Background Information.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 9 posts
Thu 7 Nov 2019
at 14:21
Background Information

Baldur's Gate

Baldur's Gate began as a harbor town where traders would meet with "ghost lighters" - folk along the Sword Coast who used lights to lure fogbound ships to shore. When those ships ran aground, the ghost lighters would scavenge the wrecks and haul their plundered goods to Baldur's Gate, nestled on the north shore of a bend in the River Chionthar, and sell their booty. In the years since, Baidur's Gate has grown into a walled city. Today, its foggy streets run red with the blood of unfortunates who fall prey to evil opportunists, many of whom count themselves as nobles, traders, pirates, and assassins. An army of mercenary soldiers called the Flaming Fist keeps order in the city, and these soldiers answer to Grand Duke Ulder Ravengard. The members of the Flaming Fist don't care about justice; they crave power and coin, nothing else. But despite the Fist's reputation for cruelty, the Grand Duke is widely regarded as an honorable and reasonable man.

Elturel

The city of Elturel, capital of Elturgard, is located much farther inland along the River Chionthar. Whereas Baldur's Gate has a well-earned reputation for being a nest of vipers, Elturel is seen as a beacon of faith, order, and high culture. The two cities have endured a long, bitter rivalry that originated when Baldur's Gate began stealing cargo and coin from ships heading to and from Elturel, stifling that city's sea trade. Though the conflicts between Baldur's Gate and Elturel have always fallen short of open warfare, relations between the cities have been tense for a long time- too long, some would say.

The Fall of Elturel

A tenday ago, Grand Duke Ulder Ravengard left Baldur's Gate with a company of Flaming Fist soldiers on a diplomatic mission to Elturel, accepting a formal invitation from Elturel's High Overseer, Thavius Kreeg. Ravengard did not go eagerly, however. It took months of persuasion by his fellow dukes-the other three members of Baidur's Gate's ruling Council of Four- to convince him to accept Elturel's invitation and leave the city in their capable hands. Duke Thalamra Vanthampur was especially convincing, having gathered petitions from the nobility as well as leaders of the common rabble.

Not long after Ravengard arrived in Elturel, the city was dragged down into the Nine Hells-wiped off the map. Given the distance between the two cities, it's no surprise that the residents of Baldur's Gate didn't bear of Elturel's fate until refugees from Elturgard starting arriving in droves. Rumors concerning Elturel's disappearance spread like wildfire, stoking fears that Baldur's Gate might be next. At the same time. panic swept through the ranks of the Flaming Fist, which suddenly found itself without a strong leader.

In the grand duke's absence, the government of Baldur's Gate continues to function under the three remaining dukes- Belynne Stelmane, Dillard Portyr, and Thalamra Vanthampur. Duke Portyr has gone so far as to recall his niece, Liara Portyr, from her post as commander of the Flaming Fist at Fort Beluarian in Chult, in the hopes that she can keep the Flaming Fist in check. However, it will take time for her ship to arrive. Meanwhile, refugees from Elturgard continue to arrive with dire claims that nothing remains of Elturel except a crater in the ground.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:35, Thu 07 Nov 2019.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 434 posts
Mon 23 Mar 2020
at 11:53
Background Information
Devils

Devils personify tyranny, with a totalitarian society dedicated to the domination of mortal life. The shadow of the Nine Hells of Baator extends far across the multiverse, and Asmodeus, the dark lord of Nessus, strives to subjugate the cosmos to satisfy his thirst for power. To do so, he must continually expand his infernal armies, sending his servants to the mortal realm to corrupt the souls from which new devils are spawned.

Lords of Tyranny. Devils live to conquer, enslave, and oppress. They take perverse delight in exercising authority over the weak, and any creature that defies the authority of a devil faces swift and cruel punishment. Every interaction is an opportunity for a devil to display its power, and all devils have a keen understanding of how to use and abuse their power. Devils understand the failings that plague intelligent mortals, and they use that knowledge to lead mortals into temptation and darkness, turning creatures into slaves to their own corruption. Devils on the Material Plane use their influence to manipulate humanoid rulers, whispering evil thoughts, fomenting paranoia, and eventually driving them to tyrannical actions.

Obedience and Ambition.
In accordance with their lawful alignment, devils obey even when they envy or dislike their superiors, knowing that their obedience will be rewarded. The hierarchy of the Nine Hells depends on this unswerving loyalty, without which that fiendish plane would become as anarchic as the Abyss. At the same time, it is in the nature of devils to scheme, creating in some a desire to rule that eclipses their contentment to be ruled. This singular ambition is strongest among the archdevils whom Asmodeus appoints to rule the nine layers of the Nine Hells. These high-ranking fiends are the only devils to ever sample true power, which they crave like the sweetest ambrosia.

Dark Dealers and Soul Mongers. Devils are confined to the Lower Planes, but they can travel beyond those planes by way of portals or powerful summoning magic. They love to strike bargains with mortals seeking to gain some benefit or prize, but a mortal making such a bargain must be wary. Devils are crafty negotiators and positively ruthless at enforcing the terms of an agreement. Moreover, a contract with even the lowliest devil is enforced by Asmodeus's will. Any mortal creature that breaks such a contract instantly forfeits its soul, which is spirited away to the Nine Hells. To own a creature's soul is to have absolute control over that creature, and most devils accept no other currency in exchange for the fiendish power and boons they can provide. A soul is usually forfeited when a mortal dies naturally, for devils are immortal and can wait years for a contract to play out. If a contract allows a devil to claim a mortal's soul before death, it can instantly return to the Nine Hells with the soul in its possession. Only divine intervention can release a soul after a devil has claimed it.

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The Nine Hells


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