"Hell isn't a kingdom. It can be, but it's not. It's a prison. It's punishment. The worst kind of prison you can imagine; and even then, whatever you imagine pales in comparison to it. It is hell even for the demons. A punishment made of blood, bone, flesh, and fear."
In non-Christian religions, Satan is replaced with some other archdemon or death-god such as the Norse goddess Hel, the Greek god Hades, or the Mesopotamian deity Nergal. But in every depiction Hell is described as the most terrifying, horrible plane of existence where the wicked and sinful are punished for eternity (or at least for immensely long periods of time) for their sins and often in the most horrific of ways.
It is later revealed that Hell is a realm that is said to be far larger than the human world. And that it houses different regions or kingdoms where various devil lords and death gods rule much like the global hierarchy of Earth.
Traditionally in Christianity the suffering of hell is envisioned as hellfire, which is a type of spiritual flame that is capable of burning the very soul of those who commit wrong, and those sentenced to hell must endure an eternity of hellfire while also being tormented day and night by the minions of Satan. The flames of Hell are said to be inextinguishable, and a demon stated that the pain the humans experience on Earth is nothing but a "tick bite" compared to the pain in Hell. Hell can also be seen as a metaphor for a life without God (or other benevolent force) and some religions do not see Hell as a physical place but rather a state of mind caused by sin or darkness.
Hell is similar to Purgatory but differs in the fact that Hell is usually seen as a permanent state of suffering and evil opposed to Purgatory, which is traditionally seen as a place of temporary punishment before being admitted into Paradise. Purgatory, however, is also revealed to be another form of Hell for the monsters of the Earth.
- First Circle of Hell
- It is in Limbo where the souls of the damned are sentenced to their suffering by King Minos.
- Second Circle of Hell
- Here lie the souls of those that let their desire override reason.
- In Lust, there is a hurricane of souls that constantly rages across the Circle.
- Third Circle of Hell
- Here lie the souls of those that devoted themselves to self-indulgence.
- In Gluttony, there are endless storms of mud and human waste.
- Fourth Circle of Hell
- Here lie the souls of those that either horded possessions, or squandered them.
- In Greed, there are seas of molten gold, where the souls of the damned can be seen screaming.
- Fifth Circle of Hell
- Here lie the souls of those who let anger rule their lives.
- In Anger, the damned are cursed to drown in the marshes of the river Styx, and the lower Circles lie behind the walls of the City of Dis, the city walls guarded by fallen angels.
- Sixth Circle of Hell
- Here lies the souls of every heretic and follower of every cult.
- In Heresy, the souls of the damned are trapped inside of flaming tombs.
- Seventh Circle of Hell
- Here lie the souls of those that were violent against others, against self, and against God.
- Violence is broken up into three parts: the Outer, Middle, and Inner Rings. The Outer Ring holds those violent against people and property, and the souls here are immersed in Phlegethon, a river of boiling blood and fire. Centaurs patrol here, and shoot the souls with arrows should they try to get out of the river. The Middle Ring holds the Forest of Suicides, where the souls are turned into gnarled trees and shrubs, then fed upon by Harpies. The Inner Ring is where blasphemers, sodomites, and usurers reside in a desert of flaming sand and fiery flakes rain from the skies.
- Eighth Circle of Hell
- Here lie the souls of those that manipulated others for their own goals.
- Fraud is divided into ten trenches, called Bolgia. Each Bolgia holds a different kind of fraudulent souls:
- Bolgia 1: Panderers and seducers march in separate lines in opposite directions, whipped by demons.
- Bolgia 2: Flatterers are steeped in human excrement, which represents the words they produced.
- Bolgia 3: Those who committed simony are placed head-first in holes in the rock with flames burning on the soles of their feet.
- Bolgia 4: Sorcerers, astrologers, and false prophets here have their heads twisted around on their bodies backward, referring primarily to attempts to see into the future by forbidden means.
- Bolgia 5: Corrupt politicians are immersed in a lake of boiling pitch, which represents the sticky fingers and dark secrets of their corrupt deals.
- Bolgia 6: Hypocrites listlessly walking along wearing gilded lead cloaks, which represent the falsity behind the surface appearance of their actions.
- Bolgia 7: Thieves are pursued and bitten by snakes and lizards. The full horror of the thieves' punishment is revealed gradually: just as they stole other people's substance in life, their very identity becomes subject to theft here, and the snake bites make them undergo various transformations.
- Bolgia 8: Fraudulent advisers or evil counselors are concealed within individual flames. These are not people who gave false advice, but people who used their position to advise others to engage in fraud.
- Bolgia 9: A sword-wielding demon hacks at the Sowers of Discord, dividing parts of their bodies as in life they divided others. As they make their rounds the wounds heal, only to have the demon tear apart their bodies again.
- Bolgia 10: Various sorts of falsifiers (alchemists, counterfeiters, perjurers, and impostors), who are a "disease" on society, are themselves afflicted with different types of diseases.
- Ninth Circle of Hell
- Here lie the souls of those who betrayed that which matters most.
- There are four concentric zones, or "rounds", to Treachery, each in descending order of seriousness, from betrayal of family ties, to betrayal of community ties, betrayal of guests, and betrayal of liege lords.
- Round 1: Named Caïna, after Cain, who killed his brother. Traitors to kindred are here immersed in the ice up to their chins.
- Round 2: Named Antenora, after Antenor of Troy, who according to medieval tradition, betrayed his city to the Greeks. Traitors to political entities, such as parties, cities, or countries, are located here and imprisoned in the same way as the traitors in Caïna.
- Round 3: Named Ptolomaea, after Ptolemy, son of Abubus, who invited Simon Maccabaeus and his sons to a banquet and then killed them. Traitors to their guests are punished here, lying supine in the ice, which covers them, except for their faces. They are punished more severely than the previous traitors, since the relationship to guests is an entirely voluntary one.
- Round 4: Named Judecca, after Judas Iscariot, Biblical betrayer of Christ. Here are the traitors to their lords and benefactors. All of the sinners punished within are completely encapsulated in ice, distorted in all conceivable positions.
- This is the Circle that the Princes of Hell call home.