Hades (also known as the "Land of the Living
Dead", "Hell", "the
Underworld", or "Kingdom of Decay") is the final (usually) eternal
place of those who have been judged by Eru's holy standards as being
wicked. Since nearly the beginning of creation, the Land of the Living
Dead has been ruled by the pseudo-god Hades and his wife Persephone,
who renamed it after himself. Hades is the primary abode of the
Devil, also known as Belegur, following his fall; though he was able to
venture the surface of the world in the vessel of flesh. Minos is one of the judges of the dead.
subterranean realm is a boundless, horrible desolation filled with fire
leaping upward from unseen depths below, dwarfing
the worst battlefield or urban housing project. The
battlefield metaphor is most apt, because on one side, near the gate,
are heaps and piles of dead bodies, all in varying states of
decomposition. These are the last remains of less fortunate adventurers
who dared to enter Hades before their natural (or unnatural) demise.
During the reign of the Dungeon Masters, those who dared to defile the
bodies quickly found their disrepect costing them their life, as the
powerful guardian of the Dungeon of Zork placed their head on a sharp
Even from without, the thousands of voices of lost souls can be heard
continually crying out with weeping and moaning as each one
laments its own, no doubt well-deserved, though hideous fate.
hazy, bronze-colored Hades is paved with exactly the same kind of rock
and chips of stone that are found in the tunnels of the Great
Underground Empire. As if the G.U.E. was just an extension of this
monstrous place, or a kind of intelligence test for adventurers, and
the dumb ones were required to stay in Hades through eternity. Although
unlike the Great Underground Empire, there was nothing that smelled as
potent as Hades. It is as though the rulers of the underworld
contracted somebody to scoop up tons of rock from the passages above,
soak them in some horrible solution until every stone reeked with a
supernatural stink, and then they brought all that rock to the
underworld and paved the place with it.
Other territories within this realm inside the Tomb of the Unknown
, the Plain of Constant Conflict
, the Great River Acheron
River of Terrible Fire
, River of Wailing
, and the river Styx
GATES TO HADES
historians still differ in their conclusions as to whether Hades has a
single gate reached by multiple tunnels, or has multiple entrances all
over the Eastlands (there have yet been no reported descents in the
Westlands), it is most probable that due to the significant variations
of the descriptions of the gates in different accounts, that there are
multiple entrances. If so, there seems to be two specific entrances.
One of these is most definitely located at the south end of the Dungeon
of Zork. Here to gain full entry, it is necessary to enter the gates
before crossing the river Acheron. Nearby, is the Hades subway station,
which is most definitely an alternate entrance, as here one is required
to cross the river first, a completely different river, Styx, before
passing through the gates to gain full entrance. Some see the winding
tunnels which Yoruk took, beneath the Steppinthrax Monastery, as a
third possible entrance. This cannot be proven decisively, as the
caverns below the monastery have since suffered from many serious
cave-ins since the descent of Yoruk. This geologists have not been able
to determine whether these caverns are expansive enough to have once
connected with one of the other entrances (namely the Dungeon of Zork),
or in fact lead to a third gate. It is known that the Flathead
Mountains could be crossed by entering through the Dungeon of Zork
gate, then following an unguarded tunnel eastward which ended at the
edge of Fenshire.
DUNGEON OF ZORK ENTRANCE
The Dungeon of Zork entrance is a large
gateway set into the wall of a small room, that looks as if it
had been made of wrought and cast iron
pieces, but iron could not have survived a century in the atmosphere
that seeped from within the abode of the damned. Clouds of noxious
water vapor would surely have reduced the gate to rust, and the
poisonous vents of sulfurous gases would have done worse, especially
after the two vapors mixed, making sulfuric acid fog. So the fence that
kept out the living and kept in the ghastly dead must have been
constructed of some other substance. Inscribed in an antique style over
the gate itself was a firmly fixed motto reading, "Abandon every hope
all ye who enter here!"
the gate itself is always open, it is protected, not only by an
invisible force to prevent its closure, but guarded by a legion of evil
spirits and wraiths which will push back all intruders from entering as
they laugh and jeer at their attempts to gain entry. For the jealous
dead do not want the living traipsing all over their fire and
brimstone. Many of these spirits are new spirits that have not yet been
ferried across the river, while others will never be able
have been two known ways to bypass these spirits and gain entrance,
both which involve rituals of ancient religions, which are of
disputable mortality. Although these methods seem to make entry easy
enough for a mortal to manage, it is getting out alive that provides
the intellectual and sometimes physical challenge. One should also be
made aware that mere mortals cannot be brought out of Hades through the
gates without special arrangements made with Lord Hades (though
half-mortals are an exception). While all physical items are permitted
entry, only magical items are allowed to be brought back out again.
first method to pass through the spirit infested gate is a
powerful ceremony involving certain noises, lights and prayers of the
local religion to call upon an unearthly power to exorcise the spirits
and allowing anyone temporarily free access to the Land of the
Dead. This method has been used by several famous adventurers
gain entrance, including the one who would enter and steal the crystal
skull of Yoruk on his quest to become the Second Dungeon
(948 GUE), as well as Bivotar and Juranda (less than a century prior).
ritual involves several specific steps:
items are required: a tiny brass bell, a pair of candles (plus
something to light them with), and a book entitled, "Twenty-Two
Prayers of the Great Underground Empire."
- Ringing a tiny brass bell in the presence of these spirits
will cause the bell to become red hot and fall to the ground,
but the wraiths will slowly hush their gesticulating and catcalls, and
stand in place as if they had suddenly become paralyzed.
- The next step involves the lighting of a pair of candles.
flames will flicker wildly, appearing to dance. The trembling earth
causes the spirits to cower at the unearthly power.
upon incanting the specific prayer in the black book, the words of the
reverberate through the halls in a deafening confusion, followed by a
distant voice commanding the the spirits to begone. The spirits,
sensing a greater power, will instantly through the walls, thus
permitting free passage all the way to the docking of the Hades Shuttle
Service. Unfortunately, the spirits will only be temporarily vacated by
ritual and later returned.
The second method of
entry, has been completed by Glorian of the Knowledge (tenth
century) amongst many others, is comprised of several steps as
well, although much more dangerous (and also requires one to be
condemned through the utterance of blasphemous prayers to the falsely
so-called gods, Hades and Persephone):
- Many of the spirits at the Hades gates
are desperately seeking the smallest drop of blood. Thus even the
smallest of quantities are quite capable of luring their attention
enough to pass through.
boldly through the gates, one must find the pinnacle where the River of
Terrible Fire and the River of Wailing join together at the Acheron.
entire pack of numerous spirits (some had claimed more than a billion)
will following, hoping to snatch a few drops of the promised blood.
Though strong in count, they can easily be held back with a common
- Once the proper place is reached, a shallow trench of one
cubit square must be cleared with a blade.
must be poured around the square trench, first milk mingled with honey,
then a bottle of sweet wine, and last a plastic jug full of
- Then white barely must be sprinkled over all that has been
- The next step is praying to the pseudo-gods, dread Hades
and his wife, the awful Persephone.
the detestable prayers are completed, one must cut the throats of a ram
and ewe and let the blood pour into the trench, then flay the dead
animals and sacrifice them, burning the flesh to Hades and Persephone.
But since most do not bother going through this step of the old true
ritual anymore, the pseudo-gods have permitted the pouring of
of perviously preserved blood.
- Once completed the spirits will
gather around the blood, distracting them at least long enough to buy
passage into the inter territories of Hades and back.
SUBWAY STATION ENTRANCE
other known entrance to Hades is the subway station that is part of the
Underground Underground. Doubling as the waiting room for passage
across the River Styx, it is complete with generous lobby
was from this entrance which the Hades
Shuttle Service ferried the newly dead across the river. Instead
of spirits guarding the gates, this entrance was protected by an
assortment of hellish creatures, including Cerberus, Tantalus,
Sisyphus, Tityus, Minos, and as a temp, the Two-Headed Hades Beast
(Herb and Lairdus).
TRANSPORATION OF BODIES
When a man dies and has been judged as wicked, their souls venture to
Hades. Those souls which were buried with an obolus were granted passed
the depths of Hades, while those without one would be found stranded on
the outskirts unless someone happened to be buried with more than one,
and only if that one were willing to share (which was vary unlikely).
was a rare occurance that one of the living tried to buy passage into
Hades, it has been known to happen. Charon boated them across like any
other spirit. Unfortuantely for those seeking to do so today,
the end of the tenth century saw a change of policy, the Shuttle
Service fully restricting pre-mortem individuals. Because of the
increase of soul trafic to Hades, the same period also saw the addition
of a second policy, which hoped to prevent the crowding of
spirits near the gates from delaying their entrance for centuries. Thus
even with the proper funds to ferry across the river, entrance into the
inner regions of Hades was required to occur within a 10 day grace
period. Failure to do so would result in a punitive 100 year waiting
period. Other strict annexs included that absolutely no one was allowed back from Hades once they had passed through the gates.
There were common mix ups of transfers of body
parts to Hades of dead patrons, sometimes a head could arrive at Hades,
while the rest
of the body containing the neck and vocal cords would be mis-routed to
Nirvana. One historian believes that this is possibly what happened to
YORUK'S DESCENT INTO HADES
the most popular legends relating to Hades is the descent of Yoruk in
380 GUE. (see the entry on Yoruk for more information regarding this contraversal historical figure)
TEMPLE OF ZORK
the central focus of an ancient religion deep underground in the
Eastlands in the Temple of Zork. The tenets of this religion state that
trespassers in the
temple and breakers of the commandments will be sent to the Land of the
the Totemizer machine was uncovered by the Second Inquisition in 1033 GUE, one
of the destinations for its output of totems was Hades. At first the
evil spawn there took interest in using the countless totems are their
playthings, but eventually their interest lagged. Even though the
victims could still feel pain within their totems, they could not
struggle against the torture. Finally, the hellish creatures stuck them
into puddles of blistering acid and left them alone. Though those
entrapped in the totems never really grew numb to the constant agony,
they found other things to occupy their minds. For example, one later
rescued victim had spent many centuries composing several light
operettas in their head.