The Reckoning, sometimes called the Reckoning of Hell,[2] was a rebellion orchestrated by many archdevils to depose Asmodeus from his seat as ruler of the Nine Hells.[1] The conflict reshaped much of Baator's political landscape.[2]


The conflict began in the layer of Avernus, but successive battles permeated the other layers until Maladomini.[2]



In the early days of the Blood War, the archdevils moved their troops more freely between the different layers of Baator. Internal power struggles caused them to split into two factions: the first was led by Mephistopheles, followed by Mammon, Dispater and Geryon; the second was led by Baalzebul, followed by Zariel, Belial and Moloch. Each faction aimed at overthrowing the other in order to challenge Asmodeus for rulership.[2]


The conflict started in earnest when Zariel led a massive contingent, thought to be aimed at demons, to attack Dis instead. At the same time, Moloch and Belial led their armies into Stygia. In response, Mephistopheles attacked Maladomini, while Mammon lifted the siege on Dis. This counter-offensive turned the tides of the battle, forcing Zariel to retreat and Baalzebul to call for reinforcements.[2]

In Maladomini, both forces sent massive legions to attack each other in an enormous battle, as their leaders started to see victory approaching and the deposition of Asmodeus at hand. However, Geryon had secretly remained loyal to the Lord of Nessus. Together, they amassed the loyalty of the pit fiend commanders of both armies, who, at Geryon's signal, turned against their commanders and obliterated both armies.[2]


Asmodeus emerged unscathed from the conflict.[3] As a result of their crushing defeat, many of the archdevil conspirators were punished in different ways, but most retained their positions as lords of the Nine.[2] Baalzebul, who had led the rebellion, was transformed into a worm-like form.[4] Mammon, on the other hand, quickly switched sides, humbling himself before Asmodeus and invoking the mistrust of all the other archdevils. Mephistopheles also managed to maintain his original position as Lord of Cania.[1]

Other changes in power happened as a consequence of the Reckoning. Belial was demoted from his seat as Lord of Malbolge, a position later filled by his daughter, Glasya,[5] under the condition that her relationship with Mammon ended.[6] All the dukes of Malbolge, who were under the sway of Baalzebul, were also demoted.[7]

In addition, Asmodeus rewarded the pit fiend generals who remained loyal to him, creating the company known as the Dark Eight.[2] Notably, the pit fiend Bel was promoted to commander of the armies of Avernus and right hand of Zariel, a position that he would later exploit to overthrow her.[1][8]



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