Since Lucifer fell victim to pull of Cocytus as a consequence of his Dark Will, his influence in Hell has been notably compromised. No longer able to lead the forces of the rebellion against the oppression of Will, it became necessary for a council of demonic princes to be established.
This council, called the Cocytal Seat, resides in the Fifth Circle, in the city of Dis. At the heart of Dis, they reside in their citadel, the Palace of Transgression, which is shaped like a pentacle. There, the leader of the Seat, called the Dispater, scrys into the dreams of Lucifer using diabolic magick. Then, the Dispater relates Lucifer’s wishes to the other members of the Seat, who then command the forces of Hell to see that the wishes are fulfilled.
In theory, it is a very functional method to lead the masses, but in reality it often causes more conflicts than it resolves. The members of the Seat continually compete for the mantle of Dispater, all the while working against each other and sabotaging their fellow members actions in order to make themselves seem more qualified. The result is a duplicitous and highly bureaucratic organization that is more concerned with shifting around the available sum of power than it is with achieving its goals.
The Cocytal Seat has the following members:
- Baal: The current Dispater. According to the Zohar, the equivalent to the archangel Raphael. However, according to many grimoires, he is a great king of Hell, attended by 60 to 70 legions of demons. He is one of the five seats of the Palace of Transgression, and is also known as the Merchant of Hell. Devious, but charismatic, he is known to deceive the people of Earth with promises of power and prosperity, only to twist the bargain so that he receives the better deal. Appears as a slender man clad in flowery clothing. He is highly manipulative, and has many eyes around the world. He exists in a trinity of forms- Baal, his demonic self, Baalpeor, a divine self, and Belphegor, a mysterious form that is somewhere in between. Although all three beings are separate, they are also one. Because of this unique existence, Baal is a figure of great speculation, and is the chief entity of many mystery cults.
- Amon: A fallen angel, and one of the 72 demons of Ars Goetia. He was once a Canaanite god of wrath, but now serves as one of the five seats of the Palace of Transgression. Amon is a hate-mongering spirit of blood-lust who encourages the hateful spirit of mankind. It is said that all war can be accredited to him in some fashion. Amon fuels the fires of anger and violence in others, as a means of exacting revenge on God for casting him and the other fallen angels aside. He appears as a muscular man, with a terrible axe. He is violently opposed to Baal, who once seduced him while he served as the Dispater and caused him to err, making him lose favor in the eyes of Lucifer.
- Ashteroth: Once a seraph, Asteroth is now a great duke of Hell, according to The Lemegeton. He discourses willingly on the fall of the angels, but pretends that he himself was exempt from this lapse. In the Greek tongue, he is called Diabolus, and is sometimes used as an analog to Satan himself. Currently, he serves as one of the five seats of the Palace of Transgression, where he fosters the proud fallen under his wing, and schemes to restore the lost glory. He appears as a radiant angel, riding upon a dragon and carrying a viper. According to Grimorium Verum, he has set up his influence in the nation of America. Ashteroth is an unusual and disturbing being, as he claims with much conviction that he is attending to God’s will. Whether or not he actually believes that he has not fallen, he is a disturbed individual who is prone to acts of zeal and rage. As such, it is often best to avoid him. Ashteroth loathes all of the other seats quite openly, dismissing them all as vile and self-serving failures.
- Asmodeus: Literally, the “creature of judgment”. The name Asmodeus is derived from Ashma Daeva. Unlike most of the devil of Ars Goetia, Asmodeus is Persian, rather than Hebraic, but he has become an important figure of Judaic lore, in which he is regarded as an evil spirit. According to Forlong’s Encyclopedia of Religions, Asmodeus is the “talmudic Ashmedai, a demon borrowed from the Zend Aeshmadeva,” a “raging fiend”. It was Asmodeus who made Noah drunk, and who slew the seven bridegrooms of Sarah. In demonology, he is the controller of all gaming houses, carousels, dancing, music, and “all the new French fashions”. Clearly, an important figure of the underworld, it comes as little surprise that Asmodeus is one of the five seats of the Palace of Transgression. He sees the mortal world as one great experiment, and believes that through temptations and offering the heart’s desire unto the world, man will eventually lead himself into ruin. That being said, a smart individual would be very wary of any gift offered by the demon. Asmodeus appears as a jester, clad in jeweled vestments. Asmodeus and Amon share a strange connection- while they continually play against each other, they also cooperate as if they were close friends when working against Baal.
- Gaap: Once of the order of powers, Gaap serves as a great president and prince of Hell. She rules 66 legions of spirits, and serves as one of the five seats of the Palace of Transgression. She is the embodiment of primal instinct, and illustrates the flaws of human nature by inducing sins of the flesh. She is responsible for the world’s instances of murder, rape, theft, but also adultery, incest, and idolatry. A savage and terrible being, Gaap is unpredictable and unscrupulous. The other four seats complain that she is often more animal than demon. She appears as a beautiful woman, clad in expensive but tasteful clothing. Some say her demonic form bears a striking (if not unnerving) resemblance to Jacqueline Onassis-Kennedy. Whether or not this semblance is intentional or not is unknown, and perhaps best left unexplored. Gaap has no real allies or enemies among her companions- all of the others distrust her equally, and fear her raw, animal wrath.