Sources of art on this subject have been indexed.
Evil landscape.jpg
Titles Outer Rifts
Sphere Outer Sphere
Alignment Chaotic evil
Denizens Demons
Chaotic evil outsiders
Chaotic evil souls
Description Infinite fiendish layers of madness

The Abyss (pronounced uh-BIS)[1] is a plane in the Outer Sphere dedicated to the rule of evil unfettered by law. Also referred to as the Outer Rifts, it is accessible through huge rents in the Maelstrom, opening into fiendish depths, vast beyond imagining. Sporadically, the demonic occupants of the Abyss will pour from these rents to menace one plane or another, and sometimes even tear their way into the Material Plane. The Abyss is possessed of many layers, strung together by the River Styx. Many of these planes are ruled by powerful and unique demon lords or, indeed, gods.[2]

Realms in the Abyss

The Abyssal realms are pockets in which the fabric of the Abyss has slowed its relentless, changing insanity to a near-reality pace. These places are often ruled by a demon lord, either thanks to the lord's own power over the area, or simply because demon lords are attracted to a place to build a fortress and armies. Some Abyssal realms have remained relatively unchanged for aeons and these are designated as anchored realms, or anchor realms.[3]


The two primary races that inhabit the countless layers of the Abyss are the ancient qlippoth and the prolific demons, which act as metaphysical bookends to all the numerous races of the Outer Planes. The qlippoth are believed to be some of the most ancient, or perhaps the oldest races of the Great Beyond, while the demons are the youngest. The qlippoth had already existed for eons when the Abyss first revealed itself to the rest of the multiverse, while the demons were originally created by daemons from the souls of evil mortals. When the influx of evil and lawless souls began rising steeply, the demons grew beyond the daemons' ability to control, and are now the most prolific of all the fiendish races.[2]


The Abyss is covered in detail within the pages of Lords of Chaos, Book of the Damned Volume 2. It also features in an extensive article in The Midnight Isles called 'Gazetteer of the Abyss'.