On the War Of the Sisterhood and the Creation of The Nine Hells
On the subject of the Nine Hells, The Dragonborn have this to say: that before her eternal sleep at the bottom of the Abyss, Tiamat, despairing the loss of her metallic children to Bahamut and wishing for companionship, willed five daughters to rise from the waves of the Sea of Chaos: Aegiraxus theBlack, Angrochinach the Blue, Greipani the Green, Karixus the Red, and Gjalpithor the White. “Do you see, Betrayer?” shrieked Tiamat into endless Night, knowing Bahamut would hear, “My children are greater and more mighty than yours!” Being aspects of Tiamat, and thus borne of hate and envy, the Sisters immediately fell to scheming and warring amongst themselves, playing cruel tricks, forming alliances only to betray them, and so on, until even Tiamat tired of their bickering.
The Su’krash Tribe claim to be descendants of Aegiraxus, incidentally, while the neighboring Halisha of Telsus Island say they are the daughters of Karixus, which I suppose explains why they are constantly slaughtering each other over the fishing rights to a few miles of rocky shoreline. Infact the Halisha say the Sisters even turned on Tiamat, and drove her into the Sea of Chaos; asuitably matricidal tale from a tribe obsessed with such violent rites of succession. Of course they blame Aegiraxus as the instigator.
But to return to our theme: in the manner of all sisters, these Sisters were more alike than they cared to admit, and this likeness only fueled their competition. As the tale is told they created the races of chromatic dragons in their own images to fight their wars, lesser than themselves but still awesome in their power; and these chromatic dragons amassed mighty armies of fiends and pit them against each other for time beyond counting.
These “Wars Of The Sisterhood” raged across every Plane of existence, it is said, and so terrible were they that the stars themselves wept, and fell from the heavens in despair. And wherever the stars fell, their sorrow raged as an inferno, and together these fallen stars created the layers of the Nine Hells: infinite, empty planes of sorrow and pain. This is no doubt more metaphorical nonsense from a people who seem to think randomly scratching runes in the dirt constitutes high literature; the cosmology of the Nine Hells is of course well understood – refer to my own Cosmology of the Nine Hells for a thorough accounting.
The Dragonborn say that eventually Bahamut’s children, Woden, Syf, Mimir, Thorus and Freya, whom we call The Five, grew tired of the endless horrors of the Sisters’ bickering, and decided to intervene. They created the races of metallic dragons in their image to counter the chromatic dragons; likewise the celestial races – the Angels, the Archon and the Eladrin – they set before the fiends. Now united by a common enemy, the infernal armies joined together under the leadership of Baal, first son of Karixus, and met the celestials in battle.
And here at last we begin to approach something resembling an accurate accounting, for as to the details of the celestials’ war against the fiends this much at least is supported by the scholar Anaraxus. In his Tome of Revelation, Anaraxus reports the two armies fought to a stand still, neither side giving or receiving any quarter, and war seemed everlasting, until at last Bahamut herself, the Platinum Queen, descended from Mount Celestia and led the Armies Of the Five in a final assault on Baal’s stronghold in Nessus, the Ninth Circle Of Hell. The fiends were defeated utterly, and imprisoned in the Nine Hells for eternity, and the Five set their armies as eternal guardians against their escape. Anaraxus further tells us Baal himself was slain by his second-in-command, Asmodeus, who even now rules as Lord Of Hell, plotting revenge. And every fiend and devil in the Hells remembers this defeat, and is consumed by hate for the Platinum Queen and all her works.
How fascinating it is that the Dragonborn clutch so much apocryphal nonsense to their scaly bosom -– weeping stars and burning sorrows, indeed! -– eschewing the primary sources in favour of oral telling and retelling which must always be incomplete and misleading. Their traditions contain kernels of truth, but it is so distorted that it is only through the diligence of the careful and dedicated scholar such as your humble author that fact may be separated from fancy. Verily, the enlightened reader may refer to my “Physiognomy and Taxonomy of Dragons” in this very tome for a cogent rebuttal of the more ridiculous aspects of this account; for Dragonborn are no more fallen celestials than I am a Mountain Dwarf.
Traumus Astrumson (2183 M.E.)