One hell is really insufficient for the inimical side of the Hill Cantons' cosmology. The reality of the Cold Hell readers of Misty Isles of the Eld have experienced, What Ho, Frog Demons explores some adventurable connections to that other fell dimension, Peklo or more baldly the Hot Hell.
I have cut the long willow branches from their tree and dragging them thrice around where the red bull stomps the tall rye, I have made loving supplication to God S-d. Erecting the lead barriers and donning the Suit of Containment and issuing the mutterings of the Vulgar Hyperborean words of protection, I can tell finally of Peklo.
The Ludicists maintain that Zem, is just the dream projection of a great and cosmic game. That is of course heresy vile and ill-informed, but like most corruptions of the mind has an element of Truth in its inception. When great Overgod floated across the void, his ship left a wake from Demonspace. How natural, how predictable, how convenient, that it was that the ego-drunk Demons with their great arrow-like vessels penetrating the heavens would also follow shortly in their vessels.
The Sunlord in His Wisdom sternly warns us of the trap of timelines, intoning of expository history and the senseless capitalizations of portentous proper names but suffice it to say there was a time of Conflict between Overgod and the voyaging Captains. Overgod held his own trapping the inimical encroachers to an infinite in-between plane of psychic friction: the fell place we now know as the Hot Hell.
Lower and Upper Hell
The Two Hells each have their own two hells. Much like our world the Hot Hell is divided between a flat bedrock of daily existence and an upper firament. Unlike Zem with its orderly domed heavens and neatly bounded earth, the Lower Hell and the dark inky void Upper Hell are said to run dizzingly, terrifyingly infinite.
Upper Hell is a lifeless zone, a place of transit (astral flyover country if you will), eschewed even by the Captains. The void is punctuated here and there by the running lights of the hulking, ruined Vessels and cold rocky orbs. It is known to run over the Cold Hell, a pocket dimension closer and more imbued with its substance.
Lower Hell in comparison teems with demonic ecologies. While universally unpleasant and over-warm, the Lower Hell is a bewildering patchwork of fiendish bio-climes fecundly blossoming from the psychic projections of the deep anxieties, ugly archetypes and ego excesses of the adjoining dimensions. Here is the Malachite Scarp, a vertigo-inducing narrow-ledged cliffscape of barely perched stork-legged backward facing demons raised by the pure might of petty insecurity. There the polished bronze phallic towers and monstrous hot pink orchids of Vulvak, the Archtownship of Unsubtle Imagery.
Also striking are the teeming, squalid squatter cities thrown up around the wrecked hulks of the Vessels (more about those later). Lording over each vessel-city are the silver-suited Captains with the castes of the Crew eternally jockeying from the flaming-eyeball headed engineers up to the gargantuan, multi-headed Officers.
And those are just the thematically discernible sections, some areas seem to be a confusing stew of jarring elements. Great barb-vined patches of demonic tubers nestle up against tarpits filled with lamprey-faced life coaches, cellophane forests, and dung warrens of cold-calling bivalve psychic marketers.
In the Next Part we get into some of the hot spot (no pun intended) sites of Peklo.