Minauros Is the Third Level of the Nine Hells
Minauros is the third plane of the Nine Hells. The third plane of the Nine Hells is ruled by Mammon, the clutching “Lord of Avarice,” and nothing of value exists for long on this plane before being destroyed or taken inside the walls of his many-pillared fortress. This nameless abode is built of black stone brought from another plane (possibly the Prime Material), and stands crazily upon great pillars that sink constantly, slowly, into the bottomless ooze of the marsh.
The outlands of Minauros form one great dismal marsh of stinking, rotting earth, covered with carrion and some inches of water. It is a place of eternal rain; dirty water mixed with hail falls ceaselessly, at a steady pace, from the murky, fog-shrouded air. The bodies of a great many creatures lie here; indeed, it is said elsewhere in the hells that Mammon’s house is built upon them.
Disease is rampant here; there is a chance of a creature not native to hells contracting a disease and doubles their chances if they imbibe (drink) any of the water on the ground of Minauros, deliberately or inadvertently.
The fortress of Mammon is the only building of any sort on Minauros; in the marshes, Mammon allows stone to be used only in “cells.” These are great shallow pits (two or three feet deep in water) in which one or more great stones lie. Fastened to the stones at one end, and dangling away from them, are great chains and manacles of iron or brass. The vigilant barbed devils will capture any intruders and bring them hence, where they sit or stand chained in the cold, fetid water until they die, are taken away for interrogation or torture, or escape. Sometimes when Mammon or his lieutenants are occupied elsewhere, the barbed devils will let a prisoner “escape” and then hunt it for cruel sport. What they cannot capture they kill, or else call on Focalor, the pit fiend Zimimar, or Mammon himself to deal with.
Typically, barbed devils perch atop the stone of a cell, burning the heads and exposed portions of the prisoners below. Prisoners soon learn (if they survive that long) to sit tight against the rock so that they can use it for protection and support, to elevate themselves out of the water by sitting on a pile of bones, and to keep their heads above water even when sleep comes.
The vassal dukes of Mammon rule stretches of volcanic ridges and ash choked, lifeless woods far from the central palace, between the uplands and the marshes where prisoners lie in dolor. Chief among these vassal dukes is Bael, who can gather 66 companies of barbed devils (and actively plots to supplant Focalor, and ultimately Mammon himself). The duke Caarcrinolaas commands 36 companies of barbed devils, and although he is aware of Bael’s ambitions, neither supports nor betrays them. The duke Melchon, who can muster only 18 companies of erinyes, chooses to be eagerly and actively loyal to Mammon – which has earned him the deep suspicion of the seneschal Focalor.