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Thursday, September 6, 2012
Hell's Hoods: Casino Infernale
Among the sinful (and dubious) pleasures of Hell are the gambling houses in its sprawling city of Dis. From every back alley dice game to high-class casino, these are owned by the Pluton family and run by the powerful capo, Asmodai. He also oversees the Hell Syndicate’s gambling interests on the Material Plane, bringing more souls to Hell's gates with the promise of riches.
Asmodai appears as a red-skinned, horned man whose good looks are spoiled by a almost perpetual leer. He dresses in the hippest of silk suits (also red). His voice is as smooth as any crooners--when he wants it to be. He casts no shadow, but when he passes by, mortals hear fevered, whispering voices urging them to take chances, promising the big score.
Asmodai turns a pair of dice in his left hand, that he can tie to the fate of any mortal (with their consent--though not necessarily with full awareness of what they’re consenting to) for a single toss of perhaps life and death importance. He is said to be able manipulate fate on a small scale to make him difficult to kill in combat. His primary weakness is his own predilection for gambling: He finds it hard to pass on a bet.
Often seen in Hell’s ritziest casinos is a beautiful woman who appears to be made of gold. She moves gracefully amid the tables where chips redeemable for damned soul fragments are wagered, smiling (and even occasionally winking) at hard-eyed and sneering pit (fiend) bosses. This is Beleth, Asmodai’s moll. The old grimoires say her diabolic beauty has tempted men to blasphemy and murder, and not much seems to have changed. She can turn anything she touches to gold, and also return things to their original form at her whim. She’s chattier than most devils and is a good source of infernal gossip, if she takes a liking to you.
Beleth's velvet shadow is flecked with gold dancing like dust motes in a sunbeam.