The Inferno part 2
The Lords of Nightmare are Hell's Royalty. Most of them, though not all, were originally fallen angels who came to the Inferno with Lucifer's rebellion. Others are the product of human nightmares which existed before the Otherworld came to be, allowing them to become the Lords of Winter. A few, very few, are actually human souls which crawled on the back of one another until the time they became members of the Infernal Court.Lucifer
The first of the fallen and the Devil for the majority of the universe's existence. Lucifer has been absent since 1666 and everyone is starting to believe he's actually dead as opposed to hiding. What's probably not surprising is that Hell has actually gotten better
in his absence.
The Devil was one of the absolute worst demons amongst the worst, fully capable of doing evil just for evil's sake. Worse, his powerful charisma meant that everyone was largely forced to obey whether they wanted to or not.
The Lords of Nightmare, absent his influence, seem more inclined to follow their specific idiosyncrasies (usually related to their former job in Paradise) than actively plot the decimation of everything good and holy.
The most popular prevailing theory is Lucifer either unmade himself or was destroyed by the Supreme Light for some reason. Others believe a human got lucky and has somehow imprisoned him. The most paranoid, not exactly uncommon in hell, do believe he's out there plotting something.
As can be guessed, the fate of Lucifer is something that is left to Gamemasters to decide.
The current ruler of Hell and inheritor of 75% of Lucifer's power. Mister Hoppy rules the Inferno with a fuzzy paw of indifference and terror. Contrary to the relative light hand he treats mortals, demons actually live in stark terror of their fuzzy master. The best analogue is the Twilight Zone
episode involving an omnipotent child.
With the exception of Belial; who seemingly alternates between being Mister Hoppy's butler, best friend, and substitute father figure - no one can stand up to him. Many times a year, just for the hell of it, Mister Hoppy randomly shakes up the infernal heirarchy by turning a Lord of Nightmare into a jack in the box or transforming his realm into a field of flowers.
All attempts to overthrow him are utterly futile, at least without as similarly omnipotent entity. As a result, hell is hellish for the more seasoned schemers plotting to rule the realm in Mister Hoppy's place.
Mister Hoppy has a peculiar interest. He's obssessed with finding and merging with Merlin. He believes, perhaps correctly, that if he does so then he'll gain that 25% Lucifer gave to Belial. In fact, Mister Hoppy think he'll become even more powerful than Lucifer used to be. Given he's effectively omnipotent already, at least by mortal standards, it's questionable what exactly he wants with such might... and who could stop him if he had it.
Bizarrely, Mister Hoppy would never think of taking the power from Belial.
Mister Hoppy's Vizier and Viceroy, Belial is effective ruler of Hell for all day-to-day affairs. If one were to compare to Westeros, Mister Hoppy is King and Belial is his Hand. As holder of 25% of Lucifer's power, Belial is as close to the Devil as currently exists in the popular imagination of mortals.
Much has already been said about Belial's superhuman charisma, myriad children, and ability to involve himself in every scheme imaginable. As Hell's resident Magnificent Bastard of Magnificent Bastards, he's capable of simultaneously ruling hell as well as serving as second in command of the Entropic Masters.
This, of course, despite the fact the Inferno is at war with the Entropic Masters.
The Four Horsemen
Belial still has a job within Heaven, disturbingly enough. Whenever someone is required to argue for mortal's weakness, fallibility, and inability to overcome their vices then Belial is called in. Yes, in fact, Belial is the guy who holds the posititon of Heaven's prosecutor and Devil's Advocate.
Needless to say, the Catholic Church would flip if it found this out.
Belial's chief lieutenants. The Four Horsemen are currently his half-human children ascended to full-demon status. In fact, they are a position as opposed to individual people. Over the billions of years hell has existed, there's been a variety of demons and spirits called the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." Their role, more or less, is to bring about the end of individual civilizations as Hell's "nuclear option."
The number of alien races destroyed by the Four Horsemen over the years has dropped drastically since Lucifer's disappearance, something many in Hell are actually quite happy about. The original Four Horsemen, the most scary ones, are currently imprisoned due to their unwillingness to cease their apocalyptic efforts.
It should be noted, since the original write-up of the Inferno, that Lucien Drake finally killed off one of the two Deaths. The position had been briefly dueled over by two of Belial's children, leading to five Horsemen as opposed to two. Ironically, that was more Biblical than the popular image of four horsemen.
The current death, an attractive Goth occultist nevertheless is still a real pain in the butt.
Astaroth is the demon that scares the other demons in hell. There's nothing worse, really, than a religious fanatic. For much of Hell's existence, Astaroth was a fervent devotee of Lucifer. Now, with his absence, he's decided that he must repent of his prior sins. The fact that the way he expresses his love of God is identical to how he served Lucifer's isn't lost on all of hell's forces. Specifically, Astaroth tortures mortals.
Despising the various crimes, great and small, mortals commit: Astaroth's domain is the vast section of hell devoted to punishment. He and his forces come up with punishments both nightmarish and ironic to lay down upon humans. Sometimes, especially when souls are "lent" to hell by the Host or pagan deities, these punishments are temporary and lead to the soul being cleansed. More often, they seem to serve the individual soul's need to wallow in the guilt and horror of what they've done, reinforcing their irredeemable self-image. A staggering number of souls, almost all of them, eventually take a perverse joy in it.
His servitor demons are called Shelnobim
and are very distinctive, having usually shredded their angelic appearance through self-mutilation as to be utterly unrecognizable. They're also effectively immune to pain, having turned it into a sort of pleasure. Astaroth, himself, appears as a giant bare-chested executioner with a big metal cage on his head.
Astaroth, it should be noted, isn't really all that remorseful. He just can't cope with the guilt of what he's done. So, he uses religion to cope with it and self-justify. The fact there's hypocrites in hell shouldn't come as a surprise but he actually is loathed by his fellow demons. Most Lords of Nightmare are aware of their evil, having a strange honesty about it. Astaroth is lost in his own little universe of pain and torment.
Azrael is his most dire enemy, believing he's twisted punishment beyond all reason
The Archduke of Lies is Hell's equivalent of a used car salesman. He has been punished by Mister Hoppy by having his body permanently warped to be a festering maggot-filled corpse. One which routinely sprouts demonic flies. Beezlebub is a compulsive, habitual, and pathological liar who is obsessive about the need to rewrite history to be more favorable to demons.
The Patriots and Tomorrow Society have thwarted several of his attempts to recover the Pyramid of Light
, Book of Eternity
, and other cosmic artifacts which would give him the chance to turn the universe upside down. In a weird way, Beezlebub loathes hell as much as Astaroth and just wants to go home. However, his abject refusal to face responsibility means that he expresses this by helping mortals get away from their problems by "helping them" escape the truth.
His minions are the somewhat traditionalist 'suit wearing demon' types and handle all of hell's legal affairs. Beezlebub used to run hell's media but has lost most of his airtime to the Entropic Master Ted TV. Ted is much better at the kind of nightmarish insane attention getting lunacy that the Damned's attention requires. Beezlebub is too much a perfectionist. Several times, Beezly has tried to get his role back with terrifying (and hilarious) results.
Unlike Belial, who always gives exactly what you ask for in his contracts, Beezlebub's contracts are guaranteed to have some fine print or loophole meant to screw over their client. Despite this, many occultists summon him anyway since there's an unspoken promise that if you can break the contract through trickery you'll be allowed to go free with your reward. That doesn't mean Beezlebub's demons won't seek vengeance but they leave that off their sales pitch.
Beezlebub is a part of nearly every single plot, counter-plot, and counter-counter-plot in hell. Almost every single demon involves the demon in their plans, despite the fact he's invariably going to play an angle. Why involve him then? Because if you don't, then he's undoubtedly going to make plots around you anyway. Besides, in hell, knowing he'll play an angel is better than the uncertainty of not doing so.
"You realize, that was a tire."
"That was my car."
-Typical Glutton and Belial conversation.
We'll let Glutton speak for himself.NOM NOM NOM! Glutton born from human need for food! Food good! Especially COOKIE! However, Glutton not just like cookie! Glutton also like stuff! Glutton go into shopping mall and take all the stuff Glutton likes! Like clothes and books (though Glutton not know how to read), Tvs, and EVERYTHING GLUTTON LIKES! It so good to have stuff! But Glutton get hungry very easily so Glutton often end up EATING HIS STUFF! So Glutton need people to bring him stuff, LIKE COOKIE! Glutton give stuff to followers so they can have stuff and cookies, though this is so they can bring Glutton more stuff on his own! Otherwise, Glutton eat them.
The Great Beast
Glutton is, by the way, the third most powerful demon in hell. Seriously.
The Great Beast, a.k.a, Baal-Ashur
as Lucifer's former chief general and generally considered the absolute worst demon in hell. He was so powerful that he was capable of enslaving the entirety of hell and seemingly drove off Mister Hoppy through sheer force of will. The Great Beast was genocidal in his aims, wanting nothing more than to reduce the entirety of the cosmos to molten slag.
The Great Beast was not a particularly sympathetic character and simply wished to spite God by utterly ruining his creation. Some speculated that he was actually attempting "suicide by cop" with the ultimate intent of having himself unmade along with the rest of the universe. In any case, he spent the majority of hell's existence bound at the bottom of the darkest pits in the universe before emerging briefly to become ruler of hell during the Nineteen Nineties.
Quick thinking Belial resulted in the PL X entity having his powers spread amounts the various Lords of Nightmare, allowing them to be PL X in their own domains. The actual Great Beast, himself, was seemingly slain forever by the Psychotic Seven in Los Angeles. Lesser resurrections have been attempted, with varying results.
The Great Beast's power stems primarily from the fact he's capable of channeling the same destructive forces that the Elder Gods (also known as the "true" Entropic Masters) do. In fact, he's actually an Entropic Master himself that decided to "change sides." Given the sort of destructive conflict necessary to defeat Azathoth during the Regalia of the Cosmos affair, it's a testament to Belial's skill he pulled this off.
Assuming he did and the Great Beast isn't just reconstituting.
An up and comer in the Hellish hierarchy, Jackson was probably a human being or a Hellion. He appears to be a gangbanger of an indeterminate race, having gone through a number of incarnations over the past century. The Archduke of Crime
, rules the slums of Dis
and is the one who overthrew its previous ruler of Dispater
Dis is pretty much every single bad city in the world, incorporating elements of everything from Las Vegas to Falconcrest City to Raven. Jackson's demons are little more than thugs but there's a staggering number of them as thuggish brutality has an unsurprisingly large number of followers in hell. Likewise, he's made alliances with the Demons of Alcohol, Hookers, and Bling.
Jackson duels with his lieutenants routinely for the position and is presently in danger of being overthrown by several damned supervillains. This, of course, is the nature of crime. There's always someone waiting in the wings to replace you. Jackson envisions himself eventually becoming ruler of hell but it's highly unlikely he has the competence to pull something like that off.
The King and Queen of Curses
Jackson is currently petrified at the prospect of several supervillains arriving in his domain. He's already got enough trouble with several of the ones that have already arrived. He's quite sure that any more would result in him losing his grip on the region.
To that end, he's actually been deliberately preventing the death and damnation of several major figures. This is a major no-no in hell and would get Jackson into serious trouble, possibly getting him replaced.
A brother and sister duet of Sytan
. Originally just a Satyr and a Faun, the two abandoned the Olympian pantheon in order to take up in the service of Hell. They might argue it was because of the encroachment of Christianity or other things, but in truth it was just because they were greedy jerks.
Despite being less than three thousand years old, the two have gained a staggering amount of power over the years. This is due to their steadfast alliance, which only they are allowed to betray, and the fact that they sought power over a somewhat untapped resource. Specifically, they're the Archdukes of Bad Luck
Commanding a collection of corrupted fairies, Damned mortals, and demons no one else wanted; the pair ruin lives through unfortunate happenstance. It is a surprisingly effective means of driving humans to despair and into their arms. Humans don't believe in fate anymore but they often believe things happen to them for a reasons. It depresses them when they feel unfairly victimized.
They're, by far, the weakest of the Entropic Masters listed here but still on the rise. For now.
The King and Queen of Curses are actually the most traditional looking demons, resembling the red-skinned horned devil varieties out of myth. Because they're from the Otherworld, they're desperate to soak up as much belief about hell as possible. They're also quite good at "recruiting" having brought many fairies and minor pagan deities into alliance with hell. The two of them would gladly see each other dead to claim the other's portion of power, but they will always stand together.
It's very much a case of, "No one kills my sibling but me."
"I love a woman in uniform."
"You think I didn't enjoy that but you'd be wrong."
-A typical Belial and Tiamat conversation.
Leviathan, the Mother of all Dragons, was one of the first beings in the cosmos. Also known as Tiamat, her children were eventually hunted to near-extinction across the cosmos. Enil
the Father of Dragons and his son Marduk
eventually destroyed her, banishing her astral form from their realm to the Inferno.
Worse, they consigned the entirety of her followers to come with her. This was a fate that many Cosmic Eternals found to be excessive given she was one of the eldest and most established deities in the Omniverse. Her true form, a massive dragon several hundred galaxies long, is still recovering at the bottom of her layer of the Inferno. However, Leviathan is happy to work through avatars in the meantime. These usually appear as a beautiful, though harsh, dark-haired woman in a suit of armor or military uniform.
Due to the fact Leviathan is considered one of the single most intelligent beings in creation, she has been handed control over the Inferno's armies. Leviathan is somewhat apathetic about this role since she realizes many of her associate Lords of Nightmare are sociopaths who deserve to be at the bottom of hell. She is more sympathetic to the souls under their care and believes that she can eventually remake hell into a proper functioning society with her at the head. She is also determined to protect her own follower's souls at any cost, eventually destroying the gods who banished her so they can leave the Pit.
To this end, Leviathan manages the wars of hell on a thousand fronts. Bizarrely, she is the demon with most children after Belial due to a reverence for warriors who impress her. Many a superhero has been seduced by her only to eventually face their hellish half-dragon children.
Leviathan hides it well but she actually is building her own pantheon up of female goddesses up and a massive cult of female devotees across the cosmos devoted to a Mother Principle, which she represents. This religion is part of her ongoing effort to escape hell, a plan largely unknown to her fellow demons.
Amongst Mammon's many claimed inventions are banking, currency, the credit card, gold's value, usury, prostitution, taxes, voluntary slavery, and the Faustian contract. To be fair, he says that prostitution and slavery would have come about anyway so he can't take too much credit for those. Everything else, however, he'll gleefully claim is his doing. These are all probably spurious claims but no one has done more to propagate the concept of "wealth" as an intangible substance than Mammon.
Bizarrely, Mammon has probably done a great deal of good with his actions: promoting mankind to expand its resources and generate more wealth (which is why Heaven has its own workers and traders) but this is a side effect. He is concerned only with a single overriding purpose: to be considered the smartest being in the universe. Money, bizarrely, is his way of measuring just how cunning he is. All of his ever expanding rows of mansions and hordes of beautiful subjects are only means of expressing his "glory."
Mammon believes all wealthy individuals should be horders since the purpose of money is to keep score. It's an expression of one-upmanship he's frequently upset no other Lord of Nightmare takes seriously. As Belial would say, "Wealth is a form of power but it's the only one that Mammon cares about. This shoots him in the foot. For example, an army just shoots its creditors, he always looks so shocked."
While Mammon isn't necessarily against thieves, he tends to only favor those who use elaborate plans and loopholes to steal money. Likewise, he's pathologically paranoid about losing his own treasures even when it's questionable that anyone would want them but him. In fact, his desire for an object is often directly proportional to someone else's need to have.
No one is quite sure of Mammon's origins but Belial had this to say; "A lot of demons had perfectly valid justifications for their fall. In Mammon's case, he was always a dink."
Mammon should be at his strongest, given the current climate of greed and pillaging on a million or more worlds. However, he's actually getting weaker rather than stronger. This is something he ruthlessly hides from his rivals in the Lords of Nightmare but many already suspect it. Whoever is draining his power has done such a good job in covering it up, Mammon doesn't currently have any clues. He'd be willing to help anyone who discovered the truth even against hell's interests.
All you need to know about Sin is that the near-omniscient Metatron has called her "The most superficial being in the Omniverse." He meant it too.
Yes, even worse than Aphrodite, though they've dueled for that title on occassion.
Currently appearing as a beautiful Hollywood starlet lounging perpetually around her mansion's pool, Sin is unaware that hell is meant to be a punishment and her domain is filled with pretty things. Her demons gorge themselves on human souls seeking ever greater ways to please their masters emotionally, materially, physically, and sexually. A lot of people have stated that Sin's domain is not too far from Hollywood as it stands today and there's a disturbing ring of truth to that, though somehow they've made it actually worse
for your self-esteem.
Sin may actually be beyond the concept of good and evil to a certain extent as her myopia to anything but her own pleasuress is staggering. People who make deals with her do so for eternal youth, beauty, wealth, sex, and success. Sin's contracts are actually fairly known to be as fair as Belial's since a life of abject luxury with no consequences is something she's all for. There's just one small problem, hell is a place made of souls and underneath surface appearances, virtually all of the people in her domain are all the same.
There's some dispute whether Sin is the daughter of Belial or Lucifer. Given Belial's past relationships with her, he just raises an eyebrow and mutters something about "that tart as my daughter? Please
In fact, Sin is not a demon at all but a pagan deity from the past. There's some speculation she might be Inannna of the Babylonian mythos, though a few modern day pagans take objection to this. Beliefs that she might be Lilitu have also met with some objection, though it's obvious she helped inspire some of these stories. Who, exactly, Sin once was may well be the key to defeating her.
Also known as Omega and any other appellation that is the last of an alphabet. Mister Z appears as a crooked old man who travels around in a wheelchair, guided by faceless servants and nurses. Mister Z is quite possibly the most evil being in hell, his domain a barren wasteland filled with endless numbers of comatose souls.
He is the Archduke of Despair
and is constantly seeking a way to permanently destroy souls so that can bring an end to individuals forever. Mister Z is one of the few demons to genuinely hate all other beings or, if he doesn't hate them, want to bring widespread misery to them for its own sake.
Mister Z's capacity for cruelty is utterly without limit. What's disturbing is he's actually quite brilliant at practicing it on an individual level as well as a large scale one. It's one thing to get caught up in the many famines, wars, and worse he's arranged. It's quite another to realize an Archduke of Hell has specifically targeted you to ruin your life. He is the end of all hope and works constantly to undermine any mortal's desire to go on.
To be a servant of Mister Z isn't particularly rewarding and isn't a fast track to power or wealth. No, his servants just get the satisfaction of being complete monsters expected to ruin the lives of people in a Kenneth Kane-esque manner for all eternity as its own reward. Even other demons loathe them.
Mister Z is often believed to be a being who existed in Hell before Lucifer. If so, it's questionable who exactly he was. Is he an Entropic Master? Some primal need of the universe to destroy itself? Or something else?
There's many other potential Lords of Nightmare and I welcome readers to come up with their own.
BTW, yes, I've read In Nomine
How could you tell?