D&D 5E Post Zariel's Redemption Avernus? What's happening as a lead up to Chains of Asmodeus?

FreeXenon

American Male (he/him); INTP ADHD Introverted Geek

Chains of Asmodeus Released​

Chains of Asmodeus was released by WotC this week in the DMs Guild as their ExtraLife donation thing.

Chains of Asmodeus: Official 286-Page Nine Hells Book & Adventure Released! (ENWorld)

DM Advice for Post Zariel's Redemption Avernus​

I am looking for advice for my DM in taking our level 13 post Descent into Avernus group through this, following my character Zazzu (Female Zariel Tiefling Hexblade who wielded Zariel's Sword) almost single-handedly redeeming Zariel [from BG:DiA]).

Chains of Asmodeus mentions itself as a potential post Descent adventure, but I would like to have more specific advice and ideas on this so I can grease the wheels before I ambush my DM with this request. <3

The key starting issue is Zariel's Redemption leaving a massive power vacuum within the Nine Hells, specifically in Avernus.
What is the state of Avernus and its rulership? (Ruling Avernus [BG:DiA]))
Also, what 'out of the Hells' would Zariel be doing?

Also, we would be siding with The Hellriders of Elturel who we worked with within Descent.

Throw me your ideas, pretty please!
 

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Necropolitan

Adventurer
The state of Avernus is tricky, but I'd say it comes down to whether or not your DM wants rulership to be settled or not.

If it's settled then I'd recommend picking from among whichever claimants survived your party's adventure and were in the best shape to seize control and saying that either Asmodeus approved them as the new lord of Avernus (if they're Lawful Evil) or they were powerful enough to claim it for themselves for the time being (if they're not).

The former group include Bel, Arkhan, Gargauth and the latter include Baphomet, Kostchtchie, or Yeenoghu. Tiamat could go either way.

You could also have the new ruler be Mahadi if he got his hands on the Hand of Vecna (pun intended) or one of the warlords as a dark horse candidate. That's unlikely given the power level differences though.

If Asmodeus approves the new ruler then they're transformed into an archdevil, so your DM would have to come up with stats for them.

If it's not settled then there should be continued conflict between between surviving claimants are still around after your party's adventure.


Adventure ideas include either trying to throw down the new ruler of Avernus or thwarting attempts to claim rulership (or claiming it for yourselves) thwarting another attempt to drag a city into Hell (Devils aren't going to throw out an otherwise workable plan), working with the redeemed Zariel to atone for her evil deeds, dealing with revenge attacks against the party by groups angered by their actions during the campaign, helping Elturel rebuild after getting back from Hell, and that's just off the top of my head.
 

FreeXenon

American Male (he/him); INTP ADHD Introverted Geek
I am not sure if we killed any of them, I think we might have encountered at least one of them - I wanna say Kotschkie, but I do not really remember. I will have to ask.

I am partial to Avernus being unclaimed, which sounds like intrigue hell. =O

"working with the redeemed Zariel to atone for her evil deeds, dealing with revenge attacks against the party by groups angered by their actions during the campaign, helping Elturel rebuild after getting back from Hell,"

I like all of those options, but am really partial to the clearing Zariel's name by hunting down the Infernal cults dedicated to her fallen form.

Thanks.
 

Necropolitan

Adventurer
I like all of those options, but am really partial to the clearing Zariel's name by hunting down the Infernal cults dedicated to her fallen form.
It's likely that at least some of Zariel's former cults will have been taken over by other archdevils or other Evil powers, so there's plenty that could be done with that. A being looking to claim lordship of Avernus would definitely want to get as much of Zariel's former powerbase as possible so that's a good way of tying Material Plane adventures to those in Hell.
 


Necropolitan

Adventurer
In my opinion a plotline that would best tie together all the possible ideas would be your party trying to ensure a specific claimant gets lordship of Avernus. It doesn't have to be a party member, it could be an already existing NPC or an original one.

After all why not try to move the first layer of Hell towards Good by putting it under the control of a Good ruler?

It allows for your party to go on adventures to find allies, gain backing, eliminate rivals and their power bases, etc.

Examples include:
  • Rather than destroy a Zariel cult you could get them to transfer their allegiance to your faction's choice for lordship.
  • Get Tiamat on your side (or at least side against your rivals more).
  • Find a massive hidden hoard of soul coins to help fund your campaign.
  • Rally the warlords of Avernus to your side and crush those who oppose you.
  • Meet with influential beings to convince them of the rightness/righteousness of your cause.
  • Defeat your rivals through intrigue or force.
  • Come up with a catchy campaign slogan!
 

FreeXenon

American Male (he/him); INTP ADHD Introverted Geek
That all sounds like a lot of fun especially the "crush all who oppose you" part! =)
 

Zariel, redeemed, would likely return to Lathander, whom she originally served.

Lathander would be delighted to have one of his own returned, with a new beginning tempered by the wisdom of self-reflection.

Asmodeus could have the Dark Eight, a cadre of pit fiend generals, handle the Blood War until a new Archduke is chosen. The court of archdevil Dukes and Duchesses in the Nine Hells would be super active as devil nobles reassess their political alliances and try to predict who is chosen by Lord Asmodeus next.
 


FreeXenon

American Male (he/him); INTP ADHD Introverted Geek
Zariel, redeemed, would likely return to Lathander, whom she originally served.

Lathander would be delighted to have one of his own returned, with a new beginning tempered by the wisdom of self-reflection.

Asmodeus could have the Dark Eight, a cadre of pit fiend generals, handle the Blood War until a new Archduke is chosen. The court of archdevil Dukes and Duchesses in the Nine Hells would be super active as devil nobles reassess their political alliances and try to predict who is chosen by Lord Asmodeus next.
I had no idea she served Lathander. Do you have a link for that so I can read more?
That is great info and opens up more opportunities

I suppose those Dukes and Duchesses will have an incredible amount of fun manipulating the field too, further complicating the process.
 

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