Vermanius, 326th Level of the Abyss

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Havard
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Vermanius, 326th Level of the Abyss

Post by Havard » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:20 pm

From Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor, Zeitgeist Games, p 69, we meet a quasit who falsely claims to be the Lord of Vermanius on the 326th Level of the Abyss.

Has the 326th Level of the Abyss been developed anywhere? Wikipedia doesn't seem to think so.

Is Vermanius likely to be the name of that Level, or perhaps a city within the level? Assuming there is some truth within the Quasit's lies?

What other ideas can be made from this? There are quite a few demonic forces within the Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor, so the Quasit could have picked up some details from some of the others. Perhaps the True Lord of Vermanius.

Vermanen is Dutch meaning to admonish or rebuke, which might be the origin of the name Vermanius.

Thoughts?

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Re: Vermanius, 326th Level of the Abyss

Post by Zeromaru X » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:38 am

There is no mention of a 326th layer, or of a place in the Abyss named Vermanius, in either the Fiendish Codex (3.x) or the Demonomicon (4e). So, I guess it was originally created for this supplement, and up to us to develop as we see fit. Unless an 2e source says otherwise, that is.

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Re: Vermanius, 326th Level of the Abyss

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:55 am

Havard wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:20 pm
Has the 326th Level of the Abyss been developed anywhere? Wikipedia doesn't seem to think so.
I couldn't find an official mention of a 326th layer of the Abyss anywhere either, though in one text file of fan-made Abyssal layers I have I gave that number to the Spawning Grounds, which, looking through other text files, was the name of a layer someone named Belkris created as part of the layers of the Abyss thread on the old Wizards of the Coast message boards. Belkris gave the layer the number 491, but I must have reassigned it for my own purposes.

The numbers assigned to Abyssal layers are arbitrary anyway. They represent the order in which the Fraternity of Order in the Planescape setting verified their existence, and have nothing to do with the actual structure of the Abyss. Sometimes the same layers have different numbers between 1st and later editions, suggesting that different sources (for example, Iggwilv's Demonomicon) have different numbering schemes. The Fraternity of Order probably didn't exist during the Blackmoor era, unless you choose to set a Blackmoor campaign during the "present day" of Planescape.

The layers of the Abyss mostly branch off the first layer, with dark pits acting as portals to the deeper layers, though some layers don't connect to the first, so you'd have to find portals in other layers to reach them. But they aren't arranged in a neat stack with the fourth layer below the third below the second. It's more like... a root vegetable.

The Spawning Grounds, in Belkris's imagining, was a swamp full of insects. Any blood spilled there becomes a chaotic evil double of the person whose blood was spilled, which fits with the theme of imposters, and I suppose an evil double could be seen as a sort of rebuke, a sort of criticism or parody of a person, with their sins magnified, and also "Vermanius" sounds like the English word "vermin."
Is Vermanius likely to be the name of that Level, or perhaps a city within the level?
It could be the name of the layer, or a city, fortress, or realm on the layer. In 1st edition, the difference between a demon lord and a demon prince was that a prince controlled an entire layer, while a lord controls only part of a disputed layer. This difference grew fuzzier in later editions (for example, Zuggtmoy only rules part of her layer, though she's considered to be of prince status).

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Re: Vermanius, 326th Level of the Abyss

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:26 am

I created a topic, called How many Layers of The Abyss have been created. the 326th layer isn't mentioned there.

I think you might have discovered something new there.

How much does Dungeons of Castle Blackmoor say about it?
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Re: Vermanius, 326th Level of the Abyss

Post by Cromstar » Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:03 am

I checked the list I've complied from official and fan sources and have nothing under Vermanius as the name of anything. My 326th has a name, but I shuffled a lot of layers around for various reasons, and its literally only a layer name listed, so I'd say it's not coming from anyplace else for sure.

As for truth...well, setting aside for the moment that quasits, like everything *else* in the Abyss, are liars, I'm not aware of any version of the game where a quasit would have the power to rule a layer...but if he's a proper boot-licker he could nominally rule a city or fiefdom under someone who rules a layer or a large part of it. So he could be telling the truth. Not likely he rules anything else without someone else backing him, though, because power structures in the Abyss are usually very much dependent on relative power levels: if you are stronger than the person ranked above you, they tend not to be alive for too much longer and you get a promotion!

Some context in when and where this info is given could help. If its when the quazit is in trouble *or* trying to intimidate someone, I'd more likely assume its a lie. If its something more circumspect, it could be semi-legit.

...actually for that matter, he could come from a town on the 326th layer where everyone in the town styles themselves the lord of something. The chaotic nature of the Abyss makes many things possible.

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