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Devil, Dispater

Middle Ages Knight Monarch Man  - KHphotography / Pixabay, Dispater
KHphotography / Pixabay

“Dispater” – The chthonic lord of riches and wealth. His name is sinonomus with his layer of hell, the City of Dis.

Only oaths and curses can reach him, people invoke him by striking the earth with their hands. Debtors are sacrificed to him, and those who performed the sacrifice cover their faces with iron masks.”

The Gates of Hell (Dice Freaks)

Grimoire of Cosmic Entities Volume One By Eli Atkinson, William Church and Serge W. Desir, Jr.

Original Concept by Serge W. Desir, Jr.

Full netbook can be found on the following website

Dicefreaks d20 Community

Across the Cosmos, mortals and immortals alike constantly seek to achieve the greatest value for the least amount of effort. In many cases, this attitude is common sense and productive; however, there are those that seek not only to make the most with least amount of work, but those that seek to ensure that any and all work is done through the efforts of others. Some go as far as to pursue the most underhanded, offensive means to acquire their wants. Such individuals ignore what they know to be right in favor of doing all they can to meet their ends within the bounds of law. What comes of their actions, the pains and sorrows of others, mean less than nothing to such people who long ago abandoned their own morals in return for greater power. Shiftless, stubborn, and lazy, when such individuals die, their blackened souls descend into the Second Perdition of Hell. Here they find that they are forced to meaningless labor. Now, what they sought, power and wealth with no effort, is returned to them in gross irony ten fold. All they do forever more will amount to nothing despite the effort and pain they put into their work. There is only one who will truly benefit from the efforts of these damned fools. From the heights of the ever-present Iron Tower, Dispater watches and reaps the toil of the masses.

DISPATER, Lord of the Second
The Archduke of Dis
Seer 10/Abjurer
10/Cerebremancer 10
Large outsider (Abomination, Evil,
Extraplanar, Lawful)
SymbolThe Iron Tower on a red background in an iron-gray, inverted triangle.
Cosmic Rank15 (18 in Dis)
Hit Dice52d8 (outsider) + 30d4 + 1,148 (1,648hp)
Initiative+11 (+11 Dexterity)
Speed120 ft., Fly 250 ft. (perfect)
Armor Class82 (-1 size, +11 Dexterity, +34 natural, +9 profane, +19 deflection), touch 48, flat-footed 71
Base Attack/Grapple+67/+83
AttackThe Iron Staff of Dis +84 melee (2d6+18/x3); or the Rod of Dis +84 melee (2d6+18 plus 3d6 lawful plus 1 negative level (lawful)/x2); or spell +78 melee touch or +77 ranged touch.
Full AttackThe Iron Staff of Dis +84/+79/+74/+69 melee (2d6+18/x3); or the Rod of Dis +84/+79/+74/ +69 melee (2d6+18 plus 3d6 lawful plus 1 negative level (lawful)/x2)
Space/Reach10 ft./ 10 ft.
Special AttacksAcedia’s Influence, Aura of Hell, call devils, Hell’s Fire, the Might of Hell, Perseverating Glance, psionic powers, spell-like abilities, spells
Special QualitiesAbomination traits, Blindsight 500 ft., Chains of Toil, damage reduction 40/ anarchic, epic, good and silver, Darkvision 60 ft., Diabolical Decree, Diabolical Empowerment, Diabolical Prowess, divine immunities, Ferric Affinity, immunity to fire and poison, Infernal Majesty, Iron Curtain, locked within the gates, Lord of the Nine, Polished Façade, regeneration 22, resistance to acid 40 and cold 40, see in darkness, Spell Resistance 73, telepathy 1,000 ft.
SavesFort +57, Ref +54, Will +62
AbilitiesStrength 35, Dexterity 32, Constitution 39, Intelligence 48, Wisdom 48, Charisma 48
SkillsAppraise +74 (+84 for alchemical appraisals), Balance +82, Bluff +122, Concentration +99, Craft (Alchemy) +104, Decipher Script +39, Diplomacy +150 (+156 with evil beings), Disguise +19 (+29 when acting), Escape Artist +66, Forgery +74, Gather Information +114, Hide +77, Intimidate +114 (+120 against evil beings), Jump +54, Listen +94, Knowledge (arcana) +104, Knowledge (history) +94, Knowledge (local: Nine Hells of Perdition) +104, Knowledge (nature) +94, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +94, Knowledge (the planes) +94, Knowledge (psionics) +104, Knowledge (religion) +94, Move Silently +81, Psicraft +124, Search +74, Sense Motive +122, Spellcraft +114, Spot +104, Survival +19 (+25 when following tracks, +27 in aboveground natural environments and on other planes), Tumble +66
FeatsCorrupt Spell-like Ability B , Dark Speech B , Burrowing Power, Chain Power, Chain Spell, Craft Contingent Spell, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Rod, Craft Staff, Craft Universal Item, Empower Power, Inquisitor, Psionic Meditation, Quicken Power, Quicken Spell, Scribe Scroll
Epic Feats 1Craft Epic Contingent Spell, Craft Epic Rod, Craft Epic Staff, Craft Epic Universal Item, Epic Evil Brand B , Epic Manifestation, Epic Psionic Focus (x2), Epic Skill Focus (Psicraft), Epic Spellcasting, Focused Metapsionics (Quicken Power), Improved Metapsionics (x3), Improved Spell Capacity (x4), Multipower (x3) 1 While wielding the Iron Staff, Dispater gains the benefits of the following epic feats: Spell Stowaway (greater spell immunity), Spell Stowaway (heal), Spell Stowaway (mass heal), Spell Stowaway (shapechange) and Spell Stowaway (time stop)
EnvironmentThe Iron Tower, Dis, Second of the Nine Hells of Perdition
OrganizationUnique (solitary)
Challenge Rating63
TreasureQuintuple standard plus the Iron Staff of Dis and the Rod of Dis.
AlignmentLawful Evil

Called the Lord of the Second, Archduke of Dis, His Iron Grace, and many other names, Dispater is the best known and most visible of the Lords of the Nine. In controlling the largest city in Hell, the Archduke is very interested in maintaining his high standard of living. He encourages regular trade between his city and every other place in Creation, doing all he can to invite mortals and immortals from across the Cosmos. Maintaining an open admittance policy for his city, Dispater does all he can to appear inviting and harmless. Of course, few things can be further from the truth.

Dispater is one of the oldest devils in existence. He was one of the first malefircareim granted the status of Lord of Perdition by Lucifer the Satan before the Dawn of the Gods. Dispater is also the only Lord who has never been deposed from his station at Lord of the Second. Even Mammon shared his power in Minauros with Glasya and Mephistopheles was forced to orchestrate his own coup in order to maintain his infernal fief. Not so, Dispater. Since he was raised to Lord-Regent of Dis, the suave, cultured Iron Duke has never been threatened by lessers, much less cast down. Dispater views his status as eternal and as certain as the strength of the iron he has taken as his totem. Dispater credits (naturally) his own unique take on rulership: never allow your subjects time to contest your station. Everything in Dis, from the magnificent Iron Tower to the tasks of the lowliest lemure, functions under this principle. Everyone and everything in Dis toils for the sole purpose of maintaining Dispater’s eternal power. It is for this reason that Dispater is simultaneously the best known and best defended of the Lords of the Nine.

Dispater’s servants are always occupied with some kind of time-consuming responsibility. In some cases, such activities are of value to the servants, but more often than not any value associated with the work Dispater assigns is limited to nonexistent. If anything, in some convoluted way, the paltry accomplishments of the servants of Dis do little more than strengthen their lord’s iron grip in Dis and his status as a Lord of Perdition. Dispater has a myriad of ways to ensure that the work that his servants pursue is never ending. One of the most popular legends associated with Dis illustrates the ends to which Dispater will go: one group of soul shells cobble a street as another one close behind tears apart the very same cobbles. This and other similar tales pale in comparison to the work Dispater’s more powerful servants endure. There have been cases in which Dispater orders one Duke to assassinate the good-aligned royal family of a strong civilization while he orders another Duke to groom the current third prince of the reigning king to rule the very same kingdom. Not until near the end of either plan do the Dukes learn of each other’s activities, causing no little malice between them. Once the two Dukes work out their diverging goals and go through all manner of trouble to see their lord, Dispater has already seen to it that an organized, invading force manipulated by another Duke has taken over the kingdom. To those on the outside looking in, these activities appear to be nothing less than the acts of a demon. However, only the unenlightened fail to see how these activities further Hell’s interest. Not only are Dispater’s servants too busy to threaten his rule, Dispater is well aware of the benefits of any of his numerous plans. All such plans promote the cause of Hell and the will of the Iron Duke.

Dispater himself is always involved in one plot or another. The Iron Duke has established countless committees to study problems or establish new goals to improve the position of Hell. While some of his Dukes are responsible for discovering ways to breach Sigil, creating elaborate, intricate models of the Cage, others undergo training to uncover the means to disallow secundi promotion when a former Primus “dies.” Dispater knows all too well the likelihood of any success in these endeavors. It is the meaningless effort and the corruption of the soul that matters to Dispater. Still, in the unlikely event that any success may come of any committee action, Dispater – who is very keen on being kept abreast of all advances in his assignments – will sabotage the potential with another committee…or else, he will create a subcommittee to ensure that there is no threat to his person; such committees are just as beneficial as the former since they take a great deal of time to achieve anything useful.

Many point to Dispater’s behaviors as the actions of a coward. To a point, this is accurate. Dispater fears the loss of power. He also fears change. Dispater is paranoid and insecure about his station and will do anything to maintain it within the iron bounds of order. However, Dispater is not afraid to move forward with a plot once he is certain that the end results will strengthen his own position. Unfortunately for Dispater, the same kind of plotting and counterplotting that he uses to stymie any real or imagined attempts on the part of his servants to overthrow him are also used before Dispater ever makes a move. Dispater will study an issue for centuries before making a decision. Many opportunities have passed the Lord of the Second by as a result; however, Dispater tends to focus on long-ranged interests rather than goals that require swift responses. Once Dispater decides that the time for action is imminent, he moves with surprising speed and force, often shattering any obstacles and overwhelming any foe.

Due to the numerous machinations across the Cosmos in which the Courtiers of Dis are involved, Dispater is well known to all interested in dealing with Hell. Dispater, unlike the various Lords that have ruled Avernus, is not an outwardly violent Lord, nor does he appear to be immediately dangerous. Dispater is dedicated to trade and to commerce. He has done his part to make Dis as hospitable as possible to most sentient beings to a degree surpassing that of any other Lord. Countless creatures trade in Dis every day. Of course, like all things in Hell, the value of such trade in Dis benefits the interests of Hell. Dispater encourages the trade of any good so long as the merchant involved has abandoned his own beliefs in order to reap a profit. Whether the goods are not as valuable as they seem or the goods were created through slave labor, Dispater does not care; what mattes to him is that the merchant has revealed his sloth or his lack of ethics in order to achieve greater profit or power. Of course, there are many who have no idea that this is what Dis represents until it is too late (typically when they die and find that their souls are trapped within Dis for eternity).

In spite of his behavior, Dispater has very few active enemies across the Cosmos. Simply put, Dispater’s patience and caution makes it difficult for any to accuse him of cheating or lying. Indeed, Dispater never lies and he never cheats. The Lord of Dis simply never says the entirety of what he means or else finds a useful interpretation for his interests. Dispater uses rules, regulations, and the written word (or lack thereof) as weapons in his bid to control all within his reach. Even if former allies thought they were getting the better of the Iron Duke, they find out that the stipulations of the contract always ensure that they lose out in the end. As a result, while Dispater has no clear foes, he certainly has few allies across the Cosmos. While it is safe to say that most gods dedicated to honesty, freedom, and trustworthiness perceive Dispater as an adversary, the truth is that Dispater rarely allows himself to get personally involved in the activities of his servants that bring him greater wealth and stability. Dispater apparently ignores most insults directed his way unless they in some way threaten his station in Hell. Still, Dispater does have beings he counts as foes. Essentially, anything or anyone that seeks to upset the status quo that has thus far supported – directly or indirectly – his status in Hell is perceived as a threat to be dealt with. What is difficult for most outsiders to determine is what Dispater considers a threat and how he comes to such a determination. Dispater, through his numerous committees and contacts, is often aware of potential risks to his hegemony that could occur only if numerous incidents happen. The death of a child, which leads to the rise of a sibling, which leads to the marriage of two remote nobles, which leads to a slaad mating with the noble’s offspring, which creates the foundation of a kingdom that will one day create a weapon strong enough to breach the defenses of the Iron Tower… Such possibilities are enough of a threat for Dispater to do all he can to see to it that the child in question never dies, that the sibling himself is killed, that the marriage never occurs, and that the slaad is ripped apart by a contingency of pit fiends. Of course, none will ever discover that Dispater was behind it all because Dispater will never order the act, but will allow his various committees to do so instead. Only massive events of cosmic impact.

Those with the power to look beyond the iron curtain of red tape, rules, and laws that obscure the truth of Dis and its master know that Dispater is as hateful and spiteful as any other Lord of the Nine. In some ways, he is the most dangerous after The Overlord himself, as his cultured, inviting manner and seeming affability distract those expecting a tyrannical devil. Dispater always has a plan and an angle and knows how to use the desires and dreams of others to further his own goals. Sure, many mortals may not find themselves dealt a final blow by the Archduke of Dis immediately, but most can be certain that eventually, Dispater will return any insults he found worthy of his attention tenfold in the distant future.

Within Hell, Dispater is held in high esteem. Of all the Lords, there is little doubt that Dispater commands the greatest amount of loyalty from his Dukes. Although his Courtiers know that they are just cogs within their master’s convoluted machine, all of them are too terrified of the possibility that their cog may be cleaned or removed in the middle of one of Dispater’s plots. Fear of the future is what drives the Courtiers of Dis to do their lord’s command. Interestingly, Dispater is one of the only Lord besides Asmodeus who has not just one, but two arch-devils under his control. The Grand Duke of the Ebon Vale, Merorem, serves Dispater and is part of the Court of Dis. Dispater finds Merorem useful in that the Grand Duke provides the Lord of the Second warning of undesirable futures. Furthermore, Merorem supports Dispater’s position that change must be strictly regulated. Although Dispater does not trust Merorem, he doubts that The Darkwind would bother wasting his time trying to mislead him as they both know that such a thing would probably result in the Grand Duke’s permanent death. Dispater is far more cautious in his dealings with Glasya, though. It is improbable that Dispater has any true interest in Glasya, although there have been rumors that Dispater has already risked Asmodeus’ wrath in wooing the Princess of Hell. It is known that both the Archduke and the Princess have benefited greatly from their partnership, their diabolical servants reaping many souls in the past few eons. Another certainty is that Dispater is well aware of the “romantic” tension between Glasya and Merorem. To what end the Iron Lord plans on using this knowledge is unclear. What is clear is that Dispater is fond of Lixer, the Scion-Emperor. While Dispater still views the Prince of Hell as an upstart, he can sense the younger devil’s nobility…not to mention the power that Lixer has uncovered in his interest in negative energy. When the time is right, Dispater intends to absorb Lixer’s knowledge – if not his life – and use the information gained as the foundation for a source of eternal, undead slaves.

Among the other Lords of the Nine, Dispater hates each and every one. However, he has a very strong alliance with Mephistopheles, the Cold Lord. This union is one forged of familiarity and mutual success. Both Lords have served longer and with greater result than any other Lord save Mammon, their former ally. Both value the hegemony of true devils, particularly those of hellspawn origins. And both hate The Fallen. While Mephistopheles despises the fact that The Fallen have brought change to Hell without his leave, Dispater has a far more practical reason to hate them: they overthrew standing Lords. The success of Astarte, Beelzebub, Belial, and Moloch reveals to Dispater that his station is never entirely safe; their downfall would simply grant him reassurance. It is for this same reason that Dispater hates Bael, who revealed that perseverance can overcome any obstacle. Still, Dispater sees potential usefulness in Bael, who overthrew not another devil, but a Fallen. Mammon holds a special place of loathing in Dispater’s heart. Former allies, Mammon betrayed both Dispater and Mephistopheles at the end of the Dies Irae; furthermore, he has stolen much from Dispater over the millennia. While Dispater has no immediate plans for the Lord of Avarice, he does intend on having his revenge.

If there is one thing that Dispater fears, it is his master, Asmodeus. Of all the Lords, Dispater is the most loyal to Asmodeus, although this loyalty is not blind like that of Geryon. Dispater knows that Asmodeus would not hesitate to abandon him to another if it suited his needs and Dispater knows that there would be little he could do about it. Still, Dispater sees no reason to attempt to overthrow Asmodeus himself until such time that he knows without a doubt that such a thing could be accomplished. It is this one place that Dispater and Mephistopheles vociferously disagree. Indeed, since the Dies Irae, it has been Mephistopheles’ goal to overthrow Asmodeus that has caused a growing rift between the two classic Lords. To date, Dispater has kept his growing dissatisfaction largely to himself, but he knows that he would have to chose to side with Asmodeus should Mephistopheles make a sloppy move to take the Serpent’s Throne. Asmodeus, for his part, views Dispater as the most capable Lord and views him with something as close to respect as The Overlord is capable of possessing. This respect is bolstered by the fact that Asmodeus knows that Dispater would defend himself against an attack, but is wise enough to know that any offense would be foolish.

Dispater is suave, sophisticated, and cultured. He is witty and charming, although he often has a scathing retort for those that seek to insult him. Often dressed in conservative, iron gray and red robes and cloaks, he appears as a very tall, slender, handsome older man with a long white mustache and trimmed goatee. He always carries the Iron Staff of Dis and the Rod of Dis, laying the former across his lap when seated in his throne in the Iron Tower (from which he rarely ever leaves). An archaic smile often softens his somewhat saturnine features. It is rare to find Dispater displaying any emotion other than contentment. Those that pay attention, though, can discern the Iron Duke’s emotions by watching his eyes. Typically, Dispater’s pupiless eyes look like dark clouds smoldering with concealed flames. In the rare occasions that he is excited, Dispater’s eyes flare to a dull, burning red. Dispater’s mildly diabolical appearance is solidified with two small horns that crown the top of his head. Dispater walks with a pronounced limp, suggesting a past injury. Some legends insist that the limp is due to the fact that his left foot is similar to that of a goat.

Combat

Dispater is a cautious devil, always scheming and planning. Even if it were possible to surprise him, the Lord of the Second has so many contingencies and plans for every conceivable situation that any edge bestowed by surprise is quickly lost.

Dispater is a reluctant combatant at best, preferring to rely on his wit and charm, followed by called help, should his words prove ineffective. If away from the Iron Tower, he will make all efforts to return there if possible; whether in the Iron Tower or not, he enters combat already protected as best as possible. Long lasting powers and epic powers of defense, such as psionic moment of prescience and esoteric aegis, are always cast or manifested ahead of time. Likewise, the Lord of the Second takes no chances within combat, happily using immediate action defensive measures as an extra precaution. For those who attack him likewise “buffed up”, a chained Reaving Dispel allows the Archduke of Dis to simultaneously dispel ongoing spells, power down magic items, and gain the benefits of those spells dispelled should he desire.

Using Sense Motive to assess the competence (or lack thereof) of any foes, Dispater does not foolishly expend too much of his power; wherever possible, he lets Acedia’s Influence and Ferric Affinity bring his foes low, followed by his Perseverating Glance and Might of Hell if necessary. In the most dire circumstances he will use overtly aggressive spells and powers, such as Hell’s Fire and heavily augmented concussion blast, all from within the safety of his Iron Curtain.

Acedia’s Influence (Ex): To those of a good bent, Dispater’s very presence is a curse. Creatures within 200 feet with any “good” portion in their alignment (including good tendencies) are struck by this curse unless they succeed on a Will save DC 64. Failure indicates that the creature contracts Acedia’s Influence, preventing them from performing good deeds. Each round that an afflicted creature attempts to perform a good deed (or part of a good deed, DM’s discretion), he must save once more against the same DC or else be rendered helpless and unable to move until he resolves not to attempt that action again. Deities and cosmic entities are immune to Acedia’s Influence, except on a successful opposed rank check.

Acedia’s Influence can only be removed by a deity or cosmic entity who makes a successful rank check against Dispater. Those that swear a diabolical oath to serve Dispater and renounce goodness are likewise healed of the curse for as long as they hold true to the Diabolical Oath.

Those that successful save against Acedia’s Influence are immune to its effects for the next 24 hours.

Aura of Hell (Ex): Dispater’s Aura of Hell can affect all creatures within 1400 feet of him, with a Will save DC 64 allowed to negate the effects.

Call Devils (Sp): As a move equivalent action, Dispater can call devils. Nine times per day, Dispater may call a Duke of Hell, 9 pit fiends, or 18 or any lesser type of devil; devils so called have triple standard Hit Dice, to a maximum of 45 Hit Dice. Since these devils are called, they have the ability to summon other devils as their Monster Manual descriptions allow. Dispater is quick to call others to do his work for him, but believes in “a devil for all seasons”, using his incredible Intelligence and intuition to call on the right devil for the right task.

Chains of Toil (Su): There are some foolish enough to deal with Dispater, and to those he offers his Chains of Toil. Dispater can grant this boon up to nine times per day. The client is granted the ability to use monstrous thrall* as a spell-like ability once per month. This thrall, His Iron Grace explains, will then work for the client at no cost as a slave. Each month the client’s number of slaves will increase by means of this power, leaving him free to live a life of leisure. Each time the client uses the monstrous thrall ability, he moves one step closer towards Lawful Evil on the alignment axis.

In return, Dispater asks for an item of great worth to the client (generally 1,000gp per Hit Die of the client). If the client does not have an item of sufficient worth (which is usually the case, and the Iron Duke’s preference), Dispater will accept the client’s soul with the understanding that the client will use Chains of Toil to buy his soul back over time. The initial price set will appear quite achievable, but interest quickly accumulates above and beyond the amount that the client can repay. Even if the client does manage to repurchase his soul, he has done so with lucre ill-gotten and taken from those he has enslaved; when he dies, his soul will still find its way to Dis to toil endlessly in cruel irony.

Chains of Toil can only be removed by a miracle followed by Atonement as cast by a 41st level (or higher) caster. Each thrall must similarly have miracle cast to be returned to normal, at the client’s cost; those that were in thralldom remember vividly their treatment and are prime candidates for infernal help in order to have their revenge. Finally, the client must give back all that hegained from this boon in order to be free of its curse. *found in Complete Divine under the Domination domain.

Diabolical Empowerment: Dispater uses his Intelligence modifier instead of his Charisma modifier when determining the power of special attacks and special qualities.

Ferric Affinity (Su): Having taken iron as his symbol, Dispater enjoys a tremendous power over the silver- gray metal and all alloys composed predominantly of it. He can sense all iron (or iron alloy) within 15 miles (18 miles when in Dis), can pinpoint its exact location (no miss chance if attacking), and he can animate any such object (so long as it is unattended) as a free action (but never more than 38,400 pounds of objects at once). By using a move action, he can see through iron or iron alloys, and is then able to treat creatures on the far side of such an obstacle as being both in his line of sight and line of effect (the iron allows his spells and powers to pass directly through). Dispater also adds wall of iron to his list of spell-like abilities, usable at will.

Hell’s Fire (Su): Dispater may use Hell’s Fire 22/ day, dealing 22d12 points of diabolical damage in a line 10 feet wide and 1900 feet long (Ref save DC 64 for half damage). Dispater’s Hell’s Fire appears as a rush of whirling iron blades and rust-red mist.

Infernal Nobility (Ex): As the Lord of the Second, Dispater has a status equivalent to that of the gods. Dispater possesses a cosmic rank of 15. While in Dis (and anywhere else on Hell that Asmodeus allows), Dispater functions as a greater god with a cosmic rank of 18.

Iron Curtain (Su): Dispater can use his Iron Curtain nine times per day as a free action. This power protects Dispater from all forms of attack. First, Dispater receives a Fortitude save to negate any attack entirely, in which case it has no effect and deals no damage. This is regardless of whether the attack normally allows a save. The Fortitude save DC is always equal to 10 + ½ attacker’s Hit Dice + attacker’s Constitution modifier. If this save is failed, the attack is resolved as normal.

The second effect of the Iron Curtain is to absorb damage. If the attack deals hit point damage, this damage is applied to the Curtain instead of Dispater. The Curtain can absorb 300 points of damage before collapsing. Dispater can adjust the Curtain to ignore certain types of damage. (Such as fire, to which he is immune) If Dispater activates his Iron Curtain within his Iron Tower, it absorbs 600 points of damage before collapsing, even if he afterward leaves. The Iron Curtain remains in effect for 24 hours provided it does not collapse.

The Might of Hell (Su): So terrible is Dispater’s presence that he may corrupt an entire area with but a thought. Thrice per day as a free action, he may unhal-low an area with a 1560 foot radius (caster level 76th).

Perseverating Glance (Su): The Lord of Dis takes an evil delight in having creatures – all creatures – engaged in mind-numbing, fruitless tasks. Those within his presence can be forced into such tasks with but a glance from His Iron Grace, never knowing aught again except the mechanical repetition of the last action they took before succumbing to this power. Dispater may target one creature at a time as a standard action, and can use his Perseverating Glance no more than nine times per day on any creature he can see within 1800 feet. A targeted creature is allowed a Fortitude save against DC 64 to resist this power, with a successful save slowing the creature. Deities and cosmic entities are immune to Perseverating Glance except on a successful opposed rank check.

A failed save results in the creature repeating its last action over and over again. Casting a spell, for example, would be followed by an attempt to recast the exact same spell in the same manner; inability to replicate the action in this case would lead to the character expending her highest level spell or spell slot each round. An attack with a sword would be repeated in the same way, even if the target has moved or been dispatched. Movement is replicated by moving back and forth between the last two “beginning” and “end” squares that the creature used.

Inaction breeds further inaction. Creatures under the effect of Perseverating Glance may be considered to be helpless (if, for example, their last act was to freeze in place trying to avoid notice), but even if not helpless are treated as flat-footed. Perseverating Glance is not a gaze attack, i.e. the target can be affected whether he catches Dispater’s eye or not. Furthermore this power takes direct physical control of a creature, and thus is not a mind-influencing effect.

Polished Façade (Ex): His Iron Grace always appears urbane and refined, even when his true intentions are base and despicable. This puts even enemies at ease in his presence, and has been the downfall of many an unwary foe. Dispater adds a +18 profane bonus on all Bluff, Diplomacy, and Sense Motive checks, and is immune to attempts to magically discern his true intentions.

Psionic Powers: Dispater manifests powers as a 68 th level seer. Power points/day: 533. Powers known:

  • 1st— defensive precognition, detect psionics, force screen, offensive precognition, offensive prescience;
  • 2nd— concussion blast, ego whip, recall agony, sensitivity to psychic impressions;
  • 3rd— body adjustment, danger sense, dispel psionics, energy retort, mind trap;
  • 4th— aura sight, intellect fortress, mindwipe, psionic divination;
  • 5th—catapsi, incarnate, power resistance;
  • 6th— greater precognition, psionic contingency, temporal acceleration;
  • 7th—divert teleport, fate of one, flesh to iron*, psionic moment of prescience, ultrablast;
  • 8th—bend reality, psionic Iron Body, recall death;
  • 9th— apopsi, metafaculty, microcosm, reality revision.

SaveDC equals 38 + spell level. *As per the 6th level shaper power crystallize, except that the target creature is transmuted into iron.

Epic Psionic Powers: Dispater can manifest an epic power up to eight times per day.

Powers known: Dispater’s iron defense, epic dimension door, esoteric aegis,greater epic psionic armor*, Trojan curse.

*As per greater epic mage armor, except as an epic psionic power.

Spell-like Abilities: At will—animate dead, baleful polymorph, blasphemy, blur, charm monster, create greater undead, deeper darkness, delayed blast fireball, desecrate, detect chaos, detect good, Detect Magic, dominate monster, flame strike, greater dispel magic, greater invisibility, greater teleport (self plus 1,000 pounds), hallucinatory terrain, Hold monster, Magic Circle Against Chaos, magic circle against good, mass hold monster, mirage arcana, persistent image, polymorph, power word stun, produce flame, pyrotechnics, read magic, restoration, resurrection, scrying, suggestion, symbol of pain, unhallow, unholy aura, unholy blight, wall of fire, wall of iron;

9/day—destruction, detect thoughts, dictum, discern lies, fire storm, geas/quest, greater restoration, imprisonment, meteor swarm, Shield of law, true resurrection, true seeing, zone of truth;

6/day—accursed, hellball, oppress, tyranny;

3/ day—wish.

Caster level 76th; save DC 38 + spell level. Dispater is closely associated with the Inquisition domain and gains a +4 bonus on all dispel checks.

Spells: Dispater casts spells as a 68th level abjurer. His forbidden schools are Conjuration and Evocation. Spells/day: 4/9/9/9/8/8/8/8/7/7/4/4/3. Dispater’s spell books include all spells (other than those from forbidden schools) from the wizard spell list in the Player’s Handbook, the Book of Vile Darkness, and Complete Arcane.

It is likely that he also has access to spells that no mortal mind has ever conceived of.

Typical spells prepared:

Save DC equals 38 + spell level.

* Spells that are noted as chained take advantage of the Chain Spell feat.

Epic Spells: Dispater can prepare up to eight epic spells per day. Spells known: contingent true resurrection, esoteric aegis, greater epic mage armor, oppress, superb dispelling, tyranny.

The Iron Staff of Dis: This plain, unadorned iron bar functions as a +6 quarterstaff of defending, save that it deals 1d8 points of damage and has a x3 critical multiplier. The Iron Staff grants Dispater incredible defensive powers. Foremost, Dispater gains the benefits of the Spell Stowaway feat for the following spells: gate, heal, miracle, time stop, and wish. Dispater may set two contingencies upon his person, except that the attached spells have no level limit, and up to two (non-epic) spells can be attached to the contingency.

Spells or spell-like abilities that fail to penetrate Dispater’s Spell Resistance are reflected upon the caster as if they had been subjected to spell turning. This does include area-affecting spells which are typically not subject to spell turning; for example, if an enemy wizard casts an ice storm in an area of effect that could affect Dispater, the ice storm would be redirected to an area of effect centered on the caster.

Iron and iron-alloy metal weapons that deal damage to Dispater must make a Fortitude save DC 64 or rust away completely. The damage must be real damage rather than damage absorbed by Dispater’s DR; thus, if a sword strikes the Arch-Duke but deals no damage, the sword is not affected by the rusting power. Only the weapons of cosmic or divine beings with equal or greater divine ranks are immune to this ability. Successful critical hits and sneak attacks have a 75% chance of being negated.

The Rod of Dis: A four-foot length of twisted iron adorned with chain links of adamantine and capped with a fist-sized ruby surrounded by garnets, the Rod of Dis functions as a +6 heavy mace of lawful power with a x3 critical rate. It functions as a rod of epic rulership with the following modifications. First, it can affect up to 1500 creatures at one time, none of which can exceed 30 Hit Dice, at a distance of 15 miles. Within Dis, this increases to 1800 creatures with no more than 36 Hit Dice. Creatures with an Intelligence score of 24 or higher are entitled to a Will saving throw DC 64 to negate the effect. The rod has no limit on how long it can be used. When used in combat, those struck by the rod must succeed in a Will save DC 64 or be affected as though by dominate monster.

468px Stradano Inferno Map Lower
Illustration of Dante’s Inferno, Map of Lower Hell Giovanni Stradano

The Iron Tower: While in the Iron Tower, Dispater has numerous defensive options. A dimensional anchor effect is constantly in effect within the Tower
(Dispater himself is immune to this effect; note this affects psychoportation powers as well). A token of Dis is required to circumvent this effect. Different tokens have different security accesses. Dispater is aware of every creature holding a token of Dis; he can pinpoint their location to within two miles (anywhere in Dis), ascertain their general state of health, and can determine their alignment.

Those who would attack Dispater by spell or by sword within the Iron Tower find that telekinetic effects hinder their efforts. Those attacking with weapons contend with telekinetic attempts to force their weapons from their hands. An opposed Strength check is required to hold onto the weapon (the force has a “Strength” score of 48); those attempting to hold on to metallic weapons suffer a -9 penalty on the check. Those casting spells with material or somatic components must also succeed in an opposed Strength check, or their spells are spoiled and lost. These checks must be made every round. A constant catapsi effect interferes with all psionic activity; furthermore, each round that a psionic power (or psi-like ability) is in use by a particular creature, it must also make a Concentration check as if it were manifesting the power defensively, with a penalty on the check of – 36; failure of this check means that the manifestation fails.

In any event, all who would attack Dispater within the Iron Tower suffer a reprisal in the form of corrupt, intensified lightning bolts. Each round, one bolt strikes any foe that attempted to physically attack Dispater, dealing 120 points of electricity damage and 120 points of corrupt damage. A Reflex save DC 64 is allowed for half damage, but one must first succeed in an opposed Strength check versus the telekinesis in order be able to attempt the save.

To make matters worse, a particularly potent Hold monster spell targets all of Dispater’s foes every two minutes. Those that fail are paralyzed for two minutes. The Will save DC to avoid the effect is 64.

Finally, every four rounds, the Iron Tower casts mage’s disjunction as a 76th level caster. Dispater can determine which creatures and/or items within the edifice are subject to this powerful disenchanter.

The power of the Iron Tower is such that cosmic and divine beings may be affected by it. Such beings do not receive rank checks to ignore the effects of the Iron Tower and make saves as all other beings.

Summoning Dispater

Louvre rosa apparition
Apparition de l’ombre de Samuel à Saül, .1668

Dispater cannot be summoned except into a specially prepared sanctum, the core of which must be a section of flooring with a 30-foot radius made entirely of iron. Plush carpeting and fine draperies both red and gray should dress the area in preparation for the Lord of the Second’s arrival. Sixty-six enslaved humanoids whose lifetime of servitude came as a result of being unable to repay debts must be in attendance, chained to the floor in obeisance. Ninety-nine vessels of platinum set with rubies and garnets must be used to anchor the magic circles; these should be filled with a measure of the blood and sweat of mortals that have lived lives of sloth, mixed with stagnant water. Finally, a display of meaningless toil must also be made. This might be a silenced choir, told that their efforts can be heard by the invocants and poor notes will result in death, or additional slaves working over the iron vessels, with half of them cleaning while the other half tarnish. Though the summoners do not realize it, the nature of the forbidden magic used to bring him into the Mortal Coil coupled with the extreme demands in terms of location also allows Dispater to duplicate the protections that he has in place in the Iron Tower without any effort on his part. This effect extends only out to 30 feet while on the Prime (centered on the original point of summoning, not on Dispater himself).

When all is in readiness, molten platinum erupts from the center of the magic circles and rushes headlong to carpet the room from wall to wall. The summoners must provide their own protection against the molten mass, as well as for the slaves and other attendants; failing to do so necessitates the need to start over (see below for details on the final state of the platinum). The metallic stream then Climbs the walls and covers the ceiling, until platinum covers all. It is then that Dispater rises slowly from the shimmering pool that is the floor, and the platinum hardens and cools. Creatures that were protected from the heat will nonetheless find themselves cemented to the floor without further magical aid. Summoners are advised that such aid is not a prerequisite, and may even be frowned upon.

Dispater is generally courteous and seems to show an interest in those who summon him, answering questions posed to him if it suits his purposes, and generally using his wit and charm to force the conversation into areas he wishes it to go. For fools and those that deride him, the Arch-Duke of Dis does not immediately go on the offensive, though he might have some choice words that both belittle and shame those he speaks with. Such individuals will bear the brunt of his wrath at a time and place of his choosing, for the Lord of the Second’s memory is eternal, and his hatred as inflexible as tempered steel. Dispater will almost always offer his Chains of Toil boon to those who summon him, no matter how they have acted. Throughout the audience, the platinum slowly dulls and changes until it is nothing but iron, although summoners must succeed at a Spot check opposed by Dispater’s Diplomacy or Bluff check in order to notice. The iron then begins to pit and rust, so that by the time the audience is at an end it is absolutely worthless. The slaves and attendants likewise are of no use to the summoners by the end of the audience. While the platinum has turned to iron and then begun to corrode, the slaves and attendants have slowly sunk into the floor. Once again, a Spot check opposed by Dispater’s Diplomacy or Bluff check is required to notice this effect (including those being affected), so gradual it is, and so much do Dispater’s words demand attention. Creatures taken in this way are transported back to Dis when the Lord of the Second finishes his audience. As the audience ends, Dispater will generally bow his head slightly to the chief invocant, as if saying farewell to an equal or friend, whilst a stairway appears in the room behind him. The Arch-Duke of Dis then limps carefully down the stairs, out of sight. Iron-gray steam then hisses from the opening, and when it disperses, only pitted iron remains.

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