The Hall of Screams

By James Walker


There are a LOT of people who want to escape from Hell. If you don't have a Vessel, the only convenient way out is through Beleth's Tower - not an ideal choice. What makes it particularly unpleasant is the Hall of Screams.

Those caught trying to use the Tower Tether without permission are not handed over to The Game - instead, they decorate this Hall. They aren't actively tortured (often) - there's no need. Repeated use of Beleth's Balseraph attunement and NC:Tongue have left the victims with hideous amounts of Discord. There are no walls or shackles - the prisoners are too afraid to leave. They're also afraid of staying, of course; just not quite as afraid. They're incredibly afraid of demons of Nightmares, of angels, of each other... Any change in the Hall - any at all - will result in the prisoners going into screaming fits until the guards correct the situation.

There are angels in the Hall of Screams; every now and again an angel attempts to sneak through and is caught. Most end up Falling, of course; some Malakim and angels of Purity remain, twisted by dissonance and Discord. Most have been reduced to one or two Forces; all Malakim have Fear(Demons) at a high level.

Damned Souls also seek to escape through the Tether. As they cannot use it, little needs to be done to make their eternal torment worse. Each is given Fear(Hell)/5 and Fear(Demons of Nightmares)/6. They circle the Locus, wailing desperate to pass; and then scatter when Beleth's Servitors wish to pass. If anyone else seeks to use the Tether they will rush up, begging to be taken through, and clinging onto their target with all their might. Each Damned Soul clinging on gives a -1 penalty for using the Tether (normally using the tether is automatic, of course, but dozens of the Damned can hang on). Even if their target is successful, they cannot follow him through, and are doomed to remain here.

The prisoners in the Hall are not wasted by Beleth, of course. She finds the Hall a convenient way of storing Forces until needed, and the prisoners are harvested for essence by her Impudites. They are also an excellent early warning system.

Many of the demon(lings) in the Hall were hoping to seek Redemption, of course. All though still theoretically possible, this is no longer practical. With several hundred levels of Discord each, no Archangel would look at Redeeming one of these demons; they'd Fall again almost immediately, and no Archangel has the resources necessary to remove all of that Discord while there is a War going on. These would-be penitents are well aware of this, and weep to themselves in the corners of the Hall.


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