Monday, June 4, 2012

INFERNO-LAND!

Beneath the wilds east of the domain of the dwarves, there is a series of caves and grottoes, lit crimson and cast in flickering shadow by ever-burning fires. This subterranean realm is know as Hell.

Hell’s most famous entrance (though there are rumored to be many) is located in a lonely ruin near the sea. It’s accessible through a door in the mouth of statue of a giant head. Near the head is a runic legend that resists translation: “D NTE’   NFEFNO-L N !” The head’s leering and horned visage is said to be in the likeness of Hell’s sardonic ruler. He names himself Mephisto (though he has other names) and appears as a Man of ancient times, save for the small horns on his brow and the ever present flicker of flame in his eyes.

Lord Mephisto is not confined to his domain. He tends to appear when people are at their most desperate to offer a bargain. And a contract. Souls are typically his price and stories say that he doesn’t wait until a person’s death to collect them. Unwise bargainers and those who blunder into Hell unaware find themselves in the clutches of Mephisto and his minions: snickering fiends with crimson skins, horns, and often, batwings. Smiling, they escort captives to one grotto or another and enthusiastically apply some torture or torment.

There have been a lucky few to escape Hell’s clutches. Their tales are difficult to comprehend, even considering the strange nature of the place. They speak of a room full of copies of Mephisto in repose upon slabs and glimpses of ancient devices of Man behind the torture tableaux.

8 comments:

JimShelley said...

I like that Runic Legend! It reminds me of the ominous words scrawled beside the body of arcane adventurer Johnny Milton: "...My light is spent..."

Bard said...

Wonderful description. Where did that photo originate? I assume in some amusement park somewhere?

Trey said...

@Bard - Thanks. It's from the now-demolished Miracle Strip Amusement Park in Panama City Beach FL.

Gibbering Mouther said...

Is Onigo Boingo's "Forbidden Zone" partially responsible for your Dwarf hell? If not you should check it out. Also, now I will envision your dwarf king as a strung out Hervé Villechaize.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forbidden_Zone

garrisonjames said...

"They speak of a room full of copies of Mephisto in repose upon slabs and glimpses of ancient devices of Man behind the torture tableaux." Oh you didn't. You did. Good thing I sat my coffee down already...

The Angry Lurker said...

Great description and a great entrance!

Trey said...

@Gibbering Mouther - Ha! No, I haven't heard Forbidden Zone. I'll have to check it out. If old Herve had a dwarvish beard, that wouldn't be a bad thought. :)

@Garrisonjames - I did. :) Glad you liked it.

@Angry Lurker - Good to see you back after Ray popped over to slander you yesterday.

Gibbering Mouther said...

I can't say I unreservedly recommend "Forbidden Zone" it is after all Danny Elfman's late 80's punk rock musical homage/parody of early cinema and hence can be read as deeply offensive on a variety of levels.

It certainly has a mythic underworld though. Also dance numbers, inexplicable dance numbers.