Unto the Grave's Underworld
There are six major regions located throughout the underworld:
Purgatos, Zurrkalla, Asphodelos, New Eden, Elysion, and the marsh.
Other areas include The pits, the corridors, and the Celestial city (though not located in the underworld.)
Over several millennia, each region, with the exception of the marsh, has been built up into massive cities to accommodate the ever-growing number of occupants. It is unclear when or who built these cities but they are alarmingly advanced.
The Marsh is where all of the rivers converge, causing the land to become water-logged. It is a wasteland of mud and barren trees. It is the smallest region covers approximately 13,125 square korus (52,500 square miles.)
To put the size into comparison, Manhattan island of Earth totals 22.8 square miles (5.6 square Korus) and the island of Luzon in the Philippines, also located on Earth, totals in size of about 42,458 square miles (10,614.5 square Korus).
Purgatos is a virtually endless region located in the center of the underworld. Vastly over populated with the souls of the dead that have yet to be judged and assigned their fate beyond death. Upon said death, all souls are escorted here where they will wait to be judged in the hall of judgement (not to be confused with the palace of judges).
Purgatos is characterized by a dense, ever changing forest designed to keep any would-be escapees lost and confused. The only way to leave Purgatos is with the help of a guide who knows the inner workings of the magical forest.
Even if the souls were to make it out of the wilderness, guided or inadvertent, escape would be near impossible as the island is surrounded by the Acheron. a river nearly half a korus wide. Only a ferryman can bring them across. Should a mortal’s soul make contact with the corrosive, murky waters, their essence would quickly diminish until they no longer existed.
Hades palace and the Council:
At the heart of the dark forest is a heavily guarded fortress owned and operated by the Council, an organization run by Vampires. Medieval styled ballista towers and automated turrets protect the fortress at every corner of its reinforced walls.
At the center of the fortress is Hades’ abandoned mountain top palace. A beautifully crafted structure constructed primarily of black marble, quartz, and shimmering obsidian. The main entrance hall is beautifully lined with polished bronze floors and bronze moldings around the doorways, and handrails. A moat filled with the fiery waters from the Phlegethon river surround the palace. Souls of the dead and reanimated skeletons line the edge of the moat as added protection to keep unwary intruders away.
It is said that when Hades dwelled here, one could not reach the palace gates unless Hades himself desired it. Those who sought to enter here would walk endlessly and never reach it. Immediately after the palace had been abandoned, however, the council took over.
Now, only Zayne and the few loyal to only him reside in Hades castle. The other vampire clans live amongst the shadows throughout the various worlds of the mortal realm. They are not fond of the underworld. The overcrowding that takes place on Earth seems to be a favorite among the Vampires as the food supply is most abundant.
Zurrkalla is the largest and located in the far southern region of the underworld. The Demons have taken over this region and have made it their home. Several clans of demon have established their own respective villages but there is only one capitol city, known as Zurrkalla. The other villages are respectively named after their own clans.
(refer to index for the list of known demon clans)
The wicked city of Zurrkalla is completely walled off with several heavily guarded gates. Each gate is guarded by demons that harass all newcomers and put them through grueling trials before permitting them to pass. If they cannot successfully complete the trials, they are forced to repeat them.
The demons make the inhabitants of this city work or perform degrading, seemingly endless tasks with the empty promise of being transferred to the city of Asphodelos.
The city is controlled by the vicious Demon king, Zummabbi, and his hybrid demon minions. The truly wicked in their mortal lives are ferried here after judgement to be punished for all of eternity. Once you are sentenced to spend eternity here in Zurrkalla, there is no way of earning your way to a better place, except maybe to be transferred to the corridors.
Long before the birth of the gods and giants of legend, long before Hades became the ruler of the underworld, the realm was a bleak and desolate void. The original fallen Celestial had made his kingdom out of the stormy emptiness. The pits were the first holding cells for the souls that the original fallen and his evil celestials captured for torture and pleasure.
Eventually, the original fallen celestial and his followers grew bored and abandoned the underworld in pursuit of their own realms to rule over where he and his followers can become as gods. It wasn’t until after Hades rule that the realm was used as prime real estate to house the dead.
Asphodelos is the second largest and busiest of the four cities. It is where the ordinary or mediocre souls are sent to dwell. Those that do not really deserve to be punished, but also have not lived lives worthy enough to be ferried directly to a better resting place, reside here.
Many religious people that live in the mortal realm know only of this one region. Many religions refer to it as Limbo.
The residents of Asphodelos, upon being ferried here, are offered a residence in one of the many run-down and overcrowded high-rise tenements. These high-rises have an average of 2,320 units, and are home to anywhere from four to six thousand residents, ranging from one to four people per unit.
Various factories, malls, theaters, entertainment centers, and other private businesses are all housed under one roof in what are called Mega Structures. Megas for short. The residents here work tirelessly in one of the Megas to work off the transgressions of their former lives in hopes to earn passage through the heavily guarded gates that lead to the city of New Eden, where they can be at peace for the rest of their afterlives. Aside from hard labor at the Megas, the people that dwell here are granted the luxury of various material comforts that slightly contribute to physical ease and an overall well-being.
Some of these luxuries include, but are not limited to, running water (both hot and cold), electricity, entertainment such as television streamed from the mortal realm, and various food (although sustenance is merely a psychological comfort and not required), among many other creature comforts. These things that have been granted to them freely are designed to make their lives here a little bit more bearable. After all, they are not here to be punished. They only choose to work hard in order to move onto a better place. Some are content with living average, meaningless lives.
But make no mistake, living in Asphodelos is not a form of paradise. Though it parallels the mortal realm in many ways, it is a savage, merciless and brutal version to its counterpart.
In the beginning, there was no governmental order in place to control the inhabitants of Asphodelos. Instead, society functioned on the primal, unspoken order of the wild; Much like that of the animal kingdom, which was not always peaceful. But recently, that has changed. Residents have banded together and began policing their streets to protect each other from the growing evil that has been creeping in from beyond the city limits and attacking them.
Being the only unguarded city along the Acheron River, without any walls or gates, Demons and fiends alike prey equally upon the people as they do in the mortal realm. Only difference being that here they either feed on the essence of their victims or capture them to drag them off to be tortured.
A massive underground dungeon made up of several tunnels, chambers, and dark pits. Before the massive city of Zurrkalla came into existence, the corridors used to be a place of holding, torture, and interrogation for the wicked. The prisoners would be locked in the enchanted chambers and forced to relive a modified version of their biggest fears and regrets over and over again for all of eternity.
The wicked prisoners are now shipped to Zurrkalla for punishment, but many of the preexisting prisoners held in the chambers are still there reliving nightmarish versions of their lives, unaware of what is going on outside of their cell doors.
Deep within the corridors, Giant Celestials, dethroned gods, and other cosmic entities that have fallen prisoner, are detained in enchanted pits where they wait in chains until the final days of judgement. During that time the wicked shall all be cast into the lake of fire and extinguished forever.
The Gontrazz demon clan currently maintain control over the northern sector of the corridors and use it as their underground city.
New Eden is a city named after the famous garden of Eden of Earth; And just as beautiful. It is hidden in the far north section of the underworld across the river from Purgatos. Isolated by the Acheron river and concealed by an enchanted mist.
Beautiful meadows with fountains, floral arrangements and statues of Gold decorate the sterile white city. The city itself is designed in seven massive circles. Depending on how the inhabitants conducted themselves when they lived, determines what ring of the city they are permitted to reside in. Those that were ferried directly here after judgement are the people that lived wholesome, and pure lives. The Righteous and blameless live in the innermost layer. Those that selflessly lived to do good deeds for others and strived to better someone else’s life live in the second and third layers. Those that earned passage from Asphodelos by working away their transgressions are allowed to live in the four outer circles of the city.
At the center of the beautiful, ringed city made of Gold and white marble is a heavily guarded garden that is home to the only existing tree of Lethe. Its roots stretch deep into the ground and draw water from underground channels that connect to the Lethe River.
The inhabitants that have earned their place in the inner circles of New Eden are permitted to partake of the tree’s golden fruit and live out their afterlife in peace and harmony until the day they are invited into the Celestial city. Consuming the juices of the fruit will completely and permanently wipe away the memories of their past lives.
Elysion is a city inhabited by fallen heroes and people of legend. Those personally chosen by the gods and those that sacrificed themselves for the sake of saving another are also allowed to reside here. There is no greater or more heroic act than laying your life for another. This place is also home to the many children and relatives of the gods and of the mighty warriors that left their mark throughout history. Here the inhabitants live out their afterlife enjoying whatever pleasures they desire and without restraint. It is also worth noting that, although located in a dark and gloomy world, the city of Elyision is enchanted to have beautiful, sunny weather at all times.
Oceanus and the rivers located in the underworld:
Oceanus is an impenetrable, torrid, sea-like layer that completely encapsulates the realm of the underworld. There are a series of rivers that separate the regions from one another and can only be traversed by ferry. The service is owned and operated by Karron Co. but is under the order of the judges.
The rivers are commonly known as:
Acheron – River of woe and pain. One touch of its waters meant certain death. The essence of a soul would quickly be absorbed into it. This was designed to keep inhabitants from crossing over into regions they did not belong.
Styx – The black, toxic waters of the river are said to grant invulnerability[AK1] .
Some say that the invulnerability only works by corroding away a demi-god’s mortality, leaving only the immortal side intact, thus making them invulnerable to mortal damage. This is strictly legend, however, as no one is brave enough to risk their lives to test any theories.
Phlegethon – The river of punishment. A river made of everlasting fire. Its waters are said to flow into the lake of fire through underground channels. The flames of these waters consume and destroy even the hardest of souls.
Lethe – The river of forgetfulness. Drinking of the crystal waters completely wipes memory of the previous lives.
Cocytus – A very murky and sluggish river of lamentation. Many murderers and abusers are chained to boulders and tossed into the Cocytus as punishment.