The Baron's Journey is set in Hell as described by Dante Alighieri in The Divine Comedy, which itself was inspired by many old Greek myths and legends about the underworld. The sheer number of references to ancient and modern works makes Hell a melting pot of many influences, however, they all meld together to form a diverse and chaotic plane of torment. I make many references to The Divine Comedy, Greek myths, as well as the works by more recent authors. In addition, there is a strong influence from dark fantasy video games, like the Dark Souls games and The Witcher series.

Hell is divided into Nine Circles

  1. Limbo: Where the souls of the faithless reside. Since they neither believed in Heaven nor Hell, they are barred from going to either.

  2. Lust: Where the souls of the sexual degenerates are blown about in a constant, violent storm of tearing winds. These gusts mostly ravage the barren valleys and low hills of the area.

  3. Gluttony: Where the souls of the hungry are pelted by endless, freezing rain that collects in semi-frozen pools that spawn the Cold Eels that proliferate all of Hell's icy regions.

  4. Greed: Where the souls of those who sought riches too voraciously now boil in a lake of liquid gold. Those souls who swim to the rim are dragged back one way or another.

  5. Anger: Where the souls of the forever furious do battle in a fetid swamp full of poisons, toxins, venom, and miasma. 

  6. Heresy: Where the souls of the blasphemous burn in eternally raging fires. The fringes of this circle are guarded by mighty fire demons who take pleasure in immolating human souls.

  7. Violence: Where the souls of the wrathful steam in a lakes of boiling blood. The river Phlegethon runs from these red lakes through the Forests of Suicide and then burning dunes.

  8. Fraud: Where the souls of impostors are beaten and tortured in a large variety of ways by demons of all kinds. This circle is very dark and networked by many decrepit causeways.

  9. Treachery: Where the souls of traitors lie amidst the freezing waters of the coldest depths. The greatest traitors, including The Devil himself, are trapped bodily and mentally in agony.

The Baron of Beholders starts his conquest from his cottage in the Ninth Circle of Hell. As he proceeds with his plot of underworld domination, he ascends one circle at a time to collect the required pieces for his plan.

He intends to collect the Souls of powerful beings in order to increase the power of his own. To do so, he plans to confront various titans, monsters, and Lords of the underworld.

The Baron's Goal

Souls

Souls are the currency of Hell. Each one is the culminated life experience of an individual. Every soul arrives in Hell in the shape it was while living, though incorporeal. However, they can still be affected by things in the afterlife, as they are often refined into pure tokens via torture and other processing treatments. The worth of a soul is based on the value they had in life. Most get grouped as common, uninteresting pennies; tiny motes of light. The greatest, and of most worth, are separated and given classifications by those who refine them.

 

For examples: the soul of a human king may come to be known as "The Soul of a Wise Ruler" or the soul of a dragon may come to be called "The Soul of a Fire Drake".

Titles in Hell are given out to Demons based on their achievements and contributions to the underworld. Processing more souls benefits the economy of the underworld and increases the overall power held by Satan, the ruler, and deepest prisoner, of Hell. Also, deeds that increase the amount of souls sent to the afterlife are similarly rewarded.

The rank of the title given (king, prince, etc.) is determined by the greatness of one's accomplishments. The titles are bestowed by Satan's chosen heralds at his command. Titles can change or be revoked at The Devil's will.

Only those who hold a title are allowed to own land and build structures in the Nine Circles. Those who can are able to multiply their power greatly in all manner of ways.

Lords of Hell

Demons

Demons are beings harbouring Infernal Energy: the product of consuming and corrupting souls. This dynamic perversion of life force mutates all things it touches, though in what way is never predictable. The very first demons were created by Satan himself, and became his heralds and envoys; who themselves began creating more and more demons by twisting souls and producing more Infernal Energy that proliferated the various realms of Hell.

A demon is born in one of three ways.

The first is if a pure soul gets corrupted while being refined, which leads to it becoming demonic instead of a being condensed into a small ball of light. A rare occurrence.

The second is if a soul, upon death, is mighty enough to will themselves into a corporeal form. One more suitable to Hell's environment, but similar to their form in the living world. This is exceedingly rare.

The third is if one is born and raised in Hell and absorbs the Infernal Energy of the surroundings organically. Only living beings can reproduce, however, and those are almost never seen. At least, not for long. Demons created like this are one in a million.

It must be noted that the original species and race of an individual has no bearing on their transformation into a demon, nor on how their soul reacts to Infernal Energy.

The Nine Laws

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  6. Fusing souls is forbidden: The process of fusing souls merges the life experiences of two or more individuals together, however the one with the most willpower always persists over others. Since this amalgamation combines various separate souls into one, it results in Hell losing individual souls. This is akin to guiding souls out of the underworld and is to be met with the same punishment.

  7. Those who harm angels are to be executed: In addition to Lucifer being an angel, sometimes his brothers and sisters who serve God descend into the underworld on Heaven's business. As The Devil is the eternal prisoner of Heaven, he is subject to the laws of God. Angels are to be treated as emissaries under the protection of the Almighty.

  8. Executions for laws broken may only be performed by Lucifer's heralds: In order to ensure that justice is dealt accordingly, only Satan's trusted elite may carry out a sentence. Any found to perform an illegal execution in name of The Devil will themselves be executed.

Chaos without order is wasteful. Lucifer and his elite know this, therefore they organize Hell with a few laws meant to ensure the perfect amount of chaos: enough to increase the flow of souls but not enough to destroy the underworld's economy through unpredictable events.

  1. Violence is always to be met with violence: Confrontation between individuals is encouraged in Hell, as it allows for the processing of more souls. This law pertains to all forms of violence: physical, mental, and spiritual.

  2. The rightful owner of a soul is the one who possesses it: There are often debates between demons about who owes who souls, as the greedy are constantly trying to extort one another. However, no one in Hell save The Devil himself has a right to claim any soul. All souls rightfully belong to those who hold them, even if they were just taken from someone else. All claims of ownership to something not currently held are invalid.

  3. Only Lords may hold land: To have property in Hell, one needs to prove their worth to The Devil by being noteworthy enough in soul collection and processing to gain a title.

  4. Only demons may hold titles: Although other forms of life can exist in the underworld, only demons may be given titles as they are part of the realm due to their bodies being sufficiently full of Infernal Energy.

  5. Those found guiding souls out of Hell are to be executed: Hell gains its might from souls, losing them in any capacity is seen as one of the worst kinds of events. Those found aiding souls in fleeing from the underworld are to be executed immediately if said souls pass beyond Hell's borders.

  6. Those who obstruct Lucifer's heralds are to be executed: As Satan is imprisoned for eternity, he needs his heralds to travel about Hell and make sure there is a steady stream of souls heading toward its cold heart, where Lucifer uses them for his Eternal Bail.

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