This article is part of a series on afterlives.
Hell is a finite multilayered plane characterized by the protracted torture and eventual termination of souls. It is the default afterlife: Hell attempts to collect all souls that are undisputed by other necromancy.
Laws and properties
• The physics and metaphysics of Hell are built upon mechanisms similar to those of the Prime Sphere planes; however, there are numerous exceptions.
• Each tier of Hell is understood to be individually capable of thought and magic. Each tier is also inimical to other thinking life, including the other layers.
• The use of magic is possible for visitors and petitioners; however the process of utter death disfigures the ability to use magic, leaving it impossible for witch prisoners.
• The direct opposition of Hespatia is ontologically impossible within the boundaries of Hell.
• It is evidentially possible to emigrate from Hell. The means of magicless escape is the subject of several studies and many hypotheses exist, but it is currently unknown to witchdom at large. The Lilin lineage descends from infernal deserters, but can offer no insight on the exploits of their ancestors.
• It is evidentially possible to earn the cessation of the soul to avoid suffering. Cessation is usually but not always offered to prisoners after a millennium of service. Chances of receiving this offer can be increased through diligent service.
| This section may not provide balanced geographical coverage on the region in question. Please improve this article or discuss the issue on the talk page. (June 2022)
Hinterlands — The hinterlands are vast expanses of volcanic jungle oversaturated with predator life. Prominent among them are deceased leviathans and extinct dinosaurs. Some witches visiting the hinterlands report a sense of invigoration or increased power.
Purgatory — Purgatory contains the ruins and detritus of countless fallen civilizations. The tier attempts to retain sanctity through the petrification of life followed by its integration into architecture. This process involves deanthropomorphization, but not the cessation of consciousness.
Inferno — Inferno is a fathomless well, filled with fire of the viscosity of quicksand. At the base of the well are demonic tormentors, whose exceedingly painful ministrations compel prisoners to attempt swimming upwards. Once a prisoner is proven incapable of "even reflexive struggle or unconscious hope" they are branded and enslaved.
Abyss — The Abyss is an expansive ocean inhabited by higher orders of demons and their slaves. While the extreme water pressure makes existence painful to human bodies, most abyssal suffering stems from demonic malevolence. Demons here take especial interest in the malformation of the human soul, tailoring them into suffering works of art or distorted self-loathing servants.
The Void — Not itself a layer of Hell, the Void is a point of terminus for matter and information that exerts a pull on the rest of the universe. Hell maintains stability upon its precipice, likely through the grace of its patron goddess.
Hell is the second largest planar economy according to 2018 estimates, attributed to the enormity of its population. It is under the effect of numerous travel and economic sanctions. A complete list of participating entities can be found here.
Hell's diversified economy includes agriculture, industry, and a wide range of services. The trade of souls accounted for 10.4% of its GDP in 2015 and unique alchemical ingredients accounted for 6.1%. Industry in Hell - including alchemy, hexed material, computers, and petrochemicals - accounted for 31.5% of its gross domestic product.
Government and politics
Hell is a highly centralized theocracy, fixated on the worship of and obedience to the living deity Hespatia. It maintains a blanket policy of "friendship and free trade" with any polities or entities whose legitimacy it recognizes.
Hespatia assumed absolute power in the August of 1850. The instantiation of her regime has been described as "cosmetic," only minor changes made to the existing processes of Hell. She has been criticized as ignoring all petitions for reform.
It is estimated that Hell claims 33000 souls a day, or a fifth of the total human dead. The necromantic logistics behind this feat are unclear, but Hell's interplanar behavior suggests that unlike other afterlives, it is primarily limited by its ability to claim souls rather than its capacity to host them.
The population of Hell was estimated at 16 billion as of 2021.
See main article: Hespatian Coven
See main article: Criticism of Hell