Currently Recognized Layer Number: 73 Name: The Wells of Darkness Ruler: None Normal Gravity Normal Time

When most beings think of issues such as freedom and incarceration as concerning The Abyss and chaotic evil, they think of demons as 'free' only in the sense that they are liberated to destroy, pervert, and slaughter unless restrained or focused by those more powerful than themselves. However, even without the concept of law (much less an obligation to promulgate law), demons do have a concept of incarceration and they certainly possess the willingness to use it against those who threaten their ambitions and their power. The Abyss itself also has its own version of a prison. This prison takes the form of an entire layer, and is known as the Wells of Darkness.

History

The Wells of Darkness are believed to have formed shortly after the end of the Second War of Law and Chaos, given that many of its earlier prisoners such as Shaktari and Laz'bralthull have more to do with this particular era in Abyssal history than any other. In fact, its history is far more interesting and bizarre than most believe-for the Wells of Darkness are an almost-living layer, and an example of Demogorgon's horrific experimentation upon the matter of The Abyss itself.

Shortly after The Devourer of Souls stirred from its slumber it began to bend demons back to its foul will. To discover the state of the creation that it had lost control over during its prolonged inactivity, it sent lesser demons throughout The Abyss to discover what portions of its former creation as The Demiurge remained within its boundaries and their current locations. Several among these demons discovered a bodak spawning layer with a cold and distant blue sun. It was filled with black pools that appeared superficially similar to those of Pazunia, but were far different in that they could trick beings into entering them and in turn devoured those who did so. These pools were not independent, living creatures like the portal oozes of Pazunia. Instead they were the interconnected maws of an entity that without drastic intervention, could self awaken until it became a true rarity within The Abyss: a fully sentient living layer.

Travelling there personally Demogorgon was able to subjugate the layer and interrupt its evolution before it reached full sentience. It then subjugated The Wells of Darkness until it became something far more useful. The layer retained some of its entrapping instincts to the point where it was capable of imprisoning powerful demons without necessarily consuming them. However, it was ‘trained’ to only use these instincts when the proper ritual had been performed upon it, and only within the immediate proximity of a single portal, not much unlike a hunting predator trained only to capture prey without devouring it. Furthermore, Demogorgon added additional protections to ensure that in the extremely unlikely event that it was somehow manipulated, it would be difficult for prisoners to be released simply. This protection consisted of devising the Ritual of the Wells, a potent magical incantation that contained within its casting a means to specify a unique counter-ritual to free the same specific prisoner. Even for Demogorgon, a mere brutal attack upon the Wells without the proper counter-ritual would prove difficult to liberate someone contained within them.

The first prisoners of the Wells were either enemies of Demogorgon or experiments that it wished to temporarily store outside of Gaping Maw. During this time it was populated by the likes of Shami-Amourae and others. Even beyond those prisoners that were placed there for either serving The Devourer of Souls' rivals or for eventually coming to be seen as an inconvenience to it, Demogorgon also placed prisoners in the Wells that were intended as subjects for further experimentation, or whose release would prove so lethal to the beings that liberated them that doing so represented a trap.

For all of its investment in creating and stocking the layer, The Wells of Darkness did not remain in Demogorgon's control for very long. Challenged both by The Dark Prince and by The Goat, it was Graz'zt who figured out how to do what was done only once in The Wells of Darkness' history: conquer the entire layer without provoking its full wrath. Although Demogorgon had sent other defenders to the layer, they were slain by demons following Graz'zt while The Devourer of Souls was pressed against both Apollyon and The Goat elsewhere. However, as Graz'zt quickly realized the utility of the layer and that its existence actually supported his portfolio through the potential for demonic cooperation (as well as his standing within The Abyss), the Demon Prince of Shadows refrained from either freeing Demogorgon's prisoners (and in this manner avoided the trapped and cursed prisoners that it had placed there) or alternately, attempting to establish permanent control over the Wells himself. Instead, he placed his own array of prisoners within the layer and largely left the Custodians alone. Graz'zt gambled that by giving other powers of The Abyss more motive to leave The Wells of Darkness intact, they would actually help him preserve largely unconsciously the Wells' status. This was a brilliant guess on Graz'zt's part that has for the most part been correct.

As more demonic personages discovered The Wells of Darkness and as the ritual of the Wells became more commonly known, the composition of the Wells' prisoners became a surreal menagerie of enemies and nemeses from practically every major faction within The Abyss and even several beyond it. All of these beneficiaries had their own independent (and often contradictory) motives for throwing beings into the prison-layer. Practically none of them, with rare exception, had any reason for attempting to totally disrupt the operation of the layer. This is a bizarre situation that remains largely constant to this day with few exceptions.

The most overt threat to The Wells of Darkness comes from Apollyon. The Dark Angel is completely unaware of its elaborate history and is relentlessly apathetic to the machinations of both its prisoners and those who incarcerated them. He merely sees the layer as another region he can destroy in his quest to annihilate The Abyss as well as Creation in their entirety. Paradoxically, it is because Apollyon is such an obvious threat that he is less likely to actually be responsible for causing The Wells of Darkness to tumble into Abaddon, The Bottomless Pit or otherwise subsuming the layer into his control. No other power of The Abyss will ever aid Apollyon as far as The Wells of Darkness are concerned. Not even Diabolos, the Demon Prince of Prophecy, supports him in this ambition. He fears that even if the Dark Angel was successful, it would unify the other demon princes of The Abyss in their wrath to such an extent that they would attack him as one, subverting Diabolos' prophecies for The Gathering Darkness by either resulting in Apollyon's death or more likely, the deaths of those who challenged him who might still have roles to play in the final unraveling of all Creation. Similarly, known Apollyon cultists are the only exceptions to the Custodians' somewhat uncaring attitudes towards visitors and are killed on sight. The maleidolon servitors of Apollyon known as akrusids were also banned from entering the Wells when Demogorgon first controlled it. This layer property is one that Graz'zt and all who came after him wisely chose to leave unaltered.

In comparison, Baphomet is deeply involved with scheming to claim the layer himself with an attack upon The Wells of Darkness that has been unusually subtle and deeply counterintuitive. Instead of actually trying to send an army to The Wells of Darkness and conquer it directly, Baphomet has been using various intermediaries to trap enemies of his in The Wells, in the process expanding it in a more labyrinthine fashion. In this manner he hopes that the paths of the Wells of Darkness will become sufficiently convoluted that the entire layer itself can be absorbed wholesale into The Endless Maze in the future. At that point, Baphomet can use his own control over a layer in order to devour all of the prisoners of The Wells of Darkness, fueling his ascension into a far greater Demon Prince than he is currently. Simoultaneously, Baphomet is unaware of the risks involved in his plan and the true nature of The Wells of Darkness’ origins as a living layer.

Properties

The Wells of Darkness can be reached by a simple and unadorned portal located in Pazunia and no more than five days' travel from the left bank of the Styx and three days away from the right bank of The Grand Abyss. It takes the form of a pool of black oil which, while viscous to the touch, does not actually adhere to any being that does touch it or any being that travels through it. The portal key is a prisoner intentionally carried by a group attempting to enter the layer, and without the intention to leave a being within the Wells attempts to use the portal are not successful. They need not be physically restrained, however, and the form of the prisoner is not predetermined. Successful variants that have activated the portal have included polymorphed victims, dominated mortals or other demons, or souls stored in gems. Nobody can leave the Wells without leaving a prisoner behind and all attempts to planeshift or exit The Wells of Darkness fail otherwise. However, this incarceration need not consist of the full ritual of consigning a being to a Well. In the case of immobilized prisoners, mere abandonment is sufficient to satiate the Wells' imprisoning instincts and allow other beings to depart. When an attempt is made to leave the layer, a prisoner must be within 30 feet of the beings that intend to abandon it for the layer to correctly ascertain that a prisoner is present to satisfy it and allow their unhindered departure.

Prisoner of the Wells: The Prisoner of the Wells ritual is necessary in order to entrap a being within the Wells of Darkness.Technically, the ritual itself does not possess the requisite power to actually imprison any being beyond an atrocity, much less the array of deities, abominations, and Abyssal powers currently interred there. What it does instead is allow for a limited awakening of the mouth of The Wells of Darkness to the extent where the Wells itself finishes the ritual and devours the intended prisoner, enveloping them in a membrane of black, viscous fluid which leaves as the only remnant of its activity a brief imprint of the terrified face of its prisoner in its surface for several minutes after the act. For the purposes of entrapping victims, the Wells of Darkness is considered to have rank 16 for the purposes of making rank checks. Failing to perform the ritual correctly places the being that has performed it at risk of being imprisoned themselves. They must make a Will save DC 66 and a neutral rank check against the Wells (DC 16). Succeeding at either ensures that the individuals responsible for the failed ritual escape from the layer unharmed. Failing both saves incarcerates all involved a Well with the layer itself determining randomly the conditions for their release. Despite the dire consequences of such failures they are in fact comparatively rare. Most entities that intend to throw a prisoner into a Well have sufficient power and acumen to ensure that their initial attempt succeeds.

The first Ritual of the Wells was devised by Demogorgon itself and used upon the original prisoner that he committed to the prison layer. However, between the treachery of Ahazu and the brilliance of Graz'zt in devising other versions of it (and often distributing these versions to other Abyssal lords and atrocities for personal gain), the Ritual has become known to a wide array of Abyssal powers, a significant number of the more powerful atrocities within The Abyss, members of several different pantheons, and even a couple of notable mortal demonologists. Although the details of the Ritual of Wells depend greatly on the specific nature of each prisoner, there are some commonalities that hold true. Generally, the Ritual takes one minute per hit dice of the target. Most successful castings of the Ritual take place with at least three ritualists, although some demon princes such as Demogorgon and Zuggtmoy have sufficient might to perform it unaided, even when their targets were rival Abyssal powers such as demon lords or other demon princes. The Ritual of the Wells always requires at least one prisoner as well. If a prisoner is not provided, then the layer itself randomly selects one of the ritualists and imprisons them upon the same conditions that would otherwise be set forth for release.

Hazards

Custodians of the Wells: The Wells of Darkness are well guarded by an array of beings known as the Custodians of the Wells. An average Custodian is a 54 HD bodak. Custodians do not intervene against visitors to the Wells unless they are attacked, or unless an attempt is made to free a prisoner from the Wells that does not match up with the proper ritual (which they can sense instinctively, even though they do not know the specifics of the rituals themselves). Furthermore, Custodians seem to have an uncanny sense as to when a being is brought to the Wells for the purposes of guarding a prisoner, and will not attack such called or even created beings in situ based on the implication that they are, in a sense, prisoners of the Wells in their own right. However, their deadly gaze has been known to inadvertently slaughter visitors to the Wells and the Custodians seem to be unaware of the lethal effects of their eyes against those who view them.

In comparison, when Custodians are attacked, the Wells themselves respond in a prompt and deadly fashion. Eight additional bodaks are created and teleported around any threat each round. If these defenders prove insufficient, then the Wells responds by sending further Custodians which may be treated as possessing varying arrays of innate class levels until a combination is found which can defeat the threat presented to the Wells. However, the wrath of the layer does not extend to taking sides in battles between different demons or visitors. Provided that no Custodian is harmed or the substance of the layer substantially damaged (area effect spells and powers are allowed, while wholesale and deliberated destruction of the layer is not), the Wells will not get involved in any such conflict. In the battles in which Graz'zt overthrew Demogorgon's control of the prison layer, as Graz'zt's demonic army had been warned in advance by Ahazu not to attack the layer's spawned bodaks, no Custodian came to the defense of those demons and undead following Demogorgon and The Dark Prince was able to conquer the Wells with relatively few casualties. Furthermore, Custodians can not interact with prisoners that are already within a Well-a loophole that Ahazu again has massively used to his advantage.

Custodians are creations of the Wells' power as a living layer. They possess no independent existence or knowledge save for what is given to them when they are created. They are deleted when the layer decides that they are no longer necessary, liquefying into a puddle of Bile which is absorbed rapidly into the layer's cold, grey rock. As such, Custodians are incapable of pursuing attackers off of the layer and in fact disintegrate into a pool of liuquid and a skeleton the instant they are removed. This is true even if the Custodian is somehow transmuted and then taken off of the layer by other means. One of the more notable attempts consisted of trapping a Custodian in a gem-which when taken off of the layer, gushed black blood until it was nothing left but a hollowed, ruined shell-and the demons that attempted it were instantly attacked the next time they tried to enter the Wells. Custodians also transmit whatever knowledge they gain to the Wells. This ability enables them to remember for an apparently indefinite period of time the appearance, powers, and weaknesses of any being that attempts to damage the layer, defy its power, or has attempted to do either in the past.

Although their status as creations of the layer gives them the ability to both comprehend and speak languages, the bodak Custodians betray as little comprehension of any tongue as possible. They demonstrate through their actions both their stature and their power to defend the layer. Nor do they speak, save upon those occasions of necessity where a Custodian is created that must be capable of spellcasting.

Innate Defenses: Beyond the Custodians of the Wells the layer has multiple ways of defending themselves from those who would attempt to either conquer it or improperly free its prisoners. The geography of the paths can rearrange itself in order to interfere with attempts to escape, and typically the layer rearranges itself in order to send 'hints' to beings that attempt to leave the layer without interring a prisoner in a Well by placing an empty chamber within sight of any visitors. It can also alter pathways to block them off in both directions, shifting them in a manner analogous to the bizarre anti-teleportation properties of Lolth's Web. Custodians are immune to these blockages and they can surround hazardous intruders by physically appearing both in front of and behind them.

Furthermore, the layer can locally alter the rules of existence in particular locations to disallow flight, generating the effects of a wingbind spell that can only be overcome through the successful use of Alter Reality and a rank check against the Wells itself (DC 16).

Finally, and as a last resort, the Wells themselves can also rearrange spatial geometry around those who prove particularly offensive against it, completely encircling victims without actually devouring them or placing them in a Well. When this occurs, the victims of the layer find themselves trapped either upon the pathway or in the space between Wells in which they were physically located. Teleportation is not directly blocked as much as it is simply rendered utterly useless, as the Wells of Darkness merely creates a destination for its transgressors that looks physically identical to their previous location. Similarly, the air and ground around such entrapped victims is created at a sufficient rate as to totally impede motion, resulting in either flight or burrowing apparently providing no meaningful progress. When the Wells resorts to these sufficiently drastic measures, there are few methods that are successful at allowing egress from the layer. Alter Reality, wish, and miracle, along with analogous psionic powers, are capable of creating an escape-but only if the intent is to escape from the spatial rearrangement. In such cases the layer interprets the intent of the casting or supernal ability in such a way as to greater planeshift those involved back to their previous location outside of the Wells.

Locations

Overlook: Only one hill or bluff exists within the Wells of Darkness. Three hundred feet tall, at its peak is the ruined fortress of Overlook. Overlook is the sole remnant of the Cult of Ahazu, which was annihilated by The Goat in an attack upon the layer during the period in which Graz'zt maintained some nominal control over it. Now all that remains of it are blasted and partially disintegrated stones, and mere imprints of where the former followers of Ahazu were destroyed by Orcus in his wrath.

Burnt out and completely sacked, there is no notable treasure that anyone has managed to find within it-even after untold thousands of years of scrupulous examination, as tampering with Overlook is allowed given that it is not a Well proper. However, besides its strategic position, which has been highly advantageous in those circumstances where the Wells were attacked, Overlook also has one extremely unique property. Any being that stands atop the highest spire of Overlook can make a concentration check (DC 30) and see the shortest path to any given prisoner's particular Well.

Prisoners of The Wells

Although the ruins of Overlook are valuable for their bizarre ability to respond to the will of whoever stands within the ruins, it is the Wells of Darkness proper that are the layer's most distinctive locations. Most Wells have a small group of defenders either incarcerated with each prisoner or in the area around them. Among the layer's most notable prisoners are the following:

Ahazu The Seizer: Graz'zt's first and most potent prisoner consigned to the Wells is Ahazu the Seizer. A particularly scheming abat-dolorin of far lesser stature than Elazalag, Ahazu The Seizer was imprisoned within The Wells through Graz'zt's deliberated efforts in order to create a spy or agent within the layer against Demogorgon's machinations. This element of the plot succeeded in fact far beyond Graz'zt's original intentions. Initially, Graz'zt merely intended to use Ahazu to try and ascertain the true nature of Demogorgon's schemes for the layer. However, the Dark Prince also came to realize that there was a distinction between the nature of the layer itself and the Custodians endemic to it as compared to the minions of Demogorgon. Those demons that Demogorgon had placed upon the layer, who were tolerated within the Wells but not spawnings of it, could be slain without provoking the wrath of the former. When Graz'zt finally invaded the Wells of Darkness in order to wrest it from The Devourer of Souls' control, he did so with almost minimal losses on his part and the defenders of the layer that Demogorgon had placed were slain without mercy or quarter. However, shortly after the apparent triumph of Ahazu and Graz'zt, the former began to grow increasingly overextended in his power. In his hubris Ahazu ran afoul of The Goat. While Orcus had little interest in taking over the Wells, he responded to the affront delivered to him by Ahazu lethally and dramatically. The Overlook was destroyed, and throughout Creation, all beings that formerly followed Ahazu were butchered. Ahazu would have followed his minions into nothingness save for the fact that The Seizer made two important discoveries, and by doing so found a means for preserving himself.

The first of these discoveries was that although Ahazu never fully understood the nature of the Wells as a subsumed and partially living layer, he grasped that it was capable of quietly devouring prisoners. Those victims chosen by it were never the most important-as on some abstract level, belief actually impeded its digestive processes. However, there were times when the Wells themselves would devour such unfortunates, rearranging the layer so as to make invisible and nearly impossible what it had done.

Based on his initial discovery, Ahazu figured out how to become a vestige-and as a vestige, he gained the capability of moving between the Wells without necessarily ever freeing himself. Although Ahazu cannot free any particular prisoner of the Wells, he can certainly encourage the layer to devour them-and by so doing, gain some sliver of power for himself. Perhaps once every two or three millenia, Ahazu feasts upon a lesser prisoner of The Wells, and in this way, he forestalls the layer itself doing to him what he has done to so many others.

Alba Simeul, the Rose by Another Name: Roses are fascinating flowers, abundant with symbolic connotations among many mortal races, many of them noble or amorous or both; the Six-Fingered Prince, ravager of love in all its forms, could not resist the notion of taming this very symbol. Graz’zt seduced one of the fey Hesperides, the elder sister-kin of the dryads, and sired Alba on her while disguised as a satyr. The Rose by Another Name was born as a bud in the shape of a mortal heart, and was abandoned by her flighty mother due to the unnatural shape of the offspring and its disturbing nature. Graz’zt took the bud back to The Abyss, and planted her in Abyssal earth among Az'zagrat’s viper orchards. In time she grew into an enormous and beautiful rose with petals of pure white and thorns as sharp as a sword; at the center of the bud she emerged as a wholly beautiful, white-skinned woman merged just below the hips with the flower. Graz’zt was at first thrilled, then disappointed, when the Faux Purity began to leach Abyssal essence from the ground, and feasted on the blood of anything that approached her. Untameable, poisonous, and nearly unapproachable even by her father, Graz’zt was forced to transport an entire portion of his realm into The Wells of Darkness in order to rid himself of his daughter until such a time as he could find a means to use her (he has some notion of turning her loose on Zuggtmoy someday).

As the Dark Prince intends for his daughter to someday be unleashed upon Creation, her guardianship partially consists of ensuring that she is well fed. Although Alba Simeul cannot extend her full presence outside of The Well, based on his studies of Ahazu, Graz'zt has figured out how to use Alba Simeul's hunger as a defense of her own imprisonment. Any being that attempts to liberate her finds themselves ensnared by spiny rose stems and dragged into the Well where she devours them. Given the circumstances of the Faux Purity's incarceration, her Well is also encircled by a ring of emerald green fire analogous to the fire ovens of Az'zagrat but intensified in its severity. The Custodians and Graz'zt himself do not take any damage from the green fire ring, but all other beings that attempt to pass through it must make both a Ref save DC 32 or else catch on fire, taking 24d8 points of fire damage per round (half of which is vile), as well as make a further Will save DC 32 or else be held within the ring, ensuring that they burn to death. The ring itself requires three rounds of travel in order to pass through it and it blocks both teleportation in any form as well as planeshifting.

Areex: One of the most bizarre prisoners of the Wells is the long-forgotten (by multiple deliberate intents) demon prince Areex. The only two beings believed to have any clear recollection of who he was or his portfolio otherwise were Zzyczesiya and Abraxas, both near the peaks of their relative power when Areex finally began fading from Creation. Although little in Abraxas' archives speaks to the bizarre punishment heaped upon Areex, and Zzyczesiya speaks to practically none at all, a fragmentary account of Areex's horrific fate can still be pieced together.

Though Madness and Bile greatly diminished what power the qlippothim had left in The Abyss, it could hardly be claimed that they failed to fight back. It was towards the end of the war, in a time of desperation for the surviving qlippothim, the greatest might of the klurichir, and the rise of mazza'im powers and the reawakened Demogorgon that the downfall of Areex took place. Over the course of these brutal conflicts, Zzyczesiya, the Demon Lady of Ignorance, while only affiliated with the qlippothim, sought to fight against Abraxas, then the Demon Prince of Mysteries. One of the victims of these conflicts was the demon prince Areex, when in a contest between her and Abraxas, he sought to bring Areex over to his side by divising a name by which he could be manipulated. The yaldabaoth against which both Areex and Abraxas fought, in comparison, reacted with an even more bizarre tactic. She attempted to erase Areex's name and all details of his life entirely, in the process eliminating any possibility of a foothold by which the holder of Power could triumph over her intended victim.

In the contest between them, Areex found himself worse off from both tactics and ill-prepared to defend himself from either of them. Even beyond hemorrhaging worshipers and minions to the point where even his greatest servitors could barely remember him, the idea of being both something within Creation while being nameless within it attracted the attentions of a monstrosity far more alarming than either of his nemeses; Bolothamogg, an Abhorrent One from the Void beyond Creation itself. Besieged on all sides, Areex ultimately resorted to the most bizarre tactic he could envision and consigned himself to the safest place he could find.

He willingly condemned himself to the Wells of Darkness-where he remains to this day.

Although the Wells may protect Areex himself, they do not protect those few remaining beings that were once affiliated with him. Bolothamogg itself apparently seeks to find a way of freeing Areex from the wells in for some purpose simultaneously nigh-unfathomable yet most likely horrible. One element of the Abhorrent One's schemes apparently seems to be sending messengers of its intent through Creation from The Void. The most notable of these is a group-entity of gibberlings found in The Abyss which eventually found their way into the ownership of a personage in Sigil. However, they are not the only servitors of Bolothamogg in Creation. Periodically, bizarre aberrations are seen around Areex's Well-and although they are slain on sight by the Custodians, even with slight ebbs and gains in their frequency, as the millenia pass, they grow ever slightly more numerous.

The Well of Areex is difficult to find because it can only be sought intentionally and not discovered. Those approaching the cul-de-sac upon which its path is located must make a Will save DC 25 in order to even find it. Otherwise the memory of even seeing it slips out of the mind. Areex's Well also has no apparent decoration or ornamentation whatsoever. Instead, Areex's obscurity has become so strong that every mind that sees the Well must make a Will save DC 25 or else see precisely what they want to see, but no viewer ever sees the same thing unless they are all immune to this bizarre side effect of Areex's disappearance. The most reliable means of finding it consists of having a being with augmented sight stand upon Overlook (which is curiously unaffected by this particular property), and then directing other beings to follow the exact path required to find the Well. Areex's Well has no guardians otherwise, as any charged to the responsibility would eventually forget it and wander the layer idly. The conditions for opening Areex's Well are known only to Areex (who designed his incarceration this way so nobody could come back and later free him). In this way aside from a direct attack on the layer's prisons only a being that has developed means of contacting Areex can possibly learn how to liberate him.

Cabiri, The Eyes of Madness: Some say that to peer into The Abyss is to allow The Abyss to peer into you; to allow oneself to become vulnerable to its myriad taints and temptations, and ultimately, to put oneself at risk for all eternity for the sake of knowledge of its fell depths. Few beings exemplified the potentialities of these sayings to a greater degree than Cabiri, The Eyes of Madness. A qlippothim of great and nightmarish knowledge, Cabiri was bizarre in both appearance and portfolio, demanding both mutilations of soul and sanity in exchange for visions and sights of The Abyss that brought similar potency of foresight and ultimate destruction to their alleged beneficiaries. To those doomed seers foolish enough to call upon his knowledge, much less summon him to their worlds, he granted them both insight and eventual insanity.

For all his power, the abstraction of Cabiri's concerns ensured that there were few beings that followed him willingly, or even survived the distortions of mind and soul that such acts required, and Cabiri was a demon atrocity (although an exceptionally potent one) throughout most of the Second War of Law and Chaos. His power gave him the ability to survive power shifts throughout The Abyss on multiple occasions; he even managed to survive both the Rod of Law and Madness and Bile relatively unscathed. However, what finally resulted in his imprisonment were the schemes of Pale Night-and her then consort, the rising demon prince Baphomet.

Baphomet hardly needed encouragement to imprison Cabiri, as he already saw The Eyes of Madness as a potential enemy in his own rise to power. However, Baphomet was hardly alone in these desires and a far more powerful and ancient being than him had a similar agenda in mind for entirely different motives. In the case of Pale Night, the Eyes of Madness' vast longevity and unique powers caused her to believe that he was one of the only beings that might be able to perceive some fragment of her massive schemes, both during the qlippothic dominance and well after Madness and Bile. However, as was her way, she found a suitably pliant intermediary to do her work for her: Baphomet. Cabiri was imprisoned by Baphomet at the subtle urgings of Pale Night-as well as a significant amount of personal assistance, in order to ensure that the Eyes of Madness remained unaware of the attack upon its person until it was far too late for it to flee, or triumph against the Father of Knowledge.

Once Pale Night abandoned Baphomet, choosing Pazuzu as her current Consort, Baphomet slowly began re-evaluating many of the acts he committed when she resided within The Endless Maze. Among these decisions was why he imprisoned Cabiri, and what (if anything) Pale Night gained from the decision that he once assumed he made independently.

Although the motive that some of Baphomet's more devious cultists have guessed is that he intends to assimilate the Wells to augment his own power, a hidden layer of the Labyrinth Lord's agenda unknown to all save him consists of revisiting all beings that may be connected to Pale Night. However, Baphomet's changing attitudes in no way extend to actually freeing Cabiri. Instead, should Baphomet's schemes to incorporate the Wells of Darkness into The Endless Maze be completed, he seeks to absorb all of Cabiri's knowledge wholly into himself without ever risking the qlippoth's liberation.

Originally, the Well of Cabiri was guarded by a triad of three ghours far more powerful than the norm and chained in place around the border of the Well. They have been rumored to be Baphomet's offspring by the Mother of Darkness but this has never been confirmed. However, Baphomet suspects (probably correctly) that the monitors which he placed over Cabiri's Well have been subtly corrupted by Pale Night, and that they would warn her that someone is attempting to speak with the Eyes of Madness. Although he has not replaced these guardians so as to not potentially confirm Pale Night's suspicions as to whether he detects their potential for treachery he has made plans for killing them by tricking them into attacking the Custodians-eliminating a couple of the layers' defenders while concealing his own role in causing their deaths-which if discovered might also alert Pale Night, as well as causing more serious questions to be asked concerning Baphomet's ambitions by his rivals.

The conditions necessary for opening Cabiri's well are sufficiently complex as to give even most beings that are aware of them pause in making the attempt. Those beings making the attempt must leave three prisoners behind by throwing them into Cabiri's Well and leaving them in Cabiri's stead. Each of the prisoners must in turn be an individual cured of blindness by the servants of a power of prophecy. Although Diabolos only became a figure in The Abyss some time after Baphomet rose to power and imprisoned the Eyes of Madness, he is somewhat aware of this opening condition, and is curious as to the Father of Knowledge's recent interest in Cabiri's now long-standing imprisonment-as well as the consequences were Diabolos to free the qlippothim in order to provide a setback to Baphomet.

Ebulon: The offspring of Graz'zt are both nearly countless and infamous. Even those lesser children of his, such as Rule-of-Three, are some of the best known and shadowy figures within the Realms Beyond and the Depths Below, while his more potent offspring such as Iuz The Old are menaces to their entire worlds, or connivers sufficiently deceptive to ensnare beings far more potent than themselves, such as Athux's eventually lethal manipulations of Adimarchus. One of Graz'zt's earliest offspring, and one of the earliest prisoners of the Wells of Darkness, is Graz'zt's son Ebulon.

Ebulon was born as a result of a coupling between The Dark Prince and a long-forgotten goddess of war, whose affair with Graz'zt not surprisingly marked the beginning of her end as she was conquered by both her bedmate and her son, he was one of the first successful marquis offspring that Graz'zt produced. As Graz'zt's power expanded throughout Creation, Ebulon became increasingly infamous as one of Graz'zt's most potent demonic servitors. Beyond thriving in the lethal internecine politicking of Graz'zt's innumerable sons, Ebulon successfully managed to defeat several of Demogorgon's lesser servitors as slaughter and bloodshed between the rising Dark Prince and the Devourer of Souls came to shape much of the current history of The Abyss. Eventually, Ebulon's rising power was sufficiently noted by Demogorgon to the point where it sought to defeat Ebulon personally, taking the field against him upon the ruined layer of Vallanshan.

Weighing the odds of confronting Demogorgon at that time, Graz'zt opted to simply abandon Ebulon to his fate at the Devourer of Souls' tentacles. The Demon Prince of Shadows refused both to show up personally in battle or to send any further reinforcements into what would clearly have been a devastating rout. Every other demon and creature that did not serve Demogorgon upon that day was slaughtered, annihilated in Demogorgon's maw, or completely remade. The only survivor was Ebulon-and for him, Demogorgon concocted a special terror.

Ebulon was thrown into the Wells of Darkness. However, even this was insufficient to satiate Demogorgon's bizarre impulses and so as is normal for it, The Devourer of Souls thought of something far worse to do to him. Demogorgon instead sought to devise a new way of utterly consuming Ebulon that in the process, would not only result in the total annihilation of Ebulon, but would in a manner analogous to how The Devourer of Souls could derange all followers of a power by destroying that power, also slaughter all of Graz'zt's half-fiendish children everywhere in Creation largely simultaneously. Not only would this prove a devastating blow to the Dark Prince, but it would allow Demogorgon to surge forward in his vicious rivalry against Orcus. Both Demogorgon and The Goat sought to deliver setbacks to the Demon Prince of Darkness through perverting and slaughtering his offspring. It was only mere millenia earlier in which Orcus had created the first atropal from one of Graz'zt's daughters, inciting The Devourer to devise a tactic even more vicious and malevolent.

Demogorgon's schemes for Ebulon failed to come to fruition within any reasonable time period. When Graz'zt conquered the Wells of Darkness The Twin Terror's schemes concerning him were shattered. However when Graz'zt took over the Wells of Darkness, annihilating those beings specifically affiliated with Demogorgon while leaving the Custodians untouched, he quickly realized that he had a problem. He could not afford to release Ebulon given that his resentment of Graz'zt had grown to the point where he could feel it outside of the Well, and as much as he loathed himself for feeling such, he could not bring himself to slay Ebulon either. Even though the period of Graz'zt's outright control of the Wells has also long since passed, Ebulon still remains in his Well-alone and if anything, even more enraged by Dark Prince's unwillingness to aid his captured son. At the same time, Graz'zt, aware of Ebulon's ever-increasing resentment, realizes that the best outcome for him would be Ebulon's death, and he has slowly been goading Ahazu into devouring Ebulon in the near future.

The original guardian of Ebulon's Well has long since been disposed of by Graz'zt during the brief period in which he conquered the layer. Now, his Well is instead guarded by a pair of eyes as green as Graz'zt's own. They hover over the center of the Well, even while providing the impression that they are staring at whoever approaches the Well regardless of which direction they do so from. An extremely sophisticated illusion that combines elements of a programmed image and an eye of power (Spell Compendium), these eyes allow Graz'zt to personally monitor any being that approaches Ebulon's well, as well as take limited actions against them directly. The other ornamentation surrounding Ebulon's Well consists of an imprint for a six-fingered, Large hand inlaid vertically in a waist high onyx caern, and the touch of Graz'zt is required to free Ebulon. However, so far in the entire history of The Wells no being has attempted to liberate him. If anything this further contributes to Ebulon's rising fury.

Hacamuli, The Grey Horse: A powerful servant of Orcus was the tenebrae Hacamuli. Alternately known as the Grey Horse or the Messenger of The Goat, Hacamuli was closely associated with the concepts of unnatural senescence and decrepitude. Through luck at first and then skill, he escaped the slaughter in Thanatos and Kiaransalee's subsequent purges throughout Creation. When Tenebrous arose, Hacamuli was one of the first beings that he contacted, and based upon the stark motive of self-preservation, Hacamuli remained one of the Shadow-That-Was' staunchest supporters and agents.

Although Hacamuli found himself successful in his campaigns alongside the Shadow-That-Was and the visages his loyalty was unrewarded. The resurrected Orcus rapidly came to despise Hacamuli and turned what other champions he had upon him. Barely escaping, the Grey Horse managed to slay them (further infuriating The Goat), but he was also forced to think of a potential solution to alleviate the demon prince's wrath. The option that Hacamuli settled upon was attempting to placate Orcus by delivering to him another, rival, minion that had also drawn Orcus' ire: Eldanoth, the former assassin of The Goat.

Hacamuli sought to capture Eldanoth and bring him to Thanatos. The first half of Hacamuli's plan succeeded in that he was able to find and enter Eldanoth's layer, The Arc of Eternity. However, where Hacamuli failed was that he underestimated Serpentfingers. Although Eldanoth was an extremely potent atrocity when Orcus was assassinated, during the time in which Eldanoth was independent he awoke the spark of cosmic power within him and rose in status to become a potent, if recent, demon lord. Hacamuli barely escaped from Eldanoth's layer with his life when he, in turn, had the wildly bad luck to encounter another demon that had largely similar ideas for avenging a past wrong: the balor Ter-Soth The Despoiler. In Ter-Soth's case, he assumed incorrectly that Hacamuli had information that could allow him to track down and slaughter Glyphimhor for betraying him. The Grey Horse told Ter-Soth the truth as best he knew it about Glyphimhor; that the balor had been restored to existence by the resurrected Goat, and that when the three of them still resided within Thanatos, he had not thrown in with Glyphimhor to cause Ter-Soth's death. Ter-Soth refused to believe him and cast the tenebrae into the Wells of Darkness in his misguided wrath. Eldanoth, eager to finish slaughtering Hacamuli, only found the Well scant minutes after Ter-Soth had finished the ritual necessary to imprison the tenebrae. As Eldanoth does not know the ritual required to free Hacamuli, Eldanoth merely left Hacamuli in the Well until he can figure out how to free him, but he intends to kill him personally the instant that the tenebrae gets out.

Although Eldanoth probably had the power to ensure Hacamuli's permanent death, should he fail the most likely outcome would be for Hacamuli to reform himself on Thanatos. Should this occur, then The Goat would not only be know how to reach the Arc of Eternity, but he would also know how successful Hacamuli was at bypassing Eldanoth's defenses and warnings against invaders.

The Well of Hacamuli possesses two distinct layers of protection placed there by Eldanoth Serpentfingers and by Ter-Soth before him. The former consists of three advanced glooms (35 HD) sent by Eldanoth disguised as otherwise inert and petrified statues. These are located in a crudely triangular formation around the circumference of Hacamuli's Well, and are only released from the prison of their petrification if anyone attempts to disturb the Well or takes actions which may liberate Hacamuli from their Well. Ter-Soth's layer of defense is both simpler and more insidious. The key to the Ritual necessary to liberate Hacamuli is to use Ter-Soth's vorpal sword to slice open the membrane holding Hacamuli in his Well. However, using the wrong weapon of any type, or even a vorpal sword belonging to another balor, causes the membrane to swallow up the being that performed the ritual incorrectly-trapping them with the imprisoned and infuriated tenebrae unless a Ref save DC 52 is passed. Hacamuli's Well possesses no significant ornamentation otherwise.

Laz'bralthull, Demon Lord of Butchery: The acts of slaughter and bloodshed committed by Laz'bralthull during Bile and Madness earned him the well-deserved reputation as one of the most destructive and lethal klurichir ever spawned. He resisted capture, much less destruction, for hundreds of thousands of years. His end finally came when out of all of the rival demon lords and princes that despised him, Zuggtmoy, outraged at his slaying one of her favorite creations, the vast demon tree Malgarius, caught up with him and personally dragged him screaming to the Wells mere millenia after Graz'zt freed it from Demogorgon's control.

Ever since that day Laz'bralthull has remained within his Well. Although there was one being foolish enough to attempt to free Ma Yuan, none have come to the Well of the Butcher to make any attempt to free him. In fact, the most frequent visitors to the Well are those qlippothim and maleidolon that appear in order to gloat at his misery and enjoy his howls of impotent wrath and fury. These are telepathically broadcast to any being within 300 feet of the Well and can also be heard by mundane sensory capabilities by any being within 100 feet proper of the edifice around it.

The Well of Laz'bralthull is guarded by a sentient and modified genius loci (Epic Level Handbook) which is disguised as the twenty-foot tall tower and spiral staircase leading up to the aperture from which the Well can be reached. The bizarre ooze not only allows the Demon Queen of Parasites to monitor anyone who approaches the Well by treading upon the territory around it but also devours anyone that attempts to free Laz'bralthull. This was allowed by the Custodians of the Wells because the creature does not disturb anyone or anything else in pursuit of its 'responsibilities'. The ritual necessary to free Laz'bralthull incorporates imbibing a potion created from Zuggtmoy's unique spores which causes the drinker to liquefy (dying in the process), and then pouring the residue into the Well proper. Only if the drinker is fully digested is the ritual successful and in all other circumstances, the guardian of Laz'bralthrull's Well animates to destroy them.

Ma Yuan: One of the most dangerous prisoners of the Wells of Darkness is Ma Yuan. Also known as the Killer of the Gods, the superlatives used to describe his misdeeds, if anything, underestimate the horrors for which he was responsible when he was freed upon Creation.

One of the few elements of those tales told concerning The Killer of the Gods is that he is ancient. Beyond this detail nigh-universally agreed upon, further details become far more nebulous. Some claim that he was created by the gods in order to punish hubris among their own kind (which leads to disturbing implications about Creation with his incarceration). Others claim instead that he was a weapon born of the qlippothim that, as many weapons created in such ways are wont to do, became independent and menaced his creators nearly as much as the rest of Creation. In this particular case, the truth itself, as elusive as it is, is vital both to understanding him as well as freeing him from imprisonment.

The original events believed to have been responsible for the origins of Ma Yuan are so surreal as to defy most mortal comprehension of the history of the planes. On a world now long-obscure and empty, it was not a single overgod that arose to attempt to determine the formation of a world in its most fundamental elements as much as it was three. Each of them once held domain over one sphere of existence, and they were of roughly equal power over their particular element, although vastly more powerful than those lesser godlings that their deeds (and misdeeds) spawned. However, strife came even to them over their world and from their struggles eventually there were no clear victors. Two of them died in the conflicts, while the third in turn came to slumber within the nature of the world itself. It was a conflict best forgotten prior to the Dawn of the Gods.

In actuality, the war would have been forgotten-save for the fact that thousands of years afterwards, when the world had become a settled place recovering from such interdivine tensions as best it could, developing entirely new faiths among the mortals present, a horrible monstrosity arose. Spawned by the tensions of that world's inert or deceased overgods, the most potent tenebrae created by The Abyss returned to stalk the place responsible for its creation. None of the world's mortals could stand against it. Even the gods themselves seemed to not be capable of defeating it, and in fact, it seemed to have an even more significant grudge against them, and greater efficacy in terms of utterly destroying them than it did against mortals. In its wake, it left a largely depopulated and ruined world. Only its name, Ma Yuan, seemed to survive its passage as other denizens of the Realms Beyond pieced together what had transpired.

Far worse was that its trail of devastation hardly ended there. After Ma Yuan departed the ruined world where it was created, it spread across Creation, slaughtering dozens of deities. It proved so nettlesome that eventually, those powers related to those that it slaughtered called upon the then holders of the Mandate. the Vaati, in order to devise a way of containing and controlling the tenebrae. They proved no more successful than other efforts to eliminate Ma Yuan. Even worse, the shapeshifting weapon that they had intended to use against the demon was captured by it, empowering its already vast and ferocious might. When the Vaati were forced into insignificance by the end of the Second War of Law and Chaos, even this potential check against the Killer of the Gods' power was eliminated.

Ma Yuan was finally imprisoned during the era of the Dawn of the Gods, shortly after Graz'zt became a less overt presence upon the Wells. In fact, no deity or power of the original group that once fought against Ma Yuan was responsible for his incarceration, as none survived his attacks. Instead, the final responsibility for his elimination belonged mostly to two unrelated powers, who fought him into submission, took the Vaati weapon away from him to claim it for themselves, and then threw him into the Wells of Darkness.

When Ma Yuan was free his physical appearance was that of a ten foot tall creature that was a hideous amalgamation of reptilian, demonic, and mortal features. His head was that of a tyrannosaur while his body was covered with black and blue scales that shifted in both position and form every second. His eyes were the most telltale clue as to his true nature as they were filled only with a distant red pinpoint that seemed to emanate from the lowest depths of The Abyss itself. His very presence inspired flight and brought terror in a manner analogous to the klurichir although the source of Ma Yuan's power was very different from theirs.

Ma Yuan's well is guarded by three stone monoliths that are bound to the act of imprisoning Ma Yuan, and are carved in the forms of three of Ma Yuan's victims. So long as Ma Yuan is still imprisoned, the monoliths are capable of reassembling themselves back into their current forms. This is true even if they are disintegrated, as the dust from them will eventually coalesce until they are completely reformed. However, as Ma Yuan is one of the most infamous prisoners within the Wells, even the events surrounding Vucarik's intrusion did not disturb Ma Yuan's guards-a fact for which many within and without The Abyss are grateful. Although all of them are no taller than twenty feet tall, they possess the hit points and powers of Stone Colossi (Epic Level Handbook), save that those crushed under their feet are simultaneously utterly pulped by the forces involved, killing any creature with a discernible anatomy instantly unless it makes a Fort save DC 60 as well.

Otherwise, the well of Ma Yuan is ornamented by a caern into which his ancient weapon can be inserted. It is six feet tall and is composed of stones upon which symbols and glyphs which translate to 'death of the gods' have been written in a multiplicity of languages, many of which are long extinct. A single keyhole is otherwise the only significant marking or alteration present upon it.

There is no complex ritual required to open the well of Ma Yuan. Instead, it requires the Vaati weapon upon which the true history of Ma Yuan must be inscribed. By changing forms while placed within the keyhole in the proper sequence, the Well of Ma Yuan can be opened by the device. However, if the wrong sequence of transformation or a counterfeit device are used, the caern reacts by annihilating the being attempting to free him, fusing them to the fake device (or the real device) and dealing 60d8 points of disintegration damage (Fort save DC 65) per round until they are dead, in addition to triggering the wrath of the Guardians and the stone statues. Furthermore, the weapon must be wielded by a sentient being that holds it in their hand (or other appropriate appendage) and cannot be released until a sequence of at least two formshifts have been entered in the keyhole. So far in the entire history of Ma Yuan's incarceration, this has only occured once when a particularly foolish demon attempted to counterfeit the Vaati weapon.

Shami-Amourae, Demon Lady of Pleasure: Malcanthet's first notable victim in the War of Ripe Flesh, the potent succubus Shami-Amourae was her initial obstacle to becoming the ruler of the Razored Throne-and if anything, the single obstacle that was dealt with more definitively than almost any opponent that came afterwards. Shami-Amourae was defeated by Malcanthet when the latter succubus convinced Demogorgon that the former was scheming to betray and subvert him. Refusing to take any chances on the potential of her betrayal, The Devourer of Souls threw her into the Wells of Darkness instead of consuming her-placing Malcanthet one step closer towards her ultimate ambitions, and requiring only the elimination of Lynkhab. The Lady of Pleasure has remained imprisoned ever since, and even Graz'zt apparently took no steps towards freeing her for reasons that remain undiscovered by all.

Shami-Amorae's Well is guarded by a wide array of bizarre defenses placed there by Demogorgon personally, which include, but not limited to, an advanced and highly intelligent retriever and several other bizarre creatures. Next to Ebulon, she is one of the oldest prisoners within The Wells of Darkness, having been imprisoned during its first period. The Well of Shami-Amourae is otherwise fairly undistinctive, as even when the Devourer of Souls controlled the Wells, he did not wish to draw attention to it.

The Well of Shaktari: During Madness and Bile, Shaktari was one of the most vicious champions the klurichir possessed. After abandoning the layer and personal power of Vuron, she was one of the first to join Laz'bralthull in his deranged campaign to annihilate his demonic predecessors. Leading massive armies of mariliths, each of which in turn was tens of thousands strong, she decimated the qlippothim. Shaktari's trail of bile, amputations, and decapitations ended abruptly when during an unusually ill-conceived raid on a layer where Vuron, the Demon Prince of Light, was present, she confronted her creator and was soundly defeated. However, as Vuron detected a hint of a far greater being's machinations in Shaktari's actions (as well as being curious how Shaktari reached the extremely obscure layer where the Alabaster Demon was currently located), Vuron opted instead to imprison his former klurichir in the Wells of Darkness instead of killing her. There, for thousands upon thousands of years, the Demon Prince of Light tormented her to get as much information as he could of any potential threats to either him or Graz'zt-and in this way, many threats to their combined power were eliminated.

This status quo only ended within the last century. As a result of one of his itinerant travels through The Abyss, Vucarik managed to liberate Shaktari from her Well before he was driven off by the combined actions of the layer and the Custodians. Although Shaktari has refused to take up her former interests in mass slaughtering qlippothim again, finding the battles of The Blood War more satisfactory, even those beings that were inadvertent beneficiaries of Shaktari's original rampages find her current freedom disturbing in the degree to which Vucarik's involvement hints as to the possibility that there may be weaknesses in the binding of the Wells of Darkness.

Shaktari's well was guarded by a permanently invisible araseroph, a now-rare form of qlippothim dating back to the Second War of Law and Chaos. The fact that all mazza'im could see it with their innate powers served as a warning as to the nature of both the prisoner and the power of the fiends that placed them there. However, since Vucarik's arrival shattered its bindings to the Well and freed Shaktari simultaneously, the araseroph was slain shortly afterwards by the Custodians as it proved excessively destructive. Since that day, the Well of Shaktari has been visited by multiple beings for various reasons, whether they are beings studying The Abyss proper, or various powers of The Abyss whose portfolios themselves concern disastrous liberation. So far, however, most of those beings investigating the Well are various pawns of Vuron, the Demon Prince of Light-and Graz'zt's closest ally.

Tulket na Ahm: The vast majority of the prisoners in the Wells of Darkness are not surprisingly demonic in origin. However, as with most things within The Abyss there are notable exceptions which defy normal expectation. Deities and cosmic entities unaffiliated with any alignment whatsoever have also been imprisoned in the layer. The most infrequent of all are mortal prisoners. Tulket na Ahm (better known as Ahm throughout Creation) is an extreme rarity within the Wells of Darkness in that he is one of the only mortals deemed both sufficiently infamous to be thrown into a Well-as well as the consequences of slaughtering him outright considered unacceptable.

The true story leading to Tulket na Ahm as well as the Books of Ahm is one of the most bizarre within both The Abyss as well as The Mortal Coil. If anyone were to look at the early history of Tulket, he would seem to be one of the least likely candidates for one of Creation's most infamous demonologists. The highest levels of the Cult of Ahm actually believe that Tulket was originally not even evil, and was only gradually corrupted by his own subject matter while he researched means by which possessing-demons could be contained and identified within various hosts, although given their own malevolent biases they are far more inclined to refer to his corruption as his enlightenment.

Instead, Tulket's first innovation was to find a spell that would not necessarily prevent demonic possession, but would actually cause pain to any demon foolish enough to invade the spell's caster. Although bizarre, and veering dangerously close to the limits of what would otherwise be considered tolerable for beings of good to do even to the denizens of The Abyss, by itself, this would never lead to any incident which would case Tulket's nightmarish descent into the world of demonology. An individual casting that particular spell upon themselves could merely be rejected for demonic possession, with little to no measurable mental or physical damage done to them.

Where Tulket instead began to go disastrously wrong was when he began using such spells to experiment upon himself. From this initial spell, he invented a ritual that would actually torment a possessing demon should it fail to answer the caster's questions. From that first incident others followed, until what began as bizarre and horrific accident turned into something far worse: habit. After Tulket's initial success, he became more daring and less reluctant to use himself as both experimental subject and bait for the denizens of The Abyss, teasing and extorting more and more information out of them in sessions that only took place once a month-because it typically took him a month to attempt to heal the damage done both to his mind and body from the previous excursion.

Sometimes the results were transcribed in mimirs. Other times Ahm barely returned to consciousness and a semblance of sanity only to find the walls of the summoning chamber covered in writing composed of the blood of sacrificial victims. Over the course of years, Ahm pieced together almost more of what was known about demons than practically any mortal before or since-and as he did so his power grew in other ways as well. The spell protections he devised eventually allowed him to heal at a vastly accelerated rate from possession and to ensure that even while possessed, no ability that would allow him to be dragged to The Abyss could be successfully used upon him. He even devised a way of ensuring that demons that he summoned into him were in some level bound to him, devising a bizarre form of contingency that would actually kill a possessor long after they left him should he die under their claws or from their spells. In this way, Ahm gradually became protected from the more direct forms of wrath that would otherwise affect a mortal that used and manipulated demons. Although Ahm knew better than to attempt possession by a demon prince, as even the least would have been far beyond those powers he had access to, many an atrocity and even several demon lords such as Bayemon (who nearly killed him in the process) fell victim to his bizarre tactics for learning secrets best left to The Abyss.

Vengeance finally caught up with Tulket na Ahm when, out of the myriad foes that he had accumulated in the brief span of his mortal lifetime, the balor Wendonai figured out how to trick him and lured him to Pazunia. There, Tulket na Ahm was subdued and thrown into a Well-where he remains to this day. Wendonai's capture and imprisonment of Tulket na Ahm represented a significant increase in Wendonai's power within The Abyss-as by doing so, he linked Tulket na Ahm's release from his Well to Wendonai's death. In this way, many beings that were otherwise isolated from Wendonai's growing web of influence have been forced to subtly aid him in order to prevent Ahm's release or his death at the hands of their opponents-which would in turn trigger far more severe consequences.

The Well of Tulket na Ahm's guardian is only visible when someone approaches the Well of Ahm, as it is triggered by proximity to rise from within the Well. It consists of an apparently sentient yet unspeaking sphere of black fire that acts as a living sphere of ultimate destruction (Fort save DC 54) which also reflects spells cast upon it if they fail a CL check DC 50. To make matters worse, the Well is also trapped with a chained disintegration (Fort save DC 51) trap which recasts the spell once every 1d4 rounds whenever a tresspasser is near it. Although Tulket na Ahm's well only possesses the guardian sent by Wendonai, a wide array of powerful atrocities and demon lords have additional monitoring systems around his Well. Tarrying around the Well of Tulket na Ahm is likely to attract the attentions of these powerful fiends. To be within 50 feet of it for longer than 5 minutes carries an increasing probability of one more of them noticing the intrusion and reacting to it. Initially, this begins with a 20% chance of a response being sent, and increases every 5 minutes by 10% until there is a maximal probability of 80% per 5 minute period that the intrusion will be dealt with harshly. Otherwise, the opening condition for Tulket na Ahm's Well consists of the immolation of a mortal wizard with Wendonai's incinerating bolt spell and scattering the still warm ashes upon the Well's membrane. Incinerating bolt spells cast by any other balors only trigger its defenses, as well as the attentions of the potent balor himself.

Wells of Darkness Knowledge (the planes) Table Knowledge (the planes) DC Sample Information Acquired 20 The Wells of Darkness serves as an informal 'prison' for some of The Abyss' most loathed and unfortunate denizens. 25 While entering the Wells of Darkness can be comparatively easy, the portal key to leave the Wells consists of a prisoner or other sentient being left beyind in the layer. 30 You have a general grasp upon who the most notable prisoners of the Wells are, and who was so aggravated by their behavior as to throw them in a Well and leave them there. 35 The Custodians of the Wells are creations of the layer which are capable of recalling all who give offense to them for an apparently indefinite period of time. Furthermore, the layer resists those who give it trouble, but will not interfere in fights between beings upon the layer as long as they do not disturb either Wells or Custodians. 40 Ahazu the Seizer possesses a unique history and status with regards to the Wells of Darkness. 45 The Wells of Darkness is a semi-sentient layer modified into its current form by Demogorgon, The Devourer of Souls.

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