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Mages spent weeks in meditation, exploring the farthest reaches of the ethereal world. The demands of the body were ignored, and they survived sustained only by magic. Their efforts were rewarded, a sentience was contacted, dark and horrible. It whispered secrets into the mages' minds, secrets of necromancy, diseases, sacrificial rites. It promised power in exchange for their blood, and they freely gave it.
"I pledge my body, to gain your strength; I pledge my mind, to gain your insight; I pledge my heart, to gain your devotion; I pledge my soul, to gain your obedience."
―The Grimoire of Summoning, Second Ritual
What could be worse than hell? The domain of a fallen god, whispers of it are found in every religion.
"The wicked shall face their eternal punishment in hell," says the Confessor.
"Its fires burn hotter than any forge, and the foolish burn away like fool's gold," the Stonewarden warns.
"The hottest days of summer do not compare," intones the Priest of Leaves, "and there is no rebirth for those defilers exiled there."
The Cultists babble, "In the fire or in the void, your masters cannot speak to you, nor you to them; shun the realm of the fallen sun, and falter not in your labors for your lords, or you shall be so banished!"
And in the rituals of the Ashen Veil lie these words: "From the fires of the pit, come our secrets, but we acknowledge we are supplicants, and offer the price you seek. We come to bargain, not command, oh Lords of the fire. For this presumption, take not our souls, take those of our foes."
But the truth is much worse. Hell is an attack on every aspect of the souls that dwell within it. An excruciating forge built to transform the weak and broken into physical manifestations of Agares hate. In life a man may consider an act unthinkable, but through the slow manipulations of hell that act will become acceptable and then enjoyable. Many spend eternity in this slow grind, hating those above them and crushing those below them.
Hyborem was not so easily satisfied. He thirsted for new challenges. With the covert assistance of Agares, the walls of creation were weakened imperceptibly. Hell, always existing alongside the infinite plane where mortals dwelt, was given brief, tortured access. Hyborem took his servants and set out at once.