The ongoing adventures of a group of new D&D players in their first game

The Revelation of Rimmon Upon the Material

A book, its pages parchment of skin, the infernal writing tattooed in black blood.

Yes, my dear, just there. Yes. Hmm? Ah, did our newest, the young Lord Pashtum not explain? How unfortunate. Still, you’re here now. Learn by doing, yes? I shall explain. What? My yes, it is a devil. A minor creature of little consequence is Takriq, and quite harmless. He exists to record my Revelation. Part of the terms of my arrangement. You may speak freely. Bound to set down only my words. Consider me a confidant. Your predecessors often sought to unburden themselves to me. I invite you to do the same. No? Perhaps in time.

Are you quite comfortable? Well, to business then. My Revelation continues. The Pashtums are a most honorable House. Have kept to the word of our contract for several of your lifetimes. Today they have selected you to me to assist in this most noble endeavour. How marvelous!

The contortions of your face. You disagree. I empathise. Surely this must be overwhelming. Plucked from obscurity into a great work. Perhaps if I provide context? You see, there is turmoil in Avernus. A disagreement. A misunderstanding, really. A poorly worded contractual amendment necessitated my decamping Cania. The Eighth Layer. Hmm? The Eighth Layer of Hell, my dear. Particulars are quite irrelevant. Beyond your understanding. Do not inform your present circumstance. Events required my corporeal manifestation upon this, your chaotic and disorderly plane. Here I must proffer my apologies. With some embarrassment I admit I had in many long eons of existence completely overlooked your home. Very kind of you to say. Yes. Yes, I suppose it must seem gauche, for an entity of my stature to take up with worms. From the point of view of the worm.

To be honest – and I am nothing, my dear, if not honest – I admit I shared this perspective for some centuries. Idle. Tedious. You mortals, and I again I offer my forgiveness for the generalization, are noxious. False. Duplicitous. Lacking good faith. Several of my earliest endeavours to seek redress for events? Thwarted. By mortals simply being unwilling to deal plainly. Ignorant hedge wizards attempting to capture me. Bind me. Trick me. Can you imagine? Me! Rimmon! Rightful Lord of Cania, First to His Infernal Majesty Asmodeus himself!

And worse still than dealing with you fleshy creatures was the meddling of the Celestials. Arrogant. Pompous. Presumptuous. I and mine neglected your realm. The Children of the Mountain stood guilty of the opposite: constant, petty, moralistic interference. Self-styled adjudicators of reality. Never leaving well-enough alone. The situation, you’ll agree, was untenable for a deposed Arch-Fiend of Hell. For a time I sought deliverance of your entire plane. Close the borders. Bring order. The rule of law. But deceit is in the core of your mortal being. Self-deceit. You wail to the sky, pleading for deliverance and order, but I imposed that order. Am I thanked? No. Tyrant, they call me. Oppressor. Subjugator!

My dear, I was irritated. Confused. The more I brought order to this realm, the more you resisted. But that, my dear, was the seed of my revelation! My great insight! The spark that set to flame my genius. The reason for the great work of which you now find yourself a part. Do you see? You are finite. You lack the capacity to understand great truths, because you simply don’t exist long enough to learn the lesson. To impose order upon a single generation is wasted effort. Teach one, inevitably their squealing babes will rise against you in renewed ignorance. The seed of my revelation. Mortals will happily live in a prison, but only one of their own design. Encourage you to impose your own order, and with the smallest nudge you will subjugate yourselves. The Pashtums, for example. Happy. Eager, even. Want nothing more than the continued enslavement of their own people. And their chosen cudgel? Economics! Marvellous. At first I was reticent. Taking up residence in a hole dug into a mountain? Far from the mighty spires of Cania. But there’s something about this city. Uman. Its many layers. Remind me of home.

You are uncomfortable. I apologise. Eager to understand your place no doubt. I shall explain. Takriq, my scribe, requires parchment and inks of a particular composition. The revelation must endure to be received. Do you see? Your flesh, bound. Your blood, refined. Transmuted. Into the very substance of permanent revelation. You, my dear, shall become the next volume, even as I dictate it. Yes. Yes, now you understand. Excellent. Let us begin.

excerpted from The Revelation of Rimmon Upon the Material, vol.XIII, p.379, date unknown