- Posted: Wed, 16 Jun 2010 05:26:56 +0000
Upon wondering the many lands and realms of the Gods, a vast doorway laden with the riches of the earth is carved into a giant wall of onyx rock. Giant black gates had been opened up to allow people through. People were gathering at the opening as they seemed to cluster around a sign. Walking closer you realize there is a man, all clad in black, standing beside it. Pushing past the throng of people you can now read what the sign says. In, what looks to be questionable red paint, there is a slash across bold, black letters that read, “DO NOT ENTER!” You see that there is more written underneath and quickly divulge the writing’s meaning.
“Welcome to the realm of Hades, the God of the Underworld, whom has opened up his realm to you for this very special occasion. But beware of the souls and do not drink the river water. The consequences could be... grave. Enter at your own risk…”
After reading the sign you notice that the person beside the sign has started directing people towards the giant black stairway that leads down into the darkness. He smiles as he watches you go by, “Don’t lose your head down there.” his cackling laugh follows you as you make your way to the stairs.
Standing in the middle of the stairway entrance, you peer down the great spiral staircase into what seems to be a dark abyss. Torches lick and flicker against the stone walls in their ghastly shades of yellow, green, blue, red and purple as they are held up in skulls made of precious metals and adorned with gems like those of the entrance. Cold air brushes past you, drawing your eyes away from the walls as it sucks you in and makes you take those first steps down those stairs, drawing you into the darkness.
After a long, spiralling walk down, you feel the air begin to change around you. It begins to get humid as it starts to feel like the moisture in the air has become sticky against your flesh. You can hear water dripping around you as voices waft around in the air from further down. Looking back up you can see the tiny pinpoint of light, like a single star in a sea of darkness. Bidding farewell to the surface and safety that you knew, you turn back to the darkness and pressed onwards towards the unknown.
The voices grow louder as you get closer and closer to them. Your stomach tightens and flutters at the same time as your heart beats like a scared bird trapped in a cage. You see a light just up ahead spilling from a large doorway. Drawn to this strange ethereal light you stumble over to the doorway to gaze upon a massive cavern set aglow by the river in the center.
A crowd has grown at a large dock which houses an even larger ferry, and one like you have never seen. Black as the night, it is decorated in silver swirls and skulls, with nets laid over the sides. A tall man, clad in white with a large hood that shrouds his face so you can see nothing but his tight lipped expression stands with one foot on the dock and the other on the ferry as he ushers people on to it. “Come on people! Down you go, I don’t have all day.” He calls out to group.
His hand shoots up to stop someone, whom you notice is not solid in the least. You look around and notice that several others there are see-through as well, waiting to board the boat along with the corporeal. “No! Not you souls. Not until you pay the fare. Now back! Back! And make way for the living! Hurry it up before they die too!” he huffs at them. His impatience is duly noted as he taps his foot on the stone dock. “Last call for all you living and souls with fare!” He shouts, snapping you out of your little daze as you rush past him and onto the ferry, sitting at the edge furthest from him.
The hooded man boards the ferry and grabs the oar that has been resting against it. He submerges it into the white water and pushes them away from the dock and into the middle of the river. “For those of you that don’t know, I am Charon your boatman today to deliver you as…guests of Master Hades to his Palace.” His voice rings out over them as the sounds of the odd water rushing past the ferry floats around you. “We shall be passing by the Rivers. So ladies and gent’s, I suggest you keeps your hands and feet in the ferry till we reach our destination. Lest you wish to have to pay the fare.” He chuckles and grins in a way that makes your stomach tighten in knots.
He guides the boat with ease into the faster current. “Were you not listening?!” His voice booms, directed at a boy across from you on the other side of the ferry (who has his hand reached halfway to the surface of the water). “The Rivers are tainted by souls and are known to have strange effects on those who make contact with it!” He growls and mutters to himself as he shakes his head. Everyone else on the ferry draws closer to the center of the ferry.
Your curiosity draws you to look over the side of the ferry to see the souls in the river. They moan and groan now that you notice, calling out to you to help them. They outstretch their hands to you, begging you to free them and promising gifts and riches for you help. An oar shoots up into the side of your view, sending the spirits in the river to scream and scatter. “Did you not just hear me yelling at that young whelp over there child?” Charon snarls at you.
At a complete loss for words you stare, open mouthed at him as he goes back to steering the ferry. “Wont be much longer!” He calls out. “We’re already on the River Cocytus. We just passed Acheron and we’re coming up to Lethe and Phlegethon, then finally Styx. The dock there leads directly to the palace gates where Cerberus should be if he hasn’t wandered off again. But it won’t take long, feel free to relax. But not too much.” He says with a sly grin.
And indeed it is not long before you can see the massive palace. The ferry bumps against the dock with a thud and Charon ties it to one of the support beams. “Living first!” He calls out as he starts helping people out of the ferry. You stand up and join the rest of the living that are piling out and onto the dock. Charon quickly grabs your shoulder, stopping you dead. “Stay away from the river. Next time I won't stop them from taking your reckless self off and over my ferry.” He growls before letting go and helping more people out.
You stand with the rest of the living around the dock as Charon turns to you all. “One last piece of advice to you before you’re all out of my sight and care. Do not attempt or even bother to think about stealing Master Hades’ possessions or he will make sure the last thing you see is the growling face of his pet dog, Cerberus.” And with that he turns away from you and the rest of the living to yell at the dead left in the boat some more.
You turn around to see a massive, majestic building looming over you, surrounded by dark coloured gates and a landscape that could only be described as hauntingly otherworldly. Boldly, you and the other living occupants step through the giant doorway into the palace.
Upon stepping through, a massive man with three dog heads approaches you and the rest of the group. "Welcome. Allow me to show you to Master Hades." The middle head says reverently. The right head yawns. "Don't bother going in. It'll be a bore of a night." The left head decides to add his two cents. "Go sniff yourself! They shouldn't even be here!" The three heads continue to argue quietly as they lead you through the halls of the palace
A grand sight greets you as you make your way further into the palace. The palace is decorated in expensive and precious metals, gold designs shining exquisitely on the black walls. The end of the hallway gives way to a massive room, filled with columns and statues adorned with precious metals and gems. At the center of this room is a giant throne made of bones atop a plateau of stairs. At the bottom of these stairs stand four figures. Two massive males, one with white hair and black robes and the other with dark brown and reddish brown robes, stand dressed in robes and metals while they converse with one another. Beside them stand two females who seem to be complete opposites of each other. Though both are dressed in dark robes and metals, one carries a sword while the other has adorned herself in flowers.
The massive man in the black robes turns from the other male to look out at all the people gathered in the room. He smiles, sending cold shivers down your spine. “Hello.” He says, his voice filling the air and ringing through out the massive room. “I am Hades. Welcome to my palace.”