Background and History of the Blood WarEdit

Demons hate immortals of any kind, but they have a special enmity for devils. Over the ages, many terrible
battles have raged across Avernus, the Plain of a Thousand Portals, the Elemental Chaos, and those parts of the
mortal world unfortunate enough to hold portals that offer access to the Abyss or the Nine Hells. A sullen truce
currently prevails, but this ceasefire could end anytime. Few mortals are aware of the Blood War, and fewer
still know what triggered it. It began when Asmodeus rebelled against the deity he served. The mighty angel
stole a shard of the evil seed embedded in the heart of the Abyss and forged it into a ruby-tipped rod, which he then used to slay his divine master. The Abyss wants the stolen shard returned, and consequently every
demon does as well. Armed with a fragment of true evil, Asmodeus hungers to seize the rest of the Abyss’s heart. With it, he can subjugate all demonkind to his will and make himself strong enough to overthrow all the other deities. For their own part, the demon lords want to destroy Asmodeus for his impudence and carry his rod back to the Abyss in triumph, thus returning the Abyss and all demonkind to their rightful might. The intensity of the Blood War varies greatly over time. In centuries past, it has been a cosmic conflagration. Countless thousands of demons have swarmed through portals to assault Avernus. At the same time, devils crafted iron fortresses in the Elemental Chaos to storm the Abyssal depths. The battlefields of these ancient campaigns are littered with powerful (and evil) weapons, curses, and aftereffects. The current uneasy truce has held for several lifetimes of mortals now. In the current interregnum, demons and devils regard each other with hostility and intense rivalry. They compete for influence in the mortal world demons by aiding mortals with destructive purposes, devils by guile and corruption. For the moment, Asmodeus husbands the Nine Hells’ strength while the lords of demonkind are consumed with their own arguments and jealousy. No demon lord wants to bear the brunt of the losses in an attack against the Nine Hells, fearing that other demon lords will strike against him if he grows too weak. Until they agree to act in concert, the demons have no real hope of overwhelming the Nine Hells. Asmodeus understands that the only thing that might cause the demon lords to forget their rivalries is the next infernal assault on the Abyss. Consequently, he is determined to plan his next campaign with the greatest of care so that when the Blood War resumes, it will be at the time and place of his choosing.