Typically, the Underworld is considered the lands of the dead. After death, there is no annihilation of souls. The dead cross the Oceanus and arrive on the shores of the Underworld to lead a bleak, boring, sometimes toilsome, but always unhappy existence.
These individuals may find themselves wandering the monotony of the Asphodel Fields or toiling in the Mourning Fields and Mines on the Onyx Towers, or imprisoned in the Pits of Tartarus. The most dangerous of souls are further confined in the Tartarus Correctional Facility.
The primary exception to this rule lies with those judged favorably. They live their immortality in relative happiness in the land of Elysium, either in the Elysium Suites or any of the other blissful communities.
The far northern part of the Underworld is Oneiroi, a Land of Dreams, where beings exist in a state neither truly in death nor life.
The farthest south is Propylaia, a Land of Hekate and the Restless dead. Although Hekate takes charge of these wandering souls, she typically attends to other matters in the mortal plane during the day.
- 1 Oceanus
- 2 The Rivers
- 3 Propylaia
- 4 Elysium
- 5 The Oneiroi
- 6 Tartarus
Oceanus is an enormous freshwater system that encircles the entirety of the Underworld and is also inhabited by the Titan of the same name. This subterranean source feeds all of the Earth’s freshwaters: lakes, rivers, and streams, as well as the rain and clouds.
On the farthest shores of the Oceanus is the faint smudge of shoreline that only the deities of the Underworld may set foot on without effort. Mortals and other divine beings will be blocked from entry by a magical force.
If, by chance, someone other than an Underworld deity does manage to cross Oceanus and break through the barrier, they will be greeted by the towering Triple Wall of Bronze. The only guaranteed path through the Triple Wall of Bronze is the Gate of Horn & Ivory, Gate of Dusk, Gate of Shades, or the Gate of Dawn. There are, however, rumours that there are numerous other entrances throughout the area that were built by unknown entities.
Depending on the visitor’s approach, they might find themselves in the Oneiroi, the Onyx Towers, the Land of Hekate, or in Elysium. However, this requires crossing one or more of the rivers that wind their way throughout the Underworld, and these rivers are typically impassable.
Titarial is a lone island in Oceanus; the landscape is mostly rocky with sparse vegetation and few trees dotting the land. There are a few small tide pools formed around the immediate shoreline of the island, but they grow scarce the further inland you go. There are no valleys, lakes, or mountains – a fairly flat landscape with small rock formations.
In the center of Titarial, there is a mountain that is hallowed out in the center that stretches to its peak and opens into the skies. The cavern inside is only reachable by an immortal born or raised in the Underworld. Within this cavern is a sphere of stone that is suspended in the center. Its origins are unknown.
In Titarial, the laws of nature and physics are the same as on Earth, though the Sphere appears to be an exception.
Titarial does not have sun or moons orbiting it. The morning skies of Titarial are heavily overcast with swirling clouds threatening rain, while the nights are dark iron-gray, nearly black!
The climate inside of Titarial is comfortably warm and dry, sometimes tepid. Outside it is at the whim of Oceanus, but generally, it is damp and chilly. The weather in Titarial is usually overcast, storms and varying rainfall are common occurrences.
Acheron: The River of Woe snakes through Propylaia, and serves as the boundary line between Propylaia and the Ony Towers.
Coxytus: The River of Lamentation is located on the western side of the Underworld. Emerging from Oceanus, it consolidates with the Lethe and Acheron towards the Onyx Towers.
Kokytos: The River of Tears lies in the far eastern section of the Onyx Towers. Not to be confused with the Coxytus, this river leads to the entrance of the Tartarus Pits.
Lethe: The River of Oblivion is located on the western edges of the Underworld. It forms the Mnemosyne, the waters of memory, where it blends with the Coxytus. Shades often drink from it, to help them forget sorrows of their mortal life with the hopes of a reincarnation.
Pyriphlegethon: The River of Flame is situated in the southeast, and is the main path to the Tartarus Correctional Facility.
Styx: The River of Hate is located to the east of the Mourning Plains, separating the entrances to Tartarus from the rest of the Onyx Towers.
The main entrance to Propylaia, the Land of Hekate and the Restless Dead, can be found in the south through the Gate of Shades. Bordered by the Lethe, Coxytus, and Acheron Rivers, the shades of dead reside outside of the Onyx Towers and are managed by Hekate, Queen of Ghost and Witchcraft.
Souls waiting for Charon the Ferryman to help them cross Aveinos, Lake of the Dead, can be found lingering by the shoreline. Those who enter the Underworld but are unable to pay the required fare to Charon and cross into the afterlife are generally labelled as the Restless Dead. Those who do have the travel fare are ushered off to the Onyx Towers and the Blessed Fields.
The ones left behind eventually become forlorn and filled with despair, wandering the banks of the Acheron and sometimes into the forests of Propylaia.
It is to be noted that not all of who call the Land of Hekate are restless. There may be times when Hekate may allow in heroes who died without family or permit temporary leave to the denizens of other areas, even Tartarus.
Although Hekate takes charge of these wandering souls, she typically attends to other matters in the mortal plane during the day. At night, and most especially on new and full moon nights, her bond is strongest with her charges. Sometimes, on the night of the new moon, when the mortal plane is darkest, she allows the dead to wander the paths of the Earth.
Elysium was originally constructed as a region to be separate from The Onyx Towers; however, after the Ten Year War and the incarceration of Kronos, Hades annexed Elysium into his holdings, to keep a better eye on things.
Elysium as a whole is primarily filled with lush foliage, stunning forests, and rolling plains of flowers, with most of this surrounding the Apartments of Asphodel. Access to this region is generally through the Gate of Dawn; however, Hades, Persephone, and other worthy individuals frequently cross the Lethe River to reach Elysium.
The Elysium Fields is the afterlife of mortals related to the Pantheon, as well as the heroic, the righteous, and the hand-picked by the gods.
This area of lush grasses, beautiful woods, and abundant flowers lies to the west of the Apartments of Asphodel. Access to the region is primarily through the Gate of Dawn. However, Hades, Persephone and other worthy individuals frequently cross the river of Lethe into Elysium
The Elysium Penthouse: These exquisite apartments are situated on the eastern island of Elysium, within the Blessed Fields. The Penthouses hold only the most deserving souls in the afterlife.
Groves of Persephone: The southern portion of the blessed fields is the home to the Groves of Persephone.
Cave of Kronos: To the north of the Blessed Fields, on its own island, lies the Cave of Kronos. It is suspected to be an alternate entrance to the Land of Dreams, burrowing beneath the Styx River, but no one has crossed through since the age of the Titans.
Hesperia (Isle of Twilight): Located directly above Makaron, Hesperia is home to the Hesperides, the nymphs of the evening and of the golden light of sunsets. Soft, rolling sand dunes and oases cover this expanse, eventually leading to the Gardens.
Gardens of the Hesperides: The Gardens are located on the far eastern tip of Hesperia. In contrast to the sandy expanse dotted with small oases, the Gardens are a paradise. Exotic trees and flowers grow in abundance, birds of paradise, macaws, and other exquisite fliers make their home here, and many choose to linger around the massive lake that rests within the Gardens.
Makaron (Isle of Heroes): In the far west of Elysium is Makaron, isle of heroes. Comprised of intricate stone structures, unique flora, and awe-inspiring landscapes. A place for legends to congregate, reflect, relax, and share advice if inclined.
Aea (Isle of Dawn): Aea can be found directly north of Hesperia, and is the birthplace of Hemera. A beautifully untamed jungle, rushing rivers and waterfalls, steady streams, and an unmatched atmosphere of tranquility and wonder fills this island. Its inhabitants currently include a handful of Eldrain.
The Onyx Towers
Previously the Sulfur Springs, this is where the home of Lord Hades resides within the Underworld. The dead pass through the Gate of Shades from the south and find themselves in the Land of Hekate. Unable to cross any of the rivers on their own, they will find themselves at the shore of Aveinos, awaiting safe passage.
Aveinos (Lake of the Dead)
Before reaching the Onyx Towers, visitors must arrange transportation with the immortal ferryman, Charon. If he is satisfied with their payment, he will take them across Aveinos to the Onyx Towers Lobby.
This dazzling outcrop of stark white rock juts into the sky just outside of the Onyx Tower Lobby. It pulsates a soft glow, and a cold draft flows around its base fluidly. It has been observed that when touched or licked, the victim becomes highly confused or disoriented, and often loses memory of who they are or where they are. Its current origins are unknown.
Onyx Towers Lobby
Immediately inside the gates, Hades maintains an office in the Lobby to the Onyx Towers, alongside his trusted friend and ally, Cerberus. As Hades likes to keep up appearances, the convergence of the Styx, Pyriphlegethlon, Acheron, Lethe, and Coxytus rivers makes for an excellent spot for unique and exotic flora. The marshy environment allows winding vines, vibrant ferns, and succulents to grow, while dark grasses sprawl up their banks towards the Lobby.
There are occasions when souls without reservations elsewhere can be found loitering outside the Lobby, smoking, chatting, or reading.
Palace of Hades
Within the grounds of the Palace, Hades lives in the lap of luxury. Built along the shore of the Mnemosyne with a view of the Groves of Persephone, Hades tends to his expanse of orchards, gardens, and water features. The architecture of the Palace is a blend of modern, Gothic, and Greek tastes.
The Asphodel Fields
Just beyond the Lobby sprawls the Asphodel Fields, where the dead roam through the thick growth of asphodel, a pale-gray plant that is edible, but very bland. Even with this tastelessness, the inhabitants of the Asphodel Residences regard it as a staple food.
The Asphodel Residences are a mid-tier housing complex located in the far west section of the Asphodel Fields. The shades of the indifferent dead call this home, those souls who were neither pious or wicked. The residents seem to be in a constant state of disinterest or boredom as they meander through their afterlife, mimicking their previous life.
Mourning Fields and Mines (The Vale)
A valley that slopes from the Asphodel Fields into the east will take you to the Mourning Plains. The further into the plains one travels, the more foreboding the scenery becomes: dwindling townhouses sit in rows and looking like the meanest ghosts – the homes of the shades that are employed to work the mining operation owned by Hades.
Cave of Hypnos
Hypnos’ cavern has two entrances – one in the Oneiroi, and one in the Mourning Plains. Hidden away atop a large cliff, Hypnos keeps to himself. It is speculated that within the cave lies Hypnos’ source of magic.
Cave of Oneiroi
The Oneiroi’s cave entrance is clouded with a thick, sangria-coloured mist flecked with starbursts. Strange noises and music emits from it every once in a while, and no one ventures into their passage between the Oneiroi and the Onyx Towers unless there’s no other option.
Oneiroi, also known as the Land of Dreams, is home to the Children of the Night, as well as the Dream Brood. The main entrance to this realm is from the north, through the Gate of Horn and Ivory, though you may enter from Elysium through the Cave of Kronos to the west. The caverns called home by Hypnos and the Dream Brood lie along the north-central border.
Halls of Night: The Halls of Night belong to the Primordial Nyx and her kin, and is situated on the southern coast, overlooking the Styx River. Dark flora and fauna surround the Halls, with several streams running parallel alongside the Hall to the River. Architecturally, it is reminiscent of the Theseion in Athens.
Tree of False Dreams: Beneath the branches of this looming elm tree are the shades of past monsters, such as the Hydra, Scylla, and the chimera. While they cannot maim or otherwise injure anyone physically, their presence may be enough to scare away anyone who would come close. This tree conjures dark dreams, thoughts, and feelings, and if not careful, one can be stuck there in despair.
Beneath the rest of the Underworld lies Tartarus, the great cosmic pits.
Gates of Tartarus: Tartarus is secured primarily by the Triple Wall of Bronze, which extends far below the surface of the Underworld. Accessing the Pits of Tartarus is achieved by passing through one of the gates. Typically, no one just walks through the Gates without Hades knowing of it.
Night’s Apartments: The Apartments of Nyx reside just above the Pits, where the Primordial can observe the goings-on. Hades installed a thick glass wall that Nyx can cover or open at her leisure with lava rock. The Night’s Apartments stretch a third of the way over the Pits.
Pits of Tartarus: Through one gate, the open Pits of Tartarus can be reached. The Pits is where the souls of the wicked are condemned by a Judge of the Dead live for a period of enforced purgatory. If the soul is unredeemable, eternal damnation awaits them here.
Tartarus Correctional Facility: The second gate leads to the Tartarus Correctional Facility, a gloomy, storm-wracked security prison that houses the most powerful of the Pantheon’s criminals. It is guarded by the hundred-handed Hecatonchire giants, the primary wardens of the Titans, alongside a few tricks that Zeus and Hades added.