Acheron's 8th Circle
NOTE: All circles include The Lost Caverns
1st Circle: The Gauntlet
2nd Circle: Corridors of the Dead, The Warrens
3rd Circle: Path of Souls, Arcador (the city of vampires)
4th Circle: Dreamland Shrine, Temple of Dragons
5th Circle: City of Angels, The Sprawl, Chasm of Judgment
6th Circle: The Stronghold, River of Souls, Pit of Acheron, Cavern of Souls
7th Circle: Capital City, Path of Fire, Oubliette
8th Circle: Shrine of Fire, City of Demons, Shrine of Chaos, Haunted Mine, Lake of Fire
9th Circle: The Deadly Warrens, The Great Abyss
Shrine of Fire: A remote shrine by the Lake of Fire where ceremonies are performed which tap the forces of the lake of fire to create creatures and elementals from the lake of fire, and to harness the power of the lake.
The City of Demons:Near the lake of fire, this city is too hot for those who do not have a high resistance to heat.
Palace of Sammael:Where the Prince of Demons resides.
Temple of Sammael:where demonic ceremonies and arts are practiced.
Shrine of Chaos: Accessed from the Pit of Acheron and the Shelf of Chaos.
1) The Tower, The Shrine of Chaos: was very tall, 289 feet, 6 inches in height, the turret overlooking the ledge above its base. It was a cylindrical tower but had many ledges, sculpted protrusions, and sheer faces alike. Ghost-like moss and black vines clung to the shrine in places, feeding off of spirit energy and likewise feeding it into Acheron. The shrine sat on an island of obsidian that was two steps up from the ground all the way around, and stood only seven yards from the wall of the pit, from which it had been carved. The base of the shrine was 220 yards across, inclusive of the twelve foot thick outter wall of the ediface. Each floor/ceiling was 26 inches thick.
2) Entries: There were two, ten foot square, open entrances to the shrine from the ground floor; north, facing the throat, and south, facing the pit wall, with a roof approximately 66 feet above the south facing door. In this shrine, the doorways (there were no doors on the entries) were level with the ground the shrine stood on.
3) Chamber of Mediation, Ground Floor: The first floor was just a large empty room with a round pool of clear water at the center of the capacious chamber. Despite its crystaline translucence, the pool's depth could not be told. Voices were amplified in echoes in this, the Chamber of Mediation. If one discovered the pool's depths the hard way, they would be pulled into the potent currents of the waterway which poured into the Haunted Mine's depths, which led eventually to a deep lake within that cavern, the same cavern which led at length upward to the Oubliette of the 7th circle.
4) Ramp: A conch-like ramp spiraled up against the tower wall to another chamber 66 feet above the ground floor.
5) Hidden Chamber, Sleeping Quarters, 2nd Story: There was another chamber between the ground and third story which could not be accessed from inside, and even from without its doorway was hidden. The chamber merely housed the sleeping quarters of any resident priests and the master chamber of the Hierophant.
6) The Temple, 3rd Story: Where the ramp leveled on the third story; an antechamber was entered about ten feet deep which opened into the Temple's immense chamber, where statues stood in nooks all the way around the wall, radiating from the round hall at the center of them. The statues, each about ten feet high, were of various demons, angels, and gods which were incarnates of chaos and its great cycle. A door across the room between the Morning Star and Erisetki statues, in their most divine forms, opened onto a balcony which bridged the distance between the shrine and the wall of the pit. It was 21 feet deep. Morbius had passed beneath this balancy when he had come around behind the shrine. Against the pit wall a stone table stood between two stairways which ascended to a single wide stairway.
7) Hidden Chamber, The Practicum, 4th Story: The stairway curved around the outside of the shrine to another balcony on the front side of the ediface with a magnificent view of the abyss from 100 and 20 feet up. One could gaze down into the pit's throat from this balcony to see how the gigantic ledges descended into the void like a great, roughly hewn stairway for some legendary titan. If one had spirit sight they could see spirits by the hundreds or even the thousands, swirling ever downward, drawn in gradual revolutions by the weight of their iniquities and torments towards their doom in the cold black ether. The souls shed vapors like ribbons which the walls of the abyss absorbed, feeding Acheron their fading life forces before oblivion snuffed them in the black below. Indeed these abyss bound spirits were called Fades. There was no doorway that could be 'seen' behind that high balcony and only the sheer glass wall of the tower's facade above it; where at the cusp of the tower small balconies thrust out at even intervals around the tower, not six feet deep, from open, arched doorways just large enough for a winged being of tall human stature to enter.
8) Hidden Chamber, 5th-7th Stories, The Archives: Between the Hidden Chamber of the 4th story and 8th story were the chambers of the Archives, where a great library of books dealing with chaos and its applications, and many scrolls of powers learned in the process were stored, the books in locking bookcases, and the scrolls in cylinder tubes in locked chests. Each was numbered and lettered, cataloged in great tomes, and arranged on the shelves and in their chests alphabetically. One could look under F and find anything from the 'Fazing of Aagromaen' to the 'Future Zaxes of Zaxien' (a pair of slate cutting hatchets imbued with the power to send someone into a future envisioned by the arch devil Zaxien).
9) Hidden Chamber, The Wards, 8th Story: On the eighth story is a hidden chamber which houses a massive, elaborately runed, geodesic sphere of solid agate, which levitates above a pedastal which it sits on if inactive (which is rare and only when the wards are being improved or restructured). The energy radiating from this giant geodesic orb of mottled colours and sedimentary bands is tremendous and can be felt throughout the entire shrine as a subliminal hum, which to those in tuned with elemental and arcane energies, is much more pronounced. Though complex and multifaceted, the shrine's wards only became apparent if something triggered them, such as someone trying to damage any part of the shrine or break in to one of its sealed chambers.
10) The Aboratum, 9th Story: Below the roof of the shrine was a tranquil 'sculpture garden' where waterfalls filled pools of healing water and braziers fueled by Acheron's eternal furnace lit the chamber and its many statues in a sultry orange light. The statues ranged from divines both dark and light to monsters and animals. They were there purely for the sake of contemplation. The name too was for simple reasons... it was the aboral chamber most opposite the entrance far below. There were open doors at intervals all around this immense chamber which led to small balaconies which overlooked the Shelf of Chaos and Shelf of Abbadon below it, and the Shelf of Shadows which stretched out around it high above the Shelf of Chaos and the shrine's base. From the south central balcony a narrow flight of stairs hugged the shrine's outter wall and led up to the Observatory roof.
11) The Observatory, Roof of the Tower: The turret of the shrine was a great open expanse with no wall of safety between that extreme height and the ground set so perilously deep below. There was nothing on the roof, just the flat glassy surface of the solid, 26 inch thick floor beneath your feet. From here, one could see down into the abyss and all the 2nd ledge of the 7th circle above the shrine all the way around the abyss.
The Aboratum and turret Observatory could only be reached by flight or by climbing the tower. Only one route reached the Arboratum, all other climbs resulting in dead ends. Other chambers in the shrine were hidden and could only be accessed by words of power, enchanted keys, or hidden doors. There were also secret chambers in the basement of the shrine. What the ranger and trueborn could not get to they were not meant to get to.
12) The Dying Stairs: Beneath the shrine, accessed by a hidden trap door just outside the shrine in the back of it, is a meandering, often steep stairwell which descends through a tunnel. It leads first to a dungeon-like area beneath the shrine where some of the Morning Star's most highly regarded prisoners are held captive, though they never know the Morning Star sees promise in them until after they have proved themselves faithful to him. The stairway continues on its meandering route, accessing other stairways, which interconnect with stairs that access every level of the pit, as well as many chambers in between. Some tunnels have collapsed however and the ledges they once led to can only be accessed by flight or dimension travel. The stairway from the shrine however, leads at length to the Ninth Circle of the pit... where only the dying, the undead, or god-like entities can enter without having their life sucked out of them by the abyss which looms only a few hundred feet below.
Haunted Mine: Accessed from the Shelf of Chaos, Pit of Acheron.
This cavern's entrance is across the gaping throat of the abyss from the Shrine of Chaos. Only one area of the pit is mined, and the 'Haunted Mine' is it. A natural cavern which is mined for gems and precious metals, the entrance of this cavern leaves the pit walls behind as its tunnels meander upward towards the 7th circle and downward all the way to the ninth circle were a deep lake, called Ssetimorgal, bores into the rock. Protected from the abyss by a mile thick layer of rock, the lake's tranquill, pleasantly warm water, can lure one into a state of deluded tranquility by which the lake can drain one of their vital essence (all checks) and very life. At length this cavern leads upward from the 8th circle to the Shelf of Shadows and Acheron's Oubliette in the 7th Circle.
The Lake of Fire:is a deep layer of magma in the basin of the 8th level which surrounds the 9th level of Acheron, its basin a hard crust of rock cooled by the abyss and cold rock of the Ninth Circle. This lake is always filled with boiling lava. Fissures all over Acheron feed the heat from the lava (and in some places the flames) throughout Acheron, keeping it warm, in some places hot, and illuminated by its warm glow.
Lost Caverns of the 8th Circle:Vast caverns where only monsters, spirits, and solitaries dwell.