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Helkavin is a rocky, flame-scorched wasteland of a plane where a straggling, struggling human population is ruled over by a dominant race of demons. For centuries, the human population had been systematically subjugated and enslaved, with only a handful retaining any sort of resistance. Recently, the human resistance has gained some degree of strength, although demons still retain control of the plane.
The Nature of Helkavin
Helkavin has a unique physical makeup within the Multiverse. It is actually three separate planes nestled within one another, but separated only by a thin layer of æther. So thin is this layer, in fact, that the more powerful beings of Helkavin were able to pierce the veil and move from one plane to another. The lowest plane of Helkavin was the underworld, and the original home of the demons. The middle plane was the home of the humans, and the upper plane was the celestial home of the angels.
For centuries, the three nestled planes maintained their separation, although they were still strongly connected, and changes in one often had profound effects on the others. Eventually, though, the Greater Demons of the lower plane found a way to break the veil and infiltrate the middle plane of the humans. The powerful demons and their lesser minions caused havoc to the humans of Helkavin, but eventually the humans' prayers and desperation allowed the angels of the upper plane to break through, as well.
This sudden comingling of angelic and demonic forces led to an all-out war, with the humans little more than collateral damage. When the demons had initial success in the war, the angels mustered their magic and crafted the Demonbane, a powerful spell that could destroy any demon of Helkavin with nothing but its angelic words. The Demonbane spell turned the tide of the war for a time, but eventually the demons hunted down and destroyed nearly all of the angels who knew it. In desperation, the final angel mage fled into the human's realm and hide the words of the spell. Shortly afterward, the angel was destroyed, and the Demonbane buried forever.
The war ended with the Demons as the decided victors. It is unknown if any angels survive in any real sense, but they have not been seen by the humans for centuries. The war sundered the veil almost completely, and now demons come and go between the three worlds with ease. Even humans can traverse between the planes, although they rarely have the freedom to do so. As a result of the demons' victory, the humans of Helkavin were enslaved and broken, subjugated and conquered.
The demons of Helkavin were ruled by an inner circle of the thirteen most powerful Greater Demons of the plane, known as the Xordikrast. The Xordikrast divided the three planes unevenly amongst themselves, and each of its members maintained courts of various sizes, comprised of lesser demons, devils, and slaves. The leader of the Xordikrast and most powerful of the Helkavin demons was Raxidok, who claimed most of the former angelic realm as his domain after the war.
After centuries or more of demonic domination, the humans of Helkavin finally received a savior in the form of the planeswalker Kahr-ret-Taris. As an oldwalker, Kahr was a powerful foe, and came to believe the demons were his enemies. In an attempt to deliver the human population from their tyrants, Kahr went to war with the demons. After an initial defeat, Kahr-ret-Taris went in search of the fabled Demonbane spell, and eventually found it, affording him a profound weapon in his war.
Legend holds that once Kahr gained the Demonbane and renewed his war with the Xordikrast, five of the thirteen demons therein fell in the first battle alone. Within a year, Kahr-ret-Taris defeated and destroyed three more. This was enough to draw the ire of Raxidok himself, and the war between Raxidok's infernal forces and Kahr-ret-Taris's human supporters lasted ten years. Finally, though, the pharaoh and the demon king faced one another, and Kahr-ret-Taris emerged the winner. Kahr-ret-Taris no longer leads the human population of Helkavin, but there are only three Greater Demons left in the Xordikrast now.
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