Asmodeus is something of a traditionalist when it comes to the disposition of his dukes. He is, after all, the Prince responsible for codifying the rules of Hell’s peerage. This means that Asmodean duchies are more defined by the territory they cover than by the functions the duke performs.
Revelations III makes clear that Asmodeus’ Duchies are mostly named for the various appearances of Infernal Cities in human lore and literature
Duke of Agartha
Agartha contains most of Hell’s main power stations, water pumps, and public works buildings; it makes the setting of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil look like a well administered metropolis
Duke of Arkham
The Duchy of Arkham stretches beyond the bounds of Hell and into the Corporeal Realm (though it is still entirely within the Grey City); the Duke encourages these settlements and is one of the main proponents of Hell on Earth
Duke of Cittagazze
Cittagazze is a heavily industrialized duchy with a large number of slums, extracting essense from damned souls is its main business
Duke of Dis (Murmur the Calabite)
Dis is one of the best known duchies in hell, it includes the Soul Yards, ghettos of the damned, and several of the other markets involved in the soul trade
Duke of Gotham
The Duchy of Gotham is both the legitimate and illicit business center of Hades, anything on Hell or Earth can be found in Gotham for the right price (though rarely to the excess enjoyed in Shal-Mari)
Duke of Mashkan-Shapir
Mashkan-Shapir is home to many of the demons who have posed as gods over the years, the duchy has been designed to look like the Babylonian city for which it was named
Duke of Orqwith
Orquith is managed by Asmoedeus’ only “Renegade” Duke; The Game has taken no overt action, but Beleth has been granted leave to twist Orqwith into ever more nightmarish shapes because of the Duke’s ongoing transgressions against Princess Beleth’s domain
Duke of Pandaemonium
The Duchy of Pandaemonium is a stone’s throw from the Asmodean Palace; it is the judicial and administrative center of Hades (the main Hall of Loyalty is located here)
Duke of Pretarājapura
Pretarājapura is one of the inner duchies and its duke is Asmodeus’ chief ambassador to the Hindu courts
Duke of Shal-Mari
The Duke of Shal-Mari is Asmodeus chief factor within Sin City; his holdings in Hades are minimal, but he has been promised as much of Shal-Mari as he can control
Duke of Styx
The River Styx is one of the only waterways to cut through Hades, it’s duke is responsible for the riverbanks, ports, and warehouses – the lords of Dis & Styx frequently confront each other over the disposition of the Gates of Hell
Duke of Youdu
Asmodeus’ Palace is located in the heart of the Duchy of Youdu but its administration is mostly handled the Prince’s hand chosen technocrats because the Duke is on permanent assignment as ambassador to the Buddhist Courts
As one of the most powerful Princes in hell, Asmodeus could easily support twice this number of dukes, but I have run out of Infernal Cities to reference. Feel free to add your own as the mood takes you.
Counts and Bishops
While each duke has any number of counts under their jurisdiction, it is the bishops who really help the Lords of the Game rule their domains. Guidelines for each can be found withing Superiors: Andrealphus.
Dungeons and Dragons
There are a number of Infernal cities that I chose not to use because the only references I can find for them are in Dungeons & Dragons (and it feels a bit silly to pull from one RPG to flesh out the setting of another).
- Abriymoch – The City of Hardened Magma
- Jangling Hiter – The City of Chains
- Malagard – The City Palace of Black Towers*
- Tantlin – The City of Ice
* If you don’t like using Youdu for the capitol district, Malagard would be a reasonable replacement.
Real World Origins
Agartha comes from various “hollow earth” stories.
Arkham is a recurring location in the Cthulhu universe, quiet on the surface but horrible beneath. If you want to put Nightvale in your game, it would probably also be part of the Arkham sprawl.
Cittagazze first appears in the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. It is a city populated mostly by children and the specters who are eating their souls.
Dis is the great city of hell from Dante’s Inferno. In that work Dis included the 6th through 9th circles of hell.
Gotham, Mashkan-Shapir, and Orqwith all come from DC Comics. Gotham City is not Infernal per se, but it was intentionally crafted to represent all that is reprehensible in he modern metropolis. Mashkan-Shapir is the infernal abode of Nergal (who plays a prominent role in the Hellblazer comics). It is also the name of a real Bablyonian city where Nergal was worshiped as a god (which is where I got the insperation for my version). As for Orqwith, it only appears in the pages of Doom Patrol – inspired by some of Jorge Luis Borges writings on metafiction. The short version is that wherever the story of Orqwith is read, Orqwith is.
Pandaemonium (or “All Demons”) is the infernal city from Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Pretarājapura (or “City of the King of Ghosts”) is one of many names for the Hindu underworld. I am uncomfortable placing the Hindu underworld within the Abrahamic underworld, so in my games the real Pretarājapura is in the Hindu spiritual realms, Asmodeus has just named this duchy in tribute to the other one.
Shal-Mari comes from In Nomine. It is not a province of Hades, but it most certainly is an infernal city, and therefor fair game for the title of one of Asmodeus’ dukes. If I had to guess it actually originates from the Middle English spelling of “shall marry” (as seen in the writings of Henry VIII of England).
Styx is one of the five rivers of the Greek underworld, and the only one that Steve Jackson explicitly has pass through their version of Hades.
Youdu comes from Buddhist mythology, where it is the capitol city of the underworld. Personally, I treat this like I treat Pretarājapura. Asmodeus has chosen to adopt the name, but the real Youdu is in the Buddhist spiritual realms and not part of Hades.