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Nine Realms

 
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First Circle; Limbo

Considered the "minimum security" of Hell's denizens. Limbo is reserved for those who had not accepted any form of religion in their lives.

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Second Circle; Lust

Where the punishments of Hell proper begin. Minos, who judges all of those condemned for active, deliberately willed sin to one of the lower circles. Minos sentences each soul to its torment by wrapping his tail around himself a corresponding number of times. In the second circle of Hell are those overcome by lust. These "carnal malefactors" are condemned for allowing their appetites to sway their reason. These souls are buffeted back and forth by the terrible winds of a violent storm, without rest. This symbolizes the power of lust to blow one about needlessly and aimlessly.

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Third Circle; Gluttony

In the third circle, the gluttonous wallow in a vile, putrid slush produced by a ceaseless, foul, icy rain – "a great storm of putrefaction" – as punishment for subjecting their reason to a voracious appetite. Cerberus the monstrous three-headed beast of Hell, ravenously guards the gluttons lying in the freezing mire, mauling and flaying them with his claws as they howl like dogs.

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Forth Circle; Greed

Those whose attitude toward material goods deviated from the appropriate mean are punished in the fourth circle. They include the avaricious or miserly (including many "clergymen, and popes and cardinals"), who hoarded possessions, and the prodigal, who squandered them. The hoarders and spendthrifts joust, using as weapons great weights that they push with their chests.

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Fifth Circle; Wrath

In the swampy, stinking waters of the river Styx – the Fifth Circle – the actively wrathful fight each other viciously on the surface of the slime, while the sullen (the passively wrathful) lie beneath the water, withdrawn, "into a black sulkiness which can find no joy in God or man or the universe."

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City of Dis
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Sixth Circle; Heresy

In the sixth circle, heretics are trapped in flaming tombs.

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Seventh Circle; Violence

The Seventh Circle, divided into three rings, houses the Violent. A jumble of rocks that had once formed a cliff to reach the Seventh Circle from the Sixth Circle. The presence of shattered stones resulted from the great earthquake that shook the earth at the moment of Christ's death. Ruins resulting from the same shock were previously seen at the beginning of Upper Hell; the entrance to the Second Circle.

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Ring One; Violence Against Neighbors, Ring Two; Violence Against Oneself, Ring Three; Violence Against God, Art, and Nature
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Eight Circle; Fraud

Called Malebolge ("Evil Ditches"): the upper half of the Hell of the Fraudulent and Malicious. The Eighth Circle is a large funnel of stone shaped like an amphitheatre around which run a series of ten deep, narrow, concentric ditches or trenches called bolge (singular: bolgia). Within these ditches are punished those guilty of Simple Fraud. From the foot of the Great Cliff to the Well (which forms the neck of the funnel) are large spurs of rock, like umbrella ribs or spokes, which serve as bridges over the ten ditches.

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Bolgia One; Panderers and Seducers, Bolgia Two; Flatterers, Bolgia Three; Simoniacs, Bolgia Four; Sorcerers, Bolgia Five; Barrators, Bolgia Six; Hypocrites, Bolgia Seven; Thieves, Bolgia Eight; Counsellors of Fraud, Bolgia Nine; Sowers of Discord, Bolgia Ten; Falsifiers
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Central Well of Malebolge



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Ninth Circle; Treachery

At the base of the well is the frozen lake Cocytus, the Ninth Circle of Hell. Trapped in the ice, each according to his guilt, are punished sinners guilty of treachery against those with whom they had special relationships. The lake of ice is divided into four concentric rings (or "rounds") of traitors corresponding, in order of seriousness, to betrayal of family ties, betrayal of community ties, betrayal of guests, and betrayal of lords.

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Round One; Caïna, Round Two; Antenora, Round Three; Ptolomaea, Round Four; Judecca
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Centre of Hell

In the very centre of Hell, condemned for committing the ultimate sin (personal treachery against God), is the Devil. The arch-traitor, Lucifer was once held by God to be fairest of the angels before his pride led him to rebel against God, resulting in his expulsion from Heaven. Lucifer is a giant, terrifying beast trapped waist-deep in the ice, fixed and suffering. He has three faces, each a different color: one red (the middle), one a pale yellow (the right), and one black (the left). The three faces represent a fundamental perversion of the Trinity. Lucifer retains his six wings (he originally belonged to the angelic order of Seraphim), but these are now dark, bat-like, and futile: the icy wind that emanates from the beating of Lucifer's wings only further ensures his own imprisonment in the frozen lake. He weeps from his six eyes, and his tears mix with bloody froth and pus as they pour down his three chins. Each face has a mouth that chews eternally on a prominent traitor.

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11Betrayal
March 18th 2017, 5:49 pm
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