The Reign of Darkness
Abandon all hope ye who enter here
Soon after the creation of the Natural World and the end of the Dawn War, the gods of Heaven looked upon the races they had placed in it and were astonished by what they saw – though the mortal races had been given free will, they did not worship the gods in complete gratitude and total obedience. Instead, they sought they own ways and did what was right in their own eyes.
It was Asmodeus, a fierce and powerful champion of the Dawn War, who explained why: “Faith alone does not work because it relies solely upon voluntary compliance. The only way to ensure a desire to obey is to threaten mortals with consequences they wish to avoid. There can be no law without Punishment.”
Thus, the concept of punishment was introduced into Heaven and the gods sent their servants throughout the world to announce that the consequence of sin would be torment. The gods were pleased with this arrangement, truly thinking that the mortal races would obey and none would actually need punishment.
But as mortals died, some souls trickled into Heaven who bore the taint of transgression. Asmodeus and his celestial cohort thus set about their lawful duty – they flayed these sinners, and burned them, and placed them upon racks. The shrieks of the damned reverberated throughout Heaven, the golden light of divinity was clouded by the smoke of charred flesh, and the flowers of Mount Celestia dripped with blood.
The gods tried to shut their ears and eyes to the atrocities of torment but they could not abide such horror in Heaven, so Asmodeus provided yet another proposal – he would continue his service to the gods of punishing sin if he would be provided a place of his own outside of Heaven to do it. The gods happily agreed, signing the Pact Primeval, and gave him the barren tunnels and desolate caverns in the depths below Mount Celestia for his dark purpose.
In time, Asmodeus would shape this realm to his will and all would come to call it Hell.