The Underworld is a metaphysical labyrinth of subterranean tunnels and caverns that can be accessed through either Graveyard gates or Avernian Gates. Here, the souls of the dead collect when they can no longer hold on to the living world. This place is not Hell, but neither is it Heaven, and most ghosts are not happy to be here as they can no longer attempt to complete their business from beyond the grave. It is not a safe place for the living to venture, for some ghosts are sorrowful, some are vengeful, some are mad, and all are desperate. The traveler is always moving downhill or uphill, never flat. The subterranean halls are bleak, but often punctuated with bright colors, reminders for the dead of the living world. This place offers many dangers but many rewards. It's easy to get lost, easy to go mad, and easy to become addicted to the plethora of sinful pleasures found in the Great Below. But if a traveler perseveres, they can find great treasure, power, and knowledge, perhaps even the secrets of Death itself.
There are many entrances to the Underworld all over the world. Some open only at specific times, some stay locked until the right key is used, and there are rumors that some are always open. Anyone who is able to find the way to open these doors can enter the Underworld.
Avernian Gates occur in cenotes, or "low places." Interestingly enough, the place doesn't have to be subterranean (though most are) or even at a low altitude (caves high up in the mountains work just fine). Some areas have a high concentration of cenotes, while others may have only one. All cenotes are connected to the idea of death in some way, and the wall that separates the living world and the Great Below is thin here, creating an Avernian Gate.
The majority of Avernian Gates require keys to open. The key can be anything, from a very vague and simple idea (the gate can be opened by someone who has "seen death") to something very specific and complex (a series of actions must be carried out in exact order at specific times). Anyone who knows the key may open the Gate. Sin-Eaters have a cheat - a geist acts as a key in a way, so a simple ceremony known by most Sin-Eaters can open any Gate. Likewise, a Sin-Eater is able to create a gate where none was previously.
Some people are naturally gifted with the ability to open Gates. They are referred to as Gate Keepers. Some never learn of their gift; others may know of it their whole lives. For whatever reason, they are able to open any Gate at will.
Note: It is theoretically possible for Crúac or Theban Sorcery to open an Avernian Gate. A Death 3 Perfecting spell can open an extant gate for a short while, while a Death 5 Making spell can create a gate. There is a rite used primarily by the Lodge of Death that can open a gate into the Underworld. A high level clause of the Contract of Shade and Spirit allows a changeling to open a gate to the Underworld.
Every graveyard has a Graveyard Gate. This fact is not widely known to most people, and they are often confused for Avernian Gates (probably because Avernian Gates can and do occur in graveyards). These gates are different than Avernian Gates in that they do not need a key to be opened. As such, Sin-Eaters have as much difficulty opening them as anyone else. Graveyard Gates have been known to open on their own and actually suck the living in. Finding the Gate involves being able to detect the Death Energy it has, though detecting it doesn't mean the characters know what it is or how to open it. Those who are closer to Death or are Undead (such as Moros Mages or Vampires) have a very easy time finding them. Opening a Graveyard Gate involves commanding or asking them to open, and then shedding a drop of blood. (The blood must come from a living person and be real blood). Then, the character must ask permission to enter. Those who are very much "Alive" or have a strong connection to Life (such as Thyrsus Mages or Werewolves) have an easier time with this.
Gateways exist in the Shadow Realm that lead directly into the Underworld. They often form in places that have been saturated in Death, such as graveyards, morgues, battlefields, or death camps. In the Shadow, they look like little more than a cavern, which can mislead a Werewolf into thinking that the Underworld is another part of the Shadow. These gates generally don't have keys, and may have death spirits hanging around. Occasionally, a spirit may wander over, but this is extremely rare. It has also been speculated that there is some connection between rivers in the Shadow Realm and the Underworld Rivers, although it is not clear how the two connect.
The layout of the Underworld is the ultimate Labyrinth. It's easy to get lost, even in the Upper Reaches. However, this world is one of stasis. Change does not come easily, so the passages are always the same until someone actively alters them. This makes it possible to get or make maps, though only a very small portion has been mapped out.
The Autochthonous Depths
These are the Upper Reaches, where all travelers come first upon entering the Underworld. The ghosts of the Autochthonous Depths are almost all less than 100 years old. It is usually a series of narrow passages with the occasional larger, more open area, though large caverns are almost unheard of. This is the place that draws the most on the living world for its appearance, both geographically and culturally (specifically the cultural treatment of the dead). Most who travel to the Underworld do not go beyond this area.
The Dead Dominions
Beyond the first River lies the remainder of the Underworld, referred to as the Dead Dominions. These are places where the Kerberoi dwell and the Old Laws hold sway. Here, older ghosts have been drawn down by the gravity of the Underworld. The longer a ghost remains in the Underworld, the deeper they are drawn. The Dominions are much harder to map, and many report seeing the same Dominions at different depths. The Lower Mysteries become more and more strange as one travels deeper. The deeper a Dominion is, the more Old Laws it is likely to have and the more powerful and alien the Kerberoi and ghosts become. The following Dead Dominions are listed in canon:
- Dead Man's Hand - This Wild West-like Dominion is easiest found when lost. It is nominally controlled by the Death Valley Krewe, one of whom is slowly turning into the Dominion's Kerberos. It has two Old Laws: "Your Word is Your Bond" and "What Isn't Claimed is Claimable."
- The Killing Fields - The Killing Fields is filled with two armies: Crimson, the army of rage, which serves the Kerberos Dominus, and White, the army of efficiency, which serves the Kerberos Clockwork, who are rivals for control of the Dominion. The Old Laws are: "Fealty Shall Be Sworn," "No Quarter Shall Be Given," and "There Shall Be Order in the Ranks," and this forces the two armies into an endless, brutally stalemated conflict.
- Lowgate Prison - Lowgate Prison acts as the "justice system" of the Underworld, where Yama, the Kerberos, and his cadre of judges imprison those who break Old Laws in any of the Dominions until they are suitably punished, and, hopefully, disabused of all vice. The Old Laws are: "The Guilty Must Submit," "Freedom Must Be Earned," "Violence Begets Violence," and "All Within Are Subject to the Laws."
- The Junkyard - In this Dead Dominion, ghosts rebuild themselves using mechanical parts and engage in an endless Darwinian competition to be the strongest machine, who acts as the Kerberos. The Old Laws are fourfold: "The Design Must Be Tested," "The Design Must Evolve," "The Crushers are Sacrosanct," and "The Smith Shall Retain His Tools."
- The Forge of Orcus - In this Dominion, Orcus, the Kerberos, soulforges ghosts into material goods, which he will sell to other ghosts and visitors to the Underworld for a suitable payment. To this end, he employs seven beings, the Sibitti, as hunters and enforcers. The Old Laws back him and the Sibitti up by specifying that "Visitors Shall Take Nothing Not Offered," "Do Not Speak to the Material," "What is Made Cannot Be Unmade," "The Price is the Price," and "Do Not Impede the Sibitti."
- Oppia - This Dominion is devoted to using giant nets to capture the essence produced by people who remember the dead and convert it into an endless supply of food. It is ruled over by a mad Kerberos and Geist named Plenty. All of the menial labor is performed by Slaves, who have violated the Old Laws and have them carved into their backs: "All Shall Have Excess In Oppia," "Slaves Are Not People," "Let Every Memory Be A Mouthful And Let Every Offering Quench Our Thirst," "Do Not Refuse The Hospitality Of Plenty," and "Only The Truly Desirous Will Know Plenty."
- The Athenaeum - This Dominion is home to all of the world's lost knowledge, which descends to this giant library upon its destruction. All lost information is available there excepting the information stored in a single, destroyed hall. The Dominion's Kerberos is Enoch, the Librarian, who enforces the eight Old Laws: "To Gain Entry, All Must Offer Knowledge," "Speak Only Truth Within These Laws," "Do Not Feed The Owlings," "Bring No Violence To This Place," "Do Not Feed Dark Hungers," "Make Now Sound In The Hall Of Silence," "Take Nothing," and "No Willworking Shall Transpire Within These Halls."
- Mictlan - This Dominion is ruled over by Mictlantecuhtli Polydegmon, a deathlord-like Kerberos, and his wife Mictecacihuatl Kore, a Persephone-like character. The entire Dominion is structured as a vast challenge of will and virtue, which, if completed by a visitor, will permit him or her to leave the Dominion with the soul of one person he asks for. The eight Old Laws are: "Do Not Look Back," "Stay On The Path," "Deny No Guardian Their Due," "Eat Nothing And Drink Nothing," "Bear No Coin Beyond The Gate Of Mictlantecuhtli," "Tread With Bare Foot," "You Cannot Claim Your Own Soul," and "The Word Of Mictlantecuhtli Is Law."
- The Grave Dream - The Grave Dream is home to all of the world's lost and dead dreams, which may be entered by visitors. It is patrolled by The Dark Man, the Kerberos, as well as The Oneironaut and The Hag, who appear to have some mysterious relationship to faeries and changelings. The nine Old Laws also seem to have something to do with Arcadia, and specify "Dead In, Dead Out," "No Light Shall Pierce The Dark," "Bring No Iron," "Do Not Cross Over," "You Have No Name Here," "Shroud Not Your Head," "Do Not Impede The Servants Of The Dark," "Speak Not Of The Cousing (Faeries)," and "Tell None Of What You See."
- The Ocean of Fragments - This pitch-black (but transparent) underground ocean has the unusual property of depriving people submerged in it of their memories, called identifiers, starting with small ones and working up the basic facts of existence. It is patrolled by a single ship, the Freighter, and its captain, the Admiral, although he is not the Kerberos - a giant squid-like being called The Leviathan is. The Ocean has 12 Old Laws carved onto rock by the beach: All oceans are One Ocean, The Ocean Ends at the Black Beach, Only Those That Claim Identity can Enter the Ocean, Only the Freighter May Sail These Waters, No Obscuring Vision, You Are What You Keep, What One Finds, One may Keep, The Admiral's Word is Law, Leave Other Travelers in Peace, Travelers May Travel with the Freighter, No One on the Crew of the Freighter Will Lose Himself, The Ocean Must Not Be Empties, and the Progression of Erosion Must Be Followed. It is speculated that, due to the fact there appears to be no lower egress from Ocean of Fragments, and that swimming to the bottom of the ocean would cause one to cease existing, it may be the lowest of all of the Dead Dominions.
The various levels of the Underworld are marked by the Rivers. A particular River may be the first one crosses from the Upper Reaches, or it may be the 2nd or 3rd or even 6th. They do not stay in the same order, and seem to be very long and expansive. When speaking of the locations in the Underworld, it is common to hear a dominion referred to as "# rivers deep." A Sin-Eater may cross a number of Rivers equal to his psyche before needing assistance. (A Sin-Eater with psyche 1 can only go one river deep, etc.) For others, or for Sin-Eaters who have crossed as many rivers as they are able, there are the Ferrymen, who wait at the rivers and are willing to ferry passengers across for a price. For some reason, the traveler's own sub-conscious will not allow them to attempt crossing a river unaided. A traveler may drink from the Rivers, though each one will have both a benefit and a drawback. These are the rivers listed in the books, though there may be many more besides.
- The River of Blood (Qiq-ol-Mal)- This is a slow moving river of blood. A drink will grant a bonus to attacks, but a penalty to all mental tasks. Vampires may drink from this river to replenish vitae but gain neither the bonus nor the penalty.
- The River of Bone Dust (Hun Hunahpu)- This river has a veneer of bone dust that is very sweet to taste. It will heal those who drink from it, but they will become drunk in the process.
- The River of Consumption (Id-Kura)- A drink from this river will create a sympathy for the traveler with ghosts of the Underworld. It does this by causing him to thirst as though he had been deprived of water for several days.
- The River of Dead Seed (Eresh-ki-gala)- Chewing the seeds of this bog-like river will ensure that the next time the character has sex it will result in pregnancy. (Sex with someone of the same gender is exempt.) The resulting child will be sensitive to ghosts.
- The River of Fire (Phlegethon)- A swift flowing body of boiling hot water, drinking from it will burn the esophagus but grant the drinker a resistance to fire.
- The River of Hate (Styx)- This river of rapids will fill the mind with hate and revenge, while restoring some strength of will. Oaths sworn by this river are especially binding.
- The River of Lamentation (Cocytus)- Drinking the translucent waters of this river allows the traveler to attempt to regain lost morality. If he fails, however, he loses even more morality.
- The River of Memory (Lethe)- Any question can be answered by drinking from this slow, bubbling river, but the drinker will forget details about his own life. Too many drinks will cause amnesia.
- The River of Pus (Kohan-Il)- The disgusting flow of this river will repulse even the long dead, and so they have a harder time attacking anyone who drinks from it. However, the drinker cannot heal while this is in effect.
- The River of Scorpions (Sinaan)- To eat one of these scorpions is to willfully harm oneself. In exchange, one is granted hallucinogenic visions of the future.
- The River of Woe (Acheron)- This river is slow, gray, and greasy, and can help a traveler remember painful memories. The traveler will become depressed from this.
- The River of Amber (Eriadnos)- This thick golden river allows the drinker to awe and impress those around him with great ease. However, he will become extremely prideful, and it will be very difficult for him to not give in to his vanity.
- The River of Fate (Urdarbrunnr)- This cold, impossibly clear river grants the drinker insight into two future moments, granting him great success at a moment of his choosing, but immense defeat at a moment he cannot choose.
- The River of Ice (Hvergelmir)- As long as one keeps a piece of ice from this river in one's mouth, one is resistant against bitter cold.
- The River of Gold (Pishon)- Drinking the shining waters of this river will give the traveler great financial success for a short while. After that time is up, however, it takes back more than it gave.
- The River of Life (Anahita)- This river is known only through legend, which says that any who drink from it are healed of all wounds, and that the dead can come back to life. The legend also says that the water of this river is finite, and when it is gone, the living world will collapse into the Underworld forever.
Main page: Underworld Inhabitants
The Underworld is home to many creatures and spirits, from ghosts to Kerberoi, from geists to psychopomps, to even more bizarre things.
- The Beast Within- The first thing a Vampire will notice upon entering the Underworld is that the Beast goes quiet. This has a downside, though. The Beast will acclimate quickly to the Underworld, and when the Vampire tries to leave, the Beast will try to put the Vampire in a fear frenzy and force him to flee into the Underworld again.
- Old Laws- Because Vampires are not really living, but neither are they dead, the Old Laws are a little ambiguous about them. Unless a Dominion has Laws specifically relating to Vampires, they must make a humanity roll. A success means they are treated as living, while failure means they are treated as a ghost.
- Feeding- There are no living creatures in the Underworld (or at least not many) so blood is hard to come by. If a Vampire can find it, he can drink from the Qiq-ol-Mal, but this river is not always easy to find. Some blood drips slowly into the Underworld, and the Vampire may feed from this, but it is a very slow process- he must stand in one spot to catch the dripping blood for ten minutes to gain 1 vitae. The final option is to feed off the ghosts. If a Vampire is able to figure out how to do this, he can drink the essence of the ghost as if it were blood. Doing this, however, gives the Beast more power to keep the Vampire there, especially if the Vampire becomes addicted to it.
- Sleeping and Torpor- There is no Day in the Underworld, so a Vampire does not suffer from daysleep. It is possible to enter Torpor in the Underworld, and some Vampires have been known to hide their bodies there just before entering torpor.
- Reasons for going- A Vampire in the Underworld need never fear the Sun. The ghosts of those long dead can be found here if a Vampire seeks knowledge or the company of someone he knew in life. The blood of ghosts is much sweeter than any living person and ghosts cannot die from being fed upon.
- Disciplines- While most disciplines function normally in the Underworld, there are a few exceptions:
- Animalism will not affect pychopomps, animalistic spirits, or Kerberoi
- The Spirit's Touch suffers a -3 penalty and a dramatic failure requires an immediate Rötschreck check.
- Twilight Project does not function in the Underworld.
- Summoning works on ghosts in the Underworld but only while the Vampire is in the Underworld.
- Mortal Fear does not affect ghosts, geists, Kerberoi, or any other Underworld "native."
- Mask of Tranquility increases the chance that a Vampire will be considered living.
- Aspect of the Predator increases the chance that a Vampire will be mistaken for a ghost.
- Creatures of Spirit- The Underworld is not like the Shadow. When a Werewolf enters the Underworld, either on purpose or accidentally, they get the overwhelming feeling that they do not belong there. For every number of days equal to twice their harmony, werewolves must make a degeneration roll. If they fail, they lose a dot of harmony and the clock resets to the new harmonyx2 days. If they succeed, they must roll again after 24 hours.
- Old Laws- Unless a Dominion has Laws regarding Werewolves, they are treated as humans.
- Essence- There is no Moon in the Underworld, and there are no spirits or loci, either. The easiest way to regain essence is to eat a ghost. This is a sin against Harmony just as eating a human is. It is also addicting, just like everything else in the Underworld.
- Renown- Because the Lunes can't witness the events of the Underworld, a werewolf who wishes to gain renown for his actions there must find a Lune after leaving and convince it of his deeds.
- Totems- A totem which follows the pack into the Underworld becomes solid. To do this, the totem must have an anchor that is either an object or a living person. If the totem is discorporated, it cannot reform until the pack leaves the Underworld or the entire pack is dead.
- Reasons to go- A werewolf may enter to find the secret ban of an ancient spirit, or the weakness of some other powerful enemy. Urathra may seek to gain renown by exploring here, or a Spirit may flee here through a Shadow Gate. It's also possible to find powerful fetishes, or learn the secret of making fetishes with human ghosts.
- Gifts- The gifts of werewolves have a harder time functioning in the Underworld because their power is Spirit based.
- Read Spirit and other gifts that allow dialog with spirits do not function in the Underworld.
- Two World Eyes does not function unless the werewolf is near a shadow gate.
- Death Sight can see Avernian Gates in the living world.
- Elemental Gifts do not affect the Rivers.
- The Spirit Pack is much weaker in the Underworld.
- Pack Awareness when used in the living world, will detect a packmate in the Underworld both as doing whatever actions and as dead.
- Echo Dream See Spirit's Touch above.
- Skin-stealing does not work on ghosts.
- Beast affecting gifts do not work on psychopomps.
- Ward of Spirit Slumber works on ghosts as normal.
- Calling spirits to the Underworld is exceptionally difficult. Calling Lunes is impossible.
- Banish Human cannot remove a human from the Underworld.
- Funeral refills all willpower in the Underworld.
- Rites to call or bind spirits don't work on ghosts.
- Rites to call or bind humans do.
- Rites that directly affect the Shadow do not affect the Underworld.
- Search for the Supernal- The Underworld has obvious connections to Stygia, the Supernal Realm of the Shades. It is possible that Stygia is in fact one of the Dead Dominions. Some have theorized that Stygia was one of the Lower Mysteries until the Oracle sealed it off, creating Old Laws which enable the Awakened soul to travel there. It is possible that the river in Stygia is one of the Dead Rivers, and following the correct one could lead you there. But what would happen if the walls were breached?
- Old Laws- Unless the laws specifically mention mages, they are treated as living beings. That said, Death magic can be used to be treated as a Ghost, and Fate magic can be used to temporarily allow a mage to break a law without notice.
- Still Mortal- The Underworld reminds mages as a very simple truth: No matter how powerful they get, no matter how much knowledge they obtain, they are still going to die. This is a very harsh reminder for those who can bend reality to their will.
- Reasons to go- The Underworld is a treasure trove of lost knowledge and secrets. There are many things to study, ancient ghosts to speak with, and lost rotes to be learned. There is even talk of a library that holds all the lost knowledge of the world, if you can find it.
- Magic- Most arcana function as normal, however, if there is nothing with in the arcana's purview present, then it has nothing to act on.
- Death magic is easier to cast in the Underworld, and mages find that their rotes are more powerful than before. Spells that affect Twilight do not function.
- Forces magic works normally, except that there are no radio waves to pick up on in the Underworld, nor running electrical currents to affect.
- Life magic can only be used on living travelers in the Underworld. It cannot affect the environment or ghosts.
- Mind magic can work on ghosts, but things affect beasts do not affect psychopomps.
- Space magic can be used to scry for ghosts in the Underworld. If one wishes to scry for a ghost in the Underworld while in the living world, one must be a Master of Death. Teleportation does function in the Underworld, but teleporting or opening a portal to the living world requires mastery of Death also.
- Spirit magic has little to work with in the Underworld. It is exceptionally difficult to summon a spirit while in the Great Below.
- Time functions just fine except for Post-cognition. See Spirit's Touch above.
Special Note: For the purposes of mechanics, a Geist is a spirit-ghost hybrid. If a mage wishes to affect a geist with a spell to affect a spirit or a ghost, they must have the requisite level of power in both Death and Spirit.
- Contract of Death- For beings that have escaped through the hellish labyrinth that is the Hedge, entering another labyrinth may seem daunting at best. However, upon entering the Underworld, the Changeling learns a truth that can grant them great hope: Everything dies, even the True Fae. A changeling in the Underworld has the chance to learn a very old contract made by the True Fae that will allow them to die once in the Underworld and return to life.
- Old Laws- Changelings are living beings; however, changelings with Clarity 7 or higher must roll for degeneration if they break one of the Old Laws.
- Entering the Hedge- While a changeling may enter the Underworld from the Hedge, the reverse is not true. No doorways open into the Hedge from the Underworld. The stress of being in yet another otherworldly maze makes is harder for changelings to hold onto their sanity.
- Reasons to go- Besides the Death Clause and the usual temptations, changelings find that being in the presence of the purely emotional ghosts makes it easier to harvest Glamour, even after returning to the living world.
- Contracts- Most contracts function normally, with the following exceptions:
- Pathfinder does not work in the Underworld.
- Cobblethought doesn't work on ghosts as they don't dream.
- Dreamsteps can be used if someone is dreaming nearby. It is possible to escape the Underworld in this manner.
- Contracts of Darkness are slightly more powerful in the Underworld.
- Contracts of Fang and Talon do not regard psychopomps as animals.
- Hated by Everyone- By their very nature, Prometheans are rejected by the living world. Ghosts, however, do not suffer from disquiet. The Underworld is already dead; it can become a wasteland, but it does so much more slowly. Prometheans find a haven here, and can find an unused tunnel to hide in for months, if they so choose. Unfortunately, they are not seen as human by the inhabitants of the Underworld, who will have even less aversion to enslaving them than normal. Some may even seek out a Promethean for a slave if they hear of one in the Underworld.
- Old Laws- Like Vampires, Prometheans aren't dead, but neither are they recognized as alive. Unlike Vampires, they are never considered human. The Promethean must make a humanity check upon entering a Dominion. Failure sees him as a ghost, but success means he is treated as something completely different. This can have a number of effects, from being barred from entering to being summoned to the Dominion's ruler to being generally ignored. Exceptional success renders the Promethean invisible to the Kerberos of the Dominion unless he breaks a Law.
- Second Chances- When a Promethean dies for the first time, the Azoth will bring them back to life. If the Promethean has suffered so much damage as to have lost limbs, it is possible that they will resurrect on a River bank in the Underworld. Here, they may meditate on how they died, and how they could have prevented their death. When they return to the living world, they are whole again.
- Reasons to go- Besides being able to hold a conversation without instilling disquiet, or providing a hiding space to go to the wastes, the Underworld can serve as a source for many of the Milestones on a Promethean's Pilgrimage, specifically those involving death, guilt, sin, and fear.
- Bestowments and Transmutations- function normally with the following exceptions:
- Ephemeral Flesh does not function in the Underworld.
- Any powers that instill disquiet will not work on ghosts.
- Human Hunters are Human- Hunters interact with the Underworld in the same that any other regular human interacts with the Underworld. A particularly religious hunter may find his faith is shaken in the Great Below, which mirrors all the major religions and then some, while not quite measuring up to any of them. At the same time, a hunter may be comforted by the solid evidence that the soul lives on after death.
- Tactics and Endowments- Provided the hunter cell has the space and the equipment, all tactics function normally in the Underworld. Endowments also function normally, with the one exception that Twilight affecting powers do not work in the Underworld. Twilight familiars are solid, as are the ghosts, meaning that regular bullets and other weapons function as in the living world.
- Reasons to Go- A hunter cell may enter the Underworld for any number of reasons. Most commonly however, they are either chasing a monster or ended up there by accident. Sometimes both.
- Home Field Advantage- In a way, the Underworld is the Sin-Eaters turf. Gates open for them more easily, they can cross the Rivers with out help (if they have sufficient psyche), and the plasm that they use to fuel their powers flows through the Underworld in great quantities. High power Sin-Eaters are required to spend a certain amount of time in the Underworld a month. All Sin-Eaters are part death, and as such, they resonate with the death energies of the Underworld. It is a part of them, and they are a part of it, if only partially.
- Old Laws- Sin-Eaters are considered human unless the laws specifically refer to them.
- Acting the Psychopomp- Sin-Eaters can often function as guides for other travelers, especially if they're very familiar with the area. While the largest collection maps belongs to a Mysterium cabal, Sin-Eaters are the ones mostly likely to make maps because they spend more time down there than any other supernatural. Also, for any river a Sin-Eater has the psyche to cross, the Sin-Eater can aid others in crossing. This must be done one at a time and has a steep cost in plasm and willpower.
- Reasons to go- Sin-Eaters of sufficient power must travel to the Underworld for a certain length of time each month. Furthermore, they have a lot to gain in the Underworld, from long lost secrets to deals with ghosts. Some may make a living off of being a guide, while others spend their time mapping. They can gain powerful Memento Mori, learn new ceremonies and manifestations, and one krewe even set up shop down Below and made their own Dominion.
- Keys and Manifestations- As a Sin-Eater's power comes from his geist, who is a native of the Underworld, all powers function normally. The Primeval key affects psychopomps as it would animals.
Dying is, naturally, the easiest and most common way for a human mortal to enter the Underworld. The second most common way is by accident. Occasionally, some person will learn some dark ritual thinking they'll be able to resurrect the dead, or gain vast power, and open one intentionally. There are enough cases of mortals entering the Underworld for some sort of mission that these stories have found their way into legend.
Reasons to Visit
The reasons to enter the land of the dead are as varied as the travelers who do so. That being said, these are some of the main reasons people enter the Underworld:
- Hunting lost knowledge- The Underworld is a veritable goldmine of lost knowledge. Ancient ghosts of powerful supernaturals dwell here, having taken their secrets to the grave. Many of the Rivers hold the gift of insight. There are rumors of libraries where the lost knowledge of the world is stored. Or even less earth shattering, victims of crimes may know who sent them to their death. Some ghosts are gifted at getting information from other ghosts. Information is all a ghost has to barter with in the Deeps, so they are likely to ask a steep price.
- Searching for Power- Like the lost knowledge of the world, arcane secrets and powerful rituals that have long since been gone to the world are here. Some seek powerful items, some seek rites, some even seek to enslave the dead as an army. Power can be found here, but it always comes at a price.
- Rescuing a loved one- In all the myths about traveling to the Underworld, this is perhaps the one we remember the most. A traveler's companion may have become lost in the Great Below (easy enough to do). Sometimes, a vengeful ghost or geist will drag a loved one through a gate as retaliation. Sometimes, one seeks to rescue one of the dead. Whether this is by providing a new anchor to help the ghost return to the living, or some other more powerful means to return the dead to life, desperate travelers have tried this before, and they will try it again.
- Treasure Hunting- History is full of times when conquerors and armies pillaged and destroyed the treasures of other civilizations. As these treasures are destroyed in the living world, sometimes they come back in the Lower Mysteries. These are not items of power, but they have their own value as historical objects of monetary worth. Some travelers have been known to make a living off of finding these items, thought to be lost to the world forever.
Mage: The Awakening Dimensions
|The Fallen World:|
The Abyss • The Underworld