The Station

Some few find their way here through other means, but almost all the denizens (and all of the souls) come here by way of the Station. The Ferryman has changed from a boatsman to a conductor, but he still makes his deliveries of the damned from every multiverse every day. The number of passengers varies between times of war and peace, but regardless of the number of new residents of this forsaken plane, the shrieking sound of the Helltrain whistle can be heard nomatter the distance from the Station.

There is no office, staff or ticket counter, for none are needed; no tickets are sold here. The Helltrain is a one-way trip, and this is the destination. The structure itself is a massive edifice of marble columns and granite walkways covering an inconceivably long strip of land thousands of kilometers long. No human station past or present was ever that large, but then, no mortal station ever had to unload a million souls at once.

The Helltrain

The Helltrain is rather out of place sitting in the Station. Where the latter is drab and lifeless, the former feels alive and malicious. A red and black paint job covers an unyielding metal body, and despite the lack of any spikes or macabre artwork, none who see it doubt for an instant that this is the Chariot of the Gaoler, dragging the damned to their fate.

To describe this machine in terms of size and length is a folly of the mortal mind; such concepts simply do not apply to such a vehicle. One moment the Station is empty, the next the Helltrain is unloading the daily assemblage. With nary a sound, the Station is empty again. Suffice it to say, boarding at this Station is nearly impossible.

The City

Surrounding the Station is the only set of structures within the entire plane that can rightly be called a city. However, the classification is itself something of a misnomer, because the City is best sized in megametres. The Helltrain has been delivering souls here since the dawn of humanity, and the City has been growing nonstop since.

Visually, it looks something like 1800s Paris, with multistory domiciles and broad boulivards. Back streets and alleys are suitably cramped and confined, though strangely there is little to no refuse cluttering them further.

Elsewhere

The land outside the City is vast and truly endless. While possible, it takes an inordinate amount of time to travel far enough to lay eyes on ground not touched by the damned. Most find that they don't actually want to spend an eternity in solitude, and eventually even the staunchest of loners will make their way back to what passes for civilization here.

The True Meaning of Hell

What makes this slightly odd but otherwise normative plane worthy of the title Hell is the nature of its reality, for here there is no mystery. The feeling of surprise is simply absent from this demesne. That isn't to say that everyone knows everything, only that the souls of the damned cannot feel surprised anymore, and with surprise goes innovation, curiousity, and almost every other emotion. They all know of these things, and have memories of them from their time alive, but the memory is not the feeling, and it does nothing but inform them of their lack.

This knowledge of lacking drives the damned to do everything possible to regain what has been forever lost. Men and women drink, but cannot find dissolution. They work, but cannot find enjoyment in the completion of their task. They talk, but it lacks substance, wit, and humor. They laugh, but it has no heart. They make love, but there is no enjoyment in it, only the desire to feel once again what has been lost.

This Hell needs no demons, no nightmarish monstrosities to torture inhabitants for eternity; their memories of life do more than the infernalis ever could. True Hell is in the knowing of the lack, and the inability to change it.

Entrance and Exit

The living who wish to enter this realm need merely to board the Helltrain. Among the infinitude of stops it makes daily, it will stop here to disgorge passengers. Those who wish to leave again will find the task much harder. The only exit is to take the train back out, and as mentioned before, that is no easy task. Even once the train has been reboarded, one must somehow persuade the Conductor to allow passage back across the Veil. This is no trivial task, for the Conductor is a heavyweight in the halls of divine power and takes his task seriously. Souls come into the Hells, they do not come back out.

No mere spirit can withstand his fury, nor can vanilla mortals; only those on level with a godling can hope to stand against him and force their way back out. Assuming they haven't already succumbed to the draining nature of this reality...

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