Today I thought I would share some lore from Liafa, and feature the brief writeups shared with my players in the Gantis campaign guide. The guide isn’t something I expect players to memorize, but it’s there to refer to when they want to know more and to dig in if they can. It’s also a way to make sure I keep consistent by putting it front and center.
I have three main “cosmological sections” – the Gods, the Archfey, and the Archdevils. I’m starting with the Archdevils for sharing just because I think it’s neat and I’ve shared some of the tiefling variants based on them already.
I hope you enjoy!
At the center of Hell stands the Citadel – a towering structure of obsidian that dominates the cracked and barren land around it. In the lowest level is a replica of the Throne of the First, suspended upside down by silver chains over a pit without a bottom, where the Silver Prince was once bound. Here is the stronghold of the gods in a land dominated by devils. The Citadel is a vault of the gods’ power, where things that did not belong in the world were locked away. Devils cannot enter the Citadel, guarded as it is by angels and servants of the gods. However, their protection ends at the walls, and the land around belongs to the Archdevils. The Citadel is regularly assaulted by the minions of Hell, who seek to free the Prime Archdevil, kept within.
Formerly known as the Argent Scholar, Zaelen was once a trusted Great Archangel of the Cobalt Queen before slaying another Great Archangel and throwing the Throne of the First to the world. Zaelen is considered the progenitor of tieflings on Liafa, and has cults that refer to Zaelen as the Martyred Prince. Zaelen is bound in the Silver Throne in the Citadel, and has no Realm of their own.
Zaelen is depicted as a red figure with elaborate horns, bound in black cloth and silver chains. Zaelen’s symbol is a broken chain.
Called Pelos Gravehand due to their rotting right hand, Pelos is a collector of lost and wayward souls. It is said the rot of Pelos’ hand is the result of it being impaled upon the Cobalt Queen’s lance, when Pelos was thrown out of Heaven and imprisoned in Hell for supporting Zaelen’s attempted coup of the Cobalt Queen. Pelos creates new homes for the souls of those who serve them, crafting them from stone and more organic materials.
Pelos punishes those who lead others astray – such as false prophets, seducers, con artists, and corrupt public servants. Pelos rules over the Gravelands, a vast realm of death and decay with a beautiful castle built into a cliff overseeing it all. Souls that are claimed by neither god nor devil wander the Gravelands are marked by Pelos, and serve as observers across the Realm, until the rot of their touch unmakes these Souls and they become truly forgotten.
Pelos is depicted as a slender, but muscular humanoid with a raven head, and a decaying right hand. The symbol for Pelos is a skeletal hand.
Velara, the End-Maiden is said to have been personally imprisoned by the Cobalt Queen, with the aid of the Red Knight. Velara was a Great Archangel who witnessed the Unmaking at the hands of Zaelen, and became enamored and obsessed with the End Time of Unmaking. It was here, Velara said, that the Truth of All Things was present, and it was their sacred duty to bring the world to the Truth. Velara managed to bring a number of other angels, including Lesser Archangels, under their sway using an arcane plague that spread rapidly from one angel to another. Velara was spared by the Cobalt Queen for the same reason as Zaelen – the Queen could not abide another Unmaking of a Great Archangel.
The Tower at the End of Time
Velara presides over The Tower at the End of Time, a seemingly infinite tower of black stone standing at the center of a dark and desolate plain, devoid of life. Here time is without meaning or order. An overwhelming sense of purpose overcomes those who dare venture here, the burning drive to climb to the top of the tower to witness the Truth of All Things. It is a place of endless dark reflections, broken outcomes, and squandered potential.
Velara is depicted as a towering living statue with scaled armor carved from a single block of stone, with a shield and rapier both wreathed in ice and darkness. Velara’s symbol is an hourglass.
Ibranel is also known as the Black Judge. Ibranel was one of the first paladins who swore oaths to the Red Knight. Ibranel broke their oaths to the Red Knight, and began enacting their own justice, after deeming the church too lenient in their punishments. Ibranel traveled the land, enacting swift, and terrible punishment to those who were deemed guilty by Ibranel. The Red Knight ultimately bound Ibranel, who had become twisted and foul as a result of their deed.
The Tournament Grounds
Ibranel rules the Tournament Grounds, a frigid place where the winds are sharp, snow drifts down eternally, and the souls of oathbreakers, betrayers, evaders of justice, and forsakers of duty are tortured by the Devil Knights, the trained soldiers of Ibranel.
Ibranel is depicted as wearing ornate black armor, a great horned helmet, and wielding a massive glaive.
Nazorius the Hexsmith was once a smith of great renown, granted the gift of singular talent by the gods. People came from far and wide to purchase the wondrous items that Nazorius created. Over time, Nazorius stopped thanking the gods for their gift, instead coming to believe that their fame was solely their own doing. Nazorius grew more and more prideful, boasting that their work would even outshine the gods’ work. The final straw was Nazorius unveiling a statue dedicated to the gods, depicting them as foolish dotards. Nazorius was punished by the gods for their pride, transforming into a creature of striped fur and twisted bones, and had the gift of crafting ripped away. No more would Nazorius create wonders for the world.
The realm of Nazorius is a vast academy full of secret chambers and hidden laboratories. There, the Bloodworkers and Hexsmiths of Hell hone their crafts, punishing the proud, the envious, the greedy, and the slothful.
Nazorius is depicted as a tiger humanoid with hands that bend the wrong way, wielding a wand. Nazorius’ symbol is a dripping moon.
It was the Hobgoblin that bound the Ogarian. From deep within the shadows, the Ogarian hungered. It sought sacrifice and blood, and gorged itself on the pain and frenzied servitude of others. Only the Hobgoblin was able to travel the shadows and confront the Ogarian. On the edge of defeat, the Hobgoblin made a great sacrifice and bound the Ogarian in Hell. What the sacrifice was has long been forgotten, but it is known to be the source of the Hobgoblin’s burns. The Ogarian left a lasting impact on Liafa in the form of monasteries that were once devoted to them.
The Hungering Expanse
When encountering the Hungering Expanse, one is struck by the foul green skies, and sickly yellow, ruined landscape. Within moments, a creeping hunger begins to seep in, infecting them to their core. It gnaws at them and never relents. No one has ever known hunger like they encounter on the Hungering Expanse. Here, the gluttonous are punished for their ways.
The Ogarian is depicted as a form of darkness and shadows, with long, spindly limbs supporting its massive bulk. The Ogarian’s symbol is an unlit candle stub.
Ulthos the Tyrant was once the Ascended Emperor of the Ulthic Empire. Ulthos built an empire on the back of the Serpents, great beasts that soared the sky and could unleash the Reclaimed Void upon those that opposed them. The gods opposed the presence of Serpents upon the world, and warned Ulthos to cease their campaign, or face their wrath. Ulthos laughed at the warnings, spreading the empire far and wide, crushing those that opposed them, and subjugating all they encountered. Their violence and wrath was without parallel. The gods transformed Ulthos into a creature of illuminated dark scales with a living aura. Ulthos was filled with salt and cast into Hell.
The Bloody Arena
In the Bloody Arena, the murderous, cruel, and violent fight for the amusement of Ulthos. Souls die over and over without end, simply for their enjoyment. The Arena stands in large, dying plain, with crumbling villages and towns scattered across it.
Ulthos the Tyrant is depicted as a dark-scaled figure inside white and gold armor, with an ornate two-handed sword, and an aura of energy that seems to echo their movements. Ulthos the Tyrant’s symbol is a broken crown.