The Gray Waste of Hades
- Alignment: Neutral Evil
A gray land with an ashen sky, Hades is the destination of many souls that are unclaimed by the gods of the Upper Planes or the fiendish rulers of the Lower Planes. These souls become larvae and spend eternity in this place that lacks a sun, a moon, stars, or seasons. Leaching away color and emotion, this gloom is more than most visitors can stand.
It is a plane of evil, balanced between Law and Chaos.
The Three Glooms
The layers of Hades are called the Three Glooms – places without joy, hope, or passion – gray land and gray sky throughout, with no sun, moon or seasons to break the monotony.
The first layer of Hades is named for the lord of the daemons (the Oinodaemon), Anthraxus the Decayed. Oinos is a land of disease with stunted and withered plants amid gray rocky terrain. The river Styx flows through this layer, and many of the daemons and some of the other creatures from the lower middle planes who are immune to disease make their home here.
The Glitterhell is in a cavern deep underground Oinos, and it is the domain of Abbathor, the dwarven deity of greed. It is rumoured to have a lot of false entrances on the surface of the first gloom of Hades, lethally trapped by the deity with the purpose of keeping intruders out in order to protect his valuables.
As absolute ruler of such a realm, everything is done to satisfy Abbathor’s greed. It is impossible for valuables to go unnoticed by him on Glitterhell, as he detects every piece of precious metal – even those inside a bag of holding, or similar devices – and thinks of all of them as his.
The Glitterhell has color, which is rare on Hades. The color allows people who fall into despair on Hades to regain some measure of hope. The place is also one of the few disease-free zones on Oinos. This is Abbathor’s doing. He cares for his own health as well as that of his petitioners’, the latter’s because being sick would hurt their productivity in their service to him.
Compared to Oinos, the terrain in the second layer is rougher, like foothills, with cooler temperatures, healthier vegetation including pine trees, and no disease. Everything is cloaked in dreary fog and mist, limiting vision to about thirty meters (a hundred feet).
In the lowest level of Hades, the gray motif continues throughout but most of the vegetation is black willow trees and dry, dying poplars.