Hey Folks! In this week’s post, DnD 5e Gehenna Explained, I’ll be going over exactly what makes this plane of existence unique and interesting.
So make sure you’ve got your best climbing gear, and be careful not to slip as we dive into this week’s post!
What is Gehenna?
Gehenna is one of the Outer Planes. One of the eviller-aligned ones. It is a plane of mountainous terrain. Described as massive volcanos without a base or a peak. Everything here is at a minimum of a 45-degree angle. This includes any structures that manage to be built there. Although some sections of the mountains have been carved to create ledges, but according to scholars, that requires serious magical capability or divine power on this plane.
The plane itself is broken into 4 layers, each of them are different mountainous regions. Khalas, Chamada, Mungoth and Krangath. Each with its own characteristics and inhabitants. The mountains here are typically volcano-like, so caution is advised highly when it comes to traveling this plane. One slip could be certain doom as you tumble down impossibly high and steep terrain. If the fall doesn’t’ kill you, the lava rivers or random volcanic eruptions might.
What’s in Gehenna?
The best way to visualize Gehenna is 4 planets, and each planet contains a mountain range so big, that it would seem there was no top or bottom to it. It is a plane that has evil at its heart, and it is not somewhere mortals should travel without no other option.
This layer is the first one in Gehenna. The ground here glows an almost fire orange as it cracks and splinters as the immense pressures contained within the planet-sized volcano seep out. Sections of the River Styx can be seen here making its way through to its destination. An interesting bit to note is that scholars say you can see the next layer of Gehenna in the sky of Khalas, it is said to look like a small burning moon.
This massive bazaar sits on top of one of the ledges which is said to have been carved by a being with divine power here in Gehenna. The shape of the building is that of a massive pagoda. This bazaar is one of shady connections. Probably one of, if not the, biggest black markets on all of the planes. Goods stolen from all over the planes, or acquired through other dubious means are sold here for the right price to the right buyer.
It is not often a place visited by mortals, mostly inhabitants of the lower planes will come here to sell the spoils of their ill-begotten goods. It is a place one would want to be prepared to guard what items you possess with your life.
The Crawling City
This city isn’t specific to Khalas, as it actually traverses all of Gehenna since it’s mobile. It is the home of an extremely powerful Ultraloth, known only as The General of Gehenna. The city itself has massive demonic legs grafted onto it which are able to resist the heat of the lava rivers that are all over Gehenna. The legs also allow it to climb the steep mountains with relative ease.
The city itself houses mercenaries from both sides of The Blood War. In fact, it plays both sides of the war fairly well. Housing elite crafters who will happily sell their advanced hardware to whatever side is paying the highest. The city also has a prestigious War Academy where officers from both sides of the war learn tactics and lore to help them in their conquest. Legends say that if The Crawling City ever chose a side, then the Blood War would reach its final apocalyptic end.
This is the second layer of Gehenna, and it’s a wild one. It’s almost primordial in its nature. There is said to be little to no solid ground here. Most of what can be seen is free-flowing magma which hardens on occasion to form small islands which break up just as quickly as they form.
The air itself here is filled with the ash of volcanic activity, often making it impossible to see. Which is not something you want when you’re avoiding falling into rivers of lava.
This is actually a super cool location. You can allegedly see it while on Chamada, another moon can be seen, that’s surface is dotted by many large buildings and intricately designed streets that span the entire moon.
This city is, in a way, a bastion for those who might want to feel a little safer in Gehenna. Here the locals are said to be very friendly, the city is extremely well kept, better than most cities in all the planes. It is a major trading post in the outer planes.
The interesting thing about Nimicry is the city itself from the people to the builds is actually one massive organism. Similar to a mimic, but on a much grander scale. Now, while Nimicry is relatively safe, at least in comparison to most places on this plane, there is a chance that the city decides to just swallow someone, but most of the time it doesn’t, so quit worrying about it!
It is said that if the blood of any creature drops onto the surface of Nimicry is able to create an exact copy of that person, with all the same memories up until the drop of blood is spilled. However, these beings cannot leave Nimicry, as soon after leaving, they will wither away, like a severed limb.
A pretty gnarly place. It’s a massive tower home to many Yugoloth wizards. Here they study their vile arts, as well as protect the tower itself, as it holds the history of the Yugoloth themselves. There are petitioners strung up here, all along the walls, like Christmas decorations they dangle from chains, skin flayed from their bones. The Yugoloth uses these petitioners as a source of, well ink for the most part. The blood of these flayed beings is used to write and seal contacts written on the flayed-off skin of these poor creatures.
The tower itself is protected from all manner of unwelcome visitors. The outside is covered in spikes and blades that would prevent any real frontal assault on the tower, and the interior is littered with magical traps, that would end the lives of anyone stupid enough to venture in without prior information.
The deepest section of the tower is the most well-guarded. It is here that the Yugoloths store their contracts made with mortals. The contracts themselves are said to be in such vast quantity that they stretch for miles. The most powerful spells in the arsenal of Wizards protect this place from both the landscape of Gehenna and anyone looking to steal from the tower.
The third layer of Gehenna. If you thought being at least at a 45-degree angle at all times wasn’t bad enough, here we have Mungoth. The icy sibling to the other two layers we’ve discussed so far. Again this is a very steep mountainous region that is covered in snow and ice. The heavy snowfall and icy terrain make this place even more difficult to traverse. Not to mention that the snow is partially acidic, and deals a minor amount of damage for every minute of exposure.
Valley of the Outcast
Another quite interesting place within Gehenna. This place is extremely isolated, hidden away so that the beings that dwell there can live without being hunted by their enemies. The owner is a being known as Tastuo, a Fire Giant Wizard, who along with her eight similarly gifted siblings lives here.
The Yugoloths in Gehenna have signed various contracts and deals with Tastuo which allows the Valley to be kept mostly shrouded in secrecy, but the Yugoloths will come to the aid of Tastuo, if the Valley is ever in danger. It is not known what Tastuo provides the Yugoloths as part of these deals, but whatever it is, it can’t be good.
Due to Tastuos plight of being hunted and persecuted by her enemies, she is always willing to accept strangers and beings who need to seek shelter in the Valley. She has great sympathy for those in need.
The fourth and final layer of Gehenna is considered the “dead” layer. This is the only mountain range in Gehenna with no volcanic activity. In fact, there is next to nothing in Krangath, according to scholars the layer is eerily silent and devoid of all light.
This is the only inhabited place within Krangath, the city of the Lich-Lord Melif. This city sits on a ledge that has to be constantly maintained by those who live there, otherwise, the city would slide down the mountain of Krangath and to its likely doom.
It is filled with undead, unsurprising considering the city is ruled by a Lich-Lord. Built out of obsidian, and lined with necromantic energy that dances in the streets, giving the city a reddish glow in the oppressive darkness of Krangath. All undead are welcome here, and will likely be left to their own devices here, the living, and also petitioners of this realm are not permitted.
It is said that here in Hopelorn is where the most powerful liches conspire to advance their knowledge of lichdom and all it has to offer. They are said to often capture beings on this plane and take them back to Hopelorn to conduct heinous experiments on them. Although, like all beings here, they avoid the Yugoloth, as they do not want to face their full wrath.
Who’s in Gehenna?
Gehenna is filled with various creatures and beings, so I’ve handpicked a few to mention.
The petitioners here in Gehenna are said to be the lowest of the low. Basically scum. Highly self-involved and only motivated by self-gain. It is said never to trust a petitioner of Gehenna, unless what they offer can be verified. These beings often traverse all the different layers of Gehenna, so can very often be found. They tend to be looking for ways to increase their own power-hungry desires.
The Yugoloth have made their own home here, but it has to be noted that they don’t originate from this plane, they are originally from Hades. However, they’ve been on Gehenna so long now that they pre-date almost any other beings that dwell on Gehenna.
It is clear that they are feared and respected within this realm, and likely most realms as no one seems to want to challenge them for their territory, and beings of what would seem to be equal power often make deals and contracts with them rather than trying to take whatever it is from the Yugoloth.
Melif is the so-called Lich-Lord of Hopelorn. Apparently, he was once a Yugoloth before he started to delve into the studies of lichdom and become one himself. It is from here he works with other liches in a cabal to uncover more secrets of lichdom.
Interestingly, since Melif is actually considered in some lore to be a lesser God. According to scholars, Melif actually accumulated so much power by interrupting rituals meant to give others power. He did this in such short succession, that his ascension to lesser godhood was absurdly rapid. This power allows him to contend with the other evil deities whom he has pissed off due to his unplanned rise to Godhood.
The General of Gehenna
The ruler of the Yugoloth. He is said to be the very first Ultaloth. He rules from his city known as The Crawling City, which moves around Gehenna using legs that were grafted onto the bottom of the city, allowing it to ignore most of the dangers within Gehenna.
Legend has it that the general is responsible for the creation of both the Demons and Devils or at least their precursors. Apparently, he created beings from the law and chaos that existed within the Yugoloth and then abandoned them on the planes that those beings now call home.
What is Gehenna in DnD 5e?
To sum up the post, Gehenna is one of the lower outer planes. It is associated with evil beings primarily. It has 4 layers and each layer is effectively a massive mountain range with paths or ledges. So traversing this plane is very difficult on foot. It is the home of the Yugoloths and is where the ruler of the Yugoloths dwells.
Who is the General of Gehenna in DnD 5e?
Also known as the ruler of the Yugoloths, this being is said to be the first Ultraloth, and his existence is said to predate many beings, deities included. It is rumored that he was the one who created the Demons and the Devils eons ago. He rules the Yugoloth from his fortress known as The Crawling City. A mobile city that is able to traverse the layers of Gehenna at will.
Where are the Yugoloths from in DnD 5e
The Yugoloths are originally from Hades but moved to Gehenna to use it as their de facto seat of power.
How to travel to and from Gehenna in DnD 5e?
Same ways as always, using the spells that allow you to do so from the PHB or other supplements. However, since the River Styx flows here, it would be possible to follow that and eventually end up in Gehenna.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never really given Gehenna a second thought. Then when I managed to research this for the post, I was blown away by all the cool little places and beings that exist here. From the whole Yugoloth presence to the Lich-Lord and also Nimicry. All very cool and really gives you some tools to work with for your own campaign.
So until next time, I hope the rest of your week is a Critical Success!