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,
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
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.