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Cania was the eighth layer of the Nine Hells of Baator. It was a relentless realm of seemingly living cold.[4]

Not all the hells are places of fire.
— Valthrun the Prescient[7]


The layer was marked by moving glaciers and icebergs that drifted as fast as a running person, constantly colliding with one another and with surrounding mountains of enormous sizes. Snow avalanches were common and violent.[1][4] The weather was dominated by snow storms that howled with incessant winds. Thin layers of accumulated snow often hid deep crevasses that could engulf incautious explorers.[2]

The supernatural cold of Cania was substantially stronger than in Stygia,[1] reaching temperatures of −60  (−51 ),[3] comparable to those in the Frostfell.[8] It could quickly penetrate nonmagical clothing, freezing unprotected creatures within minutes and killing even those wearing gear designed to withstand cold temperatures in hours.[1] Unsheltered creatures ran a constant risk of freezing to death. Preserved corpses were frequently uncovered after collisions between glaciers, while other glaciers seemed to hold unknown frozen creatures at their very centers. Some of the shapes within the ice suggested that they were archons or devas fighting unknown spined creatures, while others seemed like entire alien cities.[4]

The layer contained scattered laboratories and libraries within isolated citadels.[9]


The layer was ruled by the archdevil Mephistopheles, Lord of the Eighth.[2] His rule consisted of overseeing endless experiments with arcane magic and the nature of the planes, conducted throughout the wastes of the layer. Government duties were often filled by Hutijin, allowing Mephistopheles more time to focus on his experiments.[9]


The layer was constantly patrolled against spies that might pry on the secrets of arcane spells, magic items, and magic theory that were developed in its laboratories. Arcane spellcasters and other devils occasionally risked braving the cold wastes in search for knowledge. In particular, spies from Dis were common, since Dispater worried that Mephistopheles might acquire more information than him.[9]

Rumors & Legends[]

Let all who enter this home without the consent of its owner burn for ninety-nine years in the depths of Nessus and freeze for a thousand more in the icy wastes of Cania.
— Destiny Agganor's front door runes[10]

The tiefling midwife Destiny Agganor from Nightstone had a set of runes burned onto her front door to ward off unwanted visitors. It contained a prayer that included damning any intruders to freeze for a millennium in Cania.[10]

Notable Locations[]

  • Kintyre, an enormous uninhabited city of strange architecture that was buried deep under the ice.[1]
  • Mephistar, home of Mephistopheles. A heated citadel carved out of the ice and located atop the giant glacier Nargus, whose movement was controlled by the Lord of the Eighth himself.[4]
  • The Pit, a dark and windy shaft several hundred feet in diameter. It was heavily guarded by ice devils, and ended in a lake of frozen slush. At the bottom of the lake, at a depth of 1,001 fathoms (1,831 meters) lay a portal that was the primary access point to the ninth layer, Nessus.[1][4]


The main inhabitants of Cania were gelugons, whose activities in the layer remained largely unknown. The environment was so inhospitable that even other devils avoided visiting the layer.[1]



Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus
Referenced only
Storm King's Thunder
Video Games
Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Chris Pramas (November 1999). Guide to Hell. Edited by Kim Mohan. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 35–36. ISBN 978-0786914319.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. Edited by Chris Thomasson, Gary Sarli, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 69–72. ISBN 978-0-7869-3940-4.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 109. ISBN 0880383992.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 115, 122–123. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
  5. Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 97, 104–105. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
  6. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 161. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  7. Rodney Thompson, Logan Bonner, Matthew Sernett (November 2010). Monster Vault. Edited by Greg Bilsland et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 54. ISBN 978-0-7869-5631-9.
  8. Colin McComb (February 1995). “Baator”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Law (TSR, Inc), pp. 24–25. ISBN 0-7869-0093-8.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 16–17. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 23. ISBN 978-0786966004.


The Nine Hells of Baator
Layers and their Realms