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The Abyss, also known as The Infinite Layers of the Abyss, or Demonholme,[1] is one of the planes of existence in Dungeons & Dragons. It is chaotic evil in alignment, and best known as the home of demons, including the numerous varieties of tanar'ri.

Layers of the Abyss

The Abyss is unique in that it is divided into an uncountable number of independent planes. Each has its own unique and terrible terrain.[1] Controlling at least one level of the Abyss usually qualifies a demon to claim the rank of demon lord.[2]

The numbering system used was developed by the Fraternity of Order, a guild of planar explorers who simply numbered the layers in the order they were discovered. In practice, worlds with physical connections tend to have adjacent numbers, and realms with a higher number are more distant from the first layer and thus harder to reach.[3]

While historically it was believed that there were precisely 666 layers of the Abyss, it is plausible that there may be even deeper and more inhospitable layers which no human has ever successfully explored and returned to tell the tale.

List of known layers

  • 1—Pazunia, the Plain of Infinite Portals: The top layer of the Abyss. One of the best-known layers, it is the only layer coterminous with the Astral Plane.[3] It connects to the plane of the Outlands via a town of Plague-Mort, and can also be accessed by the River Styx. It is a dusty wasteland dotted with iron fortresses and pits leading to deeper layers.[1] It is also called the Palace of 1,001 Closets.[4]
  • 2—Driller's Hives: Ruled by the demon lord Tharzax, the Chattering Prince.[5] Inhabited by massive hives of constantly warring insects.[6]
  • 3—the Forgotten Land: Ruled by the demon lord Zzyczesiya, the Ungrasped.[5] Steals memories from visitors.[6]
  • 4—the Grand Abyss: A dangerous realm of ancient portals to other layers atop an infinitely deep chasm. Rulership of this layer is contested.[7] Called also the Blood Rift.[8]
  • 5—Wormblood: Contested by multiple demon lords.[5] Infects visitors with an incurable wasting disease.[6]
  • 6—the Realm of a Million Eyes: Home to the Great Mother, goddess of beholders. It is a network of tunnels dotted with living eyes.
  • 7—the Phantom Plane: Ruled by the demon lord Sess'inek, the Emperor Lizard.[5] Inhabited by lizard kings.[6]
  • 8—the Skin-shedder: Realm of the demon lord Volisupula, the Flensed Marquesse.[5] Corrupts human visitors toward chaos and evil.[6]
  • 9—Burningwater: A layer with no ruler.[5] An ocean of acid inhabited by stone-like aquatic creatures.[6]
  • 10—That Hellhole: A layer with no ruler.[5] Inhabited by carnivorous creatures.
  • 11—Molrat: A layer of eternal darkness.[6] Rulership of this realm is contested.[5]
  • 12—Twelvetrees: An ancient meeting site binding powerful devas to trees surrounding a massive and evil sacrificial altar.[9]
  • 13—Blood Tor: Realm of the deity Beshaba, Faerûnian goddess of misfortune.[5]
  • 14—the Steaming Fen: Realm of the Queen of Chaos.[5]
  • 17—Death's Reward: Realm of the demon lord Abraxas, the Unfathomable.[5]
  • 21—the Sixth Pyre: Realm of the demon lord Kardum, Lord of the Balors.[5]
  • 23—the Iron Wastes: A frozen, lifeless realm home to Kostchtchie, demon prince of frost giants. The giants and their ruler inhabit the Glacier Citadel, a fortress carved from solid ice. Also called the Ice Wastes.
  • 27—Malignebula: Realm of the demon lord Lissa'aere, the Noxious.[5]
  • 32—Sholo-Tovoth, the Fields of Consumption: Realm of the demon lord Turaglas.[5]
  • 45,46,47—Azzagrat: the massive realm of the demon lord Graz'zt which extends over three contiguous layers. The 45th layer, Rauwend, is a rainswept steppe; the 46th, Barogûnd is illuminated eerily from the ground; and the 47th layer, Voorz'zt, which can only be accessed from the other two, is illuminated by cold blue flame.[8] The capital city is Zelatar.
  • 48—the Ocean of Tears: Graz'zt attempted to expand his domain into this layer, but was thwarted by Demogorgon.[10] Called also the Nerebdian Vast, and described as desert-like.[11]
  • 49—Shaddonon: A layer of dim twilight controlled by Rhyxali, princess of shadow demons.[12][5]
  • 52—Vorganund: Rulership of this realm is contested.[5]
  • 53—Phage Breeding Grounds: Ruled by Urae-Naas.[8]
  • 57—Torturous Truth: Realm of the demon lord Alvarez, the Purging Duke.[5]
  • 66—the Demonweb Pits: Home of Lolth, the Spider Queen, goddess of the subterranean drow elves. Described as an impossible labyrinthine web of tunnels dotted with portals to the many worlds where Lolth has worshipers.[1]
  • 67—Heaving Hills: Realm of the demon lord Verrangoin.[5] A swamp of hill and marsh, wracked by earthquakes which modify the terrain.[6]
  • 68—the Swallowed Void: An abandoned realm.[5] Completely airless, and highly dangerous to life.[6]
  • 69—Gibbering Hollow: Ruled by Ollomegh.[8] Said also to be the Crushing Plain, a realm having no ruler and covered in layers of chasme, manes and lemures.[5]
  • 70—the Ice Floe: A layer with no ruler.[5] It consists of thin ice over cold, dark water, and slowly steals energy from visitors.[6]
  • 71—Spirac: A layer with no ruler.[5] A habitable plane of fernlike trees and tall thin mountains, used by weaker demons as hunting grounds.[6]
  • 72—Darklight: Realm of the demon lord Nocticula, the Undeniable.[5] Good-aligned visitors glow brightly here, while the evil-aligned are shrouded in darkness.[6]
  • 73—the Wells of Darkness: An unclaimed layer used to imprison powerful beings in pits of blackness.[13][6]
  • 74—Smaragd: Home of the yuan-ti deity, Merrshaulk and the deity Ramenos. A deadly jungle realm of trees so tall that none have seen their roots.[6]
  • 77—the Gates of Heaven: Realm of the demon lord Anarazel, the Daring Darkness.[5]
  • 79—the Emessu Tunnels: Realm of Anarazel.[8]
  • 81—the Blood Shallows: An insignificant tiny marsh realm whose rulership is contested.[8]
  • 88—the Gaping Maw: The home realm of Demogorgon, the Prince of Demons. Also widely known as the Brine Flats,[1] although that properly only refers to the layer's swampy coastal region which hosts its capital city, Lemoriax, between the Screaming Jungle and the dark ocean which contains Demogorgon's serpentine palace, Abysm.[6]
  • 89—the Shadowsea: Realm of the demon lord Dagon.[5]
  • 90—the Guttering Grove: Realm of the demon lord Ilsidahur, the Howling King.[5] By some counts, Demogorgon's Screaming Jungle occupies this layer.[8]
  • 92—Ulgurshek: A living layer, Ulgurshek is an ancient entity older than the known planes. The Abyss formed around Ulgurshek.[5][8]
  • 99—unnamed: An unnamed layer composed of different elemental realms.[14]
  • 100—The Barrens: Realm of Oublivae.[8]
  • 111—the Mind of Evil: Realm of the demon lord Sch'thrruppasstt.[5]
  • 113—Thanatos: A cold layer of frozen night inhabited by undead controlled at various times by Orcus or a minor drow deity of revenge. Its capital is Naratyr, the City of the Dead, carved into a frozen ocean.[1]
  • 128—the Slugbed: Realm of the demon lord Luperico.[5]
  • 137—Outcasts' End: Realm of the demon lord Azazel, Prince of Scapegoats.[5]
  • 142—Lifebane: Realm of the deity Chemosh.[5]
  • 148—Torrent: A rocky, stormy wasteland where visitors are likely to be struck by lightning.[15]
  • 176—Hollow's Heart: Home to the demon lord Fraz-Urb'luu, Prince of Deception.[16]
  • 177—the Writhing Realm: Realm of the demon lord Ugudenk, the Squirming King..[5]
  • 181—the Rotting Plain: Realm of the deity Laogzed.[5] Consists of dry savannah and shallow swampland.[6]
  • 191—the Fountain of Screams: Unknown realm.[8]
  • 193—Vulgaria: Realm of the deity Eshebala.[5]
  • 222—Shedaklah, the Slime Pits: Home to the demon lords Juiblex and Zuggtmoy. A bubbling ocean of ooze and slime known as the Amoebic Sea.[1][17][6]
  • 223—Offalmound: Rulership of this realm is contested.[5]
  • 230—the Dreaming Gulf: A mysterious nether-realm created when a pantheon of gods attempted to destroy that layer, only to be absorbed by it.[18]
  • 241—Palpitatia: Realm of the deities Grankhul and Skiggaret.[5]
  • 245—the Scalding Sea: A layer where the sea is made of acid. The Fountain of Screams is located here upon an island of black glass, although by some counts the fountain is given own layer of 191.[19] Rulership of this realm is contested.[5]
  • 248—the Hidden Layer: Realm of the demon lord Eltab, Lord of the Hidden Layer.[5]
  • 274—Durao: A layer with no ruler.[5] A fetid swamp by the river Styx, used as an embarkation point in the Blood War enroute to Gehenna.[6]
  • 277—Belistor: Realm of Yrsillar.[8]
  • 297—the Sighing Cliffs: Realm of Lynkhab, Lady of Regret.[8]
  • 300—Feng-Tu: Realm of the deities Tou Mu and Lu Yueh.[5]
  • 303—the Sulfanorum: A layer with no ruler.[5] Clouded heavily with smoke.[6]
  • 313—Gorrion's Grasp: Rulership of this realm is contested.[5]
  • 333—the Broken Scale: Realm of the deity Hiddukel.[5] By some counts, this number is given to Thanatos, a realm ruled by Orcus.[8]
  • 340—the Black Blizzard: Rulership of this realm is contested.[5]
  • 348—Indifference: Rulership of this realm is contested.[5] Location of to the Fortress of Indifference, a 200 foot all tower built of black iron, bodies and wailing undead. Home to oustcast demons and tieflings and ruled by Tapheon, a scarred and bloated nalfeshnee.[1]
  • 359—the Arc of Eternity: Realm of the demon lord Eldanoth, the Bloodless Scion.[5]
  • 377—the Plains of Gallenshu: A layer with no ruler.[5] Covered with dust storms and choking grit.[6]
  • 399—the Worm Realm: Realm of the deity Urdlen.[5] An endless realm of twisting tunnels through rock and dirt, and inhabited by infectious fungus.[6]
  • 400—Woeful Escarand: Realm of the Lords of Woe.[5] Occupied primarily by nalfeshnee demons, who sit upon flaming thrones on the Mountain of Woe and cast judgement upon petitioners.[6]
  • 403—the Rainless Waste: A layer with no ruler.[5]
  • 421—the White Kingdom: Realm of the minor demon lord Doresain, King of the Ghouls, a vassal of Yeenoghu.[20][21][5]
  • 422—Yeenoghu's Realm: A nameless layer controlled by the demon prince Yeenoghu.[3] A world of endless forests and savannahs, covered with deadly sharp grasses and thorned vines.[6]
  • 423—Galun-Khur: Realm whose ruler is unknown.[5]
  • 444—unknown: A barren mass of sticky mud inhabited by the treacherous adaru demons.[22]
  • 452—Ahriman-abad: Realm of the demon lord Ahrimanes, Chief of the Cacodaemons.[5]
  • 471—Androlynne: A battlefield between good and evil, ruled by the ancient obyrith, Pale Night.[23]
  • 480—Guttlevetch: A realm of endless shipwrecks and hurricanes, ruined by Demogorgon.[24]
  • 487—Lair of the Beast and Mansion of the Rake: Realm of the deity Kanchelsis.[5]
  • 489—Noisome Vale: A volcanic wastland featuring a ravine filled with a river of worms.[1]
  • 492—unknown: An unknown realm with a conduit connecting to the first layer of Ysgard.[25]
  • 493—the Steeping Isle: Realm of the demon lord Siragle, the Ineffible.[5]
  • 499—Carroristo: A layer with no ruler.[5]
  • 500—unnamed: A layer once said to be the location of Kali's domain, but that deity is now rather said to rule the 643rd layer. The chaotic physical laws of the Abyss cause this plane to move relative to the others. It is said to have red skies and scarlet jungles.[26]
  • 503—Torremor, the Layer of Flies: Realm of the demon lord Pazuzu.[5][6]
  • 507—Occipitus: Realm of the demon lord Adimarchus, until he was overthrown by Graz'zt.[5][11]
  • 518—Melantholep: A realm of madness, home to the chole dragons. Whether Melantholep is the name of the plane or its demon lord is unknown.[27]
  • 519—March of the Pierced Men: Unknown realm.[8]
  • 524—Shatterstone: Realm of the deity Vaprak.[5]
  • 528—Molor, the Stinking Realm: Realm of Juiblex.[8]
  • 531—Vudra: Realm of the demon lord Shaktari, Queen of Mariliths.[5]
  • 548—Garavond: Realm of the demon lord Haagenti, Lord of Alchemy.[8]
  • 550—Forest of Living Tongues: A little-known realm.[8]
  • 558—Fleshforges: Realm of the demon lord Dwiergus, the Chrystalis Prince.[5]
  • 566—Soulfreeze: Realm of the demon lord Aseroth, the Winter Warlock.[5][8]
  • 570—Shendilavri: Home to the succubus queen Malcanthet.[28]
  • 586—Prison of the Mad God: Realm of the duergar deity Diinkarazan, bound here to a stone throne surrounded by a plane-wide vortex of air and orbiting rocks. Time and space are distorted here.[5][6]
  • 597—Goranthis: Realm of the demon lord Socothbenoth.[5]
  • 600—the Endless Maze: An infinite maze ruled by the minotaur demon lord Baphomet, Prince of Beasts.[29]
  • 601—Conflagratum: Realm of the demon lord Alzrius, Lord of Infernal Light.[5]
  • 628—Vallashan: A layer with no ruler.[5]
  • 643—Caverns of the Skull: Realm of the deity Kali.[5] Called by some the Caverns of the Skull Goddess. A realm of endless slaughter and sacrifice.[6]
  • 651—Nethuria: Realm of the demon lord Vucarik, Consort of Chains.[5]
  • 652—the Rift of Corrosion: Rulership of this realm is contested.[5]
  • 663—Zionyn: Realm of the demon lord Obox-ob.[5]

Not all realms have an agreed-upon number or name.

  • Demonwing: A ship sailing the river Styx and crafted from an entire layer of the Abyss.[30]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Manual of the Planes (3e) (2001), p.99-104.
  2. Book of Vile Darkness (3e) (2002), p.125.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), p.105.
  4. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), p.113.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 5.33 5.34 5.35 5.36 5.37 5.38 5.39 5.40 5.41 5.42 5.43 5.44 5.45 5.46 5.47 5.48 5.49 5.50 5.51 5.52 5.53 5.54 5.55 5.56 5.57 5.58 5.59 5.60 5.61 5.62 5.63 5.64 5.65 5.66 5.67 5.68 5.69 Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), p.155-157.
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 Planes of Chaos, An Abridged Lexicon of the Abyss (1994).
  7. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), p.132-133.
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.16 8.17 Demonomicon (2010), p.80.
  9. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), p.134-135.
  10. Demonomicon (2010), p.58.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Dragon #360 (Oct 2007), p.13.
  12. Book of Vile Darkness (3e), Web Enhancement (2002), p.8.
  13. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), p.137-139.
  14. OP1 Tales of the Outer Planes (1988), p.65.
  15. Planar Handbook, Web Enhancement (2004), p.3.
  16. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), p.142.
  17. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), p.144.
  18. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), p.107.
  19. Planar Handbook (2004), p.162.
  20. Book of Vile Darkness (3e) (2002), p.141.
  21. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), p.147.
  22. Monster Manual V (2007), p.21.
  23. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), p.148.
  24. Dragon #357 (Jul 2007), p.25.
  25. The Planewalker's Handbook (1996), p.41.
  26. OP1 Tales of the Outer Planes (1988), p.65-66.
  27. Planar Dragons, Dragon #344 (Jun 2006), p.29.
  28. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), p.150.
  29. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), p.152.
  30. A Paladin in Hell (1998), p.10.
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