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Mephistopheles (pronounced: /mɛfɪzˈtɑːfɛlizme-fiz-TAF-e-leez[2]), also known as the Lord of No Mercy and the Cold Lord, was the lord of Cania, the eighth level of the Nine Hells. He was the main opponent of Baalzebul during the Reckoning of Hell, and still holds a claim to his own layer. He sought to take Baalzebul's layer away from him, that he may gain enough power to one day challenge Asmodeus for rulership of all the Nine Hells.

There are few problems that cannot be solved through the application of overwhelming arcane firepower.
  — Mephistopheles[3]

DescriptionEdit

This diabolical, nine-foot-tall fiend had crimson skin and handsome-yet-diabolical features: white eyes with red irises and pupils, long, straight, black hair, broad leathery wings, curling horns, and sharp talons, all of the deepest red, and sooty black scales. He had huge muscles befitting his great strength, yet his speech was as whispering wind. Swathed in a flowing black cape, he was the vision of evil.[4]

BackgroundEdit

Once the court magus of Asmodeus in Nessus, Mephistopheles gained the rulership of Cania by seizing it away from Rimmon. After the Reckoning, he seemed to fall into a slumber, remaining frozen and unmoving, until he led a coup against himself in the guise of Baron Molikroth and then destroyed all his co-conspirators against himself.[citation needed]
Mephistopheles MH

An aspect of Mephistopheles.

In more recent events, Mephistopheles had persuaded his half-breed son, Magadon, to release the devil inside of him and therefore bring himself and his fellow companions Erevis Cale and Drasek Riven to Cania through some manipulation of Erevis Cale's ability to travel the shadows. Mephistopheles then proceeded to kill his half-breed son, when Erevis Cale stepped in and promised Mephistopheles a portion of the god Mask's divinity to him in return for Magadon's soul. Mephistopheles agreed to this under one condition, that condition being he kept half of Magadon's soul there until delivery. Erevis Cale later returned to Cania and sacrificed his life for the return of Magadon's soul. It was at this time that the new demigod Drasek Riven, who had also absorbed part of Mask's divinity traveled to Cania and paid Mephistopheles a visit. Riven attacked and badly wounded the archdevil, and told him that if he ever stepped out of his domain that Riven would utterly destroy him. Mephistopheles replied by telling Riven that he will come back, and he will be waiting for him. He seemed to think that Riven would be back for Erevis Cale at some point in time.

Mephistopheles, along with Dispater, was once an ally of Mammon, but Mammon betrayed them both.[5]

Attack on TorilEdit

Not too long after 1372 DR, a drow matron afterwards known to history only as the Valsharess managed to bind Mephistopheles into her service on the material plane, in Toril. Aided by his powers, she proceeded to conquer much of the Underdark, and even went on to try to expand her influence on the surface, attacking Waterdeep through Undermountain.

Meph waterdeep

Mephistopheles arrives in Waterdeep.

Previously, an adventurer fleeing the briefly re-activated but now again falling Netherese city of Undrentide into the Plane of Shadow had come across a strange relic that they had used occasionally to access the small plane of a strange creature known as the Reaper. This item was in fact meant for the leader of a cult of Mephistopheles, and contained a piece of the devil's own flesh. Later the adventurer, by then quite famous and powerful, came to Waterdeep to aid the city in its struggle against the Valsharess's forces. Mephistopheles manipulated the Valsharess to eventually bring the adventurer into her inner sanctum, where she ordered him to kill them. At this point, her control over Mephistopheles was loosened, since the relic carried by the adventurer bound them to the archdevil, and by ordering him to kill the adventurer she broke the pact which she used to bind him.

Instead of complying, Mephistopheles left the adventurer and his party free to duel and kill the Valsharess. He then sent them to Cania in his stead and set out to conquer Toril, intending to turn it into a new layer of Hell that would go down below the Ninth and make him the new supreme ruler of the plane. He raised the dead souls he had gained from the recent battles between the Valsharess and her enemies as a special form of spiritual army and began to follow a similar course of conquest to hers, advancing from the Underdark to Waterdeep. However, the adventurer, who had by this time grown in power far beyond that of most other mortals, was able to escape Cania by learning the Reaper's true name (Hecugoth the Abandoned), return to Toril and banish Mephistopheles back to his old domain before he could destroy the City of Splendors.

According to this account, Mephistopheles's true name is Thra'axfyl the Ambitious. It can be deduced however that since Mephistopheles remains a threat to the planes as nobody's slave, the adventurer either did not learn this or chose for some reason to not use it to its full potential.

InformationEdit

Mephistopheles

Mephistopheles.

Mephistopheles, the Lord of the Eighth, ruled over the layer of Cania (or Caina). He resided in Mephistar, a blue-white citadel fashioned of ice that sat atop a glacier called Nargus.

Mephistopheles appeared as a nine-foot-tall humanoid with hell-red skin, horns, and wings. He prefered to wear dramatic capes of the ultimate blackness and carried a magic ranseur that burned eternally.

Mephistopheles once engineered his own coup, replacing himself with Baron Molikroth. However, Molikroth was just an alias of Mephistopheles, and that duplicity has now ended, as well as the lives of "Molikroth's" co-conspirators.

Mephistopheles failed to unseat Asmodeus during the Hells-wide rebellion known as the Reckoning. If it weren't for his canny consort Baalphegor, whose mere presence greatly protected him from the Lord of Nessus, Mephistopheles would, likely, have been at best demoted upon the Reckoning. His largest rival was Baalzebul, and his court ran thick with plots against the Lord of the Flies.

Recently the Lord of the Eighth had been devoting most of his time and incredible amounts of energy to his pet project, that of mastering and experimenting with Hellfire, a new form of magical fire with new and interesting properties. This obsession with the enterprise caused a virtual upending of Cania's power structure, with the Ice Devils that once stood at its peak forced to migrate to the colder mountains on the fringes of Cania.

Mephistopheles' goal was the expansion of his material plane cult by offering mastery of Hellfire as an incentive. However, the expansion was taking a toll on his soul-harvesting efforts, and he was being forced to borrow divine energy from the other archdukes, particularly Dispater and Levistus at an alarming rate. Mephistopheles risked much in his gamble on Hellfire, and if it were to pay off, his mortal cult would be larger and more popular than any other archduke's, including Asmodeus'.

Despite his recent efforts, Mephistopheles' influence on the material plane was not as strong as in Baator. Many mortals confused him with Asmodeus, thinking them one and the same. This fact amused Asmodeus and frustrated Mephistopheles to no end.

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

Adventures
Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus
Novels
ShadowbredShadowstormShadowrealm
Video Games
Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark

ReferencesEdit

ConnectionsEdit

The Lords of the Nine
Asmodeus
The Archdevils
BaalzebulBelialDispaterFiernaGlasyaLevistusMammonMephistophelesZariel
Other Unique Devils
BelGargauthGeryonThe Hag CountessMolochTiamat
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