"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
- Revelation 21:8 (King James Version.)
Lucifer (who represents Pride)
Mammon (who represents Greed)
Asmodeus (who represents Lust)
Leviathan (who represents Envy)
Beelzebub (who represents Gluttony)
Satan (who represents Wrath)
Belphegor (who represents Sloth)
When Hell was first created, the realm was very much like Dante Alighieri's depiction of it in his work, the Divine Comedy. However, as the Demons changed from their old Angelic traits and became darker, Hell changed with them. The realm evolved into a living thing, with power to crush even the Princes if it so wished, though it as yet to do so. The once structured lands of Hell have long since gone, as Hell is now ever changing. In place of the Circles, the realm is now divided into seven regions with ever-shifting borders. Each region is governed by a different Prince, though the region of Pride is said to always be the largest. At the center of Hell, where the seven regions meet, lies the city of Dis, acting as a capital. With the landscape constantly changing, the only things that ever remain relatively the same are Dis, and the five Rivers of Hell: Styx, Plegethon, Acheron, Lethe, and Cocytus.
The capital of Hell, the city is surrounded by a massive, impenetrable wall. The river Acheron cuts through the city, and surrounding the city is a lake formed by the river Cocytus. The only way into the city is to cross one of the bridges over the lake. There are seven bridges into Dis, one for each region.
The river of hate, the Styx, while considered one of Hell's rivers, actually flows to all three afterlives. Reapers deliver the souls of the dead to the ferrymen of the Styx, who then take them to their destined afterlife. It is impossible to cross the Styx without the help of a ferryman, and many souls have become trapped in the river after trying to jump ship and avoid going to Hell.
The river of fire, Phlegethon is a river of molten lava and brimstone that runs the perimeter of Hell, acting as it's border. The Phlegethon runs parallel to the Styx, and is one of the most consistent landmarks in Hell, as the realm neither grows or shrinks.
The river of sorrow, Acheron is the prime river of Hell. It cuts directly through Dis, and the other rivers all flow into it at some point. Souls that lived a good life but were not devout can be found living along the banks of the Acheron, where they are left alone by the other denizens of Hell.
The river of forgetfulness, the Lethe is the only river that constantly changes location, as if even Hell forgets where its waters should lie. Should someone touch the waters of the Lethe, they will lose all of their memories, essentially leaving them a blank slate.
The river of lamentation, Cocytus is the smallest of the five rivers. It forms a large lake around the city of Dis, as well as having various outlying marshes.
Visions of Hell
Occasionally, when someone has a near-death experience, they will catch glimpses of Hell. These are but a few examples.
"I could see people, wandering around smoldering roads. Their skin and bodies burned so bare I could barely tell one from another. It seemed they were all afraid to even speak, all of them either lay on the smoldering rock near huts of metal and smashed stone in makeshift buildings, or waddling through the roads as if they're bodies were wracked with such pain that the mere movement was nearly unbearable. I could not see water, or even food, where I looked. All I could see was fire. Fire, molten rock, naught but fire and Molten Rock. Before I awoke, I saw one such resident struck by a bolt of lightning, as if it deliberately sought him out as a target. Even though his body had been blown in pieces, his eyes and tongue moved, indicating that he was not spared from feeling the sensation of total dismemberment"
- Father Aherne, Roman Catholic Priest from Dublin, Ireland, circa 1945.
"It was just...fire, everywhere! Lord Almighty, it was fire and brimstone everywhere! Neat, organized roads of black glass, people hangin' by meat hooks like they was a side of beef being slow-roasted whole! Spiders kept crawlin' all over them, biting them! Everywhere they bit, it turned blue, like a bruise, I swear to God! Satan an' his spiders are waiting for sinners, I knows it now!"
- Pastor Kane, Baptist Preacher from Damascus, Georgia, December 3rd, 1989
"I don't kn-know...it w-was...black, I think. Like...really black. Uh...I h-heard like...uh...uh...like a dull...m-moan, I-I gu-guess. I could hear things moving in the d-dark...b-but...I couldn't move. It was...scary...rea-really, really scary."
- Thomas Wightman, age 10, from Winnipeg, Canada, circa 1960