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    Excerpts from the Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Stygia, The River of Hatred
    Posted on Sun, September 09, 2001 by Dogadmin
    grodog writes "A description of the meta-plane of Stygia, which wends through and touches upon all of the low planes of the Pandemonium.

    Author: grodog


    Excerpts from the Demonomicon of Iggwilv:
    Stygia, The River of Hatred, Chief Route through the Pandemonium


    by grodog (see also http://www.rpg.net/ehp/imrryr/greyhawk.html)

    Copyright 2001 by Allan T. Grohe, Jr.

    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.


    The Pandemonium is spanned by the River Styx, more properly known as Stygia. Stygia is a meta-plane that spans all of the lowest seven planes of evil (from Acheron to the plane of Pandemonium). It is the primary river of the underworld, as well as the most common method for travel between the planes of the Pandemonium.

    Stygia takes many guises, but its most common manifestation is that of a fogs-shrouded river. The fogs limit visibility, and the far shore cannot ever been seen from the near. Stygia's waters run deep and black. The current runs slowly near the shore, but quickens toward the center of the flow. Islets, reefs, and sandbars occur uncommonly in the Styx, but when they do appear, they often signal imminent conflict. Creatures often wait in ambush on these points of stability, and assail all passing travelers (save those in the company of the Ferryman).

    In addition to its more standard foggy river form, Stygia manifests itself as an underground river in a vast cavern, in which stalagmites, stalactites, columns, and other rocky intrusions appear more often. The mage Xaene, upon his first visit to its shores, described Stygia as a storm-wracked, howling tempest, with horizontal rains lashing the shore, while waves crested at over fifteen feet high. At other times, it is a smooth, swift flow, with a sandy shore of crushed white bone; or a waterfall; or a vast, sluggish swamp; or a free-floating river, suspended in space with no shores and no banks. Et cetera.

    The waters of Stygia are formed from the souls of the damned, condemned to wander from underworld to underworld, in unending anguish. If a mage is foolish enough to look at Stygia's waters with true seeing, just before his sanity snaps, he will will observe millions of liquid souls, each one's hatred compressed and distilled, each writhing in agony, and screaming their eternal hatred at the viewer. Stygia's waters/souls are sometimes harvested as an ingredient in the manufacture of potions of super-heroism and talismans of ultimate evil, or as a material component for hate-based magics (antipathy, symbol: hatred, etc.).

    As a meta-plane which spans the whole of the Pandemonium, any spell or power derived from any lower plane will function normally within Stygia. This includes the ability to summon law-based magics in the Abyss, and chaos-based magics in Hell, etc. In all other respects, however, Stygia is a lower plane: connections to the Astral exist, but not to the inner planes. Therefore elemental-based magics will not function (including water-based spells), Prime planar magical items are reduced in effectiveness by two plusses, clerics who worship non-evil gods cannot regain spells higher than Second Level, etc. In addition, Stygia has the following additional properties:

    • the waters of Stygia cannot be controlled or animated by anyone other than Charon without a wish
    • all fire spells cause -1/die of damage, and easier to resist: save at +2 and +10% MR)
    • all water spells cause +1/die of damage, and are saved at -2 and -10% MR
    • as the River of Hatred, conflicts occur more easily; all saves vs. hate-based emotion attacks (symbol of discord, scarab of enraging enemies, etc.) are at -4 and -20% MR to resist
    • anyone who loses a soul (by magic jar, Void draw from a deck of many things, etc.) will find that the empty body inhabited by a spirit who acts as if under the influence of a dire charm spell (see FR4 The Magister, page 26) until controlled, knocked unconscious, or slain


    The following verses speak of an experience traveling Stygia's cursed waters. Some have claimed that Xaene wrote them after his apocryphal tempest-tossed trip, while others have attributed the verses to the bard Nightsong.



    The Ferryman


    Spirits wail
    vacating their familiar bodies
    and summon me again to the Stygian shores
    The River howls its black welcome
    I ply its course once more

    The hated mists part
    Two ghosts shimmer in wait
    Copper pennies forgotten
    I still grant passage
    that they are not condemned
    to wander the century's lament

    A ragged growl strips away reverie in lurches
    as the current's claws drag my skiff through torrents
    Faces leer from haunted waves
    The damned moan as we sidle shoreward
    their din rises
    a dirge announcing arrival
    Wan witches' moons stalk the dark
    chasing shadows from cimmerean ruins
    their toppled towers like rotten teeth
    silhouetted against the glow
    Hades festers before my eyes

    I stare into Styx
    drawn back to its embrace
    It stares back
    a myriad of faces
    each distortions
    of my own

    ==== END FILE ====

    Note: Hades, lower planes, the Pandemonium, River Styx"
     
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    Re: Excerpts from the Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Stygia, The River of Hatred (Score: 1)
    by grodog on Sun, September 30, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/greyhawk.html
    FYI, I added some additional information to this article, about some of the effects of being in Stygia.

    grodog



    Re: Excerpts from the Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Stygia, The River of Hatred (Score: 1)
    by Man-of-the-Cranes on Fri, March 22, 2002
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://www.ManoftheCranes.com
    We don't get enough planar material here. But Allan has shown us a good way to present planar articles, relevant to Greyhawk, without becoming wildly off-topic.

    Suitably dark and gritty to GH too...

    Cheers
    Man of the Cranes



    Re: Excerpts from the Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Stygia, The River of Hatred (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thu, June 27, 2002
    To connect this River Styx with the one described in the Manual of the Planes (both of them), perhaps the lost souls that make up the waters are made of stolen memories. To go a step further, the waters could clutch at the very souls themselves of those who fall in, whether living or dead.




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