Lower World

From Mediwikiknightipedia, the free Medieval Knights! encyclopedia.

The Lower World - a rather unpleasant place where naughty people living in the land of Medieval Knights! go when they die (or are dragged bodily down into, if particularly unfortunate) - is #1 in the book The Top 100 Lousy Places to Spend a Vacation, narrowly beating out "a cesspit" and "your own workplace".

In the Beginning... (...it Still Sucked.)

The Lower World remained mostly undeveloped (except for the occasional strip mall) until four powerful elemental entities happened upon it. They were known as Moloch, Dispater, Polydegmon, and Asmodeus. They found that, in the Lower World, they had power to make Decrees (world-changing incantations). Their first Decree was to bring light to the Lower World, thus leading to their title of Lucifer ("light-bearer"; Latin lux (light) + fer).

They took one good look around. They then made their second Decree, to make it dark again.

Each one decided to take a quarter of the land (henceforth called "Realms") and reform it in his own image:

  • Asmodeus, a water elemental, made a palace of ice on an island in a half-frozen lake.
  • Moloch, a fire elemental, made a palace of steel in the center of a lake of magma.
  • Polydegmon, an air elemental, banished much of the land and Decreed that the top of his realm would be affixed to the bottom. Thus, things can fall forever. His palace is built on one of the floating islands that roam his Realm.
  • Dispater, an earth elemental (as if it weren't obvious), kept things about the same. He built a nice ranch house with an attractive lawn in the far corner of his Realm and politely told everyone else to screw off while he took a nap.

4 Realms of the Lower World So, the land was neatly divided into four Realms. Looking at it from overhead, each Realm appears roughly the same size. The four rectangular Realms are arranged so that they don't share borders with the element they oppose, thus keeping nasty fire/water interactions and such to a minimum. Moloch (fire) shares borders with Polydegmon (air) and Dispater (earth), but only touches Asmodeus's Realm at the very center of the Lower World where all four Realms meet.

Everything was fine, until the dead humans started arriving.

Tragedy of the Commons. Stress on the "Common".

At some point, humans popped into existence. Widely believed to be the pinnacle of achievement for a system that consistently underachieved, these flawed creatures made a depressing habit of dying on a regular basis. Indeed, they quickly started applying their 1400cc brains to the task of finding new ways to kill each other, as if time, diseases and various nonhuman creatures weren't doing it fast enough.

Dead evil humans go to the Lower World, specifically to whichever Realm best suits means of death or - if death is by unspectacular means such as disease - method of body disposal. Drowning victims and burials at sea went to Lucifer Asmodeus's realm, while Lucifer Moloch got all the immolations and cremations. Lucifer Dispater got the burials and Lucifer Polydegmon laughed hysterically at his brothers, because airplanes had yet to be invented.

Repeated attempts to destroy these simpering new arrivals failed, and the Lucifers decided to do something more productive, if less entertaining. They began Decreeing lower forms of life into existence, who neatly took the day-to-day work of dead-dealing out of the hands of the Lucifers.

And then it was discovered that just because a human landed in a realm, he didn't have to stay there.

Oh, great, I have to deal with the other three morons.

Interaction and wheeling-dealing suddenly became profitable. Asmodeus and Polydegmon, with the fewest new arrivals, offered to take some of the dead off the hands of the other Lucifers, in exchange for non-Decreeable resources and other considerations.

Polydegmon made a deal with Dispater and became master of efficient storage, building giant columns (so large that they met at the ends) of coffin-sized cabinets in which to store the humans. Before long the humans that had built crude societies all around the Earth Realm and generally soiled Dispater's well-manicured lawn were rounded up and locked in small boxes for all eternity. This suited Dispater fine.

Asmodeus took much of Moloch's dead, but also embarked on a rather interesting campaign. Importing lava along with the humans, he turned the largest island - actually a modestly-sized continent - of his Water Realm into a fire-and-brimstone nightmare, Decreeing red-skinned demons into existence to personally torment the humans. He also created a conduit, allowing some humans to temporarily escape back into their own land in noncorporeal form. These ghosts told their living kin about the torments of the Lower World. Asmodeus's torture became so notorious that before long, living humans associated the word "Lucifer" and the concept of hellfire with Asmodeus and Asmodeus alone. Asmodeus sincerely hopes that this will convince people to be either very good, and thus gain access to the Upper World upon death, or figure out a way to cheat death.

All four of the Lucifers have sent their inhuman agents up to the world above to try figure out how to keep people from coming down. However, such fact-finding missions usually end in violence and, therefore, more people coming down. For several years, they've kept their charges quietly at home.

Pandemonium. The good kind.

Desire to speed trading somewhat led to the development of a city, Pandemonium ("all demons", Greek pan- + Late Latin daemonium (demon)), at the spot in the center of the Lower World where the four Realms meet. It was Decreed neutral ground by the four Lucifers, and now exists outside their direct control.

Recent developments.

While known more for trading partnerships than coalitions for the common good, the Lucifers recently formed a multilateral group to see if they could do something about the increasing stream of humans coming down. Since the only viable option seems to be "kill them all so they won't breed anymore", the group is mostly charged with doing just that. Dispater, despite having the most to gain, bowed out for reasons unknown. (The most popular theory of his motivations involves another nap.) Thus, the others formed the Trilucifer Commission. Based in Pandemonium, the most powerful henchmen of the three particpating Lucifers gather to delegate, debate, and get really stinking drunk while the boss can't watch them. Due to the infrequency of the delegation and debate and the high frequency of the drinking, very little has been done.

On occasion, they sober up enough to send expeditionary forces to the land of the humans; these forays are generally beer runs. The ones that aren't alcohol-soaked are to scout out new opportunities to eradicate humans, like if there's some trendy new disease they can encourage into a plague.

New beer is gleefully accepted in lieu of new opportunities, though.

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