The Abyss: The basics of malevolence.

Emperor Xan's picture

Department of Humanities

Psychology/Sociology Section

For: Chief Engineer

Subject: Random acts of violence


                You must remember, the Tanar’ri are forever changing. They have long memories, but cannot hold to a plan. They are the essence of unmitigated evil. They hold reign on their natures only long enough to meet their fiendish needs, and sometimes not even then. But no matter the outcome, it’s always evil.

                The Tanar’ri are driven to perform three basics impulses: corrupt, confuse, and commit violent acts. It is important that you understand how the Tanar’ri act in order to survive an encounter with one. Add in their constantly changing natures and you’ll never be caught completely unawares.

                Anyone can commit a seemingly random act of violence, but there’s a bit of planning in the act. Only the Abyssal races can truly commit a random act where all sense is void. Only the strongest survive in the Abyss. Those who can’t evolve die. The Tanar’ri who can destroy all rivals travels the quickest road to becoming an Abyssal Lord. It’s all random chance for evolution’s sake.

                The Tanar’ri are corrupt; of that there’s no doubt. They’ll take a bribe and turn stag one moment to the next. This unpredictability doesn’t men the Tanar’ri are stupid. Tanar’ri of above average intellect delight in corrupting stupid mortals who think they can cut a deal with them that the Tanar’ri will quickly forget. Problem is, Tanar’ri don’t forget, they just wait to seize the moment when they can get around to it.

                The Tanar’ri follow no rules. They teach individuality at any expese is the most important goal in life. Acting on all impulses is true freedom. The tanar’ri appease the flesh and the darkest thoughts at every opportunity. Lust, greed, avarice, and all other carnal pleasures are but the first steps to inhibition corrupted.

                But the big push here isn’t just to act on appeasing the flesh or sating the desires of the mind. The corruption of mortals allows the Tanar’ri to gain followers and perhaps raise their status to a demigod. When these pitiful souls are well entrenched in the ways of their demonic wards, they grow frustrated with those who would oppose their placations.

                These individuals will commit violence as a response to being denied their desires. Anyone unfortunate to be in the way of the corrupted mortal are as likely as not to be a target of brutality. Should the poor sod desire carnal delights and is scorned, he may forcibly take his fill with no regard to the damage caused to the unwilling partner.

                As time progresses, the desires become stronger and more varied in decadence. The insatiable monster will torture to fulfill fantasies, which leads to torture for fun, and so on. This also means such a person would indescrimately kill for pleasure and to remove even the smallest of obstacles.

                The Tanar’ri usually promise power and favors for such acts, but usually use these ploys to drive the demonic soul further down the moral ladder. Whether the idiot lives long enough or not doesn’t matter to the Tanar’ri. If he can start a cult to the Tanar’ri making the promises, all the better. But if the sod dies, that’s okay too. The Tanar’ri gain another resident of the Abyss to help with the Blood War and a personal servant to boot. So, in the eyes of the Tanar’ri, there’s little to loose in the deal. They effectively get something in the end.

Hypatia Anaxarete, Shaper 3

Planescape, Dungeons & Dragons, their logos, Wizards of the Coast, and the Wizards of the Coast logo are ©2008, Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro Inc. and used with permission.