Asmodeus
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Titles: The Prince of Darkness
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Portfolio: Tyranny, Slavery, Pride, Contracts
Worshipers: Slavers, Bureaucrats, Tyrants
Cleric Alignments: Lawful Neutral, Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil
Domains: Evil, Fire, Law, Magic, Trickery
Favored Weapon: Mace

Asmodeus (pronounced as-MO-day-us) is the most powerful of the nine archdevils that inhabit Hell and the only one of Hell's rulers to claim full divinity. It was he who is credited with the penning of the contract of creation, within which his followers believe is hidden the means for their patron's eventual rise to supremacy.

In addition to forging the contract of creation, then accepted by all the gods and rumored to contain a secret that will one day lead to its author's rise to power above his fellow deities, Asmodeus played a key role in the defeat and imprisonment of Rovagug. The Rough Beast was sealed away in the Pit of Gormuz, the only key to his prison kept by the Prince of Darkness himself.

Of the evil deities, the Prince of Darkness is the most respected and trusted by his divine peers, though they realize his aid is not to be sought or accepted lightly.

Asmodeus is generally depicted in art as a large, flame-enshrouded man with red skin, cloven hooves, and horns. He is often shown wielding a contract or a flaming mace. Though many believe that this is his true form, some speak of a more fiendish form with constantly bleeding wounds. Asmodeus is also capable of taking the shape of any creature, an ability he uses to gain an advantage in negotiations through intimidation, comfort, or pity. He is also represented by his holy symbol, an upside down red pentagram.

The Prince of Darkness has many servants who rise and fall in popularity according to his whims.

Basileus
This devil serves as the Prince of Darkness' current herald. He appears as a handsome young male possessing blond hair, perceived to be of the same species as that of any creature that encounters him. Additionally, Basileus can freely take a form of supernatural terror; this form differs from one viewer to another, each faced with the greatest fear he or she can imagine.

Asmodeus' faith is strongest in the Empire of Tarsis and several of its vassal states. He preaches strict discipline and unwavering devotion from his worshipers; the strong should rule the weak. The Prince of Darkness expects flattery from his followers, appreciating it for what it is, and delights in deals and contracts that secretly favor one party over another.

Asmodeus' priests usually dress in black decorated with red and often wear horned masks or helmets, and his clergy includes clerics, blackguards, thaumaturgists, and wizards. Followers of the Prince of Darkness often include nobles and bureaucrats, especially those participating in the slave trade and in those nations where his worship is openly accepted. In countries not under The Empire's yoke, priests are expected to abide by local laws and take sacrifices only from willing victims.

Public temples dedicated to Asmodeus can be found in Tarsis, often existing alongside and within the nation's government buildings. Secret houses dedicated to the Prince of Darkness exist throughout Alhara. Many of his temples were originally dedicated to other gods but were abandoned or purchased by his faithful and profaned to serve their purposes.

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