable, destructive and the ultimate test upon the good soul!  Petitioners who find themselves upon these planes more often than not deserve their grim fates.  Those who fell into these lands of evil?  Far more sympathetic.  Many were merely curious travelers and clueless primers; now burning against the fiery walls of The Hells or within the acid swamps deep in Carceri.  – Ramon DeLeon, Plane Traveling bard

Within the Great Wheel, there are countless forces embodying equally countless ideas and visions.  Within the Lower Planes, evil thrives.  The Lower Planes contain Baator (the Nine Hells), The Smoking Towers of Gehenna, The Grey Wastes of Hades, The Tartaran Prisons of Carceri and the Endless Layers of the Abyss.  To some, the Eternal Battlefields of Acheron and the Howling Tunnels of Pandemonium certainly count too.  Whether or not they’re accounted for, the rest of this linked macrocosm is the most interaction forms of evil one could hope to find.  The Lower Planes are the home to true oppression, savagery, malice and more.  Each fiendish creature has their own way of causing ruin to all around them.

The powers of the Lower Planes are simply evil incarnate.  The Primer usually has a surface level idea of what horrors lie beneath.  Sure, some make their holy orders to fight off whatever might spill onto the prime, but that’s a mere trickle compared to the raging torrent on the Outer Planes.  Devils, Demons and other fiends have more than earned their dark reputations.  Even those who have prepared to take on these twisted adversaries have found themselves either falling in battle or falling in principles.  The pull of Evil is sometimes that strong.  Careful on your own journeys.

Author’s Note: FIENDS!  A lot of this post was because of the latest adventure for 5th Edition.  While I wasn’t a fan of the recent module, “Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus”, I always look for an excuse to tackle all means of demons, devils and more.  So, there you have it!  So, let’s dive into the worst places imaginable to ring in 2020!  As the new year continues, let us descend into the void.  Well, in gaming, at least.

EDIT: The url was “__trashed”?  Aww, come on!  I’m usually better at spotting things than that.  But, the cat’s out of the bag.  I originally wasn’t gonna do this.  But, I’m glad I changed my mind.  I don’t wanna screw with the URL though, as it’ll mess up all links.

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Highway to Hell – Things of the Lower Planes

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I’m on my way to the promised land!

The campaign pushed into the Grey Wastes themselves.  We were readied for countless fiends, all battling in the name of their dastardly causes.  We even were readied to control the sinister magics of the Night Hag.  But, something unexpected and foul caught many by surprise…  Aberrations formed and mutated through necromancy.  Surely, these beasts weren’t native to the plane, but something brought them there.  Something perfected them.  The casualties within my own legions became astronomical, even with pushing the abominations back long enough. –  Lucien, an angel-blooded aasimar paladin, captain of The Indefatigable.

My series of planar monsters continues with a healthy mixture of folklore, pop culture and crazy custom creatures.  This time, a post devoted to horrible things to crawl up from the Lower Planes!  Fiends, hellish constructs, necromantic mind flayers, cursed souls and more!

Author’s Note:  In addition to some more planar threats, I wanted to ramp things up a bit with some more out there experiments.  Also, shout out to Brynvalk for inspiring one of the scariest things I’ve ever heard of.  Also, I’m back to bringing in a fair number of fiends to horrify my mini-bestiaries!  I love making fiends!  Also, pardon the classic rock references.  But, it wouldn’t be my first time.

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Don’t Go Out At Night – More Monsters on the Road!

Traveling at night on an unfamiliar path can prove to be particularly treacherous.  Beyond the threat of bandits and wayward brambles lies the supernatural.  Thick forests and foggy meadows often carry dark creatures lurking about.  Ranging from the bothersome to the lethal, these dastardly foes take glee in anyone foolish enough to get lost at night, far off the beaten path.

Author’s Note: I’m trying to get some updates to old projects ready.  New spells and monsters will hopefully be made available soon!  In the meantime, I really wanted to make more monsters along my “lost on the road” theme.  This time, I sample a mix of folk tales and horror movies.

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Bizarre Bazaar – Gaslamp, Gothic and Weird West

Images of Hitchin Market Place as it was in Victorian times (1837-1901)

The monthly market at Granite Well Station’s market is rich with life as it always is.  Amateur crafters alongside trade professionals, artisans both local and well out of region, even a few arcanists willing to share a secret or two.  Among the oddest is that “metal head” fellow who just showed up at the last minute.  He calls himself “Zam’dul”, sounds like some really far eastern name.  Either way, he has a haul of junk to investigate.  It’s all pretty odd stuff, I have a feeling he’s making dirty money on pick-pocketed goods, but that’s just me. – Constable Taranath Glistendawn, long time officer of Granite Well; a town known for its eponymous well, where an evil creature was thwarted decades ago.

The Granite Well Station sports a diverse rummage sale and market at the start of the month.  As far as flea markets go, Zam’dul is no stranger to this.  While a somewhat dusty, but sprawling city space; it already sports a diverse array of fascinating vendors to choose from.  To compete, Zam’dul only brings the most fascinating odds and ends from around the world.  As always, he promises quite the show!

Author’s Note: Zam’dul travels to a city anew!  Since I’ve been doing a fair share of player options as well as monsters, why not items as well?  Like before, they have a gothic, victorian, western, dime novel or relate theme to them.  In addition, I wanted to add some more gun augmentations.

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Weird Western Monsters from various sources

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Our dusty little library ain’t much, but it’s a miracle that we can bring literature to this equally dusty frontier settlement.  All I care about is getting the know-how to these folk.  An informed folk is a healthy folk.  As it is, they keep their bodies active, nothing wrong with stimulating the mind too!  While you’re here, check out some of these accounts from travelers.  We’ve been collecting them here.  Tons of stuff on some of the fearsome critters to wander these parts…  Some even come from parts unknown!  You’re a traveler, this sort of stuff will keep you in the loop.  – Anna Von Hindervoltdheim, Gnomish librarian of Wispy Cliffs.

One need not travel far to see familiar faces out west.  Sure, they’re a bit different in many ways, but something’s kinda uncanny.  Creatures, like people, have a habit of traveling too.  One could say their ancestors might have found their way much like we did.  Lots of science folk wanna document these differences to put forth some big claim.  I dunno what it is yet, but it’s probably as odd as dinosaurs flocking to some hole inside of the world.  But hey, at least these folks don’t think the world is flat or something.  Everyone knows it’s really a cube!

Author’s Note: A lot of existing monsters, as well as creations of my own, can easily be fit into this quasi-setting/idea I’ve been playing around with.  So, let’s dive into it!  If you have any other ideas, let me know!  Also, yes I know, this isn’t really a full post from me… just a list of ideas that use existing stuff…  I promise I’ll have some original stuff ASAP!  Consider this an interlude of sorts!

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Even more DOOM Monsters!

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Even more evils of the underworld invade your games!

AUTHOR’S NOTE: My last offering was kinda sad, so let’s finish off the rest of the monsters from DOOM I and DOOM II!

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Monsters of DOOM, Revisited

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Hell.  Many thought of it as a mere theological concept, written in ancient scripture.  A team of scientists, corporate representatives and military conglomerates one day discovered that there was so much more.  On martian base, an experiment was conducted to reach into other realities.  They got an alternate dimension the denizens called Hell.  Perhaps it wasn’t what many considered, but Hell had come to that reality and tore it asunder.  Thanks to the impossible efforts of one space marine, referred to as “The Doom Guy”, the forces were pushed out of our world… for what we hoped was for good.

Since that incident, the malevolent armies of this underworld realm have discovered other Prime Material Planes and have continued a campaign of multiversal conquest!  Parallel realities and other planes entirely have faced off against these things.  It has even been rumored that some of these fiendish terrors have faced off in the eternal battleground known as The Blood War.

Author’s Note:  I wasn’t too satisfied with my original creations, so I decided to have a bit of a do over!  On top of that, I wanted to expand the monster list a little more by adding a few essential classic creatures.  Enjoy.

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Bizarre Bazaar Returns from the Planes! – More Planar Items

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The hustle and bustle of the market gives way to something you’ve seen before.  Ahead lies a familiar tent and sitting underneath is a figure wearing spacefaring gear over robes.  Their head tilts in your direction, acknowledging your presence and expecting reaction.  Upon getting closer, the creature straightens its back as it lifts from the ground with seemingly little effort.  Facing you, they extend a cloth covered arm in greeting, it is Zam’dul the Plane Traveler.  The thick breathing from a chamber in his mask lightens up as you can hear sounds like a throat being cleared.

“Hail, friend!  It has been a while, has it not?  Please, do not shy away.  Since your last visit, I have procured many new items from the distant cosmos and beyond.  I open my collection for you, if you can handle a potentially steep price.”

The dusty, wrinkled merchant shuffles over as an arm extends to highlight various wares.  Much like before, you bare witness to a wide variety of truly odd looking crafts and artifacts.  Some resemble items you’ve seen in your travels, others are far too alien for you to fully comprehend.  Zam’dul surveys the crowd while ringing a strangely shaped bell, hoping to garner interest.

Author’s Note: We’re slowly closing out our planar theme for the time being.  However, I figured it would be fun to return to another installment of Bizarre Bazaars!  This time, I’m going back to my roots and doing another planar theme, including the truly bizarre and perhaps even horrifying aspects of the planes.  But, if you wanted normal items, you wouldn’t have come here.  As a bonus, I’ve converted over some items from Planescape Torment.  No matter, take it away, Zam’dul.

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Horrors from Durlag’s Tower – Monster Variants

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We don’t go to Durlag’s Tower.

 

Durlag’s Tower, an abandoned dungeon that sends shivers down the spines of many.  For some, it’s a cautionary tale about love, obsession and paranoia.  For others, it’s a giant grave that acts as a memento for dwarven kind.  For some, it’s the ultimate treasure trove that’s just waiting to be explored!  Eternally notorious for a variety of reasons, this accursed place rests a distance from both Beregost and Nashkel.  If traps aren’t the cause of death, the terrible monsters that lurk in the depths likely are.  Or worse yet?  It could the party’s very vices that lead to their own downfall.  Needless to say, the only people that would explore such dangerous ruins have a death wish.

Author’s Note: The Adventurer’s League has recently released an adventure inspired by the classic Durlag’s Tower dungeon from the Forgotten Realms… but more specifically, Baldur’s Gate.  So, I figure, what better time to revive some of the classic monsters from the original dungeon!  Granted, most of them were easy to build variants of classic/existing monsters already in 5E.  So, without further ado, enjoy!  Also, pardon this one being a bit sparse, I’ll post something for the weekend too, I promise!

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