The Abyss is the hellish prison holding 27 of the Wicked Ones in Kings of War. Located in Tragar, homeland of the Abyssal Dwarfs, numerous demons and orcs also call it home. It is also the setting for the Dungeon Saga quest module "The Infernal Crypts."
After the shattering of the Fenulian Mirror, the Wicked Ones set to work corrupting mortals and creating their own races to wage war upon the Shining Ones. The demons were one of the latter, a vile race of
always usually Chaotic Evil, but sometimes Stupid Evil. When Domivar finally faced Oskan at the end of the God War, the Wicked One had a large of army of such fiends. Domivar eventually overpowered Oskan, striking him down. The power of this blow rending reality itself, creating a pocket dimension from the evil in Oskan's heart.
This new dimension became known as the Abyss. As other Wicked Ones were rounded up, they were imprisoned in this dimension, unable to manifest physically upon Mantica once they were sealed inside. This has forced them to operate through proxies, often sending demonic and orcish hordes out from the Abyss to assault the nations of Mantica. Many such raids are made to capture slaves and subjects for experimentation; unfortunate souls who are then drug back to the Abyss to face hell every day until their very souls are torn asunder.
The Circles of the AbyssEdit
Just like Dante's Inferno, the Abyss has multiple circles to it. The sixth circle is home to the Archfiends, the demonic lords that rule over all other demons. This circle is said to be a place of such chaotic nature that lesser beings cannot even exist within it, leaving only the Archfiends and the Wicked Ones to it. Just as in many RPG settings, the Archfiends can leave this circle, but doing so without the proper
bullshit plot antics preparations will result in them not being at full power outside it, prompting them to mostly just hang out here and do nothing.
The fifth circle is home to the Abyssal Champions. These are your daemon prince type warlords who do most of the supernatural evil work that needs doing in the setting. They like to chill in the fifth circle, surrounded by demonic attendants, mortal adherents, and slaves in giant palaces built to suit their different personalities. They're naturally all conspiring against one another all the time, making them completely ineffective at winning.
The fourth circle is home to the Efreets and the foundries of the Abyss. The Efreets oversee the forging of magical armor and weapons for the Abyssal Champions and Archfiends here and generally seem to be left alone to complete these tasks as they see fit. Guess all these evil assholes are smart enough to realize they need that epic level loot intact. Numerous Abyssal Dwarf craftsmen also operate out of this circle building Daemon Engines and whatnot.
The third circle is a wellspring of magic and corruption. The Chroneas are the the most prominent demons who dwell here, but it is also home to succubi and numerous tortured souls. New spells and curses are developed here. As such, most of those captured in their raids upon Mantica who are not used for slave labor are sent here to be tortured in the development of these new magics. A Chroneas' time powers are particularly useful for bringing test subjects back to life to experiment upon once more.
The second circle is said to be a barren wasteland. Hordes of abyssal riders are said to wander this circle on an eternal hunt, slaughtering anyone they come across. This seems to be a barrier of some sort, weeding out demons and would-be adventurers who couldn't survive in the deeper circles even if they wanted to.
The first circle is the outermost ring of the Abyss. This is where the vast majority of the denizens of the Abyss dwell. This is also where the Abyss connects to Mantica, merging the corporeal and incorporeal. Lower Abyssals and Gargoyles are born here, but it is also home to countless corrupted mortals as well. All the creatures of this circle are hostile, often to one another as much as to the allies of the Shining Ones, but can be whipped into organized armies by the greater demons of the lower circles. Molochs often come to this realm to force these ne'er-do-wells into the service of their Abyssal Champion masters.
Ba'el, Bane of the Mortal Realms, Bringer of Woe, and Eater of Realms, is an Abyssal Champion who has many titles to stroke his ego. Ba'el first appeared during the God War as one of Oskan's lieutenants. He survived the war, but was a frequent nemesis to the Successor Kingdoms and elven kindred. During the Winter War he fought alongside the forces of Winter. In Dolgath he faced Valandor the Great, but was defeated by him there. Too weakened to finish the demon off, Valandor sealed him inside the ruined dwarven hold.
Centuries later Mortibras would be drawn to Dolgath by a mysterious voice. This was revealed to be Ba'el, who had become a shambling undead demon as his body decayed in the ruins, and was freed by the necromancer. Ba'el initially faced the adventurers in the hold pursuing Mortibras, but departed after merely testing their skill to raise an army of demons and undead to raze Basilea to the ground.
Ba'su'su the VileEdit
Lord of the Gargoyles, Ba'su'su is said to be a half breed, although what non-demon lineage he holds has not been said. He has risen to dominate many of the Gargoyle flocks of the first circle, but the nature of his birth prevents him from ever becoming an Abyssal Champion. Tormented by this fact, Ba'su'su continues to strive to prove his worth to his demonic masters in the vain hope of reprieve from his fate.
Lord of LiesEdit
A powerful Archfiend who has been summoned into Mantica on occasion. Rumors swirl that this creature is not an avatar of Oskan himself, a means by which the will of the Wicked One lives on to threaten Mantica. A master of subtle manipulation, his voice can whisper into the hearts of mortals and set brother against brother. Not be all charisma and no strength or intelligence, the Lord of Lies is also a master sorcerer and brutal in close combat. On the other hand, you're definitely paying for all this on the tabletop with his points cost.
Well of SoulsEdit
The collection of the suffering, tattered remains of the souls destroyed in the Abyss, the Well of Souls is a mysterious force within the hellish dimension. No one, not even the Archfiends, are sure if it is sentient or merely a destructive force, but all know what it is capable of. Some of it can be summoned to a battlefield, taking the form of a raging whirlwind that sweeps across the field ripping the souls from those it passes and transporting them directly to the Abyss.
On the TabletopEdit
Tactics can be found here: Kings of War/Tactics/Forces of the Abyss
The Abyssal Legions have a great mix of unit options, that allow it to be an army with a lot customization potential. They can easily be run as a horde army, a monster heavy army, or even a flier centric army.