Accounts from Horvendile's Diabolicon[edit | edit source]
The Iron Circle is a Yugoloth mercenary company that was originally forged in Gehenna. They have fought for thousands of years in the Blood War.
The Iron Circle was first formed when Asmodeus, Lord of the Nine Hells, Commissioned the General of Gehenna to assemble a host of her kin. As payment, Asmodeus gave her ten thousand iron coins. These coins had been forged from the blood iron of an obyrith's corpse.
The General took these coins and amassed her army. Each of the army's first ten thousand recruits would forge a coin into a ring, and wear it with pride. To this day, the Iron Circle keeps detailed records of each ring's history to form a comprehensive lineage of the company.
The Iron Circle has fought on both sides of the blood war. It has been bought back and forth, betraying and switching allegiances according to the highest bidder. They are utterly without loyalty to anything but reward. They write contracts that are as devious as the deals of any devil, but Yugoloths don't always hold up their end of the bargain. To form an accord with the iron circle is to invite the attention of a cunning, duplicitous, and lethal opponent. To achieve one's ends, one must be very purposeful about aligning their intentions with one's own.
The General of Gehenna is an enigmatic figure. She was once a creature called an Ultroloth, a powerful fiend in its own right. However, the General was one of the first Yugoloths to engage in the ritual of Ululation. This occult practice is performed by Night Hags, fiendish creatures with whom the Yugoloths have some kind of relationship. The Ritual of Ululation forms a pact between a Yugoloth and a Night Hag, and transforms the Yugoloth into a unique creature known as an Altraloth. No two Altraloths are alike.
The General of Gehenna has fought through millennia of war. She is respected and feared by every devil and demon of the lower planes. In the year 5768, she disappeared.
Tracking the movements of the Iron Circle and interrogating some summoned lesser members has revealed some insight into her fate. In her last mission, The Senior officers of the Iron Circle made a diplomatic journey to Sigil, the City of Doors. Somehow, the General managed to arouse the anger of Sigil's ruler: her Serenity, the Lady of Pain.
As a result, I believe that the General was banished to one of the Lady of Pain's infamous inescapable Mazes. She likely wanders there still, attempting to navigate an infinite extraplanar labyrinth. The Senior Officers of the Iron Circle still claim to operate under her orders, so either they are lying to maintain control over the Iron Circle or they are able to communicate with the General. Until the General returns from exile, the Senior Officers command the armies in her stead.
Senior Officers[edit | edit source]
The Senior Officers are all Altraloths. Their names are as follows:
- Heshka the Reviled, Plaguebringer and High Diplomat
- Once a creature called an Oinoloth. Where Heshka walks, pestilence follows. She is a grim specter of death, whose mere appearance causes soldiers to break ranks and flee. Heshka is an expert at providing the ultimate solution to thorny problems, usually by killing everyone involved.
- Homunculus Vacui, Gluttonous Beast of Artifice and Intellect
- It isn't clear what Homunculus Vacui began its life as. Whatever manner of creature it was, it has long since transformed itself into something more. Vacui has augmented itself bit by bit with the technology it uses to arm the Circle. Part by Part, it has replaced itself with something entirely new.
- Bifurcator Mantraa, Lord of Gold and Blood
- Once a Nycaloth, a hulking brute with batlike wings. Mantraa oversees the finances of the Iron Circle, and revels in butchering those who would fail to pay their debts. Mantraa is like an army all on his own. He has lain waste to thousands, and is named for his favorite method of dismemberment.
- Scrivener Lysander, Chronicler of the Iron Circle, Bearer of Names
- Once an Arcanaloth, a jackal headed shapeshifter. Lysander is a devious creature that masterminds some of the most cunning plans of the Iron Circle. He is said to speak all languages, and is as capable of penning a perfect peace treaty as he is capable of inciting an all-out war. Lysander keeps the storied history of the Iron Circle documented in his tomes.