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 Post subject: The Perfect Stalemate
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:58 pm 
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The Perfect Stalemate? (Part I)
by Jaimin d'Elcrys

Note: This article is the first in a series which considers the potential outcome of full conflict between the Seventh and Eight Perditions.

Hell is a place of order, and the rulership of Perdition is notable as one of the most stable governments in the Cosmos. While it is true that there has been change, such changes have occurred over the course of uncountable millennia. To the immortals that sit on hellish thrones, the rise and fall of great mortal civilizations must be synonymous with the blink of an eye: naught but a brief detail.

Therefore, when I speak of conflict between the Lords of the Seventh and of the Eighth, make no mistake: this conflict is so ancient that it predates the birth of gods. Even an escalation of conflict is not new: the dies irae is proof of that. Then, it ended with both Lords decreasing in power, and the King of Hell consolidating his power yet further.

But the question we consider now is: What would be the result if conflict were to escalate today? Since the dies irae, clashes have been minimal and brief; in essence, the Lords have returned to a cold war. This is the typical state of affairs between the two (and, for that matter, between most major enemies in Hell). But, if the conflict were to escalate, what then? For that matter, how easily could the conflict escalate, and do either of the two powers truly wish to tread that path?

Long Live the King?

In order to truly look at how Mephisto and Beelzebub could fare against each other, we need to discount the one being in Hell who cannot be discounted: Asmodeus. It seems unlikely that either of the Archdukes could singlehandedly defeat Asmodeus, though that is hard to tell, since Asmodeus' resources are unfathomable. It is possible that the two Archdukes, working together, might overthrow the King of Hell, but without more information on the Lord of the Nine, that is a situation I can't comment further on.

But we know this much: Asmodeus played both sides of a Hellish civil war so that he came out more powerful than before. Understanding that the most powerful Archdevils after Himself are the Lords of the Seventh and Eighth, Asmodeus will necessarily be seeking to take advantage of any conflict escalation to consolidate his power further. Should he desire it, he has the clout to stymie a conflict, or to give significant advantage to one side or another as he pleases.

This fact - his immense influence, and interest in the outcome of escalated conflict between the Archdukes - is sufficient for me to have to dismiss him from our considerations. It is difficult to fathom a Hell without Asmodeus, but for the time being, let us pretend he is gone or not at all involved in events. Only then can we appropriately consider what may otherwise be the Perfect Stalemate.

The Intelligence Factor

It is said that if you know both the enemy and yourself, you can win a hundred battles. But, if you know yourself and not the enemy, you will lose a battle for every victory you gain. Finally, if you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

Beelzebub commands the intelligence resources of the Order of the Fly, one of the pre-eminent intelligence services in the Cosmos. Apart from giving the Lord of the Flies an amazing grasp of what transpires in his own realm, the Order provides incredible detail on Hell as a whole, and the Depths Below in general. It is likely that the Order's webs spin much further than this, but the point remains that Beelzebub has an incredible tool at his disposal.

In fact, this tends to be one of the first considerations that any scholar of Perdition seems to point out, when considering the power of Beelzebub vs Mephistopheles.

However, this misses a vital point. Beelzebub does indeed have access to the Order of the Fly. But, of necessity, so does Mephistopheles.

Can you imagine a being of the knowledge and capability of Mephisto not being aware that the Order of the Fly is operating in some capacity in Cania? For that matter, can you imagine a being like Mephisto not engineering his own intelligence network? Mephisto is not stupid, nor does he lack cunning. The devil did engineer his own coup, after all, and expose any number of traitors to his rule.

So, the Order of the Fly is in Cania. How does Mephistopheles react? Overtly, he finds and destroys agents of the Order of the Fly. This removes a number of sources for Beelzebub's web. Covertly, he finds and subverts, transforms, or feeds misinformation to, certain agents of the Order of the Fly. Enemy espionage is a tool where misinformation can be presented in a manner which seems worthy of trust. This is no mortal invention. Devils know cunning espionage better than almost any other beings in the Cosmos.

Though the scale is undoubtedly lesser, Canian spies in Malodomini will be suffered, and occasionally genuinely missed, for the same reasons as we have just discussed for agents of the Order of the Fly in Cania. Agents will work for both sides, or change sides, or be known to work for both sides and be suspected of leaning more towards one side or another. And, since we are dealing with immortals and sometimes eons of time and service, any individual agent's situation can become immensely complex. When we consider what myriads of such situations add up to, the synergy of such a situation, then we begin to understand how tangled the two realms truly are.

So, there is no simple picture of Beelzebub holding some incredible intelligence advantage over Mephistopheles. The reality of the constant maneuvering will be an environment in which intelligence must always be considered suspect. The natural response to this lack of trust in information is to increase caution, and to decrease reaction time. As a consequence, the pursuit of advantage over the enemy, sufficient to provide cause and opportunity to escalate conflict with hope of a victory, actually leads to further stagnation of the cold war. It is a cruel irony that I am convinced the King of Hell must find delicious.


The Perfect Stalemate? (Part II)
By Jaimin d'Elcrys

Note: This article is the second in a series which considers the potential outcome of a full conflict between the Seventh and the Eighth Perditions.

The Geography of War

In a mortal world, the philosophy of any nation's foreign affairs, and the way it approaches all things military, is influenced heavily by the geography. Large island nations may be isolationist, or pursue expansive naval programs, depending on the geographical realities of proximity of military threats, resource availability, and even such things as availability of arable land for an expanding population. Nations centered on mountain ranges may struggle for unity, or may prove to be a virtually unconquerable natural fortress that enemies break against time after time. Nations that lack geographical barriers may be weak and frequently conquered, or may be aggressive and expand out to great empires in order to provide depth of territory as its own type of buffer. A nation looks at itself and others always through the eyes of its particular geographical reality.

It should come as no surprise that this basic concept remains very relevant even in the Realities Beyond.

Malodomini is perhaps unfairly represented in the minds of petty scholars of The Pit. Its lands are perceived as open, lacking in natural boundaries, with stable population centers isolated from each other. This is entirely true. It is also entirely inaccurate. The Seventh Pit of Perdition is an invader's nightmare.

A Ruinous Venture

The industry of Beelzebub's pursuit of perfection has long-since changed the face of Malodomini's landscape from what it once was. Mountains have been entirely excavated to provide the stonework of project after inevitably-abandoned project. Forests have been decimated to provide fuel for endless kilns, ovens, smelterys and forges. Rivers are stymied and bent from their course as they fill with waste or are diverted to sate the thirst of industry.

These changes have removed much of the natural geographic barriers of the plane. However, in place of the former barriers are the advantageous leftovers of the relentless pursuit of perfection (and, in particular, the ruinous leavings of each failed attempt). We are dealing with the Lord of the Flies, and his fief is littered with hidden safe-havens, perfectly located ambuscades, and nigh-impregnable retreats. A conventional army would stumble through this landscape, hemorrhaging troops and morale, and steadily losing access to any possibility of retreat.

Of course, a fiendish assault can hardly be considered a conventional attack. Such forces have access to teleports on massive levels, flight, and natural resistance to some environmental hazards. In this case, the defenses also have access to these nonconventional resources, but the deciding factor in a direct conflict will come down to geography. This is because any Reality Beyond will tend to have nonconventional geography to be considered.

A Grounding Influence

A devil's inherent ability to teleport is an immense advantage on the battlefield. It allows speed and surprise on an unmatchable scale. Beelzebub is sure to have taken steps to retain that advantage for his own forces, and to remove it from an invading force. Broadly speaking, he has at least three options to do this. My sources suggest that he employs all three known options on differing scales.

1. Sever astral links. This means that there are areas in Malodomini where teleportation simply does not work. Teleportation black spots are a common defensive measure in any cosmic realm. Typically, these are used in areas of low importance (e.g. an open, indefensible area some distance away from any key strategic points). Beelzebub is reported to be constantly changing the "black spots" in Malodomini. And while it is possible to simply teleport across a severed area, you must at least be able to identify a location you are choosing to teleport to. That makes teleportation in Malodomini very hit and miss. The consequence of that is delay, and delay is deadly to an invading force.

2. Teleportation traps. There are many areas that must stay permanently open in terms of teleportation. Beelzebub is known to trap at least some of those areas.

The key to an effective teleport trap is not to punish each and every teleporter. Rather, it is a type of psychological warfare: if a company of bearded devils were to teleport into a location, and only one in ten of them were to be punished with violent death as a result, the remaining bearded devils will think very carefully about where they teleport the next time. If the process continues, eventually those devils will be reluctant to teleport at all. Once again, this leads to delay.

Teleport traps can kill, maim, hurt, incapacitate, turn (i.e. dominate), and more. What is more, the traps can be set to only affect certain types of creatures (e.g. gelugons) or to exclude only certain creatures (e.g. fallen angels). Once again, an invading force suffers from delays. With this approach, though, the defending forces of Malodomini are hardly hampered at all.

3. Teleportation diverts. This is where teleportation to one locale is intercepted, and either delayed (a temporal divert) or shifted to a different end location (a locational divert). This strategy removes the element of surprise for the attacking force, and transfers it to the defending force. This strategy appears to be Beelzebub's favorite for strategically significant spaces.

The combination of the above strategies, along with their individual consequences, allow Malodomini to run a very assymetric war against an attacking force. Even a force many times larger than Beelzebub's armed forces would be steadily ground down.

Mephisto knows this. At the risk of stating the obvious, the Lord of the Eighth is very intelligent. There is a good reason that no large-scale and key engagements during the dies irae occurred in Malodomini.

Flight is less mobile than unfettered teleportation, but do not believe that aerial invading forces have some advantage over ground invading forces in the Seventh Hell. The skies are littered with banks of hazardous gases, dangerous or diversionary patches of foul weather, floating and apparently half-ruined redoubts, and forces hidden in ambush. Invading forces would be funneled in directions and to locations of Beelzebub's choosing, where the advantage would be to his force in a very assymetric fashion.

Remember, as well, that Beelzebub has access to legions of fallen angels. Those winged fiends can endure environments quite alien to typical fiends, and Beelzebub has taken advantage of this. The Lord of the Flies need not make the entire layer environmentally hostile - as Cania is generally considered. Rather, he needs only certain places to be so, so long as he has in place a funneling mechanism.

Beelzebub has orchestrated his fief so that the entire geography is a great web, designed to catch intruders and dispatch them with little struggle. His defenses are not perfect, of course, despite his wishes for them to be so. But they need not be perfect to keep the conflict in stalemate. The requirement is that they simply be punishing.

Punishing they are.


The Perfect Stalemate? (Part III)
By Jaimin d'Elcrys

Note: This article is the third in a series which considers the potential outcome of a full conflict between the Seventh and the Eighth Perditions.

A Cold Day in Hell

Beelzebub may have prepared his defenses well in Malodomini; but no less can be said for Mephistopheles' efforts in Cania. Each has carefully probed the defenses of the other over time, learning, adapting, evolving, and enhancing.

Each realm is different from the other, though, and the geography of Cania presents some unique challenges for any invader. Once again, the plane is set up to punish a foreign force, and to enhance the capabilities of defensive forces many times over. Despite the irony of the phrase in this instance, lacking overwhelming odds in its favor, we must conclude that an invading army has the proverbial chance of a snowflake in Hell. (It is a curious fact, on that note, that in Cania all snowflakes are exactly alike. But such facts are perhaps best left for another treatise!)

Cania's geography is wild and intimidating. Natural barriers and buffers are abundant and imposing. There can be a tendency to think of an infinite expanse as somehow largely featureless or flat. This trick of the mind is quickly disabused from the instant one arrives in the pure hostility that is the Eighth Perdition.

Perhaps the most obvious geographical barrier in Cania are the mountains. These are not gently slopes, or even lofty heights split by challenging passes. Rather, these are natural edifices that clutch wickedly at the sky and scream bloody murder, soaring to unimaginably reaches of the sky, all crags and tortured turrets. Avalanches are a constant threat, and a pass is as likely to be a dead end as a genuine passage. What true passes that exist are either heavily defended chokepoints, or murderously rigged deathtraps.

In bitter counterpoint to the heights, Cania is also filled with chasms, suddens pits, and hidden crevasses. Once again, the issue of psychological warfare comes into play: if a soldier sees the apparently sound ground yawn open to swallow compatriots, why risk another step? Even the visible pits slow a non-aerial force. Land-based forces in Cania would be forced to use Mephistopheles' own highways, or be slowed to something resembling a bloodied crawl.

Once again, it might seem more appealing to take to the air. However, Cania is no less forgiving to fliers than it is to walkers. The impossible mountains, coupled with the intense cold (particularly from around the Frore Sea), breed winds of devastating speed and power. Unlike many other realms of the Pit, the Eighth Perdition has little visible aerial traffic. Even powerful white dragons must pick their times, seasons, and locations carefully in order to fly in Cania. Otherwise, the best case scenario is fighting the wind and going nowhere. The worst case generally means a loss of wings, limbs, and generally life, as crosswinds tear the flier apart.

Of course, this article only considers general conditions on the plane. Specific locales can include other challenges, such as the frigid geysers of the Saandrett Plateau, or the bonesnapping waters of the Brittlin Fens. While my sources don't tell me the specifics of Mephistopheles entire defensive plans, they tell me enough to be able to safely assume that what I do know is only the tip of the iceberg.


The Perfect Stalemate? (Part IV)
By Jaimin d'Elcrys

Note: This article is the fourth in a series which considers the potential outcome of a full conflict between the Seventh and the Eighth Perditions.

In my analysis to date, I've discussed briefly some of the major issues that dissuade Mephistopheles and Beelzebub from directly engaging the other in conventional warfare. The advantage falls too greatly to the defender in such a case, and neither Lord has enough of an advantage over the other.

However, pitched battles between Canian and Malodominian forces have occurred. A consideration of such battles will provide some clues as to how a major conflict could once again proceed.

A Cold, Calculated Strike
While no major engagements occurred in Malodomini during the dies irae, the same is not true of Cania. Two such events in particular need to be considered. Most scholarly considerations of the dies irae consider the events quite distinct, perhaps on account of the timing of each event: a strike and temporary takeover of the outer reaches of the Pact Road early in the war; and a bold, mid-strength assault at the very heart of Mephistar in the last days. However, the author considers these two events to be essentially part of a greater whole.

The Pact Road is Mephistopheles chief highway. It is the most open route from the physical boundaries of the Seventh Hell, through the center of Cania, and then on to the pit that descends into Nessus. The road bristles with defensive positions, runs through dizzying passes in the mountains, burrows deep below the perpetually frozen surface via massive ice tubes, and can be thought of as the backbone of the realm's defenses.

This was where Beelzebub chose to strike, early on. With forces from both sides of the war already moving on from clashes in Avernus and Dis, and descending rapidly to Nessus, Mephistopheles and Beelzebub both committed the bulk of their forces to engagements off layer. But, in an apparent gamble, the Lord of the Flies withdrew as much as one seventh of his committed forces, and seized the Pact Road from its head on the border with Malodomini.

That it was possible to do so at all speaks volumes about the extent that Mephistopheles was committed to the battlefields elsewhere in Hell. Malodominian troops overwhelmed the skeleton defense on the perimeter, and penetrated a score of miles along the highway, immediately setting up their own defenses. The entire affair was vicious, but my sources indicate that Beelzebub expected far greater casualties during the operation.

Malodominian forces held their positions in Cania for almost forty-eight hours before pulling back to Malodomini. The official reason for the retreat was that a fresh assault on Belial's forces at Yarra's Threshold required urgent reinforcement. However, fiendish whispers suggested that the lack of response from Mephistopheles had spooked Beelzebub from venturing any further, fearing some meatgrinder-of-a-defense further along the road. Both possibilities are entirely rational, and entirely convenient. Remember: the intelligence game requires that at least some noise is entirely misdirection.

The possibility not spoken of as to why Beelzebub called his forces back was that he had already achieved the objective of the strike.

This article to be continued...


The Perfect Stalemate? (Part IV)
By Jaimin d'Elcrys

Note: This article is the fourth in a series which considers the potential outcome of a full conflict between the Seventh and the Eighth Perditions.

Additional Note: This is a continuation of Part IV of the abovementioned articles.

Mephistar sits atop the glacier Nargus, and Nargus travels throughout Cania at Mephistopheles' whim.

During the final days of the dies irae, though, the Lord of Cania was absent from his throne and citadel, and thus Nargus rested. The ice creaked and groaned beneath the weight of the piercing towers of cold and ancient evil, but the streets and hallways were largely empty. The entirety of Hell was bent in on itself as the Kingship was contested.

To the snowswept streets came a host of fallen angels, bearing the heraldry and devices of the Lord of the Flies. My sources suggest that these fallen came not from Nessus to Cania, but rather from Avernus and the fief of Semyaza. Exiled as he was, Semyaza was not gathered to Nessus, and his forces remained aloof. Hidden since an age before among the arch-devil's retinue were those loyal to Beelzebub, and with all of Hell riding in the balance, the Lord of the Seventh brought them forth to strike at last at the heart of his great enemy's power.

Untouched by the intense cold, the fallen fell ruthlessly on the few defenders, seizing district after district of Mephistopheles capital. The symbols of the Lord of the Eighth were defaced, and Beelzebub's mark was flown atop tower after tower. Unlike the seizing of the outer reaches of the Pact Road, the battle was hardly one-sided: Mephistopheles' arcane defenses tore legions of the dark angels from the fight. (Some of those captured are still held and tortured to this day.) Some had the spark of immortal life wrested violently from them. Others were set against each other in vicious, compulsive fratricide. Still more were stung, scorched and slashed by the cunning snares left against just such an attack. But the fallen legions had the numbers to bear the assault, and so Mephistar almost fell.

And then Mephistopheles returned.

I can only guess at what transpired next, since no witnesses survived outside of the deepest dungeons of Mephistar, and my sources don't extend so far. However, Mephistopheles was gone less than an hour from the battlefields of Nessus, and to Beelzebub not a single angel returned from the Mephistaran Gambit.

The Devil is in the Detail
On the surface, then, Beelzebub erred, or at least gambled and lost. However, given what we have already discussed of the defenses of Cania, the end result of both discussed assaults should never have been in doubt.

This begs the question: why make the attacks in the first place? If the objective was not Mephistar, or the Pact Road, what was the point? Did Beelzebub consider himself the loser of one or both of the engagements? Did Mephistopheles feel (a poor choice of words, perhaps...) that he won in both instances?

Unfortunately, we now must delve into the realm of conjecture. However, in doing so, we may gain some insights into the deeper nature of the conflict.

 Post subject: Re: The Perfect Stalemate
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2015 6:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:18 am
Posts: 130
The Perfect Stalemate? (Part V)
by Jaimin d'Elcrys

Note: This article is the fifth in a series which considers the potential outcome of full conflict between the Seventh and Eight Perditions.

In my previous article, I noted that the dies irae included two incursions into Cania which deserved scrutiny. In particular, each instance involved but a token force, and were prima facie doomed in their apparent objectives. Must we therefore conclude that the Lord of Flies was slipshod in his due-diligence? That the tangle of possibilities was too complex for Perfect Triel to unravel?

Alea Iacta Est

I have noted some scholarly opinions caught up in the idea of Beelzebub the Great Risk-Taker. They characterize the devil as one who, when the rewards are great, willingly takes calculated risks. Indeed, the Mephistaran Gambit previously discussed owes its name to that very school of thought. In a sense this representation is correct. It could just as easily be applied to any devil, including the prince of paranoia himself: The Lord of the Second merely requires a very great reward for a very small risk, and he will move swifter than the speed of dark. That is the benefit, I suppose, of painting a picture with such a broad brush: the portrait can represent anyone.

One need only consider the token nature of each expedition to recognize that Beelzebub's actions were - on the surface - that of a nail trying to have at the hammer. Yes, it is true that the rumours place up to a seventh of the Lord of the Flies' committed forces to the Pact Strike, but our evidence for this is one-sided and irrelevant besides, as I will discuss later. The fallen legions, on the other hand, were a much more significant force; where, then, were their mighty captains, where the Barons, Earls and Generals of the Seventh Perdition? Conspicuously absent in the main.

To suppose that Beelzebub believed that there was any chance that he might control the Pact Road - let alone Mephistar - by virtue of the troops committed is sheer folly. He lacked the boots on the ground to lastingly control or occupy the terrain. If the Lord of the Flies was taking some great risk, he tossed the dice and lost.

The Quantum of Souls

The reports on the Pact Strike are notably one-sided: Canian forces were overwhelmed swiftly, while Canian sources mark the event as a mere footnote. We therefore must accept that some deception may have been at play. Perhaps the numbers are accurate: what troop numbers were committed to the field as a whole for that brief operation? What was the organizational make-up of the troops? Was the makeup consistent throughout the operational period?

If I put a pike in the hand of enough slaves and put a division of bone devils along the front line, I can present terrifying numbers. Some mortal armies play similar games by lighting additional campfires at night. It doesn't change the reality, only the perception of it.

Of course, such questions assume that the quantum of souls involved was accurate. Can you imagine a seventh part of the innumerable armies of Malodomini fitting along a 20-mile stretch of inhospitable highway? The numbers were almost certainly exaggerated, but if they weren't, the force feels more like bait than spear, more feint-fitting than faint-worthy.

I've already voiced concerns about the makeup of the Gambit. While it is true that I have no reports from Malodiminian survivors, it isn't hard to determine which of the great among the Fallen were not among the fallen. Thus, while the Pact Strike has the bearing of bait, the Mephistaran Gambit has the weight of a winnow.

In the end, it is not the raw numbers committed to these operations that suggests that they are not what they seem; rather, it is the unmistakeable evidence that something else was in play. We now consider those possibilities.

To be continued...

 Post subject: Re: The Perfect Stalemate
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 9:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:18 am
Posts: 130
With Friends Like You...

The enmity between Beelzebub and Mephistopheles is immortal and indefatigable. Thus, the dies irae is represented as embodying that struggle. When one suggests that other conflicts were also in play (beyond the power plays of Asmodeus himself, of course), it is not unusual to find a stiffnecked inability to identify such a concept. But for those who do not suffer such a scotoma, it is possible to see the subtle plays of many of the Powers of the Pit jostling for position and influence. So while those dark days broadly drew the battlefield between the two ancient foes, alliances were often tenuous.

Thus, when we consider those forces in play on Canian soil, we must not only consider the number and quality of troops present, but also to whom such forces owed both immediate and ultimate allegiance.

At the end of the war, Moloch and Geryon lost their thrones. Shortly thereafter, Astarte was supplanted by one of her generals, Bael. Nominally, Moloch and Astarte were part of Beelzebub's compact, whereas Geryon was with Mephistopheles. History tells us that Geryon, of course, was playing his own game - and his fall from grace is attributed to this very fact. But what some have called loyalty to Asmodeus on the part of The Beast, I cannot help but see the possibility of self-interest.

It is no stretch to wonder whether some battles that were lost by the Lord of the Flies were worth the sting in order to weaken one of his own allies. The Mephistaran Gambit in particular reeks of such a ploy. Consider this: A large force of angels is stripped from the fief of Semyaza to attack Mephistar. It lacks any of Beelzebub's most trusted generals or servants, but still requires the order provided by officers and lesser peerage. Whence came such leadership, if not from Beelzebub's own ranks? There are only a handful of options.

To weaken Semyaza's courts appears to be of little value, though stripping the legions away from the Seducer's fief weakened his power in any case. And as Perdition's percentage of the fallen were found almost exclusively on former Triel's side of the battle lines in that period, there remains only the conclusion that the Mephistaran Gambit thinned the ranks of Beelzebub's allies.

What would be the point of such an exercise? May I suggest the following as prime possibilities:

1. Beelzebub's objective is to rule all of Perdition. The loss of capable command among his allies presented an opportunity to influence and even underwrite replacements. This would spread his influence further across an additional three layers of Hell.

2. The reduction of forces in Semyaza's fief permanently reduced the Seducer's influence on the First Hell. Despite being an exile, this had a flow-on impact on the overall power of Astarte. In combination with the loss of solid officers, this may have contributed to the environment that produced Bael's usurpation. (And while Bael is not in Beelzebub's camp, Avernus has never been such a low-hanging fruit for conquest by a more powerful Lord.)

3. It presented an opportunity to dispose of any perceived problem elements among the fallen that were brought in from Semyaza's realm. It is not uncommon for commanders to put troublemakers on the front line, in the hope that they won't return at all.

4. One cannot discount the potential value of coaxing Mephistopheles from the chief field of battle, even for an hour.

Now, I cannot tell you that Beelzebub was weeding in his own garden when he committed to Mephistar with the fallen legions. Not for sure. But it does seem curious that those of his allies who were also closer to him in power were also those who fell following the Days of Wrath.

And remember: The Lord of Flies wants you to believe in coincidences.

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