Stygia

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Stygia is the domain of the Demons. Only those who have invested in the Dark Lords will respawn there, and all others who dare to visit this plane will suffer the twisting pain of the horrors that lie there. Stygia is a plane of extremes, whose blazing, sulfurous firepits are the only 'relief' from the howling winds of a cold that cuts far deeper than any mortal winter. Many twisted, misshapen buildings dedicated to war, torture and dark sorcery can be found scattered about Stygia, though the landscape also contains a few colossal mega-structures that dwarf all other buildings and other signs of the hand of greater and more terrible Powers. Stygia is shadowed by unending night, though demonkind find searching there easy regardless.

Some demons, visiting angels and Nexal scholars occasionally also refer to Stygia by the colloquial name Gehenna.

Stygia's rivers of lava and lakes of fire make travel through this plane dangerous for all but the most rugged of mortal adventurers. Some form of fire resistance would be a wise investment - as would a means of flying or teleporting past this plane's formidable obstacles. Demons are no more resistant to lava than mortals, but they possess the ability to resist the inherent damage that afflicts all who travel to this plane.

History and Geography

Though many strongly evil-aligned Planes have risen and fallen that bore the name Stygia over the course of countless Breaths, the Stygia that is accessible in the present Breath is the original plane to be called by that name. Stygia is one aspect (the other being Elysium) of the very first Breath - the first coherent world that was created by the Elder Powers in their earliest dabbling with the Source of Creation. This first Breath was once a single world, in which the bright, positive traits that define Elysium and the dark, negative traits that define Stygia existed in a tentative balance. However, when the ruthless greed of Tlacolotl and the harsh judgment of Namm clashed, the Elder Powers divided into warring sides, a conflict that culminated in the fall of Azazel, the angelic Elder Power of Truth, and the sundering of the world into two mutually exclusive realities.

The landscape of Stygia is a manifestation of the dark side of the first world, a landscape that literally burns with both the curses levied on the Demons by the judgment of Namm and the hateful zeal of its infernal inhabitants themselves. The landscape of Stygia is ringed by the great River Styx, a Searing River of living flame that flows to the Ceyxian Sea, a great Lake of Fire in the far west. The northern half of Stygia is dominated by the presence of the Gulag Magnificent, monument to the megalomaniacal ambition of Tlacolotl, who took it upon himself to dub the entire surrounding land Dominus Tlacolotl in his honor. Further to the south, in the center of the plane, lies Mictlan, a jumble of infernal buildings marked most notably by the Great Ziggurat and the Circus Carnivorous erected by the followers of Tholaghru to honor their mad god with blood sports. The city of Hades Tol to the southwest is built around the forbidden library of madness-inducing knowledge that the followers of Ahg-za-haru have made of what was once Azazel's great University, while the wilderness of Zamhareer to the southeast serves as the birthing ground of most of the minions summoned by the Wyrm Master.

Traveling to Stygia

Wide is the road and straight is the gate that leads to Stygia, and there are many easy ways to find oneself in the demons' realm. The easiest, of course, is to be a Demon, as characters who fall to the path of the Pariah or Defiler will respawn in Stygia one-third of the time when slain, a chance that rises to two-thirds upon choosing a Tier 3 demonic class such as a Dark Oppressor or Void Walker. The Redeemed, having atoned from their demonic ways, will no longer respawn in Stygia so long as they remain Good, while the Fallen, despite their angelic past, will respawn in Stygia as if they were Tier 3 Demons.

Others who wish to brave the flames of Stygia may reach it from Laurentia through a variety of Portals. Known pathways to Stygia from the mortal plane include:

  • A portal from the airport tarmac at 8,34 on Sidney Island to the cracked highways of Mictlan.
  • An anomalous advertising display inside the suspiciously named Devil's Food Development at 18,18 in Silver City to the wastelands of Uffern.
  • A forsaken holding cell in the Ministry of Public Safety at 15,10 King's Island to the ruins of The Death Cascade.
  • A fast-food restroom door inside the Taco Hut at 38,31 in Sunset that instead leads to the Blood Mills of Naraka.
  • A collection of occult books inside a Mansion at 39,39 in South Sunset that, with the coming of the Nexus, now connects to the true trove of forbidden lore in the former university of Hades Tol.
  • A portal in an unknown place in the Underground that leads to northern Hades Tol.

Once within Stygia, travel throughout the plane is often surprisingly quick and easy (at least for those that do not take Planar Damage there) by navigating up and down the River Styx. While the river of flame would doom any mortal watercraft, Charon, the eternal Boatman, can be found at each of the Stone Bridges that cross the river and is able to easily ferry passengers from one bridge to the next. Of all the ancient beings of the Nexus, Charon alone still sees the first world as one undivided plane - and thus his presence makes travel between Stygia and Elysium remarkably easy, for he is able to transport travelers on a bridge in one plane to the corresponding bridge in the other and vice versa.

Locations Found in Stygia