There is so much going on in the HELLBOUND universe which I’ve created, that one book may not be enough to properly represent the immense world-building and characterization involved in this story.
HELLBOUND, honestly started out as an alternate view of good and evil. In this book, the good is obvious, as is the evil. Although unlike the traditional depiction of eternity, I’ve added a few more fantastic new realms of possibility.
Like much of my works, I value the simple and pure notion of love and sacrifice. And in HELLBOUND we get that aplenty.
Unlike the usual idea of mortal vs immortal universes depicted in many of the fantasy/paranormal romances out there, I’ve evolved the afterlife into multiple planes of existence.
The HELLBOUND world:
There are five realms, Temporal, Heaven, Hell, Astral and Ethereal.
The Temporal Realm…
The Temporal Realm is where all mortal life exists. It is the most coveted of all the realms and ruled over by the appointed Temporal God, Dedarius. He protects it with ruthless acquisitiveness. In the temporal realm there are several different Earth-like worlds, or dimensions. Each world is filled with mortal creatures who possess free will, and the purest power in the universe, the immortal soul.
There is thirteen earth-like worlds. The earth that humans live on is called Mortal-Earth. The other twelve worlds are home to the “mythological” creatures of human folklore, like elves, trolls, goblins, etc.. These “earth” worlds have much longer life spans but much lower populations. Many of these creatures once lived alongside humans, and intermingled with them.
The Temporal Realm was part of the Hell Realm at one time before the war between Heaven and Hell broke out. Once the Humans were segregated, their numbers flourished, while birth rates in the other Earth dimensions decreased substantially. It is believed that humans have the purest souls. Once they were no longer accessible for crossbreeding with mortals of other earthly worlds, these other species’ numbers dwindled to near extinction. Humans are a very coveted commodity in the Temporal Realm. (However, that’s a whole another story… ;)!
The Heaven Realm…
The Heaven Realm, is where good souls are rewarded with an eternal life of peace, pleasure and happiness. It’s a vast realm filled with angelic defenders and the purest of immortal souls.
The God of Heaven is called Adonai. He is said to be the most beautiful of all the angels in Heaven. Please understand that the angels depicted in HELLBOUND are not like the angels of the biblical Heaven.
These are fierce warriors who are ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice in order to defend Heaven and their collection of temporal souls from the other realms. Their sole purpose is to protect pure souls and much like Hell’s soul collectors, to populate their realm with the most powerful essences in the universe, mortals’ souls. The soul’s pure energy is what infuses both mortals and immortals with eternal life. Aeon created all life. The soul is a minuscule piece of Aeon’s limitless power.
Only mortals can carry a soul. Their finite lives determine where they go after death. Hence, a constant circle of life is forever replenished.
In fact, the war between Heaven and Hell, had to do with a disagreement over Heaven’s insistence that damned souls could be redeemed, forcing Hell to release those souls to heaven. It meant that Hell had to work harder to replace the souls they lost in order to maintain an equal balance of good and evil in the universes. The balance MUST be equal. Mortal and Immortal realms can not exist without it. Too much of one or the other will awaken Chaos, Aeon’s opposing force and all life everywhere, will cease to exist. The great abyss will consume everything in existence until the spark of life can be born again. (but that’s another story… 😉 )
Eventually, Hell began using illegal methods of acquiring souls, which led to war.
After the war ended, Aeon, the one true GOD of all, set up an ethereal council that could deliberate over issues like martyrdom and redemption of souls. In HELLBOUND this is something that happens to our hero Marowit, when he acquires a pure soul and brings her to Hell to claim her as his own
The Hell Realm…
The Hell realm is exactly what it sounds like, Hell. Hell’s ominous demon God, Ashmedai, is immensely powerful and intimidating. His very blood is poisonous and the only substance that can kill immortal souls. His cruelty is without comparison. Ashmedai, depends on his Hell-Demons and Legion Generals to maintain order in Hell. Like Heaven’s angels, Hell has war-demons that protect the borders of Hell from any breaching. The only difference is that Hell is keeping it’s inhabitants in, instead of letting them out to cross over into other realms.
It’s widely known that Hell is a one-way ticket. Once you get in, the chances of being released are non-existent. The only one who can take a soul from Hell is Aeon, and even then it must be agreed upon by all the Realm Gods. The second most powerful demon in hell is the Demon of Judgement. (please note that Angel and Demon are nothing more than titles.) Other than
physical characteristics, in HELLBOUND, angels and demons are pretty much interchangeable.
The Judge of Hell, is responsible for passing judgment and handing down eternal damnation sentencing to the most heinous of crimes committed during a soul’s mortal life. These included serial killers, rape, child molestation, and mass murder for religious reasons. For all other less heinous crimes, like blasphemy, and crimes committed without conscience or repentance, Hell has an automatic grading system to categorize most sins. Predestined punishment depends on where the offense registers on a scale from one to a hundred. In hell there are several levels much like tiers of either cells or actual town-like habitats where souls are placed to live out their eternal sentencing. It can range from flogging once a day to being skinned alive every hour.
Regardless where you are placed in Hell, it is always dark, smelly and mostly inhospitable to horrifyingly nightmarish.
The Astral Realm…
Our hero of HELLBOUND, Marowit, the Demon of Nightmares, was born and grew up in the Astral Realm. His true purpose is to one day become God of the Astral Realm which is currently ruled by his father, Eidolon. Unfortunately he was tricked hundreds of thousands of years ago by Peklenc, the Demon of Judgement, into “temporarily” taking the Job as Hell’s Damnation Judge. Marowit has been stuck judging disgusting evil souls and is extremely unhappy about it. He longs for the day when Peklenc returns so he can kick his deceitful ass and leave Hell for good.
The Astral realm exists between Heaven and The Temporal realms. It is the place where both mortal and immortals’, hopes, dreams, and most secret desires are manifested and formed before becoming part of the subconscious. Both newly born souls and “death” freed souls pass through the Astral on their way to their earthly and eternal designation.
This is the place where dreams and nightmares become reality. Often times dreams are messages delivered by loved ones from heaven while nightmares are warnings. Spirit guides reside here and are assigned to every living mortal being on the thirteen earth worlds. These guides are usually deceased loved ones who will remain in the Astral realm. Most stay there until their spouses or children join them in the afterlife. Once reunited the souls continue their journey into heaven. If the relative is sent to Hell, the guide can choose to remain and serve Eidolon the remainder of his or her eternal life.. The Astral Realm is also the point where souls are prejudged before they go to Heaven or Hell.
Unlike Heaven or Hell, the Astral Realm is a mixture of colorful beauty and dark dreary despair. It is also the most visited of all the realms, by both mortal and immortals. It is the only Realm whose borders are never closed.
Both angels and demons are assigned to work in this Realm. Also, it is the only eternal realm that does not need to maintain a quota of souls.
The Ethereal Realm…
This is the center of the eternal universe. It is where Aeon lives.
Quote from HELLBOUND:
“The Power of the Universe, Aeon, was so intensely powerful that his physical body was a beacon of pure light. Although Aeon was truly neither male nor female, the Creator often took on a masculine form when he appeared to them.”