In this following treatise, you might find my conclusions to run counter to those of previous authors, even authors who have deeply and extensively studied both the Abyss and the Outer Sphere. It is in this disagreement that you should learn the first lesson about the nature of the Abyss, while seemingly an eternal realm, it is only eternal in its existence, not in its character, for being a chaotically aligned place has given any particular structure only temporary status. So, I would suggest to future demonologists or those who are interested in either studying or fighting the Abyss and its progeny, to not hold this or any other document as being an honest relating of the state of affairs when you face these struggles.
Before we get into the general nature of Demonic Invasions, I would like to say a few words on Abyssal itself as a language. For those who wish to retain a semblance of their sanity, I would highly recommend using both Comprehend Languages and Tongues when attempting to converse in Abyssal. This is due to the frustratingly changing nature of Abyssal, compounded with the recognition that Abyssal is a language spoken across the second vastest plane in the Great Beyond, if planes themselves are said to have any sense of a finite size. The sheer spread of space prevents a singular language from developing but surprisingly, I believe the nature of the Abyss itself, as some have argued a kind of gross living being in itself, does at least tie together some basic principles.
Within any particular Abyssal Realm, there is a local dialect of Abyssal whose understanding is fairly universal. Occasionally this is a kind of form that follows the whims of the presiding Demon Lord, but usually it arises from sharing a similar space with others that you generally need to communicate with.
So at its best, Abyssal is a locally understood language with terms that are shared across the Abyss itself through means and mechanisms unknown to my studies. That said, it is not an easily comprehended language even if one understands those shared terms. If a demon points at a place and says ‘fight’ in Abyssal, they might mean that there was a fight there, that there will be a fight there, that you are to go there and fight, you are to fight it there, or any other potential combination of tense and subject. I believe that much of this explains the constant infighting between demons, as they neither fully understand one another nor do they make efforts to. And this disagreement and lack of understanding I believe is a part of what makes Abyssal an integral part of the Abyss, as it destroys meaning and communication; if a demon tells a slave to ‘work’, they will gleefully beat them until the slave starts doing what they intended to do, while the next time they tell them to ‘work’ they may mean something else, resulting in another round of beatings.
As the madness of demonologists demonstrates, it actually helps not to be sane in trying to decipher Abyssal without the aid of magic. Comparing spells for contacting Hell, which are often highly prescribed and any deviation from the age old formula results in calamity, the means and methods of contacting demons and the other inhabitants of the Abyss are, on the surface, simplistic. The challenge lies in a lack of specificity. A ritual may call for invoking something on the third. Does that mean the third month? The third day of the month? The third beat of the drum? It may seem incongruous that demons, who wish to be unleashed to cause as much destruction as possible on the Material plane would make such contacts easy, but their revelry in destruction for its own sake is reflected in the willingness to see even their petitioners destroyed.
And now we are to the core of the nature of the Abyss and where I believe my research has deviated most from others. The Abyss, unlike any other realm, is a realm of destruction for destruction’s sake. In a realm like the Negative Energy plane or the Shadow plane, destruction has an end, an accepted ruin, an erased page, a flattened, lifeless nothingness, but the Abyss takes it another step. Ash and ruin can be destroyed by forming something new out of its remnants, a kind of destruction in creation, but more often than not things are not reduced to that, but are merely rent apart or fused together into something new, so that its previous form has been destroyed. Such is the nature of the ever undulating and writhing of the environment itself in the Abyss.
There does seem, however, to be a kind of hierarchy to this destruction. At the highest level, or most pressing, is the destruction of creatures not of the Abyss. Next is a shifting balance between fellow creatures and manufactured objects. Then there is the environment followed closely by the body of the monster themselves. Put two similar demons in a room with an orc and a chest, and they’ll likely torture the orc to death, then alternatively smash the chest or kill one another, followed by the survivor beating its fists on the walls until either they or it breaks. You should never expect a demon to be a passive guard if given such a duty; they will break and kill anything that they are not prevented from breaking or killing. Even their charge might be scarred or distorted.
This brings me to my final point, that of a Demonic Invasion. I believe this term is quite incorrect and would much prefer the use of ‘Demonic Incursion’. Invasions suggest a kind of considered malice, with plans for supply, an organizing of forces, and a goal in mind. Demonic Incursions are much more like wildfires or storms, spreading where they can and devouring anything within their reach. This spread is often hampered by their own infighting, with demons killing demons out of boredom or sport or out of curiosity as to how much their fellow can endure before expiring. Some have written that their goal is the spreading of sin, so as to create more sinful souls to feel the Abyss, but I believe there is no such need; the Material plane is vast and within that vastness, ample opportunities for sin, and as noted above, the Abyss recycles what it destroys so it may destroy it again, and so only in the fringes, where the Abyss crumbles into the true madness of the Maelstrom, does it ever truly lose any of its bulk.
And so it is with the Worldwound. Like a breakwater, the wardstones keep this incursion contained, holding back the ever lapping tide of demons that are spat out by this rent in reality. Ironically, Mendev’s mere existence helps contain this incursion, as they are a much more desirable target for destruction than the frozen wastes of the Crown of the World or the barren Realm of the Mammoth Lords. But, as is the nature of demons to lack cohesion, even in this there are those who fight to spread their taint upon these lands.
Finally, it would be unwise to consider the wardstones to be a permanent solution for those who rely on its protection. Long has Numeria avoided its responsibility in fighting this threat to our world, and of all the peoples of Galorian, our closeness to and use of the relics of a space faring culture whose bulwarks, in time, also failed them, should give us the understanding that, no matter how thick the chains, no matter how intricate the locks, and no matter how powerful the incantations, a captive beast will not be held so forever.