Devil, Duke, Bael
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
War is Hell. Many would claim the statement to be a cliché unworthy of being printed in any serious text. However, on occasion, the simplest statements are the most accurate. War has always been and will always be a blight upon Creation. There is little doubt that in a Cosmos in which there are all manner of monsters, mortal and immortal alike, seeking to bring woe, injustice, and torment to others that, in the face of such evil, the need and will to overcome such vileness is a must. It is for this reason that there have and will continue to be righteous gods and cosmic entities that hold war as their totem. Most war gods dedicated to holiness do not find war as their first resort or as their primary concern. Such divine beings see war as the final answer while they seek to spread Wisdom, mercy, freedom, or justice in order to avoid unleashing the misery of war upon their faithful and the innocent. Although honor can be found in battle, good-aligned war gods know that honor and true courage can be discovered in even greater degree through peace. Still, these paragons of righteous combat remain vigilant for those who would ignore Diplomacy, who would spit upon peace. They are ready and willing to make the difficult choice for war when no other option is available.
|BAEL, Lord of the First|
The Warlord of Avernus
|Huge outsider (Devil, Evil, Extraplanar, Lawful)|
|Symbol||A blood red silhouette of a pit fiend surrounded by orange flames on a black, inverted triangle.|
|Cosmic Rank||9 (12 in Avernus)|
|Hit Dice||40d8 + 30d10 + 840 (1460 hp)|
|Initiative||+15 (+7 Dexterity, +8 Superior Initiative)|
|Speed||90 ft., Fly 200 ft. (perfect)|
|Armor Class||69 (-2 size, +9 armor, +10 deflection, +7 Dexterity, +26 natural, +9 profane), touch 34, flat-footed 62|
|Attack||Abyssbane + 85 melee (4d6 + 47 + 3d6 (hellfire) 17-20/x3 +9d6 (hellfire) and death (Fortitude DC 67); or claw + 75 melee (3d8 + 22 + 1 vile 19-20/x2)|
|Full Attack||Abyssbane +85/+80/+75/+70 melee (4d6 + 47 + 3d6 (hellfire) 17-20/x3 +9d6 (hellfire) and death (Fortitude DC 67); or 2 claws +75 melee (3d8 + 22 + 1 vile /19-20) and 2 wings +73 melee (3d6 + 11 + 1 vile) and bite +73 melee (6d6 + 11 + 1 vile plus poison and disease) and tail slap +73 melee (3d8 + 11 + 1 vile)|
|Space/Reach||15 ft. /15 ft.|
|Special Attacks||Aura of Hell, call devils, constrict 3d8 + 44, Hell’s Fire, improved grab, Might of Hell, spell-like abilities, Genocidal Strike, Fires of Avernus|
|Special Qualities||Damage reduction 40/anarchic, epic, good and silver, Dark General of Avernus, Diabolical Decree, Diabolical Empowerment, Diabolical Prowess, divine immunities, immunity to fire and poison, Infernal Nobility, Infernal Strategist, Lord of the Nine, Master of the Infernal Gates, regeneration 24, resistance to acid 40 and cold 40, see in darkness, Spell Resistance 68, telepathy 1,000 ft.|
|Saves||Fort +49, Ref +44, Will +50|
|Abilities||Strength 55, Dexterity 25, Constitution 35, Intelligence 28, Wisdom 32, Charisma 31|
|Skills||Appraise +9 (armor +13, metal work +13, weapons +13), Balance +11, Bluff +72, Climb +73, Concentration +43, Craft (blacksmithing) +34, Craft (armorsmithing) +34, Craft (weaponsmithing) +34, Diplomacy +84 (+90 with evil creatures), Disguise +41 (+47 when acting in character), Gather Information +16, Handle Animal +37, Heal +26, Hide +30, Intimidate +93 (+99 against evil creatures), Jump +67, Knowledge (Arcana) +34, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) +19, Knowledge (history) +41, Knowledge (local [the Nine Hells of Perdition]) +19, Knowledge (nature) +13, Knowledge (the planes) +42, Knowledge (religion) +34, Listen +40, Move Silently +28, Perform (oratory) +14, Ride (Dexterity)+39, Search +40 (+42 for secret doors), Sense Motive +38, Spellcraft +38, Spot +54, Survival +54 (+56 following tracks, +58 when on another plane), Tumble +40|
|Feats||Awesome Blow, Cleave, Combat Brute, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Corrupt Spell-like Ability B , Dark Speech B , Flyby Attack, Great Cleave, Greater Weapon Focus (greatsword), greater weapon specialization (greatsword), Improved Bullrush, Improved Combat Expertise, Improved Critical (claws) Improved Critical (greatsword), Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Improved Trip, Iron Will, Leadership, Multiattack, Negotiator, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (deeper darkness), Quicken Spell-Like Ability (fireball), Quicken Spell-Like Ability (greater teleport), Vile Natural Attack, Weapon Focus (greatsword), Weapon Specialization (greatsword)|
|Devastating Critical (greatsword), Dire Charge, Epic Evil Brand B , Epic Leadership, Epic Reputation, Epic Weapon Focus (greatsword), Epic Weapon Specialization (greatsword), Overwhelming Critical (greatsword), Penetrate Damage Reduction (adamantine), Penetrate Damage Reduction (cold iron), Spellcasting Harrier, Superior Initiative|
|Environment||The Bronze Citadel, Avernus, First of the Nine Hells of Perdition|
|Organization||Unique (Solitary) or battalion (Bael, 2 – 8 squamugon, and 1 Duke of Hell)|
|Treasure||Abyssbane, +9 kilt of armor and moderate fortification, quintuple standard|
In the Depths Below, a completely different attitude is held with regards to war. It is in the Depths Below that the greatest war the Cosmos has ever seen has raged for as long as most gods and cosmic entities have existed. This conflict, the Blood War, is the war to define the face of Evil for all Creation. Theories abound related to the whys and hows of the Blood War, but all agree that this single, eternal event has affected existence across the Cosmos. For the devils of the Pit, the Blood War is an act of Wisdom, an event to articulate the cause and will of Evil, for in Hell Evil must have meaning, even if that meaning is an illusion. With logical precision, patience, and well-planned tactics, the Legions of Hell have sought to define the nature of Evil as they commit to battle against the hordes of The Abyss. Some would go as far as to argue that for a devil, everything done is for the cause of the Blood War.
It is unsurprising then, that the devils as a whole have been more committed to the Blood War than the demons. The War unifies the vying diabolical factions under a common goal that receives sup-port from the highest echelons of Perdition. An entire component of diabolical society, the infamous Dark Ministry, is dedicated to the Blood War and Asmodeus himself meets with them regularly. However, there is one other Lord who is even more concerned with the end result of the Blood War than The Overlord of Hell: Bael, the Warlord of Avernus.
Throughout the Depths Below, and particularly within the ranks of demons involved in Blood War, Bael is one of the most visible of the Lords of the Nine. Of all the Lords, he is the only one who has not only taken a vested interest in the Blood War, but has personally fought in pitched battles against demons and daemon mercenaries. His infamy was well established long before he became a Lord-Regent. Bael’s name was known in the highest reaches of Heaven and throughout the divine realms. He served as a loyal retainer to previous Lords Tiamat and Astarte. He received more honors for his bravery and successes in the field than any other general in Hell. And yet, all of this recognition was no more than a stepping-stone for Bael for he always sought more than just fame. Bael wished to have the necessary power to not just defeat demons, but to wipe them and all those that share their destructive, chaotic ways from the face of the Cosmos. Bael wants to cleanse the Depths Below of the Chaotic Evil before focusing his attention on systematically eradicating all other obstacles to the hegemony of Hell.
Bael’s origins are little known to those beyond Hell and even within Perdition, Bael’s background is obscure. Before his ascendancy in Avernus,
Bael’s name was associated with Minauros. Bael’s supposed connection with the Perdition known for its obsession with wealth and the corruption of the soul through monetary gain is largely discounted by most contemporary observers of diabolical history. After all, there seems to be little to no affiliation with war and wealth that most can see at least as how it relates to Hell. Most of the longer-lived beings in the Cosmos know that before there was ever a known devil called Bael that there were a number of deities that were recognized by the same name or title, Baal or Bael during the Days of Antiquity. Supposedly meaning lord or perhaps god in some lost language, many of these deities were if not exactly benign not evil. Why and how a devil came to adopt such a well-known name during the Days of Antiquity is as unclear as how this name became identified with Minauros. Many suspect that The Overlord himself is responsible for this confusion. There are quite a few devils (and quite a few demons as well) that have taken names similar, if not identical, to those of gods or other cosmic entities. Some suspect that this confusion serves the cause of Hell as Dukes or arch-devils may be inadvertently summoned to the mortal coil rather than the proper god or divine servant.
In any event, Bael’s name and his possible connections with Minauros and other gods is as mysterious as his history prior to rising to pit fiend status. At some point during the so-called Classic Perdition, Bael was no longer mentioned in the context of Minaruos, and instead found solely in Avernus.
Once Bael was located in Avernus, his nature seemed to take on that warlike countenance so prominent in the layer. Millenia before the founding of the Dark Ministry, Bael appeared, fighting side by side with the likes of Dagos, Srelial, and Alusiel. Mention of him in the Infernal Charge of Abigor has been found as well. Wherever bloody conflict occurs in Hell’s history, one can dig deeper to find Bael involved. Well into Astarte’s rule of Avernus, Bael begins to take on a greater role in Hell’s politics.
It would be during the rule of Astarte that Bael would under take his most infamous ploy, the legendary Four Cross. Told in greater detail in the apocryphal text, Hell-bound: The Blood War (in the volume popularly called the Dark of the War), the Four Cross was orchestrated by Bael to weed out powerful, but inept pit fiends; it also earned him a terrible foe in the fallen angel, Balam, whose demonic armies were among those that Bael would decimate at the end of his long plot. It is known that he had the tacit support of Astarte who had determined that her status in Hell was dependant upon her station as defender of the First Perdition. Bael’s success not only eliminated pit fiends who were detrimental to Hell as a whole and strengthened Avernus (and Astarte), it also marked Bael as the most gifted, brilliant warrior this side of Dagos in Hell; indeed, some claimed that Bael was the greater of the two. If Dagos took issue with this, there was little he could do for Bael had won the support of not just Astarte but Asmodeus himself who honored him by placing him within the court of Avernus. Bael would continue to serve Astarte well for centuries to come, leading gargantuan armies – even by Hell’s standards into pitched battles against countless demonic and daemonic forces and always returning victorious. So great was Bael’s success that Astarte believed that she would be in a prime position to eventually topple other Perditions, even Dis. Astarte never had any reason to suspect Bael as she believed him incapable of questioning, much less threatening, her station. Over time, she gave him significant power not only over common devils but also within her court and among the Dukes. This trust, this belief in Bael’s loyalty would prove her undoing. At what point Bael determined that he could overthrow Astarte is unclear, although most suspect that the decision was made shortly before or perhaps during the Dies Irae. It was Bael who led the armies into Dis that officially started the Days of Wrath, but it would be end of the Dies Irae that gave Bael the opportunity he needed.
Bael was alone among the pit fiends during the Dies Irae, in that he did not turn against his sitting Lord. Instead, he fought most fiercely to defend her, slaying those who would try to bring harm to her. Fearlessly, he slew her oppressors by the hundreds. Back to back, Lord and vassal fended off all challengers. It was a concentrated effort by Dagos and Cantrum, on top of the bodies of scores of dead fiends, that finally brought the pair down.
It was in this defeat that opened Bael’s eyes. He saw with clarity that not even the Lords of the Nine (save Asmodeus) were omnipotent and that they were prone to mistakes. Astarte had made a tremendous error in her tactics by trusting Bael and this was a weakness to be exploited. Although Astarte was given back her station, Bael knew he now was viewed as the single most important devil in Avernus. Even more importantly, his stand against his fellow devils proved his loyalty far better than he could have ever dreamed.
Bael found himself in the Denomination of Strategy after the reorganization of the pit fiends. He was made a 3rd circle general and placed within the Infantry. His successes there propelled him through the ranks despite his “betrayal” and in no time at all, he was the 7th circle general in charge of the Infantry.
Using his ties to both the court of Avernus and the Legions of Hell, Bael formulated a master plan. Together with Dagos, Bael led a coup that resulted in an imprisoned Fallen angel, a new Minister of Strategy and a new Lord of the First.
How Bael imprisoned Astarte continues to be unknown. It is known that with offensive ease that he rallied almost all of the Dukes of Avernus and the armies of the First under his banner before somehow sealing Astarte deep within the Bronze Citadel. Many doubt that Bael accomplished the coup on his own. Some believe that Bael benefited from the philosophy of a faction known as the Sign of One, or Signers, who believe that they are the center of the universe and the dictators of their own achievements and power. Bael simply came to believe in his own success, his own value, and found himself with the power of a Lord of Hell. Most, how ever, scoff at this notion and are convinced that Asmodeus himself played a role in Bael’s success. These point to the fact that is was Asmodeus who named Bael to Astarte’s court and that Asmodeus was well aware of the Four Cross and Bael’s other success as well. Asmodeus was also less than pleased with Astarte’s trusting nature, viewing it as a pathetic weakness with no place in Hell. While Bael was loyal, he was only loyal to the cause of Hell and the perpetuation of Hell across the Cosmos, not to Astarte. The former Lord was deposed with Asmodeus’ blessing. Still, Asmodeus knew that Bael would continue to be occupied with the Blood War, so much so that he would never have a chance to turn his attention to Dis, much less the rest of Hell. Furthermore, by keeping Astarte alive and allowing her to retain elements of her cosmic power, Bael would not reach the pinnacle of diabolical power as a new Lord. With one move, Asmodeus eliminated any threats to his plans with Bael’s ascendancy.
Unlike the previous Lords of the First, Bael is wholly and totally dedicated to war. Although demons are his current and most persistent focus, Bael believes that all that would stand against Hell need to be annihilated. Bael does not believe in Diplomacy or peace; as far as he is concerned, words are just weapons of a different sort and should be used to eliminate obstacles until physical combat and the death of an enemy can be accomplished. Peace is for the weak and the unworthy. There is no compromise; compromise reveals little more strength than peace and is for those without the strength of conviction of their position. War, to Bael, is as much an end as a means. Conflict is a tempering agent, a source that fuels success, strength, and power; however, it is not and cannot be a matter of promoting chaos. Conflict must have a direction and a reason. If a reason does not exist, a logical one must be created. War requires eternal preparation, eternal vigilance, and the eternal ability to lay low and obliterate the weak, the unworthy, the stupid, and those that stand against the will of Hell. War is meaning and meaning is War as far as Bael is concerned. In Hell, Bael has found himself in an interesting predicament. On the one hand, he is perceived very highly by common devils and retains strong ties with the Dark Ministry. Although he is significantly more powerful than his former masters, Bael continues to value their support, knowing that through them he will always have more than enough troops. However, Bael is slowly and methodically taking more and more authority from the Ministers. So far, only Furcas has noticed this and only recently; the Minister of Mortal Relations believes he has little reason to fear this power grab as he doubts that Asmodeus wants the power of Hell’s Legions under the banner of one Lord. However, when one turns to the nobles of Hell, the situation is not as simple. While many Courtiers of Perdition respect Bael’s accomplishments, few trust or admire him openly. He is viewed as common trash by most. Dispater, his neighbor, views him as a lucky simpleton and generally ignores Bael’s overtures for an alliance; the Iron Duke refers to him as the Pretender, a nickname that has reached the lips of all throughout Hell. Likewise, both Beelzebub and Mephistopheles have rebuffed Bael’s offers of friendship, knowing full well how crafty this former pit fiend can be. The animosity between Bael and the Prince of Hell, Lixer, is legendary and on more than one occasion, Bael has considered putting the Prince in his place regardless of Asmodeus guaranteed retaliation. However, these historic relationships seem to be thawing. The Order of the Lie knows that both Beelzebub and Mephistopheles have sent secret couriers to Bael to test the Lord of the First’s dedication to an alliance. It is largely believed that Bael, being a true devil and responsible for overthrowing a Fallen, will eventually join up with Mephistopheles and Dispater.
Beyond the nobility of Hell, Bael has plenty of allies in Perdition, chief among them the Queen of Dragons, Tiamat. At some point, many millennia ago, Bael pleased Tiamat enough to gain the promise of five favors of any kind. To date, Bael has used two of these favors to great gain. Other gods that call Hell home, like Inanna, also perceive Bael as an ally largely because they view him as more tractable than the older Lords. So far, non of these fools have learned that everything they do is reported to Asmodeus. Across the Cosmos, Bael is either hated or feared as all know that he wishes to systematically destroy them. Still, he has some powerful foes.
Virtually every demon lord and demon prince with a vested interest in the Blood War would like few things more than to kill Bael. One of his greatest foes is the former fallen angel and now demon prince, Balam, who suffered a great loss of face during the climax of Bael’s Four Cross. For his part, Bael looks forward to facing and defeating these foes. Unfortunately for the Warlord of Avernus, as he has slowly grown more established in his role as Lord of the First, Bael has found fewer and fewer opportunities to enter the field, so his chance to cross swords anytime soon appears unlikely.
Until recently, Bael appeared as a tremendously huge pit fiend wearing elaborate bracers, often astride a gargantuan nightmare, wielding his huge sword, Abyssbane. In the past few decades, as the mantle of Lordship has settled on him, Bael’s physical appearance has changed. Although he still bears the general build of a pit fiend, Bael’s head is far more humanoid in appearance with the ears, eyes, and teeth of a great cat, the flesh the color of a rust-colored toad, and great bull-like horns that curve up from his temples. He favors baroque attire and sports elaborate armored kilts. Bael’s voice is a brooding croak that can often be heard across miles on any field and the very ground beneath him bubbles and gurgles with magma if he stays in place for too long. When excited or angered, a nimbus of brimstone and heated air surrounds his body.
Bael is always eager for a fight. However, he never rushes into combat and prefers to spend at least three rounds observing foes in order to take advantage of his Infernal Strategist power. If possible, Bael will also use this time to grant all allies within the sound of his voice bonuses to their martial skills. Once Bael is satisfied that he understands what it is he is up against, he eagerly wades into battle.
With his Aura of Hell activated to cause his opponents to cower, Bael will begin his offensive with Fires of Avernus, typically targeting a spellcaster, preferably a cleric. Then, he will blast as many opponents as possible with Hell’s Fire. Bael will then charge into melee, targeting combatants who appear physically powerful, seeking to obliterate them with his Genocidal Strike. Rarely does Bael bother with his spell-like abilities, believing (accurately) that few can withstand his physical power in melee combat.
Bael makes extensive use of his combat feats in melee. He usually takes an initial penalty of -20 on attack rolls with Power Attack, giving him 40 additional points of damage with Abyssbane and +20 with his natural attacks. As a general rule, Bael increases the penalty on his Power Attack by -5 every round until his final attack begins to miss. He is no fool though, shifting his attacks as the battle progresses, increasing the penalty against easy to hit foes and dropping it against difficult ones. Often he will use his natural attacks in conjunction with a full attack with Abyssbane. He can use his bite, wings, and tail attacks when full attacking with his sword.
In a full attack action, Bael uses the fourth attack with Abyssbane to attempt to sunder. While this is generally directed at the main weapon of a melee foe, he is not above targeting obvious magical gear. He uses his wing attacks to attempt to trip his foes; if either is successful he immediately follows up with a damaging attack thanks to his Improved Trip feat.
If Bael begins suffering more than three physical attacks in a round, he will increase his armor class with Improved Combat Expertise. He initially increases it by 10 and then by 5 each round until he is no longer suffering three attacks a round. If he is increasing his armor class with Improved Combat Expertise, Bael does not increase his penalty from Power Attack, and may decrease it if the combined penalties cause him to begin missing as described above. Should Bael increase his penalty with Combat Expertise to the point where his third attack is missing and he is still getting hit, he drops his defense with this feat immediately, shifting it to Power Attack and focusing all his power and attacks on the nearest foe that is hitting him.
Bael uses Awesome Blow when surrounded by more than three foes. If surrounded by more than six foes that are not falling to either Awesome
Blow or Genocidal Strike, Bael uses his blade barrier and wall of fire spell-like abilities centered on his person. If reduced to 700 hp or less, Bael will teleport a short distance away, call devils to interpose themselves between him and his foes, and use greater invisibility, divine power, and unholy aura. After dropping down several quickened deeper darkness effects, he will then resume melee combat, using the same tactics as before.
Aura of Hell (Ex): Bael’s Aura of Hell can affect all creatures within 900 feet of him, with a Will save DC 50 allowed to negate the effects.
Call Devils (Sp): As a move equivalent action, Bael can call devils. Nine times per day, Bael may call a Duke of Hell, 9 pit fiends, or 18 lesser devils; 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. Of all the Lords of the Nine, Bael is the most likely to single-handedly fight intruders, enemies, and any other being that attracts his attention particularly demons. However, Bael is no fool and will always call a squad of red squamugon to observe such fights. As soon as matters appear to turn against Bael, these squamugon are expected to summon additional reinforcements while Bael calls in a few cornugons.
Only if sorely opposed or gravely wounded will Bael call Gelugons or pit fiends before retreating for safer territory to recuperate.
Constrict (Ex): Bael deals 3d8 + 44 points of damage with a successful grapple check.
Dark General of Avernus (Su): Bael is the epitome of the tyrannical military leader, and, as the Dark General of Avernus, he gains a number of abilities that augment both his and his army’s capabilities.
All allies within line of sight to Bael are immune to fear effects.
Nine times per day, the Warlord of Avernus can issue a warcry as a free action. All allies within 900 feet of him are stirred by the call, gaining a +8 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution, and a +4 morale bonus on Will saves.
Finally, Bael is capable of reforging those who seek his aid in his image. To those he deems worthy, he may alter some or all of their class levels to the dark marshal of Bael prestige class. They immediately lose all of their former class’s abilities and replace them with those of the dark marshal. Bael is capable of ignoring any and all of the prerequisites for the class when he reforges them, however he is unlikely to accept anyone not of a Lawful Evil alignment, or who does not possess the Devotee of Darkness feat.
Disease (Su): A creature struck by Bael’s bite attack must succeed on a DC 51 Fortitude save or be infected with a vile disease known as devil chills (incubation period 1d2 days, damage 1d6 Strength).
Fires of Avernus (Su): At will, Bael can cause the ground of Avernus to erupt in flames. The blast originates at any point Bael is capable of viewing
(including remote means) and has a 60 foot radius. The blast deals 25d6 fire and bludgeoning damage and flings those struck 200 feet into the air. A Reflex save DC 50 negates the fling effect; there is no save against the damage. Those flung lose their next turn while in the air, and fall to the ground back in their original square on Bael’s next turn; fallen victims suffer the appropriate falling damage and are considered prone. Those within 120 ft of the original blast at this time must make a Reflex save DC 50 or take 20d6 bludgeoning damage and 10d6 fire damage from the falling rock and magma.
Opposed rank checks apply to affect deities or cosmic entities with the fling effect.
Genocidal Strike (Ex): Bael’s wrath can consume entire races as he wages a devastating conflict across the planes to reveal diabolical superiority. 9/day, he may channel this anger into his attacks. Bael chooses a creature type and for the next three rounds his attacks carry the power of complete destruction. The appropriate creature struck by Bael’s attacks must make a Fortitude save DC 50. Succeed merely results in an additional 10d6 points of damage. The body of any creature that fails its save or dies from the additional damage explodes, killing the creature instantly and dealing the creature’s HD in d6 damage in a radius of the creature’s space x 6 feet. Bael is immune to this damage. Interestingly enough, Bael need not select a subtype of humanoids or outsiders, but he must select an alignment if he chooses to Genocidal Strike creatures from either of these types.
Opposed rank checks apply to affect deities or cosmic entities with the death effect.
Hell’s Fire (Su): Bael may use Hell’s Fire 14/day, dealing 14d12 points of diabolical damage in a line 10 feet wide and 1400 feet long (Ref save DC 50 for half damage). Bael’s Hell’s Fire appears like a blast of red and orange flames that detonate with a thunderous explosion, causing an additional 6d12 points of sonic and 6d12 points of fire damage to all within 10 feet of the impact.
Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, Bael must hit with his tail slap attack. He can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If he wins the grapple check, Bael estab-lishes a hold and can constrict.
Infernal Nobility (Ex): As the Lord of the First, Bael has a status equivalent to that of the gods. Bael possesses a cosmic rank of 9. While in Avernus (and anywhere else on Hell that Asmodeus allows), Bael functions as an Intermediate god with a cosmic rank of 12.
Infernal Strategist (Ex): Bael’s legendary leadership skill bolsters his servants and terrifies his foes. As an Infernal Strategist, Bael recognizes no equal when it comes to military strategy and tactics. Bael enjoys speaking to his troops, bolstering their courage and dedication in the cause of war. As a full round action, Bael may give a rousing speech to his troops instructing them how to overcome even the most impossible odds. All beings allied to Bael who hear his speech receive a +9 circumstance bonus to their armor class, attacks, damage, and saves and receive immunity to spells and effects from the school of Enchantment (save those cast by Bael himself). This boon lasts for either 9 rounds or as long as the beneficiary remains within 999 feet of Bael. If Bael does not have the opportunity to provide such a speech to his allies before engagement, he may do so on the field as a standard action; in this event, the bonus is +3. Although Bael must wait at least three rounds between this use of Infernal Strategist, he seems to have no upward limit. When in combat, Bael may also determine the most efficient, brutal fashion to defeat his adversaries. After being engaged in combat for three rounds against any opponent, Bael receives a +6 circumstance bonus to all rolls made regarding that opponent, while the opponent takes a -6 circumstance penalty to all rolls regarding Bael (these bonuses and penalties do not apply to rank checks). Thus, if Bael is facing two fighters and one cleric for three rounds, he would gain this advantage against all three adversaries. If a barbarian entered combat two rounds later, Bael would gain the advantage against this new threat after three rounds. The benefits of this aspect of Internal Strategist last as long as Bael remains in combat with the foe or foes that initiated the benefit. If Bael and his adversary/adversaries are separated for more than nine rounds, the effects of this ability are eliminated until another three consecutive rounds of combat passes.
Master of the Infernal Gates (Su): Charged with defending the First Perdition, Bael can sense the presence of any non Lawful Evil being that enters Avernus. He is immediately aware of the location of entry to within 100 miles, relative strength (in levels (Hit Dice), but not class), number, and alignment and conviction (as a detect spell) of such beings the instant they enter Avernus. Bael suffers no discomfort even if millions of beings enter Avernus simultaneously. As Master of the Infernal Gates, Bael may also close any and all portals in Avernus as a full round action 3/day. Not only does this keep beings from using any portal from any location across the Cosmos to enter Avernus, it also sharply limits the power of planeshift and other forms of travel into and out of Avernus. Attempts to planeshift or teleport when Bael closes the gates require that the caster succeed in an opposed caster level check against Bael (caster level 49th). Bael may keep the portals closed for up to nine minutes with no adverse effects. If he needs to close them longer, he can do so for up to nine hours by taking a full round action each round to maintain the block. Bael is exhausted after keeping the gates open past nine minutes, for a length of time equal to twice the amount of time the gates were closed.
Deities or cosmic entities can make an opposed rank check rather than a caster level check to breach the gates of Avernus; Bael gains a +8 bonus to resist such attempts.
The Might of Hell (Su): Bael’s presence is so terrible that he can corrupt an entire area with but a thought. Thrice per day as a free action, Bael may unhallow an area equal to 1200 feet (associated spell effects function as though cast by a 49th level sorcerer).
Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 51, initial damage 1d8 Constitution, secondary damage death.
Regeneration (Ex): Bael takes normal damage from anarchic, epic, good, and silver weapons.
Spell-Like Abilities: At will – animate dead, baleful polymorph, blasphemy, charm monster, create undead, deeper darkness, delayed blast fireball, desecrate, detect chaos, detect good, Detect Magic, dominate monster, fireball, flame strike, greater dispel magic, greater invisibility, greater teleport, Magic Circle Against Chaos, magic circle against good, mass hold monster, mirage arcana, persistent image, polymorph, power word stun, produce flame, pyrotechnics, restoration, resurrection, suggestion, symbol of pain, unhallow, unholy aura, wall of fire;
- 9/day – blade barrier, destruction, divine power, greater restoration, magic vestment, magic weapon, meteor swarm, power word blind, power word kill, Spiritual Weapon, true resurrection;
- 6/day – accursed, hellball, oppress, tyranny;
- 3/day – wish.
Caster level 49th; save DC 30 + spell level. Bael also casts spells from the War Domain; these are included in the list above.
This powerful artifact, a gift from Asmodeus for Bael’s Four Cross, is dreaded by all demons and has killed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in the years Bael fought against the Abyssal hordes. Abyssbane appears as a simple single shaft of dark gray hell-forged iron with a simple cross-guard and hilt. The blade itself has terrible Infernal runes in the bloodgrove, and it is constantly wreathed in orange flames. Abyssbane is a +6 hellforge iron greatsword of hellfire lasting. It grants its wielder the ability to smite demons 6/day, dealing an additional 60 points of damage on a successful strike. Any demon struck by the blade must make a Fortitude save DC 50 or lose the benefits of their damage reduction, poison immunity and Spell Resistance for 9 rounds.
Bael always carries Abyssbane and normally wears an enchanted kilt that functions as a +9 kilt of armor and moderate fortification. As the Lord of the First and the commander of the largest armies in Hell outside of those commanded by the Dark Ministry, Bael has access to any and every non epic weapon in creation. His personal armories are said to contain numerous epic artifacts and several artifact weapons, along with an array of various magical items that can be turned toward war and battle.
Those desiring to summon and speak with the Lord of the First are few and far between. There are those, however, who are obsessed with becoming great conquerors and destroyers of nations and races. Such individuals may seek out the forbidden lore to bring the Warlord of Avernus to the mortal coil.
In order to show what lengths the invocant is prepared to go to in order to speak with Bael, all symbols must be painted using the blood of one beloved of the invocant, such as a spouse or child. The creature from which the blood was taken must have been killed and bled personally by the invocant; this is an extreme sacrifice requiring the invocant show his devotion to Bael is above that of his devotion to his loved ones. Each symbol (of which there are nine) represents a different aspect of the cold-hearted bloodshed and ruthlessness in warfare, the largest representing the absolute destruction of a race in order to entrench a cause. The painting of the symbols cannot be done by proxy and require a Craft (painting) check against DC 18 to succeed. It is allowable for an accomplished artist to paint or draw guides for the painting to follow; such preparation grants a +6 circumstance bonus on the check by the invocant. An artist used for this purpose must be killed once the task is complete.
Surrounding the symbols, the invocant must trace a triangle, using the same gore as paint. Whereas the symbols can use a mixture of blood and wine (in a ratio of 1:3), the infernal triangle must be unadulterated blood. Any blood left over at this juncture is mixed with wine and drunk by the invocant. Wise invocants use weak wine to avoid drunkenness during the proceedings, as any mistake can easily prove fatal.
The bones of the loved one must be crushed into a fine powder. This powder is used as a medium to transfer the invocant’s hatred into the symbols hatred reserved for an enemy whom the invocant wishes to conquer and destroy so strongly as to lead him down the path of sacrifice and supplication to the Warlord of Avernus. Failure to channel this hatred into the symbols can have terrible consequences, the least of which might be that the summoning fails. This act also prevents the sacrificed one from being raised or resurrected (save by a deity with the Life or Death salient divine ability); the invocant is not ignorant of this detail.
The invocant then begins to speak in words taken from the Dark Speech, as he places a weapon or suit of armor taken from a defeated and slain enemy, covering it with his own army’s standard. Finally, he dresses in his finest military garb, sprinkles unicorn blood over the entire area using a desecrated aspergillum, and then sets it all alight in a supernaturally-fed blaze. The final words of the invocation true are repeated over and over until the flames reach their crescendo.
Bael appears in the midst of the flames, with a clap of thunder like a two armies meeting. Malevolent, dark crimson fire burns along his bat-like wings, but his face remains hidden throughout the audience, apart from his eyes, which flash and glow like malefic lightning. The Lord of the First does not bother with theatrics or the like, and prefers that the invocant get straight to the point. To those he deems worthy, he teaches the tenets of his doctrine before asking what the summoner wishes. Bael, apart from being able to offer the benefits of his own powers and abilities, will sometimes offer the services of members of his court in order to fulfill his side of a contract.
When Bael is done with the audience, he spreads his wings and roars a battle-cry to the heavens. Darkness mingled with fire rolls over him, diminishing in an instant to flickering embers with no sign of the Lord of the First remaining. If Bael was displeased with the invocant, and especially if no contract was agreed to, the embers explode outward in a fury dealing 33d6 points of fire and bludgeoning damage (half each) with no save for anyone within 60 feet; however, if an affected creature has living offspring, the damage is instead apportioned equally between each child along with the parent. Otherwise the embers slowly cool and leave greasy, red ashes behind. The stain of these ashes cannot be washed away if handled, but can be used when tempering a single metallic weapon to increase its hardness by one.