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William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905). Dante And Virgil In Hell (1850)

The Gates of Hell (Dice Freaks) Grimoire of Cosmic Entities Volume One By Eli Atkinson, William Church and Serge W. Desir, Jr.

Original Concept by Serge W. Desir, Jr.

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Hell. Cultures across countless worlds have traditions regarding this place to which the souls of the dead who committed acts of evil are condemned. It is a place of endless torment, often by fire or by ice, in which the damned suffer for eternity. However, within these same traditions are rays of hope for those still living in the world. Mothers warn their children to be good and to obey thereby ensuring they will not be cast into the Lake of Fire. Citizens are encouraged to do well by their neighbors and their government in order to uphold both personal and social integrity. Merchants and rulers are prompted by their peers to be honorable and committed to equity, thereby serving as respectable examples to those beneath them. In accomplishing these things, mortals believe that they are safe from the eternal punishments of Hell.

In the minds of many mortals, Hell is a place of suffering after death. True, many have heard and shared stories of the devils that inhabit the Stinking Maw. These beings, often regarded as fops easily tricked and foiled by wise clerics or canny wizards, are distant threats. At most, they whisper invisibly in one’s ear to commit some evil act. Overcoming the devil is simply an issue of not yielding to temptation and the victory is won. Certainly, devils are monstrous and terrible to behold, but plays and farces reveal that in their horror they are stupid and easily manipulated due to not only the power of goodness, but due to the ingenuity of humanity. Moreover, there is a general belief that only a select few are ever condemned to Hell, on account of the infernally bad luck that devils have in dealings with mortals, the natural conclusion of the paradigms just discussed.

Hell, then, possesses something of an ambivalent position in the minds of most mortals. On the one hand, it is a terrible place to end up, filled with horrific monsters of all sorts. On the other hand, it is a place in which only the weak and foolish descend, a place populated by dumb beasts. Indeed, there are more and more mortals who even doubt the existence of a Hell. After all, if there were such a place, it would certainly be more efficient. If there were such a place in a world of magic and divine power, it would have long since overrun the various worlds and the Realms Beyond.

These fools are part of the reason why Hell draws ever closer to victory in the mortal coil. Hell is very real. Hell is very dangerous. And the devils that inhabit the Realm are very terrible and very intelligent. More so than any other fiend in Creation. It is due to these monstrosities that these contradictions, promoted by the fear and ignorance of mortals exist. It is because of devils that more and more doubt the threat of Hell.

Hell is the physical manifestation of tyranny, oppression, and military might. While it is a place of physical suffering, more than anything else, it is a place of spiritual torment and pain. Hell seeks not only to scar the body; Hell seeks to scar, chain, and utterly suffocate the soul. Hell wants all of Creation to buckle under its pressure and to fall into Perdition. Hell seeks to create a sense of meaning in the emptiness of Evil. This, perhaps more than anything else, is what makes Hell so terrible: living a lie while trying to force it upon others because of the wish for others to suffer equally. That is Hell.

Hell is one of the planes of existence among other so-called lower planes or infernal realms, known to most scholars as -The Depths Below.- Hell stands as the best known and best catalogued of the infernal realms. Composed of nine distinct layers, Hell is more completely referred to as The Nine Hells of Perdition. Each layer of Hell, or Perdition, represents some fundamental concept associated with tyrannical, oppressive evil. All of the evil Lords and kings therein answer to the pinnacle of Evil, The Overlord of Hell. These beings and those that serve them are the will of Hell given form, doing all they can to reach out and corrupt the hearts and souls of the Cosmos with the eventual goal of ruling all Creation. Their might is immense, their evil unfathomable. Their servants, devils of all types, are like rats in a hovel, infesting the Cosmos almost unseen although the effects of their presence of palpable. Compromise is not an option. Allowing them to facilitate easily within the world of mortals is not an option. Knowledge of their intent and goals is the only way to begin to understand the threat they reflect. This treatise, compiled by those who have risked more than their lives, offers a glimpse behind the Gates of Hell at the evil that seeks to overwhelm Creation.

It is imperative that those who read this text do not become enamored with the nature of Hell or its vile denizens. Devils are not to be considered in any manner other than thoroughly and utterly despicable. Devils are not under any circumstances to be trusted or admired; rather they must always be respected and feared.

Only the most powerful entities of light can truly hope to over-come the threat these spirits represent. They are a blight on Creation, a manifestation of all that is terrible and unholy. We hope that this information will offer enough information to lead to the end of these repulsive creatures and the ultimate failure of Hell. We all pray to all that is holy and righteous that such a joyous day is not long in coming.

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