LOCATION LISTING May 25, 2015 18:54:05 GMT -6
Post by 月老 on May 25, 2015 18:54:05 GMT -6
THE SPIRIT REALM
This realm beyond Life; this realm beyond Death; this realm where only spirits go. It is endless valley, grim, gray, and hard, bloodless earth, surrounded by endless mountains, ever distant and unreachable. Mountains that walk seven leagues—always, in every direction. Pools of glassy water, rimmed in dry red, pocket the land. The sky overhead churns forever—without day, without night—a sky the color of a storm that never comes.
01. THE DEMON LORD'S PAVILION
The Realm of Spirits never stirs, but it is not soundless.
Thundering pillars of seawater pour down over the Demon Lord's Pavilion, where he sits chained by his own brother. The cascades hiss and bubble when they strike this lifeless, deathless earth, the pavilion adrift with hot salt vapor.
02. THE JADE EMPEROR'S ENCLAVE
In sight of his brother's prison, the Jade Emperor meditates atop soft grass in his enclave under a dome seemingly of ethereal glass. Rainbows skip along its arc, barring the bleak land out. The Jade Emperor sits in repose under a tall, twisting god's tree, its branches full of streaming sunlight. The spirit tree presses the roof of the enclave, casting all of the island in its serene suggestion of eternal sunshine and blue sky, and distantly, a whispering sea. Birds' voices hop in these sunlit boughs, their shadows flitting over a rippling pool, but there are no birds.
For this is the place beyond Life, the place beyond Death, the Realm where only Spirits go.
Doors to Hell are everywhere: through the Spirit Gate in the Demon’s Corner of every household, on the other side of sealed tunnels into the earth—at the end of every life, inevitably. To the interloper from the world of living, the Underworld is grim and gray, a shadow of life, but to the dead, it was a glistening paradise, always spring and without night. While still beautiful, Hell's brightness has dimmed without the Demon Lord to guide it.
03. AT THE MISTY RIVERSIDE
The city of Hell crowds a massive cavern, a dark sister of Shangdi rendered underground. Green lanterns line its gray walls. These lanterns burn with green flame at every corner and along every street, the green light hopping in the hollow eyes and open mouths of stone demons guarding at the crossroads. A dry river of mists flows through the city, floating stone boats through the foggy waterways.
Even these mists are carefully guarded. Hell is a hard city these days; its arbitrators rule it closely and come down especially hard on interlopers from Life.
04. THE SUBURBS OF SOULS
The realms of Life and Death are too close, the more iron-hearted of Hell’s judges feel, and it is too simple for the living to slip into the city and hide in its clutter of houses of the dead. There is no barring living souls who are guided into Hell, and everyone whose family has lived or died in Shangdi has an ancestral house awaiting them in Hell. In this house are all the family members who have gone before. It is a hall to spend one’s afterlife in cultivating the city of the Demon Lord below as one spent life cultivating the city of the Jade Emperor above.
05. THE JUDICIAL PALACE OF HELL
A singular monument rises above the city of Hell: the Judicial Palace, where the Demon Lord sits and the Arbitrators of Hell meet to discuss their business of weighing souls and governing the afterlife. Hell is not a city for princes or merchants; Hell is the fortress of justice, of fateful decision, ruled by the arbitrators of decay and regeneration. In the absence of the Demon Lord, the Judges of Hell stray, their city following them into corruption.