The following is an excerpt from the
Diary of Drenicus
when he peered through a
mirror of the realities
during the Age of Greatness.
Now that the various Grand Dukes and Imperial Highnesses had arrived, the creature I recognized as the Constable of Nessus approached the bottom stair that led to the ruby throne shaped like a coiled serpent. There the creature offered a flourished bowbefore the 999 attendees. Although a dreadful illness fills my soul even as I recall what I saw, I will recount the words he used as I heard them through the pit fiend I used to observe the proceedings.“Loyal Courtiers of Perdition, Slaves of Hell, Scions of the Pit," he said with regal air, "I, Martinet, the Constable of Hell,Knight of the Nine Circles, and Most Honored Servant of The Overlord of Hell, now call on you to pay homage to the Lord-Regents of the Nine Circles of Perdition! “ Bow before His Imperial Grace, Warlord of Avernus and Master of the Infernal Gates, Bael, the Lord of the First!" The entire chamber shook as nine tremendous meteors burst from the floor before the Constable. When the flames and smokecleared, a hulking figure remained. It appeared to be a tremendous pit fiend, although the face bore some human qualities. Abronze kilt concealed the great hoofed feet, and the translucent, reddish body shimmered with burning scales. The monster rose to its full height, bowed before the empty Serpent's Throne, then made its way to the first alcove on the Constable's right."Bow before His Imperial Grace, Arch-Duke of Dis and the Potentate of the Iron City, Dispater, the Lord of the Second!" The ground before the Constable bubbled and hissed as burning, liquid iron appeared. Abruptly, it shot up in a great line,quickly taking the form of a tall, slender older man in conservative, yet regal robes and cloak the color of steel lined in blood-red.The man held a long, iron rod in one hand and an iron staff in the other. Burning, cloudy eyes devoid of emotion in spite of smirk-ing lips glanced at the Constable before turning to the Serpent's Throne. Then, the man turned to the left and limped to the ap- pointed alcove."Bow before His Imperial Grace, Arch-Duke of Minauros and the Marquis of Avarice, Mammon, the Lord of the Third!" Thousands of sparkling gold and platinum coins fell from above. In short order they formed a tall, pudgy hellspawn. All man-ner of jewels adorned his horns, clawed hands, and tail. A self-absorbed smile stretched the jowly face as the infernal being winked a glittering eye at the Constable before offering a very elaborate bow to the Serpent's Throne. Then, with a flap of his wings, the crea-ture made his way to the second alcove on the left."Bow before His Imperial Grace, Arch-Duke of Phlegethos and the Master of Pains and Suffering, Belial, the Lord of theFourth!" Thousands of voices filled the room, some screaming in ecstasy, others in torment. A pillar of flames shrieked from above and shortly revealed an angelic man of incomparable beauty floating just above the ground. Dressed only in black leather against white-hot flesh, with burning wings and a halo of flame, the fallen angel held a great black trident in both hands. The Fallen gave theConstable a demure smile before blowing a kiss at the Serpent's Throne. He then took his place on the second alcove to the right."Bow before His Imperial Grace, Arch-Duke of Stygia and Prince of Wantonness, Leviathan, the Lord of the Fifth!" The sound of tons of ice and water moving with terrible swiftness filled the room before a massive chunk of ice exploded from the floor. Deep within, barely discernable, was a large creature, its body a marriage between a human male and whale, its shark-likehead too small for its huge, toothy maw. Frozen, only its soulless, black eyes moved, glaring at the surroundings. The creature did not even acknowledge the Serpent’s Throne before its prison slowly and gracefully began turning as it glided on its wet base to thethird alcove on the left."Bow before Her Imperial Grace, Arch-Duchess of Malbolge and Queen of Desolation, Lilith, the Lord of the Sixth!" Storm clouds, accompanied by winds and thunder, appeared above. With a crash, a single bolt of lightning struck the ground and was swiftly replaced by a startlingly handsome woman with long, raven hair wielding a sword, the blade made from cracklingblack lightning. Utterly naked, she covered herself with great black wings. Before taking her place in the third alcove on the right, she barred serpentine fangs at the Constable and glared at the Serpent's Throne."Bow before His Imperial Grace, Arch-Duke of Maladomini and Lord of the Flies, Beelzebub, the Lord of the Seventh!" The sound of a million flies dimmed my ears before the vermin themselves appeared. They converged at the center of the room.As they slowly parted, a large, heavily muscled man in regal finery hovered among them. Between the two horns atop his head were a pair of large, multifaceted eyes and antennae. Three pairs of black wings, otherwise like those of a huge fly, hummed behind him as he offered a sinister smile at the Constable and a deep bow to the Serpent's Throne. Then, still wrapped the swarm, the Lord