The Blood War is a conflict between devils and demons that’s…bloody fascinating. Hear what Mike Mearls has to say about it.
With Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes due out in a few months, the D&D Beyond team is capitalizing on the opportunity to dig deep into some old familiar Planar Lore. Conflict, after all, is at the heart of this Tome; and one of the most storied conflict in D&D history is the Blood War. An aeons-old conflict between devils and demons that spans the abyss and the nine hells and keeps either side from gaining dominance:
This conflict stretches back across the editions. And across the planes. Fittingly, it was Planescape that really expanded it. In the Campaign Setting, and a few other expansions, the Blood War was fleshed out into this plane-spanning conflict that engulfed numberless fiends in endless battle.
And it is this battle that is the most imperative conflict in the planes, from Mordenkainen’s perspective. Because devils and demons are locked in combat with each other, neither can spill out into the cosmos. Without one to keep the other side in check, though, vast swaths of the planes would be overrun by ravenous demons. Or under the unbending order of the Archdevils.
But, as Mordenkainen (by way of Mearls) points out, this battle traps them. Demons and devils are already bound to their planes, unable to use magic to travel freely. They have to be summoned or called–or some foolish wizard would have to create a gate and leave it open.
But no one has done that yet. Yet.
This conflict taking center stage means a lot of cool things for the future. It’s very much a high level campaign idea. Like, not just an adventure that stretches into the upper towers, but rather a conflict that seems designed to be interacted with every step of the way.
I love the cosmic bent that the newer D&D stuff is taking on for this book. We’ll be sure to cover more news as out develops, but in the meantime, Happy Adventuring!
You could say the Blood War is a hell of a good time…in the abyss.