This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Forty-seven on 23rd December 2020.
Ryu (breathlessly): Oh good, you guys are here.
Lennon: Um, yes, are you okay?
Ryu: Maybe? Are there side effects to chaining bless spells?
Ostron: Why is that a question?
Ryu: Look, KayDee is desperately trying to get involved with the Glasya research and I’m fairly sure that will end with her trying to summon the archdevil for a chat. I decided I needed an extra boost so I’ve been getting Gath to bless me continually.
Ostron: I don’t know about any side effects but you certainly look like you’re under a lot of strain.
Ryu: Yeah, well, you better hope I can hold it together because I’m pretty sure Gath’s totally out of spell slots. Like the ones he uses for resurrection?
Ostrong: Right, I assume you have the notes to turn in then?
Ryu: Yeah, here, lets go over them.
Glasya’s presence in the hierarchy of the Nine Hells is somewhat controversial, for a number of reasons. Everything from her existence to her activities in the Nine Hells has been called into question by someone in the Hell’s hierarchy at some point and she’s considered a bit of a troublemaker. Keep in mind, that’s the other devils in the hells that think she’s a troublemaker, so that gives you an idea of the caliber of person we’re dealing with.
As usual we’ll start with the physical realities. Visually Glasya is one of the less extreme archdevils in her natural form. She looks like a conventionally attractive female humanoid, with her infernal heritage only marked by her bat-like wings, forked tail, and modest horns on her head that are often mostly obscured by her hair. In fact it’s been said that she resembles a succubus, except for having copper-hued skin rather than the traditional red. It’s not clear why that’s her appearance given that neither of her parents had any succubi lineage. Then again, it’s somewhat uncertain how exactly Glasya was created as Asmodeus’s daughter in the first place, given that both her parents were fiends. Half-fiendish offspring are well documented but actual devils generally do not reproduce with each other.
It’s rumored that she tends to avoid combat whenever possible, usually attempting to summon some of her devil minions to fight directly while she flies or teleports away from the source of the attack. If she does need to mix it up, she dual wields a sword and a whip, both magical, with the sword apparently poisoning whomever it wounds. For magic, she is a high-level spell caster with access to a lot of spells thanks to her father’s lineage, but she seems to focus mostly on spells dealing with inflicting disease or dominating others’ minds.
Unfortunately for…well everyone, Glasya at some point probably saw or heard of the stereotypical daughter rebelling against their father and decided to make it a way of life. Like her approach to combat, she rarely offers a direct challenge to anyone’s authority, preferring to work in the background exploiting loopholes and trading favors.
Her first major impact on the Nine Hells was when she created the first ever Thieves Guild of sorts among the devils, called the “Coin Legion.” She would use her magic to transmute lead into gold, send her minions down (or up, in her case) to Minaurous to have the gold minted into coins, and then they would use those coins to purchase souls, which she would then resell at marked up prices. Technically all of this was legal by the laws of the Nine Hells, which is a theme that follows throughout her career.
Either as an encore or concurrently, Glasya started up a relationship with another Archdevil, Mammon. Their relationship was described as “torrid” and it’s unclear if Glasya actually had any affection toward the archduke of Minaurous or if it was some sort of scheme, either to support her counterfeiting operation or as some sort of a placating gesture for involving Mammon in the first place.
Regardless, while she was with him either through her own spies or by getting the information out of her lover, she found out about the competing efforts of two archdevil alliances that were trying to overthrow her father. It’s unclear what Glasya did directly, but most sources agree that she worked to push the archdevils into kicking off their efforts before either side was fully ready to go, probably by sewing rumors that one side or the other was about to attack. Of course, if you warn two opposing sides that don’t trust each other that they’re about to be attacked, those quickly become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Again her motivations here aren’t clear. It’s possible she wanted to foil the plots to keep her father in power, since her own influence was likely to decline sharply if someone else was in charge. Then again, she may have just been impatient to get things moving so the leadership in the Hells would suffer a shakeup. Either way the Reckoning occurred and Glasya made out rather well in the long run. She wasn’t directly involved in any of the plots so she escaped all punishment. Her father forced Mammon to stop seeing her, but now there are conflicting rumors about whether she cared or if the two have secretly started seeing each other again.
After both the Reckoning and the discovery of Glasya’s counterfeiting operation, Asmodeus realized he had to give Glasya something to do, so he put her in charge of Malbolge, the prison layer of the nine hells. The previous archdevil, Malagard, had mysteriously and suddenly died, conveniently leaving a vacancy. Recognizing in advance that Glasya would likely cause even more trouble with the resources of an entire layer of hell at her disposal, Asmodeus focused her attention by requiring that the only way she could acquire souls was through contractual means, cutting her off from simply buying the souls or trading for them in the Nine Hells’ marketplaces.
Glasya had always made a habit of working the nuances of the Nine Hells’ laws and contracts so this didn’t slow her down much at all, though it has indeed focused a lot of her attention. Most of the deals she makes with mortals involve those that have already made some sort of agreement with one of the other archdevils. Few of them pay as much attention to the nuances of language and law the way Glasya does, so she frequently finds loopholes both parties can exploit to free the person from service to the other devil. Of course they end up owing their soul to Glasya but at least on parchment she usually seems to be offering a better deal.
Because of her propensity for negotiating language and getting away with a large number of things while still technically operating within the bounds of the law, most of the people she targets for contracts tend to be “white collar” types, or people that want to achieve questionable goals while very carefully staying within the limits of laws and restrictions. She has particular success ensnaring paladins and clerics, convincing them to do and say things that benefit her all while technically remaining true to their oaths and responsibilities.
Those are the people she’s tricking and binding in contracts though. For followers, she’s all about girl power, although her particular approach to that would make some feminists cringe. Glasya’s temples are often disguised as brothels and bordellos where she encourages her followers, most of whom are women, to cozy up to powerful, rich, and influential men and use seduction and manipulation to get information and further their own goals while also reaching out to the wives and consorts to draw them into the cult. For that reason it’s more likely to find Glasyan cults where strict male dominated gender divides exist in a society.
She also applies that approach in her interactions in the Nine Hells. She has apparently become very close with Fierna, and it’s said Glasya’s influence has caused Fierna to become more independent from her father Belial, something Belial isn’t terribly pleased with. Despite being another female archdevil Glasya doesn’t often interact with Zariel. Most people assume it’s a case of totally incompatible personalities; Zariel often presents as a pure soldier, uninterested in machinations or subterfuge of any kind, whereas Glasya is notoriously averse to direct confrontation.
As for the rest of the archdevils, most of them have a low seething resentment of Glasya that they can’t do anything about. Despite being a near-constant annoyance to her father, most of the Nine Hells are sure that acting directly against Glasya would immediately incur the wrath of Asmodeus, so no one makes obvious efforts to sabotage her, despite her habit of poaching souls from them by manipulating their contracts.
The only exception to this is Levistus, whom Glasya hates with a burning passion. Most of her information gathering efforts are apparently focused on discovering how to breach the glacial tomb Levistus is encased in so she can finally destroy him for killing her mother.
Ostron: Okay I can see why we don’t want the Killer DM talking to Glasya…or knowing much about her at all, actually.
Lennon: I’m with you there. I’ll get Libby to file these away somewhere nice and secluded.
Ryu: And away from the hat! Okay, I’m going to go to the scrying pool. KayDee still doesn’t want to tick off RaeRae so she might calm down on her efforts to emerge in there.