Glasya was the lord of Malbolge and daughter of Asmodeus, therefore making her the Princess of the Nine Hells. One of the most powerful and influential of the female devils, the Dark Prodigy was an unpredictable archdevil known for her subversiveness.
Glasya appeared as a 9 ft (2.7 m) tall, black-haired figure similar in form to a succubus. She was well-built and of unearthly beauty that remained undiminished by the small horns, large, leathery wings, and forked tail that gave away her diabolical origins. Notably, her skin was of a copper hue, itself not an extremely unusual trait for humanoids, but made prominent by its more metallic appearance. She was adorned with jewels, clothes, and various finery of incredible expense.
Glasya was perhaps the least predictable of the archdevils, with a reputation for capriciousness and a history of whimsy and mischief. She took pride in her nonconformity and openly flouted the norms of Hell at her leisure, breaking tradition while bending the rules. Surprising others with unexpected gambits was a source of delight for her, and even before she became an archdevil she was somewhat rebellious and defiant, moving between courts as the mood struck her.
Despite her often contrarian moves, Glasya was no less cruel than any other diabolical denizen of Hell. Her style of torment often had a verbal element; she delightfully informed those she lured into Hell of their impending doom and vividly described the horrors awaiting those who crossed her. She was also articulate, combining subtle mockery, verbal games, cruel teasing, and noble snobbishness to toy with those at her mercy before she grew bored and sent them off to be tortured. Her sadism extended to the physical, as she extracted much joy from watching her victims suffer cancerous disease, and the only thing her lordship changed was the increased openness with which she expressed her twisted desires.
Glasya's sense of aesthetics belied her inner corruption, as the Princess of Hell was equal parts lovely and loathsome. She had a disturbing love of beauty, sparing those she found appealing and refraining from killing captured servants of good those that seemed open to her attempts at seduction. Conversely, she couldn't tolerate the hideous appearance or mewling whimpers of the lemures. She used the corpse of the Hag Countess to create a domain of achingly pleasant palaces and gardens from a contrasting foundation of ugliness and decay, and made some of her victims enthrallingly beautiful while turning others into suffering mockeries of life. Like the realm that reflected her, Glasya's enchanting surface level disguised a truly rotten core.
Much like her cruelty, Glasya's propensity for concocting sinister schemes was inherited from her father. Her ambition wasn't stemmed by her relation to Asmodeus, and Hell's own criminal mastermind had demonstrated a willingness to cross any line for power. She was an intelligent manipulator, possessing in abundance the conniving guile needed to exist in Hell.
Glasya owed her continued survival to her ability to deflect suspicion and insulate herself from blame, typically by having her allies serve as scapegoats. Despite her uncaring demeanor, her sycophants often willingly sacrificed themselves for her, for Glasya knew how to evoke sympathy even in those fighting her and use seduction, deception, and even honesty to win allies for her cause. She preferred to talk rather than directly confront, make allies rather than more enemies, and was quick to show her attackers the "error of their ways".
Simply drawing close to Glasya was dangerous since she gave off an intoxicating aura that left those anywhere near her weakened and confused. While in this state, a simple glare of displeasure from Glasya could send the victim into unconsciousness and possibly even cause death. Even disregarding her presence, Glasya could cause fear through her words alone, sending enemies running in fear with detailed descriptions of their future torment. She had various powers of manipulation, including charm, dominate and hold monster spells, the ability to polymorph, and illusion-creating capabilities.
Glasya rarely engaged in direct combat against her foes, teleporting away from dangerous situations and refusing to toy with larger groups. When she deigned to do battle, she used her mental abilities to control a particular dangerous enemy while maneuvering herself. If not simply flying, she could easily teleport herself and her thralls throughout the battlefield, and one of her first moves was typically summoning aid. Though she had a fairly high chance of calling a pit fiend or a few cornugons to her aid, she could summon a small colony of kalabons or a quartet of erinyes without fail.
After luring in her foes with promises of pleasure, Glasya embraced her foes with a touch that drained the body, mind, and soul. Her caress stole the victim's willpower and better judgement away and converted it into life force for Glasya, while also infecting them with a wasting disease that caused the flesh to slough from their bones. Glasya could also fire a finger of death once per day, cast contagion as a spell-like ability and bite her victims to infect them with a poison that had to be neutralized, healed or delayed before they could recover.
Like all archdevils, Glasya had the ability to regenerate over time, but unlike with her peers, regeneration would continue to happen even after she was killed. This was possibly due to her relationship with Asmodeus, potentially indicating that she had an innate closeness to godhood deeper than that of the other archdevils. Her prowess in both combat and magic were said to have been significantly enhanced following her rise to power as Lord of the Sixth, and it was rumored she stole some of her power from the Hag Countess, although she was still among the weakest of the archdevils.
Glasya was known to wield a short sword that combined the properties of speed and virulency. The blade, similar in effect to a dagger of venom, was coated in strength-sapping devil's blood. Later on, Glasya wielded a scourge that shared her sword's speed but was keen rather than being poisoned. She typically resorted to using it when her touch failed, either by using magic to keep her foes still before whipping them or by flying through the air while flaying them alive.
Glasya's realm of Malbolge, the smallest and least populated of the Hells, had gone through many rulers over several millennia, and had changed form several times with each change of office. In its original incarnation, Malbolge was a beautiful garden cherished by its ruler, and by repurposing the remains of the murdered Hag Countess, Glasya remade the realm into a dying parody of a verdant wilderness.
At a glance, Glasya's realm was a fair place of alien beauty, but despair, the faint stench of rot, and venomous threats could be found upon closer inspection. The water was poison, the oozing plants were bloated, trees were twisted or brown if not dead, the smell of flowers induced nightmares and the fruit bore by flowers sometimes exploded into caustic juice. The entire realm was trapped in a near-death state, teetering on the brink of relief but stuck in cancerous agony, and anyone that died on its putrid surface had their bodies and souls absorbed into the landscape to experience similar unspeakable torment.
Various devils could be found roaming Malbolge, including barbazus, osyluths, kytons, cambions and twisted castoffs transformed by a displeased Glasya. Massive, fiendish vermin such as wasps, scorpions, centipedes and spiders were also common on Malbolge. For example, giant lice were usually seen in the Forest of Sighs, a densely packed series greasy, black-gray trees thought to be the Countess's hair where Glasya abandoned those she was bored with to have their bodies pumped with nutrients while the trees drained their souls. Other "natural" features included ivory deposits made from her teeth, stony half-arches that loomed over most of Malbolge made from her ribs, lakes of various bilious poisons that formed when her organs burst and acid-spewing, labyrinthine tunnels formed from her intestines.
Some white cities existed within Malbolge, but the seat of Glasya's power was Osseia, a dome-like palace fortress of lustrous white walls formed from the ballooned skull of the Hag Countess. The hollowed, 5-story cranium was partially constructed from the varnished bones of the Hag Countess and those of other victims that displeased Glasya. It was lavishly furnished with baroque decoration, filled with ominous music throughout its long passages and adorned inside and out with unnerving, provocative statues. Where the hag's eye sockets would be were oval, red glass windows capable of blasting lines of flame, and from which Glasya could be seen entertaining party guests.
Near Osseia's center was the Garden of Delights, an expansive, breath-taking refuge filled with plants from across the multiverse. Unlike the facsimile of beauty found in the rest of Malbolge, the pristine garden was a refuge from horror and pain. No monsters lurked within, succubi soothed broken prisoners and the vivid flowers dispelled fears. After guests were brought here and put to ease, they were returned to their regimens of torture, the entire place existing only to cruelly mock the prisoners and tease them with hope.
In a circle around Osseia were ten towers of ivory, the former fingers of the Hag Countess divided into three bone segment stories. The first was hollowed out and called the Tower of Pain, where her most dangerous enemies would be tormented for eons. The higher one went, the more excruciating the torture became, the lower levels being kept for minor foes such as adventurers and the top levels for survivors of Malagard's inner circle. The other towers became guard posts and roosts for erinyes devils.
Though Glasya's dying domain covered most of Malbolge, that was what it was―a cover. Along the edges of the realm, Malbolge's former surface peered through, seemingly stable but nonetheless shifting monoliths of jagged obsidian. Boulders and crags still laid below the rotten soil of the Sixth Hell, slicing and dissecting those that fell into such areas. Even the rock of Glasya's terminal realm was crumbling, and it seemed Malbolge's decaying state didn't last forever. In more recent times, Malbolge had returned to the state it was in under the Hag Countess, an infinite slope plagued by rocky, deafening avalanches.
Residents of Malbolge not dwelling in crumbling forts had to live in caves carved into the mountainside and travel through tunnels and roofed trenches to avoid being crushed by boulders. Devils found guilty at trial were condemned to Malbolge for years, sometimes trapped in cages lowered down to the level of the adamantine pillars the swaying structures were built on. When the rockslides hit, those above would be left unharmed while the prisoners were grievously battered but never killed. Glasya's citadel in this rocky realm was a stronghold supported by cracked pillars and buttresses that seemed ready to falter but remained sturdy, underneath which was a labyrinth filled with holding and torture cells for those who displeased her.
Unlike most other archdevils, Glasya had little interest in matters outside the Nine Hells, although her endless machinations to expand her power still extended beyond her own plane. She focused her efforts as a scheming manipulators, one of the best among the archdevils, on the political developments within Hell. She served as the warden of Malbolge, the prison system of the Nine Hells, and so part of the sadistic princess's duties was overseeing the punishments of law-breaking devils.
Glasya spent a great amount of her time roaming the more beautiful parts of her plane or indulging in luxury, but given her new responsibilities as archduchess, she could no longer partake in her prior favorite pastime of personally seducing mortals into Hell. Instead, she had to relive such experiences vicariously, instructing her favored erinyes to tempt targets of her choice, with self-righteous paladins and corruptible elder priests being her particular favorites. Captives that weren't powerful enough to be a threat to her were tortured in her palace where she could watch or participate at her whim.
Glasya was believed to be Asmodeus's only child, and the circumstances of her birth were shrouded in mystery. Beings of god-like status rarely shared their power with offspring, divine children being rare at best, and his plans for his daughter were unclear. Glasya wasn't above using her familial-relation to Asmodeus as a shield to protect herself from retaliation. Glasya had gone so far as to win the loyalty of some of the Dark Eight, his insidious cabal of pit fiend generals, though who was to say which of them were loyal to her and which would side with her father if the two went to war.
The two had a long, volatile history; Glasya often consorted with his enemies and openly resisted his efforts to control her, and Asmodeus's move to make her serve in his court only made her bored and dissatisfied. He gave his blessing when she took over Malbolge (the role he played in the process debatable), but it was possible that he reasoned that with responsibility over a Hell, her ambitions would be kept in check. Despite not always seeing eye to eye, Glasya still generally supported her father since the two shared a similar outlook and methodology.
Glasya's mother, Bensozia, viewed her daughter as a tool to carry her resentment and spite. Asmodeus had essentially taken his consort as a trophy, and the mastermind of the Hells failed to anticipate the depths of this loathing. Believing that Glasya could do what she couldn't―kill Asmodeus―she nursed her daughter on poisonous hate, taught her seduction and intrigue, and filled her empty heart with murderous intent. The seed of hate Bensozia planted eventually grew until replacing her father became Glasya's dominating desire.
Most other archdevils despised Glasya for her suspected role in their downfall during a period known as the Reckoning, but feared her at the same time. To challenge her could be construed as a move against Asmodeus, who they theorized could be using her to consolidate his power, and it was difficult to discern who the target of her own ambition would be. They struggled to place spies in her court and she aggressively recruited their powerful servants who had been sidelined for ambition. High-ranking devils that had fallen out of favor with their respective lords would happily scheme against them, and though Asmodeus allowed it, other archdevils hated her even more for it and had to conspire to destroy their former servants because of it.
Baalzebul and Moloch, the former rulers of Malbolge, vehemently detested Glasya. A majority of assassins sent at Glasya were from Baalzebul, for not only had the princess teased him in the past to try and supplant him as ruler of Maladomini, but she was a participant in the conspiracy that lost him the plane she went on to rule. Moloch, though he rejoiced at Malagard's death, was also irritated by Glasya's rule over his former dominion, a clear act of nepotism by Asmodeus. The ever-cautious Dispater was sent into paranoia when Glasya killed the Hag Countess, seemingly with her father in on the scheme, and began taking even more defensive measures in response.
Glasya harbored a special hatred for Levistus, who she had stated her intent to kill for an ancient crime regarding the death of her mother. She had been described as being obsessed with him, going between pining misery and murderous rage, though since Levistus had his own defenses, her actual claims were considered posturing. After becoming archduchess, she used her intelligence network of paeliryons to gather information on her nemesis, hoping to obtain enough evidence that her father would grant her approval to destroy him for good. Despite this, Levistus still toyed with the idea of making overtures to the rebellious child of Asmodeus.
The only archduke that liked Glasya was Fierna, another archdevil's daughter and a likely ally for when her relatively weaker forces attacked Levistus. Despite rumors that she killed Naome, Fierna's mother, (who had a distaste for Glasya when she was still alive) Fierna held only besotted admiration for Glasya and couldn't stop talking about her when the subject arose. Friends even before Glasya's rise, Fierna was inspired by her example, and encouraged by her to develop a network of devils and cultists separate from her father Belial's forces. Belial was hampered both by Fierna's ambition, a potential liability, and the interruption of plans to invade Malbolge. For a time he schemed to loosen Glasya's influence over Fierna, albeit with the utmost caution as to avoid incurring Asmodeus' wrath.
Glasya used to be Mammon's consort, but their true feelings for each other weren't clear. He was still bitter and wanted payback against her for manipulating him in the Reckoning, and was frightened by her ascension, yet he sought to have her at his feet when he ruled Hell. Glasya hated the squalid slum of Minauros, but yet, after taking Malbolge, had been manipulating some of his dukes to try and take his domain for herself. Asmodeus might have assigned Glasya to Mammon, or she might have went to him, either out of actual passion or just to stir up trouble for the archdevils, though either way Asmodeus put an end to the relationship after the Reckoning. There were rumors since Glasya became archduchess that they'd rekindled their affair, but others claimed that Glasya resented the feckless serpent for not fighting for their love, although given political romance in Hell, both could be true.
The Court and Servants
Glasya had few figures of note serving her since most of Malbolge's original dukes and other archdevils retreated to Maladomini, home of their true master Baalzebul, when Moloch was defeated, and Malagard's death did little to convince them to return. Under the hag's dominion, no one was promoted to duke, and Glasya only accepted the hag's most talented lackeys after sufficient groveling. Some tried to avenge the death of their former master and for their insubordination were confined to the upper reaches of the Tower of Pain and subjected to a wide variety of tortures. One such servant was Bloodcurdle, the hag's favorite nightmare, who pretended to submit to Glasya before tossing her into a lake of bile.
One of the only dukes left was Tartach, former legate of Moloch, who had abandoned Baalzebul to become Glasya's chief lieutenant and high marshal. The sadistic chamberlain was an expert in intrigue and for granting her his wisdom and experience, Glasya granted him great power. Tartach was infamous for disloyalty, doing little to stop coups or advise against bad decisions, but Glasya changed his perspective. He truly believed Glasya had the potential to take over Hell, and had been seduced by her when she visited Baalzebul's court. Glasya saw in him a kindred spirit and inestimably valuable aid, and gave him the recognition he felt he never received. Still, despite showers of gifts and affection, Tartach wanted more and doubted Glasya would reward him as he wanted―by suggesting he replace another archdevil―and so crafted his own plans to do so.
Another noble of Glasya was Beleth, the Prince of Imps, who, after a cursory interrogation, Glasya quickly employed. The Princess of Hell sought to establish her rule without being dependent on her father's authority, and so saw value in Beleth's plane-spanning spy network. Glasya gave tacit permission for him to work for other archdevils despite being her spymaster, and saboteur and it was rumored that Beleth occasionally reported on Glasya's activities to Asmodeus, although not even she could blame him for doing so. Though the Witch's Viscount was to hand over any information relevant to Glasya and her enemies and was to prioritize her orders above others, he didn't feel obliged to share information not immediately important to her or obtained through mortals.
Glasya's fortress of Osseia had special chambers allowing devils of any variety to dwell there comfortably, but she had a preference for certain types. The nobles of her court, of which succubi were also members, were the beautiful erinyes and corrupting paeliryons to whom she showed distinct favoritism. Her palace was filled with elite guards and war devils, and she had various other servants, devils and otherwise, that leaped to do her bidding and were wiling to die to protect her. Out of all her servants, the most belligerent and reluctant were the devils known as kalabons. Believed to have arisen from the carcass of the Hag Countess, each of the putrid creatures harbored an innate hatred towards Glasya, sometimes even attacking her with startling frequency.
Despite her lacking personal power, the number of cults devoted to Glasya were countless. She had a large following of mortals even before her rise to archdevil, which eventually came to rival the numbers of even the most worshiped Lord of Hell.
Ironically, even though she was the child of an embodiment of law, part of Glasya's appeal came from that she symbolized rebellion against oppression. Glasya was a dissenter within aristocracy, simultaneously an outsider and born into the system, yet despite every obstacle around her, managed to prevail. Her cults emerged and prospered in places of civilization where order and tradition were paramount because she presented a way for the persecuted, exploited, downtrodden, her most ardent supporters, and others that felt trapped by familial, social, or cultural circumstances to escape the rules and even rise above them. Mortals who went up against overwhelming odds with bold plans often drew her attention, and in some cases even her respect and patronage.
Asmodeus had decreed, partially to make her workload heavier, that Glasya had to capture mortal souls through deals and legalities, making sure that fulfilling her cultists' desires didn't break legal precedent. Her followers wanted power, money, or love, but wanted to get it without violating the rules, so Glasya and her agents offered advice on how to manipulate and circumvent the law through technicalities and escape clauses. Glasya was an expert when it came to exploiting the law for her own gain and helped others turn the system against itself to obtain more power. Her followers typically clustered in places of political unrest, nations on the brink of societal conversion to lawful evil. In exchange for devoting their souls to Glasya, her agents would also scour contracts made with other devils for loopholes and ways to void them.
Thieves, as well as criminals in general, were followers of Glasya, but corrupt nobility in particular fell into her sphere of influence. She was the patron of those who wanted power that was both absolute and legitimate, both legally and culturally, such as ambitious royals that rose to power when their parents died in an "accident". Gangs of criminal kenku also made deals with Glasya, as did goblins that planned to rebel against their hobgoblin masters. She gave her followers the power to step though shadows for a short time, steal more efficiently, siphon energy, and teleport to escape danger, although the lattermost power inflicted horrible pain on those who used it.
Glasya had shown interest in societies where traditional gender roles were upheld, and her cults often recruited female figures near men of power―mothers, daughters, and romantic partners―and taught them how to rule from behind the throne. The influence of Asmodeus's daughter was supposed to bolster ties between family, but her interpretation of this promise was liberal at best, and the gifts she offered could be used to sever bonds just as much as they could strengthen them. Many of her followers were young adults, inexperienced and rather naïve souls full of vigor and willing to experiment.
After she transformed Malbolge, Glasya managed to create a small cult following as a minor patron of corruption, growth, and agony. Her cultists could draw power from the quivering corpse of the Hag Countess, infecting themselves with her essence. This allowed cultists to grant themselves horrible mutations to enhance themselves, such as by having throbbing tumors emerge from wounds to seal them, extend their reach, or increase their speed. The cancerous flesh could also spew streams of sickening filth at others several feet away.
Cults of the seductive Glasya typically operated brothels as a cover for their temples. Her clerics favored the scourge as a weapon, signature instrument of previous ruler Moloch, and also had access to the bottled acids and poisons derived from the bile lakes of her realm. Her clerics could summon kalabons rather than the disgusting lemures and used them like living weapons to despoil peaceful forests, and could also call on the corrupting paeliryons using greater planar ally spells. Some were known to incorporate dark primal spirits in their rituals.
Glasya sent out aspects either to corrupt mortals personally before bringing them to her domain or to further her plans in some other way. Only a few existed, but they mingled with all societies easily, eschewing their unpleasant domain for luxury when on the Material Plane. She had been active in Faerun long before she became archduchess, having made concerted efforts to corrupt Raven's Bluff in the past, and her aspects appeared even more frequently ever since Glasya couldn't personally visit. Their primary concerns were corrupting individuals, particularly those of great virtue, and fostering new cults to increase her power.
All devils desired souls since mortal souls had power, and Glasya was no exception. Each archdevil could wry a different benefit from souls; Mephistopheles could use them to create hellfire for example. However, it was unclear what Glasya actually wanted with souls. Most of Malbolge's soul shells were marched off to pits filled with wriggling worms that devoured their victims before the tatter remains crawled out as lemures. After the process was complete however, the pain devils overseeing the process simply drove them off to wander Malbolge. Glasya used the souls enslaved to Malagard as subjects for twisted experiments in beauty and hideousness.
In her early days, before her rise, the Reckoning, or even the ancient imprisonment of Levistus, the rebellious Glasya flitted between the courts of various archdevils at a whim. This fanciful trouble-making ended, however, when Bensozia died. Though exactly what happened was shrouded in mystery and conspiracy, it ended with Levistus being sealed in his icy tomb and Glasya becoming primarily Mammon's consort. Something about the events that transpired during this time magnified the hatred that Bensozia had fostered in her daughter's heart towards her father, and it was at this point she became dedicated to supplanting him.
Unfortunately, Mammon was a lesser archdevil, a self-indulgent and rather craven lord, and being his consort gave her little opportunities to rise in status outside of manipulating others to do her bidding. The individual archdevils standing in her way were too dangerous to try defeating and would be reluctant to move against Asmodeus themselves, not wanting to risk their own domains or disrupt Hell's delicate, pre-established power balance. Fortunately for Glasya, this uneasy peace was so unstable that only a few pulls would cause the entire thing to become undone.
Glasya appealed to the bitterness of Mammon's seneschal and her own bodyguard Focalor, who resented his foolish and lazy master for leaving him to do all the actual work. Focalor was not only a powerful protector but a reliable source of political information, and at Glasya's urgings, he convinced Mammon that Baalzebul was planning on attacking his ally Mephistopheles. While Mammon wrestled with this information and whether or not to inform Mephistopheles, Glasya went to Moloch's court and recruited his consort Malagard, though she wasn't the only one helping on that front. Malagard was co-conspiring with Geryon, the Lord of Stygia at the time and Moloch's archenemy, while the ambitious devils Beleth and Tartach joined the scheme on their own.
Through Malagard, Glasya convinced Moloch that Mephistopheles was planning to attack him, convincing him to inform Baalzebul of the rumors. Baalzebul started massing his armies in response, thus confirming the misinformation that Mammon had, at that point, given to Mephistopheles. With a bit more subterfuge to get the archdevils to war rather than simply posture, possibly involving the murder of Fierna's level-headed mother, Hell's armies marched and the Reckoning began.
Asmodeus, however, was not unaware of the scheming of his archdukes, and Geryon was acting as his agent during the Reckoning. Just when the two factions led by Baalzebul and Mephistopheles were about to launch into their final confrontation, Geryon blew his horn and signaled their pit fiend leaders against them, thus abruptly ending the conflict. The Reckoning caused dramatic upheaval within Hell's hierarchy, and Glasya was certainly impacted by it. Glasya was forbidden to continue consorting with Mammon and told in clear terms that if she wanted to maintain her prestigious position, she would have to start taking on some responsibilities.
After the Reckoning
Asmodeus dubbed Glasya the "Queen of the Erinyes", though Glasya initially threw a fit when this happened; the Dark Eight, which was possibly formed or at least rose to greater power around this time, was responsible for dealing with the erinyes, and as their Queen, she fell under their watchful scrutiny too. Despite this lack of privacy, her new role had many unexpected benefits. She enjoyed her new duties, often spying on her charges while polymorphed to ensure they were doing their jobs, and could personally visit the Material Plane and its many charms at she so chose. The Dark Eight was also incredibly influential, so the other archdevils couldn't attack her without provoking their wrath. Glasya took advantage of her diplomatic skills during this time by recruiting a small army of her own in the event that a chance for a military coup arose.
At one point, Glasya established the first organized crime syndicate in the Hells, her own "coin legions", to help her gain power and wealth. Her followers operated like a thieves' guild on the Material Plane, but unlike their mortal counterparts, had the benefit of Glasya's knowledge of the law. Many of Hell's devils made the mistake of following traditions like laws, despite only the laws having actual penalties for not following them, and Glasya exploited this fact for coin. She had her followers purchase souls in Minauros on her behalf using counterfeit coins she made by transmuting lead into gold, the law on minting coins only specifying the material before processing. The coins would eventually revert to their base metal, but by that point the souls and other resources would already be bought and then quickly sold at a marked-up price.
When this occurred in relation to Malagard's death in 1375 DR was uncertain, but Glasya would arrive to the sixth layer sometime following her criminal activities. Many of the Countess's most loyal servants were crushed or fell to death in the horrific process by which she fused with her domain, and the layer's survivors had to claw their way out of the collapsed earth. Glasya was quick to claim Malbolge as hers; her forces swept the land unchallenged as she rode into her new realm on a luxurious canopy with silken pillows held aloft by winged devils. When her authority was questioned, she presented a letter of authority from her father stating his support and declaring her the Archduchess. Even if the archdevils were willing to risk attacking Asmodeus's daughter, the Dark Eight had been given dominion over much of Hell's military. The archdukes wouldn't risk starting another Reckoning at this point, allowing Glasya to claim her birthright and become a Lord of Hell.
Rumors and Legends
Almost everything known about Glasya was from rumors and postulation, and despite the efforts of spies and other foes from all angles, she maintained secrecy throughout her rise and became even less forthcoming after becoming archduchess. Her past deeds were fairly debatable and her discretion only fed the fires of gossip about her future intentions.
It was widely believed that Levistus was responsible for the death of Glasya's mother. The treacherous archduke supposedly approached Bensozia while she was inspecting Stygia out of the belief that she knew his weaknesses. She struck down his offer for partnership, was killed for her defiance, and Levistus was sealed in his tomb by Asmodeus. However, another version of this tale proposed that Bensozia was actually undermining Asmodeus, and feeding Levistus secrets to give him every advantage possible. The tryst worked for a time, and Levistus decided to take it a step further and turn even more members of Asmodeus's household against him by seducing Glasya.
Levistus knew the risks that came with his actions; Glasya was young and would likely react with violent jealousy upon discovering the truth and Bensozia would likely be similarly enraged. Despite this, the scoundrel continued to keep up his ruse for as long as he could but was eventually discovered by Glasya. After a clash with her father, she had fled to Levistus's arms to become his open consort only to find Bensozia there instead. Though Bensozia had urged Glasya to hate her father, her parental loathing extended to her mother as well, and, as the story went, Glasya killed her mother before she could return to Nessus. Asmodeus's constable Martinet discovered the parricide and, to prevent Asmodeus from seeming incompetent, killed all witnesses, had Levistus framed for the murder, and convinced Asmodeus to install Glasya in Mammon's court.
Glasya's rise to Archduchess of Malbolge was also a source of much speculation. Some mysterious force was behind the bizarre death of the Hag Countess, but it was unclear what exactly it was. Glasya was said to have been Malagard's murderer, her death being a brutal and shocking display of power. On the other hand, it was also reported that Malagard's death was partially her own fault. She had spent years amassing souls for a ritual that would see her ascend to godhood only for something to go horribly wrong in the process. The effort itself might have been flawed, she might have tried to abort the effort, or perhaps Geryon meddled in the process.
Asmodeus himself may have played a part in her death; the Overlord of the Hells had the power to alter the forms of the archdevils as he wished but it wasn't verified if he could just outright kill them, although whether or not Malagard "died" was itself debatable. Even if he didn't kill her, there was also the question of if Asmodeus had pre-planned the Hag Countess's death. He had given Glasya explicit permission to rule Malbolge, but it was undetermined whether the two had laid some of their past grievances regarding Glasya's rebelliousness to rest first or if she had marched in and gotten approval post-invasion.
Some theories even suggested that Asmodeus's plans regarding Glasya's rise stretched as far back as the Reckoning. According to the theory, he had elevated the duplicitous Levistus over Geryon so as to keep the former lord's energy without having to give it to the Frozen Prince. The Hag Countess, supposedly, was only intended to be a placeholder, a seat-warmer archdevil to watch Malbolge until Asmodeus and Glasya came to an understanding, or perhaps until she was ready to take Malbolge for herself.
Father and Daughter
Glasya's relationship with Asmodeus was certainly a great enigma, the terms father and daughter being insufficient for describing the bonds between immortal entities of order and wickedness. The question of why he would even choose to have a child still lingered, with one theory being that Asmodeus was the ruler of Hell just as much as he was one of its many prisoners. Surrounded as he was on all sides by beings of god-level power filled with anger towards him, perhaps he seeded Glasya in the hopes that she could act as a proxy on other planes. Some sages speculated that Glasya wasn't even his daughter, and that she was really an entity of great power and unknown origin that he adopted as his own.
Also unknown was Asmodeus's reasoning behind putting her in charge of Malbolge, and what he wanted from her after she cemented her reign. The extent to which Glasya could be said to be "under the control" of her father was itself an unanswered question. Before, Asmodeus had presented her to the other archdevils as his daughter and had her patrol the Hells on his behalf, yet she surprised the other archdevils with schemes of her own. Perhaps Glasya, like Geryon, was acting as Asmodeus's agent during the Reckoning and tasked with exposing the archdevils, or she could have been acting of her own accord in a personal bid to destabilize the Hells.
Though Asmodeus was supremely intelligent, even he could be surprised, and he acted as if he was three steps ahead if he was. Maybe Glasya's movements were predicted and anticipated by the King of Hell long ago, her scheming, rebellion, and striking out on her own all secret wishes of his. Conversely, maybe Asmodeus had been outwitted by the ambitious princess, his daughter having proved cleverly subversive enough to defy him and rise to power. If Glasya had managed to deceive him successfully, he might have perceived her triumphs as unforeseen advantages or possibly great marks of shame. The truth behind it all was, in all likelihood, only known by father and daughter.
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