In Hushed Whispers
Asmodeus Lord of the Ninth
The Devils in the Details
Asmodeus is depicted as the strongest, most cunning, and most beautiful of all devils. He is typically described as appearing as a human, 13 feet tall, he has lustrous dark skin and black hair, handsome and dangerous, his red eyes shine with infernal power, a pair of small sharp horns crowns his forehead. He dresses in regal finery of red and black robes studded with black diamonds and fiery rubies, which are of unimaginable expense. Beneath his clothing, Asmodeus’s body is covered in bloody wounds which he sustained when he fell from heaven. His wounds ooze blood daily, and the drops of his blood which touch the ground grow into powerful devils.
Asmodeus is never seen without his Ruby Rod of Asmodeus, seemingly made of a single carved ruby that shines with the power of Hell, that serves as a badge of office as well as having several powerful offensive and defensive powers. The Rod allows Asmodeus to attack with elemental forces, force his enemies to cower in fear, or cover himself with a field which heals and protects him.
Asmodeus, the King of the Nine Hells and Lord of the Ninth, is at the very least an archdevil, but he may possess the power of a true deity. He resides in Malsheem, located on the lowest layer of Baator, Nessus. He is rarely ever seen, and only when the elite of the Nine Hells gather in any one of a hundred different audience chambers does Asmodeus make his presence known, usually in the form of an unprepossessing humanoid with black hair, a black goatee, and eyes of flame.
The undisputed master of the Nine Hells, he commands fear and respect from all those who occupy his realm. Even the gods who dwell in the Nine Hells give Asmodeus his proper due. Though the archdevils might work to usurp him, few have the courage to act in the open. Asmodeus’s machinations are long in the making, and they might take centuries, if not millennia, to see resolution. He works on a grand scale, carefully constructing insidious and inexplicable intrigues, maneuvering the forces of wickedness like chess pieces on a board that encompasses all the planes. His core concerns are simple. First, he wants the power structure currently in place to remain exactly as it stands now, with him in charge. He has spies on every layer, plants in every court. No fiend knows for sure which of its minions actually serve Asmodeus, so the climate is one of justified paranoia. Asmodeus also expands evil.
He directly opposes celestials and good-aligned deities. His minions combat the agents of the Celestial Planes, murdering them whenever and wherever they can. Finally, Asmodeus waged war against the demons throughout the period of the Blood War. He saw the untold legions as a direct threat to his supremacy. Asmodeus is aware of every plot hatched against him. Older than the oldest archdevil, he has watched the rise and fall of other archdevils far craftier than any of Asmodeus’s contemporaries. He keeps to himself, letting his minions stew in fear of what he will do next. Of course, few have forgotten that Asmodeus emerged unscathed in the Reckoning, proving to all that he is their better. On the Prime Material Plane, Asmodeus has more cultists than all the other archdevils combined. Mortals who worship devils actually draw power from Asmodeus. He influences all levels of society and has followers of nearly every race, even within the strongest bastions for good. His path is the way to great and unattainable power, so his clerics are mighty men and women with influence and personal magnetism that makes them natural leaders among their kind.
As the unquestioned master of Baator, Asmodeus can work nearly any magic within its boundaries as an act of will. He can alter the forms of other archdukes, though he might not be able to slay them outright. He can also reach into other realms and reshape them with the merest thought. Recently, Asmodeus achieved a long-standing goal that had previously eluded him for eons—he tamed his daughter’s rebellious spirit and exacted new pledges of loyalty from her. In exchange, he made her ruler of her own layer; an event that has the other archdukes scrambling in reaction. Asmodeus currently enjoys a renewed sense of political supremacy. He has his archdukes right where he wants them scared and anxious to please and his grip over the Nine Hells has never been stronger. Now he seeks to expand that power to the Material Plane. More souls will give him still more divine power, and perhaps enable him to tip the alignment of the material world toward lawful evil.
Asmodeus has been challenged many times, most recently during the Reckoning—the Hells-wide rebellion that ended unsuccessfully — but never has he been defeated.