Malevolent and corrupt, devils are the rebellious servants of the gods now living in the Nine Hells, one of the darkest dominions on the Astral Sea. Devils come in many varieties, from the sly imp to the mighty archdevils known as the Lords of the Nine, each a ruler of one of the Nine Hells. The greatest of these infernal lords is the god Asmodeus, prince of Nessus, the ninth hell. Long ago, Asmodeus was a powerful divine servant who chose to rebel against the god he served. At the head of an army of like-minded creatures, Asmodeus slew his divine master. For their betrayal, he and his followers were cursed with monstrous forms and imprisoned within the fuming ruin of the murdered god’s dominion.
Devils can leave the Nine Hells, but it is very difficult for them to do so. They can be sent forth by mighty archdevils through costly infernal magic, or travel through rare and well-hidden magical portals (usually only a few at a time when conditions are right). However, most devils outside of the Nine Hells have been brought to the natural world by evil mortals employing dark rituals.
Devils lust for the souls of mortals; each mortal spirit devils enslave undermines the gods’ sway over mortal-kind and adds to the Nine Hells’ power. Devils torment and consume captured souls to fuel the mightiest of their infernal works, including evil constructs and terrible invocations. Devils compete fiercely to gather souls in order to earn favor and status within the infernal order, but they all work together toward the common goal of gathering souls for the Nine Hells.
Some devils seek to drive mortals into surrendering their souls through tyranny, despair, or terror; some seek to destroy the servants of good-aligned gods and tear down their works; and still others are tempters and deceivers who inflame mortal ambition, desire, greed, or pride.
Long ago, Asmodeus and his vassals forged dark pacts with various evil deities. Devils are therefore commonly found serving Bane, Gruumsh, Tiamat, Torog, and Vecna. Devils carefully honor their bargains—but they are extremely good at giving reckless mortals exactly what they ask for, and few of those who bargain with devils escape the final payment.