The Pillar of Skulls

Near the gate between the first and second layers of Hell, there lies a grotesque monument of the damned. It towers over a mile high, howling and writhing with eternal torment--a terror to match any other in the Nine Hells.
It is the Pillar of Skulls, and it seethes with the frustration and hatred of a billion souls, moaning and wailing in endless, hopeless agony.

But it is also the greatest store of knowledge in all planes of existence. 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.

Once in a great while, a knowledge seeker will brave Hell itself to speak to the Pillar. Should they survive--through the charred wasteland, past endless legions of Lord Bel's devils, beneath the watchful eyes of the five-headed Tiamat--they must still contend with the Pillar itself.

Whenever 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 to be replaced by another.

And should the seeker find the right one--a soul who has the information they are after--there is always 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 say. "I'll do anything you ask. Just, please, take me off this pillar. Please, I...

"I just want to be published."

6 comments:

Matthew Rush said...

Awesome.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

That's going to haunt me for the rest of the day.

Nancy said...

Oh my gosh, that was truly amazing! And now I know that someone else out there understands my agony!

Girl Friday said...

Amazing. Love.

Sarah said...

Whoa. That's evocative.

Comment1 said...

I can't believe I've just pseudo-randomly come across a Planescape: Torment guy! That's so cool!