The Lord of Hatred has been defeated and now I have moved through a hostile-looking portal. The new castle I'm in may be smaller, but still more luxurious in appearance than the Rogue Monastery.
In my maps, I have not seen the Pandemonium Fortress appear anywhere. When I went up to the top of the battlements to soak in the view, it sat atop an ominous cliff overlooking an unnaturally calm ocean. I have never seen anything more tranquil in my life! When looking the other way though, I feel a tiny semblance of trembling; I see what I'd believe is the edge of Hell off on the horizon.
Trying to figure out the time from the Sun's position in the sky, was the most baffling discovery of all: THERE IS NO SUN!
I wondered exactly HOW there could be light ANYWHERE without a Sun. I have heard and read of far-off lands around the Sanctuary, but I have never heard of a fortress nor the surrounding area that had daylight WITHOUT A SUN! Where on Sanctuary could this ever be possible?
Apparently there's a magic spell that keeps artificial light shining, but what dark spell does it override??? This is not like the Tainted Sun in Aranoch, is it?? Do I have to destroy another altar to destroy whatever is attempting to darken the sky and hide the Sun somehow? WHAT IS THE STORY HERE?
Human mice, the two shopkeepers
Nevertheless, after I became familiar with Tyrael and Cain, I started to re-adjust to my new temporary home. Two shopkeepers, Jamella and Halbu, are not talkative in the least; they only greet. What kind of curse would make them so quiet? Who would put this curse on them and why? Do they have a big secret they mustn't share with outsiders? If I only knew more about their backgrounds. I might get an explanation as to why they remain silent little mice.
Embassy of Heaven on the Hell's Edge
Anyway, from what Tyrael and Cain told me, this Fortress is apparently an Embassy of Heaven in Hell. (Or more accurately, an Embassy of Heaven on the edge of Hell.) They place it here to ensure the minions don't escape to overrun the rest of creation. But what of the spiritually condemned souls who have become repentant since their time in Hell? Do the guards of the Fortress allow them to escape the realm of pain and suffering? Even if they don't, I would hope they have a chance to jump in the ocean; better a calm, tranquil ocean than the fiery furnace of Hell, wouldn't you say?
Finally, the steps leading from the fortress do not have any GUARDRAILS! It may be too easy for anyone to fall of the edges. Moreover, in the more "modern" chapters of the Earth sagas, there is a governmental entity within one of the myths' nation-states called the "Occupational Safety and Health Administration." They reinforce mundane protocols just so people are marginally safer and healthier while at their places of employment. This includes placing guardrails on staircases where falling off the sides would cause certain bodily harm.
I would agree that guardrails on staircases would reduce anxiety, which may hinder our combat abilities. Besides, we do not prefer to let our minions fall beyond their edges and weaken our platoon this way, you see. If OSHA ever came to inspect our Fortress, thanks to the railless staircase, Heaven would have hell to pay in fines!
Let us see what rewards cleansing Hell will bring us in our journeys ahead! --ENG 13:14, 18 January 2009 (UTC)