Geography Of The Underworld
The Underworld is a shifted vibrational plane, the adopted residence of interplanar beings who live in parasitic or symbiotic relation to the humans and lesser life forms that thrive in the lower, material Earth wavelengths. Earth is technically in the same space as the Underworld, although it is out of phase and therefore accessible only through the medium of the dream world, or death.
Higher up and located perpendicularly on the Y-axis, yet still in a spherical orientation around Earth, is the thought-realm, or mental realm known as Heaven. Mount Purgatory in the Underworld translates all the way through the Earth and reaches the thought-realm, and is referentially identical to Mount Olympus. Olympus was the name for the abode of the old sky gods, the higher vibration divine children of the original extraplanar master entities, the Titans.
The original Titans, Uranus and Gaia, gave birth to Kronos and Rhea, who overthrew their parents. Rhea then gave birth to the Greek pantheon, who then overthrew their parents in turn and divided the Earth among themselves, or more specifically between the two chief brothers Zeus (in these books the same as Lord Deus of the angels) and Lord Hades. And so the titanic line created a lasting order, changed since those days only by the late arrival of Lilith.
The purpose of the Titans' arrival on Earth from far galaxies, of course, was to exist comfortably as gods and rule peaceably over all humans and creatures. Lilith came from a different Titanic line. While Kronos and Rhea intended a symbiotic relationship with human souls like their parents before them, Lilith ushered in a lasting regime that regarded humans as nothing more than energetic feed cows. Lilith seduced Lord Hades to her way of thinking, gave birth to parasitic children, and the Underworld changed forever into a cruel selective fuedalism involving collars, cages, and slave papers.
Although many angels have fallen from the grace of the mental realm for the pleasures of the lower, there is no singular, antithetical, storied antagonist, unless Lord Hades is considered so, having chosen the darker levels of the emotional realm to reside within, preferring the beauty of pleasure and addiction over the beauty of mental purity and perfection. The Fey are another species of extraplanar creature that are drawn to care, tend, and reside in harmony with the plant and animal life rather than the human race.
Day and night cycles mirror those of Earth, although they are shorter due to the tighter rotational axis of the Underworld within the bounding sphere of the earth realm. The light that falls over the Underworld is the higher energy solar radiation that penetrates the shell of the Earth surface, which collides first with the material and produces heat, and then again with the desire-realm and sheds heat again, which takes the form of light in the desire-realm spectrum.
There is also a backlight to the Underworld night, which consists of the radiation passing through the Underworld and bouncing against the inside of the veil on the other side. There is also a residual radiation of fires and lava caused by the constant thermal upwelling from Earth's magnetic core. The turbulent Underworld geography, especially in Erebus, mirrors this broiling tectonic disturbance.
- Western Elysium (see top image)
Western Elysium, also called Purgatory by the angels, is dominated by the grand flowered Elysian Fields, with endless stretches of blue flowers stretching to all horizons. The Elysian Heartstand is an old forest rising below the mountains to the north, where Mount Purgatory rises almost to Heaven. In the southwest, the blue poppies change to gentle white blossoms in the dreamy and foggy Asphodel Meadows.
The oneiric Asphodel fog rises as steam from the Phlegethon river, which descends from the lava-streaked headwalls of Mount Purgatory. Off the southern coast of Western Elysium, the Blessed Isles of the Seelie Fey can be seen on a clear day. To the east, the Alpacian Mountains form the great divide between east and west. Erebus is reached through a mountain pass to the east of Mount Purgatory. The Erebus road runs past the Trivium, where souls were judged in ancient days.
Western Elysium is an official demilitarized zone, by formal signed agreement between Heaven and Hell's Court. The Fey are consequently allowed some semblance of governance over these territories. The Elysian fields and forests are home to thousands of nymphs, fairies, satyrs, wild beasts, leprechauns, and other still rarer, more magical beings.
Elysium is also home to a fair population of old human common folk who have lived in villages for centuries since ancient times, before the arrival of Lilith and the strict measures that began to destroy unwanted human souls on entry to the desire-realm. These human ghost-folk are considered worthless - too energetically weak to give much succubus sustenance or devil pleasure, nor worth eradicating.
- Eastern Elysium
Eastern Elysium is also a disputed, demilitarized zone between Heaven and Hell's Court. The central East is dominated by the Tuskan Plain and the vast, rugged steppes of the Persium Plateau, roughly corresponding to the earthly geography of Italy and the Middle East.
Further east, the Acheron river runs through a desolate plain, corresponding to the Nile river in the Earth realm, and dumps into the murky flows of the bone-filled Styx, which in turn empties into the vast Sea of Desire. In the north the mountains are ever more remote, and form the ages-old homes of Underworld vampires. The Acheron River passes through the equivalent of the Black Sea region, but the Acheron's headwaters are far north in eastern Tartarus.
While the peaceful Seelie Fey make their home in Western Elysium, the dark spires and twisted mazes of the Unseelie Court rise on the shores of the Styx to the far east over the Sea of Desire. Few dare attempt the long journey to the Unseelie Court, which greets most outsiders with suspicion, if not outright violence.
Eastern Elysium is home to far less surviving old human folk, and is considered much bigger, wilder, and more dangerous. The East is a common hunting destination for privileged Tartarus residents (incubi or Hell's Court devils) who want to hunt and kill things. Of course, there are things that also enjoy hunting and killing Tartarus residents, and so the sport. Werewolves make their homes in the East, as do vampires who ascend to the desire-world for both business and pleasure.
- Erebus (no map graphic)
Erebus is a vast region of the Underworld between Elysium and Tartarus. Storms frequently sweep the Erebus plains, and divine magic is used around the cities to calm the turbulence. In ancient days Erebus was a place of lawless chaos with bands of brigands, wandering ghosts, and millions of homeless, useless humans. With the arrival of Lilith, the humans were hunted by soldiers, slaughtered, and sent to the void.
The central city in present day Erebus is Caina, a thriving city of endless iniquity with rich Greco-Roman roots. Magistrate Pan rules over the countryside around Caina along with his succubus wife, Magistress Janikeh, while Tisiphone the Fury rules over the domain of the city proper. Caina is known for its rich vineyards and flower fields, where nectar is harvested and processed by slaves with masks locked to their faces to curb the risks of addiction.
Western Erebus is ruled by Magistrate Dionysis from the city of Pythia, making Pythia the most fertile place for vineyards and olives in the Underworld. While the finest nectars come from Caina, the finest wines come from Pythia. The city of Pythia proper is ruled by the Fury Alecto. While Caina is a popular vacation destination for residents of Tartarus, Pythia is a required rest stop for caravans traveling through Erebus from the Trivium gap, Elysium, and the Seelie Court.
- Central Tartarus
Far north from Elysium, on the far side of the Erebus plains, all roads descend eventually into central Tartarus. Tartarus is the location of Dis, the greatest city of the Underworld. Dis is home to many thousands of children of Lord Hades and Lady Lilith: succubi, incubi, demons, devils, and over a million of their groveling, suffering human slaves.
Some human slaves do manage to escape their masters, and for them the Mare Mortis to the west provides a refuge. The howling sand storms and tornados of the Mare offer a quick death, but also protection and deterrence from Hell's Court and bounty hunters. The Mare is home to ogre tribes as well as renegade Gypsies and sundry criminals.
If a criminal is arrested by Hell's Court, the fathomless Bolgia pits are waiting for those unfortunate souls under the city of Dis, or perhaps the Malebolge mines (an extension of the Bolgia), depending on the Court sentence. Millions of humans have toiled for centuries to quarry rock and minerals in the Malebolge for the construction of Tartarus cities.
Between the Malebolge mines and Dis, an ancient and polluted forest represents the remaining ancestral domain of the Gypsies, the only legally free humans in the Underworld outside of the Fey courts. Further east, the city of Judecca crouches in the bowl of a valley at the foot of the heights of Cocytus.
Judecca employs a massive circular stone wall to protect the residents from occasional storms over the Erebus rim. this capital city of the Cocytus region is ruled by the third and final Fury, Maegera, south of the icy mountain fastnesses where the old Titans are imprisoned. The Magistrate of this land is Nyx, who oversees from her mountain fastness and breeds her wyrms for use by Hell's residents. Both Maegera and Nyx are known to brew some of Hell's most potent poisons.