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Hell is an immense myriad of very dangerous worlds and realms inhabited by beings comprised of negative energy called demons and countless monsters and abominations. Demons capture souls tainted by evil and bring them here, to torment them and bask in the energy given off by their suffering. This energy is not only the main source of food for demons, it's also very pleasant to them and contributes to the overall stability of Hell itself.
Most people assume that Hell is a place that exists specifically to punish the soul of the evil and the wicked but, although the end result is exactly that, many denizens of Hell don't see their realm as such and show very little interest in punishing evil-doers for the sake of it. When a soul is brought to Hell, they appear before Menocles, the great judge. Two things can then happen. If the soul is found to be extremely dark and thus of a great value for demons, it is directed to the realm that corresponds the most accurately to their evil deeds and is tormented in order to bring pleasure and sustenance to the demons of that realm. Contrary to popular belief, the torment is very long but not eternal. At some point, the soul breaks down and is, in effect, destroyed, its essence merging with that of Hell. If the soul is judged to be less dark and of a lesser value, it is fed to a succubus and, once digestion occurs, the soul is also destroyed. In the end, the two outcomes are similar but, in the former case, it comes after an excruciatingly long time of torment and suffering. There are some rare instances of very dark souls being fed to a succubus though, usually as a treat and reward for a job well done. Generally, the darker a soul is, the more nutritious and delicious for the succubus who eats it.
Escapes are very rare but not totally unheard of, and some parts of Hell are known to be hiding grounds for damned souls trying to escape their fate. It is said some become demons themselves.
Hell is obviously a difficult place to map. Not only is doing so a rather unhealthy job, but its architecture is very complex and twisted by laws that have little to do with normal physics. The main Hell is at the center of all and, interestingly enough, it's a finite world, smaller than one would expect. It's best described as a sprawling rocky plain under a blazing red sky, plunged in a perpetual dusk. In its middle stands an enormous fortified city with walls higher than a castle. Every building is made of the same glittering obsidian, gleaming red under the sky, and in its center is a gigantic black tower, looming so high it disappears through the sky. This is where damned souls from all over the universe are brought, waiting to be directed to other realms. The city is filled to the brim with demons, though they are not the only ones present. A good number of visitors actually come to Hell of their own volition, seeking rare items found only in infernal markets, or pursuing some other dubious business. Needless to say, though, coming to Hell is seriously asking for trouble, and only the most powerful, confident - or stupid - individual would try their chances here.
This main part of Hell is connected through countless portals to a seemingly infinite number of realms, big or small, finite or infinite, each with its own unique environment and particularities, but almost all deeply hostile and inhospitable when not outright deadly.
Remarkable Hell Realms
An endless and desolate plain battered by strong winds and rocked by gigantic astral storms, titanic earthquakes, and unseen war drums. Branoos is the embodiment of violence, chaos, destruction and war. Immense armies perpetually engage each other, as far as the eye can see, in an endless and pointless conflict. They are soldiers of every rank, from every world and every timeframe, killing again and again, dismembering, beheading, burning, tearing each other apart, then being reborn a few seconds later, only to perpetuate the slaughter. Many demons come here to take part in the fight, either for the thrill of battle, or to train themselves. Massive fortresses stand in that dismal landscape, perpetually besieged, invaded, razed to the ground, and rebuilt in seconds.
Chenobryos is a realm of Hell entirely encased in metal. It resembles an immense hollowed ring with a city built inside, carved on the orange, rusty walls, all around the chasm. Newcomers to the realm are often shocked by its verticality and how vertiginous and endless the pit looks, both below and above. If you were to drop an item and wait for several days ( or what passes for days here ), you would eventually see it pass again, after it has accomplished a full circle of the ring. Unless it has been gobbled up by a Moglus, a large and voracious species of cleaning demons who are more than happy to clear the ring from falling trash and clumsy fools alike. Chenobryos is the realm of all sort of flying creatures, from small twirling imps to huge, majestic succubi. Flightless creatures are forced to take endless spiraling stairs in order to go around and to walk on the unpleasantly hot metal until exhaustion. The pungent air is filled with the anguished cries and moans of the unfortunate enslaved souls condemned to continue expand the immense city for eternity by carving the hard, sharp metal with the pathetic tools they have been given. Inside the walls is a large an complex network of halls and tunnels, leading to the second thing Chenobryos is famous for : its immense forges, bustling with activity and producing a staggering amount of bladed weapons, among the best ones Hell pride itself in. Chenobryos is ruled by Ebaxades Seven Horns, a powerful demon mage.
The realm of Acheron is little more than a hostile frozen desert, battered by relentless slashing winds. The plane is peculiar in that it borders on another dimension, a largely unknown and unexplored cold wasteland that leads out of Hell, although no one has ever figured where it goes to. It is said to be full of incredibly dangerous creatures that could easily attack, and devour, even an arch devil lord. Several demon kings have lost their entire army to this desert. Demons and other inhabitants prefer to stay in the several large cities of the plane.
The capital Semdion is an immense an elegant city with large avenues, adorned by strange, majestic ice sculptures. The air is surprisingly less cold than one would expect and the streets are bustling with activity. The city is designed both for smaller races and the giant frost Succubi inhabiting it, although some size-altering areas exist, where succubi can walk at the same size than everyone else. In the center of Semdion stands the gigantic palace of the Succubus Queen Arsinoë, the powerful ruler of Acheron. Frost succubi see themselves as progressive, refined and civilized, and thus, contact with them is generally considered safer than with the rest of their kind. They are still dangerous however, and a lot of caution is needed when you deal with them. They adore formalities, complex protocols, and contracts full of subtle traps and tricky clauses written in small characters. Those who fall victim to their complex legal games either end up as a snack, or in the underground part of the city, where cruel and merciless punishment are inflicted on poor gullible fools. And maybe those ice sculptures are not made of ice only...
=== Urbimok ===
Urbimok is also called the plane of infinite boredom. It's a dismal and gloomy world where massive grey square blocks float in the space as far as the eyes can see, which is not very far because of the thick fog blanketing everything. A cold and perpetual rain fall, seemingly from nowhere, drenching every exposed surfaces and producing a monotonous, maddening noise, amplified by the strange atmosphere of the world that seems to make every sounds resonate.
To an outsider, Urbimok may not seem that bad for an infernal world. After all there are no visible signs of its residents being tortured, no flaming pits and the depressed demons inhabiting it don't looks particularly scary. Those who resided here for a while however would explain to you in a gloomy voice that Urbimok is not just a boring place, it's boredom itself. Monotony is a climate here and the ambient boredom is so thick, it solidified itself and congregated, forming those block over long, interminable eons.
In Urbimok, finding refuge into sleep is impossible and laughing will promptly summon smartly dressed demons of boredom who will politely - but firmly - remind you that laughing or having a fun time in Urbimok is a breach of its law and that any subsequent infringement will get you confined down into the lower chambers of profound disenchantment, at the bottom of the great ocean of gloom. Nobody knows what can be found there, but it's probably very boring. The ruler of Urbimok is a faceless giant named Sysyphe the cursed. whether he is related in any way to the Sysyphe from earthen mythology is unknown.
Melchuum is a putrid realm of sludge and slime. At first, it looks like nothing but an endless swamp of bubbling acidic mud, plunged in a perpetually dim light and a choking hot and acrid stench. Acidic rain keep falling from an unseen sky, far above the thick darkness blanketing the land. The main source of light is the glowing fungi growing everywhere and the slightly luminescent slime that seem to coat every surfaces. Grotesque lifeforms inhabits the place, seemingly spawned from the slime, and roaming the swamp, attacking those who trespass too far. Such an hostile and grim place is Melchuum, that it has been turned into an immense prison, in order to severely punish rebellious demons who dared to offend or oppose their lords. Once banished there, the demon is most often left to their fate, and eventually left for dead after a while, as it is night impossible to get out with any magic of any sort. As a result, the rare cities scattered across this hostile lands are depressing gathering of gloomy souls and banished demons, slowly mutating into horribly deformed beings and constantly fighting for survival in that awful place. The demons either torment the damned souls for sustenance and to ease their frustration, or hunt the smaller of the filthy aberrations creeping around.
The whole realm of Melchuum is actually nothing but the twisting insides of a living entity : Yshgolh an immense worm, large as a world ! For centuries, Melchuum has been considered one of the top ten worst fates a demon could get, being sometimes called "the Hell of Hell". So unpleasant is its reputation that mentioning the insides of Yshgolh, is a popular swear word in Hell.
- Credits to Vaderaz for the idea of Melchuum being a prison for demons.