Prisoners of the Wells
The 73rd layer of the Abyss, the Wells of Darkness are home to none. A masterless wasteland, the Wells of Darkness are infamous throughout the planes for one thing: being a place to put people about whom one would prefer to forget. The most potent and secure oubliette in the multiverse, the Wells of Darkness contain demon lords, slain celestials, and even gods whose favor fell with the passage of eons.
Nothing more than a series of ghastly, windswept, rocky tors with an unbroken, cobbled pathway running through it like arteries, the only notable feature of this small plane is a collection of wells that the path sometimes runs through or terminates at. Each well is some forty feet across and anywhere from fifty to hundreds of feet deep. At the bottom of each well is an inky pool about ten feet wide, and it is within this pool, past a dark membrane that leads into an impassible plane beyond space and time, is a prisoner, an entity whom someone deemed so dangerous as to decide that death – and therefore the possibility of eventual resurrection – was too risky a punishment. In the history of the planes, only four entities have escaped their prisons here, each under circumstances that were impossible to reproduce and tailored to the entity within.
First chronicled by the famed necromancer Ulricon of Sigil, what is known of the Wells mostly comes from his attempts to chronicle the full breadth of the planes. During his time on the 73rd layer, Ulricon conducted his studies and minded his students from a massive, red, gothic cathedral he called Overlook, though with the passage of millennia and Ulricon’s disappearance from the planes, the castle has fallen into disrepair and become a home to tribes of savage varrangoins, who flock to the plane in supplication to lord Ahazu, prisoner and jailor of the Wells.
Shami-Amourae, Lady of Delights:
Demogorgon’s consort and former lover, “The Lady of Debased Eros” at one time held the title of “Demon Queen of the Succubi”, a title that now belongs to Malcanthet, the ruler of Shendilavri, whose rise to power was made possible by Shami-Amourae – her long-time rival’s – banishment to the Wells. According to Orgosh, centuries ago Shami-Amourae discovered her lover Demogorgon’s weakness, and when the Demon Prince learned of this, he became enraged to the extent that he underwent the considerably expensive process of having his former lover and confidant sent to a place from which there is no return.
Or so he hoped. With the party learning of Shami-Amourae and her secrets, they conceived and executed a daring plan to release her from the Wells in exchange for the information they may need to stop Demogorgon’s plan. Making a contract with Ahazu, the group acquired a Book of Infinite Spells that was used for centuries in Shami-Amourae’s cult, a book that contained only one remaining spell: freedom. With Othar’s casting of the powerful magic, Shami-Amourae stretched languidly back into the planes, free of her prison.
The victory was short lived, however, as with his former lover’s release, Demogorgon’s backup plan to maintain the succubi’s silence kicked in. A chokesnake, grafted onto her neck and dormant until she returned to the Abyss, activated, taking over the demoness’ body in an attempt to kill her rescuers, or else force them to kill her.
Ultimately, thanks to quick thinking, the vile growth was removed without damaging their prize, and while Shami-Amourae remained skeptical of her saviors’ intentions, she agreed to thank them in the form of the information they sought: a key to defeating Demogorgon.
With her knowledge imparted, she vanished from the Wells of Darkness, claiming that she had much rebuilding to do. In wake of the defeat of her former lover, she is no doubt either infuriated or crestfallen by the sudden rise of her greatest opponent and the entity against whom she has plotted vengeance for centuries, even the Lady of Debased Eros appreciates the uncanny ministrations of her hated foe. Where the planes will next feel her touch remains to be seen.
Ahazu the Seizer:
Both warden and prisoner of the Wells of Darkness, Ahazu was a minor demon lord of night and teeth prior to his discovery of the Wells, eons ago. Unwittingly becoming the first prisoner of the wells after somehow slipping into one, he was contacted eventually by his followers who used pact magic to commune with him. With centuries to mull over his imprisonment, Ahazu hatched a plan to use the Wells as a sort of planar oubliette for some of the most despised entities in the multiverse.
Earning the title ‘the Seizer’, Ahazu and his cult were responsible for the disappearance – and continued absence – of several gods, demon lords, and other, more arcane creatures. His cult established a place of worship above his very own well, which was subsequently taken over by Sigilite Ulricon the Necromancer, who himself lost it decades later to a resurgent cult of Ahazu’s varrangoin followers.
Ahazu’s intentions behind using the wells in the manner remains a complete mystery. What Ahazu gains from his fellow prisoners or those who wish to keep them there, if anything, is unknown, but it has secured Ahazu’s place in legend among the planes. When the party sought to free Shami-Amourae, the jealous Ahazu permitted her release only on the conditions that the group render unto him his tooth, which they had recovered several adventures past at the Shrine of Zotzilaha, and to replace the Lady of Delights with an even more powerful demon. Should they have been unable to render unto the Seizer his due within 66 days, they would have become the newest inhabitants of the Wells, instead. With the defeat of Demogorgon and the consignment of the soul of Saint Korgath, the Betrayer to Shami-Amourae’s empty well, it would appear as though this debt has been resolved.
Most disquieting of all, the final exchange between Ahazu and the Gang of Five during their initial trip to the Wells was Ahazu’s snickering, malicious laughter. It was as though, somehow, he had planned the exchange all along. Such a thing ought to have been impossible, but the depredations of the hells reach very far, indeed, and there are some who whisper that Ahazu was an obyrith, and that in eons forgotten he bore a name older than even the ancient one by which he is now known, a name that sounded a good deal more like ‘Aphoom-Zhah’.