The Pillar of Skulls

Near the gate between the first and second layer of Hell, there lies a grotesque monument of the damned. Towering more than a mile high, howling and writhing with eternal torment, is a terror to match any other in the Nine Hells.

Here lies the Pillar of Skulls. It seethes with the frustration and hatred of a billion souls, moaning and wailing in endless, hopeless agony.

Yet here, too, lies the greatest store of knowledge in all the planes of existence. For among the Pillar's eternal prisoners lie great thinkers, world leaders, teachers, scientists... the entirety of the world's lore and experiences can be found within.

And so once in a great while, a seeker of knowledge will brave Hell itself to speak to the Pillar. But should they survive the charred wasteland, should they avoid the endless legions of Lord Bel's devils, should they escape the watchful eyes of the five-headed Tiamat, they must still contend with the Pillar itself.

When a visitor comes, the billion skulls fight each other to make themselves heard. The surface of the Pillar billows and pulsates, one skull appearing - howling unintelligible obscenities - then disappearing as quickly to be replaced by another.

Even should the seeker find the right one - a soul who has the information they are after - there is a price. For every skull on the Pillar, every soul doomed to live out eternity in the Nine Hells, wants only one thing. "I'll tell you what I know," they will say. "I'll do anything you ask. Just, please, take me off this pillar. Please, I...

"I just want to be published."

4 comments:

Natalie said...

lol! How did you know I feel like a disembodied skull most days?

MattyDub said...

I thought the Pillar was for the souls of Liars. Or was that just Morte?
-M

Adam Heine said...

I think the real Pillar is for sinners in general. In any case, authors are all liars anyway, by profession.

Pen Pen said...

:) OMG...I laughed out loud at the end of this post and my mini carrot fell out of my mouth! Well done!